I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
Another book that I read only because of my YA lit class... and this one was so good. I didn't expect to like it. First of all, it's about kids with cancer, and that means that it's full of sadness, and I hate sad books. I read to escape reality for a bit (not that my reality's BAD, it's just sometimes I like to take a break from it - like a vacation, almost), and who wants to escape to somewhere sad? I certainly don't, so I usually avoid books that I know will be sad. The other reason I didn't expect to like it was because EVERYONE who I talked to about this book told me that I'd "LOVE" it. And I'm a bit of a book snob, so usually when everyone LOVES books, I tend to be overly sensitive their flaws.
But this book was SO good. Yes, it was sad - I knew that going into it and you should, too - but it was written with a sense of humor. The narrator has a terminal illness and, even though she is certainly moody at times (and has every right to be), she's also sarcastic and she's able to laugh at her situation. And that's refreshing.
And then there was Augustus. He was wonderful. You know those guys in books who you read about and they make you mentally swoon because they're just so perfect? Well, he wasn't quite THAT good - which I actually prefer, because it made him real. And that's always preferable to perfection. He's more of a Henry Tilney than a Fitzwilliam Darcy, but personally, I like those characters better, anyway. He was funny and sweet and he loved Hazel in spite of - and sometimes, because of - her flaws.
Most importantly, this book sucked me in. I could not put it down. I haven't read a book that consumed me so completely in such a long time. This book is not fine literature, but it's an entertaining read that WILL make you think, and it'll make you realize as bad as your life might seem sometimes, at least you're living. So read this book. It will definitely be worth your time.