I'm an admitted hypochondriac, it goes against my very logical nature but these things happen. So if a book is about a disease or cancer I tend to stay away for fear of there being some sort of "symptom" that I will suddenly think I have. Like I said, not logical. I blame my mother, there were far too many nursing/"how you can die from everything" books around the house growing up. I know too much and knowledge is a bitch.
So, I was hesitant to read The Fault in Our Stars due to the main character having cancer. But I decided to pick it up at the store and read a few pages and I was immediately hooked. And now I am so very glad I gave the book a try, it quickly became one of my favorites!
The book may be about characters with cancer, but they are not defined by it, they are "simply" stricken with it. And oh, the characters are so wonderful! I absolutely adored Hazel and Augustus, even the supporting cast (such as Hazel's parents) were great. Hazel and Augustus were certainly not the typical teenagers, their speech and general temperaments were certainly atypical. This may ruin the book for some readers but for me it felt like a refreshing way of depicting individuals, young or old.
There are so very many amazing and memorable quotes throughout the book. I won't share any here because I feel they are better left in their proper context in the book. Many of the quotes and general sentiments throughout the book really spoke to me. I'll admit it, I teared up a couple times. The pre-funeral eulogy was especially touching (but I won't say who had the "pre-funeral"!).
There was only one part I disliked and that involved Peter Von Houton, the author of the characters' favorite book. I disliked the meeting with Von Houton in Amsterdam, I felt it was somewhat overwritten. I understand it drove some of the plot so I accept its part in the book, I just disagree with the actual content a bit. I also felt that Green pulled a bit of "An Imperial Affliction" ending himself, although in this context I think Hazel is still actually living due to her switching to the present tense with "I do" at the end rather than the past tense used in the rest of the book.
Overall this is a book with elevated writing, a book that is touching, deep, sad, humorous and simply impactful. This is definitely a book I will gladly have on my shelves.