I know people LOVE the Fault in our stars, by John Green. Honestly, I know why. It's Romeo and Juliet for a new generation, without the frivolity of Romeo's love, and the childishness of Juliet's.
The characters are very well developed and the pain and anguish are genuine. I cried a lot, and I mean A LOT... even though I knew the ending, more or less. I knew the book was about a girl with terminal cancer... all of that.
Do you remember how when you were a teenager you thought you had to make everything deep? You used philosophy and metaphors, and not just because it made you seem intelligent... that's genuinely just how your developing brain worked? That is Gus and Hazel exactly. At first, I rolled my eyes at it, and thought, "ugh, why am I reading this teen lit stuff with all it's deliberate intelligence?" and then I remembered, that's exactly what it's like being in High School. Everything is black and white. You're being exposed to all these new ideas, and you love it.
So... the Fault in our stars has strong character development and real emotion, why will I never read John Green again?
He writes this book capturing the pain and torment of cancer and losing someone... and then he turns it into a love story to sell to large markets of eager teenagers... he is in fact, romanticizing cancer but not just that... I can't help but feel he's exploiting the pain that people experience because of cancer or because a loved one died of the disease. People buy the book because "it's soooo romantic" and because it gives them a good cry. Why does it make them cry? Because these poor kids are robbed of life, and it's entirely out of their control.
I know I'm probably being unfair to John Green. I know it's probably nothing like that at all.
I will say one thing though, and maybe this is why I hate the book so much, it gave me nightmares. My own dad died of a brain tumour, and all night I dreamt he had died and no one had even told me he was sick.
It was really awful. Now, don't take pity on me. I'm not asking for that... just providing a real review of a book, by a person who lost someone to cancer, and never really understood the kind of pain he must have had to endure. I didn't need that in my mind and I certainly didn't want it made into some kind of love story.