by John Green
Why did you choose this book? this was a book club selection
When did you read this book? July 2013
Who should read this book? young adult audiences that can handle a sad ending
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’ve had this book on my ‘to read’ list since it came out. I’d heard so many good things about it! So I was happy when it was selected for book club read. Sad to say, after reading it, I am underwhelmed.
It isn’t a terrible book, though of course, it is a sad book. You can’t write about kids with cancer and not be have a sad book. But my biggest problem with the book is it felt kind of like ‘been there, done that’. It reminded me of other YA books I’ve read, in particular one I read in high school about a leukemia patient. I can’t remember the name, but I do remember that for the next two years, every time a friend or I got a new bruise, we anticipated a leukemia diagnosis!
To be honest, from the day we ‘met’ Augustus Waters, I pretty much knew how the story would end. Not to give anything away, but it seemed so obvious. And I really did not get the Peter Van Houton storyline. There was some potential there, but I felt like at the end, that was just a pointless loose thread left hanging.
I know a lot of people loved this book, and I can see, especially if you are a 16 year old girl who had not read similar books, that this would be a book that you remember. For the YA audience, I may up my rating to 4 stars. But for the general reader, this is just ‘ok’. (Not to be confused with ‘okay’!)
You can read more on the author’s blog here, but please be aware there are spoilers!
There are discussion questions available at Lit Lovers.
And here is a book trailer to give you a taste of the book.