The Fault in Our Stars
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Hazel has cancer and it's terminal. Her days are mostly the same, moping around the house with her mother, watching reruns of ANTM, with occasional visits to her cancer support group. But when one day out of the blue Augustus shows up to support group, Hazel is drawn to him for inexplicable reasons and he's into her, too. From then on they start changing each other's lives.
This was another one of those books I picked up because I'd heard all the buzz about it. No, scratch that. I probably wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't been signed. I knew every first edition was signed and for some reason that meant I had to have it. I'd heard nothing, nothing, but rave reviews for it. I saw not one negative review. So I read it expecting to be let down because that's been happening recently with over-hyped books, but I was not let down.
I loved this book! I have not in my lifetime thus far been close to anyone who has died from cancer (this is a relief to me, but also worries me on a deep level), but I still found this book to be realistic. Hazel, Augustus, and their cancer-ridden friends from support group all have their ups and downs. The characters were fantastically written - they were intelligent and witty and yet also had their flaws. The plot was disturbingly real and raw. I didn't "ugly cry" (God, I hate that phrase) during the book, but it was heartbreaking and sad. And strangely beautiful.
What I shouldn't have done: When I first started hearing about this book I assumed I would not be reading it and I found some spoilers for it. Unfortunately for me, when I decided to read it I knew what was coming. Do not do this to yourself, even if you think you won't read it, don't look up what happens. You really just need to read the book yourself to find out.
I'm pretty sure this book is going to win some awards. This book is important.
Even if, for some reason, I cannot convince you to read this book, look at the stats. As of right this minute 5135 (in the time I wrote this post the number has jumped to 3150!) people have rated this book on Goodreads and the average rating is 4.76. That says something. It says people are reading this book quickly and at the very least you will like this book, but more likely, in my opinion, you will love it.