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The Fault in Our Stars

July 2, 2014

    ✰✰out of ✰✰✰✰✰

 

Hazel Grace has thyroid cancer that has metastasized to the lungs and is terminal. She is spending her life watching reality TV, rereading the same book, and forcing herself to attend a support group she hates. Then she meets Augustus and he is able to pull her out of the rut she calls life and show her what it’s like to live.

I know, I know, everyone adores this book, and I am sure everyone will be very disappointed that I do not. I love the idea of the book, and I did not dislike it, but 2 stars is all I can give and I feel justified in doing so. Why am I only giving it 2 stars? Well it is for several reasons, the main ones being the lack of depth, reality, and detail.

First of all, I did not by any means feel as though the characters had any depth. The character development seemed to be lacking. The only way I am going to love, feel and connect with ANY character is to know them. I don’t know anything about them after reading this book except they have cancer and love Imperial Affliction. I don’t know if this is common in John Green’s books but I have noticed it frequently in other works. Not only do the characters lack depth but their entire romance lacks it. They don’t seem to have any chemistry, or any real connection. I just don’t feel the love.

Secondly, the book seemed to lack reality, not entirely but some things simply weren’t realistic. Yes, I know it’s a book, but when a realistic piece of fiction is written it is critical that it is actually realistic. One of my favorite examples in this book is when Hazel goes to Augustus’ house after literally speaking to him for five minutes. No one in their right mind would do this, no one. Furthermore, there isn’t a single parent of a terminally ill child who is going to allow this. She will hardly let her drive! There is no way in hell she would allow her to get into the car with a stranger, let alone go to his house. Another problem is their use of language. They speak as though they are college literature professors. I am not convinced that two young adults speak in Shakespeare type soliloquies on a frequent basis.

Finally, this book lacks any details of interest. I can’t tell you what any of the characters look like, I cannot tell you they pain that they experienced. Furthermore, the lack of detail in a main character’s death is merely a side note…oh, he died 8 days later. Really? How are your readers going to care? How are they going to understand the suffering that takes place when someone dies from cancer? Death by cancer is an ugly and painful way to go. I have worked with my share of cancer patients and I don’t feel that this book adequately describe what they go through. Honestly, it barely scratched the surface. I’m not being morbid, I just feel if you are going to paint a portrait, you should paint the whole picture not just the pieces you like.

All this being said, I see why people have fallen in love with this novel. However, I am simply not one of them

 

 

 

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