06 August 2012

The Fault In Our Stars ~ John Green

 *** LIKE ***
Tournament of Books : 2013 (finalist)

Pitch-perfect Young Adult
(but doesn't stop anyone from "enjoying" it)

Funny to use the word "enjoy" with this book given the topic is Teenage Cancer.

The main characters are well drawn; they elicit our sympathy but not necessarily in a maudlin way.  You feel empathy for them ... and their friends and their families ... and even for mere acquaintances.

But for me there was one major annoyance : While the author captures the precociousness of his teenagers' voices, I felt he failed with the voice of the cantankerous, drunken Van Houten.  While Augustus and Hazel were maybe a trifle overwritten (though not to their detriment given their circumstances) Van Houten was underwritten and stayed a bit flat for me.  To be fair, if the book is aimed at Young Adults then maybe that is the way it should be ... but he always felt contrived, one dimensional and just there for the convenience of the plotline.