It is not often that you find a perfect book.
I didn’t find this one, I was told to read it by a dear friend (popcultureboy) and am very glad I did.
My Sister-in-Law died young and brutally fast from a brain tumour in February 2013 and after that I was directed by well meaning souls to all sorts of ‘cancer’ books. So at first I was a bit wary because in this book “despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten” so it is, on the face of it, a cancer book.
To quote the Heroine of this wonderful book: “…it is not a cancer book, because cancer books suck” and this doesn’t.
Be warned it does pack an emotional punch, but I found it cathartic not devastating, and I would recommend it to anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer and knows that they don’t magically become saints but stay their sarcastic, annoying selves.
More than this it is also a truly beautiful love story. A love story about life, death and the love of books. What is amazing, is how a book about death can be so life affirming.
It is one of the best books I have ever read; such dark subjects covered with such a humourous light touch that you don’t always notice how subtly and superbly the prose is wrought.
In short it is brilliant: incandescent, like the stars in its title. But unlike them entirely faultless.