by John Green
Watched this review on youtube!
When cannot be said about this book? It is probably the best book I’ve read in memory with the possible exception of his Dark Materials or the Hobbit. However these books are so different in content and genera that they are almost impossible to compare.
John Green took me on an adventure with this novel. I laughed. I smiled. I fell in love. And then I cried like nobody’s business for two hours solid. And even as I bawled, I kept reading. I kept following Hazel on this crazy roller coaster. And it doesn’t just go up. It goes up and down like a sine wave, so that even when tears are running down my face I’m still laughing.
The foreshadowing is done most excellently.
The use of Hazel as the sole narrator lends itself to the story so wonderfully well, and John Green kept me and Hazel going in a world that was so real and yet so unpredictable. This aspect of not knowing what’s already going to happen was splendid. John Green makes his characters work for everything, and even when they give all they have, sometimes it’s not good enough and they still don’t succeed in everything they want.
The two main characters, Hazel and Augustus, are both very strong.. Hazel has an excellent voice as the narrator. The narration is excellent, and so is her dialogue, her quirks, and the way she thinks about things. Augustus is foiled against Hazel, not in the typical way where they’re constantly bickering (see Ron and Hermione), but in a way where their disagreements on things are on a molecular level. But despite these fundamental differences they still respect, discuss, and bring out the best in one another.
The relationships in this story are all as solid as the characters and feel very real. Hazel and Augustus, Augustus and Issac, Issac and Hazel, Issac and Monica, the parents, Patrick’s relationship to all the kids. I think what’s most interesting about them, is very few of these relationships are the same at the END of the novel as they were at the beginning. Hazel’s relationship with everyone changes over the course of the story. There is unexpected wisdom from foolish characters that change perspectives, and there is the opposite. Most of the characters aren’t playing a fool, but through the course of life, become friends or fade away. There is an astounding amount of truth in these characters and in their relationships, and in the story itself.
Plot. Characters. Story. Voice. Setting. Symbols. Metaphor. This book has it all.
Maybe because it was my first time reading it through, and a lot of the times the page was blurred, and I could hardly read, or maybe because this book really is just perfect in my eyes there is nothing I’d change in any of these. It all fits together like a puzzle. There was no fat that needed to be trimmed away, nor was the novel over cooked and dry.
When I reviewed Perfect I said something along the lines of since I enjoyed this book so much it made sense that I recommend everyone to read it, but that that also just didn’t make sense. But, for this novel, I think it does. This is a book that everyone should read. It’s that good. That said I am going to set a recommendation. I do not recommend this book to peoples under thirteen. There is some sexual content, although nothing too out there. But it deals with very mature topics. Some Happy: Love. Family. Friendship. Relationships. Some not. Illness. Dying. Death. Break Ups. Disability.
But the combination of these happy and not happy topics is what spun such a brilliant story, so happy reading.
My One Complaint and How to Fix it:
The sticker. The sticker informing me my book was a signed copy. Stickers on books are the bane of my existence, and this one had the most hideous glue and REFUSED to come off. After a few minutes of searching with my long time childhood friend Google however, I found the answer. Make up remover. Apparently alcohol wipes work too, but make up remover is what I used. And just because I’m not certain all of them are the same, for the record it was Clean and Clear with Salicylic Acid as the active ingredient.