On Friday, January 20, 2012, Houston was graced with the presence of the Vlog Brothers, John and Hank Green. The former being the best-selling author of books such as Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars; the latter being the ever-so-witty writer of songs such as “A Song about Anglerfish” and “Accio Deathly Hallows”. (My personal favorite is the “Strange Charm” (Quark) song!)
I was there, of course, more for John Green, as he was promoting The Fault in Our Stars. The event was put on by an amazing local indie book store, the Blue Willow Bookshop, and was hosted at a local high school. I dashed right over after work, 45 minutes before the show was to start, and was not particularly surprised by the droves of fans and Nerdfighters that were already lined up to snag their pre-autographed copies of The Fault in Our Stars.
I grabbed my copy...:
… and squealed when I saw the J-squiggle and Hank’s now-famous Anglerfish signature :) After grinning like a fool for a minute, I made my way immediately into the auditorium for the show, but not before casting a few longing glances at the table selling red T-shirts that said:
Thankfully, I was able to snag a seat in the third or fourth row, stage right, and settled in to people-watch. Teens, young adults, and adults of every size, race, and creed crowded into the auditorium behind me:
It was so much fun watching a community of book and media lovers come together in one place. Every few minutes, someone would shout (or sing) something from one of the Vlog Brother videos, or ask for shout-outs from their peers. One group of teens even started a game of “Ninja”, which was fun to watch. (If you don’t know what “Ninja” is… click here!)
Finally, the lights dimmed and Valerie of Blue Willow Bookshop came onstage to announce the rules for the evening, and then – introduced “Hank Sock” (a puppet) :) “Hank” said a few words to the crowd and then introduced the John Green! (Unfortunately, the only pictures I have on my iPhone of John Green are not very good, due to the lighting and his position on the stage. Sorry!)
John started out the evening by reading an exchange between Hazel and Augustus of The Fault in Our Stars, which made me want to read the book right then and there. He certainly knows how to create real, engaging characters! He then launched into an explanation of how he came to write The Fault in Our Stars and why it took over 10 years to write. The video below consists of that explanation and is about 12 minutes long:
Unfortunately, YouTube wouldn’t let me upload the whole video, which only lasted another 5 minutes afterward. (If you’re interested in the charity that John talks about, please see: The Star Won’t Go Out Foundation.)
After John was finished talking, he introduced the real Hank Green, who sang the now-famous “Accio Deathly Hallows” song, followed by “Strange Charm”. Then, John came back on-stage and began answering questions from the audience. I was only able to stay for about 3-4 questions, as I had somewhere else to be that evening. After the show was over, John and Hank were to sign books and CDs that people brought from home, so I’m bummed that I missed it, but glad that I could go at all!
Overall, I was incredibly impressed with both John and Hank, and can now understand the hysteria that often surrounds their appearances/tours. They are charming, witty, talented, and absolutely hilarious!
The Fault in Our Stars is actually my first John Green book, so I am very much looking forward to reading it. I know it’s not exactly an easy read, given the subject matter, but that’s okay. (My dear Uncle Jim recently passed away after a brief battle with prostate cancer.) I’ve heard so many good things about John’s other books, so I’m looking forward to further discovering a new (to me) author!
Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? What’s your favorite John Green book? Share your thoughts with me by leaving some “comment love” below! :)