I'm glad I did. It's funny, it's life-affirming, and it's a pleasure to read, even if the subject matter might seem to indicate otherwise. The main characters are Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus (Gus) Waters. Hazel is 16. She has thyroid cancer and has to haul an oxygen bottle along wherever she goes. She still alive thanks only to a miracle drug that's not going to work forever. Gus has osteosarcoma and has had part of one leg amputated. The two of them meet in a cancer support group and fall in love. Talk about your doomed romances!
That aside, I hope there really are kids like this in the world, kids who are clear-eyed realists, kids who can quote Wallace Stevens or William Carlos Williams at the drop of a hat, kids who are familiar with Kierkegaard, kids who see the metaphorical significance in the ordinary events of daily life. I'm not saying these kids don't exist, mind you. I'm just saying I seldom encounter them. I sure like reading about them, though.
Anyway, Hazel and Gus are huge fans of a book written by a reclusive author who lives in Amsterdam. The book has what we literary scholars call an "open ending." They want to know the rest of the story, so they go to Amsterdam (sort of a "Make a Wish" deal) to meet the author, who [HUGE SPOILER] turns out to be a total asshole (unlike any actual authors you might have met) [END OF HUGE SPOILER].
There's a lot more, but that's enough plot summary. Sad and terrible things happen in this book, but it's not sad or terrible. Sure, it might make even a manly man such as myself a little verklempt from time to time, but it's about living, not dying, and I recommend it highly.
P. S. I posted here about Green's signing all 150,000 copies of the first printing of this book, so I have a signed copy. Well, there's something that might be a signature. I can make out the "J."