Can I admit that I went into The Fault in Our Stars with a bad attitude?
- It’s YA. I expected to have a flashback to those Lurlene McDaniel novels that were so popular in the ’80s.
- It centers on a love story, gag! (I sound heartless, don’t I?)
- It’s about cancer. Kids with cancer. My sister was diagnosed with an aggressive, very rare cancer (leiomyosarcoma) when she was a kid. She’s an adult now and thankfully cancer-free, but I remember those times.
So yeah, I could not imagine enjoying this book. But I was curious about it, because there has been so much hype. When one of my flute students loaned me her copy, I had no excuse and the pressure was on.
Thankfully, I really enjoyed John Green’s writing. It read quickly as expected whenever I pick up a YA novel, but the writing was so refined. Surprisingly, the teenaged tone didn’t annoy me at all. I even found the love story to be sweet. There was a little adventure – a bookish one at that! And the characters’ cynicism and honesty, even when that honesty had the potential to make people uncomfortable, was absolutely refreshing. No sap. Just reality.
And oh my word, reading this as a parent?! I thought I would be okay as far as crying went, and mostly I was. Then came some particularly moving glimpses into the parents’ perspective, and I lost it.
Obviously this topic makes the book a tough read, but surprisingly, I didn’t find it to be a downer. It was insightful and focused on living life to its fullest even when facing death, without being overly sentimental or manipulating the reader’s emotions.
Thanks to FangirlingFlautist for making me read this! I’m sure I’ll be reading more by John Green.