Saturday, 9 February 2013

John Green London Event

As soon as I heard via Twitter that John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns among others, was coming to the UK on a tour to promote the paperback release of The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS), I knew I had to go. I had to.
That was back in December, when I texted my friend - an equally massive fan of John Green's work - who replied with a lot of capital letters and exclamations marks and after a nerve-racking 20 minutes involving a slow computer and an overworked booking system, I was the holder of two tickets to the hottest book event in town. I was going to see John Green in a fancy hall in Chelsea, London with two very good friends. And Hank Green would be there *faints*
(Sorry about the quality of the photos! The lights kind of drowned out the stage on my camera)

Fast forward exactly 6 weeks and I was walking down the ever-so-posh Sloane Street on the way to Cadogan Hall for the John Green event fangirling already with my friend. Now, for those that don't know this area of London, Sloane Street is a shopping street in the heart of London, near Kensington, Knightsbridge and the King's Road (which Kate Middleton went shopping down the day before her wedding). However, I won't be shopping there because EVERY SHOP WAS A DESIGNER SHOP. Literally, all these teenagers were going to a John Green event in one of the poshest areas of London, something I found a little funny.

Waiting for the talk to start clutching my free copy of TFIOS
On arriving to the venue, we were led to this grand hall with a Waterstones bag filled with our already signed book by John and Hank Green and tickets at the ready. It was such a lovely venue really, very intimate despite sitting near the back. After a 10 minute conversation with my friend filled with excitement and just looking at each other saying over and over again 'How did this happen? John Green is HERE', suddenly a Penguin representative was introducing John Green and suddenly John Green was striding across the stage and saying hi through the microphone and there was cheering and clapping and everyone was like 'THIS IS HAPPENING' and ah, it was magical really.

John Green reading from book
John Green talked a little bit about his book and how he came up with the idea and the long, long process it took to write it and then read the first few pages of The Fault in Our Stars (after borrowing a copy from an audience member whose name he couldn't say) and with one of the best views, I realised how lucky I really was to be sitting there, laughing at John Green's jokes and listening to a guy who wrote one of the best books I have had the fortune to read. I mean I feel bad for going compared to those that didn't go, like Lucy from Queen of Contemporary because it was just one of the best experiences ever.

Maureen Johnson asking Hank and John Green
the questions
Soon, Hank Green came on (John Green's brother who does a lot of YouTube videos) and sung some songs , none of which I really knew too well but I loved them anyway. The Book 8 song about the Harry Potter series finishing? IT IS STILL STUCK IN MY HEAD. Then, Maureen Johnson was walking on the stage! I was going to go to a Maureen Johnson event a couple of months ago but couldn't go in the end which I was a little upset about so having her there, in front of me was a bit surreal. So there was John Green, Hank Green and Maureen Johnson all on the stage with Maureen asked questions to the Greens. The talk closed with John and Hank Green singing I Would Walk 500 Miles by The Proclaimers which was funny with their American accents and the whole crowd's English accent over the top.

I did manage a sneaky shot as they started the 
signing in better lighting. 
 I didn't get to meet in person John Green (I was sitting near the back and they started with the balcony and we knew it would take ages and we had a signed book already anyway!) but I am so, so glad I was one of the lucky ones able to attend the event. It was one of the best afternoons I've had and I don't think I've laughed so much in 90 minutes. John Green is someone entirely special to me and many others. His books just make me feel like I'm not the only person in the world feeling like his characters do, that reading should be encouraged rather than discouraged with its association with geekiness. Not only have I loved all the Green books I've read, but they've also helped me forge friendships with others. I first realised my friend, Emma and I's common interest in books when I noticed Emma was reading The Fault in Our Stars under the desk in an English class. And when our English teacher showed a video about The Great Gatsby with John Green in and Emma and I were the only ones to shout 'That's John Green!'. The friend I went to the event with, Ellie, one of the first topics we talked about when we first met in Classics last year was John Green's book when I saw her reading one. My first John Green book, Looking for Alaska, was given to me by my best friend. John Green's books unites everyone - bloggers, nerdfighters, friends - which showed me that you're never alone.
If you haven't read The Fault In Our Stars yet, you need to right now. I have never read anything so perfect.


Me with my proud Waterstones bag
My signed book with John Green's signature
and a Hankler fish! 

3 comments:

  1. Brilliant post, Rebecca! The event was one of the best afternoons of my life too. I felt so lucky to be there with other nerdfighters.. it was an amazing experience!
    I'm glad you had a fantastic time :) <3

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  2. Rebecca, please don't feel bad! I'm just happy to live the event through other people's posts and tweets. It's so awesome that you got The Fault in Our Stars signed! Being in the same room as three such amazing people must have been so great. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca! :)

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  3. Great post, Rebecca, and you lucky, lucky girl! I'm glad you got to go this event and that you had the good fortune to see Maureen Johnson after all. Good for you :)

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