So I read through a bit further. Our protagonist, Hazel, gets invited to watch “V for Vendetta” at Augustus’s house. I had to/chose to leave right after they ended the movie.
Good stuff first: I said this before, but Green really does write good prose. I really, really do want to like this book. There is a scene where Hazel describes a point in her life where her and her entire family were gathered around convinced she was going to die any second, and it was genuinely heartbreaking.
But, the big problems remain. The dialogue, Augustus’s especially, is absurd, and Hazel is still incredibly unlikeable. Her whole attitude seems to be to reflexively hate things other people like. She walks into Augustus’s parents’ house and sees motivational sayings everywhere. Her main reaction is disdain. They watch “V for Vendetta”, and she complains that shes a girl and shouldn’t be expected to like “boy movies”. This is her basic response to the world.
…Well, except for Augustus. With Augustus her attitude is “Finally, a boy likes me who’s not a creep or weirdo!”. I’m not reading between the lines here, she actually says this, several times, or something to this general effect. And we are supposed to LIKE this character.
Augustus, meanwhile, continues talking like a medieval philosopher. At one point he puts a cigarette in his mouth and doesn’t smoke it, then says that the reason he did that is because he likes metaphors or something. What a twat.
I stopped reading after this line (this will be paraphrased). This is in response to her reading a sign that said “One cannot know joy without knowing pain.” Augustus’s mom says that she loves that saying. Here’s Hazel’s response:
I could talk all day about how stupid that saying is, but suffice to say that eating broccoli doesn’t mean I like chocolate any more than I did before.
Keep in mind that the people who put this saying up are the parents of a boy who had his leg amputated because of cancer.
Also keep in mind that that response is shockingly stupid.
And after that, I stopped reading.