Release Date: January 10th, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
~Spoilers are hidden! Highlight the page to see them:)~
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.
***EDIT: 3/2/15 After reading the book a second time, I take back everything I said in this review. Every. Single. Thing. That book was so PRETENTIOUS. I honestly don't know why I thought this book was the greatest thing since sliced bread.***
Disclaimer: The reviewer is not responsible for what the overload of sappiness she has attributed to this (totally not sappy) book will do to unsuspecting persons.
There are some books that rudely yell into your face they are a love story that requires oversensitive tearducts; there are other books that smack you in the face with a love triangle plot without giving any warnings. Then there are books that gently tiptoe into your life, gently coax out a tear or a waterfall, and proceed to float away into the midnight sky. This is one such book.
The cancer story itself is common (you know someone is going to die); it's the writing and the voices of both Augustus and Hazel that led me into a pool of tears.... from which I have not fully been able to draw myself out of still yet. Augustus and Hazel’s relationship is a beautifully intelligent romance (if you want to call it that). It's mature and thought provoking. No drama, no dramatic breakups- just an honest procession that didn't emphasize a transcending type of love, but rather a legacy of this love. Their romance is like an honest flower that continues to grow... and grow... and grow… until that flower’s petals fall off one by one, and the only thing left is its essence and a light perfume of nostalgia-- You get the idea :)
(I know, I know, I sound like a cliche spouting machine or a sappy poet, but I feel like I can't give the book its due justice without bordering- or crossing- into the sappy side; it's that good!)
It isn't just a romance between the two main characters either; it's a also a romance with the reader as well. You just fall in love with both of them. John Green has a way of writing that just makes you feel like you are Hazel- making it even more body-wrenching when Augustus dies.
Another thing, besides the writing, the characters, the plot, and the everything, was that I absolutely love Hazel’s way of dealing with Augustus’s death. No cliché “All the tears I had held in came bursting out of me at that moment.” This cliché line works for a lot of books, I’m not bashing it, but with Hazel’s personality, it would have been totally out of character for her- and totally the reason why so called ‘gut wrenching novels’ have failed to wrench my gut. (Again, there is nothing wrong with the bursting of tears; it's just the way she deals with it left me totally unable to hold an intelligent conversion or any coherent thoughts for several hours after. ) No, Hazel deals with grief in spurts, and slowly recovering as she moves on and live life, enjoying the legacy that person left behind.
That quote from Julius Caesar is one of my favorite quotes! And I get it too, you know? Hazel and Augustus know their love is star-crossed, and they know they would have to live with the rest of their lives with their illness. That is their fate. Whether they choose to let this fate affect their life is their choice, to be the ‘underlings’ or not.
I had absolutely no complaints about this book, though I did read some reviews mentioning their ' overly mature voices.' To be honest, I truly feel Augustus and Hazel could speak as mature as, say, a 30ish year old. Why? It's just THEM, you know? That's who they are- and yes, it isn't very surprising to me that teenagers are capable of this level of maturity, ( thanks for the faith in our generation guys!) especially teens who have been dragged through nightmare after nightmare and back again. They've experienced things that some adults can't even fathom- and they're still on their feet. That should be testimony enough to their maturity.
The only other thing I can say about this book is to just read it. This book is SO worth it.
And was I the only one who highlighted the WHOLE FREAKING book for all those lovely quotes?
Rating: 5 out of 5