The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I liked the book, and I like John Green very much, but in a lot of ways, this book was exactly what I was expecting it to be. I kind of wish I could have read this in some kind of mind vacuum so that the experience wasn't colored by John's other book, and the vlogbrothers. In a lot of ways, the book was Looking for Alaska meets An Abundance of Katherines meets John Green from the vlogbrothers, and it was hard to seperate the reading of this book from the fact that it was a JG book, but I shall try to review it on its own merit.

It is a book about teenagers with cancer, so it was obvious that there were going to be certain themes, and that it was going to be sadly inspiring, and that surely one/many/all of the main characters would die in the end (spoiler alert: dying is a side effect of being human). So, there was a lot that was predictable (especially after hearing JG talk quite a bit about the book on VB, and from his previous books), but at the same time, there was a lot that I wasn't expecting (which I won't spoil).

My old screenwriting professor used to say that everything in a screenplay must be about something else in the screenplay. You only get 90-120 pages to tell a story, so everything must be on point; there is no room to digress. I sort of felt this way about this book; everything was connected to something prior, or something that was coming later. This makes for great opportunity for close critical reading, but also felt slightly mechanical in this case, like it was too perfectly story-boarded, and in the book about life being messy, there wasn't actually any room for life to be messy. I think that is my main problem with the book.

It was a great story, executed flawlessly, with some very solid, likable characters, and relatively unexpected plot points, that ultimately felt too polished. Maybe I don't like the fact that, unlike An Imperial Affliction, the ending, while sad, did have a nice little bow on top. Life isn't a wish granting factory, but to a certain extent, this book was.

But, frankly, the mere fact that I have spent this much time trying to craft a review (which I normally don't) shows that it was a really good book. I wish goodreads would let us give half stars, because this one was just tettering around 4.5 stars.

Also, if you have actually read this far, then you don't have to remember to be awesome, because you already are.