ReRead: TFIOS Chapters 23, 24, and 25


Editor

Well, it’s finally done. We couldn’t really bring ourselves to get those final chapters out there, even though we knew what ending had in store. It was worth it though, and we hope you enjoyed taking this crazy roller coaster  (no pun intended) of this ReRead journey with us. This book is worth every word, laugh, and tear.

And now, the final chapters.

Chapter 23

Olivia

Eventually, every little bit of us disappears.

Hazel went downstairs and wrapped herself in his comforter, breathing in his lingering scent. The only thing I can think about is when his parents are ready to venture to his room, will his mother be looking for his scent too? Would she be able to find what’s left of what Hazel didn’t breathe in? Are there enough memories of us to go around after we’ve died?

I’ve always hated that Shakespeare was obsessed with immortality. He made these grand gestures and really screwed up our perception of love and remembrance with stupid sonnets, and left us with these selfish preconceived notions of what it means to be in love. I just want to love in my own way, and that’s been made impossible by the artists and writers before our time. It really freakin’ pisses me off. I feel like Hazel would really agree with me on this.

There’s a small moment in this chapter when Isaac and Hazel are playing video games. They keep trying to get the computer to say funny things, but Isaac finally says, “I don’t like living in a world without Augustus Waters.” The computer answers with a generic “I don’t understand.

“Me either.” Isaac answers and the sound of my heart breaking and falling into a million pieces on the floor is loud and ugly.

Jennifer

This chapter makes me ache. The pain of grief is difficult for a lot of different reasons, but its constant presence is one of the hardest. It never feels like it’s going to get easier and then this giant wave of pain happens with a specific trigger and you long just for the constant ache again. That’s this chapter.

I was sad the bedroom scene wasn’t in the movie. It very simply gets these waves just right. I could feel my stomach turning as I pictured Hazel walking down the stairs to Gus’s bedroom, knowing he would never be in it again, having her memories of him rush over her, yearning to smell his scent and not realizing it will be the last time. All of those feelings are too intense to really put to words. And Hazel barely holds herself together as she feels them herself.

I love that she still has Isaac and that their grieve together both because they were friends but also because they are the other’s connection to Isaac. It’s sad and reassuring at the same time.

And then I think that Hazel is going to die in the not too distant future in comparison to Isaac and… ACK.

Chapter 24

Olivia

Oh, Hazel. The explosion that has been building between Hazel and her parents finally happens in this chapter. It’s been evident from the start to the audience that Hazel is really worried what it going to happen to her parents after she dies; the obsession with Anna’s mom tells us that.

I love the misunderstanding between Hazel and her parents. Hazel is so concerned that she is her parents only concern, and her parents don’t want her to feel forgotten or neglected if there are other things going on. When this all finally comes to light, it’s like taking a fresh breath of air. Everything is on the surface and everyone is on the same page.

Jennifer

This scene was what sold me on Laura Dern in the movie. God did she take this role and run with it. The idea that Hazel was so concerned with her parents’ fates, especially her mom, is both sweet and sad at the same time. No child should ever have to worry about that, especially for such a dire reason. But this is real and raw and portrayed so well here and in the movie. I love how overjoyed Hazel is that her mom has found a career for herself, especially in some ways as a result of Hazel’s cancer. If you think about it, it’s kind of a lot of what Hazel wanted – to inflict as little pain as possible. Her mom will be able to move forward in life even when Hazel isn’t in it.

I still cry every time I read this chapter though. And it was one of the few scenes that really made me cry in the movie.

But it feels good to see Hazel healing a little bit and it’s portrayed in just the right bitter sweet way.

Chapter 25

Olivia

It’s sweet that Kaitlyn (the mysterious friend from the beginning of the book) has called. Though I’ve never been sure how long Hazel has left to live by the end of this book, I always hoped she would find love again. Not romantic love per say, but a close friend would suffice. I just don’t want her to be alone. She’s got her parents, and she will be close with Isaac. I want more for her. I wanted more for Augustus.

My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations. Oh Augustus, I forgot that it was you who wrote this quote. I remembered it as being a Hazel thing to say. But, your eulogy is beautiful and the closest thing to an epilogue that we would ever get from this world John Green created.

“A desert blessing, an ocean’s curse,” An in between—like you, Hazel Grace.

I only have one thing to say to you, John Green: Sometimes, I stop reading for a while because that overwhelming sense of loss when I close the cover to a finished book is just too much. Death, I have come to expect. But endings, I cannot.

Jennifer

This is the perfect ending to the book. Augustus’ letter is sweet and right and gentle and fierce. It gets to the heart of why we love him – he manages grand gestures in the most measured of ways, making them feel exactly right. It’s also appropriate that it’s a eulogy that he’ll never actually get to give, yet he gives it from death itself. Sigh.

The ending overall just speaks for itself. He says he hopes Hazel likes her choices in life and she confirms she does as her final words. I do.

And as much as this book hurts it equally uplifts. It has all the depth you could want from this kind of novel and it makes you want to re-read no matter how much it makes you ache.

So, John Green, we like our choices, too.