This might sound a bit morbid but Tragic Romances are one of my favourite genres of literature. We have all experienced love in some form but not all of us have had it torn away from us in a tragic manner; this is likely why this genre is so popular as it plays on our emotions and presents us with one of the worst experiences imaginable- losing the person you love. For this Book Battle I am going to compare The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. These are two very heartbreaking books, but which is better?
Relatability- Lou lives a very normal life with a dull job and an even duller boyfriend. In comparison, Hazel lives an unimaginable teenage life made up of endless visits to and from hospital. Fortunately, the majority of real life teenagers will not suffer from cancer, however I am guessing most people are at some point, in their younger (ish) years, stuck living with their parents and carrying out a lousy job. Winner: Me Before You
Male lead– Will Traynor definitely grows on you throughout the book, let’s face it at the beginning he is a moody git and makes Lou’s life a living hell, but the reader learns to understand Will’s behaviour and makes allowances for it. I don’t think you can deny that Gus is a more likeable character as he does not drown in his sorrows like Will does, but then maybe Will’s character is more realistic as who wouldn’t find it difficult to be in his position? This is a tough one but if we’re basing this on likeability then… Winner: The Fault in Our Stars
Film Adaptations– In the film version of The Fault in Our Stars, Ansel Elgort does a great job in portraying Gus’ optimistic and high on life attitude early on in the film. Also, I think his chemistry with Shailene Woodley was spot on, they couldn’t have got it better casting-wise. I felt that the chemistry lacked a little between Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in Me Before You. I like both actors separately but for some reason it felt like there was something missing and I did not feel as emotionally invested in the film as I did with the book. Winner: The Fault in Our Stars
Emotional impact– Gus’ death comes as a bit of a shock as we do not learn his cancer has returned until well into the book. On the other hand, Will’s death is anticipated throughout Me Before You. The fact that Will wants to die is a very sad thought but at the same time you have to respect that that is what he wants. In The Fault in Our Stars, it is heartbreaking to see Gus lose his fight with cancer, but then you could argue that Will lost his fight a long time ago when he succumbed to his paraplegia. I think because of the shock factor Green’s book edges it slightly. Winner: The Fault in Our Stars
Romance: To begin with, Hazel and Gus’ relationship is a bit fairytale-like. On meeting, they have an instant connection and then they become best friends and then later boyfriend and girlfriend. Me Before You has a more complex presentation of relationships as Will and Lou are quite mismatched and they argue for a long time before they become friends. What makes it even sadder is that after all that they go through they never become an official couple, perhaps adding a more realistic feel to the the book. Winner: Me Before You
Overall Winner: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
This was a really hard one to call as I love both these books and their authors. Do you agree with my winner?