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Themes

The kids in The Fault in Our Stars aren't wasting away in sterile incubators. No, they have parents who love them and are terrified for them. Their parents hover over them at every turn and stitch pillows with religious phrases on them to find solace. Hazel and Augustus are just like other teenagers—annoyed by their overprotective parents—but they also understand. As Hazel so eloquently puts it, "There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you're sixteen, and that's having a kid who bites it from cancer" (1.28).

Questions About Family

  1. Why is Hazel's mom so set on celebrating every little thing? Is she over-celebratory or is it justified?
  2. How do Hazel's parents and Augustus's parents react differently to their children's illnesses? How do they react similarly?
  3. Why does Hazel's mom hide from her that she's been taking classes? How does Hazel feel about it when she find out? Why?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

At times, Hazel is so intent on keeping her own family from feeling pain that she distances herself rather than embracing the time that she has with them.

In time, Augustus, Hazel, and Isaac come to rely on each other as a family. After all, they are the only ones who really understand what it's like to be young and so close to death.

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