Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 313 pages

Plot
Essentially a “sick” love story about living while facing a known, pending death.

He Said
Perhaps I’m cold hearted, but I felt none of the emotional pangs I was supposed to for this “beloved” and apparently “moving” novel. The plot was predictable and most dialogues read like bad soap opera. I couldn’t connect as I believed it unrealistic and honestly felt frustrated and tortured in several parts. The last few chapters are more tolerable than the majority of the book as it didn’t have the insufferable “epic” romantic exchanges. I do appreciate the novel’s message that chronically ill people should still “live” and not let death/sickness define them.

She Said
An honest perspective of death and meaningful message that we should be comfortable with the idea of ambiguity. John Green conveyed great stylistic flare. But, how unrealistic sounding are his dialogues?? “Hazel Grace, it is my privilege to have you break my heart.” Who says that?!?!? And a teenage boy, at that! While I appreciate Green’s message, most of the novel reads like a bad romance.

We Say
A work truly meant for teenagers. Unimpressive as a book, we’ll skip the movie version.

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9 comments

  1. Perhaps I have a peculiar taste but the actor casted for Augustus Waters is nowhere near hot and attractive as the book described. This has always been my pet peeve for book-adapted movies — the casting will never capture the true essence of the book characters.

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  2. You two are probably the only people of my acquaintance who didn’t like the book!

    I actually really like the “stylistic flair” – it has a lyrical quality. I thought the book had a lot of strong imagery and simple yet evocative concepts. The exploration of illness was particularly well done and I thought it was actually very realistic.

    According to reviews, the movie seems quite faithful to the book – in which case, probably best not to torture yourselves again. ;)

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    1. As you probably have guessed, we picked up this book due to your recommendation. I swore off any works featuring High Schoolers ages ago but made an exception to this. I agree the portrayal of illness/death was realistic, but there was so much focus on the “great love of my life” that distracted me in a bad way. I hate all that romance stuff. There are bits and pieces that I liked – Gus’s infatuation with metaphors and the infinities within numbered days. But as a whole, the “romance” gave me a bad taste in my mouth.

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  3. I completely agree that the dialogue between Hazel & Agustus was hard to swallow as anything realistic. However, I think it’s fine that their banter was unrealistic (I felt the same with Lorelai and Rory in Gilrmore Girls but still loved the series)…often characters will act in a way that the author idealizes and even if it’s not my own ideal I can appreciate it. And while their love story doesn’t align with what I would describe as “epic” (I would describe it more as simply cute), I still enjoyed it. Not going down as one of my favorite books, but I think it’s worth the read–it gave several points on life to ponder.
    One thing Green brought up in the novel was how healthy people make the mistake (since everyone dies) of saying how those who have died will live on through those they leave behind. My grandmother recently passed and I wrote something similar about her kindness living on in the lives of those she’s touched but I personally meant it more like a butterfly effect–we have an impact on those around us who then impact those around them. So she may not get the “credit” but indirectly has had an affect on I’m sure more people than I could even imagine. Which goes along with another theme he had–about the need to feel like we mattered to the world. I think that we all matter and (again, butterfly effect) change the world. Just because future generations may not know us by name and our pictures may not be placed in history books it doesn’t mean that our lives mattered any less. That’s my own feelings on the subject anyway. :)

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    1. Go read “The Prophet”. I think you will like it. :) It shares similar sentiments on life and death, without the cheesy teenage stuff in between. :P

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