Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Publication Date: 10 January 2012
Dutton Books, Hardcover, 318 pages
Source: Purchased

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Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Rating: ★★½

Not a single tear was shed for The Fault in Our Stars. That fact already makes me want to cry. In all honesty, I wanted to love this book so bad especially because everyone else seem to love it. No, this is not peer pressure. More of… I wish to see The Fault in Our Stars from the eyes of fans, to see why they loved this book so much.

I’ll admit, one reason I probably didn’t enjoy this was because I’d been incredibly busy when reading it and another being that John Green’s writing style wasn’t exactly my favorite. I found it a tad pretentious, melodramatic and simply didn’t understand why he had to make Hazel and Augustus ponder over rather useless things (such as the correlation between scrambled eggs and breakfast).

However, the biggest fault for why I did not like TFiOS most likely lies with Twitter. I got spoiled via Twitter and thankfully I can’t remember who the tweeter was because if I did, the cops would be after me for murder right now. Yes, I knew what would happen at the end and once I found out, I sort of connected the dots and figured out how it would occur too. My chances of being painfully surprised – that being a good thing because who doesn’t love getting their hearts torn apart by good stories? – by this book were completely obliterated.

However, after watching the (spectacular) trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation (and tearing up because of it), I can confidently say my issues with TFiOS lies not with the story itself, but definitely with the writing. I will admit there were quite a few beautiful quotes in this novel but they usually pop up just when I was going to explode in annoyance at the ostentatious display of words into sentences into paragraphs. Saying I have mixed feelings about this book would pretty obviously be an understatement.

As for the characters, I wasn’t gaga over them like most people were either. They were decent but Hazel was too jaded and Augustus too smooth for me to really love them. That’s my personal opinion of course, because tons of readers found the two protagonists utterly relatable even though I did not. However, I do love Hazel’s parents and how amazingly positive they were despite having a daughter with cancer. There were times I hoped Hazel would’ve treated them better, not that she wasn’t a good daughter but because such wonderful people like them made me feel they deserved the best of everything in life.

But. Allow me to quote:

The world is not a wish-granting factory.

Truthfully, I found that sentence awfully depressing. It was definitely honest but as with all truths, there’s both a positive and negative way to look at it. My point? TFiOS was quite laden with teenage angst. I get that it’s a YA book but the angst was seriously overdone and despite agreeing that Hazel and Augustus both have the rights to be angry at this world due to their situation, it just didn’t sit right.

Regarding the romance, it was another aspect that I didn’t find engaging. Sure, Hazel and Augustus had their cute moments but if you ask me whether they were in love, the answer would be a firm no. I had so many problems with the romance here. First, when Hazel figured she fell in love with Gus. Nope, not feeling it. Second, when Gus figured he was in love with Hazel too. Still nothing. Third, when they shared their first kiss and a few pages later went at it like bunnies. Not okay. Okay?

I will concede that I liked the whole ‘okay’ thing going on though. Still, their relationship was far from developed enough to be considered ‘true love’ to me.

I kept expecting feels to overcome me and open up my floodgates but unfortunately, no such thing occurred. Ultimately, I was disappointed by The Fault in Our Stars but will definitely be watching the movie as I pretty much figured out why I wasn’t a fan of the book. Since I found the general gist of the story interesting, there’ll still be a good chance I can weep while watching the movie adaptation! I know, I’m slightly obsessed with needing to shed some (or a lot) of tears over it due to the absence of waterworks when I read the book. My friends and many others guaranteed a sob-worthy read and I feel a little cheated that it didn’t work on me.

As for whether I will be reading more books written by John Green… that’s a tough question. I’m leaning a little towards ‘never again’ but you never know. In the event that I do read another one of his books, though, it would likely be Paper Towns, seeing as how it would be turned into a movie too. I understand that my thoughts on TFiOS makes me a black sheep so if you disagree with this review, I genuinely would like to know your point of view. I’m dead serious. Remember how I mentioned I wanted to see TFiOS from the eyes of those who love it? So fans, please enlighten me because I sincerely would love to and want to know what made you fall head over heels with this novel.

Adelena

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5 thoughts on “Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  1. I agree. I enjoyed the story but the romance is rushed and I had no real emotional attachment to the characters as there didn’t seem to be much depth to them- and they both did not talk like teenagers- at all. LOL even by Green’s standards.

    As for reading his other books, I recommend Paper Towns anyway as it is my favourite of his other works- but you only really *need* to read one of them- why? because they all follow the same plot. I kid you not ” quirky teenage boy with a quirk of loving numbers/death quotes/maps is in love with a girl and thinks she is perfect and flawless and becomes obsessed. Girl wanders off somewhere, somehow. Guy goes looking for her- either physically or mentally- trying to “figure her out”- at the end of the book, he discovers, surprise surprise, she is human after all and actually quite fucked up”.

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    • That’s pretty sad to hear. :(
      Still pondering about Paper Towns though, since his writing makes me want to tear my hair out. I also agree about Hazel and Augustus not speaking like real teens, most of the time I looked like a weird goldfish gaping at their thoughts and conversations. My only response: What.

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      • Yeah. His writing is good in that he has a way of turning a quotable phrase but I honestly don’t know how he got 3 books all published with the same plot haha

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  2. Love your review of Tfios, and I hold similar views to the book and the movie adaptation! Heh. Really looking forward to that waterworks in the movie adaptation – and the trailer looks promising. :)

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    • Thanks! Glad someone feels the same way AND THAT I’m not alone in my opinions about TFiOS! Have you read any of John Green’s other books? And yes, the trailer! :’)

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