I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I didn't really intend to read, until it just called my name - asking for attention and wanting to be read. Since it had been a while since I last gone through any books (well, except for academic ones), I decided to be kind and heed its call.
Days later, I found myself tearful as I finished reading the last line of the novel.
The Fault in Our Stars
Although the storyline is romantically depressing and tragic, The Fault in Our Stars is filled with bite-sized life lessons and realizations we could, and perhaps should, ponder on.
Of course, the impact and reception differ from reader to reader since we each have varying perspectives, but I am here to share things I personally got from the book - those things that I want to treasure and preserve by writing them here.
Warning: This post may unintentionally contain some spoilers and hints of what will happen in the novel, so read at your own peril.
Another novel by John Green
A Short Overview
Before I begin sharing the realizations I picked from the book, let me briefly share with you how the story is set to unravel, just in case you haven't gone through the book.
A Fault in Our Stars is a novel by John Green revolving around the numbered days of Hazel Grace, a teenage girl who miraculously survived an impending death from lung cancer. Unfortunately, although she may have survived, the cancer was still left uncured making her lungs fail to be lungs. This in turn made living unmeaningful for Hazel, until she met Agustus Waters in a support group that completely changed her life.
The rest of the details is for you to find out. For now, let's proceed with the realizations I had from the book.
Watch the Movie Trailer of The Fault in Our Stars
Life Lessons from the Novel
1. A pile of dirt may still be a place for a flower to bloom.
Just when you think life couldn't get any better, it suddenly does. This is the same thing Hazel experienced herself when she met Agustus that resulted to a shift of perspective as she found a reason to live.
2. Sometimes life gives you an opportunity to do a favor for others when in fact, the favor is also and mostly for you.
I don't want to dwell much on this since I may spill some crucial details that may spoil the story. Nevertheless, this just suggests that life often plays tricks to us. We often find doing others some favor burdensome, but little do we know, we also get something from it. We just need to be open.
3. People usually interpret an act of selflessness as a selfish deed.
Throughout the book, Hazel mostly thought of herself as a grenade that will explode anytime and inflict ravaging pain to the ones close to her. This is why she wanted to shut herself off from others. A view from the outside may tell that Hazel was being too hard or possibly harsh, but from her view, "she was just protecting them".
4. Humor doesn't just die and so is hope.
Despite the ailments, characters in the novel just couldn't stop humoring themselves, and just like humor, hope seemed to also find its way towards Hazel and all other characters in the novel. Translated in another sense, "even if something is taken away, a replacement in another form will be given". That's hopeful thinking!
“I wanted to know that he would be okay if I died. I wanted to not be a grenade, to not be a malevolent force in the lives of people I loved.” - Hazel Grace of A Fault in Our Stars
5. Death or Losing in itself can be treated as a victory.
Though death may be bleak, it is a victory in another perspective. It's like a small reward for fighting so hard as it takes away all the unbearable pains in your life. However, note that I am talking about unforced death here, since I personally believe that there's no victory in taking lives by intention or by will. It's just a big no-no!
6. A sad and dark past brings both a blessing and a curse, but the choice is ours.
Peter Van Houten, a fictional author of An Imperial Affliction, revealed somewhere in the story that he had a daughter who died of cancer as well. This haunting past pushed him to come up with a great novel, but later this dark past devoured him and turned him into an anti-social alcoholic. Hence, we realize that past events leave us a choice, to dwell on it, or to use it as a weapon to move forward.
7. Living your life the way you want it to be is a choice.
It doesn't matter how long you have. What matters the most is how well you use and live it. The days of Hazel were numbered, though not specifically determined, but slowly, she chose the right choice of living her life and thrash the thought of "just surviving on a day to day basis".
Now, why shouldn't we do the same? Remember that not all cancer-free individuals are "living" and instead choose the path of "mere existence". Let us choose to be different by not waiting for a cancer to strike us just before we begin to realize that living is indeed a choice to make and a choice to take.
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
© 2014 Renz Kristofer Cheng
Hansika Sachdeva from India on September 10, 2015:
You are so correct. The book is just amazing. Great hub!
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on August 31, 2014:
I was able to watch the film just recently, and you are right! Both the book and the movie adaptation were really amazing! It made me rethink of how I am living my life.
Yves on August 31, 2014:
I've heard that the movie is also quite the little gem. It really is amazing how an event or a person can change our perspective "all of a sudden." We need more of that magic in our lives so that we can be more authentic right now...by choosing to really live our lives rather than waiting for life to happen.
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on August 19, 2014:
Thanks for dropping by SheGetsCreative! I'm glad you appreciate this hub I made for The Fault in Our Stars!
Angela F from Seattle, WA on August 19, 2014:
#7! Definitely my favorite :)
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on June 01, 2014:
@suzettenaples Yeah, I'm actually so excited too! And I think we need to prepare our buckets to catch the tears.
@susi10 You're welcome! Thanks for appreciating the photos here in this hub! At first I thought the Fault in Our Stars will be similar to A Walk to Remember, but it was completely different!
Susan W from The British Isles, Europe on May 31, 2014:
This was a very touching hub on the book, The Fault in Our Stars. I have seen it in all the bestseller lists and it is all over social media. It is a very touching book to read which has many life lessons embedded in its pages. Thank you for this enjoyable read, I like the images too. Shared and voted beautiful and awesome.
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on May 31, 2014:
Same thing happened to me - this book just jumped out at me and I had to read it. I have never read a book about death that made me laugh so much. It is so well written. I think the seven lessons learned from this book work for me too. These are the life lessons I learned from the book. The movie comes out next weekend and I can't wait to see it. This book was surprisingly good and I didn't expect it to be. Great write and article you have here!
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on April 17, 2014:
@parrster Thank you so much for dropping by! I am positive that you'll love the book!
Richard Parr from Australia on April 16, 2014:
I've been meaning to read this book for some time. You've re-inspired me to download it. great review. voted up
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on March 21, 2014:
@DDE Thank you very much for the dropping!
@Ericdierker Yes. I wasn't really expecting that it will be that good. Luckily, I gave myself the opportunity to read this.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 21, 2014:
Good stuff good read and well done!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 21, 2014:
Lovely photos and a sounds good one. The review is well put together.
Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on March 21, 2014:
Thanks NateB11! It sure was a great novel, and not to mention very easy to read. More than that, the story is unique.
Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on March 21, 2014:
I love these pieces of wisdom here. Sounds like a great book.