Page Count: 313
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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.
How does one even begin to talk about this book? I'm just going to warn you now, there will be such an amount of cheesy in this review that you'll probably want to die after reading it, but hopefully, it's just enough to make you want to read this book, because it is amazing. Beyond amazing. There are no words for it.
I didn't want to review this one for a bit, on the account that five stars is just not cutting how great this book is, but I'll review it anyway, because I have to talk about this or something before I die. Five stars. Ha. Ha ha. Not enough. If I could do it, I'd give it all the stars in the freaking sky, and no, it's not just because the title has the word 'stars' in it.
You know, I tried for a while to realize why I liked this so much, but I do indeed love it. I just don't know why, other than the fact that it's a good story. What does it really mean to me? And that's just it, I think, it means something to me, even though I couldn't place it.
The only thing I can really name it as is this need that I think everyone has to be something great, because we all want to be remembered when we die. This book stresses, while not entirely forcing it at you, that maybe the point of life isn't to be remember, but maybe just to live and be who you want to be. You don't have to save the world or change someone for your life to be successful to you, and that it's really only you who matters when it comes to the stamp of approval on your life.
Yes, it does teach a lesson, but it's not forced upon you. I love that John Green can do that. He'll never force his book's ideas on the reader. They're yours to decode and match and decide if you want to really apply them to yourself. That's a fantastic thing, you know?
I know that I talk so much about tearing up with books because, well, mainly I have a thing for sad books. Happy endings are nice, but you know what I mean. Sad books are somehow the greatest, sometimes, and even if they're not, they make the joyful books all the more palatable. But I cried for like, sixty pages straight of this book and I thank goodness that I was in the comfort of my house and not at school like one of my friends was, because I would've lost it completely in the middle of class. She had the power to control her tears, and I wouldn't have.
You know something else that's just amazing about this book, you guys? It's sad without weighing down the meaning of it. Some books do that to you. You feel like it could've ended better, like the author just wanted a book that'd make people cry. Is that just me? I don't know.
Nonetheless, TFiOS doesn't do that. It's a book about cancer, but it's not, you know? It's a book about a girl named Hazel who just happens to have cancer. It's not a cancer book, it's a Hazel book, and I adore that it's like that. I was a little afraid that her illness would take over. Everyone is more than just one thing, and no one is just their illness unless they let themselves become that.
I'm ranting now, but you just don't know if you haven't read it, and you need to read it. Every. Single. One. Of. You. Besides being insanely quotable, real and raw, and being heartbreakenly beautiful, it's filled with amazing characters such as Issac and Hazel and Augustus and Hazel's parents. It's wonderful, you guys. My favorite book by John Green's, even though I haven't read all of them. I just don't see how it could get any better.
I'm sorry for talking so long. I still have points to make and things to talk about, but I desperately need to shut up and stop talking. Just read it. Please. You will not regret it.
Songs I listened to while reading:
When you go into the ER, one of the first things they ask you to do is rate your pain on a scale of one to ten, and from there they decide which drugs to use and how quickly to use them. I'd been asked this question hundreds of times over the years, and I remember once early on when I couldn't get my breath and it felt like my chest was on fire, flames licking the inside of my ribs fighting for a way to burn out of my body, my parents took me to the ER. nurse asked me about the pain, and I couldn't even speak, so I held up nine fingers. Later, after they'd given me something, the nurse came in and she was kind of stroking my head while she took my blood pressure and said, "You know how I know you're a fighter? You called a ten a nine." But that wasn't quite right. I called it a nine because I was saving my ten.