UPDATE 31/4/14: I feel like I kind of created a shit storm with this review! I suppose I should have been a bit more considerate to fans of this book. Before you say you disagree with my rating, hear me out. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean to say that my opinion is wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I am not going to change my mind about it just to be like everyone else because different people have different TASTES. If you liked TFIOS, then that's great! But I didn't...so you should respect that. Not everyone is going to love the same thing and not everyone is going to hate the same thing. 
Sorry guys, I wished I loved TFIOS, I really do. 

Rating: ★★

This is the second book by John Green I’ve read and it is now definitely going to be the last. I don’t have anything good to say, excuse me for sounding...harsh, its just how I feel about it. I hate to criticise loved books. Anyway, on with the review:

So this book is about Hazel Grace Lancaster who has been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer but has managed to live with it thanks to a new experimental drug. She finished school early and has started college. At support group is where Hazel meets Augustus, who she falls in love with. 

I’ve heard a lot of about the Fault in Our Stars. I was worried I may not like it because I generally dislike popular books, but this book was about cancer, so it’s a very strong subject. I wanted to like it and thought I’d like it but I just didn’t. I didn’t have high hopes for this book as soon as I read chapter 1, so just like I predicted it was a disappointment. Throughout reading I found myself bored, dissatisfied and just really trying so hard to finish a chapter because it was so dull. Imagine my relief when it ended! I was reading it for the sake of reading it because I don’t really like to leave books unfinished. 

The characters: 

I felt so disconnected with the characters, especially the Hazel. This is written in first person and I think when you write in this way, it is makes it a very personal story. Despite finishing the book, I felt like I don’t know Hazel at all. Apart from her having cancer, all I know is that she is obsessed with this book An Imperial Affliction (she rereads it a lot) and that she is in love with Augustus Waters. And that’s it! That’s all I know about her, nothing else and that’s all she ever talks about, this book and Augustus. There was a line that Hazel said to Isaac, which made me instantly dislike Hazel. This is how the conversation went, she said: 

“What you did to her wasn’t very nice either.”
“What did I do to her?” he asked, defensive. 
“You know, going blind and everything.”
“But that’s not my fault,” Isaac said.
“I’m not saying it was your fault. I’m saying it wasn’t nice.”

Okay, why would someone say something like that?! It does sound like Hazel is blaming Isaac by saying ‘what you did to her’, otherwise she wouldn’t have said what she said because you would say ‘it’s not my fault’ because it isn’t his fault. I thought it was insensitive and out of order. I would have a go at Hazel for saying that if I was Isaac. 

This love story between Hazel and Augustus is very underdeveloped. You know when two characters fall in love so quickly and it’s like how did this happen again? It sounds like they’ve only known each other for about a few weeks or a month, then they’re saying they’re in love and I’m just sitting there thinking ‘what?’ I don’t believe in their love and don’t feel that they are in love. I get that this is a short book, which means that John had to move the story along quicker, but still. It was so unrealistic. 

These characters Hazel and Augustus have a very John Green-esque it to with the way their personalities are described and the way they talk. They are described as intelligent, witty and smart, as well as being an outcast. These elements remind me of the author. I wished John Green would stop writing about little details combined in the fictional characters of himself. 

The writing: 

There’s been a big talk with the way these characters speak... Do teenagers really talk like this...I mean really? I know there maybe be some teenagers that speak like the way John Green is describing them with the metaphors and such but...I don’t know, it feels very unconvincing. I feel like John is writing for a specific audience, the John Green nerdfighter audience probably which is why I don’t get this story. I love sarcasm and humour in characters but this book really isn’t working for me 

I read in a lot of reviews that people cried whilst reading this saying how heart breaking and sad it is. Okay, I’m not being cold-hearted or anything but I didn’t find it evoking any emotion in me. I did find it sad at Augustus’ funeral and with the parents grieving; those parts were quite touching, but other than that, that was it. Overall, I did not find it exactly heart-wrenching, nor did I find myself tearing up. I’ve read one of those books where its so heart-wrenching that it touches your heart; where I’ve connected with the characters really well and they felt so real, but in this book? It honestly was not any of those things, complete opposite. So I am at lost with this book. It’s so loved (so overrated more like) and it baffles me on what was so ‘amazing’ about it because it really wasn’t. So it is kind of disappointing... It could have been written so much better, especially the love story. There could have been more insight and depth into the characters and the storyline. I felt like it lacked those elements, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as other readers did. 

Reason for the rating: this is by far the most overrated book I have come across so far. Can’t say anymore than that. 

Recommended for John Green fans. 

#books, #bookreview #johngreen
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