This is the first book that I’ve read written by John Green and I do not think that it will be the last. This book is absolutely amongst my favorites and it is by far a tear jerker, but it isn’t your average cancer book, because cancer books suck.
I love the story within a story, the friendship between Isaac, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. All three have some various type of cancer: Isaac’s is in his eyes, Hazel Grace has stage IV thyroid cancer (with masses in her lungs), and Augustus Waters has Osteosarcoma and has already lost a leg. They meet through a support group, and there is friendship and true love that is formed in this rag-tag trio of cancer survivors.
Isaac got a piece of my heart because his heart was broken, because no one wants to break up with someone when they become even more disabled than they already were to begin with – thanks to the cancer.
Augustus Waters, got a huge place in my heart for his razor sharp wit and his undeniable charm. He is the guy you simply have to love because he just is. Romantic at heart, I love the fact that he uses his wish to benefit Hazel Grace, taking her to Amsterdam to meet the author of her favorite book An Imperial Affliction, which ends abruptly and she wants to know why, and know what happens to the characters within the book.
Hazel Grace, not your average cancer kid, she’s smart, honest, tough chick, and I adore her. Her personality is absolutely catching (well, it is after she meets Augustus Waters and goes from being Hazel to Hazel Grace). The way she interacts with the world, is not something you’d expect given her situation, constantly on oxygen, and her body essentially turning against her at every turn.
The ups and downs of life of children with cancer is given a unique view, because it is told from those children who are living it, surviving it, or ultimately succumbing to it. To say that I made it through this book without crying would be a lie, I sobbed at several points through this book, I laughed at several points through this book, and truth be told, I cursed at the author of An Imperial Affliction (whose name escapes me at the moment), however, these are characters that will stick with me for quite some time. Not your average young adult romance or your average cancer book, and these are not normal teenagers, not normal children at all. They are a far cry from normal and their biggest worries are not which celebrities are getting together with who, or what outfit they will be wearing to school to attract the attention of the cute member of the opposite sex – instead they are worrying if they will live to see another birthday, if things will continue to go up hill, or if they will suddenly be tumbling headlong in to areas where medicines no longer work.
By far one of my favorite books of this year, and I will be reading more John Green in the future.