What’s not to love about this book? Oh, I know. It’s sad, right? It’s about kids with cancer, right? Well. No. It’s not about that. It’s about love and fighting to live despite the things coming against you. In this case, it happens to be cancer.
John Green’s style is hilarious and heartrending at the same time. (And really, so is he–check out his YouTube videos.) On multiple occasions, I’d start laughing and be tearing up by the end of the page, or vice versa. I felt like every time I opened this book, a huge ole ray of joy shined out at me and lit my face into a smile. That is how much I enjoyed reading this book.
The characters are awesome. From the beginning, you can’t help falling in love with Hazel, who takes life in stride, passing her time between doctors’ visits and group therapy by watching reality TV and reading. Her biggest concern about dying: hurting those who love her. Then there’s Gus. He’s fun and sweet and brings out the best in Hazel and everyone around him. He cares about Hazel and refuses to let her push him away. Isaac, who I just want to hug for all his bad luck, provides them both comic relief and a shoulder to cry on.
Yes, the book is sad. But! It’s also funny. Really funny. Like, you’ll be laughing out loud, loudly. It was interesting reading this book in public. I can only imagine what people around me were thinking as I cracked up and cried, back and forth, the whole time while reading. Whatever you think you may be in for in the tears department, I promise there are enough laughs to balance it out, and whatever tears you shed will be well worth it!
There are tons of amazing quotes from this book. My favorites:
- Love is keeping the promise anyway.
- Okay? Okay.
- I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.
- I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity.
- That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.
- It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.
- My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.
This book has the distinction of my being my favorite out of all of the 75 books I read in 2013. I own it in paperback, hardback (my paperback was getting worn from too much passing around), and audiobook. I am counting down the days until the movie comes out June 6! I also created a fun book product on Etsy for it. I have demanded that more people read this book than maybe any other book I’ve read. Not a single person didn’t love it.
Here’s the extended trailer for the movie (which I can’t make it through without tearing up even after watching it at least 23 times.)