Welcome to my first ever Book Tuesday! I am somewhat addicted to books, possibly as addicted to books as to fabric (don't tell my fabric, it could start a civil war.) So, starting today, Tuesdays will be my day to discuss books.
I bought this book because I liked the theme: two teenagers with cancer fall in love. I cannot pass up a good book about suffering and redemption (redemption being the key here, I hope you know that about me.) (You knew that, right?), and I LOVE good young adult fiction. And someone put them together into this neat little package for me; thank you, John Green!
Good young adult fiction is fantastic because:
1. the author has to be a great writer, otherwise said teenager will (rightly) give up on the book in about 30 seconds or less;
2. the themes tend to run along interesting, big picture issues, because that's what teenagers love to think about and discuss ad nauseam, if I remember correctly; and
3. I am a tired mother of several who also has a job outside of the home, and I appreciate a book that is a quick read. Generally speaking, no matter how complex a linguistic tone the young adult fiction writer sets, I won't have to squint to concentrate. Right?
Mr Green is a great writer, and his characters are believable and lovable and smart. Did I say smart? Green's 17 year olds have a more extensive vocabulary than, well... than anyone I know. And to be honest, I know quite a few people, and many of them went to Ivy League colleges. But for some reason, I found that our characters' super-stylised, uber-genius patterns of speech were delightful and not annoying. These teens are smart and funny; who doesn't want to read that? On account of having dealt with their own cancer for at least a year, they are also cool with the whole suffering and death thing, an interesting turnaround on the usual teen angst.
There is a plot line that runs along the lines of boy-meets-girl, but way, way better. It's not really "two teenagers with cancer fall in love," it's more, "two brilliant, sassy, funny, insightful, wise teenagers with
cancer fall in love and teach us all how to live in an
imperfect world with a great attitude." There are moments of pure beauty, and great disappointments, glimpses into suffering both through illness and out of it, and lots of eyerolling, too. (Theirs, not mine.)
On a scale of 1 - 5 yards*, I give this book a 5 YARD RATING.
Which means: compulsory viewing. Find it at your local bookstore, library or friend's bookcase. Beg, borrow or steal it. Whatever it takes. And tell me what you thought, especially if you disagree with me. I love me a good book debate.
*Of course yards. I'm a quilter. How else would I measure anything?