The Rad Readalong: “The Fault in Our Stars” Chapter Four

Posted: March 25, 2015 in Rad Readalong
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Finally we learn some stuff about the Van Houten book. I thought it would be some type of self-help book, because with a title like “An Imperial Affliction”, it sounds a lot like a Ted Talk. No dice. It is a novel about a girl named Anna who gets cancer.
Hazel is quite upset that the book ends in the middle of a sentence at the climax of the plot (understandable, seriously, who does that?). For that reason she has written many letters to the author to ask about the fate of all the characters, except one. She’s inquired about everyone from the protagonist’s mum to her hamster, but not about Anna. She just assumes Anna dies and so asking about her is a moot point.

I have not mentioned this yet, but it is clear that Hazel expects to die fairly soon. Now I do not know a whole lot about cancer (thank heavens), so it is hard for me to know whether she is being realistic or negative. Even so, how she just assumes Anna is dead, really hammers the point home.
Hazel does not think she will make it to the end of her own story (aka this book).

After hitting the movies with her mom, Hazel gets some texts from Augie. It seems he has finished “An Imperial Affliction” and is craving the same answers as her. He too comes to the conclusion that Anna has died which is interesting since he, at least outwardly, seems much more positive about life with and after cancer.

Hazel calls him up wanting so badly to discuss her favourite book with the guy she likes. (I totally get it Hazel, I want my crush to read my favourite book too, aww.) Ahem, where was I? Oh right! Augie doesn’t have time for book club meetings because Isaac is with him and he is having a doozy of a mental breakdown.
Augie asks Hazel to come over and in the car on the way to his house, she thinks about her dad. I think this is only the second time she has mentioned him, I wonder if he is still in the picture.

In Augie’s crusty basement man-cave the boys are playing vidya. Isaac is bawling and completely unresponsive. It turns out the low sensitivity in his gf’s boobs has spread to her heart. In other words: she dumped him because he is going blind and I think I speak for everyone ever when I say: Bitch!

As the boys lose the game, Isaac freaks out and starts hammering a pillow against the wall. Augie lets him trash his basket ball trophies instead, hoping being able to actually destroy something will end his rampage.
We get a nice little description of the basket ball players from the trophies being smashed apart. Just like Hazel, Augie and Isaac, their bodies are ruined.

Will Hazel’s dad ever show up? How will Augie’s parents react to the great trophy smashing of 2012? Is Anna really dead? I dunno. Let’s find out!


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