This is not a story I would have chosen if I'd known what it was really about, but I was lured in by the endless 5-star reviews and the fact that my library had it on Playaway. I picked it up on a whim. And from the first few minutes, I couldn't turn it off. Listened to all seven+ hours in one day. Kate Rudd didn't just read this book. She performed the entire beautiful thing like a one-woman play and I believed every single voice and knew who was speaking without being told and the life she breathed into the dialogue was better than I could have done in my head, which never happens in audiobooks. She was, in short, unforgettably amazing and as far as audiobooks go, I would consider this a "must listen." This is the only book that has ever made me laugh out loud in earnest, to the point where people asked me what was so damn funny, while simultaneously crying. Towards the end, I couldn't even bear to listen with anyone else in the room, because it was too personal, so I hid in my room and let the tears roll. I don't know why I've been avoiding John Green. Maybe because he was a man writing YA fiction? I'm clearly judgmental because I didn't believe a man could capture the real heart of a story like this, told from a female teenage narrator's perspective. And I was wrooooooooooong. Hazel Grace was not a character, she was a real person, and I met her and I loved her and I loved Augustus Waters and I loved their parents who were the first parents in any YA book I have ever freaking read who were real parents. Parents with feelings who loved their kids and were there without being overbearing or smothery or cliche. And guess what? There was opportunity for Augustus and Hazel to be together without either of their parents having a job that kept them out of the house 24 hours a day. It was miraculous. This story is not a feel-good. It made me do the ugly cry, which I typically avoid because life is too short to go out of your way to feel heartbroken for imaginary people, but as Augustus' mom said on that plaque, "Without pain we would never know joy" There are so many bright spots of laughter and joy in this story, and they are worth the ugly cry. This isn't just a favorite from 2013, it's going on my all-time favorite shelf. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.