Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

What do I think? DO I STILL EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT ORGAN FOR THIS FUNCTION? I probably cried my brain out after reading this book. UGH.

the fault in our stars

Anyway, so let’s begin. I initially didn’t want to read this book, because I’ve been turned off by John Green’s writing of Looking for Alaska. And then, the holidays came and I seriously needed a genre jolt so I decided to give this a try, and boy was it the best decision I’ve ever made this Christmas break!

If we all follow the belief of Matt in M. Pierce’s Night Owl – that every author lived and wrote for one masterpiece – I’m thinking that maybe this book was it for John Green. What I didn’t like about Looking for Alaska was that there was an unnecessary excess of angst that could be put off from the book. It also felt an adventure for naught because, ugh I kept on reading, thinking that Alaska was alive, and that was the point BUT NO, IT WASN’T AND it doesn’t really blow up on my face, as much as it did at the half of the book, but it just felt too useless, for me.

And here in The Fault in Our Stars, there was no excess trappings of teenage angst that Green tried so hard to paint on Looking for Alaska. There was only the tragedy of having a terminal disease, and an even darker truth of how it was to have such a disease, and then later on, to find and lose the solace of the one great love to this terminal disease. There was no other frill to add to the gloom, because the gloom was there to be explored and revealed. That this was the truth of knowing you are going to die, and this was the pain of how it felt when you find your comfort in this temporary world and how it felt to have it all ripped away from you.

This is the adventure that enlightened me, that took me off from my couch into the world of Hazel Grace Lancaster, an act that Looking for Alaska failed to do to me.

The most off-putting aspect of LoA for me was the characterization. It felt like these characters are just too trying hard to be angst, and they just scream teenagers (followed by a roll of my eyes) to me. I cannot connect with Alaska in any way possible. I cannot even comprehend her way of thinking. (And I was an emotionaly teenager when I read LoA.)

Aside from their really too-brilliant-for-normal-use language, Hazel and Augustus was really realistic, like I could picture out these two people – alive and dying and they are rigid and breathing. ALIVE. I loved Augustus and his charms, his sense of humor. I loved Hazel and her wit, her intellect. I also loved Isaac and I LOVED THEIR TRIO! I cannot really explain how I just loved all their characterizations, just that it worked so splendidly for me.

What I also loved from this book was, it reminded me of why I read YA. That there are lessons we forget after we grow out of our lost years, years where we struggle with our introduction with how cruel the world actually is, and in going back to these years, we find slivers of our youth, our hopes. And I cannot really say I can connect with cancer patients, because I am not one. (And hopefully it stays that way for a long, long time.) But everyone is familiar with the concept of death – of losing someone, of the fear that it is just around the corner, we just don’t know if it was the immediate one or the one after 52 blocks. We can relate with finding love, and the magnificence of finding the one true one. And from these, a connection is established.

And now, I can totally say that this book is so worth it. It is an experience, and it was a wonderful and enlightening one.


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