Snort's Reviews > The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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's review
May 21, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: the-naive-voice-of-reason, hypermitotic-visions
Read from May 21 to 28, 2012

My 15 year old self is never far, impatient and ravenous for YA fiction - thus, ratings and reviews of such usually fall within her domain. For "The Fault in Our Stars" though, my jaded adult self has decided to butt in, much to my childish reproach.

This novel is a love story, but we are spared the sordid promiscuity that accompanies YA fiction. Instead, we are given the aching awkwardness of Hazel Grace and Augustus, who together, are fearful to even imagine a future of mangled possibilities. This novel is also a cancer story, and while I relish a hearty sob, my well-primed amygdala refused to cooperate. While grown men wept over dear Hazel Grace, I was maddeningly unmoved. My best friend believes my soul is merely hardened; I worry that the daily grind has turned me into a callous bastard.

The protagonists are warm and likeable, but old, old old beyond their years. There must be a tremendous amount of growing up to do in an eternity cut short, but they seem more like adults looking back on their hapless adolescence, creating the perfect image of an imperfect life - self-deprecating, witty and wise. The plot is predictable, as are the other characters - we will all look upon the rudely healthy Kaitlin with contempt, and the hover-copter parents with a certain anticipatory grief.

This novel did not open my dry eyes... and perhaps this is where John Green has actually succeeded. Without maudlin misery or facile optimism, he has tapped into the vein of a true cancer story, one I am so familiar with at work that I didn't even realise I was reading a construct of his imagination. I must admit I love the title, a twist to Shakespeare's quote; however I deem it impossible to tease out whether the actions of Hazel Grace and Augustus were driven by their unique human condition, or dictated by their pre-destined fate. A trembling 3 stars, nudged there by the odd nagging lump I swallowed at the end... and who knows what the 15 year old Jo-An would have rated?


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