Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Neither novels nor their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species "

And so starts off a very book-driven story, which I hadn't been expecting. Characters bond over books, talking about how exciting it is to live in an infinite fiction. I was also surprised by how funny the book is. The line "Your driving is unpleasant, but it isn't technically unsafe" made me actually laugh out loud.

I loved the father's take on the meaning of life:

"That's what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased towards consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed."

If the bookishness and humour of the book surprised me, it wasn't as much as the fact that it made me cry. I could blame the breastfeeding hormones, but there were tears. And not about anything I might have expected going in. There was a line about her mother saying when she almost died that she wouldn't be a mother anymore and it just hit right at my heart. And then that turned out to be a key issue to be resolved at the end. Hard thing to read while nursing and cuddling an infant.

I read this in the course of a day for an in-person book club. The plot struck me as rather silly at times (the whole trip to Amsterdam) or obvious (Gus's health) but the humour won me over.

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