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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
The Fault in Our Stars
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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.
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VINE VOICEon April 25, 2012
Boy, do I have a feeling I'm going to provoke a lot of anger among the Nerdfighter community with this. All I ask is that you hear me out.

I've read all of John Green's full-length, independently written novels (opting to skip all the collaborations and side projects). I find him to be a mostly charming, witty writer, but I've never obsessed over him the way his impressive legion of fans (called Nerdfighters) have. Clearly, I've enjoyed him enough to keep checking in every time he's published a new book, but there have been enough flaws or annoyances to keep me a little jaded about the experience. The Fault in Our Stars may have officially tipped the scales against Green for me. It's the first time I've really found myself irritated by a Green novel.

I'm going to insert a disclaimer here before anyone tries to accuse me of lacking sensitivity for people who are terminally ill. Both of my parents have had, or still have, cancer at the time of this writing. My partner lost his mother to cancer. I also had a beloved aunt who spent the first twenty-three years of my life fighting recurrences of cancer before succumbing (in fact, I was never actually supposed to meet her, since she was given roughly six months to live upon her initial diagnosis--which was six years before I was even born). I've worn a Live Strong bracelet on my wrist every day for the last seven years to remind me of their struggles and the importance of really living every single day. Furthermore, I count Wit: A Play among my favorite books and Terms of Endearment reduced me to emotional rubble (seriously, I can't even watch it. I cried so hard I made ludicrous, hiccupy snuffling noises that made me glad no one was there to witness it).

So please believe me when I say that when I found the protagonists (Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters) of The Fault in Our Stars irritating, it had nothing to do with their illnesses and everything to do with the way Green constructed their personalities. I'll get to my problems with the plot itself at the end.

Green has an upstanding history of creating lovable nerds. He is an author who really understands and celebrates the underdog--the so-called "losers" of the world. It's why his fan community is known as Nerdfighters (not to mention why he has such a massive fan community at all). He's subverting the paradigm that being intelligent or "weird" is wrong (if Glee were capable of consistent storytelling it would be spreading the same message on TV every week). But here's the thing: in all of his other books I've believed in his over-articulate outcasts without an incredible suspension of disbelief. I don't believe in Hazel and Augustus the same way. Their dialogue is at best contrived, at worst cloying and, well, ridiculous.

I chalk this down to the fact that Hazel and Augustus are worth more to Green as Metaphors than as characters. Everything they do has to be Significant and Important and Meaningful. The main plotpoint, where they embark on a quest to find the author of Hazel's favorite book (which famously lacks closure) so they can find out what happens after the last sentence, is a rather obvious metaphor for their fear of death. For goodness' sake, Hazel can't even eat breakfast without opining about how eggs are the victims of typecasting. "I mean seriously," she intones, "How did scrambled eggs get stuck with breakfast exclusivity? You can put bacon on a sandwich without anyone freaking out. But the moment your sandwich has an egg, boom, it's a breakfast sandwich ... I don't want to have 'breakfast for dinner' ... I want to have scrambled eggs for dinner without this ridiculous construction that a scrambled egg-inclusive meal is breakfast even when it occurs at dinnertime."* Do you get it, you guys? THE EGG IS A METAPHOR. I just blew your mind, didn't I? It's OK, take a second if you need to.

Augustus is, if possible, even more obviously cratered with Metaphors. His desire to die heroically is repeatedly signified by his obsession with sacrificing his virtual life in video games instead of winning the game (then, irritatingly, Green feels the need to explain it toward the end anyway Just In Case You Missed It). He's the kind of guy who likes to keep an unlit cigarette between his lips, and will gladly explain it's metaphorical significance to you if you ask politely ("You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing."), prompting Hazel to remark that he chooses his behaviors based on their metaphorical resonance and Fall Irrevocably In Love With Him.

And there's the other problem I have with Augustus and Hazel: their romance feels like a plot construction far more than it feels like a natural stars-crossed Passion For The Ages. In Green's other books, I believed that Miles fell for self-destructive Alaska, I believed that Margo Roth Spiegelman captivated Quentin Jacobsen enough to make him search for her after she disappeared (in Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns respectively). There was something about their force-of-nature presence that made it believable that someone like Miles or Quentin would be lured in. But Augustus Waters just shows up in Hazel's cancer support group and stares at her like Creepy McCreeperson and she just swoons at him. I'm sorry, that's almost as bad as Bella Swan falling in love with Edward Cullen even though he apparently hates her and is stalking her outside her bedroom window. Green attempts to play it cool by having Hazel recognize that she'd be creeped out if it were an ugly guy staring at her, but that doesn't make their love affair any less sudden or any less inexplicable. The plot won't work if they aren't in love, so reason be damned, and there it is: love at first sight.

And that brings us to my problems with the plot itself.

Observation: repeatedly beginning lines of dialogue in which your characters are supposed to make an Important Observation about Life As We All Know It with "Observation: ..." gets old, especially when the Observation(:) is as trite as "standing in line is a form of oppression." Observation: Random Acts of Capitalization don't make your writing endearing or quirky. Please To Stop.

Nevermind the fact that all the peripheral characters are completely flat (definitely an accusation I never expected to make about John Green)--if they don't matter to the author, why should they matter to us? That the plot is dully predictable is a greater offense to me. The "plot twist" recurrence, the acceptance of fate, the lessons learned by the protagonist at the end ... you see it all coming a mile away.

The strength of The Fault in Our Stars is that it refuses to offer false comfort regarding a subject matter that does not have any happy ending: we are all going to die, but we live our lives pretending that words like "forever" or "always" have meaning (think of Isaac's subplot in re: the latter word). I suspect this is a new concept for many people; maybe that's why it resonates with so many readers. Perhaps I'm more morbid than your average person, but it was nothing new for me. And it's been done better (the aforementioned Wit for one). The Fault in Our Stars wants to have it both ways: it wants to reflect the harsh realities of impermanence and death, but it wants to leave the reader feeling good in the end. Consider that the book Hazel loves so much is lauded for remaining honest through its complete lack of closure, but Green provides us with a full denouement and conclusion. It derides cheap sentimentality, then uses it as a crutch to make the reader Feel Something. In the end you just can't have it both ways, and that's why The Fault in Our Stars is a failure to me.

Grade: D+

*"breakfast exlusivity?" WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?! You can tell me that these kids have been forced into early adulthood due to their circumstances until you're blue in the face and I won't buy it. I'm well into adulthood right now and have never heard anyone, ever, talk in such a contrived manner.
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VINE VOICEon January 10, 2012
Although his brother Hank might argue that the real "fault in our stars" is that our sun contains limited amounts of hydrogen, which will cause it to eventually run out of the only fuel source capable of supporting its mass against gravity, thereby expanding until its outer shell envelops our tiny planet and consumes it in a fiery death, I think it is more likely that John Green's title refers to a line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:

"The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings." Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

What does this quote mean and how does it relate to a novel about two kids dying of cancer? I'll explore that below.

The Fault in Our Stars is the story of two 16-year-olds who meet at a cancer support group. Hazel Lancaster, the narrator, is afflicted with terminal thyroid cancer which has ravaged her lungs enough to necessitate the use of an oxygen tank wherever she goes. It is during a support meeting that she is introduced to Augustus Waters, whose leg was claimed by a malignant bone tumor and who soon becomes the object of her affection.

When I learned of the plot of this novel, I was initially a bit turned off. I'm reminded of a comment a friend made when I asked her if she wanted to go see the movie 50/50, upon which she exclaimed "who wants to go see a movie about people dying of cancer?" I couldn't come up with a satisfactory response, and we settled for a two-hour movie about the competitive world of robot fighting (which still caused me to shed a tear). So why would anyone, especially young adults, want to read about "cancer kids?" As Hazel herself states in the novel, "cancer books suck." But "The Fault in Our Stars" isn't about cancer, and it's not about death. Cancer is an important subject in the book, but it's not nearly as important as the characters. The disease is mainly used as a vehicle for moving along the development of Hazel and Augustus. In the absence of teen wizards, dystopian death races, and swooning vampire/werewolf feuds, it allows us to view the protagonists in a more complex setting than the traditional high school drama. It also forces the characters to grow up much faster than they should, which I think is important for Green's audience as well as his needs as a writer. The "young adult" label should not be cause for dismissal to older audiences. As equally evident in his previous novels, Green's writing is not dumbed-down in an attempt to cater to a misguided adult notion of the intelligence of teenagers. While Hazel and Augustus certainly share in the same adolescent interests as many of their peers, their dialogue is written at a level that betrays a deeper level of maturity. Amidst trips to the mall and countless video game sessions, the characters expound on subjects in life that everyone faces. While it might seem strange to hear a 16-year-old use words like "cloying" and "sobriquet," this is par for the course in a John Green novel. And strangely, it works very well (provided you keep a dictionary handy). Even though I initially balked at reading a "young adult" title (I'm well into adulthood), I realized that just because a book is marketed toward adolescents, doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed by those outside that niche. I'm hesitant to make the comparison, but "The Fault in our Stars" bridges the age gap in the same vein as Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. It contains content and themes thoroughly relatable to a young audience, while being presented in a way that adults will appreciate.

Green's characters always come off a bit stiff to me and start off sounding like pretentious jerks who are trying too hard to grow up, but I always warm up to them and end up relating to them by the middle of the novel. Gus was no exception. However my opinion of him changed as early as chapter 2, and I knew as soon as I heard him have a conversation with Hazel about their counselor's incorrect usage of the word "literally" (a fact that had literally been bothering me since it was mentioned in the first chapter) that I knew we could be friends. The likeability factor of these characters is one of the reasons the rest of the story can be so heartbreaking to follow at times. Even though I was fully aware from the beginning that Hazel's condition is terminal, she doesn't behave in a way that constantly reminds me of that fact. Instead, her sarcastic wit and outlook on life draw me to her as someone I could easily be friends with (if only there wasn't that problem of her being a fictional character). From very early on, I'm sucked into an emotional attachment to the characters in the story that made it very difficult to actually put the book down (and one of the reasons I will probably read it several more times). Returning to the titular quote above, although it is fully explained in the novel, I think the line from Julius Caesar is also appropriate as a title because Hazel does not let her ultimate fate determine the course of her life.

I thought Green's last two solo books, Katherines and Paper Towns, were pretty good, but they didn't capture that sense of awe I felt after finishing his first novel. And again, I think that's because I've seen such a huge change over the years in Green's ability to connect his characters to the reader. The Fault in our Stars returns me to that era and I'm reminded of just how good of a writer he is. I do not know if it will win the same Young Adult Fiction awards Alaska received, but I do know it will be regarded by myself and many more as one of, if not his best work to date. Regardless of their literary interests, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of great writing and character-driven stories.

It should also be mentioned that Green personally signed all 150,000 copies of the first printing of this novel. So if you are buying it soon after release, your copy will almost certainly be autographed.

John Green's other novels include:

Looking for Alaska (2005)
An Abundance of Katherines (2006)
Paper Towns (2008)
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (coauthored - 2010)
Will Grayson, Will Grayson (coauthored - 2010)

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on April 9, 2013
I am not quite finished with the book, but so far, I think it is very well written. It covers a topic that is difficult to talk about and is often avoided. It has been challenging for me to get through; however, I feel like I should add my perspective. I was diagnosed with cancer at 10. I am now 15 years old and a teen-age cancer survivor. I am a volunteer and advocate for pediatric cancer awareness.

This book has gotten negative reviews based on several points:
1) This is from another reviewer: "The characters are not believable. They do not speak like teenagers. They do not even handle situations like teenagers do. So many interactions between Gus and Hazel are interactions which, plain and simple, just would not happen between real, emotional, scared, awkward, virgin teenagers, let alone ones with cancer who have been socially cut off for much of their lives."

*My point-of-view: Have you spent time with any of us? They are believable as teen-age cancer patients/survivors. We may look like teen-agers, but in our heads, we are not. We have had to face our own mortality and make choices we should never have to make. It makes us grow up...quickly. Most of us do not act or speak like teen-agers because that is no longer how we think. After treatment, many of us find the things most teens (and sometimes adults) are worried about are trivial. Society cuts us off, but we are not cut off from each other. These types of interactions do happen. And, it is emotional and scary, but we learn to tell it like it is, without the normal fluff and awkwardness. We find 'normal' where we can and try to live every single day we have because we know that time is an illusion.

2) The parents are not real, not deep characters, and they do not have their own identities.

*My point-of-view: I have seen my own parents (and siblings) and the parents of other friends struggle with this. Many times, they do not have their own identities anymore. Every single minute is spent trying to make it to the next! They try to keep the family together and functioning, in spite of the effects of treatment, fevers and midnight trips to the emergency room, 3 weeks of the month spent in isolation, jobs in jeopardy, birthdays and holidays interrupted, not to mention talks that parents never want to have with their child. I've talked to my mom about this. This becomes their identity. My mom said their jobs become about doing whatever it takes, travelling all over the country (which is very common), researching new studies, and new medicines, all to help us survive and thrive with grace and dignity. It is also their job to prepare, if treatments don't work, to help us die with just as much grace and dignity.

I hope everyone can read this with an open mind and an open heart. Then, reach out to the patients and survivors in your communities. They are wise beyond their years, funny, brave and inspiring.
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on May 31, 2012
It seems like every less-than-five-star review needs to begin with the author's assurance of being a Nerdfighter and loving John Green, lest it be downvoted into oblivion. Therefore let me begin by saying that yes, I am a Nerdfighter, and I watch John Green videos religiously. However, TFIOS fell a little flat for me. Most points I want to make have already been addressed, but I still wanted to stand with my fellow three-star-ers.

My main problem with the book is that the characters are just not believable. They do not speak like teenagers. They do not even handle situations like teenagers do. So many interactions between Gus and Hazel are interactions which, plain and simple, just would not happen between real, emotional, scared, awkward, virgin teenagers, let alone ones with cancer who have been socially cut off for much of their lives. Their transactions are so smooth and painless with just the barest occasional tinge of awkwardness, when most of them ought to be drenched. Augustus's flirting comes to mind as a prime example. It is funny and witty and entertaining and it is also the flirting of an experienced 25 year old. Neither character appears to be a three-dimensional relatable teenager, and that's a shame, because creating a believable teenage romance is what Green is trying to do.

Neither Hazel, Augustus, Hazel's mom, or Hazel's dad appear to have their own seperate identity. They all have the same voice and thought pattern and high intelligence level as their creator does. Hazel is John Green. Augustus is John Green. Hazel's mom and dad are John Green. Isaac is John Green. (Now, I know that obviously all of an author's characters are going to reflect bits of themselves, but it shouldn't be so obvious.) Fortunately, even though all the characters are the same person, the person they are is an interesting person, which is why it's still a good book. Just not the OMGOMGBESTBOOKEVER book that the 600+ 5-star reviews imply.

So, conclusion: I like John Green, I like what he brings to the arena of young adult novels. I like that he expects us to already know his references to The Great Gatsby and Kurt Vonnegut. I like that he challenges us. I like that he creates an environment within and without his novels which expects teenagers to be intelligent and demands them to be intelligent and teaches them to be intelligent. I like the fun little jokes and joyful geekery and the great thought-provoking quotes about life. But because the characters were so unbeleivable, I didn't "feel" any of them and I didn't care about them, because Green's own voice drowned theirs out.

So that is my review of TFIOS. Not bad, not amazing either. Better than 80% of the YA novels being published right now, I'm glad that someone with talent gets to be a bestseller. But he still didn't hit it out of the park.

p.s. Thumbs-downers, it is not very much in the spirit of Nerdfighteria to thumbs-down a well-written review just for disagreeing with you. This does add to the discussion and you know it. Stop forgetting to be awesome. Everyone else, DFTBA.


Edit: Two years and 58 comments later, I'm editing this to address the most common refrain of my most vocal critics, which is that Augustus/Hazel are "smart" and that I need to "stop suggesting that teenagers aren't supposed to talk like that." Yeah, I have a Tumblr too. You can stop sending me links that I've already seen.

Here's the thing. The problem is not that Augustus is pretentious in the beginning and that his character arc makes him become less pretentious and therefore it's intentional and okay. The problem is that the entirety of the book, from start to finish, character to character, uses overinflated, pretentious diction, regardless of who is speaking. We as readers are expected to swallow this with the excuse of "stop telling teenagers how smart they can be", and any criticism is easily silenced by accusing the speaker (i.e. me) of insulting teenagers.

In no circumstance did I say that teenagers are not intelligent. When I wrote this review, I was one, and I certainly did not underestimate the intelligence of my peers. The problem is that indicating that your characters are intelligent by giving them all the voice of a 30-year-old Yale English Lit major who is trying to impress a date is not great writing. It is (brace yourselves) mediocre writing that tramples and ignores and substitutes any genuine character voices with your own. As I said, it's not a bad book. It's engaging and well-written. But this is a major flaw, because the entire point of being an author is to emulate the voice of the people you are trying to portray. The romanticized, elitist diction used in Green's work is the whole "date a girl who reads" pretension in book form. The book is cluttered with these long, meandering introspective poem-paragraphs (not just when Augutus is speaking!) and while it is the exact reason teenagers (and adults) love it, it's also very frustrating for people who read to really connect with the characters/plot.

Yeah, Hazel and Augustus are smart kids, and they've been through a lot, and they've had to grow up fast. But they've also been cut off from their peers, they are isolated in most social situations (see: airport scene), and generally "othered" by society because of their diseases. This kind of socialization would have a negative, not a positive, impact on a real human being's ability to interact with others. And while they are both "smart", smart doesn't necessarily mean re: speaking like a Yale lit major.

I really believe that while it's a good book, it's not the best book ever; it receives a healthy popularity boost from John Green's very public profile, and if he were not such a well-known pseudo-celebrity, people would read his books a little more critically.
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This is the link to the review on my blog [...]

Meet Hazel, diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 12 and ready to die.
While reading the beginning of the book I felt a "click" with the story that ended when Hazel met Gus at Cancer Support Group (apparently people who suffer cancer have a massive vocabulary, especially teenagers).

Are you supposed to like a book just because it is about cancer and dying teenagers? Some readers loved this book so much that they get offended if you don't. Others practically call you an idiot if you don't get the story, break down and cry, and others simply hate you if you don't worship it!

Well, I feel the book says a lot and nothing at the same time. The characters are not believable and the plot seems forced. We know someone (or all of them?) is going to die, so Green threw in some little mystery about a fictional book to keep the story together.

Sadly, the story didn't work for me. I did not enjoy the story within the story of the book (the writer, the fictional book...). I feel it was too fast paced. I mean, not that the book had to be only about sickness and that, but I didn't get this "An Imperial Affection" mystery/conflict.

I did feel sad and almost cried at one point or two, but that wasn't enough to make like the book. The illness of the characters is pictured in a very subliminal, commercial way: to appeal to your emotions and make you like the story because Hazel is walking around with her oxygen tank. Sorry, not enough to get my empathy. It still felt empty; and I still know it's fiction.

I skipped all the pages that had to do with that or the trip to Amsterdam or... well, I guess I am the first one to give just one star for this book but...C'est la Vie!
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on February 10, 2012
My daughter wanted this book, a signed copy is what we bought but due to error with amazon we did not get it only got a refund now signed copies are going for 45-200. usd. very sad and my girl is very very disappointed as john green is a fav author, email to him NO RESPONSE.. OH WELL NOT good..
The book has a good review the purchase experience was negative, customer service was nice but no resolve to issue... now no signed book either...

The book itself is one of the greatest books written!! My girl cried and I cried. We both cried over the story and I would recommend this book to anyone.. A great read, very heavy.... Cancer is a very real issue and Cancer in teens is still a very real issue and very sad but still real... so this is a great read and will leave a impression on anyone who reads the book....if they can finish it due to the sadness and hard subject matter to deal with. Life is a hard matter but when your dealt the hand of cards that include Cancer it all gets that much more hard.... so woman or man up and read it..
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on January 10, 2012
I've read a lot of books, but this is one of my all time favorites; that's not something I can say about very many books. I'll make it simple; I'm a fifteen year old teenage boy. When I usually read a book, I toss it aside and move on to the next one. And, like most teenage boys, I am not very emotional. At the end of this book, I cried. Not just a few tears either; I was full on bawling my eyes out. That's how good this book is. I promise you, unless you have a heart of stone, you will love this book.
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on January 18, 2012
*Fellow Nerdfighters, please read comments attached to this review as a wonderful and unexpected conversation is unfolding. Cheers, T.W. Williams.

John Green's new book, The Fault in Our Stars, is flawed from start to finish. To begin with, it is about two young people with cancer. If you write a book about two young people with cancer, you have to write a book so good that it never relies on the reader's sympathy and compassion to excuse otherwise mediocre writing. In this he fails. The main characters are just too quick, too deep, too intellectual, and honestly, too John Green. It reminds me of watching new Woody Allen movies and seeing Allen's worn out old rants coming out of a new young actor's mouth. John Green's characters are starting to do this same disembodied authorial ventriloquism.
Now maybe this doesn't sound so bad. I mean characters that you can sympathize with that just happen to be as quick and snarky as a wildly famous, uber intelligent, thirty-four-year-old author sounds like a good time in the YA reading room. This is what Green usually does, and he does it well I might add. But this time it isn't enough to overcome the seemingly endless scenes where he gives play-by-play accounts of high body count, commando video games (Yes, John. I get the metaphor. But you once said that we don't need to intellectually grasp the best metaphors in order for them to work on us emotionally. I believe that wholeheartedly--Hell, I teach it to my students. Unfortunately, the video game metaphor in this book only works intellectually. Meaningful metaphors have to work seamlessly and emotionally for the reader during the act of reading, and after our emotions are stirred, we can go back and intellectually discover why.) To make matters worse, the author in the book that the main characters are trying to contact is the oddest mixture of trite, unbelievable, and phantasm. This poorly developed character randomly pops up in the latter half of the novel like a whack-a-mole. Toward the end, I was desperately seeking out the rubber mallet to bash him with.
Finally, there are the painfully stereotypical liberal-arts-education allusions. John Green has always been an allusionist. He used Marquez and Wilde references to great effect in Looking for Alaska. He gave a nice little nod to Woody Guthrie in Paper Towns, but this time around Green goes shopping for his allusions out of the state college 101 offerings. One "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"--check. One Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs"--check. The entirety of "The Red Wheelbarrow"--check. Let's see. What am I forgetting? Well, I better throw in a can of "Leaves of Grass" for good measure. These are all interesting and wonderful things, but hauling them out a bit early and out of context for the teenage set irks me. It feels like Green is just trying to impress the natives with the mundane miracles from his own world.
Perhaps the problem is that John's books are venturing away from his childhood experiences, and since we are the same age, my childhood experiences, and starting to more accurately reflect the experiences of today's adolescents. Maybe I need a little nostalgia in my YA fiction, and maybe I'm just being a crank. What I do know is that I was eagerly awaiting John Green's new book, and I was heartbroken when I read it, not because of the kids with cancer, because of the great author who hides behind them.
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on May 15, 2012
I had never read a John Green novel prior to reading this one. I wanted very much to like it and felt certain after reading some of the overwhelmingly positive reviews here that it would be an awesome and heartbreaking experience. I was ready and excited. I guess I could sum the experience up best by stating that it is unlikely I will read another book by this author, and if I do it will be sometime in the future when I forget how utterly disappointing I found this book to be.

I had a lot of problems with this book. Overall, it felt very insincere and I was constantly distracted by how obviously everything was written with the goal of tugging on the reader's heart strings, rather than just letting things happen that were beautiful in spite of being sad. It felt like Mr. Green was screaming at me from the page 'ARE YOU SAD YET? YOU'RE SAD RIGHT? THIS IS SAD. YOU SHOULD FEEL ALL THE THINGS AND CRY ABOUT IT. I'M A GOOD WRITER. I WRITE FEELINGS. ARE YOU CRYING YET?' For a story about Human Beings, it doesn't feel very human at all. Instead everything feels very unnatural and self-conscious in the worst way.

The biggest and most impossible thing for me to get around was I simply didn't believe the character of Augustus or his relationship with main character Hazel. As these concepts are basically what the entire story hinges upon, I didn't believe in or care about anything else that happened either. Augustus came off completely pretentious and obnoxious, particularly in the way he insisted on speaking in a Diablo Cody nerd hipster sort of dialect that no one would ever use in the real world. (Some commenters here have said it's the way Mr. Green himself talks which, a.) way to be self-congratulatory, and b.) how does he not get punched in the face, like, ALL THE TIME?) His entire character felt contrived and I never once felt a connection with him. Too often it seemed like he was walking around like I AM SO CLEVER LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME, constantly putting on a show so that nothing from him felt genuine or real. His whole fascination with ultimately meaningless metaphors felt condescending, like Mr. Green constantly squealing HEY GUYS, SEE WHAT I DID THERE? TAKE A SECOND, WRITE IT DOWN IF YOU NEED TO. YEAH, I'M DEEP. Augustus' one fault was sickness, but it was nothing that he could control. And that's just so... boring.

But it wasn't just Augustus. The character of Hazel was somewhat likable, (despite Mr. Green's insistance on making her 'sound like a teenager' by formating every other statement she makes like it's a question? and tacking distracting 'or whatever's onto the end of random bits of dialogue BECAUSE THIS IS HOW TEENAGERS TALK RIGHT? I CAN TALK LIKE A TEENAGER, SEE? BECAUSE THEY SAY 'WHATEVER'. I'M A GOOD WRITER. ARE YOU FEELING THINGS YET?) but her relationship with Augustus felt completely and totally forced. There was never any real reason for them to fall in love with one another, and that is crossing dangerously close into Twilight territory. He was so convienient, so effortless for Hazel. I had to wonder, was it him or was it because he was there and ready and willing? It all fell flat and left so many places to take the stories and facets of their characters completely unexplored. Any opportunities to delve into hard questions and real answers were left untaken and exchanged for large passages (mainly in the **SPOLIER ALERT**: Amsterdam trip scenes) that had very little purpose outside of screaming LOOK AT THIS HANDSOME CHARMING BOY ISN'T HE SWEET LADIES? HE WILL PULL YOUR CHAIR OUT FOR YOU AND HE TALKS LIKE I DO. IT'S CHARMING, RIGHT? YOU ARE FEELING CHARMED. I'M A GOOD WRITER.

Ultimately, it felt completely fake. I couldn't get lost in it, always fully aware of the fact that I was reading fiction and how irritating EVERYTHING about it was. I finished it, which is the only reason I gave it 2 stars, but it was a true task. Truthfully, it pissed me off. I would have loved to love this book as much as everyone else and have a new favorite to hold dear to my heart. Now I'm just confused. Was my copy broken?
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