This book came into my life at exactly the right moment. I had heard nothing but good things about it, seen a million pictures of it on the writing communities on tumblr, and yet I still resisted reading it because I was afraid it wasn’t going to live up to the hype. It didn’t, not exactly the way I was expecting it to. After a while, I finally caved and put a copy on hold at the library. They called me on a Saturday evening and told me they would hold it until Tuesday. Since my other books were due back that Tuesday, I decided to wait and pick it up on Tuesday. I began to read it right away because the library does not allow renewals on books that have been placed on hold by other users. That night, a very dear friend of mine passed away from cancer.
This book was exactly what I needed. The way Green handles matters of life and death helped me with what would have otherwise been a very difficult time. Sure, the teenagers seem to have the personalities of full-grown adults, but I’ve actually seen that happen first-hand. I know a girl who swears that she was born with a thirty-year old soul already inside her body.
The thing is, I think I liked this book for different reasons than everyone else did. Everybody was talking about their feelings, and how this book ripped their heart out of their chest and stomped on it. That didn’t happen for me. I understand there was a very strict no-spoiler policy in place for this book, and I can understand why. Knowing the spoiler for this book will definitely lower the emotional impact. The trouble is, when everyone is running around screaming about their feels and how they were trampled, certain readers will be able to pick up on that plot twist five pages into the book. Which is not a whole lot of fun. I don’t blame you guys for spoiling it for me, because, even if you take away the emotional aspect, there is so much good to love about this book. In fact, without the emotional appeal, it might actually become a little clearer.
I have to admit, my favorite parts of the novel were actually those dealing with Peter Van Houten. Because Hazel idolized him without knowing anything about him just because he wrote this amazing book. Then they finally get to meet him, and it turns out he’s human after all, because he’s a bit rude to them and has a bit of a drinking problem. Yet Hazel was so wrapped up in her idolization of him that she didn’t realize that he wrote his masterpiece from his own place of pain, so every time she did something in regards to his book, all she did was remind him of that place. Could he have controlled his reactions better? Perhaps, but the point is, the entire exchange is so realistic and so human that it becomes absolutely beautiful.
As of the time I am writing this, there are over 34,000 reviews for this book on goodreads. I know mine does not seem like much in comparison, but if you are debating whether or not to read this book, I recommend waiting for the right time. Because this is one of those books that will find you when you need it the most.