Sunday, July 19, 2015

The fault in our stars, John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenI confess I cried a lot ---  because of the money I spent to buy this book.

Given that I am very vocal about how YA literature sucks, it's only fair that I try to keep in touch with it, right?

Well, I bought it, read it, and I heartily regret every second I spent reading it.

I intensely despise anything that falls under the "Young Adult" category, that only in this millennium has started to amaze legions of supposed adults as well. I genuinely believe that anybody older than 18, if not seriously dyslexic, can write a "YA" book. All it takes is stolid determination, like climbing a mountain. It doesn't take any wordsmanship, imagination, or experience.

This book's main flaw is its unbearable flatness and lack of any minimal hint of originality. "The fault in our stars" shines for being mediocre under every aspect. Its mediocrity doesn't come across immediately, it hides behind the "cancer" theme like a kid who hides behind a plant while you can see his arms and legs perfectly well.

As a positive note, the author certainly did an excellent job at capturing the voice of the two teenagers - but then, where on earth is that a difficult task? 

Readers who said "nobody talks like that!", meaning the 2 main characters, are wrong. The author has a pitch perfect ear, and there are many teenagers who talk exactly like that. They are called "intellectuals" in Europe, and "nerds" in America, and they talk precisely like that, with a desperate need to distinguish themselves by using an unnecessarily articulate vocabulary.

So, in conclusion, here is my recommendation: on a general level, read a ton of Young Adult novels if you think your brain is not an important organ of your body. In the specific, go ahead and read "The fault in our stars" if you want to spend some time in the company of two teenagers who will shower you with fake cynicism, abundant self-hate, dull awkwardness, and unfunny irony.

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