Publishing Info: January 10, 2012 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 1, 2012
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Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind
Please don’t bring out the torches and pitchforks but… I totally didn’t like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS as much as I had hoped. For everything I had heard about it, the rave reviews, everyone who was touched by it, I feel like there were so many things that I just found not to like about it.
First and foremost, I borrowed this from the library as an audiobook. To be fair, I probably shouldn’t have listened to the book and I should have actually read the book. I really didn’t like the narrator, Kate Rudd (actually hated at the beginning). Her voice was just fine, but it was a little too exact in pronunciation so I felt like I was listening to a motivational tape or something. I also really didn’t like her voices for Augustus or Isaac at all. Isaac was a really whiny voice and Augustus just sounded kind of dopey. Also, all of the “okay” sequences between Hazel and Augustus sounded so stiff and not emotional at all and always with the same exact inflection. I just really didn’t think she did a good job.
Looking past the narration, there were also quite a few things that bothered me. I felt like John Green had big word-itis in this book. Has anyone ever seen that episode of Friends where Joey uses the thesaurus to write an adoption recommendation letter for Monica & Chandler? That’s how I felt about the choice of words in this book. Now, now, I know Hazel is supposed to be “not-your-ordinary-16-year-old-girl”. She doesn’t have the social life to pick up the common teenage “OMG” aspect, but still. She’s 16. I just didn’t relate to the fact that she (and Augustus too) seemed to have a vastly larger vocabulary than any of their peers, and even the adults in this book were dumbed down by their knowledge as well as their struggle with their respective cancers. I just really felt like the writing was a bit — dare I say — pretentious. I really just didn’t care for a lot of it, actually.
I really didn’t enjoy the trip to Amsterdam much either. The whole thing just felt unnecessary and that the whole thing could have taken place in the US. I know, I know, there were obvious reasons for it but I totally wasn’t digging it.
And don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with the fact that it was a sadder or more serious story than I normally read. I quite enjoy the serious turn on quite a few books, but I don’t know… I just never really got into it. And also has nothing to do with cancer as the main focus – Please – Lurleen McDaniels books were my bread and butter as an adolescent. I just never made a real connection with the characters.
I think I complained a bit too much in this review… But I actually was bothered by quite a bit. That being said, I did cry. I sobbed at the ultimate sobbing point of the book and totally could not help it! And I did end up enjoying quite a bit of the book. I was just let down quite a bit since everyone was giving it 4.5 or 5 stars reviews. I disappointed myself by expecting too much!
Hazel // Well, I kind of already summed it up a bit. I just never identified with Hazel, and I really, really wanted to. Broken but strong, stoic but emotional – How could I not? But really somehow I didn’t. I didn’t care for how she switched from extremely large words to calling someone a “doucheface”. I felt like it was quite a polar opposite that didn’t transition well.
Augustus // Yet again, just didn’t really connect. I didn’t care for the whole metaphor of the cigarettes… I like his story a bit more than Hazel’s… but right from the start, he didn’t stand a chance of me liking him because of his name. I just didn’t like the name Augustus and to shorten it to Gus? That’s even worse. The only Gus I’ve ever known was the mouse in Cinderella!
Isaac // I actually liked Isaac the most out of the teen characters. He was a bit simpler, as it should have been.
Well, I suppose the hype killed this one for me a little bit. I also MAY not be a John Green fan. (I know there are more than one of us out there!) I’d say maybe borrow this one before you buy it!