Summary: Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
This is the first book I’ve finished this year, and I have to say that it’s probably going to be the one to beat for me. It made me smile, it made me sad, and it was a refreshingly not-depressing book about a depressing subject. I’d give it a Yes, in all likelihood.
Just finished this book. Although I enjoyed it all in all, I felt like I was reading two different books. There was one book written in the first and last third. This book was pretty typical of teen literature and didn’t step out of the box. The writing was good, but there was nothing to differentiate it between droves of teen books out there with a main character with a bad circumstance. Then there was the middle third of the book that lasted from when you found out Gus’s ex used to look like Hazel (the “I am a grenade” scene) to when Gus gets very sick on the trip to Amsterdam. The middle third is genius. All the sudden it was like I was reading a different book. This book was clever, hopeful, wacky, and tightly written. The dialogue was touching and yet funny enough to win snorts. I loved the middle third of the book and if the whole book had been written like the middle third, this would be award winning for me. Alas, it was not. Maybe it’s just like Hannah Grace says, “There no glory in suffering.” But the ending seems rushed and just sad with little light. I thought it was a great effort though, and that I enjoyed having John Green write a female lead character.
I definitely enjoyed this book. I have to say what set it apart for me was the characterization. The dialogue and even thoughts of the characters are well written and refreshing. These are people with complex emotions even in simpler (and supposedly unchangeable) circumstances. I found both characters incredibly interesting, and yet, they were still very believable and real to me. There is foreshadowing but it’s not as obvious and can be even less obvious because the reader hopes against it. I did feel the change in the ending of the book and was somewhat disappointed by it. However, I thought it was a good representation of the let downs in life itself. Overall, I found it to be an absorbing read and rather memorable. I believe it was written well enough and remains unique enough to win the Printz.
This is one of those books where you start out reading it and you’re like, “well I’m not sure if I’m going to like this very much,” to when you get into the thick of it you’re like “wow this is awesome and definitely different.” He always does a really good job at creating a world that is real; a world that you can easily imagine yourself in. I think this was definitely a book that takes you on a roller coaster, way more than any of the other books I’ve read in the past. It’s not only the plot line that takes you on the ride, but the characters are sitting on the ride with you, instead of being on the ground watching. It’s just a fantastic read, and one of my favorite books of all time.