This is a book you would not consider reading if you just read the cover or looked on the book shelves. It is categorised as ‘Young Adult’ fiction and to be fair it is about two teenage cancer sufferers.
Despite the title coming from a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, this book is written in American English and uses a lot of teenage slang, but this is exactly how the two lovers would talk and is easy to follow. It makes their relationship all the more convincing and therefore, heartbreaking.
Expect to cry and laugh and to devour their story and be glad that you ignored the hype and read it. I have passed this book on to friends and family of all ages
The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.
It is not sentimental or maudlin, despite the subject matter; it is strong powerful, positive, sometimes unsatisfactory but totally enthralling and a strong reminder of how precious life is.
Forget the hype; don’t worry about watching the film just be glad that you have had the chance to share the world of the teenage cancer victim.
The Author John Green spent time working as a chaplain in a children’s hospital and this caring but pragmatic approach to cancer makes the experience of reading the book a positive event.
by Theresa Fisher
The book is published by Puffin for Penguin books in paperback in January 2013
Featured image courtesy of Andrzej 22 at Wikimedia.org