I read this book for my online book club. I enjoyed it for what it was (a young adult novel) but I knew what was going to happen halfway through, andI read this book for my online book club. I enjoyed it for what it was (a young adult novel) but I knew what was going to happen halfway through, and that irked me, but is something that is quite common when adults read YA novels since they are not as sophisticated in plot or writing style.
Possible Spoilers Below
I did appreciate the theme that sick people are still PEOPLE and do not just exist to provide perspective for healthy people, though the theme was, in classic YA style, a bit beat over the head. I think it's an important theme for all people to understand, and it doesn't just extend to people struggling with illness but also people with disabilities or any other way they might be different from you. All people are people, no matter their circumstances or the lot they're given in life.
I really liked Hazel's character. I thought her need to know what would happen to Anna's (in An Imperial Affliction) mom was a good metaphor for her desire to know if her own mother would be OK. Overall I really liked Hazel's relationships with her parents. It was still a "normal" teenager parent relationship even though he context of normalcy was different. Her parents wanted her to make friends and gave her curfews and valued her education, even though they know she probably won't live long enough or be strong enough to really put her education to use in the career world.
The teen romance was a bit much for me, but I understood it's importance to the story in that Hazel needed to experience her own kind of love. I really liked the grenade metaphor she used when speaking about her reasons for not wanting to get close to anyone. But, like all of us, she couldn't control her feelings for Augustus when they just arrived. And I absolutely loved the scene in the Anne Frank House. I did enjoy the discussion regarding Maslow's hierarchy of needs and I agree with Green's interpretation of it. I thought as a YA novelist, it was really brilliant of Green to incorporate some science learning into the novel! I learned about Maslow's hierarchy in my Adolescent Development graduate course but the way it was presented in this book made so much more sense to me and really showed me that your needs are not hierarchical in actuality. You can feel love and have a sense of self even if you don't feel secure in your health. I thought that was really fabulous of Green.
I found myself crying while reading this book, even though I knew what would happen to Gus, and Isaac, Hazel, her parents... all of them, if only because you really get to feel for the characters because they are written so beautifully. I did particularly enjoy the Q&A in the back of my copy between John Green and his readers. I enjoyed learning some of his reasoning, explanations, and insight to his novel....more
Sweet story, easy read. I loved all the garden talk. I didn't fine the religious talk to be too much (coming from a non religious person) just viewedSweet story, easy read. I loved all the garden talk. I didn't fine the religious talk to be too much (coming from a non religious person) just viewed it as part of the characters. Won't be reading the sequel though. ...more