Friday, February 3, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars - a review (kind of)

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green - 336 pages

Note: I am not discussing the plot details of this book.

If we ever need a robot detector to detect evil robots that look like us and walk among us then The Fault in Our Stars would be our test. Forget Gaius Balter and his magic Cylon detector. No. We take those mechanical bastards, we strap them into chairs, and we force them to read a book about cancer patients to provoke an emotional response.

Clearly, I am not a robot because I experienced several emotions while reading TFiOS. One of them was crying. This wasn't a heavy sob, or a snotty cry or red puffy eyed cry: this was The Brave Little Toaster just sacrificed himself crying.* Or Marley & Me the dog just died crying.**

Don't be a Dwight. Read the book.
Crying is not the only emotional response present in this book. I really want to stress that because I know people have come forward saying that they don't want to cry. Well, you won't if you don't want to. But here's the deal: you will laugh, you will have your awww moments. Just give yourself over to Mr. Green and trust him to guide you through it safely.

I had one problem with TFiOS. It being that this novel contains John Green's standard book formula. The Quirky Unrealistic Teenage Girl meets a Quirky Unrealistic Teenage Boy and go on a Quirky Adventure in which there is self-discovery and ocean deep conversations and witty dialogue. They even discuss poetry.

I'm giving John Green a pass on using his Standard Formula for two reasons: 1) this is book is superior to anything else he has written and 2) I've never had such an emotional response to a book before.

I want to get into the spirit of discussing the plot but I don't want to. You'll have to read the damn book to find out what it's about.  Don't be afraid to read this book. You will not cry the entire time. You will walk away satisfied with a lighthearted feeling that will last all day. I think that makes it worth a few sniffles.

Full Disclosure: I purchased this book from 
*Also, Bamibi's mom, WALL-E, and the very last episode of Battlestar Galactica.
**I realized today that there's about 50 different Levels of Crying.


  1. Oh Adam, need a tissue? hehe I thought you said you weren't going to review this. Too good not to mention? I have a copy on it's way to me (as I type this) so I plan to make this my next-next read.

    Usually when people tell me I am going to cry, I don't cry. I get more emotional with the unexpected blows.

    1. I couldn't help it. I really couldn't. I actually gave it five stars on Goodreads. I'm not so liberal with those these days as I used to be.

      Hmm. That could mean you're a robot. You should report your test results to me after you finish reading it.

  2. Thank you for making me not afraid of this book.

    1. It's a good experience. It's not as bad as everyone is claiming. This is just one of those rare instances when a book can actually get a teared up response from me. (The last one was the ending to His Dark Materials some time ago.)

  3. Damn Gaius and his cylon detector that he won't use for good! Why he be lying to peeps! What is the point!

    I'm only halfway through season one, so I apologize if my rant is later disproved.


    Also, TFIOS sounds rad beyond all measure.

    1. It is rad beyond measure. Keep watching BSG! If you think Baltar is weird now wait until after the first season.

  4. Excellent review. I tend to give John Green a pass on the super smart teenagers as well; at this point the readers who continue to pick up his books and expect something else are the ones who puzzle me. (And, wow, it is rare that I find someone else who even knows who The Brave Little Toaster IS!)

  5. Okay I read this for the first time just now.
    This is the first and only thing I intend to read about this book.
    I almost feel like you write this to me directly because I am exactly the person you describe.

    Except for Dwight. I'm not that guy. I'm more of an Andy.

    **sighs**thinks very hard**

  6. I tend to stay away from these books-I easily break into the "ugly cry" But you made me feel brave and laugh so I'm going to do it.

  7. Hi Adam, may I begin by saying that your reviews are great. They're refreshingly straightforward and not at all catering to any audiences; you just say it like it is.

    Could you review Looking for Alaska, and possibly Paper Towns as well? Perhaps your formula of a "Quirky unrealistic girl meets quirky unrealistic guy and go on a quirky adventure/road trip/etc" holds true, but I found each book radically different, and I thought L4A was the most powerful for me. The Fault in Our Stars was humorous, then sad, but I didn't find it quite as humbling and fulfilling as Looking for Alaska.

    I'm just wondering what you thought of the other John Green books.

    Thanks, I hope to hear from you.

    1. Hello!

      Thank you. I like to be straight foward.

      I could do those two, but I've already read them. Although I did love them.

      I think the formula holds true. You have the male main character in Paper Towns meeting the quirky girl, going on a road trip to find her, etc.

      Looking for Alaska could be an example, but you know, the main character does travel to an out-of-town school, meets a quirky girl and... you get the rest.

      With that being said, I do love John Green. He writes good books. I'm not opposed to his style, or his characters, or anything like that. He just likes to send them on a journey. He's like a Tolkien but with teens.

  8. I hate books that make me cry. Only the fact that this is John Green (and I've enjoyed his others, and agree with you about his growing into his particular style) will make me pick up this one. I foresee some sobbing.


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