- Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:1/10/12 (Collectors edition published 1/14/2013)
- Source: Purchased Exclusive Collectors Edition with bonus Q&A
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.
Everyone has either heard of this book or read it already. If you haven't, you are totally missing out. By this point, most of you have probably seen numerous reviews as well, so I don't know that I can say anything that hasn't already been said. I happened to buy the special edition from B&N that has a great Q&A in the back that I dove into after finishing the book. I loved the questions and how John Green answered them. It was nice to get a little insight on his thoughts about certain aspects of the book. I waited for a long time to read this because I knew it would break me. That isn't a bad thing. In fact, if a book can make me sob uncontrollably and make me physically ache inside from it, it has done its job. That means I felt all the emotions I was supposed to, I was able to connect with the characters and the story, and it was just that amazingly beautiful.Yes, it's a sad book and it's about cancer, but it is so much more than that. It was also humorous, thought provoking, and a fantastic journey with Hazel and Augustus.
I loved Hazel. Being in her head was so great. She is smart and funny, but mostly, realistic. She knows that she is going to die from her cancer. There is no cure. Just ways to give her more life. She has no choice but to accept it, and for the most part has. What she hasn't accepted and does learn, is that that she can't shut everyone out to stop from hurting them. She is afraid to let anyone besides her parents get close for fear of making them hurt when she is gone. Augustus helps her see that it doesn't matter if she wants to keep people from caring, she can't make those choices for someone else. She learns to love and accept that.
I don't even know where to start with Augustus. I pretty much adored him from the start. He is just so fun, but very deep. He doesn't think like most people do. He is romantic and charming, but not in a way that makes him seem arrogant. He has some of the best lines ever in this book!! He knows that Hazel has a time limit on her life, but he doesn't let that stop his feelings. He is more than happy to fall in love with her knowing that he will one day lose her. He wants to make her happy, to help her live each day to the fullest, to let her make him happy. I loved how he refused to give up and even tells her that he won't. He is an amazing person, and amazing friend. So full of brilliance and light!! The more we got to know him, the more I fell in love with him.
Books like these are never easy to read, but I knew that it would be worth every tear. The writing is so beautiful. The characters were brought to life on the pages. I felt like I was with them through the whole thing. That was what really made the impact of this book. Had I not cared about the characters, or felt like I really knew them, I wouldn't have been so broken apart when they were going through the things they did. This is a story of love, family, friendships, and life. Knowing that death is coming should not keep you from living, and the characters in this story showed that. There are times where they break down, where they want to give in or give up, but they fight on. There is a wonderful family aspect to the story, and I loved the parents. I also loved Isaac. Everything in this story was so incredible. It was pretty much perfection!! If you are one of the people who have not read this, you need to grab a box of tissues and do it!!