10 January 2012
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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 (btw... tumors is spelled t-u-m-o-r-s) 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.
R E V I E W :
First, I expected to at least want to cry a little bit, but alas, that was not so. So even with its sad moments, this isn't a very emotional story (but then again, I'm not exactly emotional). But, the protagonists were very entertaining in the way they spoke to each other. Not the typical teen in the words they used, but facing death head on will probably do that to you (at least, you'd think it would).
It was told in the viewpoint of Hazel Grace who was a very intelligent 16 year old. There was much quoting, which was interesting and insightful. And I adored Augustus, aka Gus. He was such a wonderful character, fun and charming.
John Green is a literary wonder. Maybe not in the way of getting one to feel emotion, or developing characters... or... storytelling (good, but not the best). But truly, the writing is great!
What was most interesting was the way cancer, terminal illnesses and death were approached. It was nothing new, but it was... well... interesting. Different than what's socially accepted. But I haven't read much in the way of cancer-striken protagonists so I'm not sure if this is normal.
In spite of the heady topic, and looking past Green's literary prowess, this story of two star-crossed lovers was rather light.
And bonus point for not trying to leave the reader with a beautifully annoying message about life and death, as most books involving death seem to have.