Character Complexity

Spending a lot of time reading can be a great experience, or a frustrating one. Like any other topics in the world you are likely to find someone who doesn’t agree with your point of view, that’s how it is with books. I find myself reading reviews and posts about novels and characters, that I enjoyed reading about, but to my surprise, they are always in a negative light.

Many of the comments I see are about the characters, and their personality. About how, when a character is stubborn or arrogant or selfish, it ruins the book cause they’re such jerks. I completely disagree with comments like this. If every character in every book were the perfect hero’s we wished they were, nothing would ever happen. There wouldn’t be conflicts and problems to over come. They would be fake and wouldn’t teach us anything.

They wouldn’t teach us to think of others. They wouldn’t teach us its okay to be different. They wouldn’t teach us where the line is, and not to cross it. I read these negative reviews and I disagree because the characters, that are flawed, are the best characters there are.

For example, and for many this will be a shocking statement, my favourite John Green novel, is An Abundance Of Katherine’s. No one ever understands why this particular novel is my favourite. I always get the replies like “but it’s not sad”, “i don’t understand why there is footnotes” “Colin is boring” blah blah blah.

It is my favourite novel because of the characters. Colin is self-absorbed, selfish and immature. He spends most of the novel being a less than good friend to Hassan and trying to get his own way. He is flawed and that’s realistic. There is no point in having characters without flaws, because then there is no chance for them to grow and for the story to progress.

So when I see hate towards characters and novel (when people dislike a book, because they don’t understand the characters) I get defensive. It’s important to have character complexity, or else a book is nothing but the story. and a story is nothing without good characters.

The Fault In Our Stars : Movie

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Usually when I review a book that is also a movie, I would compare the two. But in the case of TFIOS I don’t think it would be fair. Obviously there are some changes from the book to the movie, characters missing, moments not shared but if I were to name these things, list them out and discuss them I would just me grasping at straws.

John Green said in an interview that the movie is so good and so true because it captures the “essence” of the book. When I first heard him say this I didn’t know what be meant.

The thing that I love about reading is the way that certain books can make you feel after you have finished them. Like you were a part of that world. Like those characters were real people. But when it’s over you feel like you have lost a part of yourself. Like a real friend is gone. In some cases you also get the sense that although the book is finished the story isn’t over. That is the essence of the book.

That is the feeling I got when I finished John Greens novel. It is also how I felt after watching the movie.

In my opinion, which may not necessarily be accepted by everyone, the movie is great. Because even though minor things were changed it captured the essence of the book.

Many book to movie adaptations don’t capture the essence of a book. The fault in our stars most certainly did.

The Fault In Our Stars : Book Review

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Here’s the thing about The Fault In Our Stars. It’s different, it is a welcome change to those of us who are sick of always reading about the happy ending. All throughout different media platforms the idea of a happy ending and happily ever after is thrown at you constantly, and that’s one thing TFIOS doesn’t do.

John Green doesn’t try to soften the blow that comes with death, he doesn’t try to cover up the pain and feelings that a terminally ill person deals with when they are faced with death. He is honest in his writing and he is honest about the minds of teenagers.

The Fault In Our Stars follows the love story of two teenagers with cancer, but it isn’t a cancer novel. It’s a teen novel, with characters that are easy to relate to and are real.

The novel is raw and beautiful. It is sad but true. It may not be the fairytale novel you are after, but it is real, it is honest, and it leaves you thinking that life is brief. It is short and can be gone at any moment. Hazel and Augustus teach us to live and love as quickly and as passionately as we can in the short amount of time we are given on this earth.

It teaches us that nothing is constant and nothing last forever, but it also teaches us that it’s okay to fall in love, regardless of how selfish it is. It teaches us that it is okay to be selfish sometimes, and it’s okay to want things. It’s okay to want more for yourself. It’s okay to feel the things you feel.

Augustus is right when he says you don’t get to choose if you get hurt, but you do get to choose who hurts you. I am forever grateful that I chose The Fault In Our Stars to be one of those things that hurt me. Because it did, but it was one of those pains you remember, the ones that teach you something. My advice to anyone who hasn’t read the book is this.

Don’t be afraid to let it hurt you.