Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What I'm Reading: The Fault in Our Stars



I'd been looking forward to reading The Fault in Our Stars for a while.  It's wildly popular, is on the bestseller lists, and was made into a hit movie.  It also has over 33,000 reviews on Amazon, which is a feat in itself.  Twilight was also an unbelievably successful book aimed at teens, but it has "only" 6,691 reviews.

Unfortunately, The Fault in Our Stars was a rare instance in which I liked the movie better than the book.  I've never read any of John Green's work before and can't say that I will again after finishing The Fault in Our Stars.  This story of two young cancer patients sounded like it would be sad but poignant.  It was intended for a younger audience but has been read by many of all ages.  There were too many problems with the book as a whole, however, for me to enjoy the writing or get lost in the story.

The dialogue between the teenage characters was unbelievable at best. This alone made it hard to get through the novel.  Even if they were to have a few intelligent conversations, the contrived manner in which they spoke throughout the entire book made them unbelievable.  No teenagers talk like that, even those who are forced to grow up way too quickly.  The other problem I had with the novel was that the middle of it sounded like a tourist ad for Amsterdam.  This isn't much of a surprise since the author received a grant to write in Amsterdam.  It didn't fit in with the story much at all though.  The beginning was a novel, the middle a tourist ad, and in the end we were back to the novel.  Much of the descriptions about Amsterdam were cut in the movie, making the entire story flow better.

This is a rare instance where I'd say see the movie but skip the book.