Book vs Movie: The Fault In Our Stars

Posted January 16, 2015 by Inge in Book vs Movie, Features / 38 Comments

Today, I’m comparing the book and the movie called The Fault In Our Stars, a wildly discussed phenomenon with many avid fans loving the living daylight out of this thing. People were quick to jump on this bandwagon, calling it perfect and cute and asdfghjkldfjshjfk, and shun all the non-believers who did not feel the same way.

Sorry guys, but we do not feel the same way. Karolina hates this story with the fire of a thousand suns, whereas I am sort of in the middle. I was eager to hop on the bandwagon last year, being a fan of John and Hank’s YouTube channel, but the book did not meet my expectations. However, to give it a proper comparison, I re-read it at the beginning of January (the things I do for you guys), and here is my take.

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Summary

From the book’s Goodreads page: “Despite the tumor-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 story is about to be completely rewritten.”

The book

I’ve read the book twice now, and my opinion really hasn’t changed since the first time. I don’t love it, nor do I hate it. It’s not a perfect book, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s still an enjoyable read.

There were a few things that bugged me, such as the dialogue. I do not for a second believe that teenagers talk the way Augustus and Hazel do. And even if I set that aside, it’s not consistent. They use fancy schmancy vocabulary at one point, and then go back to “like” and “whatever” the next. I think the inconsistency is what bugged me most of all. And don’t even get me started on Peter van Houten. I’m not even going to pretend I understood half of the words when he was writing.

I like that they weren’t flawless – Hazel was a little bland at times (though I don’t blame her for not being the most exciting person ever) and had strange fixations, such as the one where she obsesses over eggs being breakfast food. Augustus was charming, but the cigarette metaphor was beyond stupid, and he was also a bit of a dick. View Spoiler »

Nevertheless, I did really appreciate the sense of humour. Especially the dialogue gave me a few chuckles. And for me, that’s what matters the most.

The movie

Although a tad cheesy (nothing the book can’t top, really), I thought it was a very decent movie adaptation. I did not expect to like it this much. In fact, I had a notebook right next to me, ready to take notes about things I liked and didn’t like.

Look at all the notes I took:

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I got so absorbed that I completely forgot about my notebook.

The characters were way less pretentious than in the book. Though they do still have their monologues about oblivion and whatnot, Ansel and Shailene did a really great job of portraying Augustus and Hazel. They were pretty good, if not ridiculously adorable. I also really liked Willem Dafoe as Peter van Houten. Stellar performance.

It was cute, and I had all the feels, and yes, I even asdfghjkldfjshjfk-ed.

I loved seeing Amsterdam. I’m not much of a visual reader, so I really like it when the scenery comes to life in a movie. Though would it have killed them to make the text font a little bit bigger? I couldn’t read half of the texts they sent each other, and they sent a lot of texts.

The verdict

I’m gonna have to go with the movie, really. I had a lot of problems with the book that I didn’t mind as much while watching the movie, and I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but I just really liked it.

However, just to please my Karolina, I also give you this:

So what’s your take? Book or movie?

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38 responses to “Book vs Movie: The Fault In Our Stars

    • I used to be subscribed to his channel for quite a long time, which is why I was really excited to jump on the John Green bandwagon, but I just… didn’t. It’s not a bad book or anything, but it’s nothing the hype promised it to be. I’m still interested in his other books though.

      • Samantha Fabris

        I just don’t like contemporary YA. I’ve read all of his books and the others are all pretty much the same. I think TFiOS is the best, with An Abundance of Katherine’s the next best. Paper Towns was my least fav. He’s a really good writer, but yes, way over-hyped.

        • Ah. Coincidentally, I’ve got Paper Towns on my Kindle :o) I’ll have to give it a try some time, but your complaint is something I hear a lot – that a lot of his books are the same, with pretentious characters à volonté.

  1. Felicia (asillygirl)

    I wish I could love John’s books more. For a while I really tried to, but eventually I just gave up and realized that loving their YouTube channel and loving John’s books, that just wasn’t the same thing. I can be a good Nerdfighter without having to adore everything the two of them does.

    I feel like you – don’t love it, don’t hate it. It’s just there.

    – Love, Felicia
    ( http://asillygirlsthoughts.weebly.com/ )

    • You’re right – you can be a perfectly good Nerdfighter without being in love with John’s books. If you like the channel, you’re just as good a Nerdfighter as anyone else. I have yet to try John’s other books, but.. we’ll see!

    • Thanks for commenting, Aimee! The book was enjoyable, but the characters were a bit off, although they did share some amusing dialogues (if you subtly ignore all the deep talks about oblivion and infinities and whatnot). I did really like the movie. 🙂

  2. I loved the book and the movie too. I think it was a great adaptation of the book – probably one of the best I’ve seen. I can see how some of the dialogue in the book is unrealistic but I guess I just chalk it up to them being maybe more introspective about life because they’ve faced death before. They’re still teens, so they revert to the “likes” and “whatevers” but they also have a good feel for what it means to be alive. (That sounded pretentious too, eh? hahaha) I’m very glad you enjoyed the movie though! I thought the actors did a fantastic job.

    • While I agree that Hazel and Gus can be more meaningful and deep because of what they’ve been through, a lot of the time I had a “No one talks like that!” feeling. Although I did enjoy the humour in the dialogue. Both the book and the movie are enjoyable, though. I guess I had fewer problems with the movie.

    • Yes! They were really cute together. Still feel a bit iffy about the Anne Frank make out scene, but other than that, I really liked it.

  3. I LOVED the book and really enjoyed the movie. But everyone it seems to be the other way around. Maybe I just love reading more than watching movies? The actors were great and I couldn’t help but smile the entire time, but in the book I found more detail and connection and having the ability to understand Hazel more. 😀

    • Books do give you a lot more information to relate, and I did appreciate that here. There’s a lot more on her illness, for instance, which I thought was really interesting!

  4. Lily

    I completely loved the book and movie and while quite a few things were omitted from the movie I still consider it one of my favourite book to movie adaptions. I’m glad you ended up liking the movie and didn’t take any notes!

    • I noticed there are a few deleted scenes flying around. I’ve only seen a gif set of the one where they talk about the qualities of a Good Nurse, but I really liked that. I was quite surprised I didn’t take any notes!

  5. Melanie Z

    OMFG that YouTube video was hilarious even though I loved the movie. Personally, I love the book more because I found the movie to be cheesier–I might be biased seeing as I read the book first though.

    • CinemaSins does that to you. Even though you love the movie, they make their videos in such a way that you can’t help but laugh and go, “Okay, yeah, that’s true”. I read the book twice, although the first time was a while ago. They both have a very cheesy amount of cheese. 😉

  6. Okay, I’ve go to admit it: I am an ENORMOUS John Green fan, and I love both his books and the Vlogbrothers channel. So that will color my opinion a bit, I’m sure! But I think John Green’s books are smart and nerdy and marvelous, and I especially loved The Fault in Our Stars, both the book and the movie (which is one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen, in my opinion!). I know a lot of people think they’re unrealistic, but I actually like that Hazel and Gus are are so smart use huge words and are kind of pretentious sometimes, I guess because I’m such a nerd myself–not quite to the degree that they are, but I still like to use big words and talk about nerdy things, so I guess I just kind of felt that Hazel was more relatable for me than a lot of other protagonists in the books I’d read before (and a lot of the ones I’ve read since, too). Not in all ways, but in some. Also, I felt like Augustus was a totally different kind of love interest from most of the ones I’ve read, and I loved him for that, too.

    I know not everyone agrees, though, and I totally respect your opinions on this! (To be fair, van Houten kind of lost me sometimes too, haha.) No one should be shamed for liking or disliking a book. I actually think it’s pretty cool that you’re kind of in the middle on this; you don’t love the story, but you don’t outright hate it, either. Sometimes it seems like the default for popular things is love it or bash it, so I like it when I see someone talking reasonably about something, whether or not they liked it. And I’m glad that even if you didn’t love the book, you enjoyed the movie!

    Thanks for sharing, Inge! (And sorry my comment got so long, haha! Get me talking about my favorite books and I can go on for awhile. 😉

    • Don’t apologise for the long comments, Taylor, I love it when you do that! 😀 I do try to give everything a fair chance, and there are a lot of people who either love or hate this book with a passion. While I liked it, I did have some problems with it that I couldn’t ignore, hence me being in the middle. I can’t speak about his other books yet, though I’ve got Paper Towns on my Kindle, but I do think this book was funny and clever, and I appreciated the amount of research that went into his depiction of cancer and The Netherlands. As a Dutchie, I liked the Dutch details, as well as the “Dutch is not so much a language as an ailment of the throat” comment. 😉

      • I loved the Dutch setting, too! I’ve never been to the Netherlands, but I’d love to go someday–especially to Amsterdam–so reading about it was a lot of fun. Also, I hope you like Paper Towns! It’s one of my favorites of John Green’s books–almost tied with TFiOS, I’d say.

  7. Even though I do love the book and the movie, that video was HILARIOUS. I loved the tangent about Divergent and TFiOS, because I wondered the same thing! It was a little weird to watch her kiss her brother, but I think she was SO much better in TFiOS that it almost wasn’t even the same thing (totally off topic, but I don’t think my dislike of her as Tris had anything to do with her acting, just horrible casting choices). And I loved the “cancer name madlibs” hahahhaha.

    I do want to read the book again (and watch the movie again too) just to see what I think of it a few years later. I loved it in like, 2012 or something, but will I love it as much now? Who knows. I mean, I do agree with your points, but I still loved it. I think, in regards to some of the stuff about Gus, yes, he IS acting like a dick but I figure he was in the most awful situation, AND he is a kid, so I had to cut him some slack.

    • That channel is so good! Even though you love the movie, they have you in stitches every time. I also preferred her in TFIOS.

      That’s initially why I wanted to re-read it as well: because I wanted to see if my opinion had changed, and also because my memory sucks, so I didn’t think I’d be able to make a proper comparison post if I didn’t re-read the book.

      I wrote about Gus in my review (which will be posted in two weeks) and about the book in general that it is filled with contrasts. So while I do think Gus is a bit of a dick, he’s also a gentleman towards Hazel. And I like that they’re two-sided.

  8. I’m not a fan of the book. Just not for me, unfortunately. But then again, I’m not a fan of most contemporaries. I didn’t like the inconstancy with the writing either, the fancy schmancy vocab and the quick change to whatever, and the likes. Not my cup of tea. I only watched half of the movie so perhaps it’s the story that just can’t win me over ://

    • If you’re not a fan of contemporary to begin with, then it might just not be for you. Though feel comfort in the knowledge that you’re not the only one! I do get it – I was expecting to be wowed, and ended up feeling a bit.. meh.

  9. I’M GONNA HAVE TO IGNORE YOU NOW AND MAYBE THROW CAKE IN YOUR FACE.
    I love this movie and this book. I love it with the fire of a thousand suns and I may be one of the ones who dance down the street singing it’s heartbreaking glory. *nods*
    BUT. I will let you feel meh about it. 😉 I will. I’m nice like that.
    I actually….erm….I agree that Gus doesn’t talk like normal teens, but my sister and I grew up talking quit like that, so I guess it depends?? My sister’s always used ginormous words from when she was small and I have a ridiculous sense of humour. Together we are GUs. But we have more legs.

    • I’M SORRY OKAY. What type of cake?
      It’s not just the giant words, though. It’s the way they spoke. I can’t really give an example because I kind of groaned and glazed over the pretentious parts, but I’ve never heard someone speak like that. The sense of humour is something else – I did like that.

  10. I have to agree with you, Inge! I just cannot with the book. Everyone had book pushed it onto me and told me that it was going to be the most heartbreakingly beautiful most amazing book in the world, and it totally wasn’t. I didn’t get emotional, I didn’t connect (or even like) the characters. Just nope all ’round.

    And then along came the movie and ERMAGERD MY FEELS. I was sobbing (like chest heaving and never ending tears) for the entire second half of the movie. And this just completely took me by surprise because I didn’t even really LIKE the book but the movie just really got to me.

    Although I have to say that when i watched it the second time, I was dry eyed. Although that was the night before my thesis was due, so my mind was probably elsewhere. I’m interested to see if the third time I watch it will align with the first or second time.

    • Exactly! I initially thought the massive expectations I had for this book resulted in me not liking it as much as I thought I would. But now I’ve read it a second time and I still felt the same way, so it’s definitely something that’s lacking in the book. It’s funny and it’s sad, but it’s also corny and pretentious.

      I’m not much of a cryer when it comes to books, movies and TV-shows, but I definitely got teary-eyed at the end. I should watch it a second time to see if it still gets to me.

  11. Oh my god, it’s so weird to see somebody who doesn’t like this book. I’ve grown so used to seeing squealing fangirls alllll over the internet – it’s such a refreshing change to see that at least one person was meh about it 😉 Can I let you in on a secret? I actually haven’t read TFIOS. I started it about three times, but all three times I just sort of wandered away before I could get very far into it. *shrugs* Oh well, I’m sure I’ll pick it up someday – and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of it then!

    Also! I must refute at least one of your points: from the amount that I’ve read (which, admittedly, is limited), I don’t think Gus talks THAT weirdly. I mean, I actually talk like that – half the time I’m waxing eloquent about whatever topic’s caught my attention and the other half I’m all “like” and “whatever”. We teenagers are weird like that, I think. 😉

    • I’d love to know what you think about the book! There are a lot of people who either love or hate it, but not a lot who are kind of in the middle like me.

      Ehh, still think Gus is pretty weird. And if you talk like that too, I guess that makes you pretty weird as well 😉

  12. I do have to say I did enjoy the movie more than the book, it might be because I’m not one for re reading unless it is considered one of my all time favourites but at the same time I think this movie is a perfect “chick flick” the type of film you watch when you want to eat a ben and jerrys ice cream and sob xD I do like the fault in our stars though I would say there are more books out there that I love so much more such as the shock of the fall by nathan filer and wish that more people would pay attention to those. I do like some of the writing in TFIO’s as well, though I do admit teenagers don’t talk in the way they do but it was just so beautiful at times that I kind of overlooked it.

    Great post, I enjoyed reading it!

    • I just laughed because I was totally eating Ben & Jerry’s while watching this movie 😀 it’s perfect for it. I’ll have a look at Nathan’s book so you can rest tonight, knowing you brought it to someone’s attention. 😉

  13. Olivia Roach

    Yay! Someone who agrees with me!
    I’ve tried plenty of John Green books but I really can’t get into his style of writing. Hence me not loving the book. It was okay, not amazing or rubbish, but I couldn’t enjoy the dialogue, as you mentioned. Yes, illnesses do mature people, but even mature teenagers wouldn’t speak like that. I did think it was alright but couldn’t view the plot twist as much as a twist either. And definitely didn’t feel the need to cry.
    But even though the movie was cheesy, it was cheesy in a good and cute way. I liked the lines that I didn’t like so much in the book better in the movie. I liked everything more, and it captured my attention. At the end I was smiling and even though I don’t like the male lead actor, he did a pretty good job in this. I am all for the movie being better too.

    • That’s pretty much exactly how I feel. I didn’t feel the need to cry either. Yes, it was sad, but I’ve never been able to relate to Hazel or Gus much, so it didn’t feel personal for me. The movie was quite cheesy but, like you said, in a good way. I think some of the things in the movie were better done than in the book. This is my first John Green novel. So far I haven’t fallen in love with it, but I will try his other work. Though I hear it’s a lot of the same. We’ll see.

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