The Honking Goose

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not a book review: The Fault in our Stars

I recently finished reading The Fault in our Stars, by John Green. I borrowed it on Kindle from my local library. I was on the waiting list for weeks and then I finally got it and read it. I have not seen the movie, The Fault in our Stars. I do like the actress, Shailene Woodley. Okay, I watched her on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. (Damnit, I didn’t want to admit that. Oh well) Anyway, when I saw the movie trailer, I recognized her immediately, and that drew my interest.

Shailene Woodley pushing her long hair off of her face

actress, Shailene Woodley

The thing is, I don’t like cancer movies. My mom died of ovarian cancer when I was 19. She had been sick for two and half years. There is not much in life that I enjoy LESS than being reminded of the experience of slowly, torturously, losing my mother to cancer. For some unremembered reason, my dad, sister, and I all went to see the movie Patch Adams when it came out. My mom was still alive at the time, but very sick. We all cried pretty much nonstop through the whole movie. It was a horrible experience. So I have been very against movies about cancer ever since. No surprise.

So as soon as I saw the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, I knew I didn’t want to see that movie. But I do like Shailene Woodley and I like a good love story, too, so I was a little torn. Plus, it’s been 15 years since my mom died – so maybe I could handle it? I found out it was based on a novel and I decided to read the book first and then decide about seeing the movie after.

Reading a book is a different experience than seeing a movie. Generally speaking, the book is often better than the movie. There is a lot than can be conveyed and savored in the reading of a book that can’t be communicated via the movie screen. But then the converse is also true.

Anyway, short story long, I read The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, and it was just okay. It has a good concept, but the writing wasn’t epically moving or memorable. It definitely made me cry, but I’m a crier. I tear up during the emotional scenes on the Walking Dead. Even a really stirring television commercial can get me going sometimes. I probably would have forgotten about the Fault in Our Stars a week after reading it if it hadn’t been made into a motion picture. I’m willing to bet that the movie is better than the book. But I don’t think I’ll watch it. I’ve had enough crying about cancer for now. It looks like Shailene Woodley will get more starring roles after this. I’ll wait for those movies and see them when they come out.

Have you seen the movie? Tell me about it – do you think I should see it? Did you read the book? What did you think?

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58 comments on “not a book review: The Fault in our Stars

  1. grevisangel73
    October 28, 2016

    Sorry about your mom. Moms and daughters have special relationships, and strong bonds. I did not read the book, but I really enjoyed the movie, which of course was a tearjerker.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 3, 2016

      Shailene Woodley is a great actor, and her involvement and support of the #NoDAPL water protectors has brought much needed attention and press to the issue, so kudos to her for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • grevisangel73
        November 6, 2016

        I am glad she was there.That got some media attention, which was good. They need all they can get. They are having a benefit concert with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. Mark Ruffalo has been there, and native actor Wes Studi. I think Neil Young was there at one point as well. I hope it grows so big that it gets stopped, but I really don’t see it happening, unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • grevisangel73
        November 6, 2016

        I have liked her in everything I have seen of hers.

        Like

  2. elmundooo
    November 25, 2014

    Lovely post โค

    http://www.theeche.com

    Like

  3. hya21
    November 24, 2014

    I didn’t see the movie. I knew it would wring the tears out mercilessly and when someone who I knew went to see it, that’s exactly what she said.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 24, 2014

      Yeah, I don’t mind shedding a few tears during a movie, but if its more than a few, its not that much fun.

      Like

  4. alfageeek
    November 23, 2014

    This reminded me of a terribly funny web site: http://www.reviewsofmoviesihaventseen.com/
    I highly recommend it. It’ll cheer you right up.

    Like

  5. Marleymyah
    November 23, 2014

    I didn’t read the book, but have seen the movie so essentially I probably won’t read the book because I share the same sentiment that usually books are better than the movie and I feel as if I’ve already cheated myself of that road lol. I’m a crier also, and found myself crying buckets but loved the acting that went into the movie and the story plot was pretty good, heart wrenching, but good none the less. Shailene Woodley is definitely on a roll. But if you don’t watch the movie, you will be able to save those tears for something else to come along, so nothing missed ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  6. I’m guessing you didn’t watch The Bucket List, either. I don’t usually watch movies like that, either, but seeing Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson together is worth it

    Like

  7. miharusshi
    November 22, 2014

    My sentiment towards cancer movies or stories is that they only want the readers/viewers have a ride on a feels train, make them cry buckets of tears, and throw in some “lessons” or words that are like salt on the wound in an attempt to reinforce those feels in the viewers.

    Like

  8. normalisboringsoiheard
    November 22, 2014

    I saw the movie have not read the book, I am not a crier, my boyfriend, he is, I enjoyed the movie, now I did cry reading “The Last Song”, at work, (don’t ask). I understand how any traumatic event could trigger stress, if it’s causing you to be upset, I would avoid it. I am sorry for the loss of your mother.

    I will admit with you, I watched “The Secret Life of the American Teen”, (all the seasons on Netflix), I know it’s sad!!

    NIBSIH!

    Like

  9. vvuureoc
    November 22, 2014

    Do not need the book or movie as my wife is a cancer survivor an we went through the real thing. Books are usually better than movies because you are the director and camera man

    Like

  10. mjmsprt40
    November 22, 2014

    Haven’t read either the book or seen the movie– again, until just now I didn’t know they exist. Losing my mother to cancer— yeah, did that. If it wasn’t ovarian, it was still near that part of her anatomy. I had a few more years on the ol’ ticker here, she was 67 so that means I was 45 when she passed.

    Like

  11. Very Bangled
    November 22, 2014

    Cancer movies seem so exploitative, often. Like they need to jerk some tears from the audience and they know that by involving cancer, that job will get done. I feel similar about this as I do about rape scenes. It turns something serious and awful into entertainment. But then, cancer and rape are facts of life, so it’s not as though we should scrap all movies and TV shows that focus on the topics. It’s kind of tricky, isn’t it?

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 22, 2014

      Tricky, indeed. I read rumors there was going to be a rape scene in season 2 of Reign. I feel like that is something that needs to be censored because people shouldn’t become desensitized to watching rape. Because it is a choice, by the perpetrator, that endangers another person. Whereas cancer isn’t a choice at all. So it is dangerous, too, but it’s not optional. That’s my take on it. For the moment anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ร‰ilis Niamh
    November 22, 2014

    I haven’t read the book nor seen the movie, so can’t comment on that. I’m sorry to hear about your mother dying, and you so young. Hugs.

    Like

  13. mumtazsm
    November 22, 2014

    Read the book then seen the movie. Well the thing about the book is that you fall in love n love with small details and then the movie cuts those details out. But over all due to the fact I loved the book the movie was indeed magical.. I also had doubts my mother too passed away from cancer and seeing any movie about it would bring back memories. But it an adventure. Read the book then watch it with a male who hasn’t heard about it and complain about how they missed the small funny details

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 22, 2014

      Oh – my husband hates it when we’re watching a movie and I keep telling him all these details from the book that aren’t in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sandi
    November 22, 2014

    I read the book on an airplane with tears streaming down my face. I could see where it was headed, but it still got me. Later, I saw the movie with my daughter and her friends — who cried a lot — but the movie didn’t affect me as much. My niece succumbed to cancer after 9 months of treatment; I would NOT recommend the book or movie to her mom (my sister) — because cancer is so personal and so heart-wrenching, not a one-size-fits-all topic. How can I guess what might trigger painful memories?

    I first saw Shailene as Felicity in the American Girl movie.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 22, 2014

      I didn’t know she did that. I used to love just looking through the American Girl catalogs when I was a girl.

      Like

      • Sandi
        November 22, 2014

        My daughters enjoyed the early American Girl movies a lot, and there were some other well-known actresses in them: Mia Farrow was in the Samantha movie, Marica Gay Harden was in the Felicity movie, and Molly Ringwald was in the Molly movie. My daughters have aged out of American Girls now, which is why I found myself reading The Fault in Our Stars.

        Like

  15. J.Gi Federizo
    November 22, 2014

    Haven’t seen the movie, haven’t read the book. Interested, though….

    I met a lot of cancer survivors when I worked for a magazine focused on cancer years ago. It was sad sometimes when we would hear that this person or that person just passed away.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 22, 2014

      The book isn’t bad. It just didn’t knock my sock off or anything.

      Like

      • J.Gi Federizo
        November 22, 2014

        Oh, I’ve come across those kind of books. Anyhoo, on another note, books are most times better than the movie versions.

        Like

  16. cllgarrison
    November 22, 2014

    I don’t think cancer movies are for the people cancer leaves behind. They are made to make money off of people who know a person that knew a person who died of cancer. It’s a subject many people can empathize with, so it’s a cheap way to get people to feel something — in my opinion.

    I thought the movie was cute, if anything. I like the actors in the lead roles. But like you said about the book it isn’t well written. I did like the book better, so I think you’re fine just ending it there.

    Like

  17. Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad
    November 22, 2014

    I read the book and didn’t see the movie. I agreed with you on a lot of points. It was a well-told story and had some interesting points. I tend to favor books with quotable sentances in them, and this one had a few…

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 22, 2014

      It did have some good aspects, just didn’t blow me away as a whole. There may have been some quotable sentences, but I can’t think of what they were now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  18. toddmedicii
    November 22, 2014

    People are obsessed with the movie and book and I don’t know why. There was nothing special in my opinion. Same kind of forbidden love story, hardly interesting. I only think John Green is popular is because he writes contemporary novels that pre-teen girls swoon over.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 22, 2014

      I don’t understand the obsession either, but I’m used to going against the mainstream. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  19. talkin2missie
    November 22, 2014

    I lost my mother to cancer as well but I did watch the movie. I thought the movie was amazingly put together and yes, I cried thru most of it.

    Like

  20. Sonu Duggal
    November 22, 2014

    I saw the movie, haven’t read the book. Seeing such movies is always heart breaking and makes me cry. Sorry to hear about your mother.

    Like

  21. glitterweaver
    November 22, 2014

    She also starred in Divergent movie, also based from a novel by Veronica Roth. And it’s a trilogy. So yeah, she’s definitely getting more starring roles now. I’ve read both books she played the character. But her roles in these two books are completely different since she’s a fighter in Divergent while cancer patient in TFIOS. Anyway, I haven’t watched both movies, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

  22. gh0stpupp3t
    November 22, 2014

    I’d love to give it a try. I’m a crier too…that scene in Dumbo where the mother is rocking her baby and the song “Baby Mine” plays…omg.I crumble at that.

    Like

  23. Yoshiko
    November 22, 2014

    I haven’t this movie. But when I watch similar movie about cancer, it tears me.

    Like

  24. inesephoto
    November 22, 2014

    I too don’t like cancer movies and books.

    Like

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