13 Aug 2018



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.
- Back Cover Blurb

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
- First Sentence, Chapter One

See 'My Thoughts' below for my Memorable Moment

SOURCE ... On my TBR pile for so long I have forgotten.

  • 8 of 12 books read for the 2018 Mount TBR Challenge.
MY THOUGHTS ... Disappointed, utterly disappointed. Of all of the 'cancer' novels out there this must be the one that moved me the least. 

Yes, I'm unashamed to say the main thing I'm looking for in a book of this genre is how much it moves me; how many tissues I go through; how red eyed and snotty nosed I'm left and in this respect, yep, I was disappointed, well and truly disappointed.

After that comes ... the characters. 

Alas unable to connect with them. I'm afraid I found main protagonists Hazel and Augustus unrealistic. Yes, cancer forces (many) teenagers to grow up ... and grow up quick ... but the conversations between these two read more like the conversations between, well, lets just leave it as like the conversations between those much, much older. Oh! Then there's the fact that, rightfully or wrongfully, whilst I felt I should be feeling their pain; empathising with them, for much of the time all I could think about was how angry I was. Angry that, amongst other things, Hazel felt ...

 "A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy…well” (Pg 9)

Which brings me to ....

Dun dun dun ...

The romance.

Not a believer in love at first sight to begin with ... Lust at first sight? Maybes. But love? Nah. Besides which I don't think it was so much love as them bonding because they both had cancer, Hazel because, well, he was hot and she had cancer. But mainly, once again, my main gripe was the narrative ...

 "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” (Pg 153)

Now I don't know about you but neither I nor Mr T (and he works in a college full of teens) found this realistic.

And its not the only thing either ...

I took it off and let Jackie stick the cannula in her nose and breathe. (Pg 46)

Urgh! Hasn't she heard of cross contamination? To 'stick' a breathing tube in the nose of some random child, really? And as for a mother to allow some random stranger to let her child try said random stranger's breathing tube? I ask again, really?

When all is said and done though, essentially what I really, really disliked about the book was the author setting both characters up as heroic rather than, at least one of them, as a terrified teen facing up to their own mortality.


Brian Joseph said...

This book seems to be very popular. Sometimes popular is not good however. Realism is so important in a book like this. I agree that the passage that you posted was unrealistic..

Literary Feline said...

I don't read much in the way of contemporary YA, preferring fantasy YA. I am one of the ones who falls under John Green's spell every time I read one of his books. Well, the two I've read anyway. His characters can be too good to be true, but I still find myself able to suspend my disbelief with his books. He seems to be one of those authors who people either love or hate. His books aren't for everyone.

Melliane said...

I heard a lot about this one but I haven't tried it

Sherry Ellis said...

Wow. This was a best-seller. I'm surprised by your review. I've read a few John Green books. I haven't read this one, but I do have it. I'll have to read it and see if I feel the same way as you.

Kelly said...

Oh my, we certainly had differing opinions on this one. It's been several years since I read it, so I had to look back at my review. ( https://ksrgmck.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/the-fault-in-our-stars-by-john-green/ )

We came to it with totally different expectations, I think. My pre-teen (at the time) granddaughter recommended it, so I wanted to like it. I'm never sure what to think of romances at any age, since I'm not really a romantic at all (though I did know I wanted to marry my husband the first time I laid eyes on him and I don't think it was lust) and given I can't seem to cry anymore, the tissue test doesn't work.

I guess the positive is that you can remove it from your shelf and add another notch to your TBR challenge.

Mary @Bookfan said...

Although I didn't review this on my blog I remember what I though upon finishing it. I thought the main characters seemed scripted - as if in a film. It didn't seem true to me. Obviously I'm having a tough time expressing myself but I understand your take on the book.

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for your honest review. I have seen the movie version of this, which I thought was absorbing. I can't remember if you have read or seen My Sister's Keeper by JP so I will search your blog. I read the book and then sat in the theater crying the entire time, anticipating what would happen.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Well, to judge kids not terminal to those that are is not quite realistic either. Often these kids lead pretty isolated lives from their peers so they grow differently. Still, I do see your niggle and they would retain at least come teen behavior. As far as the cannula, yea, there can be cross contamination and these kids would be aware of it. Ew. LOL

Sorry it didn't work for you! I saw the movie and it made me cry so I won't read the book. I avoid the ugly cry if I can. LOL

nightwingsraven said...

I am not familiar with John
Green. But keeping in mind
your honest criticism.
I am very uncertain if I would
appreciate this book. Perhaps
I would borrow it from the

DMS said...

I haven't read this one- though I know it is very popular. I have always thought it would make me burst out crying- so I have put off reading it. I do enjoy books that evoke that kind of feeling in me- but I have to have some time with them. Interesting that this one didn't make you feel as upset as you thought it would. The lines you shared about love definitely don't sound like anyone I knew when I was a teen. Thanks for sharing your honest review. :)

sherry fundin said...

This one is not for me, but thanks for sharing your review.
sherry @ fundinmental

Gina R said...

Alas, not every book is for every reader. I've yet to tackle this one myself (buried in Mount TBR) but I adored the movie! Thanks for the honest share!

Karen Alderman said...

Yeah, I started this one and the way they talk turned me off.

I went to a lecture by John Green - just before this took off - and that's how he talks. He's funny and witty in person but for two teens talking this way and in writing eh...not for me.

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Nikki-ann said...

I remember this getting rave reviews when it came out, but I never got around to picking it up.