|More than okay [Amazon]|
Let's just say I didn't adequately prepare myself for the exponential effect those two warnings were given to me. I didn't think I'd be in awe of Mr. Green THIS MUCH nor did I think I would feel this kind of sadness.
I think I'll need a break from Mr. Green before moving on to his other books. There's just too much sadness.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. [Amazon]So let's start off by saying I ship Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace till infinity and beyond. I didn't think I'd be able to connect to these characters on a personal basis, just because I'm lucky to not have been afflicted by this terrible disease (and pray never to have to feel this on a personal level) but even from a third party perspective, these two are just as everybody as any other healthy character I've read.
Seeing Hazel struggle not just through her cancer but through every day things, her relationship with her former friends, her parents, her group therapy mates and just how she views the world in such an honest way made me re-evaluate the way I thought of things as well. Her cancer may be a huge part of who she is but it's not the defining thing. I loved reading about her insights into things and just how freaking honest she was about everything.
Then she meets Mr. Augustus Waters, who just turns her world upside down. And though I kind of new from the start the tragedy that awaited these two, it was so much fun (and heartbreaking) to see it all unravel. Mr. Not-Quite Sick falls for this terminally sick girl and just sweeps her off her feet. It's so difficult to relinquish that power of being swept off your feet but for Gus? Hazel Grace didn't mind.
And then we get to read about their awesome love story and how they connected on so many levels (apart from the disease they share). I kind of wish there really was An Imperial Affliction by douche-bag Peter Van Houten cause I'd really love to read it, but I digress. These two teens, defy the usual YA love story just because I didn't once cringe at their lovey dovey ways.
They were hilarious and insightful and just really trying to live in the moment without having to do silly grand gestures. Of course, the trip to Amsterdam was a plus but it made me sigh and get giddy on the inside when Augustus took his one wish and gave it to her. I'm so incredibly happy for that entire trip even if the main reason they went to Amsterdam in the first place wasn't quite realized.
Then we get the reveal and things just get turned 180 and we see another side of these kids. How they're resilient and yet totally just prepared and calm about it all. Until of course, it's down to the last days and you can't imagine them not breaking down. But even their grief is so incredibly honest and real that you feel for them even more so.
And down to the end, when we get the papers from Gus and Hazel Grace gets reassurances from her parents, I'm still afraid we'd get the Van Houten experience and have finish abruptly so I'm glad that wasn't the case. I would love to quote the many many lines this book gave me but then I'd just never end. I can't wait to read his other books. Just not right now.
Even More Page Turner:
Unearthly & Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith