Book number 34: The Fault in our Stars by J. Green, picked up at the Manila International Book Fair 2012.
What it is: My copy of Looking for Alaska had this at the back as a bonus material and I found it promising. Besides, I liked the way John Green tells his story so I got a copy even though it is quite pricey in hard back. Anyway, The Fault in our Stars mainly asks and answers the question ‘WILL I BE LOVED?’
The main characters both suffer from end stage cancer and found new love in the midst of death. The story kindles hope for life and the afterlife while making a point that love is not exclusive for the healthy or for those who can see a future. I love the way it highlighted the fact that love endures, that love cannot be controlled or withheld, that love is enough, and that love will hurt but everybody has the power to choose who hurts you.
Mainly written for the young adult population, the insights in The Fault in our Stars are mainly focused on love but there are a lot of insights on parenting, being human, suffering, loss, acceptance, and openness too among many others. It mimics life in all its ups and downs and is a beautiful tale that will not break your heart despite of the ending.
What I liked about it: The narration is sweet, breezy, light, and despite the heavy concept, I did not get the sky caving in syndrome. I found it highly entertaining and I practically devoured it. As mentioned above, the insights resonated with me and I agree with them all and the presentation is believable and not preachy. At one point, I could not figure out where the author the two characters meet fits in but as the story went on, it made sense. I loved the parents of Hazel and Augustus. It must be one hell of a time waking up each day knowing that it might be the last day of your child.
Having read Looking for Alaska, I know someone will die but when it happened, it felt right and the book managed to make me feel hopeful despite of and still in love with them. The fact that Hazel and Augustus, and their friend Isaac have cancer, and therefore are all imperfect, is something I appreciate. Each one of them is very interesting, despite of their limitations. 🙂
What I did not like about it: So far, it seems that The Fault in our Stars is a very good book, and it is, but I pick Looking for Alaska above it, controversially. Reason being, the latter has a more mature flow. I found that The Fault in our Stars is more young adult. I don’t know, it must be only me.
The themes are the same too if you noticed, and minus the sexiness, Augustus can easily be Chip with cancer if you noticed. Somehow, I felt this one is not as original but only a cancer-laden and more in love version of the first from Green.
It did not help that ever single character in The Fault in our Stars is witty too, because it made me believe them less as individuals. I mean even the fathers? C’mon, how can that be real?
Having said all that, this story is worth reading and I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I would want to. Fair enough? This is the same feeling I got after reading two books from Nicholas Sparks, which I will not get another title from. I’m afraid I might do the same with Green. 😐
Recommended for: Young adults and those seeking for hope and a renewed belief in the power of love. Go read The Fault in our Stars now.