Wednesday 23 July 2014

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars, John Green

Before purchasing this book I saw no end of blog posts and instagram photos of people reading this book. When I bought it I think it was No 2 in the book charts. I had the obligatory flick through before buying it (I have to read a few sentences of each book that I buy, some from the first page, a couple half way in and then towards the end, just to get a feel if I'll like the writing style etc). It ticked the boxes and I bought it and was excited to begin reading.

Have I just not got a sense of humour? The writing style.. fine. But the content? The whole story honestly bored me to tears. It didn't get to the nitty-gritty of the book until the last quarter of the book and even then I wouldn't call it 'nitty-gritty'. Emotional? Barely (and no, I'm not cold-hearted!). "You laugh, You cry, and then you come back for more" claims a best selling author. Sorry, I never did any of those. I inwardly chuckled to myself, once. Someone else claims its "damn near genius". Really? I must be reading the wrong book.

The story (in a nutshell) is about a girl, Hazel Grace, that has lung cancer. She attends a social group for cancer sufferers. She meets a guy there named Augustus (or 'Gus' as he's often referred to in the book). Its not your typical soppy 'fall in love at first sight' relationship, and Gus isn't the typical 'lets sweep you off your feet' kinda guy, but I suppose that's what makes it a little different. I personally don't like his personality but maybe its meant to be that way..

A lot of the story revolves around Hazel's favourite book. She encourages Gus to read it but they are left hanging at the end of the story and both find it rather frustrating. Hazel contacts the author via email and asks if she can visit him to chat about the book. Both her and Gus travel half way around the world to Amsterdam to meet the author who turns out to be a raging rude alcoholic as well. They both leave not getting answers. It is on this trip that Gus confesses something to Hazel and it is here that the plot begins to thicken a little, and it's here that the anticipation kicks in (a little) of whats about to happen. I was disappointed with the hype up to something (which I don't want to spoil for you!) for it to then be suddenly over, without the book going into detail at the climax, but instead fast-forwarding 8 days.

Considering the hype, I was pretty disappointed with this book. From the reviews I was expecting a whirlwind of emotions but it really didn't evoke that many feelings. Unfortunately I don't recommend this. That'll teach me for jumping on the bandwagon! Sheep! Sorry for those that don't agree, I've heard the few negative reviews of this book are getting accused of not having a 'heart' - honestly, I've become quite emotional in my old age but this really didn't touch me. I'm not going to jump on the band wagon, follow the crowd and say its fantastic, when it really isn't.

Sorry Green, you haven't floated the boat this time..

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