I finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green last night. It was the latest book selection for my book club. As I started reading the book, I remembered that one of the bloggers I read is a John Green fan and had written a review awhile back about this book. At this point, I was about 75 pages into the book and could not get into the book at all. I was not a fan. I reread the review. She talked about how good the language was in the book and listed several quotes. I did not get it at all. I chalked it up to her being an English teacher and me being an Engineer. I love a good well written story - the language is usually over my head and when I read, I skip most words and only read the gist.
So at about 100 pages, I was still moving along. I will tell you that before I started the book, I did not know that John Green is from Indy - where I live. My favorite parts of the book became identifying local spots - the art sculptures at the Art Museum, Castleton Mall, Meridian Hills, the street locations. Just yesterday, i was at the corner of 86th and Ditch and looked at the Speedway and thought, Ah, that is where Gus went to buy cigarettes.... I almost took a picture!
Then the characters went to Amsterdam. And I got into it. It finally became the book I couldn't put down. I recently read The Dinner and Gone Girl and the thing that those two books had in common is that as I read further into the book, the more I hated the main characters. In the beginning, the characters were very likable and at the end I despised them. This was the opposite. As the book rolled along, I became to like the characters more and more. I could have done without Peter Van Hooten but I am sure there was a reason for that bizarre storyline and character.
When the characters were in Amsterdam, I began to see the quotes. I became to appreciate the language. Some of the quotes were a bit over the top and pretty silly but some were poetic. I was crying at the end. My scale for a good book is how much I cry at the end. I began to question and ponder a little bit more the life and death questions that these characters face - especially when you are facing death as a teenager and knowing that you will not have a long life. I loved the end and the whole concept of big and little infinities. Big and Little Infinities may be what I take away from this book.
This was my first John Green book and I am sure it won't be my last. Especially now that I know he is a local boy. In the past, when I find an author I like, I read all of his stuff and then find the pattern and tire of it (Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins Clark, Toni Morrison, Chaim Potek, Nicholas Spark). So I am ready for a new author.
My book club took August off and picked two books for the September meeting. I now have 3 weeks to read "The Lost Girls". I think it is a long one so I better get reading!