Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
Oh guys. This is my 3rd John Green book this year, and ever! Why I was never before introduced to his books before this? I do not know, but I am so glad I can now read his books and watch his videos. Let's get down to this review; !
The Characters of the book are very realistic. Although I did not "ugly-cry" or sob while reading this, I did tear up and mist over at a scene with Hazels parents. Just because I did not cry does not mean I was not emotionally invested in the characters of this book throughout their up's and down's through the story. I enjoyed all the characters greatly. From the main characters Hazel and Augustus, to the best friend Isaac, the author Van Houten and even the parents. I honestly loved that the parents were central characters to the story. They were not flat and unimportant characters as they are portrayed in the majority of YA novels. I think I really related to this as I have such a strong relationship with my parents and to me they should not be unimportant characters.
This Paragraph is dedicated to my love for The Augustus Waters. Gus is like no boy Hazel has ever met and that is evident on the first day they meet. One of the first things he utters to her is “Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence”. From that moment on, even I was under the spell of Augustus Waters. The characters are all in themselves unique in their own ways. The relationships in John Greens novels are so raw and realistic and never has one been so as the relationship between Hazel and Augustus.
I feel the book is SO positive. It speaks to the reader . It totally changed the way I view life and my perspective on illness and disease. It shows us the strength of these characters, that even though they are dying, they want the normalcy that everyone else has. Playing video games, attending school and college, reading novels, playing pranks and getting up to mischief.
The plot was so well paced. The reader can relate to the normalises of the characters . The plot was gripping and kept me glued to the pages. The entirety of the book was so beautiful that I devoured it in 2 days as I felt that if I stopped reading for a moment, I would be missing something important.
The book was filled with these hilarious quips and scenes. I almost at times felt bad for laughing as it was such a serious book . On the contrary I found the book enlightening and positive as opposed to depressing as most "cancer-books" are. I feel it was the characters that changed this.
The ending of the book was very abrupt. I won't give anything away but I will say that the abrupt and suddenness of the ending relates back to another important aspect of the book . I did think it was not a great way to end the book but as I re-read the ending of the book a few times I finally got the sense of finality of an ending and was satisfied.
The writing of this book was very poetic and filled with noteworthy quotes. The writing also was beautiful and captured the reader with its magnificent flow. The dialogue of John Greens books are always so fun to read. They are always witty and sophisticated. I always get the feeling that the dialogue is so perfectly suited to the characters perspective and point of view. I liked how the book was sort of Anti "typical-teen-with-Cancer" books. It was unique and though provoking and did not follow or copy the template of other cancer books. I've read a few book about cancer that have actually struck me as this uplifting and near this level of perfection . e.g "Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nichols" & "Before I Die by Jenny Downham".
Another aspect I enjoyed was that the Author, Peter Van Houten, had a relationship with the reader. It showed the strong bond that can form between reader & author. I thought this was particularly special as I feel John Green has achieved this strong relationship with his reader through not only his novels but also through his book signing, nerdfighteria and the Vlogbrothers. Overall, a life changing, eye opening book that restores you're faith in humanity and in the Teens of today. If you have not read this book yet, go and read it now. You will not regret it.
John Green, you are an inspiration. <3
Five star Book
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