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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-01-17 23:51
Penguin Minis: The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

I think this a book that reads very differently depending on where you are in life. If you're young and in love, or in love with the idea of love, Hazel and Gus could make an attractive couple: witty, spontaneous, and bursting with emotion.

 

But for me, an older reader and a parent, the best part of the book was the final third, when Gus is gone and Hazel is left with a clearer understanding of what her parents will one day go through. Throughout the book, in fact, it was Hazel's relationship with her parents, and not her fleeting love story, that seemed to be written best. Otherwise, as I mentioned in earlier posts, I found Hazel and Gus' dialogue unnatural and tiring.

 

I could also have done without the Peter Van Houten subplot. For me, it added nothing to the story, other than to prove the old adage about not meeting your idols. And his reappearance near the end of the novel felt forced and just terrible. I was much more interested in his assistant, and the friendship she developed with Hazel.

 

As I also wrote in an earlier post, I bought this set of Green novels because they're the first foray Penguin makes into its new collection of Minis. This is a popular format in the Netherlands, and Penguin has done a fantastic job in adapting it to their offerings. The books are read horizontally, and the pages can be comfortably flipped up with your thumb while the rest of the hand supports the book. It made for perfect lunchtime reading. The pages are thin but very sturdy, and I loved the experience. Hopefully, more authors will be added to the collection soon.

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text 2019-01-17 17:12
Reading progress update: I've read 365 out of 576 pages.
Penguin Minis: The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Today's lesson: Never meet your idols. Enjoy their work, but leave them me.

 

Although, as appalling as Peter Van Houten turns out to be, I agree with him on one thing: once a work of art has been released into the world, it no longer belongs to the creator. A novelist has no obligation to have a prepared answer for what happens to characters once the last page has been read, or to even think about it. That is entirely in the purview of the readers, to fill in the gaps, the pasts and futures, as they see fit. It's actually one of the best things about reading, having that freedom to keep imagining beyond the boundaries of print.

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text 2019-01-16 02:05
Reading progress update: I've read 271 out of 576 pages.
Penguin Minis: The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

I'm still not in love with the dialogue style; I find myself rolling my eyes way too often. But I'm reading this almost as fantasy (because it is, in the end, the story of the MCs fulfilling a wish). Maybe if I'd read this book when its popularity was at peak frenzy (I haven't seen the film either), I could have followed the conversations and been more invested, but I can't say it's doing a lot for me at the moment.

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quote 2019-01-13 15:33
Verrà un tempo in cui tutti noi saremo morti. Tutti. Verrà un tempo in cui non ci saranno esseri umani rimasti a ricordare che qualcuno sia mai esistito o che la nostra specie abbia mai fatto qualcosa. Non ci sarà rimasto nessuno a ricordare Aristotele o Cleopatra, figuriamoci te. Tutto quello che abbiamo fatto, costruito, scritto, pensato o scoperto sarà dimenticato, e tutto questo non sarà servito a niente. Forse quel momento sta per arrivare o forse è lontano milioni di anni, ma anche se noi sopravvivessimo al collasso del nostro sistema solare non sopravviveremmo per sempre. È esistito un tempo prima che gli organismi prendessero coscienza, e ce ne sarà uno dopo. E se l'inevitabilità dell'oblio umano ti preoccupa, ti incoraggio a ignorarla. Sa il cielo se non è quello che fanno tutti.
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quote 2019-01-13 15:32
Alcuni infiniti sono più grandi di altri infiniti
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