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Elena Likes Books

I am an avid reader of YA, fantasy, and romance, a librarian, and a writer of fantasy short fiction.

Currently reading

Cut & Run
Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius
John Joseph Adams
The Thousand Names
Django Wexler
The Duchess Hunt
Jennifer Haymore
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green 4.5 stars. I don't, as a general rule, like sad books. To use TFiOS terminology, I'm more of a The Price of Dawn girl than an An Imperial Affliction girl. After this book came out, my Goodreads homepage and even Facebook and Twitter came down with a case of the sads. Every person who read this book was all "I sobbed through the last third of this book. Like, I didn't think tears made noise when they hit your pillow, but it turns out they do." And "I should not read books that make me cry like this. I am not much of a crier but by GOD I'm crying." Which is why I checked this book out from the library three times and renewed it on that third checkout for like a month before finally giving in and reading it.(It helped that my cat emphatically endorsed it when I was trying to decide on a book last night:This is an actual photo of my actual cat actually cuddling up to The Fault in Our Stars of her own volition.)Despite the fact that yeah, it was a really sad book, I loved it. It contained John Green's trademark humor mixed with seriousface sentiments, with lots of quotability on both the humorous and seriousface fronts. I thought that Hazel was real and flawed and likable, and I liked Gus a lot too--I was actually surprised and a little discomfited that John Green was able to write such an attractive love interest for Hazel.(Side note: Ever since this book came out, I've seen girls all over the internet [here, FB, YouTube, various Nerdfighteria hotspots] sighing over Augustus Waters. They are all, "Augustus is so perfect! I want to find my own Augustus Waters someday!" Which I think is interesting considering I thought John made a very obvious effort to distinguish the over-romanticizing, somewhat pretentious, hero wannabe Augustus from the goofy, flawed, smart-but-just-a-guy Gus who Hazel fell in love with. I noted the moment when Hazel switched from calling him Augustus in her head to Gus, and then there's a part later on where Gus sighingly says, "You used to call me Augustus," bringing attention to the difference. So...do these people really want an Augustus? Or a Gus?)And I did cry, but I cry at the drop of a hat when it comes to books, and I don't think this book struck the same gut-wrenching chord in me that it seems to have done in others. This is because for me, the last third of the book, where everyone else seems to have completely lost it, was my least favorite part. I don't think John made good decisions about how to end the book, and I'm not referring to the obvious Gus dying and Hazel continuing to live thing.One of John Green's flaws as a writer, I feel, is that he's a little bit pretentious, just like Augustus. He wants his books to Say Something with capital letters. And I think that in this book, he couldn't decide which message about life, death, and love was most important. He had like six different messages he was tossing around, and instead of picking one to drive home in his ending, he basically just wrote one ending per message and strung them all together. The book ended with a deep message. And then there was another ending, with another deep message. And so on and so forth for entire chapters. It was like the Return of the King movie that seemed to end for like an hour and a half, but with more EMPHATIC METAPHORICAL RESONANCE.So while I love this book enough to give it 4.5 stars, it didn't quite make it to five due to the ending(s) that tried too hard. Still, this book is well worth the read, and does have important things to say that I think will resonate with a lot of people (well, obviously they do, since this book has an average GR rating of 4.56 as of this writing). Give it a shot even if, like me, you're not really into the sadsack cancer books. This book rises above the sad.