Well, I can’t believe it took me this long to finally read a John Green book; now I feel like I need to make up for lost time and read several more. When I finished this book, I felt like a teenager, discovering my first John Irving book, and then wanting to read everything else he had written.
This is not an easy book. If you have been close to someone suffering from cancer (and who hasn’t, really?), some of this will hit very close to home. But what I loved most was the irreverence – these kids say what most of us only think, but they say it with intelligence, and humor. There are no taboo topics with them; they openly discuss their “cancer perks” and use expressions like “cancertastic”, which I just want to use anywhere, inappropriately. Despite the considerable sadness in this book, I laughed out loud at the dialogue. In the end, I think it was about fifty-fifty for the laugh-cry ratio. Of course, I kind of figured out what was going to happen in the end, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, but I was bawling anyway. As a parent who thinks she’s still a teenager, this book is one of those rare experiences that hits you from all sides. I never once felt too old to be reading the book, and, although I often read it from a parent’s perspective, I thought the young adults were beautifully written sympathetic characters.