Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Review: "The Fault In Our Stars"

"The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green
First published in 2012
313 pages
My rating: 3.75 out of 5
(image source)

"The Fault In Our Stars" automatically won some points with me simply because it's a wildly popular young adult book that doesn't involve supernatural beings or post-apocalyptic societies.

Instead, this book is about a teenager living with terminal cancer.

Cheerful, right? John Green's novel is definitely tragic -- I mean, it's obvious from the outset that one of the two cancer-ridden main characters is going to die at end -- but it was also clever and funny and sarcastic and thoughtful and very real. Green gives Hazel, our narrator, such a strong and believable voice that reading the book is like listening to Hazel tell her story -- in her own words -- inside your head.

That said, while I liked "The Fault In Our Stars" I'm not as obsessed with it as many readers seem to be. I'm not rushing out to buy John Green's other books, I'm not desperately seeking information about the movie version, and I definitely don't think it's the best book I ever read. It appears, though, that I am firmly in the minority here.

While I really liked and admired Hazel and her boyfriend Augustus, I don't think we would have been friends as teenagers. They're just a bit too... existential and philosophical and self-possessed, which is quite possibly an inevitable side effect of having cancer at 16. But I think that's part of the reason the novel didn't resonate with me as much as it did for others. This is the kind of book that demands to be cried over, but I didn't feel the slightest hint of a tear despite the fact that I read nearly the entire thing sitting next to my beloved dog -- who also has terminal cancer!

Still, "The Fault In Our Stars" is worth a read -- and judging by the myriad positive reviews from critics and readers alike, there's a decent chance you'll think it's the best book ever!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting comments. I'm thinking of getting it to read. Then we can compare notes.


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