I'm not going to write an extremely touching story or a very deep analysis of TFIOS. I think those can already be found all over the internet. I just want to describe my thoughts on this book.
I started reading this book in September, just before the university started again, mostly because I knew I had friends who would definitely ask me if I'd read the book already. (They had been doing so for the last month of the last college year as well). As I'd read a lot of books this summer, I figured I couldn't really come up with a reason not to have read it, even though watching the movie made me realise that it wasn't going to be a book for me.
This was around the same time that The Netherlands were stalked with big posters of John Green's head and the text 'Damn Near Genius' , which I thought to be at best 'Not a really good way to promote the books' as only very small pictures of the covers were included.
It took me to the first of November to finish it. Partly this was of course because I was a bit behind on my review books and they get to go first, but I also just wasn't enjoying myself while reading it. And that's not because I don't like books that are sad or deal with a serious matter. It was mostly because I couldn't stand both Hazel, Gus and their forced tear-jerking starcrossed romance.
They never for once talked like normal people. It's okay to like to talk about existential questions, but don't act like you're so much better than everyone else. It's not cool to put a cigarette into your mouth even if you decide not to light it. It's ridiculous to talk about basketball in terms of round objects moving trough conical ones.
Their weird obsession with An Imperial Affliction is another thing. It's just a book, and from what I've heard about it, not even such a good one. I know all about books ending unsatisfactory but I don't go obsessing about it in this way (I don't just read a single book on constant repeat either, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't give my one special copy of it to a random Guy I just met. I would have protected it with my life, so to speak). Hazel and Gus call it a pretentious book, but that's coming from perhaps the most pretentious book I've ever read.
I realise I'm probably not the intended audience for this book. I don't like romance, over emotional books or books that try to force me into certain emotions (like crying; I want to be able to decide for myself whether or not to cheer for the characters). I just wanted to see if the book really was as good as I was reading (and everyone was telling me) that I forgot that I probably wouldn't enjoy it anyway. The only thing I really can't understand is why people are loving the pretentiousness so much. It annoyed the hell out of me.
I thought the book was over long too. After the big thing happens, the story drags on for at least another 50 pages, trying to force me into crying (but definitely not succeeding; I don't know what this says about me). Perhaps TFIOPS (The Fault In Our Pretentious Stars) should have ended just like An Imperial Affliction, with Hazel realising she can't / doesn't want to continue writing and just stopping mid-sentence. And all I would be wondering about is what did eventually become of the hamster...