Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 (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.
A friend whose taste in books I trust told me to read this, that it is amazing, so I picked it up, not even knowing what it was about. As soon as I started reading, I was drawn in, but also knew that somehow or other, I'd end up in tears by the end. I was right. When I realized the book was about teenagers with cancer, some of them fatally, I put the book down for a bit until I was ready to read it.
I'm glad I did pick it up again. The story is compelling, the characters are quirky, and the writing is beautiful.
Hazel has a fatal cancer, but has somewhat stabilized. However, she has been away from school and much of her previous, normal, life for several years. I like her sense of humour and appreciated her unique outlook on life.
She meets Augustus at a cancer kid support group. They immediately hit it off, relating to one another on many levels. I love the conversations that they have, how they can delve into trivial or deep subjects and dissect them both equally well.
There are so many issues dealt with in this book, some of which are: dying from cancer, living with cancer, mortality, how people treat obviously sick people, how loss of a loved one affects the living, and what kind of legacy to leave. These issues are all dealt with extremely well by Green, with sensitivity, humour and intelligence. He must have done some great research to have written such a thoughtful book.
I highly recommend this book to both teens and adults. Be warned, though, it is a tear jerker. This was the first John Green book that I've read and I'll certainly be reading more in the near future.
Here is the book trailer: