Hazel is a terminal cancer patient who's had a minor miracle in the drug Phalanxifor, but this has only bought her time. Then she meets Augustus Waters in Cancer Support Group.... he is in remission from a cancer which has taken part of his leg, but has an 80% survival rate. He instantly takes a liking to Hazel, and the 2 of them find they have a very similar attitude and sense of humor. Hazel introduces "Gus" to "An Imperial Affliction", her favorite book... a book about a girl with leukemia w/ no real ending (it actually ends in the middle of a sentence). After reading the book and successfully communicating with the author (something Hazel has tried to do many times), Gus decides to use his wish (Make-A-Wish type thing) to go to Amsterdam and get the ending that Hazel wants so badly.
They go, and though they do not get the answers they want, Van Houten turns out to be a drunkard, they have an amazing trip anyway. They fall in love (well give in to love, because they had already fallen by then).
Before returning to the US, Augustus reveals that he has had a relapse and will most likely die. Hazel's not the grenade anymore, Augustus is.....
Holy WOW!!! I wanted to give this a 4 heart rating, but I couldn't... I'll give it 3.5 only because it made me feel too sad/depressed. I swear after I finished it I stayed up half the night contemplating life and the meaning of it all... and while that is pretty great stuff for a book to get into my head like that, I do not like to be reminded that my life is small and insignificant and that I will too die and eventually no one will care.
But even though it left me feeling like life is pointless, I still somehow loved it. It was just so smart!! I loved how Hazel was so against all the typical sympathies that people say to other people who are dying/have a loved one who died. All those things are so clichéd to the point where they don't mean anything. It was an awesomely written book! I don't even know how someone could come up with such insight into a dying persons mind, unless they were dying themselves.... amazing!!
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something deep and really moving... not to parents though. I'm a mom to a 4 year old, and it was really hard to read without fearing for my own child. Like Hazel said "If the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that's what everyone else does." Thank you Hazel, and I assure you I try my best to do just that, except reading a book like this makes it kinda hard!!!
Add it to your To-Read List!!!
How I got this book: Library
Date Published: 1/10/2012