So I finally read it. I’ve been avoiding it for a myriad of reasons. I didn’t want to cry and I knew it would make me cry. I didn’t want to be that person, who jumps on the bandwagon simply because everyone else is. I didn’t want to be that person who then reads it and goes on and on about how good it is. And I didn’t want to hate it and I was so afraid I would. I don’t mean to sound hipster, but fact is I read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green long before he was cool. Right after it came out actually. And I didn’t like it, and promptly forgot about him as an author. So when people started raving about him and how awesome he was, I was kind of “eh.” It was hard to imagine that he was actually that good because I hadn’t liked his first book. But he’s a good author. And I am jumping on the bandwagon, although I will be mildly less enthusiastic than most on board. I really enjoyed TFIOS.
The only thing that I had known about the book before I read it was that it was about a girl named Hazel who had cancer. So that’s how I knew I was going to cry. But I didn’t know anything else, so I’ll give you a brief summary. It is about a girl named Hazel who has cancer and about a guy she meets named Augustus who has a different type of cancer. It’s about young love, and what friendship really is. It’s about leaving a mark on the world that may not last forever, but lasts as long as the people who love you live. Augustus takes Hazel on a kind of wild ride and it’s cute and funny. And I did cry for the last 100 pages (I went back and checked, and it was 100 pages).
I loved Hazel and Augustus, but I really loved Isaac. I don’t think he gets nearly enough credit. Isaac has cancer in his eyes and in order to be cancer free he has to get them removed. So he goes blind. His girlfriend dumps him and it’s sad, but he pushes on. I really liked his character a lot.
I also really liked Hazel’s parents. They had to deal with the reality of a permanently sick child, but they continued their lives and never stopped completely loving her. Not that any parent would, but I think Green wrote the situation well and showed the ups and downs that a family goes through when a member of the family has cancer. It’s tough and very stressful, but it’s not without hope. And you’re still a family at the end of the day.
So I liked it because the story wasn’t perfect. I didn’t like the author that they went to visit. I really didn’t like the fact that he randomly showed up; I don’t think that was very realistic. However, the imperfections of the story and the writing added to what I like about it. It’s not a happy ever after story and it’s not one that is full of realism and hardship either. It’s a perfect blend of the believable and the unbelievable.
I think I’m going to revisit An Abundance of Katherines and see if I like it better than I did the first time. And Paper Towns intrigues me as well. We’ll see. The journey of an author’s work is never truly complete and I look forward to continuing on with John Green.