Review by : Darshana Shah
Despite the tumour-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.
I wanted to see what all the hype was about and of course was looking for a good read when I decided to pick this one. And like most of those extremely popular books, it did not live up to the hype created around it although it did not completely disappoint. When you read a book that starts with cancer, you know that it is going to end with death, especially when even the synopsis mentions it. So this one time, you do have a chance to prepare yourself for a character’s death and not have your heart completely ripped off. As soon as you think that, the author laughs saying, “The joke’s on you mate!”
John Green has done a really good job of depicting the world through the lens of the people who go through this ordeal – the idea of mortality being so fragile, and love between humans even more. Their perspective on life, and death and the futility of hollow human reassurances and their patronizing nature is well highlighted. I loved how the author brought to the fore that fact that the dead receive more kindness than the living. Death is personified. No it doesn’t speak to you and yet speaks to you in a way that will often leave you crying. So what they said out there about the book making you cry, it’s true folks!
And of course, how could I not fall in love with Augustus Waters with his brilliant blue eyes and a goofy smile! Their romance is like poetry, some parts so subtle and yet those unsaid lines touch you the most. But at the same time, I believe that the element of feeling could have been stronger and the bond deeper to make the impact that I expected from the reactions the book got. I felt that the book sometimes missed that completely and so I did not tear up or grieve during those parts that I should have. Also because the book is based on a disease most of us don’t have, it becomes a little difficult to be able to relate to everything it talks about.
Just like Green’s Looking For Alaska, I didn’t find this to be a great read and could hardly relate. Moreover, I found these books of his a little depressing because they often have integral characters who have given up or feel that they have too much pain in their lives. And I think I can see why a lot of people like this book. For one, there’s a sense of enigma and ambiguity, his books end that way. And two, tragic teenage romance. And in case you don’t know it yet, tragedy seems to be the new cool.
And on that note, I cannot wait to watch Dil Bechara, a Bollywood movie adaptation of this book. Perhaps this is the ode we can give to the characters, the author, and most of all, Sushant Singh Rajput.
Follow the reviewer Darshana Shah on IG : @darshu_08