Summary: In the novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” the protagonist Hazel Grace Lancaster is a 16-year old teenage girl who is struggling with cancer. She regularly attends a support group at a local church. There, she befriends Isaac, who is also struck by cancer, and another teenage boy by the name of Augustus in whom she develops a romantic interest.
Augustus is struggling with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma, even though he has recently went into remission and been diagnosed as healthy. Hazel develops feelings for Augustus, but she is hesitant about starting a relationship with him out of fear that she might hurt him if her cancer worsens. As she gets to know Augustus, Hazel also forges a bond with him when sharing her favorite book An Imperial Affliction. Moved by the gesture, Augustus emails the author of that book, Peter Van Houten, and plans a trip – through a “wish” granted to him by a child cancer foundation – to meet the mysterious Van Houten and discover what happens after the book’s end. The two finally take this trip, but are disappointed to find a drunk and belligerent Van Houten. Making matters worse for Hazel, Augustus also reveals that his cancer has returned and is much more severe than the previous time.
When they return home, Hazel stays by Augustus’s side until his death. Van Houten travels to attend Augustus’s funeral and as a way to apologize to Hazel. He explains that his book was actually based on the life of his daughter who also died of cancer.
Coping with Augustus’ death leaves Hazel very troubled and she can only find comfort in the strength of her own family. She soon learns from Lidewij Vliegenthart, Van Houten’s assistant, that Augustus wrote a eulogy for Hazel to read at this funeral and relayed it to Van Houten. In the end, Hazel reads this emotional eulogy as it channels Augustus’ thoughts in which he hopes Hazel made happy choices.
Conflict: It is near the end of this story where Hazel and Augustus experience an event that dramatically changes their lives. In addition, Hazel is always reflecting on her struggles and she fights a constant emotional battle within herself and the emotions from a failing heart.
Setting: The year is never mentioned. However, based on references to different types of technology, we do know that it is contemporary or written in the present time. For example, they mention video games for the blind, which is technology that exists now.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is the novel’s narrator and 16-year-old protagonist. She diagnosed at age thirteen with terminal thyroid cancer that spreads in to her lungs. Afraid of relationships, Hazel keeps most people at a distance out of fear her death will ultimately hurt them. She eventually meets and falls in love with Augustus.
Augustus Waters – A sixteen-year-old with osteosarcoma who becomes Hazel’s boyfriend. He is romantic and immediately charming, very much unlike Hazel. Augustus is always looking to have an impact on other people’s lives and to always be remembered by everyone he touches. He falls in love with Hazel the first time he meets her at a Support Group.
Isaac – The mutual friend of both Hazel and Augustus’s who introduces the two at Support Group. Isaac blind from cancer and is described as cynical and filled with anger. He later becomes completely blind in the book. He is still hurt by his ex-girlfriend Monica dumping him cynical by nature. Blinded by cancer and dumped by his girlfriend Monica, Isaac often embodies skepticism and rage.
Mrs. Lancaster – Mrs. Lancaster is Hazel’s Mother. She is viewed as a strong and loving woman who has devoted her entire life to care for Hazel. During the novel, Hazel can’t help but feel constantly devastated and guilty from the pain her death will cause her mother.
Mr. Lancaster – Mr. Lancaster is Hazel’s caring father who is always crying. He loves Hazel, but he spends an enormous amount of time at work as a coping mechanism to deal with his daughter’s illness. He still has trouble accepting that she is sick.
Peter Van Houten – The elusive author of An Imperial Affliction. He is described as a rude drunk who constantly offends people by making them feel small and unappreciated.
Augustus’s parents – Augustus’s parents are viewed as very supportive and kind people. Near the end of the novel, it means a lot to Hazel when Augustus’s father tells about how important she was in his son’s life.
Lidewij Vliegenthart – Peter Van Houten’s assistant. Initially responsible for relaying Augustus’s communications to the author, Lidewij acts as a voice of reason for Van Houten.
Plot: The Fault In Our Stars is about a teenage girl who has been diagnosed with lung cancer and attends a cancer support group. At first, Hazel is reluctant to join that support group, but she realizes that it was one of the best decisions she has ever made. There she meets the charming and witty Augustus Waters who struggles with osteosarcoma and has lost both his legs, yet has been recently diagnosed as healthy. Hazel and Augustus embark on a personal journey as they take a trip to Amsterdam to find the author of their favourite book, An Imperial Affliction. During that trip, Augustus delivers heartbreaking news to Hazel and this is when their worlds fall apart.
Climax: life vs. death; man and woman vs. death; individual vs. love; man vs. self
Resolution: The resolution of The Fault In Our Stars happens when Augustus Waters dies: Peter Van Houten shows up to his funeral, finds Hazel and apologizes for how rude he was when they all first met in Amsterdam. Peter ends up telling Hazel what he would have wanted for the ending of the book. However, the resolution to Hazel and Augustus’s relationship does not end very well since, in the end, Augustus dies. Hazel ultimately fell in love with him and after Augustus died, Hazel felt broken for a while. A few weeks later, Hazel was able to realize that having Augustus in her life was not a bad thing, but a blessing. She realized that he taught her so many things about life and how to better appreciate it.