My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This beautiful book is difficult to write about. Hazel and Augustus are the epitome of wonderful. I loved both of them to pieces. And Isaac, and even Peter Van Houten, in a way. Actually, I think the only character I disliked was Monica.
This was a book brimming with characters that you get to know, right down to their very hearts. Augustus in particular had an astounding way with words (favourite Augustus quote: “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”) Hazel was blunt and unforgiving, in the most wonderful way. I love how she read the entire “Price of Dawn” series and gave away everything in spoilers (view spoiler). Hazel’s parents, and Gus’s parents, tugged at my heartstrings the entire time. Dads crying? I can’t handle that in real life, and apparently it makes me mist up in book-form as well.
Superficially, this was a book about some kids with cancer. Cancer kids, as Hazel says. It’s about how they deal with the everyday-ness of impending death. Which we all do, but most of us are lucky enough to be able to forget it until we’re quite old. It’s about how they are different from their peers, and the rest of their family.
What I got out of this book was that it is possible to make the “in-between” moments infinitely meaningful, and overwhelmingly worth it.
Throughout the book, I got echoes of a movie I watched last year called Restless, which I felt had a similar dark, yet humourous vibe. For most of the book, I had a smile on my face, and laughed aloud a few times. But in the background was that misty feeling in my eyes, telling me I was not far from tears.
I did enjoy the book, although I kind of disliked how things went down with Van Houten, I have to say. He redeemed himself at the end for me, but I was majorly unimpressed at the start. Also, as soon as Hazel mentions that his book ends in the middle of a sentence, I was so afraid that was some kind of author-foreshadowing and I had to practically hold my hands back from flipping to the last page of this book to see if it ended the same way. (view spoiler)