Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
Hazel has a unique outlook on life. She wants to hurt as few people as possible when she comes to her inevitable end but her parents want her to get out and live. When she meets Augustus she begins to do just that. He too has his own philosophy on life too, he likes metaphors and he to start with isn’t quite as ill as Hazel. As the two become closer they try to for fill a dream to find out the end of what becomes both their favourite books and although Hazel wanted not to they fall in love. Of course it is also about dealing with a death they know is coming too soon and how in the end you can make your life worth something.
I think that this book is about life. About how we deal with what it gives us and what we really should be getting out of it. There are a lot of really good quotes throughout this book that make you think and question both how you feel and possibly how you think about seeing sick people. Although I think this is a really good book about life and dealing with illness and although I wouldn’t put it above similar stories such as ‘Before I Die by Jenny Downham’ it is of equal quality.