Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Thoughts - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
336 pages
published 1/10/12

Synopsis from publisher -

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.

My thoughts -

I think my high expectations hindered my enjoyment of this nearly universally well-loved novel. I am aware that there is a strong John Green Lovers Anonymous (or perhaps not so anonymous) club out there in the blogging world, and I've read a LOT of raves about this novel. I was fully prepared for it to be The.Best.YA.Novel.I've.Ever.Read.

And it was good. Hazel and Augustus were charming and heartbreaking in equal parts, and rooting for their doomed love affair (at the Anne Frank house, no less!) was easy. Hazel's parents were not, as seems to be the latest trend in YA novels, absent or bumbling, but smart and appropriately involved in their daughter's life. Serious topics were introduced and handled with grace, and grief was faced in an incredibly realistic way.

And yet, something just didn't quite ring true. I'm not even sure I can put my finger on it, but there was never a moment where I truly LOST myself - I was always very aware that I was reading a book - a very good book, but a book nonetheless. (And then there was the whole weird side plot with the author from Amsterdam - was that just a ploy to get them to the Anne Frank house? Because otherwise....)

I didn't NOT like it - I just didn't feel enraptured by it. I will certainly read more by this author, but I think I will go in with more realistic expectations in the future.

Finished - 2/15/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - PG-13 for language and some "adult" situations
My rating - 7/10


bermudaonion said...

I just bought this book because of all those raves. I hope I'm not disappointed. :/

Andi said...

Have you read any of his other books? While there's a large demographic of John Green lovers, I hear from many bloggers to start with one of his other books. I think I might jump in on Looking for Alaska or Paper Towns.

Kristen M. said...

I have this worry about John Green in general. All of his books are so hyped that I worry that it will be hard to just enjoy them now.

Elizabeth said...

Kathy - it was really good in a lot of ways, so I think you will still enjoy it.

Andi - good to know. This was my first, so I'll give him another go.

Kristen - I can definitely see his potential. I'm hoping I just started with the wrong one.

Mirza Ghalib said...

Pretentious teenagers, road trip, it's not even funny. We've read this before, you guys. But here we have the added element of cancer which honestly only makes it that much sappier and nobody likes cancer stories. Cancer sucks. If you want to read a good book about teenagers, there are better ones out there. The Catcher in the Rye or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Or just pick a different John Green book, this is far from the best.