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 (a long time not being very long), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Then enters 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.
My take: 5 looks
Wow. First of all, I love a book that makes me laugh and makes me cry. It means that I, the reader, am invested in the characters, what they are feeling and going through, and what ultimately happens to them within the confines of the book.
With that said, this is not a feel-good story. You have to know that it’s about teens with cancer, and nothing good is going to come from it. However, there are lots and lots of good things that come from it. Hazel and Gus meet at a cancer support group. Isaac may lose his sight, but he never loses his sense of humor. Hazel’s body is slowing but surely shutting down on her, but she continues to live. Gus struggles with the fact that he is never going to get the chance to make a huge impact on the world, but finally sees the impact he makes is just as important.
This is very cleverly written, with jewels throughout. There are so many highlights in my copy, and on my first read, that I may have to buy another copy. I will definitely reread this one.
As a bonus, here is the trailer for the movie. It looks like it is very true to the book, which is refreshing these days.