Rating: Three out of five stars
John Green did a wonderful job creating the world of the book. I felt like the book put blinders on me as I read, and I felt as if I were truly within the world of the characters. Green succeeded in the world-building of this novel.
However, his characters lacked depth; I have heard pretentious teenagers, but I have never heard pretentious teenagers with the vocabulary of an overzealous literary professor. The dialogue was Perks-of-Being-a-Wallflower-meets-Juno, and it distracted me as a reader from the reading experience.
The end of the book seemed to meander through a dead garden while trying to find a place for a decent ending. The ending itself was very abrupt, though I must admit I was expecting the work to end mid-sentence.
I could overlook the pretentious teenagers and the cliches, but I could not overlook the many literary references the characters made throughout. With allusions to Whitman, Ginsberg, Prufrock, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, and many others, it felt as if the book was trying to ride on the tide of great works before it. On the other hand, the references did a great job of outlining the pretension of the two main characters.
Overall, I was dragged in to the world of the book by the work’s own merit, but with a lackluster ending and pretentious characters, I can officially say that I was merely engaged in this emotional constellation of a fad.
This review can also be found on Goodreads.
Picture from Amazon.