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.
My Review: I have heard many good things about this book. So I had to read it. I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to the hype but I needn’t have worried. It was every bit as good as people made it out to be. Once I started reading I literally couldn’t put this book down. I devoured it in an afternoon. This is also one of the few books that have made me cry actual tears.
The characters were so believable that it was like it was two friends telling you their story. There was nothing in this book that yanked you out of the story. The main characters were likeable and made you want everything to work out for them. While I don’t need characters to be likeable to enjoy a book I do need it to flow and show that there is a reason for behaviors. This book provided that. Even when a character was acting like a bitch the book gives details that make it seem that kind of behavior is only natural to them.
The romance in this story was sweet and even though it happened on a hurried time for how much time does two kids with terminal cancer really have?
This was my first YA cancer book so I really cant compare. It went through the range of emotions that tow kids with cancer has. I feel that it addressed all the issues that would be per taint with this. The fear that you cancer has returned. The fear that you will die before your time. The fear that you cant breathe. It does so in a way that is accessible for teens but it does not gloss over the realities of the cancer. And the realities are many and stark. Hazel is tethered to an oxygen tank and Augustus lost his leg. The book showed their limitations but also showed that even with that they are still teens going through relationships and face what normal teens face. It shows that life doesn't stop just because you have cancer or on deaths door.
I was sad at the end of this book but in a good way. It showed what really happens and does not provide some miracle that is not in real life to give a better ending to the book. I was very glad of that. I felt if it ended any other way that it would have cheapened the book. Even though it made me cry it was the only way it could have ended and stayed true to the issues that it was addressing.