Age: Young Adult
Interest: Completely Contemp Challenge/ John Green/ Nerdfighters/Jackson Pearce/ Pretty cover
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. (summary from goodreads.com)
There are times in life when it is appropriate to wax poetic about books. And then there are times when the only appropriate thing to say is this fucking book. Everyone who's read a this fucking book understands the sentiment completely.
Every reader brings their own set of past experiences, thoughts and prejudices to a book. I brought a grandfather who'd had cancer. As a kid I'd had a fascination with "cancer books". Lurlene McDaniel lined my shelves and I thought people with cancer were the bravest and noblest breed in the world. They lived above their illness! It didn't matter that they had Lymphoma, Leukemia, brain tumors or other crippling diseases, they were paragons of emotional and mental strength anyway. However, that is complete and utter bullshit. Yes, it's beautifully heroic when the main character makes a miraculous recovery or dies quietly filled with inner strength, but that is not real.
The Fault in Our Stars is a real book about illness, terminal and not. It shows how hard and just how powerfully cancer can suck the dirty, sweaty, hairy balls of Satan. How powerless everyone feels about it, how much it changes people, how horrifyingly scary it can be. It illustrates, in the midst of that space vortex level of suck, how wonderful, good and happy life can still be.
After crying the full hiccuping, snot bubble, eyes will be swollen for a week, chest hurting sobs for over 100 pages of this fucking book, I am telling you to read it. Not for me, or to give John Green a bigger Nerdfighter fan base or even to read a "real cancer book." Read it because Hazel and Augustus' story needs to be known. They deserve to have the universe stop and notice them, if only for an finitely infinite moment.
This book is intense. It will make you feel. It will make you hurt. You'll be grateful for the scar it leaves.
***If you'd like to decrease world suck and help someone else, go to tswgo.org to donate or buy a This Star Won't Go Out wristband.***
Teaser Lines: "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are book which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal."