Narrator: Kate Rudd
Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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I had been initially reluctant to read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, despite the many positive reviews, mainly because of its subject matter. It deals with the romance between two teenage cancer survivors. I eventually relented when I saw that my local library had an e-copy, which was duly downloaded to my Kobo.
From the first few pages I fell in love with these characters – it was clear that Green had put a lot of effort into creating them as unique, individuals with their own hopes, fears and desires, who just happen to be ill with cancer. I ended up purchasing my own copy of the book, as I suspect I will reread it more than once.
What I liked
The characters. As I mentioned, I fell in love with these characters. The beauty of Green’s writing is that Hazel and Augustus are not defined by their illnesses. They are two young people who happen to be living with cancer. Hazel is defined more by her love of the book “An Imperial Affliction”, which is a plot point in the novel, and her obsession with America’s Next Top Model. Augustus’ sharp wit and fun-loving nature is what defines him rather than his illness. This shift of definition brings a whole different view to the book and stops it being maudlin.
The “An Imperial Affliction” subplot. Within the novel, the character Hazel is obsessed with the book, which ended abruptly. She has contacted the author multiple times to find out what happened to the characters but he didn’t reply. I imagine it would be for me as if George R.R. Martin said he’d had enough and was no longer completing A Song of Ice and Fire. It brings up the whole question of what is the author’s responsibility to his readers? That reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s response, aptly set to music by John Anealio. Of course, Paul and Storm have a different take on the matter.
Ahem, I digress. In any case, I found that I was so invested in the main character of Hazel that I was also invested in the book in which she was invested. I wanted to find out, too, what happened to Anna’s mum, the Dutchman and Sisyphus the hamster, dammit.
The romance. I loved the romance between Hazel and Augustus. It was beautifully written and so sweet.
What I didn’t like
The prospect of the movie. The book is being turned into a movie later this year starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Egort. I really don’t know how the charm of the movie will translate to the big screen, so I fear it will end up being purely a tearjerker rather than uplifting in the way the book is.
I gave The Fault in Our Stars five stars our of five.
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