The TFIOS book can insert paragraphs from An Imperial Affliction within its own text, so that the act of reading Anna's story is embedded within the act of reading Hazel's story.
Through the benevolence of the Genie Foundation (the TFIOS version of the Make-A-Wish and Starlight foundations), they are able to secure the funds for the trip.
However, the swirls and eddies of the minor plotlines and thematic explorations relate to other narratives, characters and historical events, making TFIOS an exploration into how stories--especially cancer stories--work and how they impact their audience.
While TFIOS gives us characters that are living through their own cancer stories, it also acts as a running commentary on the structure of and messages found within other, more traditional cancer narratives.
From Hazel's opening monologue, TFIOS draws attention to itself as a self-aware cancer narrative:
Can any fictional text, such as TFIOS, ever give us the truth about a situation?
Can you identify some of the ways TFIOS is more 'truthful' than other texts about ill teenagers?
By emphasising the truthfulness we will find in TFIOS, Hazel is also drawing attention to (and differentiating her story from) other sugarcoated versions.