Friday, September 13, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publish Date: January 10th, 2012
Rating:

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.

How do you judge a book that puts on full display all of your deepest worries and fears? You don't. Not really. All you can do is just sit back and let it move you and then try to accurately explain the experience. So here it goes: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is brilliant and intelligent, but mostly, it's just honest.

There's something so... connected about The Fault in Our Stars. It makes you look at death in a realistic way, in a way that says this happens to everyone and will one day happen to you and how are you going to deal with it? Death is the one thing that connects every living thing. It doesn't matter who or what or where we are, we will die one day, no matter what. And it's sad and horrible, but, reading this book, death's not brushed over, it's not swept under the rug so we can have our fantasy of happily ever after, but it's also not as tragic as one would think. It's actually quite beautiful.

The funny thing about The Fault in Our Stars is that it's full of this suspense. Not knowing whether a character will succumb to their body's illness is possibly the most suspenseful suspense can get. And then adding the whole Peter Van Houten mystery and its just so much. All I wanted was for Hazel and Gus to meet this guy, a guy who I could care less about, but they were so enthusiastic about it they made me enthusiastic for them. I couldn't wait to see their reactions.

I have to say, in the beginning I was a little put off by some of the vocabulary used in this book. I mean, I have a pretty decent vocabulary, but there were times when I had to look up the definition of the words in the definition of the word I just looked up. Seriously! It's not a huge deal, but if I had to say one thing detracted from my enjoyment of the book, that was it, at least at first. It's something that grows on you as you read until eventually you can't imagine the book any other way. I'll say this though, John Green doesn't talk down to his readers. He expects them to keep up.

There's something so odd about this book, because, unlike the hundreds of other books I've loved and then tried to push on people, I don't want to push this one on anyone. It's like Green says in the book, some books give you an evangelical zeal while others make you wish that no one but you knew of them at all. And I think it's because the beauty of John Green's words will not be felt by all who read them. I know so many people who wouldn't have this book touch them the way it touched me and there's something so sad about that. It's like commenting on how beautiful the stars are and having the person you're with shrug and say, "Yeah, sure." It's like you're trying to share this piece of your soul with them and they can't see it. That might be a little bit dramatic, but it's how this book made me feel. It moved me in a way you can't always make other people understand. There are some things that are ruined when we try to share them with others. Some things that are better off kept to ourselves. The Fault in Our Stars is one of those things for me.

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5 comments:

  1. Fantastic review Jesse. Death is always a tough topic and it is all around us, but we don't really want to have to deal with it. I have seen a lot of great reviews for John Green, but haven't picked any of his books up yet. Will be adding to my want list. Thanks for sharing.

    Katie @ Turner's Antics

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  2. Great review! I can't wait to read this book :)

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  3. That was my introduction to John Green too, but I loved it! I'm sorry that the book didn't quite meet your expectations I guess. He is now one of my favorite authors. And I feel weird that I didn't pick up on the time zone thing.. strange!

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  4. I am such a cry baby - I think this one would break my heart. I know so many people are loving it. But I guess I enjoy reading to get away from reality not to be smacked in the face with it.

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  5. I have to read this book. I have it, but I know it will make me a tad sad, but I have heard it is very very good.

    Your review is selling me on reading it sooner :)

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We love to read them. :)

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