“The Fault in Our Stars” by bestselling teen fiction author John Green has become extremely well-known for its film adaption. Unusually, I actually watched the movie first and thought that the movie was better than the book. The story follows Hazel Grace, a girl in her late teens who has a very slow but terminal form of cancer. Facing her mortality with a somewhat sardonic attitude, her main passion is a novel that she reads over and over again. However, her life changes dramatically when she meets the handsome and effervescent cancer-survivor Augustus at a cancer group meeting.
This was a book that was difficult to read after finishing “I Can Jump Puddles“. Thematically, it’s quite similar. It’s about a sick child who struggles to have a voice and a life outside her illness. However, I just felt like Alan Marshall did a better job of pulling it off. Maybe because this one is not a true story. Maybe because there is not much of a sense of hope. Maybe because I already knew the story having seen the movie. Maybe Alan Marshall is just the better writer.
I didn’t really have a lot to say about it after I finished it. I wasn’t blown away by its beauty or its insight. I was left feeling hollow and a little bit as though I maybe should have just seen the film and left it at that. The book just didn’t seem to be as evocative or convincing as the film. This is the only John Green novel I’ve read so far, and while he does an OK job of getting into the psyche of a teenage girl, I think that others, like Australian author John Marsden, have done it better.