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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

NOT what I expected. While the story COULD have been EPIC it was somehow dull due the WAY too philosophical view both main characters had it also felt ABSOLUTELY pointless. 

Hazel and Augustus meet in a therapy group. Hazel is struggling with cancer, she knows she isn't going to make it but the treatment she is getting now somehow prolongs the ending giving her a bit more time (while don't really knowing what "a bit" means). She is sick, has to have oxygen tank with her at all times and she is quite detached from the lives around her (almost) except for her parents. Meeting Augustus and becoming fast friends is NOT what she was expecting. Yet it happens nevertheless. 

Augustus comes to the group for the sake of his friend Isaac who will be losing his sight in the near future. Augustus had his "brush" with cancer. Not long ago his right leg was amputated. As Hazel reminds him of his previous girlfriend she strikes his interest but that's the only resemblance. They both enjoy each other's company and want to be with each other yet Hazel is reluctant as it's obvious to her she will have to leave him behind. Probably shattered if their relationship would develop and he would care for her. Yet somewhere along the way she can't really hold on to her resolve as she is falling for him as much as he falls for her. 

They have a "grand" time together. Even with the sickness and difficulties their friendship was sweet, innocent and yet mature beyond their years. They might be teenagers (about 17 years old) yet what they went through and their unique selves makes them much more than that. It was amazing seeing how much they got out of life and situations that weren't so "good" yet their company together and how they interpreted things made it all okay somehow. 

I'm going to say something horrible - at a certain part of this book I felt like I was dying. Dying with Hazel, being buried in the mumble jumble of Hazel's thoughts that are SO philosophical I was bored to tears. This book could have been SO GOOD, and yet it was so NOT what I wanted it to be. It was brave and unique in the fact that it dealt with cancer as I never imagined possible, including being FUNNY! A Laugh Out Loud Funny! Yet for me, with all the philosophical talk of Hazel and Augustus - the emotional part, the part that has heart and soul of an individual was totally and absolutely lost to me. 

There was something totally futile about the whole thing. Why did we "live" through Hazel's eyes during the whole of this book? why did we meet Augustus or his friend Isaac. What was the whole point of this book. I dare say it again. It was FUTILE and not in the funny Schwarzenegger way. It was just totally meaningless. The whole thing. 

The beginning was good, or rather better, since it was funnier and felt somehow more real than most novels do as it dealt with life - difficult life - without being apologetic. It just is, or was. Both Hazel and Augustus deals with something SO terrible and as teenagers which can be difficult without the "might be dying thing".. I wanted to root for the both of them. To see them together even though the minimal reviews you read of this one tells you to prepare your handkerchiefs (do people actually carry ones anymore? I dare say I have an answer to it that I WON'T elaborate on...) so I was totally prepared for the worst and NOT the Happily Ever After. Not that I'm saying anything ABOUT the ending. It's just what I was expecting.. (I'm TRYING not to spoiler here! please appreciate ;)). Yet again, the futility of it all.. God! I'll just quote darling Fred here.. "Geez grandpa what did you read me this thing for?" (an unforgettable quote from an unforgettable movie - "The Princess Bride").

It wasn't a horrible book but for me it's definitely wasn't a good one either. It had a HUGE potential that TOTALLY got lost when the author tried being too damn smart. Sometimes a book needs to be happy, sad, stupid, funny - just BE! and not overly analyzed. That's my opinion.. I know MANY MANY loved it, yet I couldn't find a real interest. I kept reading because I DID want to know how it end, yet I did it reluctantly - it was so DAMN boring! I don't even know what it says about me that I could read of (imaginary) human pain and feel absolutely nothing. If it makes me a bad person so be it.. 

I will admit to shedding a few tears over this one. I guess it's almost impossible not to. Yet it wasn't a very emotional book in my eyes. It was a philosophical one (how many times have I wrote the word Philosophical in this review? that should explain my annoyance I think..). 

But just so we don't finish this review with a grim feel - a short funny tale - On my first year of my BA I had one course in Philosophy. It was SO boring I could hardly keep up with the lecturer. She was a nice person, and very invested in what she was teaching but as you can guess from my review - yeah, it wasn't my "thing" exactly.. Back then I just brought home Eric's mother a puppy Great Dane and as I only had two courses that day I brought her to class. But Uli was bored to tears as well! I should say she wasn't as bored at Statistics as she was bored with Philosophy 101! ONLY on Philosophy's lessons she would yawn SO loudly it was embarrassing how much she was channeling me!  Dogs usually yawn when they are frustrated not "tired" (what do they have to be tired about anyway?!). She never acted this way in ANY other course I brought her to. So thinking of both of us I stopped going to that class. Didn't get an amazing score in that one as you could guess but Uli and myself's mental health graded more. 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 337 pages, 19-20 January 2015 / On GoodReads

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