I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
I was slightly nervous about "reading" this book (I took the audiobook option, so really it was read to me.) Although I've seen rave reviews, I've also seen reviews from readers who absolutely hated this book. Teenagers dying of cancer--I suppose it is inevitable that any author taking on a story focusing on such characters is taking on the risk of hitting a nerve (or multiple nerves) in readers. I recall reading a review expressing that the topic just hit too close to home. Thankfully, I am not in that position, and my heart goes out to those who are. If you have real-life experience with a loved one fighting a terminal illness, it might be advisable to skip this book--or at least browse reviews from both ends of the rating scale to get a sense of how it might strike you.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is sixteen years old, and for the past three years, she has been living with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. An experimental medication has allowed her to live on borrowed time since then, but she is always aware that her loan period on that time could expire at any moment. In support group, she meets Augustus Waters, who has lost a leg to cancer but has been "NEC" (no evidence of cancer) ever since. Although they quickly develop a bond, Hazel tries to resist allowing a romance to develop because she sees herself as a grenade. And she is painfully aware that he has already lost a girlfriend who died of a brain tumor.
Hazel and Augustus end up embarking on an adventure that, I felt, proved an old axiom that I will hid behind spoiler tags. (Note: spoiler tags below the break have been fixed.)
So, their adventure does not go quite as they imagined or hoped, but it seals their bond. Ultimately, more spoilers happen.
Despite the subject matter, John Green effectively weaves humor throughout Hazel's irreverent narrative. As others have noted, the teenage characters in this novel do have Dawson's Creek syndrome, in that they sound as though they have had a dictionary and encyclopedia uploaded directly into their brains. In some cases, that was a bit eyeroll-worthy, but it beats the alternative of having your teenage characters sound like airheads (Clique series, I'm looking at you). I do recommend this book, especially to those who have already enjoyed other works by John Green. I will definitely seek out more by the same author. (I have already enjoyed Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines.)