"I just want to stay away from people and read books and think and be with you guys because there’s nothing I can do about hurting you; you’re too invested, so just please let me do that, okay? I’m not depressed. I don’t need to get out more. And I can’t be a regular teenager, because I’m a grenade."
This outburst, which occurs in Chapter 6, is a reflection of Hazel’s deep fears regarding the impact of her eventual death on others, fears which her research about Caroline Mathers exacerbate. As she reads all of the online messages that mourners left for Caroline, she imagines the pain she will inevitably cause her own family. The metaphor of the grenade highlights her belief that she must tread lightly on the world because she could upend it at any moment.
"You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful."
In her pre-funeral eulogy for Augustus at the end of Chapter 20, Hazel offers this statement as her final summation of just how meaningful Augustus is to her. The fact that she feels a sense of foreverness in her relationship marks a significant shift from her fearful perspective at the beginning of the novel. She fully commits herself to Augustus despite the painful ending they both know is inevitably coming, and this acknowledgement reflects her newfound understanding that love can serve as a grounding force in an unpredictable world.
"It seemed to me that I had already seen everything pure and good in the world, and I was beginning to suspect that even if death didn’t get in the way, the kind of love that Augustus and I share could never last."
Hazel offers this reflection on her relationship with Augustus in Chapter 28 as she is in the midst of processing the significance of his death. In this moment, she acknowledges the inherent insensitivity of the universe and suggests that the perfection she felt in her relationship with Augustus is unsustainable in a world capable of such horrors. Even with this pessimistic view of reality, however, Hazel does not regret experiencing their deep, fleeting love. The simultaneous despair and love she feels highlights the increasingly complex way in which she views her position in the world.