It's a tear-jerker, which is always the mark of a well-told story. However, I had a very hard time believing in the main love interest. He was just too perfectly self-sacrificing to be realistic. Nearly everything he did had me rolling my eyes at the obviousness of his perfection, which pulled me out of the story. It seems like the perfect book for love-sick teenage girls searching for a book boyfriend crush. Aside from that, the story of the girl's struggle with cancer felt very real and was kept me engaged. I would recommend this book as an easy vacation read.
I really enjoyed the story and the writing in this book. I listen to Audible books on my way to work and this was a bad one to listen to while driving. Sobbing and driving is not a good combo!
Eh. Was better during the parts without Augustus Waters. The two main characters were too similar, and at times they come across as really pretentious and judgmental, as does their friend. The author seems to support this behavior and rewards them accordingly. Felt manipulative at times.
A semi-guided review (the one I started on got obliterated, then the questions were different when I went back):
Would I listen to it again?
Possibly; I've already listened to it twice (the ending more than twice). I typically need to listen twice so as to revisit sections I missed the first time through, since I'm frequently multi-tasking. Also, I'm stereotypical of the Dale Carnegie quote: "Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said." For me, especially true when reading (even audible reading) is involved.
Can't limit to one. Told in first person, Hazel aka Hazel Grace, told a great, sometimes irreverent, story. Augustus aka Gus, the boy who enters Hazel's 16-year-old life in group, giving her a new outlook on life and realizing she can be found attractive by a hunk. He surprises her by letting her "hijack his wish," then again after his passing. Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster, Hazel's parents: her emotional dad, the crier; her more logical, less-crying mom who admits to taking a correspondence course to become a grief counselor/group leader, pleasing Hazel who tells her she'll be a wonderful counselor.
What I liked about the narrator:
Her voice brings a teenager's realism to the story.
I may not have selected the book, had I noticed it was in the Teen category. In my beliefs of abstaining from premarital sex, I found myself actually rooting for Hazel and Gus to show their love for each other. I wish the jacket cover looked more like Hazel, who, according to Augustus, looks just like Natalie Portman in “V for Vendetta.” The ending left me slightly out in the cold; not sure what I expected, but this wasn't it.
I didn't really think I was going to like this book because I figured it was going to be the typical teenage love story that makes one nauseous. It's not. This book had me laughing and crying ridiculously. It's not exactly the most well written book, especially with the over use of the phrase "or whatever" but it was an enjoyable read that keeps you hooked. I really recommend this book, but keep some kleenex handy!