Published on: 10th January 2012
Published by: Dutton Books
Genre: YA Romance
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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.
The thing I love most about this book is when someone new hears about it and they say “oh well you know exactly how this is going to end.” They say it in that way as if books with obvious endings like this are boring, like what is the point of the book when you know how it is going to end.
And then you speak to that person again once they have finished reading the book and you can see it in their eyes, you can hear in their voice and you know that they can feel it in their heart. They have been infected with the magic that is John Green, and as it is with the rest of us who have survived this book, they now know the impact a story can have on our lives.
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
Hazel, wow. How do you even begin to describe someone like Hazel? She is dying and yet her mind is probably one of the most entertaining places I have ever been. She is smart and never shies away from the deep questions; in fact that is when she really shines. She accepts what life has thrown at her, and her fears are not for herself but for those she will leave behind.
Gus stole my heart from that first Cancer Support Group. He is the kind of guy who makes blind jokes whilst with his best friend who is about to loose his sight, who walks around with a cigarette in his mouth but never lights it, who will let his friend trash his bedroom because he is having a bad day. He is the epitome of all the best bits of humanity all rolled into one, very attractive, eighteen year old boy.
“It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”
This book, their romance works because they are the perfect companion for each other. They are the same and yet they are different and it just works. Every moment they spend together means something, to them but also to us. Their love shows us that even in the worse of times happiness is a possibility and you don’t need to be loved by the whole world, that sometimes just being loved by one person is enough.
Another character who really deserves a mention is Issac. He, like Gus was a character that I couldn’t help but love right from the first moment I met him. With Hazel & Gus being our main focus it’s easy to forget all that Issac goes through in this book. He has to make great sacrifices for his fight against cancer, and whilst he is winning his fight (for the time being) he has to watch his friends struggle with the realization that they aren’t winning, and he has to deal with the fact that he is going to loose his friends soon. He may be winning his battle but he is soon to be alone on the battlefield, and that must be such a scary and saddening thing to have to live with.
“Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”
This isn’t just a cancer book, or a young romance book, it is a book about life and how to live it in the way that means the most to you. For Hazel her greatest fears are not in dying, but in the effect that her death will have on the people left behind. She tries to shy away from people, to limit the destruction her ‘death grenade’ will leave when she dies, but through Gus, Isaac and her parents she learns that life is not worth living if you don’t have someone to share it with. For Gus, he is worried about leaving his mark on the world, he wants to be remembered by everyone for being remarkable. But what he comes to learn is that being remembered by just one person is so much more special then being remembered by the world.
I can’t count the number of quotes I highlighted; the pages became a mass of colour, my own rainbow book. John Green writes beautifully, each chapter was a gift: A gift of words to make us smile, to make us sob and to make us feel.
“Maybe ‘okay’ will be our ‘always”
An EPIC romance which will bring everyone who brings it to tears, but is well worth the heartbreak!
Re-Readability: Hells Yes!
I would recommend this book to fans of: YA romance, romance with sick/disable characters, inspirations story, realistic fiction, books with amazing quotes
I am giving away this gorgeous TFIOS inspired necklace, which features both an infinity & star charm. For the chance to win this, click on my giveaway link below. Giveaway closes on Monday 30th June.