For the past year, I have been told that I needed to read this book. I knew I needed to. As I sat at NCTE last year and listened to John Green talking, I knew that I should read this book because of his style and his humor. To be honest, I don't know that I could have read this book if anyone else had written it. From the outset, you know that the story is about a teenager named Hazel who has cancer. That, alone, would usually be enough to deter me from reading this book.
However, I loved it. John Green has a way of walking this fine line between seriousness and humor that makes this book not just readable but lovable. This might possibly be the best book I have read in a good, long while. I often laughed and my chest often hurt because of how real this story is. These characters could live next door or walk down the hall next to you. John Green doesn't treat them like fragile cancer patients but like real kids. I think that is possibly why this story works so well.
Unfortunately, the story does end in a similar way to what I anticipated. As I read the book, I laughed and cried and sometimes got a little angry at the characters. It is touching in a way many stories fail to be nowadays. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book that, at its essence, is just a flat out good read.