Release Date: January 2012
Publisher: Penguin | Dutton
Pages: 313 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Kindle e-book
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Brief Thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars
This book is beloved by many, and I know that I'll be a bit of the black sheep (at least in the book blogosphere) in my thoughts on it. I'm choosing not to write a full review because I can't really find the words to explain how I felt about this read. I never cried or even came close - mostly because I felt like the book was trying too hard to make me cry. And, to be honest, "trying too hard" is kind of how I felt about the book overall. I can understand why people love it so much, but it just wasn't the book for me. At the end of the day, I don't think I'm the right reader for John Green.
As a big character reader, I think I struggled with Green's book because I didn't like the characters. They felt too pretentious and unrealistic to me. It was hard for me to get past that there was one teenager who talked and acted this way - let alone two who lived in the same city. For me, every single character in this book read like versions of the same person... John Green. For the most part, I felt like I was just seeing "the man behind the curtain" on every page of the book. An author has their own voice and style, yes, but Green's felt like it completely overwhelmed every element of this story. I couldn't separate him from his characters. Again, that's just me. Most readers have really fallen in love with the people in this book, so I'm totally in the minority there.
Overall, I didn't like The Fault in Our Stars. It's one of those books that make me want to write a really rant-y post about all the things that annoyed me. There are a few lines and moments that I enjoyed, but it was mostly a miss for me. It felt too contrived - like it was constantly trying to make me FEEL the emotions while also trying to celebrate its cleverness. I found that really irritating. I thought about writing a longer, more thoughtful post about this book but decided against it for a variety of reasons. Most people love it, and I didn't. It happens sometimes!
"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books [...] which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal."
*After writing several mini reviews, I decided to note the difference by calling it "Brief Thoughts" on the book. I'll continue to use this moving forward whenever I write a shorter, less in-depth post on what I've read. I liked giving myself the freedom to write less and want to continue to do so when I feel I don't have a lot to say.