I actually fell into the whole hype of the book. And I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not.
Hazel is a 16-year-old suffering from thyroid cancer but is surviving the odds thanks to doses of an experimental drug. She meets Augustus Waters, a guy who has lost his right leg to bone cancer. The story also deals with Hazel’s quest to meet her favourite author. At first, it seems to be like Twilight meets My Sister’s Keeper.
Hype to do with the film exploded when the news of the film was released. People – myself included – rushed to buy a copy of the book so we could experience the magic for ourselves.
At first, the incredibly idiomatic way the book was written annoyed the hell out of me. I know it is from Hazel’s point of view, but the point of view just made every character a one-sided characterization. I know she was supposed to care about Augustus very much, but it just made him TOO PERFECT, without any flaws as befits a human being. But maybe that made him a Jesus figure in the eyes of metaphorical context. And male ‘heroes’ in teen novels seem to be incredibly one-sided.
Reviews et al were saying that it was a heartbreaking story. And I suppose it is. But not in a way as to defy every known convention or universe. At the end, I wasn’t sobbing hysterically but it did make me feel a bit sad I suppose. It would have made poetic sense to end the book half way through a sentence, just like the author’s novel was done in the story.
Last but not least, even though the hype has been strong around this book it doesn’t really seem to be the sort of book I’d read. It would be perfect for my younger sister’s age group (12-15 years). Despite my tirade, however, there were some good points. There were tons of funny moments, and Augustus seemed very witty at times although at others he just sounded pretentious.
MY RATING: 3 / 5.