First, I must mention that this book you guys, THIS BOOK. It is amazing. Brilliant. Heartbreaking. Staggering. Hopeful. Life changingly beautiful. It is so fantastic it has secured a place in my life and in my heart as one of my favorite books of all time. My expectations were naturally very high given that JG is my favorite author in the known universe and I pretty much fangirl the freak out whenever his name is mentioned (true story)...and this book you guys, THIS BOOK met every one of those expectations and bitch slapped them with it's pimp hand.
|Appropriately Photoshopped image is appropriate.|
I don't want to give a full on review of TFiOS because I will end up telling you all of my favorite parts and spoiling it for you, such is my level of emotion as far as THIS BOOK is concerned. One of my friends who's not a card carrying member of Nerdfighteria asked me what the book was about and I thought about it and told her the same thing I'm about to tell you. This book is about two teenagers with cancer, but not in a Nicholas Sparks way. Do with that what you will.*
Also read my friend Jennie's review of TFiOS here, as it pretty much sums up a lot of my feelings.
In preparation of my SuperBowl, I of course pre-ordered a copy of TFiOS via Amazon, and then found out that for the event I would need to purchase an additional copy which would serve as my entrance into the show. I naturally had no problem with this but was not ok with having to wait until 16 days after the book was released to read it so I kept my original Amazon order and the book (already signed) arrived on my doorstep as ordered on January 10th. I read it in around 4 hours.
After reading it I started telling everyone in my social networking circle about it and how much they needed to read it...like immediately. I noticed more and more people picking it up and falling in love with it and a lot of those people ended up going to the Tour de Nerdfighting event in their town so I was even more psyched for when my turn came after seeing everyone else's pictures and videos.
My friends Kelsey and Smash were able to attend an amazing ALA event where they got the chance to hear John speak about education to a smallish crowd of 200 or so. Please hop on over to Kelsey's blog to read all about it and see her amazing photos! You'll wish you were there...I know I certainly did!
My friends Crystal and Becca both went to the actual Tour de Nerdfighting events in Alabama and Arizona, respectively and were able to experience the Nerdfighting goodness as well.
On the day of the show I was not 100% myself thanks to the Epic Illness of 2012 that I experienced the previous week but I was determined to go. I braved traffic on the 405 and the 10 and arrived at a middle school in Santa Monica with plenty of time to spare before the show. The line was of course already around the entire front of the school in preparation of the show starting.
I met up with Jessica and our friend Claire at a nearby pub where we hung out until just before the show was scheduled to start and then got in the still epically long line to wait our turn to enter. Our fellow line goers were all eleventeen and made me feel incredibly ancient but no matter...we were where we needed to be, and I got a (super dark and grainy) picture of the Tour de Nerdfighting van.
|Envy my excellent photography skills much?|
The show was naturally a lot of fun. My favorite part happened in the beginning when John came out in a gray suit and fancy grown up shoes to read from TFiOS. He actually read one of my favorite parts of the book...in the interest of of not spoiling I'll just say that it was the part when those two non Nicholas Sparksian teenagers I mentioned before first meet. After the reading, John spoke a bit about why he wrote the book and what inspired him to write it. None of this I remember accurately other than John Green was saying things and I was in a dreamlike state of awe.
|John Green reading to me!! (and maybe a few other people)|
|Look at him...just talking and wearing a t-shirt and being awesome.|
|We got Hankrolled.|
|Just before Hank got shocked. John took such delight in this happening it was hard to feel sorry for Hank.|
Special note here to a sweet girl named Ava who Jessica met in the ladies' room. She mentioned to her that she reads both of our blogs and later on as she was leaving she came over and said hello to me and thanked Jessica and I for "all we do for the YA community." Um...tears. I almost hugged her but felt like that might have been weird. It absolutely made my night that a) she thinks I contribute to the YA community and b) that more than 12 people read my blog.
I also bought a t-shirt. In fact it's the exact same t-shirt that John is sporting in this recent video. Coincidence? I think not.
As we finally took our turn in line, I started to get nervous. Not just regular old nervous either, more like cotton mouth, rapid heartbeat nervous and I wondered if I would actually be able to speak to John Green or just shout random epithets out at him. Jessica went first and I could barely hear what she was saying to him over the nervous chatter that was in my brain. I decided to take a deep breath, chill the eff out, and try my best to not to be completely spastic, weird, and ridiculous.
|Signing my books, trying to remember where he's experienced the magic that is me before.|
|Adjusting his glasses so he could see me better...see the look of recognition on his face?|
|Once again...he's captivated by me.|
Reader, I did it! I managed to talk to him like a person in complete command of the English language!
I had 30ish seconds with John Green and I told him he was my favorite author and that his book for me (for a lot of incredibly personal reasons) was amazing and exactly the right book for me at exactly the right time. He thanked me, smiled at me, and completely made me forget about the long line, the long drive I had ahead of me, and basically all other mere mortal males. It was heavenly. I'm still on a high from it and don't see myself coming down for a very long time.
My favorite Vlogbrothers videos are often the ones where John and Hank are together. Watching this show reminded me of why. They have such a great chemistry and energy together and are obviously very close and have a mutual love and respect for one another. That's why their YouTube channel is so gosh darned effective and why they filled an entire auditorium in the heart of Los Angeles on a random Thursday night. The community they have managed to create is nothing short of amazing and I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of it.
So in short, read The Fault in Our Stars which as I may have mentioned earlier is amazing and Don't Forget to Be Awesome but if you're reading this, I'm sure that means you probably already are.***
*And by that I mean read this book immediately.
**There is no getting this song out of my head. It's there...forever.
***I say probably because if you're the person who landed here after searching for "cocoa pink breasts" we probably have very different agendas.