Erin's Reviews > The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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May 05, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: boy-main-character, death, disability-illness, girl-main-character, humor, realistic-fiction, romance, t2-2011, teen, travel, tough-topics
Read in January, 2012

If you can avoid reading too many reviews or hearing too many sob stories, I would recommend reading this with as few expectations as possible.

That being said, as the three-star rating states: I liked it. I had heard so many rave reviews that were summed up by the reader describing the length and intensity of their sobs that I was a little wary, but I had also heard a (very) few readers say they remained unmoved. I fell somewhere in the middle.

Reading TFIOS, I was reminded very strongly of my obsession with Lurlene McDaniel's books as a teen. They were heartbreaking stories, often romances, that featured kids with cancer. I sobbed buckets, and felt grateful for my uneventful life. Which is about the same way I felt while reading TFIOS, although there was more humor in the tale and maybe only a teaspoonful of tears.

I didn't find the characters' enhanced vocabularies as grating as some other reviewers. There were enough cracks in the super-intellectual conversations to convince me that these were real teens dealing with grown-up problems. They were positive enough, but also angry and sad, and poked fun at the establishment while continuing to participate in the cliched therapy sessions. I can sympathize with that. The storyline, full of friendships, family dynamics, and struggles with the disease, was dynamic and paced well. The romance between Hazel and Augustus was slow enough to develop, with a satisfying climax, and a realistic ending. The twist came at just the right moment, and I wasn't expecting it.

There was nothing wrong with this story. For me, it was overshadowed by A Monster Calls, which deals with grief in a more powerful and unique way. The two books are very dissimilar, and probably shouldn't be compared, but nonetheless, I was less moved by TFIOS.
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