This is another 'why you should go off piste and read different genres' post.
A friend of mine, H, who isn't known for emotional outbursts, said she had to put the book aside to catch her breath because she was crying so much while reading it. I love a good cry, I'm a bit of a tart like that, so I immediately bought the book.
So easy to read yet you don't know it’s a young adult book. It is told from Hazel’s point of view; although the subject matter is very tough, the writing is breathtakingly simple and I found myself re-reading phrases like the one below. You’re not beaten over the head with the subject matter all the time, Hazel’s voice manages to normalise it, which feels so right, as she has lived with the knowledge of her impending death for as long as she can remember.
The way it describes how they fell in love is beautiful, ‘I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.’
Hazel and Gus bond over swapping favourite books, always a great thing to do with friends I’ve found. Hazel reads Gus’s action book, and Gus reads Hazel’s favourite book – An Imperial Affliction – literary fiction which is so clever it just ends mid... They meet the author and ask him how the book actually ends, and the way he treats the children is a lesson in how writers should not treat their readers.
It captures perfectly what it’s like to watch someone you love, gradually dying in front of you. The Last Good Day – which you don’t realise until the day has passed. It was this section which made me cry.
And when I say cry, I mean, just like my friend, so much I had to put the book to one side, wipe my face, and pause to regain breathe. Yes, it was really, that sad.
It was also beautiful, let’s not forget that.
Have you read any of John Green’s books? Which books have made you cry recently? I’d love to hear your recommendations.
Until next time