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I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with my first book in the Fall Reading Challenge. It wasn't bad, just not what I was expecting. I first became familiar with John Green from YouTube where he runs several popular channels with his brother Hank. They're known as the VLogBrothers and also host a series called Crash Course, which is very entertaining as well as educational. John Green also hosted the earlier episodes of a channel called Mental Floss, one of those odd facts list-type shows. Anyway, for the past year YouTubers having been raving about John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and it turns out that a movie based on the book is in the making right now. Since Hollywood has pretty good taste in books but a history of crappy cinematic adaptation, I wanted to read the book before the metaphorical butchering commenced on screen.
Fault in Our Stars
My Rating: 2.8 out of 5  


The Fault in Our Stars is a young adult novel that tells the story of two teenagers with terminal cancer who fall in love. It's sad, obviously, but the love story is sweet and heartwarming. I rarely ever cry while reading, and I didn't for this novel, but if your tears bubble near the surface then a box of tissues is in order--you'll cry because there are sad parts and you'll cry because there are happy parts. The teenagers are way too smart to be realistic in my opinion, but it occurred to me after I finished the book that perhaps the looming awareness of their imminent death might be the cause of their intellectual maturity; when you know you don't have much more time, you'd probably want to know and experience as much as possible while you still could.

While the book was very well written--always a plus--it seemed a little too full of philosophical ponderings for my taste. Yes, cancer sucks and it's a horrendously unfair that kids (and their families) have to deal with their bodies destroying themselves. The "life's not fair" message was all too abundant. Then there were the understandable "meaning of life" inquiries and musings about the existence of god, the legacy of a life (especially one so short), and a human's place in the universe. Don't get me wrong; the love story is center stage and the book has a healthy dose of wit, humor and sarcasm to carry it through the depressing parts. It's just not a book I'll be reading again.

For my next book, I've decided to read the classic adventure story, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. I'm opting to read the Penguin Classics version translated by Michael Glencross instead of the popular free copy in the public domain because Penguin seems like the better translation from my limited previews of both versions.

FINISHED BOOKS:
#1 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

NEXT BOOK: #2 - Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne