Launching the Stars

Last night was the launch event for John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars book tour, and I was lucky enough to go. The kick-off was hosted by Wellesley Books, a fantastic local bookstore. (Thanks to them, I’ve gotten to see Shannon Hale and Suzanne Collins, too.) Since John and his brother Hank are kind of internet superstars, the event was ticketed and was held at the Wellesley Middle School due to size.

I was toward the back of the line into the event, so by the time I made it inside the auditorium was pretty full. But it was so exciting to hear the cheers of the crowd before the event even started. Usually you get this kind of reaction at concerts or sporting events. Hundreds of teens and young adults were bouncing around at the thought that soon John and Hank would take the stage. The vibe was electric.

Since these are the vlog brothers, this obvious wasn’t your average reading. The event opened with a sock puppet show, followed by a brief reading of The Fault in Our Stars, included a couple of funny question-and-answer rounds (one of which ended with punishment–sorry Hank) and a couple of song sessions. Audience members sang along, shouted out questions, and cheered whenever the Katherine appeared. I went to a Green Brothers event a few years ago–for Paper Towns, I think–and the energy was even stronger here. It’s so awesome to see so many young people who are so excited by books, by making the world a better place, by connecting with one another, and by funny songs about Harry Potter.

Since I forgot my camera and my phone refused to be functional, I borrowed my husband’s phone and took these very sad pictures. I like to think that the problem was with my lack of knowledge about his phone’s camera feature, but I don’t think that’s really the problem. In any case:

Here’s John reading from the first couple chapters of The Fault in Our Stars. He wore a suit when he first came out but changed into jeans and a t-shirt later. Does that mean John suits up for his novels? Is this a comment about the sartorial aspects of the literary life? Am I thinking too much about pants?


Here’s Hank and his guitar. One of his songs was written for The Fault in Our Stars and it was really lovely. When he played “Shake-a-Booty” everyone got up and danced. It was a-dor-a-ble.

The line for signing was insane, so I got to read about half of The Fault in Our Stars before the evening was over. As a mini-review, so far it’s great. It might be my favorite of Green’s novels so far–a nice combination of witty dialogue, depth of character, and big ideas about life and death.

A few other fun things from the event:

  • Lots of people talking about Doctor Who. My heart!
  • Hearing other Nerdfighters befriend each other.
  • Talking to people in line for the signing.
  • John liked my scarf. And he says he doesn’t notice fashion!
  • I think one of the Wellesley people hosting the event went to the same summer writing camp I did when I was in high school. Enter awkward book stalking?

I didn’t get home until almost midnight, but it was well worth it. I’m sure all the subsequent book tour events will be just as fun; Nerdfighters across the country are in for a treat.

Maybe a The Fault in Our Stars 15-word review on Friday forthcoming?

0 thoughts on “Launching the Stars

  1. Madigan says:

    I’ve always liked his videos better than his books, but that event sounds like a lot of fun. The vlog brothers are coming to my local independent bookstore, but that event was sold out months ago. They definitely know how to stir up their fans.

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