Beth, Books Read

See Bethie Read – The Fault in Our Stars

The radio show I listen to in the morning does a segment every now and then called Eight Month Old Movie Review, which is usually when one of the DJ’s has just seen a movie that has already been out for quite sometime but they want to talk about it. Today is going to be kind of like that. I’m doing a Five Year Old Book review, ha! I’m pretty behind the times on a LOT of books though, so that isn’t too hard. Anyway, I was recently at Half Price Books and discovered they have a clearance shelf in the very back of the store (Thrifty Tuesday tip!) and grabbed myself a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s been on my “to read” list for a long time now after it was so crazy popular a few years ago. I started it on vacation and finished it within a week.

If you’ve been living under a rock like me and haven’t read this book before, it’s a YA novel. It’s a tragic love story about a cancer patient named Hazel and how she meets another cancer patient/survivor named Gus at a support group meeting. Hazel does not intend to fall in love with Gus as she knows she will never be cancer free, but despite her efforts not to, the two of them become very close and eventually she can’t deny that she is in love with him. She shares one of her favorite books with him and it is a book that has an unsatisfying ending. Gus communicates with the author via email and tells Hazel they can travel to Amsterdam to meet the author and talk about the book. Hazel tells Gus she already wasted her “Make A Wish” on a trip to Disney World, but Gus generously offers her his wish. They travel together and meet the author, which turns out to be a disappointment (the author is a washed up drunk), but they still enjoy their time in Amsterdam until the last day they are there when the book takes a bit of a turn.

I won’t spoil the last part of the book in case you haven’t read or haven’t seen the movie. I will say I saw the twist coming from a mile away, but I am pretty good at predicting this style of story. I used to read all those terrible Lurlene McDaniel dying teenager books and this book reminds me of a more sophisticated version of one of those. That isn’t necessarily a negative reaction though. I found the writing was fresh and held my attention, the characters were witty and interesting and even though I pretty much knew how it was going to end and that it would likely be sad – duh, it’s cancer – I still was sucked in pretty much right away and read it pretty fast and enjoyed it. I like to read books that I can get lost in and not have to think too hard every now and then and this one was perfect for that. I am interested in checking out some of John Green’s other books now that I’ve finished this one.

I haven’t decided if I will see the movie or not yet. I have heard it does not deviate from the book much at all which I appreciate. My problem is I’m not a big fan of Shailene Woodley. I don’t know what it is about her, I think it’s probably because I didn’t like her on the show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and therefore I haven’t cared much for her in anything I’ve seen since! But, I do like seeing how books transition to the big screen, so I will likely stream the movie at some point.

Overall I did enjoy the book and even if it was formulaic and predictable, I can see why it was so popular when it was released. I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it!

13 thoughts on “See Bethie Read – The Fault in Our Stars”

  1. Good review. I enjoyed the film made from this book but didn’t have any prior experience with the actress so that didn’t ruin it for me. (I know how that can be; there are some actors I simply can’t watch in anything. I’m looking at you, John Lithgow…)
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  2. I saw that movie and you know what? I didn’t see the twist coming. Maybe I wasn’t really paying attention or I just suck at that stuff. Oh wait! No, usually I can predict the killer on CSI within the first couple scenes.
    I liked the movie but didn’t read the book first.
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  3. I really enjoyed this one. I was already a fan of John Green too, though. I recommend Looking for Alaska by him. It’s his first novel and it’s my favorite out of all of them. He has a new book coming out this fall too and I’m pretty excited to hear more about it.

    I don’t really like Shailene Woodely either, but I think the movie was done well.
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  4. I did read this one a bit ago, and I remember having a similar reaction. Yes, it was pretty predictably tear-jerker-y, but it was still a good read! And I’m the same way about being behind on the “big” books of the season/year. Usually I get my books at the library, and all the new books have huge waitlists, so by the time it’s my turn it seems like everyone has already read it. Oh well!
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  5. I read this a few years ago and had the same reaction. It was a good book and I had a hard time putting it down while reading it. I saw the twist coming… although I also thought it was pretty much the only way the book could end. It made me cry though! It was enjoyable and I could see why it was popular, but it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read.

    Also – I used to read all those Lurlene McDaniel books too. I still have some of them and kinda want to reread my favorites sometime soon. I remember reading one of them a while back and it was fun to reread a book from my youth. They also don’t take too long to get through. 🙂

  6. i’ve tried to read other books by green and haven’t been able to get into them at all. fault grabbed me from the get go and clung. it’s one of my absolute favorites.

    the movie was okay. better than i’d expected it to be. i wouldn’t’ve chosen shailene woodley or ansel elgort for either of the main characters. definitely not elgort. he was not how i pictured gus AT ALL. i had ezra miller in mind for that part. no clue whom i would’ve picked for hazel. i wanted someone who looked a little more fragile, for lack of a better word. smaller in stature or something. i liked willem dafoe as the author. i think he played that part well. i feel like the book packs a hell of a lot more punch than the movie does, but that could be because i’d read the book long before the film was released so i knew what to expect.
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