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After reading about umpteen reviews of this book, I added it to the top of my wishlist. It sat there for a while, as I just wasn’t in the mood for it. In fact, I even chose other books during my purchases over this one. Then Fiance shows up with an out-of-the-blue present, and sure enough, it’s this book.
I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS). As I mentioned a while back in one of my Quotable Friday posts, I know kids/friends who have/had pediatric cancer, so these types of books always tend to draw me in. It took me a week to read TFIOS, but mainly because I was determined to read my March Lost or Forgotten book, Out of the Blue by Isabel Wolff, before the end of the month, and I had a LOT of catching up to do on that book.
Yes, this is a cancer book, yes, it is emotional, and yes, it will make you CRY. I read the majority of this book sitting next to the Fiance as he watched basketball all day (one reason we work so well, I have NO PROBLEM grabbing a book when he wants to watch something I’m not interested in). At one point he looked over at me, seemed to finally notice the tears silently rolling down my face, and says in a concerned voice, “Are you okay?!?!” I think it was the first time he had ever actually seen me cry over a book, though he knows it happens on occasion. I assured him I was, and as I continued to cry on and off throughout the rest of the book, he eventually just laughed and handed me a tissue.
I loved the sarcasm and dry humor, particularly from Hazel. I may have cried quite a bit during the second half of the book, but I also laughed a lot throughout the book. I liked that the book was so blatantly honest. Cancer does terrible things to a person, not only in body but also soul, and I think the book captured that (at least, from my outsider’s perspective it did). And the cancer perks. Oh yeah, they definitely exist, and not every kid loves them. I know some kids in remission actually grow to hate them, or consider them an unpleasant reminder of what they battled. Finally, I liked the fact that the plot ending I expected a few chapters into the book was not how it went at all, and I appreciated the plot twist to what could have been a very typical and predictable story.
Okay you TFIOS and John Green lovers out there, hold on to your hats… there were things I didn’t like about this book. *GASP* I know, I know, everyone else has seemed to LOVE LOVE LOVE this book, but I just had issues with some of it. First and foremost, I didn’t think Hazel and Augustus were relate-able. Not because of the whole cancer thing, but because they didn’t talk the way typical teenagers talk, or think the way typical teenagers think. There were several passages of dialogue where I thought to myself how unbelievable the conversation was. Then there were the parents. It’s obvious how protective Hazel’s parents are of her, and Augustus’s parents make them watch a movie in the living room versus the basement (his bedroom). AND YET, they get to Amsterdam and suddenly are left practically unchaperoned for most of the trip. Seriously? That just doesn’t make sense to me.
This book is emotionally gripping and has the ability to leave you feeling raw, as most “cancer books” do. I think that’s why so many people claim to love it and declare it 10 out of 5 stars. Upon finishing TFIOS, I was going to give it 5 out of 5 because I had become so emotionally invested. However, the more I thought about it the more the relate-ability and uniformity issues bugged me, and frankly, this book didn’t completely live up to my expectations, given all the hype it has received.
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