5 Replies to “Book Club Discussion: The Fault in our Stars”

  1. 3.No not unnecessarily graphic. The pain was described in a way you could relate to. And I think having been through the experience personally, towards the end it was described as it happened for our family.
    4.I though it was more a book about ‘young love’ as opposed to cancer, and how both handled not only being sick but how to get through it together.I was expecting it to be more about cancer and Hazel’s thoughts and ideas before she passed away.
    6. It wasn’t as sad as I first thought it would be. When Gus said he was made of cancer I knew he was going to die first and I was kind of disappointed I guess. I imagined them going at the same time or even making a pact like Romeo & Juliet.
    7. What do you think of Van Houten? I feel the same way he was portrayed as an eccentric, horrible man but in the end I think he was fond of Hazel & Gus even if he had a funny way of showing it.

  2. I think I liked the characters from the perspective given; that they are ‘normal’ young people who happen to have cancer.

    I think we have this perception of cancer sufferers – they’re cancer first, people second. Not having to have had to deal with cancer – thankfully! – it gave me an insight and perspective I hadn’t really considered much.

    I didn’t really warm to Gus, found him a little … can’t think of the word. ‘Conceited’ isn’t quite right but along those lines.

    And I found Hazel a little ‘shallow’ in terms of character, but taking into account who the audience of the book, no, she wasn’t all that bad.

    I didn’t find it too graphic, but I am totally fascinated by this sort of thing, so I could read more and even more graphic and be enthralled by it. So I can’t really comment on that aspect well.

    I didn’t feel it was a book about cancer. Instead, for me, it was a book about young love, the main characters of which happened to have cancer. It was all part of the plot line, I guess.

    On reading the book (I think I’m up to Q 6 here) … how did I feel? Um, whilst reading this, I was dealing with a teenage runaway and teen suicide and various issues, as well as the broader implications of that – the impact of these issues, but also the services (or lack of) available and how hard they are to access.

    On one hand it made me sad, for all the things that kids (and adults) are having to face in this world, all the shit that’s happening, how hard it is to get support,the stupid comments, the judgements, the pity and all the rest of it.

    On the other, and merely based on the timing, it was hard to read about the ‘woe is me’ of two teens. But only mildly.

    I found Peter Van Houten kept reminding me of Millhouse Van Houten from the Simpsons every time I read his name! LOL

    I found him to be a bit of a git, really, although I think like Poker said, he genuinely liked them in his own little way. Further in the book, gaining an understanding of his story helped to give this perspective.

    I’ve passed the book onto some teens – I’m looking forward to hearing their views on it, too.

  3. 5. When I read this book I kept having the words “Dawson’s Creek, but with cancer” go through my head. It felt like Green wasn’t able to embrace teenage language, but instead used fluffed up sentence lengtheners that confuse the average person. Most teenage kids don’t really talk like that, with or without cancer in their lives. I was wishing I had it on kindle for the dictionary function.

    1. To be honest, I was so glad to read at the front of the book this was entirely fictional. I would of disliked myself for not ‘liking’ these kids with cancer, and Madcow, shallow sums up Hazel pretty good.

    4. To me it felt like he used cancer as a topic to worm his way into readers hearts. I’ve been lucky so far, but many people have had cancer touch their lives, it’s a topic that will pull on many peoples emotions. It just didn’t feel genuine. So no, it’s not a cancer book as such, but cancer was used for extra mileage.

    6. Ok, I did shed a tear during Gus’ funeral when Hazel said goodbye, I’m not that heartless. And I found the love story aspect cute and nice. But I still found so much of it lacked depth (lacked empathy maybe?), or maybe Green wasn’t able to articulate what he was trying to say in a way I find appealing to me.

    7. The old alcoholic eccentric author character. Yep, he was about what you would expect for that character. No suprises there.

    Sorry, really didn’t find this book that good. I really can’t understand what all the fuss is over it, or how it made #1 best seller, must have been a slow time for good books maybe.

  4. 2. I think Hazel does define herself by her cancer but Gus not so much. I think the book portrays how living with cancer makes it hard to do anything but.
    7. In the words of my 11 y/o who is currently reading the book “He’s a butt!”
    I thought that they would find him to be the Tulip man, and in a way he was. I liked how Hazel dismissed him at the funeral so that the day was not about him
    5. I think the language in the book is very sophisticated for teenagers, but I believed I was reading a girl’s voice so I think the author wrote her well.
    6. I didn’t find the book uplifting at all. As an adult reading about teenagers dying I found it very distressing, very hard to comprehend and I had more than a few tears on the tram.
    So all up I think it’s a good book. I do think the language is pretentious but maybe the kids having to grow up so fast makes them so….
    My 11y/o is loving it.

  5. 1. I didn’t think of Gus and Hazel as Cancer patients just two average teenage kids that happened to be diagnosed with cancer. Gus seemed too smart for his age (which isn’t bad just it was rather emphasized)and Hazel was exactly the same.

    2. To me Hazel tried not to let cancer defy her just in a way complete her personality. Gus seemed to disguise his cancer with his attitude towards life.

    3. I found it graphic but not too graphic, I mean like I haven’t read any thing like this before so it was a bit of a change from what I usually read but it was a good change.

    4. Not at all did I find it a cancer book. To me I took it as a book about cancer but not necessarily a cancer book ‘If that makes any sense’ It was like ‘An Imperial Affliction’ it was about cancer patience but not cancer itself

    5. In my eyes John Green could not have written this book any better than what he has. It is perfect. He wrote the way a lot of the girls I know talk. I think he did a very good job

    6. This book was depressing but happy I found it interesting and it made me smile laugh cry and want it to continue so that we could just get that little bit more info (The fault in our stars 2?????)

    7. Peter Van Houten is a complete and utter bum! I found it extra creepy when he crawled his alcoholic butt into Hazel’s mini van and started rapping when she came in (at this point I was punching his fat imaginary face) Though I felt sorry for him when he decided to tell Hazel what had happened in his own experience but to forget two devoted fans arrival and his payment for their dinner but remember where the exact burial of one of those fans (Gus) is kinda CREEPY/SAD/AGGRAVATING.

    by Emma 11 years old

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