Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars (copy)

I accidently ran across our younger generation’s Love Story this weekend. Two friends recommended it. One said, “You will laugh, you will cry, you will think about your life!” My other friend keeps leaving me quotes from the book on my Facebook page.

Young Hazel has terminal cancer that began in her thyroid. She is considered a miracle after bouncing back from her last episode, but her lungs are now like sponges. Every time she breathes out a little moisture stays. The effect makes her feel like she is drowning in her own body.

This places 16-year-old Hazel into overdrive. Knowing she has little time on earth, she rushes to complete her GED and now attends classes at a local community college three times a week.

She is usually fine in the mornings although she does not move very fast. She carries an oxygen tank with her at all times. After classes she spends the afternoons napping and reading. Her family shares a mantra, “Sleep Cures Cancer,” and she is left to sleep without interruptions.

Even though her mother encourages the sleeping, it also raises a red flag. The word depression is batted around and Hazel finds herself stuck with attending Children with Cancer Support Group meetings once a week. Something she dreads.

It is the same meeting every week. The leader talks about his battle and then one-by-one members are encouraged to share as they go around the circle. It is the same story with most. The variation comes when one moves from being in remission to recurrence. Prayers are said and the group disperses.

At this meeting Isaac, a rambunctious teenager with one eye, admits to transitioning to the recurrence group. His returning cancer is attacking his healthy eye and blindness is his fate. For extra support, Isaac brings a friend who is also fighting cancer that took his leg.

Augustus Waters is there to support Isaac, but he cannot get his mind or his eyes off of Hazel. She is the spitting image of Natalie Portman in the movie V is for Vengeance. She is also the spitting image of his ex-girlfriend, the one that died of cancer last year.

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars invades Nicholas Sparks’ territory with smarts and sarcastic humor.

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