Oh, this book. I’ve had it since January, when I drove out to the beach to retrieve my J-scribbled pre-order, but I put off the actual reading part forever because a) once I read it it was going to have been read, and b) I needed to find a time to read it in which I would be willing to cry all the tears.
Spoiler: I cried all the tears.
Scott asked me what this book is about, and I was like, um, cancer? Kids with cancer? Kids dying of cancer and omg it’s so depressing and can you get me some tissues? It’s a hard book to summarize, because, well, there are kids with cancer in it and the cancer part sort of drives the story but it’s not really about kids with cancer so much as it is about kids who are trying to figure out life and failing as all humans do. There’s a lot about cancer and dying and how everything, including life, is just a side effect of dying, which, depressing, but there’s also friendship, waning friendship, young love, appreciation of literature and a whimsical journey to Amsterdam (where I will be in a month woo!).
And goodness, I loved the whole thing. There were a few things that were sort of obviously going to happen from the start, but the path to those things happening was not at all predictable and I was completely moved and engrossed. The characters, as John Green’s characters are wont to be, are fantastic and totally real, and totally how I remember existing as a teenager — overly self-aware and almost embarrassingly (to current me) pretentious. The story is real, too, even in the midst of the whimsical journey — the circumstances surrounding that journey require a bit of suspension of disbelief, but the interactions that occur make sense and it is nice to have a bit of a humorous reprieve from the cancer, which I think is the point.
I want to say so many more things about this book, but I don’t want to spoil it for you — not because there are any crucial twists or plot points that would be ruined if I told you about them, but because I spent every minute away from this book wanting to grab it and find out what happened next. If I had been anticipating this thing or that thing happening, I think I would have missed out on a lot of what happens in between. (If you’ve already read the book, let’s go have a party in the comments!)
Recommendation: For lovers of John Green and literature, and owners of many tissues.