For those unfamiliar with “TFIOS”, it’s short for The Fault In Our Stars a young adult novel by John Green that became a movie starring Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort, which was released a couple months ago. Now a little background before my SPOILER-FREE combo review. My friend Megh is a huge fan of John Green and so is my boyfriend Keith. He’s been following John for years via his YouTube channel. I watched a couple of his videos and while they’re entertaining, I’ve never considered myself a “Nerdfighter”. And yes I’ve heard all the great reviews about the book TFIOS and seen the brightly-colored book cover displayed prominently in the must-read sections of bookstores everywhere but I’ve never really had the urge to read it. Until finally when the movie came out and I was bombarded from every social media platform with gifs, quotes, fan art and photos from the book and the film. There was no escaping it. Curiosity over this phenomenon got the better of me and I purchased the book.
Well, I was not prepared for what I found between the bright covers of this novel. It was devoured in a day. I could not put it down. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book that has genuinely touched me. I enjoyed Green’s writing style immensely. It can go from goofy humor to tragically beautiful prose from one page to the next. At last I understood all the references on Tumblr. There are so many quotable lines in this book. And the story? Absolutely wonderful. It’s not just a love story. It’s not just a story about cancer. It’s about two unique individuals who experience the adventure of a lifetime and the main character just happens to have cancer. It’s written so realistically in such a relatable manner, regardless of whether you’ve encountered the disease or not. It has all the trappings of a great young adult novel but instead of magic, you have fate, and instead of a dystopia, you have the inevitability of oblivion. I must say for a book that deals with sickness and death, there are surprisingly a lot of laugh out loud moments. Or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Just because you have a terminal illness doesn’t mean you can’t still make jokes or fall in love. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Notice how I’m not spoiling anything? That’s because I highly urge you to purchase this book immediately and give it a read, even if you’ve already seen the movie. I for one can’t bring myself to watch a movie based on a book without reading it first.
After reading, I sat down to watch the film. It’s out on DVD & Blu-ray in case you wanna watch it. It did a great job of adapting the source material. From my understanding Green was involved with the film quite a bit, which always helps. The book isn’t that long so I thought they’d actually include everything in it but there are a couple of minor plot points that didn’t make it into the movie like for example, there was no mention of Caroline (read the books!). It was so cool to see Amsterdam on screen. I have a Dutch neighbor and I’ve added it to my list of must-visit places. They really captured the tone, the world and the essence of the story. I think the casting was spot=on. Shailene Woodley did a great job. Ansel Elgort blew me away though. Aside from Divergent, I don’t think he’s been in anything huge but wow, what an amazing actor. Don’t forget to bring tissues, seriously. I’m actually pretty relieved I watched it at home since I would’ve looked like a racoon with mascara everywhere had I seen it in the cinema. As much as I enjoyed the movie, like with a lot of cases, I still love the book more.
Okay? Okay. (TFIOS inside joke!)
Hopefully this convinces you to give TFIOS a chance if you haven’t yet. Happy Hump Day everyone!