Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"What did I think?", Goodreads asks. I'm almost dumbfounded for words. First my review, then, I am forced to react to some of the reviews on Goodreads (which I never do and unless it's one of my friends, I don't even read what other people think because frankly, I don't care.)

What else is there to write about in this world on the tragic story of a young person suffering from a terminal illness?
Have all the words been used in all the possible interesting combinations to convey the misery that must be the end? I guess not. John Green magically made me pause and really think about young people in these situations. Like the Titanic, we all know what happens, why sit through a three hour movie living in denial? Maybe this will be different? No, it's not. Terminal is terminal and it can happen to anyone at any age. But the pages of this book and the characters in it made me want them to not die. I loved how candid they were about how they are treated, like with their "cancer perks". It wasn't a sappy "you're such a hero" rah rah book. Nope, it was raw and deep and a little unsettling at times. It made me mad, it made me laugh and it made me cry.

One of my favorite quotes in this book...

"This is an old argument in the field of Thinking About Suffering, and it's stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries, but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate."

To the reviewer that said I have no right to find humor or even sadness in their tragedy because I don't "own it" by not have the misfortune of actually watching a child suffer and die, that's like saying my husband can't love my daughter as much as me because he didn't own the pain of labor and delivery by suffering through that.

To the other reviewers that said Mr. Green should write at the age level of these children, I say I knew more than a couple young teens in my youth that were old beyond their years and sounded exactly like Gus and Hazel Grace. Bravo to you for not making them one dimensional victims that can only speak to the latest celebrity antic, current music video or fashion trend.

In the end, a solid 5 stars for me.

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