Written by Menna Fahmi
Ever since Zamalek – or basically anywhere with decent cafes and restaurants – became the scariest place on earth on Thursday night; Thursday has become my eat-junk-food-and-read-in-bed night instead of my night out. So one Thursday night while pretty much everyone I know was stuck in traffic pretending to have fun or hoping to have a proper date night, I had a date with a book.
After a struggle by my bookshelves, I settled on “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green. I had had this book for a while and mostly bought it just to see what the fuss was all about. Believe me when I say it was actually sold out in 2 different bookstores and when I finally found it in a third one, it was the last copy. (Pretty much everyone is reading/has read it)
Anyways, I set the mood, made myself good coffee, surrounded myself with food, dimmed the light and above all, had a box of tissues next to me as I was advised by my dear cousin who had read it.
For those of you who don’t know, the book is about teenager Hazel Grace a terminal cancer patient who has only a few years to live. Her life was about staying in bed reading the same book over and over again. One day she meets a cancer survivor named Augustus Wasters at a Cancer Kid Support Group meeting and her life changes.
I won’t go any further into the plot to avoid spoilers but here’s what I thought of the book. For starters, I only used the tissues to wipe coffee off my chin and remove cookie crumbs from my bed and that’s it. I didn’t shed a tear (and no, I am not heartless! I wept like a baby when Fred Weasely died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) which in my opinion means, like so many things, the book is overrated. Moreover, during some parts of the book I was more interested in the book Hazel was reading than the book itself.
Nevertheless, I found John Green’s style of writing really captivating that I actually finished the book in like 2 sittings and found it hard to go to sleep without finishing it. I also thought that the ending was unpredictable. I mean you start reading the book thinking it will end in a certain way but then towards the end everything changes and you see a very different ending from the one you would originally predict in the beginning. What I also thought is interesting was how he looked at cancer patients from a totally different angle than the ones we’re used to: It wasn’t about optimistic, smiling survivors who are dealing with their illness gracefully. I thought it was about real people who are angry and hate what they are going through. I also really liked that he skipped the initial part about the diagnosis, which is what most cancer books focus on and jumped to how they have to live with the disease. I can’t lie about it but the sappy romantic in me enjoyed reading about the relationship that develops between Hazel and Augustus, okay? Finally, I really liked the blue cover (I happen to like pretty books.)
So overall I did like the book…A LOT! And I would recommend it if you’re looking for a light, quick read but it’s definitely overrated. I’d give it 3.5/5 stars. And I am actually looking forward to reading more of John Green’s books.
Don’t forget to comment below and tell us what you thought of the book or if you have any recommendations for our “Bibliomane” to read next time.