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.
So how can I explain how I feel about this book and not cry my eyes out again?
Simple answer: I can’t.
I suppose the one thing I must point out is that I had no idea, upon purchasing this book, what the story line was. Among the comments and the recommendations on twitter and tumblr who said I should read it, no one said “Oh, by the way, it’s about a girl who suffers from cancer…”
There was all this talk about crying and it being sad, so I guess I was semi prepared but let me just say: you can never be prepared. No amount of preparation for this book will EVER be enough. You hear me?
So we find out Hazel has Thyroid cancer. She holes up in her room a lot until her mother insists she go out and make friends. Hazel attends a cancer kid support group with other cancer baring patients under 18. And that’s when it happens; She meets Augustus. Oh, charming, funny, overly metaphorical and not to mention HOT, Augustus Waters. He’s the epitome of what we’d probably all like our boyfriends to be, right?
You think at first he’s just extremely flirtatious but it soon comes to pass that he really does like Hazel Grace (as he prefers to call her) and then we’re all falling for him. As you do.
Augustus is in remission after having his leg amputated and is supposedly clear of cancer.
I won’t say too much, but I will say this story was very bittersweet, romantic, and heartbreaking. I just… I felt myself wanting what Hazel has. Not the cancer, silly. But the type of love she had. Anyway, I’m going off topic.
I will say I cried. Three times, maybe four. They all started to blend in together until I lost count of the reasons and I just wanted to mourn for everyone. A few things caught me off guard (a certain thing that I shall not name but let’s just say it’s emotional.)
Now I find myself staring out into the abyss wondering what life is about. Sad, I know.
Another thing about this book: I laughed so hard at some things. The writing style is brilliant and Hazel’s humour is just so infectious.
If someone asked me if they should read this book, I’d probably scream ‘NO!” and then backtrack.
Not because it’s not good, because believe me, it’s damn good. But rather, it’s such a sad book that I fear the persons heart might actually break. See, now I’m using metaphors. Or am I just being ironic? I don’t know anymore.
So the only way I can really conclude this review is by saying: Oh, go read it already. Enjoy it, laugh, cry, fantasise about hot boys with weird cigarette’s that don’t light up habits and wonder about the meaning of life, yada yada yada.
A definite five all-round stars from me.