Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Pages: 313
Date: 25/01/2012
Grade: 5+
Details: Young Adult
Borrowed from Tara

Hazel is 16 and dying. She may be a medical miracle and her tumours may have shrunk, but her lungs are severely damaged, she needs a constant oxygen supply and knows that her days are numbered.
When she meets the gorgeous Augustus Waters at the Cancer Kid Support Group something changes in her life though. She rises out of her lethargy and embraces life and love with fresh determination.
A trip to Holland to meet an adored author brings the two teenagers closer together even if the meeting with their idol is a deep disappointment. The trip also reveals that Augustus’ cancer has returned, and suddenly the cards in their relationship are turned around.

Who knew that such a heart-breaking story could be this uplifting?
John Green doesn’t spare his reader in this book. From the very first page this is an emotional roller-coaster ride and it never lets up.
Hazel and Augustus are the sort of characters I wished I could meet and get to know. Green’s writing brings them to life to the point where I felt the need to hug and comfort them.
It is not all doom and gloom though.  These are two clever and insightful teenagers whose banter is as likely to make you laugh as it is to bring a tear to your eye.
This is a story about teenagers with cancer in which the disease takes a backseat to the spirit of the kids. Not because the book produces miracle cures for them but because they are bigger then their illness. The illness may limit their lives in many ways, but they determine how they live with it.
On a side note, I loved the descriptions of Amsterdam. It is clear that John Green spent time there and really saw and understood the place and the people who live there. I love that Hazel and Augustus gave in to their feelings in my home town, it seemed an appropriate setting.

This is a brutally honest and incredibly beautiful book. A book that gave me characters that will stay in my heart and mind for a long time. A book that I should have read at a slower pace because I know I there is a lot in there that deserved more thought and attention. This is a book I will have to read again to get everything it has to offer out of it.
Finally, this is a book in which almost every second sentence is quotable. I have decided to limit myself to the following though:

“Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books (…), which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare that yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal.”

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

“You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with.”

“The real heroes aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.”

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