Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

13035203The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Published by: Penguin Australia
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 313
Rating: 2
Date Read: 26/03/2014

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.

This book was nothing but disappointment after disappointment. I had heard nothing but good reviews and the highest of all praise about this book. But I didn’t see any of that. I read this because I heard how amazing it was. I don’t think it was as great as everyone thought it was though. I honestly don’t think that the writing was very good. I thought the eulogy part was the most intense part. I think because of the way it was written, I didn’t get to truly connect with them as much as I usually do when reading so I wasn’t as emotional as other people were when reading.

To me the story was lacking emotion. I never connected with the main characters. Hazel and Augustus are the flattest cardboard cut-outs I have ever seen in any book. I found them both very boring and unlikeable. Augustus and Hazel have the same boring, pretentious, know-it-all and indistinguishable personality. These two characters meld together and have no depth at all. I couldn’t connect with them.

 I thought the story was Predictable, Boring, Uninspiring. I had to plough through the whole book. Cancer is hard, it’s painful but this book didn’t show me that. I couldn’t feel Hazel and Augustus’ struggle against it. I couldn’t feel their pain.

To be honest, I might not have read this book if it wasn’t for the amount of praise it gets. I was expecting to love it as much as everyone else. But while reading this book, I didn’t feel anything.

I like that Green doesn’t patronise his readers by oversimplifying things or dumbing down characters in a condescending effort to appeal to teenagers, but these characters behave in a way that is unnatural to the point where sometimes it is verging on ridiculous. It’s not completely unbelievable that some kids exist who are actually like this, but they definitely don’t all speak and behave in this way. I respect John Green and like that he tried tackling a storyline such as this. In my opinion though, the execution was quite poor. The book had a slow pace and was really unrealistic.

The writing is so Pretentious. It sounds awkward, fake and every metaphor in this book is ridiculously over the top. The way the characters talk. They sound like they’re reading directly off a script:

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

I’m Mean, who talks like that? Nobody. Not even Shakespeare went around saying things like that. I like many of the ideas behind the book and I think I see what it was trying to do. And yet it fell short. I really wanted to love this book, but sadly, it underwhelmed me and left me feeling a bit unimpressed.I’m not saying The Fault in Our Stars is horrible. Not at all. But what I am saying is that it is not as good as everyone makes it out to be. I hardly think this book is worth the hype.

This is completely my opinion. If you liked this book, great! I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did.

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