Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Published: 2012 Pages: 313
Genre: Fiction (young adult)
In Short: I can throw out the C word without it being a spoiler, right? One night at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel meets the handsome and curious and funny Augustus Waters. While Hazel is a terminal case, she begins to see how much she still has to experience.
Why I read it: Because everyone else did. More accurately because I really enjoyed Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. And Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Thoughts in General: How I feel about The Fault in Our Stars is very dissenting so I’m going to keep it brief and then share the parts that I did like. What I love about John Green is he creates a teenage emotion in his books that are incredibly nostalgic. His characters are raw and real, and the core of his novels always seems to be this incredibly profound truth that teenagers are apt to discover. I didn’t experience any of that with this book—maybe a little bit but the story and the characters felt more contrived. I never connected with the story or the characters.
But there were several parts that I dogeared and I was particularly tickled with the references to Prufrock. Careful reading the quotes as they might be leading. Not spoilers but leading.
Bits I liked:
“Everyone in this tale has rock-solid hamartia: hers, that she is so sick; yours, that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.’” [Van Houton, 111].
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you’” .
“It seemed like forever ago, like we’d have this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities” .
Bottom Line: I’m sure you’ll be one of those folks who liked this one better than I did. I love John Green’s writing. It’s smart and sharp and it usually cuts right through me, but this time it didn’t. The writing was still brilliant but it felt the same. Less than the same. But. But I’m definitely in the minority. And who knows—maybe next time I read this one I’ll like it more.
Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? What did you think? What do you like best about John Green’s writing?