A word of warning: if you are a John Green groupie or fan, and are extremely passionate about this book, please do not read this as this entire post has some very unfavorable opinions about this man and his “magnum opus”. Why huh?
I would like to put it out there that I am not a super literature literary critic. I am fine with books having no higher meaning (though I do like it when books do) and I am fond of using colloquial/ streetwise language. I am not the type of person who says “oh this book doesn’t follow the ancient method of book making and sucks because it’s not intellectual enough”. I mean you should like/dislike a book based on what you thought of it. If you have a penchant for intellectual writing, then your hate is totally justified. However, if you were to simply dislike a book because it doesn’t follow the ancient laws of smartness even though you secretly like it, you are probably a very pretentious person.
I prove my innocence by stating that I actually did like John Green. I enjoyed Paper Towns. My further testament to innocence lies in the fact that I like Nicholas Sparks and I loved A Walk To Remember and The Notebook.
Now I shall move on to my opinions on this book.
I originally had high hopes for this book. It was a New York Times best seller and the major bosses of the media were all raving on the beauty and amazing-ness of this book. Also, a ton of my friends have been raving about it on twitter and it has been the subject of countless instagram pictures, so I was naturally quite excited to read it.
Cut the chase, I disliked the book. I really did not like it.
Okay, I’ll have to admit that I love good complicated plots with plot twists at the end which leave you mind blown. But hey, I do like a good love story. While John Green is commendable in making such a sensitive topic easy to talk about, I found that the plot itself was really nothing special. I mean seriously, SPOILER ALERT boy meets girl and one of them dies SPOILER ALERT.
The problem for me is not in using the cliche, but it is how you bend it and mould it to make the cliche your own. Be it through distinct characterizations, well thought out scenarios or just a beautiful poetic writing style, there are many ways using cliches can be acceptable. However, I really did not find anything “special” about the cliche. It just seemed overused and tired to me. While drawing the parallel between the American writer and stuff was cool, I don’t think that the story was strong enough for it to be a good book if it didnt have a good writing style.
Speaking of writing style…
I must admit, I find that John Greens style is very fresh and unique. I don’t know how to explain it myself, you should read one of his books to see what I mean.
However, I got slightly annoyed reading his style after a while. I don’t understand, to me it really wasn’t impressive and I did not feel very drawn into the world he was creating in his book. Would I be a horrible person to say I really didnt care if STUAGUSU died in the end? For me, the language was too limiting for me to emotionally connect with any of the characters to even care.
Okay I actually did kind of like the characters. But adding on to my point above, my like for them was very one dimensional because neither the plot not the writing was strong enough for me to root or feel anything deep for them.
So, as an overall verdict: I did not like The Fault In Our Stars that much.
My main reason? The writing and reused plot line made the book very one dimensional and lacking in depth. as a result of this, I did not feel very emotionally vested in any of the characters. That’s probably a very major blow for any romance book, because one of the main reasons why we love romance is because we really love the characters, and we actually care for their relationship. We emphatize, we pity and we feel for them.
Sadly for me, I did not feel any of those for any of the characters, or the book at all.
Firstly, I am not trying to flame anyone who is a passionate fan of John Green or discredit your opinions. This is just my take on it.
In no way am I saying that you should not give this book a try. It would be pretty hypocritical of me to say that we should judge books based on personal preference but tell you that you should hate it when you havent even read it. I actually encourage you to read it and see how you feel about it. It got some critical acclaim so you may be one of the many who like it.
Thanks for reading