Reasons I didn’t want to read this book:
In high school, my friends and I read chick lit like our lives depended on it. We would rabidly swap Sarah Dessen books and call ‘dibs’ on which characters we wanted as imaginary boyfriends. That was six years ago. Since then, I’ve grown up and learned some things about romance and love, and I’m just not into the teenage-angst love story anymore.
Emotional Involvement: ★★★
I hadn’t seen the movie before reading this book, but I was at a friend’s house the other day and picked it up out of curiosity. I read it in one sitting- four and a half hours. I don’t quite wish that I could get those hours back, and it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, but I’m not going to be wearing any tee shirts anytime soon, either.
This is your typical teenage love story except for one fact- the teens in question have cancer. The already urgent nature of teenage love apparently becomes even more pressured when there’s a life-threatening illness involved. It seems like a cheap way to freshen up a love story, in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, the story is sweet. They love each other. They make each other happy. They have adventures. But it’s the same, “you’re the only one for me, we are meant to be” kind of idealism that you wish you could keep as you grow up, but you just know too much.
I don’t have a heart of stone, so I did tear up a bit at the end. Spoiler alert: someone dies. Who wouldn’t cry? But the novel itself isn’t groundbreaking, and it’s not a storyline that will stick with me for any length of time. Bottom line: a great read for readers under 18. Any older, and you might want to pick something else.