By: Kylie Widseth
It’s quite remarkable to me that, yet again, I’ve been in the presence of one of my favorite authors, but somehow it keeps happening.
I had the amazing privilege to attend the book tour of the one, the only, John Green for his latest novel, Turtles All the Way Down. (Please don’t ask me if I’ve read it yet. I have a very busy life, and I want to give it the adequate time that it deserves.) I can still hardly believe that I can say I have been in the same room as not only one of my favorite storytellers, but also one of my all-around favorite people.
Oh yeah, his brother, Hank Green was there too, and that was quite a treat. The pure bond between those two is really fun to witness. At one point, he even came out in a turtle costume, but he also played some music.
The event was held at Hank’s high school, Winter Park High School, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that the venue itself added to the experience of the event. It was obviously very nostalgic for Hank to visit a place that he hadn’t been in for 20 years.
I also got interviewed before the event by the high school broadcasters there because I was guilty wearing an “Okay? Okay.” shirt. I was quite literally wearing my allegiances on my sleeves. But hey, when else can you fully appreciate this novel than at an event. I’m also still knocking myself because right off-the-bat they asked me how John Green has impacted my life. Phew. That’s quite a loaded question and one, to be honest, that I have never fully processed, believe it or not. I know he’s impacted me in an incredible amount of ways, but I’ve never thought about it outright, and I also don’t think I could ever adequately explain it even if I tried. But, on a side note, I’m also pretty mad that I didn’t mention that I named my dog Hazel after Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars. It’s also quite ironic that she embodies this character in so many ways. Most specifically, she is incredibly sassy. In my defense, they didn’t even prepare me for this type of question, they just fired away with probably the hardest question they could have asked.
It’s amazing to me just how successful Hank and John both are from their podcast, to their YouTube channel, to their Crash Course videos, Hank’s music, John’s writing, and the list could go on and on. I want to be even half as successful as they are, and I will be satisfied with my life.
I was thinking during the show about how nice it was to be laughing about things John was saying instead of crying like his books are known to do. But then he goes and does some pretty emotional things and says some things to make me emotional. (I don’t want to fully go into detail because it’s an a) kind of had to be there thing and b) I don’t want to ruin the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.) But just the idea that he can have me laughing one minute to crying the next just speaks volumes about his way with words, and the way he crafts what he says.
I could go on for ages about the show, but all around, I was incredibly pleased with the event, and I’m so glad I was finally able to say that I’ve seen Hank and John. It’s also still incredibly weird for me to process that John Green finally has a new book out.
Now, excuse me, while I go read Turtles All the Way Down.