Katie's Reviews > The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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's review
Feb 19, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: general
Read in February, 2012

I laughed. I cried. As always, Green brings the clever turns of phrase. However, there's nothing really groundbreaking here. Not for cancer fiction. Not for romance. And certainly not for John Green. This book is very similar to all of his other books. Same characters. Same voice. Same general plot. Exceptionally smart teens + charming quirks + sidekick friend + road trip = significant but painful life lesson. The good news is that, if you enjoyed his other books, you will certainly enjoy this one as well.

As always, his characters engage in frequent witty repartee that will leave you chuckling to yourself and wishing all your conversations were as entertaining. The whole novel has a very distinct John Green voice. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it truly is enjoyable to read. A curse because the book is written in the first person and, instead of hearing Hazel, I heard John Green and every other main character he's ever written.

Moreover, I felt the whole work lacked depth. The novel seems to have been hit with a shotgun blast of philosophy, poetry and DEEP THOUGHTS. It came across as trying too hard. As Hazel (or any other John Green character) might say, it was aggressively clever.

My biggest complaint is that Green, once again, treads dangerously close to ruining the whole reading effort by over-explaining. His characters are too smart, too analytical, too self-aware and too eager to show us just how smart, analytic and self-aware they are. For example, instead of allowing us to ponder what drives Augustus to act as he does, we're spared the trouble because Augustus has already thought long and hard on the matter and is all-too-willing to enlighten us in an articulate letter he pens to another character. For bonus points he explains how Hazel is quite different and why. This exact same issue ruined Paper Towns for me when, at the end, Green via Quentin lectures the reader via Margo in an absurdly long monologue that essentially critically analyzed the entire story! Let us think for ourselves, John Green! Shut up and trust your reader to be as smart as you are.

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