Penguin Minis: The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780525555742 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/14/2019
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, February 14, 2019
I got this landscape-format mini-book at Barnes and Noble. This format (which I was tickled to learn is called "dwarsligger", which in Dutch means "lying across"/"crossbeam" - and also "person who goes against the grain", and which would make a dandy name for a D&D character) is meant to make it easier to read a pocket-sized book. It's bound such that it opens fairly flat, and the font size is the normal font for a full-sized book. Opening the book reveals a single page of a normally-formatted paperback, with the spine crease running horizontally through the middle. The pages are turned from the bottom to the top. I suppose I could get used to this form, but (a) the pages are quite thin and, for me, a bit harder to turn than standard, and (b) having only one page visible at a time slows down my reading - I'm a scan-the-page reader, and with typical books I can scan both pages quickly, while with these I scan one page and then fiddle with the page-turning. Again, I could probably get used to it, but I've never had a problem holding regular paperbacks open with one hand, so... I don't really need this format. (Will I buy any more of these? Maybe; I see that several more books by different authors are due out in October of 2019.)

As for the book itself:

I enjoyed the book even though it had to walk a fine line between representing the acute trials and suffering of cancer patients and their families and depicting a believable friendship/romance. While there were a few aspects of the plot that struck me as too good to be true - mainly, the main couple's near-mind-reading relationship, which, while not impossible, is far from a typical example of the way real relationships work - I came to like the characters very much, and wanted the best for them.

The story is centered around the narrator's favorite book, an offbeat work by a reclusive author (who, when we finally meet him, turns out to be a badly-flawed individual). This triggers a number of plot-points, including a trip to Amsterdam courtesy of a Make-A-Wish-type organization - great, right? Though our fragile protagonists somehow have to make their own moments happen in between physical weakness and pain...

There's a touching friendship between Hazel's love-interest Augustus and his newly-blind pal Isaac, with Hazel becoming a solid friend as well. (The scene where she's playing a voice-activated, no-visuals computer game with Isaac is one of the more charming in the story.) And the parents of the kids have their own times to shine, though they also show some all-too-believable stress from the emotional and financial toll of caring for chronically- or terminally-ill kids.

I was pleased to see a familiar title in the author's list of references: The Emperor of All Maladies, about the history of cancer treatment.

[There's a TV Tropes page on the novel and its 2014 film adaptation.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, April 12, 2019

Released 7 mos ago (4/12/2019 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

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I'm sending this to BCer ILuvToRead2 for the US/Canada wishlist tag game. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by ILuvToRead2 at Chicago, Illinois USA on Saturday, April 20, 2019
Received in the mail. Thank you!

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