Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

 So The Fault In Our Stars is the newest book by John Green, who is super famous on the internet for various reasons and a big deal in YA circles.    He wrote Looking for Alaska, which won the Printz award that year.  I was dubious about The Fault In Our Stars simply because Looking for Alaska is one of my very favorite books of all time, and his next two books, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns, did not measure up to that book for me.  I don’t know that anything could, exactly, because sometimes a favorite book gets this spot in your heart that just can’t be replicated, but neither of those books came anywhere close to Looking for Alaska, for me.

Anyway, I approached this book with some trepidation, especially because it’s about kids with terminal cancer and that sounded way too much like “issue drive YAF” and I am done with thinly veiled PSAs about what to do when your mom leaves you.  But this book is really really good. I really really liked it.

I still didn’t like it as much as I liked Looking for Alaska, but it takes second place, for sure, for me.  And I cried like a baby while I read it, which always goes far with me, because I love books that make me cry.  (When I used to work at the bookstore, we’d always tell the 7th grade girls looking for books that if they wanted a good cry, they should buy “A Summer To Die“. We sold stacks of that book every time word got around that it was a good crying book.)

Anyway.  I have seen some criticism of the main characters dialogue as too adult or sophisticated, but I didn’t feel that way at all.  If I did have a criticism it would be that in the first third I’m not sure I understand what drew particular characters to each other, but I think that is explained fairly clearly by about halfway through the book.

Sometimes I feel like John Green struggles with what to do with his characters.   He knew what he wanted to do in Looking for Alaska and the journey of those characters is so dramatic, and I felt in his next two books he just…didn’t know where to go after that.  But I think this time he figured it out, in a pretty clever way.

Anyway, I liked it. A lot. It’s well written and interesting and the main characters are people I’d want to be friends with.  And also I cried buckets, so there’s that.

{Photo credit: powells.com}

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9 Responses

  1. This book has the best amazon rating ever. It’s also impossible to find in our library system. I might be forced to actually purchase it!!!

  2. oh, I loved a summer to die so much. and I cried and cried and cried.

  3. So I request Looking for Alaska from paperback swap, and I have the wrong book. It’s by Peter Jenkins, not YA….

    Oops!

  4. A Summer to Die is the CRYINGEST BOOK there ever was! I have such vivid memories of reading that and just sobbing. I HAVE TO STOP THINKING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW.

  5. I downloaded it this morning and so far I am not a fan of Augustus Waters. I know this will change. But right now… his dialogue, in particular, rings false-ish. THEN AGAIN. Am not a cancer survivor AND I have super high expectations from John Green AND I know I will end up loving it and crying buckets and maybe I am just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about re: YA when CLEARLY I DO NOT.

  6. OKAY I HAVE ALREADY CHANGED MY MIND.

  7. Nice review. “Paper Towns” was better IMO and I agree “Alaska” is his best (and one of the best books I’ve ever read).

    This new one just doesn’t ring true: saintly parents, teens who are too wise to be believed, and plot twists where you can clearly see the author’s hand at work. I’m surprised it’s getting good reviews — I think the hype has people believing it’s better than it is.

  8. […] The Fault in Our Stars.  Here’s my review. It is also possible that I loved what Elizalou had to say about this book more than I liked the […]

  9. […] favorite sources of book recommendations on the Internet is Elizabeth at Princess Nebraska and she wrote a review of The Fault in Our Stars that pretty much says everything I want to say. I found it really […]

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