Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Cover Copy: “Despite the tumour-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 stoy is about to be completely rewritten.”
My Thoughts: The fault in our stars by John green shot to fame when the adaptation was released in cinemas this year. The question is does this novel deserve the cult like following that it has received as a result? Before reading this story, of two cancer stricken teenagers and how they deal with the increased possibility of death, I was sceptical that this would be nothing other than a washy feel good approach to a serious topic. Now having actually taken the time to read it properly I can admit I was surprised at how profound it can be, the issues surrounding morality and mortality combine to form a well written, credit deserving piece of fiction.
The main characters Hazel and Augustus have come under attack for speaking too profoundly and discussing life at a higher emotional and intellectual level than some believe teenagers would, however they are not normal teenagers, they are teenagers who have had to face up to their own mortality so who is to say that they would not have deep and meaningful conversations with each other.
I found the characters lovable and despite knowing that there may not be a happy ending I was rooting for the pair to miraculously recover and live out their lives together. Hazel in particular is a very heart-warming character, it is made abundantly clear that while she battles her disease her main thoughts are for her family and how they are coping and how they would cope should the worst happen. This likeability factor that the characters possess adds to the overall heartbreak of the story, the reader becomes so invested in their happiness that by the ending you cannot help but be incredibly moved and question what is really important in your own life.
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”
“Maybe okay will be our always”
This novel is aimed at young adults but I honestly think there is a lesson in it for any reader, it is so cleverly written that the story captures the audience from the beginning and presents so many important life lessons as well playing out an endearing love story.
Robert Pattinson as Jacob
Reese Witherspoon as Marlena
Christoph Waltz as August
Hal Holbrook as Old Jacob
As a stand alone film Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants is an enjoyable romantic drama that showcases some quality acting however having read the novel first I could not help but feel the ending was rushed and some of the quality storyline glossed over.
The omission of some of the friendship storyline with Jacob, Walter and Camel and also the portrayal of Jacobs life at the retirement home was probably necessary from a film sense but it gave the story such depth in the novel that it was difficult to build a relationship with the film version of the characters.
Adaptation issues aside Water for Elephants is an admirable drama with quality acting from the star studded cast especially from Christoph Waltz who plays August the paranoid schizophrenic circus owner with impressive ease. Reese Witherspoon shines as Marlena the tortured wife of August but really comes into her own when her character falls in love with the young stowaway vet Jacob played by Robert Pattinson.
Pattinson breaks away from his moody Twilight fame with his portrayal of Jacob, proving his worth as an actor as he shows an array of emotions and a believable chemistry with Witherspoon that heightens the enjoyment of this film.
So with some clever costumes, set design and quality acting Water for Elephants ticks all the boxes for its genre just try to view it as a separate entity as opposed to an adaptation of the Sara Gruen hit or you may be a little disappointed.
Every book lover has their favourite bookshop, that one store that you get excited even thinking about going to and for me that bookshop is Chapters Bookshop in Dublin. I have been shopping here for as long as I can remember and the experience is always the same, you are greeted by a sea of beautiful books in a relaxed atmosphere that makes browsing for your next great love extremely enjoyable. The staff are always really helpful and genuinely seem interested in talking to you and helping you find what you are looking for without being pushy or overpowering like some sales people can be.
My favourite part of Chapters however is when you walk upstairs to a vast array of second hand books all in excellent condition. I am one of those people who likes to own the books they read so second hand is often the way to go or else my book habit would render me completely bankrupt. Chapters only takes in good condition second hand books so you know you are getting quality reads at low prices, which is exactly what I did today!
Below are some pictures of my haul which includes nine books of my list and one that I have heard great things about about so I just couldn’t pass by. If you want to check out Chapters bookshop you can on their Facebook and Twitter.
And my non list buy: