Published January 10th 2012 by Dutton Books (first published November 2011)
edition language: English
My Rating: 5 Stars
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors 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 tumors 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.
“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.
“Augustus,” I said.
“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “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.”
I am amazed and seriously jealous of Mr. Green’s ability to conjurer emotions from letters on a page. This book struck me in a way that, honestly, no other book has. It is filled with raw, pure, undeniable and unconditional love.
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
Mr. Green has away of sucking the reader it and holding them tight to a point where they have no choice but to finish the tale in one sitting. And that’s what I did. Finish the book in a single sitting.
When you read this, because you will, have a box of tissues prepared. You get dragged into the story; you will laugh, cry, smile and feel all the emotions that the characters do.
“May I see you again?” he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.
I smiled. “Sure.”
“Tomorrow?” he asked.
“Patience, grasshopper,” I counseled. “You don’t want to seem overeager.
“Right, that’s why I said tomorrow,” he said. “I want to see you again tonight. But I’m willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow.” I rolled my eyes. “I’m serious,” he said.
“You don’t even know me,” I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. “How about I call you when I finish this?”
“But you don’t even have my phone number,” he said.
“I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book.”
He broke out into that goofy smile. “And you say we don’t know each other.”
I have this bad habit of peeking at the ending, but with this one I forced myself not to. Why? I figured it would destroy the book for me. And it did. Just not the way I thought it would. I’m not describing this well at all.
This is one of those books that you can’t get enough words out to convey the full and heartbreaking feelings that the book shoves at you.
I don’t write in books. Ever. But I think I would in this book. There are just so many things that Gus and Hazel say that I want to remember forever. Forever. Sadly, this is a library book.
Mr. Green has easily made himself my favorite author of all time. With this one book. This is the first one I’ve read and I can promise promise you that this will most certainly not be my last.
“I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.)”
The way they all described things: Cancer Perks (signed basketballs, posters, concert tickets), Side effects of death (depression, cancer), Encouragements (without pain, we wouldn’t know joy), Being a professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles, Swing sets of tears, Okay, Always, Hazel’s response to Gus’s fear of oblivion, Gus’s response to Hazel’s response to his fear of oblivion, The Way They Talk To Each Other, Metaphors(I have a new appreciation to them), spoiler alerts, An Imperial Affliction, The Price of Dawn, phone numbers written in books. (there are a lot more but I suspect you want me to move on)
“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”
Say Yes to the