The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green Writing this review saddened me a little. I have some young friends, who never forget to be awesome, who love this book. I don't want to hurt their feelings, and, frankly, I really wanted to like this book.I made comments on Goodreads as I read this book, which is not a normal habit for me. The truth is that I wanted to like this book--and I didn't.Hazel's one-sided slam of Maslow's hierarchy of needs bothered me, as a counselor. My clients, who live in survival mode, are not lesser people because how they're going to pay the phone bill this month temporary blocks any desire for self-actualization. When you don't feel safe and secure, you can't grow. I know Hazel's a kid, and her story is first-person, so there is no dissenting position, but now millions of nerdfighters think that Maslow was a destroyer of awesome, when the opposite is true. Perhaps Green should have pointed out more readings on Abraham Maslow in his author's note.The "literal"/"actual" recurring joke/theme was annoying. I see what you did there--the first time, the fifth time, the hundredth time. When a theme jerks the reader out of the story's flow, repeatedly, it loses its point.Also, when a boy repeatedly ignores your wishes--call me Hazel/okay Hazel Grace/Just Hazel/whatever you say, Hazel Grace--it's not cute, and it's not endearing.When a boy doesn't give you information you need before you decide to have sex with him, it's not thoughtful, and it's not romantic. It's a violation.The rest of my problems with this novel lie in hypocrisy. I know that's a heavy accusation, but bear with me. 1. Hazel and Gus rail against platitudes, encouragements, and anyone's attempt to help (re: all the mocking of the group leader), they spoke to and about each other in the same platitudes. Different words, same intent. Criticisms about the high-handed language are plentiful; my main problem is that even the smartest teen doesn't speak in Proclamations, capital-P. It seemed that Hazel and Gus were enunciating to Reach the Back Row, when they were just supposed to be two kids trying to deal with cancer diagnoses. It's not that Hazel and Gus don't like encouragements; they only dislike the encouragements they didn't either compose or choose from one of Norton's Anthologies.2. I just saw John Green, just today, pull a Peter Van Houten on one of his fans. This fan asked, on Twitter, what Miles' (Looking for Alaska) last words would be, and Green told her that he had no idea about anything other than in the novel itself, and refused to answer the question further. Did I miss that Van Houten was supposed to be Green's poking fun at himself?3. John Green apparently was very upset about this book's spoilers on the web, yet this books spoils the entire plot--and ending--of the movie 300.I feel I need to end this review with the notice that I do know what it's like watching a child die. My brother was born sick, and spent the next seven years dying. So please don't tell me that I don't understand what being inside a family like Gus' or Hazel's is like.