Five Stars for The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars, the required summer reading book for the 2014/15 school year. (Photo/Meg Dotzenrod)

The Fault in Our Stars, the required summer reading book for the 2014/15 school year. (Photo/Meg Dotzenrod)

By: Meg Dotzenrod

It’s that time of year again – school is almost out and the minute the doors close, summer reading begins (or at least that’s what the teachers like to believe).

This year at AHS, the required summer reading book was chosen by students in advisory out of a set of five novels, each paired with a description. Those five books were selected carefully by a group of teachers, after teachers in the school were asked to make recommendations. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Greenwas the winner.

Out of several choices, including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by , The Maze Runner, Okay for Now, and The Emperor Was Divine, The Fault in Our Stars was chosen by students because of its sappy reputation. Many students also chose the book because of the release of the new movie, hoping it would give them the gist of what happens.

Whatever the case, AHS students and people all over the country have created a buzz over the book, whose author can be seen hosting Crash Course educational YouTube videos. Green shows his soft side in his story, The Fault in Our Stars.

What seems like a romance novel at first glance is sure to be mind boggling once the pages are turned.

The Fault in Our Stars is the tragic yet hauntingly realistic story of two star-crossed lovers, Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster. Trapped in a life plagued by cancer, the two only have each other to reflect upon their worries of life after death.

Hazel Grace believes that “oblivion is inevitable.” The only other person who understands Hazel’s perspective on cancer is Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction. Hazel and Augustus soon find themselves intrigued by the possibility of finding out what happens at the end of the book.

Due to his condition and what he calls a “cancer perk,” the Make a Wish genies grant Augustus a free trip to Amsterdam and allow Hazel and her mom to accompany him. There they visit the home of Houten to find answers to their inquisitive questions.

Not only are readers engulfed in the tragedy of two teenagers fighting cancer, but through their experiences they are given multiple perspectives on the wonders of life. Augustus’ enchanting persona makes readers want to run off and find another charismatic realist just like him.

Augustus catches the heart of Hazel Grace with ease. “I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence,” Augustus says to Hazel.

Not only was the iconic novel a hit, but the movie caught the eye of millions on Friday, June 6.

The Fault in Our Stars cast was clearly chosen to impress the audience with their similarities to the book characters. Ansel Elgort captures the enchanting character of Augustus. Shailene Woodly plays lung cancer patient Hazel. Oddly enough, the dynamic duo recently starred in the film Divergent, as a powerful brother and sister.

The movie captured the aura of the book almost perfectly. At the North Attleboro Showcase Cinema opening, movie-goers crowded the lobby and had to be placed in lines to control the chaos for the 7:10 airing. The audience consisted mainly of middle school girls who fell in love with Augustus, but couples and families also went to the show.

The film was almost as replenishing as the book and the “not so happy” ending had people sobbing and passing tissues.

Despite the heartbreaking moments, the movie sometimes felt off pace and emotionless. The love story isn’t really an adventure but more of a predictable tragedy.

“The film version of the best-selling novel The Fault in Our Stars feels emotionally inert, despite its many moments that are meant to put a lump in our throats,” wrote Christy Lemire, online blogger and member of the LA Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Although the movie had its off moments when anticipation seemed to be a waste of time, the last few scenes still sparked violent emotion in the audience, just as any story of two cancer patients would.

People magazine representative Tom Gliatto called the film “sweet, simple, and dignified,” on June 6.

The movie, overlooking its minor flaws, is worth watching and can be compared to A Walk to Remember, a novel by Nicholas Sparks. Both emotional stories leave audiences, despite age or gender, wiping tears.

For current AHS freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, The Fault in Our Stars novel can be purchased in B2 Cafeteria for $8, as opposed to its original price of $12.99 plus tax.

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