Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.
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 tumors 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.
GENRE: Young Adult
MY RATING: ★★★★★
I can’t find the right words to express my feelings after I read this book! Mixed emotions, yes, but most of it was sadness. I don’t want to pity the characters just because they have cancer or they live in borrowed time. I pity them because as what Hazel said, “He (Augustus Waters) died after a lengthy battle with human consciousness, a victim - as you will be - of the universe’s need to make and unmake all that is possible.” I pity all of us because after what we’ve been through, after all the hurdles we surpassed in this earth, in the end we will all die and the worms will eat us with no exception even if you happened to be the greatest person who ever walked on earth.
Death is one of the topics I dreaded to discuss with anyone (especially with my family). To be honest, I don’t fear the idea of dying. What I fear is the idea that my love ones will die. I don’t want to live in this world without Mom or Dad or Nanay or my siblings. I don’t want to live without my best friend. I don’t want to be alone. I fear being alone (which is actually ironic because I love doing things alone). It kills me to think that someday, I’ll have to wake up realizing that I am alone.
This is not the first death-related book I have read. I also read Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. It was one of the best books I have read so far. And now, I can say that this book is a newest addition to the list of my favorite books.
I don’t want to think that dying is horrible. I don’t want to pity the dead. After all, the dead person’s problem is over. He won’t feel the pain anymore. It’s the family who will have to deal with grieving and moving on. His relatives have to live with the person’s memory and try to live a life without their deceased loved one.
I love the two main characters, Hazel and Augustus. Even though they are just teenagers, they are very articulate and they think like adults. :)