I got the book 'the Fault in our Stars' by John Green a couple of weeks ago and read it in a day. A few pages in, I realised I disliked the main characters. Immensely. Am I the only one? I think I am. The book is beautifully written, yes, and John Green is such a fabulous author... but I think there's just something about it I don't get. Am I supposed to like Hazel and Augustus? Am I supposed to love all these philosophical matters they discuss with each other and be in awe of the way they talk? I think I am. But, to me, it just seems really pretentious. I think that's what I can't get past when reading it. I've looked at countless other reviews and spoken to some friends who have read it, and every single person has stated that they cried at some point(s) in the book. I did not and I honestly cry at a lot of books. Whether it's because the characters have made me happy, sad, angry or nostalgic, it happened. The Fault in our Stars just seems to leave me untouched.
Something that really irks me, in real life and in books, is when teenagers put on this performance, this façade, that they're incredibly sophisticated and mature. Augustus Waters is guilty of this a thousand times over. What someone labelled as "probably his most famous line" is what I would label "probably his most pretentious line". The quote in question is "It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you". When is it ever a "privilege" to have your heart broken? Not that I've ever been broken hearted but, please, somebody enlighten me, because I may be missing something here. No matter how "romantic" this is, I can't get over the pretentiousness of it. The same goes for "My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations". Yes, it's a nice line, and yes, I like the imagery it creates... but spoken by a seventeen year old boy, just to impress a girl he's known for a few weeks and is suddenly certain he's in love with? No thank you.
And the whole cigarette thing? "It's a metaphor, see: you put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing". Maybe other people can identify with this, maybe other people can see what the deal is, but I can't. I think the whole premise of the novel is great, I really do, but it's the characters that destroy it for me. I realise they are what bring story alive for the majority of other people, so that's really great for them. Honestly, it's so fantastic to have read a book which you feel you can just connect with, that just gets you. I love it. I feel this way about Looking for Alaska, The Catcher in the Rye, August, but just not this. In no way am I criticising John Green's writing - I honestly think he's so great - but I'm just trying to work out why I feel this way, because "when I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books" and I want to love this one too.