Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I have a feeling a lot of people may not agree with my review of this. Once again I feel that a book was built up by other people so much, that when I got around to reading it, I basically knew what was going to happen, and while it was good, it didn't blow me away as I had really high expectations. So let me start out by saying that this was a really good book. John Green is an awesome author. To be able to make the reader laugh out loud in such a depressing story/world, is good writing, good storytelling, in my book. But while I wouldn't say it was predictable, I wouldn't say I was really surprised by anything that happened in the book. Again, possibly because of all the build up, and being told how sad it would be. Is it sad, yeah, it can cause you to use a box of tissues. But as things happened, I was kind of prepared, kind of figured those things would happen. Although I must admit, some of that is probably from the actual foreshadowing I feel the author did within the story. Here's my quick summary:
The main character is Hazel, she has terminal cancer. There is no cure for her, only ways to extend her life. In fact she must have oxygen with her at all time because her lungs don't work that well. She goes to a support group where she meets Augustus. Augustus is really cute. He is supposedly in remission, but lost a leg to his type of cancer. He is there with his friend Isaac, also a teen with cancer. Isaac has lost one eye, and when we meet him in the story, it is possible he may have to lose the other eye. Hazel and Augustus seem to click right away. And Augustus is really a funny guy, and he likes that Hazel is the way she is, she's not all, "poor me, how am I ever going to leave a mark in this world." She turns Augustus onto this book she loves, An Imperial Affliction, which is about a girl named Anna who also is sick, and the books just ends in the middle of a sentence. What Hazel likes so much about it is that it totally gets how she feels about it and what it is like having cancer. She wants so much to know what happens next, to the other characters in the book, as she knows what happens to Anna. But, the author is reclusive, and even though she's written many letters, he's never answered. Augustus has her read a novel that has to do with the video game he likes to play, and she does get swept up into those. And he gets really into her book, as they shorten it to, AIA. And he does the crazy thing and emails the author, and gets an answer from his publicist. Which leads to them attempting to go visit him, from a supposed invitation from him and his publicist. But of course there are things that get in the way. Relapses or lung problems for Hazel just to start with. Hazel tries to keep space between herself and Augustus, not wanting to hurt him when she dies, as he is the "healthy" one in the relationship. I won't go on with any spoilers. Just know that their love is a true one, and their saying, "Okay? Okay", is a sweet one, and you will really hope for a relationship like this in your life. Well, without all the tragedy of cancer and all that. A great story, ending kind of how I thought it would, but not in a bad way.
I will say that one of my all time favorite books is A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry. The copy I have from when I was younger is tattered and dog-eared from me reading it over and over. So I know a sad story from a sad story. And I wasn't surprised by what happened probably because of that. But this book is one that could rate up in the same place in my bookshelf as the Lowry book because of enjoying the back and forth between Hazel and Augustus. You do need to read it. I'm sorry my review isn't as glowing as others, it is a really good book. Again, I believe my less than stellar review has to do with my being so over built up for a superbly unique story. Which for many people I believe it will be! So don't let me steer you away, just go into it with no expectations, and you'll do nothing but enjoy (if crying is enjoyment to you :-).