My rating: 5 of 5 stars
To be honest, I like to steer clear of cancer books. I know cancer is a deadly disease and all that, but let’s just face it; I can do nothing to help in the field, and being selfish and keeping myself away from the associated depression seems like the best option for now.
But I decided to read this book anyway since it was recommended to me rather earnestly, and one should never turn down earnestness! Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Mainly because it is as much a cancer book as the earth is a cube. It’s just that the characters in the book have cancer.
A few pages into the book, I was really getting annoyed by the author’s self-advertisement of vocabulary. It was as if he was screaming “Look at me! I know more words than you, you loser!” I’m not saying that using rare words is bad, but using rare words where common alternatives are probably available, is simply show off. Then I thought that he might actually be unaware of the lowness of our comprehensive abilities, and decided to let it go.
But John Green is certainly aware that pretty busty ladies won’t get the adequate attention (most people who read such novels these days aren’t driven through life by hormones). Hazel Grace, the protagonist and narrator, was made probably to attract readers like myself. Hazel, and girls like her are really and annoyingly appealing, in the sense that she is downright rude, self-satisfied, arrogant, and states stuff in a very matter-of-fact way. She is a person who will bullshit your thoughts if they’re different from her’s and will act like that’s the most natural thing to do. Of course, all these things aren’t even indirectly implied in the book (the book doesn’t need to explore those sides), but I know, since I know real girls like her. The typical intellectual teenager for you.
Then there’s Augustus. A handsome amputee. Who also likes making jokes. He says he can’t write, but proves himself wrong in the same passage. You won’t find a speck of a flaw in him. In other words, a perfect match for Hazel.
I wasn’t impressed much by the characterization. Every character seemed to have a John Green brain, and was similar to all the others on some level.
Enough criticizing. Now for the strong points. The book gives you thoughts, or rather extracts out thoughts that have been hiding at the back of your head. You will find an inevitable connection with each idea. Also, the writing is pretty awesome. That’s the whole point of being an author, isn’t it?
People will tell you that this is a book which make you cry gallons of tears. Maybe it will. But it wasn’t even remotely sad for me. There are books which transcend such emotions and only leave you grateful at having read them.
And that is the highest compliment I can give to this book with my limited literary capabilities.