I kind of wish I could sue John Green for emotional damages because this book fucking broke me. I’m talking, full-on, Clair-Danes-worthy-ugly-crying-alone-in-bed broke me. Ugh. I mean, in a good way. But still. I haven’t fully recovered from this book.
Hands-down, Hazel’s dad is one of my favorite dads in literature. I love my father, I have the best dad in the history of ever, but if you offered to let me swap for Hazel’s dad, I’d have to stop and consider it. There’s a beautiful piece of advice he gives her toward the end of the book that just started the ugly crying back up again.
A good friend of mine who’s opinion of books I trust very much expressed some wariness about TFIOS, calling it “Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Now With Added Cancer Pathos.” Which is not entirely wrong and I definitely see where she’s coming from. My counterpoint was that the book is from Hazel’s point of view, so she’s telling her own story instead of being an ornament in someone else’s life.
Also, being a player in anyone’s life and a figure of any importance whatsoever is the last thing Hazel wants to be. This is a book starring cancer kids. Hazel, heartbreakingly, describes herself as a grenade. Not the Jersey Shore ugly friend that the wingman jumps on for his bro (oh god, why do I know that), but rather an emotional time bomb