It’s hard to believe that this book [which opens with a terminally ill teenager who is about to attend a cancer support group meeting] could possibly be funny, but it really was. Many parts of it, anyway. It doesn’t matter that Hazel’s cancel spread from her thyroid to her lungs and that she now requires an oxygen tank to breathe — she is still a sarcastic and snarky teen girl. And regardless of the fact that his leg had to be amputated because of osteosarcoma [bone cancer], Gus is a positive-thinking and energetic guy. Some parts of the story were more philosophical, and some parts were devastatingly heartbreaking, but there was enough humor to keep things from getting too depressing.
What I appreciated most about this novel was the presence of a true love story. Lots of times, novels will contain only the fairy tale version of love — one person rescues another person from a miserable life and they both live happily ever after. I don’t exactly think it’s much of a spoiler to say that “happily ever after” was never really considered an option for Hazel and Gus. Needless to say, though, readers will not soon forget this story and will almost surely walk away with a new appreciation for the miracles of life and love.