Monday, 6 January 2014

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Book Description from
In The Fault in Our Stars, John Green has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects--life, death, love--with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion. Hazel is sixteen, with terminal cancer, when she meets Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. The two are kindred spirits, sharing an irreverent sense of humor and immense charm, and watching them fall in love even as they face universal questions of the human condition--How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning?--has a raw honesty that is deeply moving. --Seira Wilson

I loved this Young Adult book in all its pretentious glory. Then again I love anything where people discuss philosophy and existential crises. I sometimes wish every human being on earth talked like Hazel and Gus. Okay maybe that would be too much. I'd settle for one person in my life who talked like these completely unbelievable but completely enchanting characters.

Hazel is a 17 year old who has terminal cancer. She meets and begins a romance with Augustus who is a cancer survivor. The story is about their journey through first love, the meaning of life and death, and of course, cancer. 

I found Hazel and Gus to be utterly charming. I loved that this book made me think. Think about the meaning of words, ponder various existential issues, and remember that prose can sound like poetry.  I also loved the fictional book An Imperial Affliction. I loved it so much I actually went to Amazon hoping it was a real book. Sadly it is not. I love so many of the lines in this book that I was sad my copy was a library copy and I couldn't highlight them.

This book made me cry a few times because these teenagers fight with cancer seemed very real and touching. I admit it did get overly sentimental at times but death and family and first love is overly sentimental. However, I laughed twice as much as I cried and this is another reason I fell in love with the book.

Like some I got the feeling while reading the book, this book is one of the best books I have ever read. It's written so well in places that you forget overall it's actually pretty badly written overall. The idea that two teenagers like this would happen to find each other is a bit unbelievable. The idea that they would talk like this is completely absurd. Yet I loved that they did. The teenagers debated the deeper meaning of scrambled eggs for goodness sakes!

What bothered me most about the story is the subplot with Peter van Houten. I wish I could say what bothered me so about what happens with Peter van Houten but that would be a MAJOR spoiler. I will simply say this one word: contrived.

In fact, that kind of sums up the entire plot of this story: contrived. Oh and of course, pretentious. But like I said I loved that it was pretentious. I think the pretentiousness of it all was actually a metaphor. Ironic even. As much as we like to give life and death deep meaning, in the end it's all kind of bullshit. 
This makes John Green kind of a genius in my eyes. 

Even with the incredibly contrived plot there was so much I loved about this book that I'm giving it

Movie Review coming...not so soon!
The movie version is due for release June 6 of this year. I predict that it won't even be close to as good as the book.

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