It’s been a while since I have read a book that is so well written with characters that are SO likeable. But then after I read about the 10 year making of this book and learned more about the incredible, thorough, meticulous and quirky author I came to realize what many people have already realized: This is an amazing book.
This is technically a “young adult” novel about a 16 year old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster who meets another cancer patient named Augustus Waters in a support group. But everything you think it may be about after reading that sentence: forget it. It’s not a book that makes you feel sorry or pity for the characters. In fact, it’s just those types of sentiments coupled with the loss of a special friend that propelled John Green to write this novel. Green said he was genuinely dissatisfied with the trite and “encourage-y” things people would say in the wake of such tragedies. And he acknowledges, “the world is a profoundly unjust place in which suffering is unfairly distributed.”
I won’t spoil any of the book other than to say that you will fall in love with the two main characters and that ultimately this is a story of love and friendship. After they meet at the support group, Hazel encourages Augustus to read her favorite book written by a reclusive author. Augustus falls in love both with the book and with Hazel and they go on a quest to track the author down at his home in Amsterdam. The ensuing chapters that detail the crazy, alcoholic author are laugh out loud funny while at the same time increcibly emotional.
This is John Green’s 4th solo novel which was released in January 2012. The movie rights were quickly snatched up and it is currently filming.
I will leave you with my favorite line from the book. Augustus used his “wish” to get he and Hazel to Amsterdam. After their disappointing meeting with the author, Hazel is distraught. Augustus says to her: “Hazel Grace. No. I will grant you that you did spend my one and only wish. But you did not spend it on him. You spent it on us.”
Read the book before the movie comes out. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.