Great and serious and intelligent book that deserves rereading! Complaints! Sometimes it beats you over the head and tries too hard when presenting ideas. Kind of takes one of those books (like The Bell Jar) where the character is meandering around sharing their thoughts and experiences, but injecting it with more plot and more directed and purposeful narration. I really enjoy these types of books, particularly when they involve daily life and a dallop of existentialism, but I’m still looking for the “perfect” one. There are the kiddie type books, this one included, which include more coherence and obviousness, and then there are the classic type books which are usually too rambling, less coherent, and more limited in scope (realistic).
My other gripe about the book is it seems like Green really could write this perfect story that I mentioned above (he kind of teases this with the book/author within the book, but there he parodies the idea and takes it to an extreme for other purposes), but he likes to place himself in the young adult genre, and enjoys playing that up and trying to connect with the age group, which is at times cheesy and feels forced. Maybe Green lacks the actual life experience to make this “perfect story” happen; in such a story the author and their book are especially closely related. Anyway, he does a great job!
I mention The Fault in Our Stars deserves rereading because there is quite a lot going on, much more than Green’s other books, and there are plenty of good ideas to sit and think about. There are several metaphors within the story to explore, particularly that of Van Houten. The book takes a while to get into, past the typical love story type stuff, but once there it does well. The treatment of the ideas is good, although I disagree with Green’s stance on a lot of them. The characters in this book are not extremely realistic, and the plot is mildly contrived, but that is more than okay.