January 10th 2012, Dutton Books
313 pages, Hardcover
Young Adult Contemporary
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.
If you have read my tweets in the past two months, I can say about one-fifth of my bookish tweets deal with TFIOS. As my friend once phrased her Justin Bieber love, “It’s not obsession. It’s dedication.” You mention John Green, you update your goodreads status for TFIOS, or you ask for a story that is 100% 5 stars, I will find you. And perhaps we’ll spend a lifetime speaking about his books. This is my life. This is what his book did to me.
Hazel’s story is a cancer story. It is unlike any I have ever read before. She will die. And she will die young without a chance to make her own impression in the world. She faces disappointing the people she loves. She meets Augustus who has a cancer story of his own. They are the most explosively compatible people to have ever met. And within her story is another story, the book in which she finds a character struggling through her same struggles. Hazel is haunted by the sudden end and the loose strings of her book. Now Augustus, my sweet Gus who calls her Hazel Grace, presents her the opportunity to find the author and discover the story’s aftermaths.
I cried. A lot. I sobbed. I reused used tissues. I clutched my book and wished for a cure for cancer. Still, I laughed like I’ve never done before. Because rarely do I ever “laugh out loud”. With this book, I giggled like a crazy schoolgirl. I bought the book the exact day it released, not knowing what I was getting myself into. The writing is beautiful. There’s is something so relatable in Hazel’s journey. I wanted to hug her and promise her the world. Augustus is a freaking sexy one-legged guy. Somehow, he manages to give her hope and I fall deeper in love with him every page I read.
I did a horrible thing, though. I looked in the back of the book, a nasty habit I developed years ago. Everything that happens toward the ending is soul shattering. It took me a week to finally have the guts to finish the book. I’m glad I did. I went into autopilot the day after I read the last few lines. I don’t think I’m fully recovered now. John Green, I thank you for writing this gripping story and I hope many teens and Young Adult fans find their way to your glorious books. As always, don’t forget to be awesome.
The elusive Linda-saurus:
Mover and shaker by day, book-ninja by night. Only native to Florida. Afraid of small children but has an affinity to the elderly. Beware of her sarcastic humor.