I recently read two really great novels: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Coincidentally, there were a lot similarities. They both deal with themes of life, growing up, worry, things out of ones control, but most of all death. Death is omnipresent in both novels. The main character in The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel, has problems with her lungs. She lives strapped to an oxygen tank and with the uncomfortable feeling of never having enough oxygen. The people in the support group she attends also have varying illnesses and many of them die. In Julia's case, the main character in The Age of Miracles, earth is literally falling apart and speeding up the time not just of her eminent death but the extinction of the entire population.
Another similarity is the strong presence of Hazel and Julie's families. Hazel and Julia are both only children, and their mothers are alike in the way that they often want their daughters companionship. Their parents are
seemingly close, but the girls go through a lot that they aren't able to communicate or their parents just don't understand. Additionally,
both girls begin a happy relationship with a boy, and eerily, both boyfriends die towards the end of the novels.
The Fault in Our Stars and The Age of Miracles are both fantastic novels. It's a weird coincidence that there are so many similarities between the two novels, and I happened to read them back-to-back. The Fault in Our Stars is a little more light-hearted than The Age of Miracles. Hazel's relationship with her boyfriend Augustus is very fun and playful. Hazel continues to live life as normal as possible, and the things she chooses to do brings her happiness. The Age of Miracles on the other hand is much more intense. Fear and uncertainty is present throughout the entire novel, which leaves the reader feeling uneasy and anxious. Meanwhile, while earth is rapidly deteriorating and everyone is trying to adjust to the changes, Julia is also going through puberty. The poor girl goes through a lot. Puberty is already an awkward time, but it's even more uncomfortable when trying to cope with monumental changes in the world around you.
I don't want to give too much away, so while you're lounging around at the pool or beach this summer, I highly recommend reading both The Fault in Our Stars
and The Age of Miracles. Unlike the order I read them in though, I suggest reading The Age of Miracles before The Fault in Our Stars simply so you end on a slighter lighter note.
After you read them, share your thoughts below. Do you agree that they are interesting novels to pair together?