by John Green
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.
I finally read a John Green book guys! I know, I know, I am equally shocked. I have always kind of wanted to read one of his books and this book in particular, but I have been avoiding it for forever. I don’t know why, but I tend to avoid reading popular books. I probably would have never even read this one if it weren’t for my cousin pretty much forcing it down my throat in front of witnesses.
I’m sorry folks, but I was not too impressed. Please don’t shoot me! John Green is brilliant. His writing was great and he is a great mind, but I didn’t love the book the way all the TFiOS fans do. It was still a really good book, and I sobbed harder than ever before for the last 50 pages of it. I was tempted to pull a Disney princess and throw myself on the nearest object to sob more dramatically.
Lets talk for a moment about the characters and relationship. I’m just going to tell you all now that I didn’t particularly like Hazel. She was ok. I can’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t like about her. Maybe I saw too much of myself in her or something I don’t know. (Not knowing why is frustrating isn’t it?) I didn’t necessarily dislike her, I just didn’t like her that much. She was decent and just kind of there. Sorry I don’t have much of a reason for y’all. I promise to tell y’all what it was when/if I ever figure it out. I loved Gus from the very first line that he was in. I don’t think you can read this book and not love him. He is ridiculously sweet and romantic. He is funny, and almost unrealistically deep and profound. Yet I still feel like he was a bit too ideal. I felt like people just aren’t like that in life. No one has all of those qualities. Do they? Maybe there are people like that, it’s not like I’ve met every person in the world, so I couldn’t possibly know. He seemed to lack flaws or have more strengths than flaws and that seemed to add to the unrealistic-ness of him. I love him still though just because he is pretty darn great/attractive.
They had a relationship as I’m sure you all know, so I don’t think I’m spoiling the book by saying that much, (if you’ve read the synopsis then you already know. Even if you haven’t I’m sure you’ve figured it out somehow by now.) To get right to the point I’m just going to be blunt (crazy I know, I’m only blunt like 90% of the time.) I didn’t like their relationship. Yeah I know I’m heartless. Sure there were big romantic gestures, and small ones…and medium ones, and Gus was obviously into Hazel, and I could infer that Hazel was into him too, but it didn’t feel real. It lacked depth and I felt like Hazel didn’t even like him that much. I felt like for her it was just kind of this, “Oh well he’s cute and sweet and we are besties and he likes me. I guess I like him. He gives me cool things. He is pretty cool.” thing and not like a real “I really love this boy for a million and one reasons, or at least I’m starting to…” thing. I felt like the material was there to build there relationship but her side lacked some depth emotion wise and so it felt a little bit fakey. That made me feel bad for Gus because he was trying so hard.
SPOILERS DISCUSSED HIGHLIGHT TO READ: I kind of felt like Gus manipulated her when the whole sex thing happened, because he was dying/sick and didn’t tell her before that. Also, after the fact, I kind of felt like there was a slight possibility that he’d only done it with her to check that off his bucket list. However, I tried to over look this, because I just simply refused to see him in that light. What did you guys think?
This is probably wrong of me, but I was a bit disappointed in John Green when it came to the plot. I had high expectations I guess. Since I know he is downright brilliant, I was expecting the plot to be fantastical, unexpected and jaw dropping. As I said, I was a bit disappointed. It was by no means bad. It was perfectly good, but (this is probably just a personal issue) I saw like every big plot twist or event coming. MORE SPOILERS TO HIGHLIGHT: I saw the whole Gus taking her to meet Van Houten and I totally called the whole Gus has a relapse and dies thing. Maybe that’s why I didn’t love it to that crazy extent the fans do, I saw all the best parts coming and ruined it for myself?
The plot was really fine and I’m pretty sure it was all me.
The writing was pretty swell. There were a lot of big words used, but other than that it didn’t really stand out. It wasn’t the most descriptive or deepest writing ever. It had descriptions and there were some deep moments, but not any more so than any other book really. The writing wasn’t bad, it was quite good. So yay for good writing!
Overall I still liked the book a whole darn lot, and I would definitely recommend it. I’d give it 3.5-4 stars.