The Fault In Our Stars

Green, J. (2012). The fault in our stars. New York, NY: Penguin Group

Hazel's parents mean well by trying to protect her because her cancer's made her fragile; however, Hazel wants to be her own person and have a little more control of her life. During a support group meeting, Hazel meets Gus, another cancer patient. Hazel is reluctant to become friends at first, but afterward, Gus shows her that one can still live in the midst of pain, chemotherapies, and the looming thought that cancer will end it all.  Gus and Hazel share some very meaningful moments; Gus takes her abroad to meet the author of her favorite book.  Ultimately, Gus succumbs to cancer and Hazel must see beyond her sadness to remember her meaningful times with Gus and the beauty of life in a the bleakness of illness. Hazel's mom begins preparations to be a counselor herself and this brings Hazel comfort - to know that her mom will have a life after Hazel is gone. 

Being terminally ill and facing the possibility of death is a very real thing - even at a young age like Hazel and Gus.  The themes of death, family, relationships/friendships, and decisions are central to this novel's plot. The teens in this novel are set apart by the disease; therefore, they isolate themselves from family and society and stick to each other.  Teens are faced with some difficulties that envelop worlds outside themselves, and these affect how they cope with death.

Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl is a novel about two boys who are social outcasts and like to make films.  And then Rachel, a girl with leukemia, comes along and changes their perspectives on life.
Like The Fault In Our Stars, this book has also been made into a motion picture.

Requirement: Selection by John Green
Book cover images found on