Saturday, August 3, 2013

Who is at Fault?

I'll start off quite bluntly. If the book has people who suffer from cancer, you will most likely be (expected to be) crying. If these people are children, you should be weeping. Because, of course, that's the only way a person with normal emotions would react. Except that when a book is riding on that wave for one reason only (to attract ratings, sales and oohs and aahs), I feel like someone is pulling a kitten by its tail and daring me not to react. "You have to, you have to."
I don't know John Green, nor have I read any of his (apparently very good) books up until now. I knew he had a blog and did funny videos but I've never watched those either. So my review is based on specifically this book alone. I have no other John Green work to compare it to.

For those who don't know, this book is young adult oriented, features Hazel whose cancer is apparently standing still after she was one of the five people to react to a fictitious drug and her tumors began shrinking. She still rolls a tank full of oxygen with her wherever she goes, including support group where she meets Augustus.

Apparently John Green worked in a children's hospital when he was 21 and has been trying to write a book about kids with cancer ever since. According to the mass reaction, he widely succeeded in bringing a piece of their world into ours. I have to admit that the ordeal these poor kids go through is horrible. The characters can make you laugh out loud at times and the book flies easily. But the problem is all the kids in the book are the same. They are all wise beyond their years, speak like your college philosophy professor and sometimes I am not sure if they themselves know what they're trying to say, tangled up in deep thoughts. Then he throws in video games to make them look like regular teenagers and can't possibly decide whether he wants to be moving, funny or philosophical. Maybe he thought he was successfully being all three. Not for me.

I would give this book three stars only because it gives an insight into the world of children with cancer. Everything else was very very out there. It is ultimately a book that was, in my opinion, written to be a movie. Which of course it will be
My Sister's Keeper was targeting the same tearjerking situation and still it was believable. I almost wish I liked this book more than I do because it makes me feel guilty that I don't. But I guess that's the fault of the stars, not John himself?

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