Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TFIOS Movie Non-Spoiler Review

"The fault in our life"
"The fault in our love"

As a YA book blog I have never done a movie review before – not even for a YA book to movie adaptation. Sure I’d post a tweet and snap a picture on Instagram but that’s about it.

Yesterday night, I had the privilege of being one of the few in the world to watch The Fault in Our Stars thanks to Bookworld’s (an online bookstore under Penguin, the publishers of TFIOS in Australia) Little Infinities screening. Many countries around the world are showing pre-screenings of TFIOS as part of the Little Infinities campaign. In Australia, Bookworld held a competition, where 65 people from each state were chosen based on their entry of “What does TFIOS mean to you?” I was one of the lucky ones that won and got to take 2 friends with me.

Once the movie finished I tweeted about it and posted a picture to Instagram and tumblr. The response I got was astounding:

Followers and non-followers alike liked, re-tweeted, reblogged my post but more significantly, everybody asked me how the movie was – specifically, if it was true to the book. Here I am now writing a non-spoiler review to calm you all down.

Firstly, let us all be reminded that John Green himself gave this film his own tick of approval. Sure, you think, he has to say that. But this is John Green guys. We’ve seen how closely he’s worked with Shailene, Ansel and the cast and crew of TFIOS. He may not have been completely involved 100%, but we’ve witnessed his growing relationship with Shailene and Ansel. We’ve seen how they all interact. Heck, John Green said that Ansel’s audition was extremely true to Gus. As Nerdfighters, I don’t think John Green would do wrong by his fans.

Are you appeased now? If so, leave now and wait in anticipation until the film releases in your country – you can wait it out, you can! If you’re STILL not convinced then by all means read my spoiler free “review”.

I don’t want to set your expectations any higher than you have them. Please keep in mind that this is purely my opinion. We’re all different – everybody likes different things. These are just my thoughts on the movie.

For many of us, The Fault in Our Stars is an extremely personal book. It may have touched us through Hazel and Gus’ beautiful love story that was told through Green’s witty and astounding writing. Or like some of us, myself included, this book was a cancer story that we could relate to, having known someone in our lives who lost their battle with cancer. But unlike other cancer stories, this wasn’t some sappy sob story that asked for pity. This was bitter, raw truth, told like it is; told with wisdom and humour and love. And to turn something like that into a movie, where so many YA books to movies got butchered? Well I can understand people’s worry. Time to address some of your concerns.

The movie was, in my opinion, VERY faithful to the book. And when I saw very I mean it was a perfect adaptation. As perfect as you can get. Being a movie, things need to be cut out, some elements reshuffled to fit everything in a 2h time slot. Boone and the crew did an amazing job of this. The most important bits were in there, maybe with a minuscule change to accommodate for time, but that was the only change you’d notice. The story my dear readers, resonates as strongly as the book.

I completely forgot that Shailene and Ansel were brother and sister in Divergent once I got past the beginning (like 10 minutes into the film as soon as Ansel appears). Everybody was like “oh no they’re brother and sister and now they’re boyfriend and girlfriend that’s so weird”. Their familial bond from Divergent does not show. Instead, we get this chemistry between them that is practically tangible. We get their witty banter that makes them Hazel and Gus.

All your favourite quotes are there. Every quote that has been repeated by us fans over and over for their wondrous and profound meaning? It was in the movie. Shai and Ansel got it WORD FOR WORD. Are you internally screaming? I know I was.

The casting and acting was sublime. I absolutely adored Lotte Verbeek as Lidewij and Nat Wolff was the perfect Isaac, making us all laugh and cry. Willem Dafoe does Van Houten like he was born for the role – douchepants and all.

The setting, and the music, ahhhh the music (ED SHEERAN!) complemented the film perfectly.

I hope this helped. I hope I haven’t raised your expectations even more – if I have, I sincerely hope they are met. If not, then I would like to know that this review sort of appeased your fears.

I laughed. I cried. I laughed AND cried at the same time. I bawled my eyes out and was a sobbing mess, walking out of the cinema with tear stains on my face. And just like in the book, I was Hazel Grace as she experienced her infinity in the numbered days with Gus.

I hope you enjoy the movie when you see it.

Thank you again to Bookworld for this amazing opportunity.

The Fault in Our Stars opens in Australia June 5, and in the US June 6.

For those that are curious, this was my entry for what TFIOS meant to me, in 25 words or less:

In our darkest hours,

Life is ephemeral

It looks bleak;

Tomorrow is unknown

So live in the moment

Choose now,

And grasp your little infinity.


  1. Definitely going to read this before I see the movie! Yes, sad to say that I haven't read the book yet, and I was unsure if I should read the book first before watching the movie. Thank you for your amazing spoiler free review!

    1. I think you should definitely read the book (: just disregard what everybody else says because I know heaps of people who went into TFIOS with extremely high expectations and didn't get what they wanted.

      I do hope you enjoy the book and the movie!

  2. Such an amazing fan experience <3 I'm glad you liked it as much as I did. This is a really great wrap-up!

    1. :3 it was, wasn't it? I'm so happy we got to see it early. When everybody screamed at the beginning and we were all crying together - only with the fandom.

  3. I am so happy that the movie is faithful to the book, I cannot imagine how much awesomeness this movie contains because the book blew me away enough. Your entry was absolutely beautiful, Jaz! Loved it.

    Thanks for the spoiler free review! <33

    1. The book blew so many people away which is why I think it was SO important to everyone that it was faithful to the book. I really hope you enjoy the movie.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful recap Jaz. You have really hit the nail on the head. The movie was truly beautiful, and so, so, SO faithful to the book. I actually liked it MORE than the book.

    1. Woah MORE than the book? I personally wouldn't go that far haha but yes it's one of the best YA books to movie adaptations I've ever seen.

      I was sad I didn't get to see you though :(

  5. That is SO cool that you won the contest! I'm glad you think the adaptation was so faithful. I'm still not sure if I'll see it, because neither lead looks like they did in my head, and I'm just not certain this is the sort of story I would enjoy in a film format. Don't get me wrong; I LOVED TFIOS, but I'm afraid it will be too weepy visually without Hazel's snarky narration.

    I'm a bit more tempted than I was, but...

    1. I can understand what you mean about the leads. When they were first announced I was so sceptical but I reckon Shai and Ansel did a perfect Hazel and Gus.

      And there is Hazel's snarky narration in the movie too fear not!

      I'd love to hear your thoughts if you do decide to ever watch it.

  6. Great write-up! Writing is a talent, and it must not be wasted. As with everything that we had been entrusted, we should let it grow and share it with the world.>self development books