Why I only gave The Faults in Our Stars 4 stars

thefaultsinourstarsThere 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.



12 thoughts on “Why I only gave The Faults in Our Stars 4 stars

  1. *sigh* So I actually caved and bought this book last month. But I still haven’t read it! Gah! SO many people have asked me about it, or urged me to read it, or just don’t understand why I haven’t yet. But I’m always wary of books that have so much attention, and a bajillion (is that a number?) 5 star reviews. Because what happens if I don’t like it?


    Your review has given me some confidence back though. 🙂

    • That’s good to hear, Sarah!

      I have the same concerns. I have disliked so many popular and loved books, that sometimes, I feel like a weirdo.
      Its good to be weary though! It means you have perspective and standards.
      I do still recommend TFiOS, It was a good read, I just wasn’t mind blown. Nor did I cry (much). 😛

  2. I kind of get you with the “feeling stupid” bit. I DID feel pretty dumb at the metaphors because even now I don’t “get” why Gus had the cigarette metaphor going. But that’s all my is problems. x) It’s a 5 for me because I’m so wholly attached to the characters I can’t really even THINK of anything but how much I love them…and I really did cry. And I NEVER ever cry reading, so that means something to me. But obviously no books are for perfect for everyone, right?!!

    • Haha! If I think about it enough, I understand the cigerette metaphor -ish. But it’s a lot of brain power.
      I can understand that, if a book makes me cry, it’s a good thing. But I actually didn’t cry all that much! Which was a little disappointing because it had all the makings of a heart breaker.
      Perfectly right, thanks for stopping by Cait! .

  3. Great book; so far, my favorite of his. I apprecaite your open and honest feedback on the review. Green’s a big time reader, so sometimes it comes out in his writing. Difficult task for the author to match up the level for a wide audience.Thanks for the review.

    • I’m going to read Looking for Alaska, soon, because I heard that I might like that one more than this. But yeah, you’re welcome and thanks for stopping by!

  4. A person’s life experiences can change a book like this for them. The message to me, the reason for writing it, is life for the living after death. Green wrote this after losing a young friend to cancer. I read this while someone I loved was dying of cancer. After I lost him, I had this overwhelming urge to never try again, to give up, because I didn’t know how to live without this person in my life. He’d been there my entire life, literally, and he’d never see the rest of it. So Hazel, her parents, everyone in the story has to keep living, unlike Van Houten who didn’t. I guess that’s why I never thought of this as a sad story.

    So that’s why I (and some other members of my family) love this book. I guess that’s just me. But I can get why people wouldn’t like it too, because the style definitely isn’t for everyone.

    To Cait, Gus’s metaphor is all about the fact that he’s a seventeen year old boy who almost lost his life. They picked out his plot and bought his burial suit and everything. When you’re that close to death, you want to take control of your life. It’s very pretentious of him, but it’s his way of beating death everyday. His way of reminding himself that he’s alive now. He felt like he had no control of his life, and he wants to take control of it. That’s just how he chooses to.

    • When you put in that perspective, I can definitely see the strong meaning and connection people feel for it. I noticed the theme of moving on after death, but I didn’t think much on it. You’re right – personal experiences plays a major part in that. I have yet to loose someone close to me, nor have I personally known anyone taken by cancer, which is probably why that message didn’t have a strong effect on me.

      Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I really appreciate your insightful comment, and I’ll be sure to remember this when watching the movie!

      • I’m so glad that it helped. I nearly deleted my comment so many times because I was afraid it was going to be preachy or ranty. TFiOS just had such a huge impact on me, so I can get real emotional about it. I didn’t want that to come off wrong, like I’m fanatical and don’t accept other viewpoints on it. I hope you enjoy the movie! I’m definitely excited to see it.

      • Oh no! It didn’t come out that way at all. I was honestly expecting some rage comments, but it was nice to see some passionate ones! Posts are made for discussion, and comments kick that off!
        I entirely respect the commenter’s opinion as long as mine is respected, too.
        I’m so so so excited for the movie! I think I might get more from it. (:

  5. Pingback: Breezy’s Bookish Week (6) | Breezy Reads

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