Having seen trailers for the film adaptation of this book, I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, but the best authors have a way of ripping the foundations from under your feet. And I am currently residing in the same place that my heart sunk, the second floor basement, a place reserved only for books such as this.
I don’t think it’s spoiling it for you to tell you that you’re going to need a box of tissues handy when you read this book, although I don’t want to reveal too much so that you can experience the same jolt of tragedy that I did.
I’ve actually had this book since last year, I’d packed it to take on holiday but never got round to it, and then completely forgot about it until I packed my suitcase for this holiday and found the book still in there. And I’m so glad that I read the book before the film comes out shortly. I have to say that if you’re considering seeing the film, you absolutely must read the book first.
I found the characters of Hazel and Augustus were beautifully laid out on the page. I’m sure pretty much everyone has had an experience of cancer (family members, friends etc.), but I for one have not had any personal experience of childhood/teenage cancer. Even so, I still felt like I was along on the journey with them, not just standing on the outskirts looking in.
Reading some reviews on Goodreads, a lot of people seem to be complaining that the characters act much older than they are and make long speeches which don’t sound ‘teenage-like’. Well these are not normal teenagers, they’re amazing teenagers who have gone through so much but are still strong willed and hoping to carve out some kind of life for themselves in the time that they have left.
I don’t really have any more I can say, I’m still recovering from a serious case of book-induced heartbreak. All I can say is, read this book. Seriously, you won’t regret it. Just be prepared to fall in love with an amazing book. I’ll leave you with my two favourite quotes:
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once.”
“It occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.”