The Fault in Our Stars
YA author John Green is certainly among the top five young adult writers publishing today. A Reader's Respite certainly would include his award-winning novel Looking for Alaska among the best YA books ever written (along with one of the few novels that ever made us laugh so hard that we peed....literally. Embarrassing, we know, but there you have it. You can read about that incident here.)
Over the years, we've also enjoyed his novels Will Grayson, Will Grayson, An Abundance of Katherines, and Papertowns. The release of his newest novel, The Fault in Our Stars, came to our attention when Huff Post Books featured the novel for their online book club. How excited were we?
So off to the library we trekked, then straight home to plop our butt on the couch in front of the fireplace (hey, it's Seattle...it's been cold and rainy for 8 months and counting) to read the entire thing in one sitting.
And how did it measure up?
A Reader's Respite turned the last page with a big, fat meh. But before you point out how sacrilegious it is to meh a John Green novel, give us a chance to explain.
Folks, this is what we call a no-win storyline. What we have are two teens with cancer. That's right, the Big C. We're not spoiling anything by saying that we knew from page one that someone was going to succumb. So the sentimentality feels rigged from the beginning. It should have been a tearjerker all the way through. Yet it wasn't. At least not for us. Our protagonists, as delightful as they managed to be, felt contrived and stereotypical. There was even the obligatory witty sidekick to round it all out. While the dialog was certainly as sharp as ever (perhaps a little too much...what are the odds of three teenagers that witty?), everything was a tad, well, predictable.
Yes, A Reader's Respite was disappointed. But that most certainly doesn't mean you will be. In fact, there's a darned good chance you might enjoy the novel. And that is why we are giving away a brand-new copy (no, we did not steal the library's copy.....who do you think we are? A literate Lindsey Lohan? Sheesh.).
Just leave a comment or tweet about it and you're entered. We'll keep this open until Sunday, April 14, and then announce a winner on Monday morning.
The Book: The Fault in Our Stars
The Author: John Green
The Publisher: Dutton Books, 2012
The Pages: 313
Source: We read a library copy. Our giveaway copy is courtesy of Mr. Reader's Respite who bought it for us not knowing we made the library exodus. His loss, your gain.
The Rating: Meh is a definite 3 stars