"Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying."
So there she is having to have oxygen with her wherever she goes because she can't live without it. Literally. She can't run or dance or do anything very physical. Anyways she meets this boy named Augustus Waters. And boy are you going to fall in love with him. Augustus is there for his friend Isaac who's about to go blind soon to take away his cancer and he is supporting him. Augustus also had battle with cancer and he lost one of his legs to the fight. I'm sure Augustus would analyze my choice words of battling cancer and fighting it but that's just him. He is witty and hilarious. So is Hazel (Hazel Grace to Augustus) which makes them the perfect match for each other. Now I'll pause and explain how the way they talk is what I dream how I can talk. If a guy talked to me like Augustus I would fall in love with him right then and there.
"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 the book."
He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other."
See? Don't you just love it? Don't you wish like I certainly do that you can match their wit and humor? Of course they have this wit and humor because of the man who wrote it. Green and his brother have a blog on youtube and I've heard him before so when I heard he was the author of this book I was about to read, this famous book and author was witty and funny like that in person he must create amazing characters. And it is true. Anyways they bond over books. I mean... wouldn't you want to bond over a book with a significant other or your friends or any acquaintance ever! I sort of have the book club but it most of them only care about Nora Roberts and I'm not saying anything bad about her I'm just saying diversify and just read something that isn't her. How can your read one author ONLY? What is that? Anyways I love/hate their relationship, the way they talk, and how amazing they are.
So they bond over two books but the most important one is An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten. You will get a quote in the beginning and wonder what book this is. Now you know. It's a pretty central portion of the book. This book is like one of the most heartbreaking soul crushing books out there. In a good way. It's one of those stories that after reading it you expect will never leave you and maybe it never does. You know for a long time I didn't want to read the end because I knew I was going to die a little inside. I knew from the beginning what was going to happen really. Authors are cruel human beings. It's like if someone gave you a kitten for a year and then they took it back and you can't do anything about it.... Weird metaphor/analogy/whatever... You get what I'm saying I hope. They make you fall in love with these characters and their relationship and then they just break your heart. But at the end of the day it's totally worth it. You feel like a better person after it.
Hazel Grace (I prefer saying her name like Augustus) is constantly worried about dying. She worries for her parents. Her father who cries all the time and her mom who treat her like she's going to break but will go out of her way to get her to just make some friends and be happy. She is resigned to do what they want like go to the Support Group because of this because "There is only one thing shittier than biting it from cancer when you're sixteen, and that's having a kid who bites it from cancer." Did I mention how her favorite book is An Imperial Affliction? The book is about cancer but it's not a cancer book. The book suggested by Augustus is The Price of Dawn. Guess what it's about? No, it's not about cancer and I'm not going to tell you.
Augustus was once a basketball player but eventually just couldn't do it anymore. He's always commenting on how handsome he is and occasionally how beautiful Hazel Grace is. I'm probably over exaggerating but I want you to be prepared. It's not at all condescending. It's funny like him. There is not one thing in here that will make you dislike either one of them and that is again part of the plot of trying to reel you in and then... take your kitten.
Augustus's parents talk about the lord and have a bunch of cutesy inspirational quotes around the house. There alright. They aren't ridiculously religious or anything well... they may be but it doesn't come off as annoying in the book. I really like both of their parents. How they can muster through this... I couldn't be that strong. So cheers to the parents that do have to go through this and also of course the kids or adults or anyone really. Cancer isn't picky.
"They don't kill you unless you light them," he said as Mom arrived at the curb. "And I've never lit one. It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do it's killing."