My boyfriend introduced me to Hank and John Green on YouTube, which later got me into their channel CrashCourse. Let me tell you, these are two amazingly brilliant gentlemen. If you haven't had a chance to check them out, I would highly recommend it. After watching a few of their videos, Boyo mentioned John Green's books. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but, when searching for books in Top 100's lists scattered about the interwebs, I found his books. On every. single. list. Not only that, at least three of them. on every. list.
Breaking down, I went for the most popular (and highest rated) of his books: The Fault In Our Stars. I will never be so internally shattered, yet happy that I did.
The story is, firstly, about Cancer, then about an intellectual girl named Hazel Grace whom meets and falls in love with another Cancer, also an intellectual, Augustus Waters. Hazel is dying, she is perpetually hooked up to an oxygen tank which allows her lungs to fill with the necessary amount of life sustaining oxygen her lungs fail at taking in on their own.
Hazel Grace meets Augustus Waters, a charismatic metaphor, at a support group that he attended for his friend Isaac. The plot revolves around a book of a girl with cancer, and leaves the last sentence of the book unfinished, the ending hanging. The two theorize on the book as they get to know each other until one of them, inevitably, dies.
I have never cried so hard reading a book in my life as I did with this book. It was devastatingly haunting and beautiful. It's only mildly predictable, which is wonderful; what makes this book great is it's honesty. There is no bravery in cancer and no beauty. The winner is never really a winner because it isn't something you can beat; only go into remission from. There is no grace in dying. Lastly, no one is exempt.
It's odd and quite a bit daunting to read about 16 year olds, whom are more well versed and educated that most will ever be. The biggest annoyance about the book for me was when Hazel would suddenly break out into a fit of, "like"s. It's like... and, like... Completely out of character with her the rest of the time. I understand that the author was trying to make Hazel out to be more of a stereotypical teenaged girl, but he threw that out the window when he gave her a functioning and learned brain. Everything else had a wonderful flow. I was completely wrapped up in the characters and in the end, it felt like one of my good friends had passed away. The book was realistic in it's events and the undertakings of each.