Synopsis (from Amazon.com): Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Age: 13 or 14
Inappropriate content: There is a lot of kissing and making out, especially later into the book. A couple has sex, but it is brief and not described (the entire scene is about three paragraphs long).
What I thought (positive elements): Okay, this is in my list of top five favorite books. I bought it yesterday at three o’clock and started reading it at about 10:30. At 1:39 AM, I had a tear-stained and completed book. I have never cried harder over a fictional character. But to be honest, the characters didn’t feel fictitious. It was an amazing representation (thought not entirely accurate, I’m sure) of life with a terminal disease. Hazel and Augustus’s clear acceptance of the fact that they could die any day was dark and gloomy and angsty, but it was also almost inspiring, in a strange, twisted way. I loved the characters and their development. Gus’s endearing insistence on seeing metaphors in everything made me love the book all the more and Hazel’s witty observations about life made me laugh.
What I thought (negative elements): Gus and Hazel drink champagne, even though they are both underage. I’ve heard several people say that it’s excusable since they don’t know if they will reach twenty-one, but I don’t necessarily agree. I do think there are much worse things than underage drinking, especially as neither of them became even slightly intoxicated. My only real complaint about the book was the amount of swearing, and even that wasn’t awful. It felt natural in the book, given their age and situation. In a lot of books, the swearing feels forced, but this flowed with the story.