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.
Wait! Before you disregard this because it is a "cancer book" and you are like my sister who doesn't like sad books, just STOP. Read the review then make up your mind. My goodness, this was a great book. I went from laughing to surprised to sad and the Ride of Emotions just went on forever.
|Courtesy of Teen Lit Rocks and Simini Blocker|
Her closest friend in the support group is Isaac. He already only has one eye and is slowly going completely blind. Through Isaac, she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus comes to the meeting for Isaac and the exchange between the two of them is pretty funny. He also can't stop staring at Hazel. After Hazel makes a speech regarding what Augustus says, he officially wants to get close to her. While Hazel thinks he's hot and is flattered (and taken aback) by his compliments and Augustus is curious about Hazel, I have insta-love for Augustus.
On page 19 and 20, I felt exactly like Hazel. She sees him pull out a cigarette and blows up, "The whole thing where a boy who is not unattractive or unintelligent or seemingly in any way unacceptable stares at me and points out incorrect uses of literality and compares me to actresses and asks me to watch a movie at his house. But of course there is always a hamartia and yours is that oh, my God, even though you HAD FREAKING CANCER you give money to a company in exchange for the chance to acquire YET MORE CANCER. Oh, my God. Let me assure you that not being able to breathe? SUCKS. Totally disappointing. Totally."
In her speech/rant, I both laughed out loud and applauded which is hard to do on a treadmill. (Spoiler alert: he doesn't actually smoke. You shall see.)
Augustus and Hazel become very fast friends. You can tell from the get go (and he doesn't want to even hide it) that Augustus has a super crush on Hazel. They bond over Augustus's favorite book and Hazel's favorite. Hazel's is a very important part to the whole story. An Imperial Affliction is by her favorite author and "third best friend" who she's never met, Peter Van Houten. AIA is about a girl Anna with cancer who has no hope that she will live. It is also a book that doesn't finish. Hazel has written Peter lots of times to figure out what happens to Anna's mother, the Dutchman, and her hamster. She knows what happens to Anna. Since AIA is written in first person and stops in the MIDDLE of a sentence (so cruel), Anna either is too sick to write anymore or dies. Like probably all the other readers, I googled this book in case it was actually real (Spoiler alert: it is not).
They begin to write Peter Van Houten's assistant and then Peter himself. Happily for them, Peter even offers a invitation to visit him if they are ever in Amsterdam. Well, of course, Hazel and Augustus try to think of any way to get there. Like the Make A Wish Foundation, the Wish factory grant wishes to dying kids. Since Hazel uses her for the cliche Disneyland wish, Augustus makes his wish to let Hazel and himself travel to Amsterdam to meet Peter.
"I bet you say that to all the boys who finance your international travel," he answered.
We then learn Augustus had a previous girlfriend who died from cancer and Hazel immediately wants to not get close to him. She doesn't want to be a "grenade" to him because she knows she will die. I realized just now that I haven't been clear and I apologize for it. You see, Augustus also has cancer but his cancer has 80% survival rate. He has been declared cancer-free for a while, but lost a leg. So Hazel doesn't want him to live and be hurt again by having a girlfriend die and she makes that clear to him.
In the night, Hazel wakes up in the middle of the night with an "apocalyptic pain" in the center of her head. She's rushed to the hospital. Fortunately for her, there are no new tumors but only that her lungs were filled with liquid and she had lack of oxygen. That whole time, Augustus had been in the waiting room for her. (so sweet!)
After overcoming complications with the trip, they (Gus, Hazel, and Hazel's mom) reach Amsterdam. They're in a huge surprise when they meet Peter Van Houten. Although Peter might have been a big part of Amsterdam, it wasn't the biggest surprise. Unfortunately, I can't say what because that would be a spoiler. Stupid spoilers.
|Courtesy of The Book Smugglers|
Mostly, I loved Hazel and Gus's relationship. LOVED. I wanted an Augustus. When I read the inside flap to see what it was about, I wasn't a big fan of his name. At the end of the book, I wanted to name everything in sight after that boy. All of the characters were completely witty. At some points, I kept asking myself, "Are these really teenagers?" because they were just wonderfully amazing.
Don't be afraid of reading it because it might be a sad book! YOU WILL BE MISSING OUT.
Absolute favorite quote that made me literally LOL:
I didn't tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You're a woman. Now die.
Other favorite quotes:
"I strongly suspect you wrote it in the book."
He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other."
"As I recall, you promised to CALL when you finished the book, not text."
"But we both know that okay is a very flirty word. Okay is BURSTING with sensuality."
"Just so you know, I'm right here," Mom said. "Sitting next to you. Your mother. Who held your hand as you took your first infantile steps."
"It's friendly," I reminded her, turning to kiss her on the cheek.
"Didn't feel too friendly," Gus mumbled just loud enough for me to hear.
"I'm in love with you and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."
"Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you."
"With each passing minute, I'm developing a deeper appreciation of the word mortified."
"You used," he said, and then took a sharp breath, "to call me Augustus."
Think you won't die is yet another side effect of dying.
|Courtesy of Rebloggy.com and Tessa Max|
There are so many GREAT quotes. Other reviewers might have put the longer quotes in and put less quotes, but I personally love the short ones. Also, I can put more quotes in that way. After reading those quotes, don't you now want to now go read the book? So go and read!
I would also like to say thank you to Mr. John Green for writing this fantastic book. *searches library system for more John Green books*
Word to Parents: language, a mention of having sex but no details, cancer, death
Will you read The Fault in Our Stars? Do you cry in books?