The book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Summary: 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 feelings on the author: John Green is a cool guy. Plain and simple. I’ve watched his Brotherhood vlog, I follow his tumblr, I’ve read Looking for Alaska — and he’s just a cool guy. He makes you think, he’s honest but polite, and I think it’d be pretty cool to just chill with him one day. Shooting the shit. Over-analyzing everything passing us by. It’d be pretty epic.
What I liked about the novel: It’s freaking deep. Take away the fact we have teenagers faced with terminal illnesses, and it will still mess you up five different ways to Monday. I love that it’s about life and yea, it’s about kids freakin’ dying, but it HAD TO BE. It’s meant to be used as a way for us to evaluate our own lives and our own choices and our own way of living. It’s meant to upset you. It’s meant to disrupt the perfect day-to-day life you pretend to live, only to be screwed up by the petty not-so-day-to-day mishaps. It’s meant to get you up out of your seat or bed or bean bag chair or, if you’re anything like me, off the floor, and get doing and being who you are. The book had to be about teenagers! And you know why?? Because it wouldn’t upset you as much. Something about a story robbing you of the rest of your life at a young age screws up EVERYONE. But that’s the point. If you don’t like it, then you don’t get it. Go back and try again. Shall we discuss the ending? Nope, I’d rather not. John Green will not let you down. The ending has one very distinct meaning and if you don’t get it, turn around, do the walk of shame back to your copy, and try it again.
What I didn’t like about the novel: Did I mention it had freakin’ teenagers dying in it? It sucks and I bawled the whole last quarter of the book. In a way, it is pandering a bit. I mean, you’re a douche if you hate a book about kids dying. It’s a rule somewhere, I swear. But I already mentioned why it was necessary. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. My only real criticism of the book comes from the the readers saying the teens don’t “act” like real teens. I know 14 year old kids who read this and connected with the teenagers. I think most teenagers do sound like Hazel and Gus… internally… and until you’re a high schooler faced with death every friggin’ day, I really can’t see how you would know what they should act like. Not to mention, I don’t know about you, but I know a LOT of teenagers. Upwards of 2000. They’re a lot more intelligent and thought-provoking than most adults remember. I just hate the double standard — when a piece of work makes teenagers sound unintelligent, then we’re not giving them something to look up too. But when a book comes along that might be a little above a teenager’s head with a healthy outlook on life, people berate it for not being realistic enough. Shut up already and enjoy the message.
Oh, there is one real complaint. Gus is a horrible name, John Green. I couldn’t get Cinderella’s chunky little mouse out of my head.
Would I recommend the novel: Yes. To. Everyone. As soon as I finished it, I demanded other book-reading nerds to move it to the front of their current lists. I says to them, I said “What are you reading?” And before they could finish a sentence I said, “No, stop it. Don’t. As soon as you finish that book, which it better be good, give it to me to read and you start reading TFIOS.” And then they’d give me some horrible excuse about putting it off for the summer or a trip or a time when they could handle it. To which I replied, with a firm slap on the desk or counter, “Hell, no you won’t. Read it. Curl up in the corner and cry and finish it!” Most everyone has read it by now, but if you’re still looking for a reason to do it — DO IT.
Have you read this? What did you think about it?