The Fault in Our Stars was devoured and thoroughly digested by the Kind Book Monster inhabiting my brain. It was hungry - really hungry - and inhaled The Fault in Our Stars. But as the digestion process began, the Kind Book Monster's stomach churned. This review is its super beautiful crap.
I have no idea how to rate this book, because I really enjoyed it, and I thought it was good but... Yeah. As I began to consider it in its entirety, I saw all its flaws. Like, while I was reading, I expected these things to be smoothed over because The Fault in Our Stars is really so enamoring. I don't even feel like reviewing it, maybe out of emotional exhaustion, like explosions in my brain, but I'll give it a big, crappy, totally unedited go.
It's a book chock full of good points or whatever. There are strengths, which is good. I fully understand and acknowledge why people like The Fault in Our Stars. For me, though, something didn't click? I felt a strange void that kept me from being blinded by an emotional orgasm - which I consider a strength in my neurons. Then I realized that reading this book started making me write like a pretentious high schooler, so I immaculately dropped a star.
"I looked over at Augustus Waters, who looked back at me. You could almost see through his eyes they were so blue. 'There will come a time,' I said, 'when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that everyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this' - I gestured emcompassingly - 'will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was a time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that's what everyone else does.'"
'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.'
The Fault in Our Stars has a quality that gives you the wonderful ability to read something in record time. I didn't put this book down except to sleep, do stuff, and fuss to my mother about why I didn't feel like doing X because I wanted to read Y. It was a nice feeling. The book's strengths are mostly technical things and most of the flaws can be found in certain characterization, plot choices, etc.
Here's what I liked. I enjoyed Green's writing style. It was smooth and quick. The book felt fresh, though not fresh enough. Isaac and Hazel were (mostly) cool characters, and the side characters were very strong. I enjoyed the IDEA of Gus, but he didn't really develop, so poo. I liked when stuff was developed in the plot, but there wasn't always enough of that. I liked that I wanted to keep reading the book. The romance was done well enough, but...
And here's what I didn't like. (The list is subjective.) Gus was like a shell of strengths. He was there, ready and waiting to be further developed and pushed into I-feel-like-I-could-touch-himness, but gosh darn it, he didn't get there. He remained that shell of strengths for the whole book, besides a few tasteful additions that were mostly added through Hazel's narrative, not straight from his mannerisms/mouth, so it wasn't convincing and watered down their relationship a bit.
Second, the plot bothered me at some points. It was either too thin, or it was almost just right. But it was undeniably cliche and predictable, and Green tried way too hard with some parts of the plot. Some stuff was heart-wrenching. I did shed a few tears. Sometimes, though, the book seemed to veer off track because points weren't developed enough, whereas others were, leaving me with this void of unsatisfied expectations.
Third - when the book didn't get all trying-to-be-heavy or trying-to-be-funny or trying-to-be-smart, I enjoyed it because, hey, it felt realistic. But the book was always trying to do one of those things, and if there's one thing I despise, it's when someone tries to force me to feel something. Just no. Stop.
Lastly, though, it wasn't that I couldn't stand the dialogue. Sometimes it felt staged, but okay, that might've been part of the characters. Okay, they talked like they were wise and smart, but hey, that might've been part of their characters. But if there was one thing I couldn't stand, it was when they'd say philosophical crap, then Green would smack a "or whatever" or "like" on the end. No, that doesn't make them sound like teenagers. Pick a style of dialogue and stick with it. That's when it sounds convincing, sir. And show their perpetual teenagerness with a huge dash of wise and a stick of big words in other ways than just "or whatever" and "like."
...I liked the book. It was enjoyable to read. I'm serious.
Also, had no idea who this John Green was before reading this book. Have I been living under a rock?
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