Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review♥Audiobook Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Synopsis from Goodreads: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

First I have to say that this is my first time I read a book by John Green (le gasp!) and sadly I am just not his type (perhaps my stupid minuscule brain can't comprehend his nerdfighter awesomeness). I do have to say I love him and Hank, and Sarah, and Katherine. Dude, love their vlogs!

Okay, okay, let's talk about this book. If you haven't noticed, this book has a ridiculously high rating on Goodreads. Good job John! :) And I swear that comment was not sarcastic! I was expecting the best book in the world from the high ratings, but like I said before, I am not his type of girl...well his book type of girl.

This book was hilarious. I totally pictured John being Augustus. Everything Gus said I could imagine saying it in John's voice. And seriously, the audiobook totally solidified that reasoning (I'll explain later in my audiobook review). John was able to pull off a sad book with a tremendous amount of funny things.

Hazel was really like a teen, a real teen. I liked how I couldn't put her in a category. She was not your girly girl or your super tough boy-ish girl. She was just Hazel Grace Lancaster. She was "[...]fairly shy - not the hand-raising type" (pg 12) also liked to be alone! I was literally jumping for joy when I found out that. She totally seemed like me...but way cooler. Her personality kind of reminded me of an egg. She was shy to a point where she would probably not be the one to approach someone but instead she needed someone like Gus, an outgoing, bubbly, fun character to "crack her shell". And yeah did I mention how she was super cool? She wasn't your goodie too shoes, seriously, she was just a bundle of perfection that you can't pin down. She really felt like a real teenager.

My initial thought was that Augustus reminded me of Naruto. He was a little hyper, nerdy, and adorable! Also like I said before, I couldn't stop myself from picturing John. The way he talked just reminded me of John so god damn much. He was the type of person that EVERYONE loved. There was something about him (a hint of magic perhaps) that just made people like him, very John Green and very Naruto Uzumaki. When I read on, for some reason Gus reminded me (just a teeny weenie bit) of Kise Ryouta due to the fact he was good at basketball and he was funny/silly. There were little things that Gus did that made him just adorable, for example I looooveeed how he called Hazel, Hazel Grace. I loved the "always" thing Gus and Hazel did also the cigarette thing. There is more I want to say about Gus but I just can't because it will be spoilers.

So that was the main characters, now the minor ones. Kaitlyn was unique. She was your typical Pretty Little Liars girls, ugh ew? (See what I did there?) But she hates feet! Yes *high five* and oddly my family has a trend of having a long second toe too *looks at my sister and my mom*. Haha, I guess I don't really hate her, in fact I kind of like her. I also I enjoy how Hazel's dad was more the crying type instead of her mom. Hazel's mom seemed not a patient's mom. She acted happy and celebratory. I really respect the parents in this novel. Isaac was super fun to read. I don't want to spoil anything but I feel for you the most (which is odd because there are characters that I should feel for more). Peter, oh Peter. He was like my chemistry teacher. Dear God above, please help the ones around him. He was a total J-E-R-K! There were so many moments that I would want to punch him to pieces. There is something else I want to say but I need to shut up so yeah...

There was something recent that happened in my life that I could somewhat connect with this book. And by somewhat I mean I didn't have...ugh I need to shut up again, or else spoilers will come out.

This book was so John Green! I could totally tell he wrote it. It was funny, smart. The relationship wasn't slimy or goopy. The relationship was clean and not like a whiny girl talking how the guy is gorgeous and need him by her side and their skin would touch and fire flares and universes collide blah blah blah.

Wow, from what you had read it seemed like this book was epically awesome right? And I have to say that the pros seem to out weight the cons but within the cons, there lies something indescribable.

I guess I shall begin with the cons now right? You will see that this part compares to the previous section is basically inexistent. For this book the beginning sounded a little, not real. I mean really?! Hazel would just go to a stranger boy's house? They just met, I don't know, an hour ago? I knew she was ill and that she probably doesn't interact much as her parents would grab on to any chance of interactions with the world but still! Hazel's mom didn't even offer to go with Hazel. She just basically left her with Gus. Really?! To me this book was just a book with great characters, and nothing else. The plot was simply weak. It felt like I was at a retirement home and it was Bingo night: "B4, B4, B4.".  Nothing really surprising happened, it just seemed like I was a boat and I was just following the current, slowly travelling down the stream. I mean there wasn't even a waterfall that I could fall off to (at least that would be exciting). Now on to something that is super hard to explain and sounds a little foolish and many probably won't understand.

The hamartia of this book was that it wasn't emotional enough for me. Everyone said they had felt SUPER sad when they finished. Most people cried. Most people said that it was the saddest book they had ever read. Seriously, I did not cry, in fact I didn't really felt bad (I am a sadist) except in one scene. And you might think that "Oh Ashley is just cold-hearted". Oh how you are wrong there my friend. Just ask the people who know me well, haha, I cry over almost everything. But this book just didn't provoke my crying, teary emotions. I was expecting and wishing and praying that this book would make me cry like The Kite Runner did. I think the reason was that I didn't truly felt the love between Gus and Hazel (please don't kill me for saying that). But I really didn't feel their love, and how they connected. I wished this book made me crawl into a corner with a blanket around me and cry until the stars exploded, but unfortunately didn't happen. I wished this book could make me feel exposed, and vulnerable. I wished this book made me cry in the middle of the night like it happened with The Kite Runner. I wished my body would spaz when I thought of a quote from the book. I wished this book made me cry from the bottom of my heart (and my ugly crying face can be revealed but I still wouldn't give a crap because I was so emotionally destroyed). But all those I wished are just I wished, and that was the hamartia of this book.

Discussion Time?
This book did make me question cancer kids being normal kids or not. Should people try their best to treat them as normal kids even though they are not? Can they? Will cancer kids feel more normal and "accepted" if people do treat them as normal? Will they like to be treated as normal kids? Will that help them escape lessening the feeling of being ill? Also if you were dying, would you live a life with the motto that "there is nothing to lose"? Would you want your parents to act more like Hazel's mom?

You can argue that I am just not worthy of a John Green novel or perhaps I don't have the brain to understand John Green and this book. And those arguments can be very valid. Just one last thing before you leave, I respect John Green from the bottom of my weird, twisted heart. Even though I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped, I know that John, you are one of a kind, one in a lifetime type of person. You are a treasure in our crumbling world, and I might be just to lost in it to see your light.

Audiobook review
Okay, all hail Kate Rudd! She sounded like a female version of John Green. No wait! She reminds me of Katherine, John's sister in law. The way she changed from all the characters was amazing! Wow! Brilliant! She could do a sad, melancholy voice or Gus' super funny, bubbly voice. She could change from the different gender perfectly and she was able to make distinctive voices for different characters. But I most loved about Kate was her ability to produce an Amsterdam accent. Yes Kate did mention in an interview (see below) that the accent was a challenge she faced when recording this but it sure felt like she was part Dutch.
I loved the music in the ends of the audiobooks. Kate was amazing! Okay, here is the thing with the audiobook. Augustus sounded like an excited kid. He was very happy, jokey type of person. If I didn't listen to the audiobook and instead read the book by itself, would I had cried? Because perhaps Gus would sound more mature and the relationship between Hazel and Gus would be more connected? 4.5 out of 5.

Book Trailer (beautifully done by the way)
Kate's Interview


  1. This was a really great, thorough review. I think you did a great job outlining the pros and cons!

  2. I'm glad to see some other opinions beyond the "OMG this book was the best book ever written" kind of reviews. So many people have read this book, but it just seems too depressing. Totally can't imagine why anyone would love reading such an emotional book. Maybe the character relatability that you pointed out is a factor. Well, I'm definitely going to try this one out.

    Angie @YA Novelties

  3. This is exactly how I felt about the book too. :)

    1. YAY!!! I am not alone :D <3 Thank you for visiting Harmony <3


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