Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Review... The Fault in Our Stars

As many of you know, I participate in a variety of book clubs, both online and in person.  I am definitely what people would call a book worm as I pretty much read anything and everything that I can get my hands on.  No genre is off limits... I will try to read anything once.  Back in September I got together with the Beta Book Club of the Philadelphia Area Alumnae Chi Omega Chapter to discuss The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I was really excited that we had voted to read this book because I knew the movie was coming out and I am definitely one of those people who REFUSES to see the movie until they have read the book, so I knew if I wanted to see the movie ever I was going to have to get on this book reading thing.  I also had heard good things about it so I was looking forward to giving it a try.

And give it a try I did.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I didn't like this book, because I did.  But I definitely didn't like it as much as I thought I would.  Perhaps it was because of all the hype surrounding it that I expected more, but it just wasn't all that I was expecting.  It ended up being a VERY quick read, I think I read it in 2 days over the course of maybe 6-8 hours?  In fact I actually finished it in the 2 hours before I had to go to book club because due to my crazy schedule and the fact that I like to read the books closer to when we are discussing them, I didn't start reading it until the couple of days before we were meeting.

The book just ended up making me angry.  I understand that it is a work of fiction... John Green makes that VERY clear at the beginning of the book and then again at the end... but it still made me angry.  Although many parts of the book seemed very realistic, there were so many other parts that seemed so unrealistic that it just made me angry.  Hazel and Augustus have a very "interesting" relationship.  The two of them meet at a cancer support group that it seems as though neither one of them have any interest in attending.  They end up becoming friends and eventually are more of a "couple" than just friends.

Augustus makes many grand gestures towards Hazel... planning a "Dutch" day so that she could dream about meeting her favorite author, Peter Van Houten.  He uses his one wish to actually take her to meet Mr. Van Houten, which turns out to be a disastrous trip, but the two of them managed to make the best of it.  They even had sex on their trip abroad which totally threw me for a loop because prior to them having sex it seemed as though they had barely touched each other, let alone even really kissed each other.  I guess this is part of the whole "I am dying of cancer" thing, but it just seemed so unrealistic to me.

One of the things I really did like about the book was the swing set. The swing set seemed to represent to me the childhood that Hazel and Augustus we both denied due to the fact that they had cancer.  To me it seemed as though the swing set represented their hopes and dreams and what they knew their lives could have been like had they not been diagnosed with cancer.  I love that Hazel ended up deciding to sell her swing set because to me that represented her acceptance of her fate, but that she wanted her hopes and dreams to live on through a child who would be able to enjoy the swing set. Despite the melancholy nature of the book at times, there really were some rays of sunshine to help you remember that although cancer is a horrible disease, it doesn't always get people down.

Sorry for the lame book review this time around, this book just didn't do it for me like I thought it would.  I think if you can get past the fact that there are a lot of unrealistic elements to the book you will enjoy it, but for me I got so focused on how unreal things were that I just couldn't get into it.  If you are looking for a quick read I would say definitely give this a go as John Green's writing style is really easy to read, and I am certain you will be able to read it quickly.

Have you read "The Fault in Our Stars"? What did you think about it?

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