Skip to main content

The Fault in Our Stars

And here is Most Anticipated Books of 2012 number two. I admit much of my anticipation for this one had to do with the experience of reading it alongside so many others. It was like a community event. Not that I don't enjoy John Green's work in and of itself, I just tend to want to like it more than I actually do. The Fault in Our Stars is no different. There is so much to love about the artistry in the writing itself and it is beautiful, witty, and heartbreaking, but there were elements of it that I just couldn't fully embrace, all of which had to do with me as the reader and not the book itself.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

The book has everything one could wish for in a good book. Excellent characterization, tragedy mixed with acerbic humor, a well placed plot, and a story that is moving. Hazel and Augustus are, of course, mature beyond their years. They have had to face questions about life, death, and reality that most kids their age never think to contemplate. The book is really an examination of these questions: What is the meaning of life if there is one? What happens to us when we die? How does knowing we are going to die in the imminent future affect the decisions we make in the present? What is the purpose of living, even if it is for a shortened time? These are all excellent questions. Questions that should be asked and contemplated. I like these questions. I disagree with many of the answers Hazel and Augustus came up with but I loved that they sparked so much thought and could be the beginning of many interesting conversations. I really enjoyed the interactions between these two and their developing romance, which is the real thing: intellectual, emotional, and physical. Hazel is Green's first attempt to tell a story from the female perspective and he did an excellent job. Augustus Waters does take over the story though (or did for me). His sexy charismatic personality was hard not to fall for.

So yes, I enjoyed and appreciated the book. My problem? I actually guessed where the plot was going from my first reading of the synopsis back when it was revealed and had been hoping since then I was wrong. I wasn't, and that is not a fault in the book or the way it was written. That was just me wanting a different story than the one being told. To Green's credit he made me believe this is the only way the story could have gone despite my reservations, and yes I cried in all the requisite places, but I could never shake the sense that I was being manipulated into it, although not in the cheap sentimental way that so many cancer books are guilty of. I do wonder if my reaction to it would have been different if this book had come out before A Monster Calls. It may only be the comparison in my own  head between the two that made this one feel a little heavy handed toward the end.


Chachic said…
Aww sorry to hear that you had problems with this one. I really enjoyed reading it and it even made me cry. I was planning to put up a review before Queen's Thief Week but wasn't able to find the time to write it so maybe after the festivities are done.

Popular posts from this blog

Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Future Favorite Friday: June 2018

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments. Two Naomis  was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I was understandably excited it's getting a sequel.  In this sequel to  Two Naomis , now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges. Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home. Naomi Marie i

The Reece Malcolm List

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding surprised me. Enough people I trust enjoyed it so I knew I would like it, but wasn't expecting to like it as much as I do. It is a really great book that is fun and has real heart and soul too. Synopsis: Things I know about Reece Malcolm: 1. She graduated from New York University. 2. She lives in or near Los Angeles. 3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week. 4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon. 5. She’s my mother. Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much. L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love. But the

Ash & Bramble

I have established that I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. You know what else I love? Books written by Sarah Prineas. Both her MG series are great favorites of mine. When she happened to mention on Twitter long ago that she was working on a YA, I followed closely eager to read whatever the result was. Ash & Bramble  is a fabulous work of genius. (I consider Sarah a friend as well as an author I love, and she sent me the ARC I'm reviewing here.) Pin lives in the Godmother's fortress sewing clothes with the other seamstresses tasked with producing the beautiful one of a kind ballgowns the Godmother uses for her mysterious purposes. Pin has no memories of her life prior to the day she begins her work as a slave to the Godmother's will. Everything that came before is a blank nothing. While she has no memories, she is still a person with a will and a fierce defiance to live her own life. She gets a chance to plan an escape when she is used as a foot model for