This would have to be one of my top reads of 2012. A truly amazing book which takes you into the heart of the Cancer Journey of Augustus, Hazel Grace and Isaac who link up, connect through a Cancer Support Group and in the case of Augustus and Hazel Grace fall in love, a love that has depths that will move you as the reader.Never letting the fraility of their conditions over ride their desire to live and experience life, the subject that pulls the greatest blast in their lives is handled with a rare sensitivity and yet it is never more than real. The characters are defined and given perspectives that will resonate with the reader, you will emphasise, understand, laugh, cry and stare in amazement at the journey these brave and courageous youngsters take, they and their parents, who are written so realistically and honestly could never be said to have it easy and yet there is no maudlin cliches, despair and realisation that the battle won`t be won is a truth of this book and yet it never frightens, it never allows itself to be swamped in self pity unless one of the characters feels like it and even then it is real and understandable. To say this book moved me is to understate, it took me to a level of awareness that I simply didn`t have. I loved the black humour, I loved the frustration, I loved that the book acknowledged that Medical Science with the best of intentions can only do so much, I loved that the book teaches so powerfully that Life in whatever form you have it, is so much more precious than the alternative and that by choosing to live, you do live until you die, which is inevitable.
Written for the YA market, the book has taken of in the adult market and is selling like hot cakes, once you pick it up you wont want to put it down. It engages, it leads, it is compassionate, painful, humorous, wise and loving all wrapped up in a wonderful satisfying package and it isn`t as scary a topic as you would imagine, if I hadn`t been encouraged to read it, I probably wouldn`t have as I would have been to squeamish.. and I would have missed one of the best reading experiences of my life.
Published by Penguin Books, it is readily available in paperback at $26.00.