Please be advised that these opinions are my own. I am aware that this book has a huge fan base, and I believe it is deserved. However I will still address my thoughts both good and bad here. -Thank You.
Now to the book. I was very impressed with several things about this book, and enjoyed reading it very much. My overall thought is that it was a very good read, but I found it to be too short. There are many reasons why I came to this conclusion. One- I was very drawn in by the relationship between Hazel and Augustus. I think Hazel put it best by saying she fell in love like falling asleep, “slowly and then all at once.” And while that is clearly how she experienced it I don’t think I felt like I saw it happen. I didn’t get to ride that train with her. There was a point at which she was adamant that she would not hurt him by letting him love her, and then through certain events that all changed. It was believable and I followed the story through, but I didn’t see it develop. This is one place where I thought it could have been longer or gone into more detail. It didn’t seem sudden, but I felt left out as the reader. Two- I was confused on a few occasions by the adults in this novel. It is obvious that Augustus’ parents are not happy about him stopping treatment to go to Amsterdam, but after that they are suddenly ok with everything he does. Now I can reason out that he is dying and they are doing their best to make the end of his life as happy as possible, but I don’t think I saw enough of that in the book. Here is another place where I feel it could have been longer. Three- The end, obviously. The end follows suit with An Imperial A by not giving us all the answers at the end. Although I want to know how Hazel lives out the rest of her life I can guess, and that is the point really. So I guess I’ll let that go.
Now that I have frustrated hardcore fans and they have moved on let’s go over what I loved about this novel. There were times I cried, yes, but there were times I actually laughed. I find that the way the characters view death and its side effects to be very genuine and insightful. Twice I was very pleased to see some of my favorite writing referenced. If have never read Waiting for Godot or The Red Wheelbarrow you should. They are my favorite play and poem, respectively. On the whole I rather enjoyed the novel, but I kind of wish I could have read it earlier before all the hype.
All things considered I’d have to give this a 4 out 5.