The Fault in Our Stars Summary
The Fault in Our Stars is a young adult novel narrated by Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager with thyroid cancer.
- Hazel meets Augustus Waters, who lost a leg to bone cancer, at a support group for teenage cancer patients, and the two begin dating.
- Augustus and Hazel take a trip to Amsterdam, where they track down Peter Van Houten, the author of Hazel's favorite book, An Imperial Affliction.
- Augustus reveals that his cancer has returned, and he dies not long after. Hazel reads a eulogy Augustus had been writing for her before he died and reflects that she is happy to have chosen him.
The protagonist and narrator of The Fault in Our Stars is a teenage girl, Hazel Grace Lancaster. At sixteen, she is suffering from thyroid cancer and has trouble with her lungs. At the urging of her mother, who believes her to be depressed, Hazel attends a weekly support group, which she dislikes intensely, as she does not trust the “sharing” process. Her only friend in the group is Isaac, who has eye cancer.
One week, Hazel arrives at the support group to find that Isaac has brought a friend, Augustus. Hazel and Augustus, who is in recovery from osteosarcoma, are instantly attracted to one another. They chat after the meeting, and Augustus asks Hazel if she would like to come home with him and watch a movie. He pulls out a cigarette, at which Hazel is disgusted, until Augustus says that the cigarette is a “metaphor” and he never actually lights it. Hazel is impressed by this and agrees to go home with him.
The pair quickly bond. Augustus lends Hazel a book, The Price of Dawn. Hazel’s favorite book is An Imperial Affliction, whose unresolved ending drives her to distraction. She shares the book with Augustus. The novel is about a girl, Anna, who suffers from blood cancer; the story ends mid-sentence and is the only novel by the reclusive Peter Van Houten. Hazel tells Augustus that he can see her again when he has finished An Imperial Affliction. Soon afterwards, Augustus texts to say he has finished the book and is also desperate to know why it ends so abruptly. When she calls him back, Isaac is with him, sobbing violently. Isaac’s girlfriend, Monica, has broken up with him, and he is about to have surgery to remove his remaining eye, which will leave him blind.
A week later, Augustus reveals that he has made contact with Peter Van Houten by email. He gives Hazel the email address, and Hazel writes a lengthy email asking Van Houten about the ending of the book. Augustus and Hazel talk more by telephone, and Augustus reveals that his ex-girlfriend, Caroline Mathers, died from cancer.
Hazel goes to visit the now-blind Isaac in the hospital. The following day, she receives an email from Van Houten, who has invited her to visit him if she is ever in Amsterdam. Hazel’s parents could never afford this, but Augustus reveals that his “wish” from the Genie Foundation for sick children has never been used. He tells Hazel that he will use his wish now to enable them both to go to Amsterdam.
Hazel is confused by her feelings for Augustus. She explains to her friend Kaitlyn that she fears hurting him, as his ex-girlfriend did, and tells Augustus that she doesn’t want to kiss him for this reason.
Shortly after this, Hazel suffers a blinding headache and is taken to the ICU. Her lungs have filled with fluid, and she is there for a few days. Augustus stays in the waiting room, though she will not let him see her in her hospital room. When she sees him, he explains that although their trip to Amsterdam must now be postponed, he has received a letter from Peter Van Houten.
Hazel’s doctors believe that the trip to Amsterdam would be too much for her. However, Hazel neglects to tell Van Houten this and receives an email from his assistant stating that the trip has been arranged. As a compromise measure, it is decided that Hazel and Augustus can visit Amsterdam after all, provided that Hazel’s mother accompanies them.
(The entire section is 1,283 words.)