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Shamelessly manipulative but heart-wrenchingly genuine simultaneously.
It's a preachy book. It's manipulative and shameless and very, very transparent.

It's about a girl, a teenager, fairly sarcastic and deeply intelligent, sensitive and just a bit self-loathing, a self-confessed fangirl — in other words, a perfect caricature of the story's intended audience. Oh, and also, she has cancer. Because when you want your characters to be "deep" and "tragic" and to spend their time contemplating human nature and mortality, you give them cancer, I guess.

The first chapter is ridiculous. In the span of only a handful of pages, we meet our main character, she meets a boy, becomes attracted to him in a way she's never even thought possible, grows thoroughly disillusioned, disgusted, and outraged with him, and then comes back around to give him another shot. In most other books, that would BE the book, but no, here, it's just the introduction, and it comes off just as rushed and off-putting as it probably sounds.

But for all its cliche contrivances and all its lengthy diatribes, I'd be lying if I said it was anything but incredibly compelling, emotionally touching, well written, mostly well paced, thoroughly thought out, occasionally very funny, and just very strong all around. I couldn't put it down — read all the way through in a single sitting. Despite initial appearances, it does have some poignant points to make and some very memorable philosophies to share. It was an excellent experience.
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Yes, good book.
This book is immensely popular with a lot of people my age on the internet. So I didn't know exactly what to expect, since a lot of popular books tend to be overrated. However, I was surprised by the clever way this book is build, and how the tugging at the heartstrings never becomes unbearable.

Although there are a tad too many contrived coincidences and cliches enabling the main romance of the story, the way it is written makes it worth your time. Simply put, people like Augustus Waters don't really exist. If they do, you'd be extremely hard-pressed to meet them. And the way our protagonist and this boy fall in love and fall into sort of a hapless romance is uneven, a bit rushed, and hard to think of as realistic.

Even then, there is a lot of poignancy to be found. The author writes a lot about pretentiousness in his character dialogue and that seems to be a side effect of his unconscious desire not to fall into it, and he halfway doesn't. His book isn't pretentious, but the way it's written makes it so that the audience for this novel often consists out of pretentious people.

So, in conclusion. A good read. Recommended. Some of these popular books are actually pretty good. I listed a couple of bad points, but the good far outweighs the bad. And the good is REALLY good.

The main character is amazing. That's all.
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