Having now finished the four previous books and writing about each, it is time to embark on the last, the final, the most anticipated… The Fault In Our Stars. It was getting more and more difficult to avoid spoilers about something I planned to eventually read and I had the perfect opportunity, so the time had come to crack open the cover.
Honestly, and I know I am going to get flak for this, I did not find this novel to be anything special. The author’s other books were much more unusual, as I rarely knew what was going to happen next let alone how the story was going to end. But with this one, by the time I reached the midpoint of the novel, I knew where the story was going to go. The plot could have gone in two directions, the girl dies or the boy does, and I had a good inkling which line this plot would take.
Had it been Hazel who was to die, then the novel would have gone as expected and left me satisfied with the ending. The book would be exactly as one expects and thus fulfilling its initial promise to the reader. With Augustus becoming ill and then dying, you get an overused plot “twist” that has become clichéd.
The cancer coming back and killing Gus could have been a red herring, true, but that direction would also be a bit trite… but I personally would have found the story more acceptable had Hazel died unexpectedly without warning. We would have been left not knowing what happens to Augustus or her parents, mirroring the book Hazel was so obsessed with—though not ending midsentence as the other did for that is beyond cruel.
Personally, the not knowing would drive me absolutely bonkers yet it would at least be an emotional reaction. Also, it would give everyone something to actually debate about and discuss just like Hazel and Gus do. Instead, everyone is left with “It’s so good!” and “It’s so sad!” I did not so much as sniffle or smile, and I haven’t much to say about the book except that it did not live up to the hype.
The other option is to have both of the teens breath their last within a short time of each other, possibly when together, similar to Romeo and Juliet. Having star-crossed lovers die is more classic than clichéd, and it also ties in with the story since there is a theme about one’s stars in each. It is those stars that make Hazel and Gus and this novel somewhat interesting.
To conclude, I am sorry to say I am not a huge fan of John Green, and can just as easily leave his books as take them. There is nothing in these books to emotionally pull me into the story, and I merely float upon the surface of each tale he tells. However, I do find his website and the basis behind each book to be intriguing. The Q&A posted there fascinates me, so it is the thought process behind each book that interests me rather than the novels themselves.
Will I watch the movie? Yes. Would I read any of his books again? Decidedly not. Though however I did not enjoy these books, many others have. Do I recommend the books? If you already have the desire to read the books, do so as you may enjoy them far more than I did. If you didn’t have the novels on your TBR, don’t bother adding them.