By John Green
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
Terminal cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster is forced to attend support group by her parents where she meets Augustus Waters, an amputee. TFIOS is the story of their first, last and only love.
TFIOS isn’t my usual read, I’m more of a fantasy reader, but you cannot deny the epicness of John Green’s book. Tissues are advised Public reading isn’t advised.
John Green really is a master of words, his approach to a sensitive and deeply upsetting subject, cancer, something everyone will most likely encounter at some point in their lives, is impressively done. The subject of cancer can be off-putting to readers if you want to read something happy, but Green manages to weave it in a way that has you laughing in stitches one page and in floods of tears the next. And then coming back for more.
Green captures the teenage spirit extremely well, Hazel, even with her cancer, is still a young teenage girl and therefore relatable, she likes bad TV, bed and loves reading.
Her wish is to meet the author of her favourite book. Isnt that every fangirls dream these days? Hazel is strong and confident, she doesn’t mind calling Augustus out for things; she’s insulted and angry when she suspects him of smoking, something that could acquire him more cancer. Her narration is so typically teenagerish and the happy banter and teasing she has with Gus and Isaac over each other and current films and video games makes you laugh as you’re reminded of your friendly antics with your friends.
Augustus is probably the memorable character of TFIOS, his charm and honesty immediately strikes you. He is handsome and he knows it. This is where Green writes so well as vanity can easily be seen as off-putting making the reader dislike Gus, but instead it’s the opposite, combine it with Gus’s other characteristics and you’re swooning with the book in your hands.
When selecting a book about a cancer patient, you automatically think you know the ending and then when the young teens fall in love you hope for a miracle cure for Hazel allowing them to live together happily, but TFIOS adds its own surprises and twists which leave you shocked and openly crying.
The love story in TFIOS isn’t rushed in anyway despite the characters knowing they only have a limited time to spend their time together; it grows and matures very realistically, when they fall in love they know the rest of the world still turns, their love isn’t time stopping or world bending and it doesn’t immediately become more important than family. They’re making as much of an infinity for themselves as they can.
*Spoiler* Personally, the only thing I was disappointed with TFIOS was that in Hazel’s favourite book (also about a cancer patient) the protagonist dies or gets to ill to continue narrating the book so the book stops midsentence, so I suspected TFIOS might end that way to in an ironic happy but also sad ending. I thought it would’ve given more closure for Hazel rather than leaving you with the burning question of when does her cancer catch up with her? When does she get reunited with Augustus?