A few nights ago, my sister and I attended the Atlanta portion of the 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting. For those not in the know, this was a promotional event put on by John Green as part of his promotional tour for The Fault in Our Stars. In addition to the book reading and after-speech signing that is sort of standard at these events, this particular presentation included sock puppets, Hank Green (John’s brother) singing a song about quarks, and an 876-person audience getting rickrolled by two guys from the internet.
It was pretty cool.
I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, which is a well-done book that manages to combine very sad things with very funny things in a way that is neither callous nor overly-emotional. It’s about two kids, ages 16 and 17, falling in love for the first time after meeting in a support group held in the Literal Heart of Jesus. Both of them have cancer. They’re also really funny, in a way that only literary teens can be. They’re also empathetic and selfish and worried about their parents in the way that actual teens are. You should read the book, if you haven’t.
Though I found some of my fellow book event attendees a trifle overenthusiastic (which, given that they’re in the intended age range for young adult fiction and I am not probably just means that I am crotchety and old now), everyone there seemed like good people. I don’t think I was that friendly and open and enthusiastically weird at 15, and so it’s cool to see people who are. Young adult book events are like incredibly friendly concerts. They’re their own little fandom community come to meat space.
I find the Green brothers interesting on a professional level, as they have managed to both create successful careers with multiple income streams facilitated by the internet. But on a more personal level, they seem like good people. I like that good people exist in any space, and I am even happier that they can sell out an auditorium so that it is full of enthusiastic, weird, friendly people who like what they’re saying. It’s a good sign.