My Thoughts on the Fault in Our Stars

ALERT: SPOILERS!!! (for both Allegiant and The Fault in Our Stars)

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So, I’ll say it again, just in case you didn’t notice it in HUGE FONT right above this image: SPOILERS. AHEAD. WILL. RUIN. THE. BOOK.

Okay. With that said.

Whenever we go on a road trip, I buy a book to read on the way there. A couple weeks ago, some of my friends recommended The Fault in Our Stars to me. I’d actually seen it on the Kindle Bestsellers list about a year ago, but back then it sounded like one of those long, boring preachy-type books that like to tell you what to do with your life. So I ignored it. But I’d actually heard that The Fault in Our Stars movie was coming out soon, because I read Veronica Roth’s blog, and she’d written a post on how Shailene Woodley was cutting her hair to prepare for her role as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars.

Now, let me tell you something: I really, really, REALLY am annoyed when people start reading a book just because it’s coming out as a movie. I know that it is one of the major ways a larger audience gets to know about the book in the first place, but still. Well, I guess what REALLY, REALLY, REALLY irks me is when somebody reads a book because they’ve heard the movie is coming out and then say, “OMG, THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ, IT’S MY FAVORITE. I’M SUCH A HARDCORE AND DEDICATED FAN TO THIS AUTHOR!!!! I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING HE/SHE HAS EVER WRITTEN!!!!!!!” I truly do understand (I truly, truly, truly do) that sometimes, people get to know about an author when the movie is being publicized. And they read the book and think that it’s really good. And it really, truly is their favorite book. But the part that annoys me is when they announce that they are a hardcore, dedicated fan to the author and his/her works.

I mean, there are always people who have been fans LONGER, who have done their research, who have LITERALLY READ all the books written by the author, whose LIFE DREAM is to discuss the books with the author. I just feel wrong kind of taking their dream away from them by reading the book just when it comes out as a movie. To tell you the truth, I felt bad I had waited so long (and it had to come to it being made into a MOVIE) for me to read The Fault in Our Stars. But anyways. Onwards.

The Fault in Our Stars was the first good book I’d read in a long time. I mean, you read books like Divergent and The Hunger Games, and they’re so popular, but (at least, for me), you can’t see WHY. For a book to be good to me, I need to be able to read it once and see what made it a bestseller. The Fault in Our Stars was like that. I could feel what Hazel felt, something I hadn’t done with a book in a long time. When characters died, and the main character felt sad, even when it was narrated in first-person, I just thought, “Okay, so so-and-so died. And that made (insert main character’s name here) sad. Moving on.” But I could really feel it when things happened in The Fault in Our Stars. I could literally feel my heart puncturing when (coughspoilercough) Augustus died, and for once, I could actually understand why the character felt the way she did.

Half the time, The Fault in Our Stars made me feel like, “Okay, if someone else had written a book about cancer kids falling in love, that would’ve sold just as good as this,” but after Gus’s death, I could really understand why The Fault in Our Stars was so special, what made it such a bestseller.

It actually stymied my creative flow a little, which is unusual for a book. Only the really good books get my creative flow to stop or get me to write just like the author does.

After finishing the book, I just kept on thinking, over and over, Why did Augustus have to die? Why did John Green have to kill him? Just over, and over, and over.

There’s a simple reason behind this: because it made a good book.

But the irrational part of me still doesn’t understand that.

I think when a death happens in a book—especially the death of one of the central characters—it has to be well-executed.

About two months ago, I read Allegiant, the last book of the Divergent trilogy (I’ve actually been meaning to post my thoughts on that… oh, well). At the very end of the book, the main character, Tris Prior, dies. I completely respect the author’s decision to let her character die; after all, it was never my decision; but I was really dissatisfied by the way she did die.

(MAJOR SPOILER) At the end of the book, Tris essentially survives a room full of poison, choosing to go so her brother won’t have to die. However, even though Tris HAS HER WEAPON with her, she dies by being shot by an untrained man. I was, first of all, dissatisfied with her death because of the fact that it went against all aspects of her character. Tris has an amazing will to live, but at the end of the series, she doesn’t even try to fight back, even though she can plausibly do so. Also, the situation of the death seems to promote suicide in teens, which is never a good thing.

However, Augustus has no choice over whether or not he gets to die. In fact, he wants to live. He wants to do something with his life, not just be a cancer kid, stuck sick at home. But he dies anyway, and he has no choice over it. The execution of his death, the way it was put into writing, was simply done better than Tris’s death was done, and I think that that was why it left a more profound effect on me. While I still wanted Augustus to be alive, I also respected and understood his death.

So there you have it. My take on The Fault in Our Stars with major spoilers and weird rants.

Rating: 5/5 Wagging Tails

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9 responses to “My Thoughts on the Fault in Our Stars

  1. I just recently read, “The Fault in Our Stars” and I was overwhelmed by the depth of emotion that Hazel displays. I think this was one of the truly good books I’ve read in quite a long time. Oh, I’ve been entertained, and even involved in characters, but no book has hit me at my core like this one did. Thanks for the review!

    • I agree, The Fault in Our Stars was truly an amazing book. Not only is the depth of emotion displayed breathtaking and heart-wrenching, but the plot twists, ending and pacing were near-perfect.

      I agree! While other YA and popular fiction books are engaging, they don’t really hit you hard or make you feel as if the characters are real people, going through real things.

      It was my pleasure writing this review! Thanks so much for the comment! It means a lot. 🙂

  2. I’ve read the Fault in Our Stars three times, the first time when it was raining and all I could do for the next half an hour was cry, stop crying, then cry again. The book meant so much to me and like you, all I could think about is “Gus is really the greatest guy character ever created” because he just makes you fall in love with him, and you can just feel the characters and their love. In my opinion this is the greatest romance novel ever written because it was so real and in some ways Gus was too good to be true. But John Green was absolutely genius and this book deserves every bit of praise it gets. At first, a movie coming out really irked me because I knew in my heart that there was no one capable of playing Gus, ever, and there would never be anyone to fit the role, but I’m going to to see it and hopefully it doesn’t get butchered. And about Divergent… I honestly thought the book was poorly written and the love aspects were artificial and emotionless so I don’t get what the fuss about it was because it wasn’t worth it. But this was truly a book I’d read over and over again.
    Thanks for writing a great blog!

    • After I finished reading it, I actually had to go out to dinner with my family, so I had to suppress my feelings about Augustus (I’ve always favored Augustus over Gus, for some reason :D). But I was in shock. He was too good to be true. He and Hazel almost never fought, they were just so perfect, which I think is one of the main reasons so many readers fell in love with him.
      Addressing Divergent, I often use it a a parallel in many of my book reviews, because it was definitely not a great book. I couldn’t see what the big fuss about it was. I personally viewed Four as a controlling and demeaning guy, and Tris’s relationship with him as unhealthy.
      So all in all, yes, John Green is an amazing author, and I love his books and will definitely be reading more of them in the future!
      – Sabrina

  3. I haven’t read The Fault In Our Stars, but I do agree with you about characterization. That’s more important to me than plot actually. I was talking to another person the other day. I also play video games, and if I can’t connect to at least one character then I don’t like the story very much. Final Fantasy X is pretty popular, and I played it, and I didn’t connect to anyone. The ending was very sad, and I’m pretty sensitive, but I didn’t even cry XD I was like, I think I’m supposed to cry here. . . My friends all love that game, and it just does nothing for me because I don’t like any of the characters. I don’t care what happens to them. My favorite characters are the archetypal heros. But it’s more than that. It’s almost like there is a chemistry between the reader and a character. Anyway, this was an interesting analysis. I also like villains you can empathize with like Hannibal, lol.

    • Characterization is definitely very important. Without characterization, the reader doesn’t care about the characters, and subsequently, the plot. I have heard of the terms, “character-driven,” and “plot-driven,” used to describe books, but honestly, the best novels–and TV and video games–are good because you care about the characters and what happens to them. I honestly can’t think of any plot-driven books that might become popular, except maybe a few in the mystery genre.

      I like anti-villains, in the sense that the villain is a person you can relate to. It makes their characters more complex and meaty, and essentially more fun to read.

      – Sabrina

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