The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

OK, I'm not entirely sure if The Fault in Our Starsis YA or not. "Does it matter?" I hear you ask. Well, yes, because you review a YA novel from a different perspective than the one you use to review an adult novel. (That sentence was horrible, grammatically speaking. I apologise.

For the purposes of this review I'm going to treat it as adult fiction, because nobody has told me otherwise.

Right. The Fault in Our Stars is a novel about cancer. Hazel has terminal cancer, and is, moreover, a fairly reserved and shy person. So she doesn't get out much. Cue Augustus Waters, the guy who had cancer, is a friend of someone with cancer, and has an improbably complex emotional history (for a 17-year-old) involving, yes, someone with cancer.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

I enjoyed this. I enjoyed the luxury of just being able to read without having to think too much about the words, just watching the plot unfold. I haven't been able to do that for a while. I liked the humour, and the gems of wise wisdom Green offers us - "I think we have a choice about how to tell sad stories" - and the love story. (Although for some reason it reminded me a lot of a good version of Twilight.)

But, you know, it wasn't revolutionary. For one thing, you could see the ending coming a mile off, precisely because it's the plot point you wouldn't expect. And I was put off considerably by the "Author's Note", which seems incredibly unfriendly:

"This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.
Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.
I appreciate your cooperation in this matter."

Is it just me, or does that seem incredibly ungrateful to a public that have bothered to buy and read and pay tribute to this novel? Plus, it suggests that there is actually some truth to the story, which would not have happened if Green had just left it alone.

However, my opinion of an author's character is a terrible reason for disliking that author's work. So, yes, I did enjoy The Fault in Our Stars, but not as much, apparently, as everyone else has.