The author, John Green, confesses to us in the beginning that "this book is a work of fiction" and that he simply made it up.
Trust me, Mr. Green. At no point did I believe this book was based on any sort of reality. Not when you have 16 and 17 year old children saying things like, "The symbolic resonances are endless."
Or "That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt."
Or "...having the Whitmanesque revelation that the definition of humanness is the opportunity to marvel at the majesty of creation or whatever."
I'm sorry. But no teenager, terminal or healthy, talks like that. No one my age (early forties) talks like that. In fact, the last time I've heard dialogue like this was on Downton Abbey. Or really bad high school plays.
Alas, despite myself, I did enjoy the story. It was certainly original. And for all of its bad dialogue, there were some terrific characters and truly poignant moments.
Kate Rudd did a decent job narrating. But I'm not sure if she sounded affected, or if the writing just made her sound that way. There was a little too much crying on her part, but I suppose that's the nature of the story.
Be warned, commuters: not the most uplifting book after long, vicious days at the office.
I like a book that mixes horror and comedy - it's an awkward blend of suspense and release.
I couldn't get beyond the first hour or two. The book came highly recommended, but the story was so far into the head of a teenage girl that it was just uninteresting to me. If I was a teenage girl? Or a woman who experienced a lot of these things? I'd probably love it. And I tried bearing that in mind as I listened, "hey try to see things from someone else's perspective" but in the end, there was just so much mundane girly high school setup that it lost me.
Due to the extremely great reviews out there on the book, (and the upcoming movie) I'm positive this is a personal thing and hardly a reflection on the writing, the story, and the narration.
My complaint is with the "voice" and it is two-fold. First, the dialogue would sound more realistic from 40 year old characters than teenagers. The narrator nails obnoxious pretentiousness.
I am going to try to read the book in the hope I can scrub the narrator's voice from my mind. Maybe August and Hazel won't sound so annoying in my own mind.
Less self-important condescension from August. Less whinyness from Hazel.
Disappointment and irritation.
I've never disliked a narration as much as this one.
It's been a while since I listened a book that I couldn't "put down." I bought this book on a whim, but was captivated from the very beginning. This is the story about a terminally ill teenager who falls in love with another teenage cancer victim, and just how they cope with what is left of their lives. It is a sweet story, funny, sad, engaging, deep, superficial, heartwarming, heartbreaking. It is very well written. One gets the feeling that these teenagers crammed so much life into their short ones that perhaps we could all take a lesson from them. It is a YA novel but I would hope the young people who choose to read it are mature enough to appreciate and understand it. There is a lot to "handle" in this book.
The narrator, Kate Rudd, is absolutely exceptional. She has a great career ahead of her narrating books if she so chooses. She had me believing her every word.
Although this book is in the young adult genre (my 13 year old was excited to see I was listening to this) I really liked this book. It tells the story of adolescent cancer patients and their lives, loves, and hopes in the face of terminal illness.
The prose and story line are engaging from the start. I wished it was longer!
The narrator did a great job with the vocal inflections of teenagers as well as the other characters.
I couldn't imagine the story being told any other way. Easily one of the best readings I've heard on audible.
Yes. But I didn't and I'm glad i didn't. Not that the book didn't call for it. It actually screamed for it to be honest. The performance begged for it as well. She was brilliant. My drive was over and felt that a break would be best.
You won't regret this purchase. Like all good stories I don't want to ruin one detail for you. But I believe you will want to buy the ebook as well. To many things to highlight, to reread, to contemplate. I'm not saying skip the audio book. This one is to well done to decide between the two. I would really like it if Audible started to offer a bundle of the two.. Even if it cost extra.
Nothing I say or don't say can make you understand how wonderful this book truly is, but believe me when I tell you that you are making the right choice by buying it. I mean seriously, this story could have been boring and depressing, instead, I find it fun, interesting, touching and insightful. I simply did not want it to end!
I've rarely read a book that is filled with such raw honesty, so when I come across one, I appreciate it. I was perfectly able to connect with the characters. I couldn't detect a single trace of fakeness in them. The Fault in Our Stars isn't just some random book you read and forget, as I'm sure in my case, it will stick in my head for a very long time.
Unabashedly asking for more.
This book is gut-wrenching hilarious. I pride myself on being a stoic-narcissistic-not-going-to-make-me-cry type of person and this book just undercut my very existence. I cried. I sat on my couch and I cried. I cried silently as to not wake anyone and have to deal with that awkward "what are you crying about" conversation- but nonetheless, I cried. And I hated John Green for it... I mean here is a story where you already know the subject matter, you already know that there isn't going to a (spoiler alert!) happily ever after. Yet, you dream of that happily ever after... And halfway through the book you start to reason with John Green. Like, I know they can't live forever and everything, but maybe...just maybe... you'll give them a good few years and I can close the book and be blissful about that.
But (spoiler alert!) that doesn't happen... And afterwards as you sit on your couch and cry and curse John Green, you're going to realize that this book is great. Not just great "I'm going to facebook about this book"- but great in a way that makes you want to listen again.
Simply put, stop reading and buy the book already...
Laura the Listener
I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the characters. The narrator captures teenage sarcasm perfectly. The description of this book doesn't do it justice. I picked it up at the recommendation of a couple friends and loved it from the first word. Listen to this book.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
As I get farther away from being a young adult, I find myself drawn more towards that time in my life to understand how I feel now. And John Green is my favorite author to stir up the emotions and perspectives that time in our lives holds. These characters brought joy and pain into my life as a person who has watched a loved one die from cancer, as a parent trying to shield their kids from pain, and as a flawed adult worried about the legacy I'll leave behind. Mr. Green does this without taking shortcuts or using the mystical or seeking easy answers. As reported by others, I could listen to Kate Rudd read a phone book and be happy. Fortunately this is quite far from that and only serves to make the best book I've heard in a long time even better. I think I owe Audible an extra "credit" for this one.