Friday, August 23, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars... A Review

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! 

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