The Fault in Our Books

Did I read The Hunger Games trilogy? Yes. Did I like it? No, but I am okay with the movies.

Did I read The Fault in Our Starts? Yes. Did I like it? No, but I am okay with the movie.

Many of us have heard people who complain about a movie because “the book is so much better. Like, they leave this whole part out and it just doesn’t make much sense without it.” Some of those people are just trying to sound cool and intellectual for having read a novel (you gotta consider that an accomplishment nowadays). They read a popular novel and then a movie based on it comes out. Many, longing to pronounce the phrase above, read these novels when they find out there’s a movie coming out.

Well, the thing is: this phenomenon doesn’t occur with The Hunger Games or The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, it is a matter of perspective, but I will tell you what I think, as worthless as it might be.

There are two areas in which these books fail to provide a good experience: plot and characters. Although these two points sound like really the whole book, I think it is in minor yet vital details of the plot and characters where the authors are not able to deliver.

The biggest reason why I liked the movie version for The Fault in Our Stars better than the novel is that the characters felt more realistic. Of course, with a good cast the task of having interesting characters becomes easier and I think this is where John Green failed. While reading the book, I did not connect with the characters (it was as if they were taken from a library of generic characters). The dialogue was good for the most part, but something just didn’t click. Shailene Woodley does an okay job bringing Hazel Grace to life, but Ansel Elgort was terrific. That smile just clicked and made Augustus Waters (despite the ridiculous name) real and interesting (I even forgave him for the stupid cigarette metaphor). So, good job, Josh Boone. You saved Green’s characters. In regard to The Hunger Games, I just dislike Katniss Everdeen and Jennifer Lawrence (because of the character), and I couldn’t care less about the other characters.

The Hunger Games trilogy, in its novel format, feels ridiculous in every paragraph of every chapter of every book, though it went from meh to struggling with finishing the third book. I imagined any given character in any given situation as a cartoon dwarf in a childish tell where the plot doesn’t really matter because the kids just care about what they see in that moment (at least that was me as a kid). The movie, due to its obvious visual advantages, delivered an interesting story that was well worth the six bucks I paid. If you haven’t read the books, then know that it gets worse. The plot in the first book or movie is fine, the seconds feels a little dumb, but the third . . . just no!

In The Fault in Our Stars, making Peter Van Houten (c’mon, really? That’s the name?) the father of a victim of cancer just seemed too orchestrated. Some parts of the plot felt natural, others didn’t. To not make it long, I appreciated all the cuts in the plot made for the film adaptation, except for the deletion of Augustus’ late girlfriend (it added something to his story).

Am I too critical of these young adult novels? Maybe. It might not be my type. Perhaps it is a good introduction to the vast world of literature.

Take whatever is beneficial from my poor review and ignore whatever seems arrogant.

P.S. If I offended anyone, you must forgive me. It wasn’t my intention.

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