So John has gotten around to releasing his fifth book in as many years, This book follows on from the wonderful “looking for Alaska”, The passable “Paper town” and the shit storm that is “Abundance of Katherine’s”, a book that I have yet to finish and have no desire to finish because those who have read it have informed me that it doesn’t get better. Anyway back on topic this is John Greens 5Th book and its an interesting change of pace but still has all the hallmarks that we have come to expect from John.
This book started off a little predictable and not quite as nuisances as looking for Alaska or Paper towns but saying that its nice to see John try something new and succeed and deliver something with a lot more gravitas. This is a story that deals with a very serious issue, it deals with a teenage girl that has cancer, While his other books have been interesting they have dealt with the trivial problems of the people involved in them this was not the case for Fault in our stars though, This dealt with a very real issue of cancer and how it sucks for everyone but it also deals with the everyday issue of trying to be a teenager with cancer, It also dealt with it in a real way and compassionate way. Despite the big issue of cancer int his book In many ways I think this does a good job of showing how the main character considers her love life and family life to be of a much greater importance than her cancer, Very typical of a teenager. Despite this change in story direction though all the things we have come to expect are still here,
– Intelligent middle class kids…. check
– Fleshed out and engaging characters… check
– Grand lofty ideas of philosophy that go right over my head … check
– An intellectually interesting and beautiful love interest … check
– Loss and death … check
I think perhaps someone should look into why John Green is so interested in killing teenagers or putting teenagers into circumstances of near death but this is not about looking into John mind, sorry to digress for a moment. I wont lie though this book did make me cry, Although the way my friends spoke about this I expected it to be a lot more but maybe I’m just desensitised to these things, Or perhaps I just new what was coming from a John green book, who knows.
Like all the other John green book this was very difficult to put down, When reading his books I regularly find that a page turns in to a chapter and a chapter turns into the whole book, when I read his books I find I start reading before I go to bed and then next thing I know its morning the sun is coming and I have to go to work. This book made me think why though? is it John’s style or John’s story both of which I like, unfortunately though the story ideas are starting to become a little stale now.
About 3/4 of the way through John took what I thought was a wholly predictable romp and then brought about a twist that took this book in a different direction, He took everything I thought was going to happen and gave me the middle finger, after this I had to read the rest of it alone in the dark holding back the tears. I shall not reveal what this reveal was but this was the point at which I cried, Unfortunately this reveal was to be let down by the ending, The ending took far too long to get to end basically and when it did I was very disappointed in it, I don’t understand how an editor can just let him not end a story, There were at least 3 or 4 moments when he could have ended it but no he wanted another chapter, another 10 pages and when it did finally end it did it so abruptly that I was like is that it? it was like losing my virginity all over again, Why did I bother reading those last three chapters but the abruptness was hinted all the way through this book so I can understand his desire to be a little intellectual about it all but this is not the first book he’s done this in so maybe its just John’s style.
Over all though I liked this book, I just want John to try a new kind of story because I really enjoy his easy to read style and compelling characters, I also think a good editor would do him the world of good, I have thought this about all his books though so i don’t think he is likely to change now. Overall a good read and comes recommended from me even if the ending was slightly lacking.