In this incredible story about 2 teenagers with cancer, Hazel and Augustus meet at support group for kids with terminal illnesses. Hazel is 16 with thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs. Isaac has is blind in one eye and soon will be blind in the other eye due to cancer. Augustus goes to the support group to support his friend Isaac and meets Hazel there.
Gus and Hazel became friends and he shared with her that he was in remission from cancer, osteosarcoma. Augustus is a 17 year old who was a basketball player before his amputation. Gus gave Hazel a book that he enjoyed since she loves to read, it was The Price of Dawn. Hazel gave him her favorite book she has read numerous times An Imperial Infliction, which is about a girl who has cancer, by Peter Van Houten. Gus is disappointed with the abrupt ending with many questions because it just stopped. He begins e-mailing Peter Van Houten for a proper ending.
Hazel and Gus talked about their Make-A-Wish and Gus realizes that Hazel has used her wish to go to Disney and he says he never used his. Hazel has always wanted to meet Peter Van Houten and tries to get her mom to take her on a trip to meet him. Her mom says no because of financial and medical reasons. Gus surprises Hazel with a picnic and tickets to go to meet Peter in Amsterdam. Hazel later goes into the ICU with an episode of pleural effusion, a complication from her lung cancer. The doctors and her parents both feel traveling across seas isn’t safe for her but one Dr stood up stated that Hazel needed to travel.
Gus has Hazel and her mom chauffeured in a limo to the airport and they take their ling flight to Amsterdam and have dinner and champagne. When they go to pay they realize that dinner has been paid for by Peter Van Houten. Augustus tells Hazel that he loves her. They meet Peter only to find he is an angry drunk that kept insulting Hazel about her cancer. He’s not the man they expected him to be. His assistant Lidewij, was responsible for the trip and dinner and thought if she got them there he may realize someone truly cares about him and his writing and maybe he’d stop drinking. Lidewij takes them to the Anne Frank House. The stairs were quite the challenge for Hazel and her lungs. She finally makes it to the top and has a celebratory kiss with Gus. Everyone cheers. They return to the hotel room and things get pretty intimate. Hazel finds that Gus has some cancer pains, and he tells Hazel he really isn’t healthy as far as the cancer goes.
After their return home to Indianapolis, Gus gets sicker and goes into the ICU. He invites Hazel and Isaac to his pre-funeral where they say their eulogies that they’ve written for him.
Van Houten shows up to apologize to Hazel and explained to her that the book was about his eight year old daughter, Anna who died of cancer. Peter Van Houten also has something for Hazel that Gus had written for her, a eulogy. Augustus says, ‘Getting hurt in this world is inevitable, but we do get to choose who we let hurt us’, and that he is happy with his choice. He hopes that she is happy with her choice too. Hazel states she does.