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I borrowed this book from a friend who had to write an English paper on its symbolism. It was full of highlights and underlines and a few marginal notes which were actually fun to read, except one which was a bit of a spoiler.
There's a reason this book was assigned for English class and then pretty much forced onto me by a student of that class. This is a deep, thoughtful, make-you-think book full of the kind of quotes you find on decorated Pinterest images. (The good kind, not the corny ones.) The writing is alive and brilliant and pure genius. The characters are so much more real than most found in even my favorite YA books of today. The plot was perfect because it was imperfect - it was lifelike. The lessons and symbolism and takeaway were so huge I feel like the thoughts it left me with were not even a drop in the bucket.
There were things I didn't like, too. There were inappropriate scenes, language, and behavior I would not approve of. But it's one of the very (very, very!) rare instances where that sort of no-go behavior in literature is passable in my mind. Why? It wasn't in the book just because they're teenagers, or it sells, or it's what everyone does, etc etc. It was all a part of the character building (cynical, dying Hazel and perfect, trying-too-hard Augustus). It was necessary to keep from breaking out of the POV voice. And it tied with the symbolism and philosophy amazingly.
I am a highly opinionated person. I'll admit that by today's definition I am very closed-minded. I don't apologize for that. So for an author to hold beliefs and write things into their stories that I don't feel are right, and still get my thumbs-up not just in a book-by-book basis but as a person and as a writer, that author would have to be really amazing and impressive and intelligent and a master at their craft.
John Green is most definitely all of the above.
I give this book 4.5 stars.
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To all those visiting for the TRW blog tour, welcome! I'm Emily Rachelle, a teen girl with a love for God and words. Here at my blog I talk about everything in my life, from faith, family, and friends to books, politics, and philosophy. Feel free to have a peek around, and leave me a note telling me you came by!