Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book #8

I decided to take a tiny little peek at this book this morning and now I'm pretty sure I'm going to be late for work.

John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, would prefer I not spoil too much of this book. So instead I'll stick the script:

"Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, 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.

Did you ever read books by Lurlene McDaniel? I did. In fact, just the other day when I was digging around in my boxes of old books I found an entire stack of them. In case you aren't familiar, Lurlene McDaniel wrote Cancer Books. Capitalized for emphasis. Sappy sob stories of teenage love surrounding some horrific deathly disease. They were awful.

So initially when I heard the premise of The Fault in Our Stars I thought of Lurlene McDaniels and I just wasn't really sure I wanted to go there. But you guys, let me tell you right now. This book is not a Cancer Book. It's a book about cancer, yes. It's also an amazing novel full of witty dialog about a couple of kids who fall in love. It's funny, heart-warming, heart-breaking, thought provoking, and wonderful. And it's very much the kind of book that mocks the entire genre of Cancer Books.

It was also, easily, the best book I've read in a while. It doesn't hurt that Augustus Waters is one of the most swoonworthy male characters I've ever encountered. Or that John Green is such a wonderful writer whose fast paced dialog made me swoon all on its on.

“May I see you again?" he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.

I smiled. "Sure."

"Tomorrow?" he asked.

"Patience, grasshopper," I counseled. "You don't want to seem overeager.

"Right, that's why I said tomorrow," he said. "I want to see you again tonight. But I'm willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow." I rolled my eyes. "I'm serious," he said.

"You don't even know me," I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. "How about I call you when I finish this?"

"But you don't even have my phone number," he said.

"I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book."

He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other.”

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