The Fault in Our Stars is narrated by Hazel Lancaster — better known as Hazel Grace — a sixteen year-old lung cancer patient. But this is not another hackneyed tale about cancer, rather a narrative about learning to take maximum advantage of life with cancer, and the accompanying adversaries.
Initially, when Hazel Grace introduces herself to the reader she’s just Hazel. More importantly, she’s depressed. Though, Hazel doesn’t attribute her depression to cancer, but dying — which in her case is attributed to cancer.
However, Hazel hasn’t truly learned to live with it yet. She’s alive, yes, but she’s not living. Everything she thinks, feels, and believes centers around cancer. But that all changes when Hazel meets the princely Augustus Waters — more affectionately, Gus.
The two meet when Gus accompanies a mutual friend — Isaac — to a support group for cancer patients that Hazel is also attending. And although Hazel doesn’t realize it at the start, it’s love at first sight.
Hazel and Augustus become inseparable almost immediately. And for good reason. Gus brings out the life in Hazel; he teaches her how to live, and over time gives Hazel something to live for. Not that she doesn’t live for her parents. She shares a significant bond with them. It’s more so that Gus gives her something — someone — other than death, to look forward to. And essentially, Hazel serves to be the same beacon of hope for Gus.
But even for all that, John Green masters an inevitable plot twist as only he can author. In an instant, the reader feels almost as if they’re reading another story. “You gave me a forever within the numbered days,” a tearful Hazel Grace said to Gus, “and I’m grateful.”