20. velj 2014.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


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My rating: 4 stars (or is it 3 stars - I can't decide)

Book summary: 

"Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, 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."
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12970552-the-fault-in-our-stars

      Why I decided to read TFIOS? Truth is that I didn't have much luck with John Green's novels. I did read only one book, Looking for Alaska, and my judgement may have been clouded by bad translation. Or I just didn't find the story very convincing. To be honest, final nudge for me to read The Fault in Our Stars was the movie - I didn't want to watch it before reading the book.

    Did I like it? The Fault in Our Stars would have make bigger impression on me if I had read in 2012. when it was published for the first time. Since then I was constantly reminded by my bookish friends how amazing it is and don't even let me start with all the annoying fan art. This doesn't mean that I didn't like it, but I did have standard "hyped books" issues. You recognize all the emotional and intellectual layers of the story, but nothing makes you feel that wow-factor because everything you had read was expected. Even the ending.

      Five reasons why I think TFIOS is brilliant. (1) John Green managed to turn a book about death into a book about living. Yes, it is sad and yes, I did cry in the end, but generally this is very positive, more often idealistic, story about struggle with cancer. (2) Peter van Houten. Bitter old man, writer and eccentric voices few things, very true things, that most of the people wouldn't say because it's "impolite" or socially unacceptable". (3) Three completely different characters - Hazel, Gus and Isaac - with same problem. (4) Hazel's dad and his theory about universe wanting to be noticed. (5) This is not just a sad love story, something most of the reviews I've read points out as focus of the story. Yes, there is a love story, but you have to read between the lines and you'll see a lot of other things. Few you wouldn't like, for some you'll think they are really cruel things to say, but I find them the best part of The Fault in Our Stars because they are honest.

       John Green is new Stephenie Meyer. I am not talking about content of their books (obviously), but I do have in mind the influence and worldwide obsession with his work, especially this novel. It became like this whole new subculture. You don't even have to doubt that it is a really great thing for author and sale's numbers, but for me as the reader, that is something distracting. I'm afraid that TFIOS would have same fate as books we have to read in high school - we are afraid to say we do not like them because everyone tells us that Tolstoy or Balzac are literary geniuses, so we feel obligated to find their novels worthy of all the praise even before we pick them up and read them.

       So, what did I hate about it? John Green has this annoying habit - I noticed that in Looking for Alaska, too - he  is a big fan of witty conversations which you have to read few times to understand them and in the end you realize they are not so funny. Quite contrary, everything looks pretentious and unbelievable. Also, I have this feeling that Green is one of those authors from category "if-you-read-one-book-by-this-author-it's-like-you-read-them-all". One thing that makes me want to scream and hurl the book under the super fast moving train that will destroy it into the pieces is standard American Europe cliche.

       I am glad that I finally read this book, I liked it, there are things I didn't like and I can't wait to see what they did with it in the movie.


 Happy reading,

Broj komentara: 28:

  1. I wasn't a fan of Looking for Alaska either, but I absolutely loved both this novel and An Abundance of Katherines (though that has a lot of witty conversations, so you may not enjoy that one too much). I'm glad you had better luck with this than your first Green novel, though, and I have to agree that it's such a deep and thought-provoking angle on mortality. Lovely review, Glass! :)

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    1. I think I'll wait a little bit before I pick up my next JG novel, but I will read them.:) Thank you.

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  2. That's good you finally read the book before the movie. I'm sorry it wasn't as great as it could have been. Hype can definitely hurt a book. I really loved this book, and Looking for Alaska but it's all about taste. :)

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    1. I agree, we can't like everything we read.

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  3. I plan on reading this one soon too because, like you, I want to see the movie and I refuse to do that without having read the book first.

    I am nervous that you didn't like this one as much as others have.

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    1. I really wish that I had read it sooner - I think I'd enjoy it much more.
      Good luck and I'll be waiting for your review.

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  4. I do feel that his books are similar from one and another but I still really enjoyed this one. GUS <33

    Fabulous review, Tanja! <33

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    1. Gus was so sweet. That letter in the end... :(((

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  5. I've been dragging my feet on this one as well Glass, partly because of the subject matter (cancer stories are always a bit heavy for me so I tend to avoid them. That sounds bad I know, but I like to escape reality when reading, and cancer is just a little too real for me.) and partly because of the hype you mentioned. I've read nothing but glowing reviews for this book, so it was interesting to read about some of the things that didn't work about it as well. Thanks for your thoughts!

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    1. Don't feel bad about that, I feel the same way. One of the reasons why I avoided it this long is the subject. I hope you will read it because I believe that this is one of the books every serious reader should pick up. Would you like it is completely different matter.

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  6. Glass, you have pretty much summed up my feelings here. I'm not a big JG fan, but to me this was enjoyable. I didn't love it as much as everyone else, but still like I said a decent read. "looks pretentious and unbelievable" - I agree, the conversation between the two main characters was so not the kind of thing you hear two typical teens talk about. It was all a bit much.

    I won't be watching the movie, but I am glad I read the book.

    Wonderful review|!

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    1. Thank you, Renu. I am happy that you guys understand me and don't judge me for not being in fangirling mode.

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  7. eh, this is what happened with me when I was reading Eleanor and Park. Nothing really grabbed me and the hype totally ruined it for me. Oh, I really like your take on JG as the new SM and I completely agree with every point you made. That's a very interesting angle to look at things. Lol! Agreed with the fact that he does have this thing where his characters feel forced in their conversations. I haven't read TFiOS (or any of his books yet), but I have seen lots of excerpts. I'm going to read TFiOS for the same reason--the movie. And I'm freaking scared. I have this mindset that I won't like it and it's annoying so my paperback is still unread after all this time. Fingers crossed I'll find it more enjoyable than you did and will actually get the hype.

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    1. I'd probably have same issues with E&P, but that author was new for me and I didn't read single review before picking it up. (Thank you God!)
      Uh, I think your review will be one big rant.:/

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  8. I love your review Glass! I've had this on my shelf since it's released, but have been putting it off for so long. I feel like if I read I might be a bit disappointed because I'll go into it with high expectations like you. I hope I enjoy it whenever i read it.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. Don't give up on it yet - maybe you'll love it, but I know what you mean. Thank you.

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  9. I have been dragging my feet on this one. I just can't go there. I don't know cancer books and all that can only have one outcome most of the time and I already know going in how it will play out so why torture myself? I am glad to see someone who isn't falling into the mass hype.

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    1. Thank you, Heidi.:)
      I DNFed two or three books since beginning of this year because of that subject. I just can't.

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  10. I'm not a big fan of John Green but I think TFIOS is a decent read when compared to other books of Green. I was neither impressed nor loathed. A perfect review, Glass!!

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  11. Ugh, I agree that he's kind of the New Stephanie Meyer. He already has a cult following (2 million followers on Twitter, whoa!) and he has a tendency to rant stuff on twitter that could easily be miscontrued due to the way it was phrased. I do think TFiOS is waaaay overhyped and my friends and I agree that there were some dialogue in the book that was too... I don't know... too witty? Too witty that it's borderline unrealistic (in a sense it's not believable for someone at that age to say/think those things).

    I'm still excited to see the movie though!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

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  12. "Quite contrary, everything looks pretentious and unbelievable." This. I also gave TFiOS four stars instead of five because of that very reason. Although, I would love to borrow Green's brain for a day and see how he even comes up with words and phrases like that.

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  13. I'm sorry you didn't adore this one like I did, but I get where you're coming from. I agree that if books are too hyped up, you end up enjoying them less because of the really high expectations. I read this one soon after it came out, so I adored it then. Hope you have more luck if you read another John Green book!
    Great review :)

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  14. Haven't read anything by John Green but I'm finally going to read TFiOS next month and my reason is same as yours. I really like the movie trailer and I want to read the book before watching the movie. Seriously, I fear the same thing. I feel as if I won't love this book as much as everyone else does. Hype books never work for me, so I'm just gonna cross my fingers and hope this one does. I'm glad that overall you enjoy this book. Great review, Glass :)

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  15. I agree that John has the tendency to make his teen protagonists sound like twenty or thirty something adults having overly witty conversations. It's something he does in all his books, and I guess I've just come to accept it. Glad you enjoyed most of this, great review! :-)

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  16. I absolutely loved reading your review when I saw in my mail, Glass. You've put down your thoughts brilliantly and even though everyone (including me) loved this book, I'm always happy to see how someone else didn't enjoy it as much. Anyhow, I'm glad you read it and I hope you'll be watching the movie as well. Lovely review, girl!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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  17. I just gave this book 2 stars. I like John Green's writing style, but I didn't like the story.

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  18. Haven`t read it yet....I`m not sure if I`d like it :)

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