Completion Date: February 5, 2012
Reason for Reading: Author auto-buy/read.
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.Once upon a time I didn't read young adult novels. I didn't like them when I was a young adult, so I planned to avoid them when I was an adult. Then, I started blogging. I was amazed by how far young adult books had come and slowly started working a few here and there back into my reading line-up. It was slow at the start and mostly consisted of books I received for review. I remember the book that started it all was A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Then, in 2009 I rejoined the local library and started exploring some of the young adult authors I had been hearing so much about. That year was a bit year for new finds including John Green. And, it all started with Dewey.
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. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
You see, Dewey was a book blogger that unexpectedly passed away a few years ago. In 2009 Chris hosted a challenge in her memory and the aim was to read books that she had read and recommended. One such book was Looking for Alaska by John Green. (If you click the link you will be taken to a letter I wrote to Dewey after reading this book). Now it is 3 years later and I have read everything that John Green released. I wound up reading An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns in 2009 and also writing letters for Dewey. It was sort of my 'thing' that year. I would have kept it up but her blog no longer exists... The whole point is that Dewey and John Green are connected in my mind. When I heard that he had a new book coming out I knew that not only would it probably be another wonderful read, but I would also have the chance to connect with an old blogging friend. It's sad that the person that lead me to John Green in the first place wasn't around for me to be able to discuss the book with when I finished.
Anyway, since a lot of bloggers have no idea who Dewey even was outside of maybe the Read-a-thon, I should probably move on to the actual book. I finished it yesterday and let's just say it was my first 5 star review of the year. I had started it the night before, but only read 50 pages. Yesterday I planned to sit down with it for a bit and then move on to something else. That did not happen at all. I pretty much read the book in one sitting. I only stepped away from it for a moment because folks, the book made me cry a bit. I am not much for crying during books and movies, but I got so caught up in the story and the characters that I felt a lot more emotion than I normally do. (I was a bit glad that other than the cat I had the house to myself at the time...) I really thought I had my favourite John Green and nothing would replace it, but this book was amazingly well done. I don't even really enjoy contemporary novels, but this one will likely make my best of list for 2012. I don't care if it really is too early to say.
I chose to ramble about other things because this book is really making the blogging rounds; so you probably have heard a few times what the book is about. And, if you haven't you can visit blogs such as things mean a lot, Stuff as Dreams are Made on... and still with nothing of importance who chose different ways to express their thoughts on this book and maybe even mentioned the plot...
And, I can't join in on what colour my signature is because my book is not signed... I pre-ordered it and then had to email the book store looking for my copy. They were nice and sent it, but I guess by then all the signed copies were gone. I was a bit disappointed, but I'll live.