I am perfectly aware that this is not actually a valid rating. I am totally supposed to rate books on a 0-5 stars scale. Unfortunately, I don't care. This book deserves to stand out, to have something special and all its own, and I am giving it that. I connected to this book on a more personal level than perhaps I have ever connected to any book in my life. Ordinarily, I don't like reading sad books, but when I heard the heroine had terminal cancer my defenses crumbled. Fortunately, I do not have terminal cancer, but my boyfriend does, and sometimes, as dramatic as it sounds, it is all I can do to avoid falling into a crumbling despair. I imagine actually having the cancer would be ten times worse, but hopefully I will never know.
Hazel was a gorgeous and heartbreakingly real heroine. She's dying, but all she wants to do is spend the rest of her days really living. Instead of moping around and feeling sorry for herself, she lives. I love how strong she is, and I admire it too. She's definitely one of the best heroines I've ever come across. Never whiny or insipid, she's intelligent and fun. She's absolutely relatable and it was especially easy for me to relate to her during the end of the novel, when she goes through something similar to what I go through. I found a lot of myself in Hazel and truly felt like I made a really deep connection to her, something I hadn't really felt strongly for a while.
Even though he's more of the love interest than the hero and would ordinarily go in that section, again, I really don't care. He's a hero to me, and I'm going to treat him as such. Again, I completely admired Augustus and felt like I could relate to him too. He's vibrant and beautiful, and it was impossible not to be drawn to his vivacity and charm. He had a wonderful heart and his story absolutely broke my heart in more ways than one. I loved him because he wasn't weak or half-dead. I made an extremely strong connection to him too, and was intensely entwined in his feelings and desires by the end of the novel.
I feel that it's important to mention him too, because I think that his character made a significant and positive impact in the novel. He represents a lot of the uglier side of cancer, the side where there are more consequences than death, consequences like losing part of who you are. He suffered like a real person, and not everything was ideal and maybe he never really got completely over it. But sometimes, that's just how it is. He was also a good and loyal friend, and he struck a deep chord within me.
John Green got everything right.
Everything I say, I mean. (Unless, that is, I'm being sarcastic.) So when I say everything, I really and truly mean everything.
Every single detail was exactly right. I really can't complain about anything, because everything was perfect.
He led me along his heartbreaking story, a story I originally didn't even want to read for my own reasons, but a story I was drawn into nonetheless. It became a part of me until I was so involved I could feel my own heart breaking at the end.
And above all, the story was real. Even though it is a work of fiction, it is easy to believe that it honestly could have happened. That's the most perfect thing about it. The story rings perfectly true and is so realistic I almost could have believed it really happened if not for the author's note and the Phalanxifor, which unfortunately doesn't exist.
Easily, easily, so easily, this was one of the best, if not the very best, books I've ever read.
The romance was one of the most beautiful things about this book. Even though there's a side romance that unfortunately doesn't have a happy ending, it was nice to see the reality of that. Augustus and Hazel's romance is downright gorgeous and heartbreaking--everything about it screams true and real. I loved the way they were together, and felt that they really had a strong connection and amazing chemistry. It's sweet and believable, not too instalovey or desperate-feeling. I absolutely adored it in every way.
The writing was gorgeous and incredible and beautiful. There's just the right amount of humor. The book deals with serious topics, but the humor doesn't overshadow this and it certainly makes it more lighthearted. It's perfect and real and rings absolutely true in every way. It sounds realistic and isn't oversimplified or unnecessarily complicated. It tells things as they are, and yet does it in such a way that it's completely beautiful and more heartbreaking for the way everything is told. Everything about the writing is flawless and fantastic.
Well, I'm not gonna lie: like most people who read this book, I cried my freaking eyes out. Probably especially because it's something I myself will have to go through far sooner than I would like to. But, you know, it really had to end that way. It couldn't have ended any other way. I really can' complain. Even in the despair and sadness, there was such powerful hope and beauty. The ending was easily a large part of the message of the book and at least for me, most of its emotion. Not to say that the rest of the book didn't have much emotion as well; au contraire. There was simply still more in the last pages.
It's heavy reading and not for the faint of heart. It took an emotional toll on me. By the time I was done reading it, I was a complete emotional mess and wouldn't talk to anyone for like three hours because I needed to be alone and think. I've never been able to control my emotions, though, and when I feel something I feel it intensely, not halfway. This book left me sobbing and heartbroken. It made me think about things I'd honestly much rather not think about. I cried even just writing this review. Yet I'd still strongly recommend it. It is one of the most amazing books in the world.
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