The Fault in Our Stars Review

Like many teenage girls, the first John Green novel that I had read was ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. I decided I wanted to read it before I watched the film last year; however even a year later, the book had still stuck with me, but for all the wrong reasons.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, the story is centred on Hazel, a teenage cancer patient who finds herself falling for cancer survivor, Gus. This heart-breaking novel is one of love, life and loss, which, even if you disliked it like me, is sure to leave you in tears (although they could be tears of bitter disappointment).
The character development is, quite simply, poor, to the point where I feel that if you take the aspect of cancer out of the plot, you’ll only be left with empty shells where a character should be. Not a single one of them is relatable, especially Hazel who I personally couldn’t stand.
I understood her realist nature and her hatred for all things sugar-coated; however, I also found her to be very vicious and nasty as a person, meaning it was difficult to warm to her. She came across as rude and ungrateful, and thus made me lose any form of sympathy towards her. This isn’t me being insensitive towards cancer sufferers; it’s me being insensitive towards a nasty person. If you want be to like a character, at least make her likeable.
As for Gus, he was heavily pretentious and somewhat unrealistic. Not only did the pair speak to each other in a crossbreed of Shakespeare and monologues (including before a somewhat unnecessary sex scene), but he also speaks in constant metaphors; the most irritating metaphor of all being the cigarette one, which literally made me physically angry. It was not only ridiculous, but it also just heightened the fictional nature, thus making it more difficult for me to submerse myself in the novel. In fact, I only cried at the book because I am in a relationship and found the thought of my partner being terminally ill heart-breaking.
The romance between the duo was also unrealistic, and to an extent, even questionable. The two appeared to go from acquaintances to “in love” within the space of seconds, which did then further make me question whether they were truly in love, or were just in love as they both had cancer at one point in their lives. The whole relationship just seemed rushed and the kiss at Anne Frank’s House was, too me, unnecessary and inappropriate.
On a positive note, one thing that I did find realistic was the mentioning of An Imperial Affliction. It wasn’t until I googled it that I realised that it wasn’t actually a real book, which is a shame as I really wanted to read it. On the other hand, this book lead to a slightly more unrealistic aspect, which was Peter Van Houton.
For me, Van Houton rang a million alarm bells, as not only was he a middle aged man talking to a teenage girl, but he also makes a cancer patient travel half way across the world just to see him. Which leads to my next question of “WHY THE HELL DID HER MOTHER LET HER DO THIS?!”.
I could go on and on about this book for ages, but I feel as though now is the time to wrap this up. I did not enjoy this book; it was predictable and full of badly developed characters. The plot is dull and tedious, and I can only hope that the film is, for once, better.

The Fault in Our Stars? More like the fault in our plotline and character development. 


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