Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reading: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

NOTE - I'm not quite sure why I say certain things in this review, mainly referring to my apparent love for Augusts Waters. Did I seriously like that whole cigarette thing when I first read the book? I don't remember feeling that way but I want to make it clear that I think it is the most overrated and ridiculous attempt of John Green to make a deep character that, like most of his characters, is stupid. Sorry awesome John Green who I really respect and adore but don't enjoy your books. Sorry. My opinions have vastly changed and I still don't like this book. I want to make a note that John Green's intentions for this book are really great in that people who have cancer in novels and movies always seem to be some kind of martyr and he didn't want to make cancer seem heroic. Cancer sucks. That concept is really deep and cool! But this book is just not that. It is not! I also want to make a few more things clear since I am writing this. The dialogue in this book, which I failed to comment on in both my reviews of this book apparently, is terrible! No teenager is this sophisticated! These kids are practically perfect. In some ways they can be compared to Bella Swan because their perfection is borderline no personality. Yep, I just made a connection to Twilight. No regrets. I felt a need to write this above this review because I want to make the record clear. Thank you. - 09/16/14

In the world of tumblr and youtube and teen angst there is a writer named John Green who is looked at as the god of YA fiction writing.  Over the course of a few years, I have become more and more familiar with John Green and his latest novel was one that I couldn't wait to pick up.  I'd never read John Green before but had only seen him and his brother Hank on youtube (they are the famous Vlog Brothers), and various (I may add – awesome) quotes of his show up all over the internet – some of which you can see on my tumblr page.  Most recently I have also discovered John and his brother created a youtube channel called Crash Course which is quite similar to youtube sensation's Charlieissocoollike's Fun Science except it has a much more in class feel and looks a bit more professional.  Needless to say, it seems like John Green is the man.  But personally, after reading The Fault in Our Stars, I feel it's safe to say that the title of man still goes and will remain with John Williams.  That's a joke by the way…just watch this video and you'll understand. 
            Okay so to the review.  The Fault In Our Stars is a teen love story – girl meets boy and something connects them and they go on this amazing journey together and one dies.  Forgive me for saying this but, this broad storyline was a turnoff for me.  It seems like all we hear today are cheesy love stories.  They are not just in books but in movies and music and TV shows.  Why can't there be a story about girl meets boy and they are just friends?!  I mean, this was a nice love story and all but it wasn't as great as everyone is making it out to be.  It's no Twilight…oh wait.  Scratch that, it's no Pride and Prejudice.  Now I know John Green probably wasn't going for the whole epic love story, or at least that’s what it seems like.  I guess I just assumed this vlog brother awesome nerd fighter would write a book about something other than a teenage love story.  Another thing that turned me off to the novel was the title.  The story seemed to imply that it isn't human's that should be held responsible for what happens on the earth…hence it is the fault in our stars and not ourselves.  Now, that is partly true.  We as humans can't control the weather or where we are born or each other, but we can control ourselves.  You can't blame the stars for the night you got drunk and killed someone while driving.  My opinion is that we all were born with faults and hardships, some more than others, but we are responsible for ourselves and you can't blame the stars for your actions.  Of course you could blame the stars for the life you have been given but there is always someone that has it worse and life shouldn't be a pity party.  It all depends on how you look at situations and how you pick yourself up. 
            So let's go to the positives of this novel because there were many things I did like.  First off, I really liked Augustus.  He was definitely my favorite character of the novel.  I loved that he smoked cigarettes without lighting them to show the cigarette companies didn't have power over him and I loved that he was outgoing and read the book Hazel loved and quoted it and analyzed it.  I also loved when the novel took place in Amsterdam.  The experience Augustus and Hazel shared was one that I think we all have had, even if it wasn't with a significant other.  I also liked that when the character Issac was about to loose his eye sight, Augustus played video games with him.  It was like a ceremony for the last time he'd see a TV screen and be able to play like this…like he was making the most of his last minutes he had left with his eyes.  That was another thing I loved about Augustus.  He understood how to make people feel better and he seemed to always put their needs before his own.  He was selfless.  And one last thing I loved was what Peter Van Houten says: “What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
            Overall, this book was a good read but I feel it was overrated.  John Green is a great writer but I don't like that he writes mostly teenage love stories.  I still plan to read his other novels so we will see how those ones go for me.  I give this 2 out of 5 stars.
            Anyway, I would love to hear what you guys thought of the novel if you read it.  Do you like John Green?  Do you think my review was accurate or do you disagree with some of my points? Let me know in my tumblr askbox and I will surely answer you with a private message.  I would love to discuss the book with someone!

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