The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is the sixth novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.
The title is inspired from Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
The story takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana, where sixteen-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster reluctantly attends a cancer patients' support group at her mother's behest. Because of her cancer, she uses a portable oxygen tank to breathe adequately. In one of the meetings she catches the eye of a teenage boy, and through the course of the meeting she learns the boy's name is Augustus Waters.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
by John Steinbeck
When Coyotito, a very young child, is stung by a scorpion, Kino, his father, must find a way to pay the town doctor to treat him. The doctor denies Kino for having no money and it makes him enraged. Shortly thereafter, Kino discovers an enormous, lucid pearl which he is ready to sell to pay the doctor. Everyone calls it "the Pearl of the World, " and many people begin to covet it. That very night Kino is attacked in his own home. Determined to get rid of the pearl, the following morning he takes it to the "pearl buyers auction" in town; however, the "auction" is actually a corrupt sham and always has been. The "buyers" normally pretend to auction each pearl and pretend bid against each other, but in reality they are all paid a salary by a single man, they all turn the pearls over to him and he resells them outside the village, thus cheating the locals. The corrupt pearl buyers try to convince Kino that the pearl is the equivalent of "fools gold" and they refuse to pay any more than incredibly low amounts of money.
Kino decides to go over the mountains to the capital to find a better price. Juana, Kino's wife, sees that the pearl brings darkness and greed, and sneaks out of the house late at night to throw it back into the ocean. When Kino catches her, he is furious, attacks her, and leaves her on the beach. While returning to his hut with the pearl, Kino is attacked by an unknown man who he stabs and kills. Kino thinks the man has taken the pearl, but Juana shows him that she has it in her possession. When they go back to their hut, they find it has been set on fire. Kino and Juana then spend the day hiding in the hut of Kino's brother Juan Tomás and his wife, gathering provisions for their trip to the capital city.
Kino, Juana, and Coyotito leave in the dark of the night. After a brief rest on their journey in the morning, Kino spots trackers he believes are following them. Well aware they will be unable to hide from the trackers, they begin hiking into the mountains. They find a cave near a natural water hole where the exhausted family hides and waits for the trackers to catch up to them. Kino realizes the must get rid of the trackers if they are to survive the trip to the capital. As he prepares to attack, the men hear a cry like a baby's, though they decide it's more like a coyote with a litter. One of the men fires his rifle in the direction of the crying, where Juana and Coyotito lie. Kino kills them but realizes that something is wrong; he climbs back up to the cave to discover that the man's shot has killed Coyotito. In the morning, Kino and Juana return to La Paz with Coyotito's dead body wrapped in a sling. No longer wanting the pearl, Kino throws it back into the ocean.