There probably hasn’t been a day since the beginning of this year that I have not heard of the amazingness that is John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Not one day.
Nearly all of my GR buddies having given TFiOS a five. Nearly everyone I talk to cannot fathom this book as anything but perfection. And okay, it was pretty good, but I didn’t think it was THAT good.
So today is my turn to share my perspective of TFiOS, and to be frank, this won’t be a fangirling post. Be warned if you are a die hard TFiOS fan, because I may say some things that you will strongly and passionately object too.
Everywhere I look, I see words such as “amazing” and “pure perfection” to describe TFiOS. But I disagree, because I certainly had some issues with this book, therefore not making my list of 5 star perfection.
This won’t be a proper review – there are literally thousands and thousands of reviews for this book. I’m just listing the reasons why this isn’t my definition of “amazing”.
Okay, well there are two reasons. But they are big reasons!
1. The writing.
I’ll agree, it’s different, brilliant and blunt. But it made me feel stupid. Maybe that’s petty. But reading is all about the experience, right? About how it made you feel? Well it made me feel stupid and illiterate. There were so many words I couldn’t pronounce, let alone knew existed. And all the metaphors and hidden messages, combined with this language and intricate way of wording? I had serious trouble understanding them and I had to re-read passages over and over again with a creased forehead. There. I said it. Considering most people love The Fault in Our Stars, I’m guessing most people could understand them, or at least appreciated the new way of approaching them. I didn’t, because it made me feel as if I hadn’t just spent 12 years of my life at school.
2. It didn’t hold a meaning for me
This is a big one – when I finally turned the last page, my reaction was “That’s it? What was the point of writing this?” That’s a really bad sign, especially for a contemp. If I get to the end and I can’t see a reasoning or message, then it feels as though I’ve wasted my time. Maybe the point was to demonstrate the cancer, death, ect is just ugly and meaningless, or something. But really, Hazel made that blindingly obvious from the very beginning. I never had an “Oh!” moment or a moment of crystal clear realization. It all ended a bit flat for me.
That’s it! Two things. Two things that affect me hugely and seriously made me wonder why people love this so the heck much.
I mean, I did like it. Love it, even. I gave it a rating of 4. Which means really good, but missing something. The book was most certainly refreshing from your normal cancer/deathbed books. The writing, (though confusing) was unique. The characters were smart, witty and developed and Augustus was such a sweetie. It was brutal, honest, beautiful blah blah and all the rest.
Point blank, it made me feel stupid and held no meaning for me.
I do admit though, John Green is a genius. Even though I didn’t know what he was saying a quarter of the time, I definitely admire his style, and well, smartness. He’s totally unique, and I appreciated that. He is probably one of the only author’s I DON’T want to meet, because I feel like a conversation with him would leave me feeling overwhelmed and idiotic. In this case, I will happily admire from afar.