Fault in Our Stars, The
During the entire book I didn't really 'feel' the story. I read it, the story itself seems heartfelt and sad, but somehow I just wasnt feeling it. I didn't feel the love between them, I didn't feel sad about Gus and the book just didn't touch me. Maybe I'm just getting to old for these types of teen books.
I didn't really care for the story about the book and the trip to Amsterdam. Though it was a nice touch, since I live very close to Amsterdam and the Netherlands don't appear in books that often.
It was a sort of nice read, but I didn't love it and I really disliked how it didn't have a real ending. Even though I think it was meant to be an ending like the one in the book they both loved, it still annoyed me.
I am sure I cried the amount that I did because I was listening to some one read it instead of reading it myself. But I cried like a baby through a lot of it. This is a good thing.
This is the kind of book that I want to read many times in my life.
What is there to say about this book but that it was beautiful and tragic and I don't know how I got through the last of this book without throwing it across the room
Me: Oh my Goooood. (dabbing my face with a tissue)
Hubby: Are you crying? Wait, you are cr–why are you crying??
Me: This is such a sad book.
Hubby: Well…that’s when you know it’s a good book, right? When you burst into tears.
True, but The Fault In Our Stars is not just a sad book. There is so much right–no, amazing–about this book, that it’s hard to know where to start. In the first chapter, I couldn’t count how many times I laughed out loud. John Green is not just intelligent; he is uncommonly witty, and the humor he infuses into the main characters makes the book a brilliantly entertaining read.
I love that he doesn’t dumb down the teenage main characters. Both Hazel and Augustus (Gus) are insightful and intellectual, confusing even the adults around them. I learned so much from their offbeat ramblings and monologues.
A catalyst for many of the characters’ conversations and actions is the fictional book An Imperial Affliction, written by fictional author, Peter Van Houten. Hazel is beyond obsessed with the book and brings Gus into her crazed fan club. They want nothing more than to find out what happens to the main characters because the book ends in mid-sentence.
Their obsession at one point made me want to scream, “Stop reading that book!” But they don’t stop. They end up traveling to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive one-time author, who you could call a major disappointment. I don’t want to give too much away, so let’s say that Hazel and Gus find other ways to make their trip worthwhile (marijuana not included).
I love how the characters fall in love. And I love that Hazel knows Gus so well that when his body has almost given up on him, she doesn’t treat him like a child like everybody else does. She remains her cynical, opinionated self, not giving him any special treatment, and Gus appreciates that.
I’ve known people who have died from cancer, but no one close to me. The kind of pain that enshrouds such an experience is impossible to replicate in the pages of a book. But I did experience a sense of loss through Green’s incredible storytelling, and it’s a loss that I hope to never experience in reality.
Yes, it is a book about cancer, but it’s also a book about all of us, and about time. From the epigraph in the novel:
As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the ocean: “Conjoinder rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it, rising up and rising down, taking everything with it.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Water,” the Dutchman said. “Well, and time.”
–Peter Van Houten, An Imperial Affliction
I can only end by saying I highly highly recommend this book. Expect to cry and laugh till your sides hurt.
Green is a very smart man. He uses a lot of big words (are you allowed to do that in YA?) and he's aware of every trope in our literature and has made it his personal agenda to smash all those tropes to pieces. Which is great.
My only complaint would be, after also reading "Looking for Alaska," that Green doesn't know how to diversify the voices of his main teen-aged characters. Sure, they all have slightly different views of the world, but the way they actually speak isn't so terribly different. They're all just hands-down wit-generating machines.
It also talks about what it's like to live with cancer, although less in terms of gory medical details and appointments (for the most part) and more about what it's like, as a teenager, to LIVE with it. The only people I've known who had cancer were much older, and so this was rather interesting, but sad to read about. We meet some of the supporting people who also have cancer, some of whom don't make it all the way to the end of the book.
I have to say, based on the movie trailer I could tell how the book would end. I wasn't surprised for it to end the way it did, although there were a couple of twists I didn't quite expect. Overall I'm not quite sure it's worth the critical acclaim and I don't feel as sad as others have proclaimed. But it was a well-written and interesting book. I was also pleased to find the main character is a bit of a bookworm. Works for me!
It took me a few days to read but it's probably suitable for a plane ride or long car trip. Depending on the reader, he or she may need tissues throughout the book and at the end.