A love story of two kids fighting cancer? and it is a New York Times bestseller #1? Since when have the audience become so fond of cliche?
Thats the reason why it took me almost two years to finally decide to get a kindle sample of this book. I have to admit that the very sentence that had me hooked and want to read the rest of the book was, "Look, let me just say it: He was hot. A nonhot boy stares at you relentlessly and it is, at best, awkward and, at worst, a form of assault. But a hot boy...well." Very cute. Good job John Green.
You know there are a bunch of people out there who would never choose to read a story with a sad ending. I am one of them. I don't like spoilers but if I happen to know that the main character(s) died in the end of a book, my curiosity stops right there. But this book, this book are full of funny lines. honest lines. and poetry? a big plus. All these have well prepared you for getting to the ending that they died. It is a cushion effect.
I love it when Hazel and Gus make jokes of their cancers and of themselves and Isaac's blindness. This one is my favorite: "He's not that smart" (Hazel to Gus's sister) "She's right. It's just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations." (Gus to his sister) "Right, it's primarily his hotness" (Hazel) "It can be sort of blinding" (Gus) "It actually did blind our friend Isaac" (Hazel) ....lol
I love it when I get sort of lost in quotations after quotations and then I finally get to the conversations between Hazel and Gus (those intellectual ones) or Hazel's thoughts (intellectual again). You have cancer but you are not the cancer itself. Cancer is not you.
To be honest, I don't really get the whole persistence thing that Hazel has towards knowing what happens to Anna's mom and other characters in Perter Van Houten's book AIA. Maybe the book really means a lot a lot to her.
Yet, the Amsterdam three-day trip is a great episode of the book, with Anne Frank House as the peak. I wonder how they filmed it for the movie that is coming out this June. Would the tourists crowd actually get annoyed or would they applaud for the scene?
I found it hard to believe at the beginning that these kids with cancer spent so much time on video games and shopping?! and chocolate chip cookies? Then I realized, like the normal people in Hazel's world, I have the expectation that kids with cancer would make the best of every second of their life. They would read great books, do great work, etc. They would never go to shopping malls, let alone video games?! But I was wrong. The best way to live while having cancer, it seems, is to live your normal life. The only difference, are two things. One is that you spend a lot of effort everyday to cope with the cancer. The other is, you become honest to yourself at least. Like Gus staring at Hazel relentlessly.
The most touching part to me, is what Hazel's dad said to Hazel after Gus died. "It's total bullshit," he (Hazel's dad) said. "The whole thing. Eighty percent survival rate and he's in the twenty percent? Bullshit. He was such a bright kid. It's bullshit. I hate it. But it was sure a privilege to love him, huh?" I (Hazel) nodded into his shirt. "Gives you an idea how I feel about you," he said. My old man. He always knew just what to say. I cried really hard here. Hazel may not have the chance to be a parent to really understand the love that her parents have for her. But fortunately she can have the perception from feeling the anger and grief she is having at that time for Gus's death.