Every once in a while I read a book that hits me so hard it knocks the breath out of me. This was one of those books. It took me some time to collect myself enough to sit down and write this review, because John Greene is simply a genius, and I can only hope to do his book justice with these few paragraphs.
Sixteen year old Hazel Grace, because of a miracle drug, has been able to fight cancer and live longer than anyone expected her to. She lives day in and day out with the knowledge and the fear that her condition could worsen and cut her life short. She’s also not a regular teenager since her normal routine consists of medical treatments and attending a cancer support group. It is at this support group that she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is immediately smitten with her and the two of them start a friendship that throughout the story blooms into a romance.
Augustus Waters also has cancer, although he has been “NEC” (No Evidence of Cancer) for a few years now. As a side effect of his ailment, he lost part of one leg and now walks with a prosthetic. As a former basketball player and as a result of his charismatic personality, Augustus has no trouble making friends and being liked. Although it’s apparent that Hazel and Augustus very much like each other, Hazel is cautious about not starting a relationship with him. Since she considers herself to be sicker than him, she doesn’t want to be the “grenade” that explodes and leaves shattered hearts on everyone that loves her. As a result of a chain of events in this story, Hazel and Augustus end up traveling together to Amsterdam to meet the author of a book that Hazel idolizes. During this trip their relationship begins to transform as the harsh reality of their condition begins to hit them head-on.
I recommend that you read this book with a box of tissues in hand, because not only will you will fall in love with the characters and will suffer with them through their hardships, but you will also fall in love with their love. The level of emotion that this book brings out is very deep. You do not have to be a cancer victim, survivor, or even to have known someone with cancer to understand and feel what they are going through. It is painfully realistic and delightfully uplifting at the same time. A combination that in this case is pure gold. 5 stars all the way.REVIEW ALSO POSTED AT YOUNG ADULT HOLLYWOOD