Sunday, May 10, 2015

*Book & Movie Match-Up* The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Genre: Young Adult
Published: January 10, 2012
Film Debuted: June 6, 2014
Pages: 313
Movie Length: 2 hours, 13 minutes (Extended cut)
Ages: 14+


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Book Review

I bought this book ages ago, probably around Christmas time when it was on sale because I'm a big fan of buying things on sale. I hadn't actually intended  to read it now, but when I saw that J. Hooligan from Platypire Reviews was reading it, I figured why not. We were supposed to buddy read, but Joood betrayed me and finished the book before I was even a quarter of the way in. She told me not to read it, it was a horrible idea, but I was already committed. 

TFioS has been out long enough that you surely already know it's a tear jerker. Going in I was pretty sure I'd be able to stand strong and not shed a single tear because I'm kind of heartless sometimes. I was wrong. Tears were shed on two occasions. If you haven't read TFioS yet, have tissues handy, you'll need them. 

My initial feelings about this book were that it was kind of depressing and unrealistic, two kids with cancer falling in love etc, I mean what are the chances, but then I started to really think about it, and it really does make a certain amount of sense. I could feel the pointlessness of trying to associate with "normals" on a regular basis. While they're understanding, they can't really understand what life with cancer is like so they're constantly trying not to upset you, but sometimes people trying not to upset you can be incredibly upsetting all on it's own. I enjoyed the sarcastic banter between the characters, the way they were able to joke about their cancer. It was clearly the way they coped with their shitty situation and it's how I think I would try to cope if I found myself in their shoes. 

I got really excited when they got to Amsterdam because I've been there. Most of the things they mentioned (canal cruise, Anne Frank Huis, Rijksmuseum) I've seen so I could picture it easily and it was awesome for me. The descriptions of Amsterdam were spot on and made me want to go back so badly. I legit want to run away from home to visit Amsterdam again, right now because of this book.

The thing I hated about this book (but also loved because it inspired such a strong desire in me) is that An Imperial Affliction doesn't exist! I wanted to buy a copy of it, and read it, and see what Hazel saw in the story, but I can't!!! John Green is currently on my shit list for making me want a book that doesn't exist so badly. 

Overall I give TFioS 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to just about everybody. - Katie 

Buy the Book

Movie Comparison

I got myself all set up with some wine, and some Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream to watch the movie within six hours of finishing reading the book, so it was very fresh in my mind. As you can see by my picture, I noted a lot of differences between the book and the movie. But most of them were small detail differences, a missing character here, a cut scene there, things that we expect from a movie based on a book because of the time constraints. It's why most of us usually love the book so much more because those tiny details add up to more detailed characters.
Going into the movie, I was optimistic that I wouldn't need more than the half page and margins remaining after I wrote my review on the book to take notes about the movie. To be honest, I've never written down differences like that before, but it seemed important for this project and it almost wasn't enough.

Now my thoughts on the movie. Overall, it had the same feelings as the book. Shailene Woodley did a great job embodying terminally ill Hazel (although I felt they had her a lot more active than Hazel would have been, but that was clearly done to make scenes more dynamic.) My opinion on this matter might be slightly influenced by the fact that I already had Shailene pictured in my mind while reading because I've seen trailers for TFioS before. 

I felt like the progression of Hazel and Augustus' relationship was accelerated in the movie. Sure, they saved the big pronouncements until the appropriate times, but there was a montage at the beginning of the movie that told a different story than the book did. 

The part of the movie that disappointed me the most was the lack of sarcastic banter between the characters, mostly Hazel and Augustus. There were a couple conversations that I absolutely loved in the book that were completely skipped in the movie and I feel like it detracted from the characterization of Hazel and Augustus on film. 

Some things about the movie that I really liked include that the scenes in Amsterdam were definitely filmed in Amsterdam (at least for the most part.) If the tour of the Anne Frank Huis wasn't filmed in the actual Anne Frank Huis, they did a great job of recreating it for filming. But most of their experiences in Amsterdam were different in the movie than they were in the book. It was just little things with no major effect on the story, but it was still different. I also liked the John Green cameo at the airport in the extended cut version of the movie.

Overall I give the movie a B+ for staying true to the major events and feelings in the book, but there were way too many little changes that bugged me for it to earn an A. If you've neither read the book nor seen the movie yet, I'd say you can still get basically the same emotional response just from watching the movie if you don't have time to commit to reading, but the book is definitely better. 

*If you have both read the book and seen the movie, I'd love to hear how you felt they compared.

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 Reading Challenge

I had intended to use Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn as my Book turned into a movie for the Popsugar reading challenge, but since I read this book first, I changed my mind. 

Other categories it could fulfill include

A funny book (I laughed a lot)
A book set in a different country (part of it was in Amsterdam)
A book a friend recommended (and then summarily unrecommended)
A book set somewhere that I've always wanted to visit (I still want to go back to Amsterdam)
A book set in high school (Hazel would be in high school if not for circumstances)
A book that made me cry
A book by an author I'd never read before
A book I owned but had never read

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