The Fault In Our Stars (Is That We Haven't Enough Tissues) by John Green

January 2, 2013 Coming of Age, Family, Psychological, Romance, Tear Jerkers, Young Adult Fiction 33

Good Day My Dear Bookworms,

I typically don’t read a ton of young adult literature, but I’m beginning to branch out into the genre more and more. There’s some amazing stuff out there geared toward teens these days. After seeing this book on a crap ton of “Best  Books of 2012” lists, I decided to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

I started reading this at 11 pm one night. I stopped reading this at 3 am that same night/morning. Why did I stop reading? Because the book was over. Quick synopsis: girl meets boy… At cancer support group meeting. Love blossoms amid oxygen tanks and prosthetic legs. They love books together and music together and fight cancer together… Even when cancer wins. So. Spoiler alert. Have like 10 boxes of tissues on hand. Seriously. I cried through 40% of this book, then I had dreams about my friends getting cancer and sleep cried. I woke up looking God-awful. Yay for vacation days! (No, I didn’t TAKE a vacation day because I looked terrible, I was already on vacation. I wouldn’t have started a book at 11 pm on a work night anyway. It’s past my bedtime, y’all!)

Star crossed teen lovers, and yet, original.

Star crossed teen lovers, and yet, original.

This was a fabulous book, but I have a couple of teeny tiny bones to pick with it. First. When I was in grade school, I went through a Lurlene McDaniel phase. In the mid nineties, Lurlene McDaniel was a staple of the school book order list. All of her books were about terminally ill teenagers. Do you know what happens to a kid who reads too many novels about terminally ill teenagers? She thinks every ache and pain is a tumor. True story. You know what freaked me out even more? The fact that I was taken for head x-rays a couple of years before the McDaniel phase. It occurred to me that they were looking for brain tumors! (Turns out the headaches were sinus headaches, but I really felt like I’d dodged a bullet there.) I am slightly concerned for impressionable young minds with higher than age appropriate reading abilities having their psyches damaged by this book. Who am I kidding? I just wanted to share that story about my hypochondria and Lurlene McDaniel. Because how often do you get to type out Lurlene? Not often enough, in my opinion.

Second bone to pick! This is a legit bone. The dialogue was witty, fast paced, and used astoundingly good vocabulary. Teenagers DO NOT talk like this. Not even the exceptionally smart ones. I was in nerd classes, I was pals with some of the exceptionally smart kids. You know what they did? They drew comics about tapeworms and wrote out song lyrics on the backs of their notebooks. They were infinitely more concerned with the art of the mix tape than with the brilliance of their favorite author. True, none of them were terminally ill, but nobody banters like the kids in this book. Nobody. However, nobody realistically banters like the characters on Gilmore Girls did, but that didn’t stop me from loving them like crazy!

If you plan to read this, have tissues on hand.

If you plan to read this, have tissues on hand.

This was truly a great read. If you are in need of a tear jerker, skip the Lifetime Original Movie and dig into this book. The dialogue, while unrealistic, is charming as heck. You’ll get attached to Hazel and Augustus and Isaac. It’s a delight. A heart-wrenching, tear-jerking delight. Read it!

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but tear jerkers… Why are they so wonderful? What about you, bookworms? Do you enjoy the occasional tear jerker, or do you hate them? Tell me about it. Let’s all gather around the box of kleenex and have us a good share session.

33 Responses to “The Fault In Our Stars (Is That We Haven't Enough Tissues) by John Green”

  1. Megan M.

    I got so excited when I saw you were reviewing this one! I love John Green – the first of his I read was An Abundance of Katherines, and that book made me laugh out loud so. much. I read some press about The Fault in Our Stars because it was getting a crazy amount of pre-orders on Amazon before JG had even finished WRITING it. And then when it came out, and I saw that it had (at the time) 300 reviews, all five-star, I cried. I might have something wrong with me.

    I too went through a Lurlene McDaniel phase! I think we all do, at some point.

    I don’t remember taking issue with the dialogue but I can see your point. For me, if dialogue is witty and charming, I will overlook improbability. And I think part of me wants to believe that somewhere people DO talk like that. It’s how I talk in all of my fantasy conversations.

    • Words for Worms

      I’ve been toying with the idea of An Abundance of Katherines. I’m a Kathryn, and there are a lot of us. Then it makes me think of that song, “27 Jennifers” and then I wonder why nobody names their kids Melissa or Michelle anymore. Ah. Good times. I banter like a Gilmore Girl in my fantasies too… It’s just that my real life convos are more like “Um. Yep. So. Uh huh. Nachos?”

    • Words for Worms

      Seriously, I have had this chronic hip pain thing since like 5th grade when I likely did some idiotic dance move or fell roller skating or something. It’s bursitis, not cancer. I got a semi real diagnosis from Jim’s PT cousin. Also, she says I shouldn’t run because my knees make noise. That’s kind of the greatest thing I ever heard. I have a MEDICAL EXCUSE! Muahahaha.

  2. Lisa G

    Am still prone to picking up Lurlene McDaniel books at used book stores, garage sales, etc. And BabySitters Club. LOL. I have no excuse, all my kids are boys! Thanks for the review. Might have to give this one a shot.

  3. Christine

    I agree with you about the unrealistically witty and intelligent dialogue – Green’s teenagers talk like we WISH teenagers would talk. But I can forgive him the conceit because I love his writing so much. And I, too, was a huge fan of Gilmore Girls.

    I haven’t read An Abundance of Katherines, but I have read Paper Towns, which has one of the most legitimately and hilariously diabolical revenge scenes in all of teen fiction. There was a section of that book that made me laugh so hard that my family thought I was insane. John Green is amazing.

    • Words for Worms

      Seriously, I’m going to have to check out more of his work. I really loved this book, particularly for the funny parts. Is Paper Towns a tear jerker?

      • Christine

        I wouldn’t call it a tear jerker. It’s more ironic, in that cool teen irony way. I don’t want to spoiler it, though, because there is a pretty central mystery that is important to the whole book.

  4. Sami

    I love the tear jerker! If you are a dog lover and read Marley and Me…I had to put it down because I knew what was coming and needed to be emotionally prepared. A good cleansing cry over a book is the best cathartic experience in my opinion! You love it so much you don’t ever want to read it again!

  5. Lyssapants

    I have to be in the right mood, but tear-jerkers are so cathartic.
    Remember Chicken Soup for the (teenage) Soul? I was all over those.

  6. CorrieP

    Ok, so first of all I did and still do LOVE all things Gilmore. Second, I am a tear-jerker queen, ask anybody that knows me. I haven’t read a lot of YA for fear of being mocked but will definitely have to pick this one up. Also…Kristin Hannah is good for the tearjerker and so is Jodi Picoult!

  7. Sarah Says Read

    YESSSSS Lurlene McDaniel!!! I still own a copy of “Don’t Die, My Love” by her, it was one of my favorite novels when I was an early teen.

    And I TOTALLY agree that teens in John Green’s books don’t talk like that. It makes the dialogue interesting and you want to keep reading, but it’s also super-annoying how pretentious all the kids sound (well, at least in the other books I read by him).

    I’m still undecided if I want to try reading this one or not. Because if I end up hating it, I’ll be that blogger who hates the book about cancer teens in love, and how heartless is that?

    • Words for Worms

      Hahaha yeah you wouldn’t want to be the person who hates the cancer teens in love. It’s like hating on Anne Frank or something. You just can’t go there. I don’t think you’ll hate them though. Even though they’re pretentious, because they’re an amusing pretentious. They make a lot of jokes at their own expense, I think that saves it.

  8. the undeniable anglophile

    I totally love this book. Plus, it isn’t a girl thing, trust me, I’m a guy, and I and two other friends read it, and we all had to admit to tears pooling up in our eyes.
    But I do think that the extensive vocabulary is alright, because they’re just really smart. I know people who talk like that in our school. When I joined Debate Club, I noticed that everybody in the room talked a lot like that, and especially the seniors.
    They’re the same kind of people, the Debate Club people, the Elocution people, so it makes sense.

  9. Rachel

    So I stayed up until 1:30am last night to finish this book…crying so much that I couldn’t breath laying down because I was all stuffed up. Scott had to work the election coverage, so he got home moments after I finished and didn’t understand why I was laying in bed surrounded by tissues with red eyes. Then he asked me what it was about and it started a fresh round of tears. Good lord. I always say if you need someone to cry at a funeral, invite me. I don’t even need to know the person. I’m such a crier.
    Anyway, I had to check first thing this morning to see if you had reviewed it. I had one major peeve with the book and I think it started with the Author’s note at the beginning. It was about how it was a completely made up story but the tone of it was off putting to me. And then I got hung up on how a middle aged man was writing as a teenage girl and it completely disturbed me. I got over it about half way through, but I was a little perturbed to begin with. Why? I don’t know. Irrational.
    But I agree with the dialogue. I mean I appreciate that he didn’t make them sound dumb, but sometimes it was just over the top. It took me about 1/3 of the way through to actually feel like I was connecting with the characters. In the end though…guh, tears. I connected.
    Overall, it was a decent book. Definitely Young Adult, but sometimes that’s good enough.

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