‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Holding Up the Universe’ are two books written by award winning authors. They each have a unique and intriguing storyline that catches the reader’s attention and has them at the edge of their seat throughout the whole story. Although both stories are not in the action genre and are both love stories, they completely manage to engage the reader and capture ones emotions and compels them to fall in love with the characters.
‘The Fault in Our Stars’ was published in January of 2012, written by John Green, the bestselling author of several books such as ‘Paper Towns’ and ‘Looking for Alaska’. Green won several awards for his writing and is not only a writer, but an editor, producer, and educator too. (Green, 2014) This young adult fiction novel follows the journeys of 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster as she battles cancer and falls in love. As the storyline progresses you watch as Hazel falls in love and learns more not only about the world but about herself.
‘Holding Up the Universe’ was first published in April of 2016. It was written by the bestselling author of the novel ‘All The Bright Places’, Jennifer Niven. It is a young adult fiction and romance novel about a girl and a boy both facing major conflicts in their lives who eventually cross paths; the contrast between the brutal circumstances and the beauty of coming together is truly remarkable. The moral of the story is to truly love someone inside and out, and to appreciate them more for who they are on the inside and not for their appearance.
One aspect that is similar in the two stories is the morals or lessons that you learn from reading them. Even though each lesson is different, not many novels teach you important life lessons like these. In ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, you learn through the main character, Hazel, and her experiences, to love life and yourself, despite whatever circumstances you are experiencing. This happens through watching her learn to look at life in a completely different way, and fully grasp on to the fact that her cancer does not define her. She also learns to appreciate what she does have in her life instead of focusing on all that she does not, which is another extremely important life lesson.
Furthermore, in ‘Holding Up the Universe’, an important lesson learned from this book is to act dependent on your own feelings, not on society’s opinions, and to focus on putting your happiness and self-satisfaction above everyone else’s. This is really an important lesson that should be addressed more especially among today’s generation where most teenagers and even adults brush aside their real opinions and follow the crowd.
Another important lesson taught in ‘Holding Up the Universe’ is to accept people for who they truly are on the inside despite what they look like. This is also an important lesson because it is another issue commonly experienced today. In that, many people judge from the outside and never actually give themselves the chance to get to know others before they decide if they like them or not and instead base their opinions on what they’ve heard from other people. Which takes us back to the previous issue of doing as other people do and not having an independent opinion.
One significant difference I noticed is that while ‘Holding Up the Universe’ is more of a straightforward story that is mostly emotional, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ has more of a thrilling and engaging storyline with deeper meaning and more metaphors behind many aspects of the story. For example, the author chooses to focus on other aspects of life such as the fact that death is inevitable and that there is no way to avoid it therefore no reason to fear it. By doing this, he also expands in the lessons and morals of the story.
The two novels both have an amazing purpose and lesson. Books like these should be more recognized since they teach the reader to be emotionally aware and carry valuable life lessons. The two books have quite a few similarities but are also very different. While they both portray a love story through unpleasant circumstances, each storyline focuses on different aspects of life. Overall, I enjoyed reading both novels but personally I prefer ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ over ‘Holding Up the Universe’.