Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I Just Read...The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is probably going to be one of the hardest reviews I am ever going to write. I will likely spend hours trying to do the book even one iota of justice, but I will inevitably fail. It's not necessarily to do with my ineptitude with the English language (although it is shoddy at best), it's more that my skills at turning feelings into words suck the proverbial balls!! A book can make me feel something so profoundly and yet when I try to explain to someone how I felt, I end up regurgitating the classic response, 'it's hard to explain', whilst my head explodes with frustration. In fact someone asked me today if the book was sad. After a few moments of pondering, I came up with the immortal line, 'it's devastating, but not sad'...WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!!
And therein lies the problem. So I will do the best I can.

The strength of any contemporary novel lies in the believability of it's characters. With fantasy, you can cover up a flimsy cast with an epic and all engrossing story of dragons and quests etc. With a crime novel there's always a murder to solve. But there are stories like this one, that are just about the people, and the stuff that effects people. Real people. But if the people in these stories aren't true representations, then the whole thing falls to pieces. It's easier to empathise with extraordinary situations because they've never happened before and they are never going to happen, but when there are people out there who can tell you what these things really feel like, then it becomes harder to imagine them yourself. Luckily, John Green seems to have an uncanny ability to make observations about people, that seem so obvious when you see them written down, but are things you've never noticed before. Then there's the way he writes them. It's effortless, as this stuff just pours out of his every orifice and he just puts a piece of paper underneath to catch it all, and it becomes a story. It's kind of unfair really, the way he can make you understand something with just a few words.

I'm not going into detail about plot and whatever, I leave that for you to discover. What I will say is that it's one of those books that changes your outlook on life. Probably not forever, maybe not even for a month or a week, but I guarantee that for a least a couple of days, you look at the world a little differently.

So, yeah. I guess it's fair to say I loved it.

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