I kept flitting between a 4/5 on this, but I think I can’t really give it a perfect score. I’ve never read a John Green book before and was recommended quite a number to start with, but I thought I’d just bite the bullet and go straight for The Fault In Our Stars.
I initially had a bit of an issue with a grown man writing as an almost flippant teenage girl when it came to cancer – not in an angry way, more that I just didn’t like the style. That lasted all of, say, a chapter. I remember about 10% into the book I turned to my boyfriend and said I couldn’t believe I liked it. Based on everyone being in love with the book I thought I’d fall instantly into it, but I hadn’t. Then that moment happened and I found it hard to fall back out.
It’s kind of difficult, because (as far as I know) I’m the only person I know who didn’t cry at this book – not once, not close. I did love Hazel Grace, and despite thinking that Augustus was cocky on an initial meeting I couldn’t help loving him as a character soon on in.
I think that the book isn’t exactly out there as a book that deals with cancer. I’ve read a few, and this seemed nothing exceptional. The wit and humour might be something others will warm to, and I do too, but having someone in real life – albeit far older – who embodies these attributes makes it far less surprising and charming. I warmed to it because it reminded me of him. I would now lurch into the story of my Uncle and Auntie, but I won’t.
It was a bit idealistic, and I think that’s ultimately what put me off. Despite being teenagers, both characters sounded more like 30+ men in the way the spoke and viewed the world – not implausible, but it seemed a bit too non-teenagery at points. (This obviously countered by the ‘He’s so hot, like, really hot’ and things…)
I’ve started rambling. This was all so well worded in my head, but lying horizontally in my bed ill has clearly ruined my grasp on words.
So, to summarise:
I liked it. I got into it very easily and rattled through it because I really wanted to know what happened. I liked the characters, but sometimes they felt a bit older than they were (I understand why, but still) and at times it was a bit too idealistic and lovey dovey. Having said that, I still really enjoyed the book. I also enjoyed the significance of a book within a book, but I think I’ve rambled too aimlessly to do justice to that point. (I’m 99% sure my ramble on Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s ‘The Angel’s Game’ would touch on it).