Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sometimes people don't understand the promises they are making when they make them

Why I read this book

The trailer for the movie based on this book is all over the place and I have to admit, my curiosity got hold of me. What is it about this book that so many people are raving about?

What the book is about

This is a love story between 2 teenagers that encounter themselves through a support group for cancer survivors. Hazel has a rare cancer that has compromised her lungs and Augustus had osteosarcoma. Their relationship grows through the illness and through a book that has marked Hazel. They will both change each others with their first love.

First impressions

From the moment I thought about acquiring the book I told my boyfriend: apparently I will cry a lot with this book. However as I advanced in the book, while I encountered pretty sad moments, nothing moved me to tears. I couldn't help but think that the whole raving about "the feelings" in this book oversold it for me and I had way to higher expectations.

Final thoughts

Have you seen any of the videos from John Green? He has a very particular style and oh boy does it transfer to this book. I cannot say to his writing, since this is the first book from his that I've read, I think that is amazing, to be able to transfer yourself so well on paper...well, on audio in this case.

The characters were very likable, which is not always the case, and good thing is, I felt that they would be likable even without the cancer. Hazel is smart albeit a bit of a Debby downer (yes, I know she has cancer) being, I suppose, the voice of tragedy somehow. And Augustus was very sweet and also smart...but sometimes overly optimistic, so the voice of comedy?...I think that the intention was to show the two extreme reactions to being sick so young. You could either take your eventual death and be very pragmatic about it or go the other way around and try to act like the illness is not there while taking profit of every single minute.

The story builds up nicely, and I appreciated the fact that at the end Green talks about consulting with specialists to be as accurate as possible and admits that in some cases he took the liberty to ignore their advice in order to make a literary option instead of a scientific one.

The descriptions of Amsterdam were lovely. How lucky for him to be able to get to know the city!

It was a nice love story. It was a nice cancer story. But it was a predictable story. I don't think this was Green's fault. I think is the fault of the internet.

I enjoyed Kate Rudd as a narrator; she was fun, very good inflections and voices.

The dead are only visible in the terrible, littlest eye of memory 

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