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The fault is in this piece of crap book
on May 13, 2014
I don't know where to begin so i will just start listing. Pretend I'm BuzzFeed and this is 26 reasons this book is overrated and over-blown teenage tripe.
SPOILERS ABOUND (and I don't care).
1. The character names - Hazel. Augustus (I know i am a different generation but I hear Augustus and I automatically hear Gloop and see a fat German kid going up a chocolate waterfall pipe after contaminating the chocolate river in Charlie & the Chocolate factory). Issac (Mizrahi? Oh i adore him!). Who names their kids out of the Victorian age?
2. Pretentious little brats too, Yeah sorry about the cancer but did it also have to make them completely insufferable? Did the cancer turn on pseudo-intellectual gobbley-gook that they have to spout every three pages before saying something teenagery so I can remind myself these are TEENS with cancer and not pedantic adults who have been locked in an ivory tower called the Filosoof reading Spinoza?.
3. Speaking of the Dutch, clever marketing ploy - author gets time in the Netherlands to write. He writes a big part of the book set in the Netherlands. It's like a Dutch tourist ad. And make sure you make it to the Anne Frank house because every teenager with cancer wants to make out there.
4. Let's face it there is nothing that gets your disease ridden hormones going as much as other teenagers cut down in the prime of their life by Nazi's at a concentration camp, so like totally, add that in and make it a big make-out scene cuz that's super hot.
5. Speaking of hot, that's totally Augustus Waters. OMG like fer sure. He's like um totally hot. See - this really is about a teenage girl with cancer because look how she talks about a totally hot guy.
6. I pray that no teenager with actual cancer has read this book. I am grateful that the poor tragic girl who inspired John Green to write this drivel never had to suffer through reading it knowing that her short life of suffering was co-opted into a book not even as good as some Lifetime movies I've seen.
7. She was a real person (Esther Earl) like Anne Frank was a real person and how dare John Green use them to write his simpering teen tragi-porn! it's beyond revolting! He could not even in death give them the dignity they were due but use them shamelessly for his YA ends.
8. How much for the movie rights John? How many other teenage blather books will you write? Isn't it fab that these teenagers suffered and died and you got to write a book and make a ton of money and become famous?
9. But seriously, if the book had been better, if the love story had not been so shallow and manufactured and utterly meaningless (yes, I know that's how things can be with teenagers but dying teenagers?) Oh sorry there isn't enough time so um, yeah hi Hazel Grace you look like Natalie Portman how about I give you my make-a-wish wish and we go to Amsterdam and meet this raging loon alcoholic that wrote an insufferable pretentious young girl dies of cancer book that you happen to love (and me too because i love you) and then while we are there (but after i get laid woo-hoo buh-bye virginity) I'll tell you surprise - i know you have fallen in love with me but my cancer has come back and I'm gonna die - even before you do!
10. Oh and that guy Issac he's totally blind and had both eyes cut out of his head. So to pay back his girlfriend (when he had one eye but she was down with that) for dumping him he eggs her car. Blind. Yes, eggs her car. Because
, ya know - teenagers! Even with cancer they are incorrigible!
11. Anyway the language of these philosophical, brooding, deeply feeling video game playing teens is unlike any teenagers I have ever heard speak in my life. As other reviewers have commented, they all sound like John Green. They all are John Green. This entire book, though inspired by real-life teenagers who suffered and died from cancer, is at the beginning, middle and end, all about John Green. Thus it is as swaggeringly faux-nerdy as he is in his Mental Floss videos on You Tube.
12. But more so really, because this took time, energy, research. This is something he had to purposefully write and think he was doing something considerably important. Give him the key to the city!
13. Well they probably will in Amsterdam but then they are all high there so like, whatever, man.
14. Only about 1 percent of all cancer patients are actually teenagers. So this book is not really for them, it's for all the teens who don't have cancer so they can cry over the teens in love in the book who do and they can feel better about their crap lives thinking - well at least I don't have cancer like Hazel and Augustus and Issac. At least i don't have to look at my parents and say, "Not if but when I die" like Hazel says to her parents.
15. This books is so in love with itself, so in love with its existential philosophy and preening cleverness that it often forgets that its audience won't be looking for much of a challenge and then has to try to float something arty and smarty down upon them so the author feels that he has contributed in some way to fostering an intellectual treatise, with a dose of blubbering emotion (enough to make you puke).
16. Furthermore all the quirky stuff - dear Lord all mighty - especially Augustus Waters not smoking the cigarette, how could anyone (hello Editor) think this was a good idea? Or the swingset? The needlepoint homilies at the Waters house? The light-hearted banter the two families had with their dying children - awww, lemonade out of those cancer lemons! Hazel's bitterness and how they overly down-played the blindness of Issac, are you kidding me? When you get cancer that lets you just be a total creep to other kids with cancer and mock them after they are blind? Yeah, that's cool, shows us how quirky they are. And the dumb letter at the end to the drunk author - was i supposed to choke up there?
Um, like, whatever.
Lest you think I am heartless i will offer my personal bias. My husband died of cancer six years ago. Fortunately he did not suffer long but the suffering he did in ten days was cataclysmic. There was nothing romantic about it. He was narcotized for pretty much all but several instances. And then he was dead and gone from my life leaving devastation and despair and me a widow in my thirties. Trying to turn the horror that it was into anything but the horror that it was would be criminal.
John Green should consider himself lucky that it wasn't his person who died of cancer. Because that would be a very, very different book.