The Only Thing That Bothers Me About “The Fault in Our Stars”

I have had limited internet for the past two weeks. The following was written on July 8 in Heathrow Airport in London.

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In one twelve-hour layover, I read all of “The Fault in Our Stars.” Since I am writing this only fifteen minutes after finishing the book, I am unsure how well I have processed the book; it’s still too new to me to speak intelligently about. 

I can however speak emotionally about it. The book is too popular to not have known the ending before reading it; too many people were talking about it for me not to hear that Gus died. A mark of a good book though, knowing the ending didn’t ruin the story. There were enough twists and turns along the way to keep my interest.

One thing I didn’t like was that Gus hid his illness from Hazel. I understand Green did this to teach Hazel a lesson; it was silly for her to push those away from her simply to prevent them pain. Those who love her are going to love her no matter what. But Green hates that cancer books are always about sick people teaching the healthy important life lessons, so why is it okay for sick people to teach other sick people lessons? When two people people, especially two people with feelings for each other, have sex, that creates a bond. Keeping such a huge secret from Hazel cheapens that bond to me, makes less of something that was otherwise described as being something so sweet.

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3 thoughts on “The Only Thing That Bothers Me About “The Fault in Our Stars”

  1. I had the same feeling. I did had some sick English major fun reading this book through the lens of “Here are two characters and that is all they are because when the book ends, they end” construction to which Green constantly draws one’s attention. From that standpoint, the cheapening of Gus’s lie didn’t strike me as hard because I only saw him as a character. I guess by the same token, we are meant to have a relationship with the characters, and reading into their deepest thoughts theoretically brings us very close…and for us to maintain that relationship with the characters, the author needs to be honest with us about how his book will end. I was holding my breath for a page that would be left unfinished like the novel within a novel they constantly referenced, but it never happened. In a weird, weird way, I feel cheated that the book didn’t die in mid-sentence!

  2. I completely agree about expecting the book to end mid-sentence, and I was severely disappointed that it didn’t.

    My question Tayla is, do you think they would’ve shared that pinnacle (in the book) special moment if he shared his secret pre-sex? It seemed like them having sex was the moment where they got the closest, and I understand how not sharing something like that cheapens the moment and discredits the closeness they feel in many ways. But do you think this moment of closeness could’ve happened and been believe-able for the reader?

  3. Ohhh, I didn’t even think of the book ending mid-sentence. That would’ve been fantastic. Evil, but still fantastic.

    And I don’t know if they would’ve still had sex if Hazel had known Gus’s secret. But shouldn’t that be her decision?
    I also knew the ending before I read it, so I already knew that at that point in the book, Gus was probably sick, and that he was hiding that from her. I wonder if I had read that not knowing Gus had a secret, if I had the same amount of information as Hazel did at the point, if I would be as upset with it.

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