Hazel Grace Lancaster has always been terminal since her cancer was found, which began as thyroid cancer and that spread to her lungs. Her tumours make her lungs suck at being lungs, so she carries around a oxygen tanks and gets hooked up to a machine at night that forces her lungs to be a little bit better.
Hazel’s mom decides one day that she’s depressed, and forces her to go to a Support Group where other young people with cancer meet and help each other deal with their lot in life, and where she meets a boy by the name of Augustus Waters. He comes to support Isaac, who was having surgery to remove the one eye that was left because he had cancer in both of them. Though, Augustus was cancer free as his leg was amputated to prevent bone cancer from spreading.
Augustus approaches Hazel afterwards and asks her to watch V for Vendetta, which Hazel sees as a boy movie and doesn’t understand why he wants her to like it so much.
The pair bond over their favourite books, and Augustus manages to track down the author of Hazel’s favourite book and the pair take a trip to Amsterdam to get their questions answered as the book ends mid sentence and lacks any real ending.
Throughout the book, Hazel attempts to dissuade Augustus from having feelings for her. She describes herself as a grenade, and she wants to leave as little damage as possible once she finally succumbs to her cancer. But, it turns out that Augustus had nothing to fear when it came to leaving a scar on Hazel.
This book surprised me, just because it wasn’t what I was expecting. People had been telling me to read it for months, though I was reluctant. ‘Have tissues close by’, ‘you’re going to cry so much!’, and ‘read it!’ were constant encouragements from friends who’d read it.
What surprised me the most is that no one told me just how funny it ended up being, which is what I enjoyed the most about it. Hazel is a refreshing protagonist, who’s sarcasm reflects her age even with her lack of experience being a teenager. The way she looks at the world is entirely unique to her, and the events in her life shape that outlook.
It is a heartbreaking book, and you will ugly cry if you get emotionally invested in Hazel’s and Augustus’ story. But, it is defiantly worth the read.