author: John Green
published: 10 January 2012
publisher: Dutton Books
genre(s): contemporary, romance
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
Sometimes a book comes along that changes you, touches your soul and your heart. Sometimes it is because the theme is so very personal to you. Other times it is simply a picture of humanity that is unforgettable. It is the kind of book that puts things into perspective and reminds us that our time is too precious to waste on things that just don’t matter in the grand scheme of life.
I am usually a big proponent of books before movies, so I picked this up in anticipation of the movie release in a couple weeks. I have seen the trailer for it and at first it was a little weird seeing Ansel Elgort as Augustus and Shailene Woodley as Hazel, as love interests instead of siblings as they were in Divergent. But as I read, the more these two became Hazel and Gus for me.
This book tore at my heart and my soul. There is no denying that there is wrenching sadness from time to time. But, more than that, there is love and life, humor and hope. Hazel and Gus are incredible characters, protagonists that will stay with me for a long time. Their banter, with each other and with others, is witty and intelligent and often irreverently funny.
There really are no words to adequately describe the power that this book holds. The truths in this book are often ugly, but they are realistic. This is an incredibly thought-provoking and moving read that I just couldn’t put down, even as my sensitive soul was sobbing. An enduring side effect of life…
Things to love…
- The witty banter and irreverent humor.
- The characters. The good, the bad, the ugly… it was all there.
- The ending. Maybe a little unresolved, but perfectly in keeping with the messages of the story.
some quotastic goodness
Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really (Loc. 3).)
This Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness. Why did the cast rotate? A side effect of dying (Loc. 4).
A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy… well (Loc. 9).
‘Thank you for explaining that my eye cancer isn’t going to make me deaf. I feel so fortunate that an intellectual giant like yourself would deign to operate on me (Loc. 15).’”
(I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die (Loc. 24).)
“That’s the thing about pain,” Augustus said, and then glanced back at me. “It demands to be felt (Loc. 63).”
This is an amazing, soul-wrenching read. It isn’t a light read, but to call it a sad book would be a disservice. It is full of ugly truths, yes, but it is also full of love and hope. A beautiful read!
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