Monday, 3 February 2014
Author: John Green
Release Date: 3 Jan 2013
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.
I have had this book on my reading pile for a very long time. I always said I wanted to read it, requested it from the library a couple of times but had to send it back due to other people requesting it. Then I saw a promotion on facebook from the publisher and applied and they sent me a copy. It got added to my pile then forgotten about. I gave it to my teen reading group a couple of months ago and they all read it but I didn't get round to it.
I think part of me was scared of reading it - sounds silly I know, but I had a very strong feeling it would make me cry and I didn't feel ready for that. But finally this weekend I was drawn to it, I felt like the time was right and I dived right in. Do you ever feel like that about books? That there is a right time to read them?
Anyway, I started this book just after dinner and raced through the beginning, I had to put it down in the evening to do other things but I was desperate to get back to it. Finally at about 11.30pm I picked it up again and stayed up until 1am in the morning to finish it! I couldn't go to bed until I had read the whole book, I just couldn't walk away from Hazel or Augustus, I felt like I had to hear their story, that I somehow owed it to them to see it through.
I quite liked Hazel, she is very matter of fact and has a great view on life, things simply are that way and it can't be changed, that is until she meets Augustus, then she starts to experience a world of different things and the chance of a bigger future is offered to her. She still knows she is dying, that life can't be infinite, but it can be good.
Augustus though is the one that will melt your heart, he has a very relaxed attitude and a wicked sense of humour, even making fun of his own illness and that of his best friend. He just has that easy charm that you can't help but be endeared to.
The book is written in such a style that it flows past and is really easy to read, you will find yourself getting lost in the pages and suddenly you are halfway through the book with no idea how you got there. It's a serious subject matter but it doesn't make you uncomfortable at any point which is really good. I know some people have objected to books like these, saying they are too depressing or they don't take the illnesses seriously, but I think this book does a great job of portraying teen cancer and really makes you think about life and infinity and friendship and loyalty, relationships and hope. It is great for people to be aware and as I say handles the topic really well.
I didn't cry as much as I expected too, but I did find tears in my eyes and my breath catch, it was a deeper emotion that a flood of tears, it was heart warming yet heart breaking at the same time. A book that stays with you after you have finished it.
I will definitely be trying some of his other books, I like Green's style!
Posted by barmybex at 21:49