That Good
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So far I haven't been able to convince anyone that a book about a teenage girl dying of terminal cancer can actually be really, really funny. Perhaps that doesn't surprise you. As many times as I say to others that it's a celebration of life, that when I was crying I was so happy that I was laughing at the same time, and that I never once felt emotionally manipulated by the author, the characters, or the narrative, it always ends with the same reaction. "I don't want to read about kids dying." How about if I say it's not about the dying, it's about the living. Living and being awesome while you're at it.

I'm not all that surprised to have this overwhelmingly positive response to Green's work, as I've read all of his other books and had similarly contradictory feelings of joy/sadness (is this melancholy?) at various points of those books. Green had worked in at least one hospital for young people earlier in his life, and I think the raw experience shines through honestly in the most powerful dialogue and narrative points of this one. Green's gift for crafting characters that I always care about and feel like friends, combined with the real life experience in the hospital puts The Fault in Our Stars right up there with his best work.

It's still much too early in 2012 to start a best of list...but I don't see myself forgetting this book later in the year when listmaking time comes again.