Thursday, March 22, 2012
Audiobook Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Narrated by Kate Rudd
I am nervous to share my review of this book with you guys because I know how beloved this author is. However, I did not like this book. I didn’t realize this until I was about 60% of the way through listening to the audiobook, but once it hit me...I had a hard time finishing. I did though, mostly due to the fabulous narrating of Kate Rudd who delivered this book with such charm & life that I couldn’t stop listening, if only to hear more of her acting.
WARNING: There are some spoilers here. Tried to keep it as vague as possible, but thought it’d be fair to warn you!
So, if you’re unfamiliar with the plot (maybe I am not the only one who had never read a John Green novel), this book is about two kids who have cancer that fall in love. The love story is sweet and tragic and beautiful, but while Mr. Green’s writing is witty... I really could not distinguish two clear cut characters. Hazel and Gus blurred into ..HaGus, which is nothing like the Scottish dish. The “HaGus” is a witty, intelligent teenager that you wish you knew. It’s Juno, only better and afflicted with cancer. I did love some of the dialogue, but as I said, the characters are so similar that it blurred and lot some of its wit. Had it not been for Ms. Rudd’s distinct voices for the two different characters, I don’t think I would have gotten much enjoyment out of following their love story. Sure, in the end, there was one major difference between them which is kind of what the whole point of the book is...so I won’t spoil it, but in the end, I felt cheated. This book reminded me of “Easy A”. So many people will love it and so many others will feel like they have to say they love it, fearing retribution from fans or worried that they were just too dumb to understand its appeal. I feel the same way about that movie that I do about this book - it was trying too hard. It felt forced.
Another thing that drove me crazy was that I felt like my emotions were constantly being manipulated to feel a certain way instead of naturally feeling that way out of caring for the characters. In the end, I realized that I never really cared about the characters. I was more upset because I was thinking of my loss due to cancer (my mother) and the things I went through. I also felt so much more for their parents and was constantly relating it to how I’d feel if my son got sick.
Oh and the whole plot device of Peter Van Houten, or whatever? So....LAME. It just fell flat for me and when he shows up at the funeral? I couldn’t help myself. I groaned aloud and rolled my eyes (which was dangerous since I was driving!).
This book wasn’t for me. It seems like I’m one of only a handful of folks though who didn’t like it. John Green is an incredibly popular writer and if you just can’t get enough of that fast paced wit, you should check it out.
I listened to “A Fault in Our Stars” on audiobook. It is published by Dutton Juvenile (Penguin) and the audiobook is produced by Brilliance Audio. I purchased my copy on audible.com.