This isn't one of my usual reads. Usually I don't gravitate towards books that are about cancer, it's just taken too many people from me. I don't want to go through that heartache again, even if it's for a fictional character. But when this book came up on the list for my book club, I was pretty intrigued.
The book is pretty well written, the characters were well thought out and their path/destiny was an interesting journey. I thought that the naked honesty about facing and living with death was admirable. I appreciated the light humor sprinkled throughout and I also enjoyed the bittersweet moments of humor and sadness that really touched my heart.
I really liked the part where Gus was saving the world (which is what two of my friends call playing military-ish video games) and he saved some kids in the game and said "my life bought them a minute and that's not nothing". That really resonated with me - every minute is so important.
There was one character that drove me absolutely nuts. I didn't like this character at all and even though the book was based almost completely around him, I found parts of his involvement in the book to just be a waste of time. Why was the book hinged on this character? I keep thinking that if some of his interactions with Hazel had been different, it would have changed the tone of the book and it may have changed the lackluster ending for me.
I'm always in constant search for a novel that has two things: I want a flawed main character, I want them to be so messed up that I almost can't stand them because you usually get to see this amazing character transformation/growth happen during a novel. I think it's pretty damn close to magic to watch those transformations happen and a great author can make it almost seamless. The second is for a book to make me feel. I don't care what it is... love, hate, disgust, admiration... it doesn't matter, just make me feel. This book delivered the first but I thought it fell short on making me feel.
Now don't get me wrong, it was sad but it didn't break me down and I think I was waiting for that. I expected for this to have a gut-wrenching ending and when it didn't, I felt a bit let down. And that just kind of ruined ... everything for me. I think that an ending can make or break a book and this ending didn't do the book justice at all for me.
All of that being said, it's being turned into a movie and while I don't feel compelled to see it now, I probably will get it on Netflix because I have to see how all of the characters are portrayed and see if maybe I was wrong about any of them.