Ok, for all you fangirls out there, I’m going to start out by saying I did not hate this book. I just didn’t like it. For the most hyped book of the year, I was expecting so much more. I have to admit I was bitterly disappointed. It’s got to be one of the most overrated books I have ever read.
On top of that- it is fundamentally unoriginal. There are loads of other books about cancer out there and I’m afraid this just did not stand out. Not that I mind unoriginality- but I do expect books that are unoriginal to be better (in some small way) than all the others that have come before.
It was just completely unsurprising. In fact, that was one of my biggest disappointments. The emotional impact of Augustus’ death depended too much on how shocking it was supposed to be- but since I predicted it from the start, his death had no impact on me whatsoever.
Even that would not have mattered so much if I had grown to love the characters, but I did not care for them at all. They do not speak like normal teenagers- or even normal adults. For that reason, I found it impossible to relate to them. And on top of that they all sound exactly the same- like barely differentiated versions of the same person- which just made them seem really unbelievable as characters.
On top of that, the whole book is just far too pretentious and trying too hard to be deep- I mean for goodness sakes, the whole metaphor thing was totally in your face! As with loads of other books that try too hard, (I’m noticing a trend here), it actually ends up being offensive. I’m talking, of course, about the make-out session in the Anne Frank Museum. Sorry to disappoint all those avid fans out there, but this was totally not “okay”. Dying does not give you an excuse to disrespect the dead. And who is John Green to decide what Anne Frank would have wanted? It was just completely tasteless and trite.
Other than that, the plot felt a bit boring and pointless. I feel like one of the main failings of the book is that it began without any hope- the fact that the main character was terminal from the outset made it clear the book wasn’t going anywhere. I expect a book to take me on an emotional journey, not plod along at the same depressing tempo. This book just went nowhere.
Rating: 2/5 bananas