The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (NY: Dutton, 2012).
Hazel is seventeen and knows she's dying of cancer. A fancy drug is retarding her inevitable demise, but her reliance on a portable oxygen tank (by day) and a breathing machine (at night) means her future doesn't extend too far. And she's OK with that--resigned really. She even goes to the Cancer Kid Support Group when her mom decides Hazel is depressed (!). And there, one day, Augustus Waters shows up and Hazel's life shifts in ways she never expected, which just goes to show that even dying can take an unanticipated course.
It's a book about kids with cancer, so expect to cry, but also expect an amazing amount of humor and insight. The characters are pitch perfect, including the parents. Hazel's best friend Kaitlyn seems like a throwaway, but some of the other secondary characters are mind blowing--in different ways. The description of Peter, the leader of the support group and a survivor of testicular cancer, is particularly hilarious, while the details of another group member's experience losing his second eye is searingly sad. Hazel and Augustus's relationship is naturally doomed from the start, yet rivetingly detailed and surprisingly hopeful. Green delivers brilliantly in this lovely, sad, romantic story. Highly recommended for teens, 13 & up. Sexual situations, language, alcohol, experimental (cancer) drugs.
I read a lot, especially kid and young adult lit. This blog will review what I've been reading. I get most of my reading material from the library, plus I buy books at school book fairs and the usual stores. I look for freebies on Amazon for my Kindle, and I'm happy to review any ARCs or e-galleys I can get my hands on.