Right now I’m reading The Catcher in the Rye (yes, for the first time), and yesterday I came across this sentence: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” And that’s when I realized that Holden Caulfield knows what it’s like to read a John Green book.
I read my first John Green book freshman year of high school, and I’m sad to say that it did not change my life. In fact, it wasn’t even all that memorable to be honest with you. Five years later, all I remember about An Abundance of Katherines is an overweight best friend and an affinity for replacing the f-word with “fug.” Then last year, when his newest book, The Fault in Our Stars, was being released, my world was changed. This book was everywhere; I couldn’t go anywhere on the Internet without hearing about how wonderful it was or how amazing John Green is. I had seen a few of John’s videos before this, but I had not yet immersed myself into the realm of Nerdfighteria.
Realizing that I wouldn’t be able to avoid spoilers much longer, and seeing as how I was intrigued with all the excitement surrounding the book, I did what any good, broke college student would do- I found a pdf version of the book online and began reading.
I hate reading on a computer screen, but I finished that
book pdf file in less than 24 hours, half of it spent sitting out in the sun (yes I had the sunburn to prove it.) And I finally understood what all the fuss was about. TFiOS was beautiful, wonderful, amazing, everything people had said it was. But this post isn’t about The Fault in Our Stars, although it is a great book that is definitely worth your time. This post is about the mastermind behind it. A big part of the storyline of this book revolves around an author that the main character, Hazel, wants to meet. However, when she finally does meet Peter van Houten, he less than lives up to the expectations she has built up for him. I have no doubts whatsoever that meeting John Green would not only meet but exceed all of my greatest expectations. Why am I so sure?
Well here’s a good place to start: Vlogbrothers. In 2007, the Green brothers, Hank and John (pictured left) decided they would go a year without communicating by text, and video blog each other ever day for the duration of 2007. I had seen some of these videos on and off, depending on which ones peaked my interest, but recently I decided to go through and watch them from start to finish. It’s a big task to take on, considering that they still post videos daily, but when you’re watching it’s like you’re conversing with two of your best friends. You get to know their lives and their personalities, their likes and dislikes, and you come to love the Green brothers and their love for each other and their Nerdfighters (Nerdfighters is what they call their “followers.” Basically, we’re made of awesome.) John, the elder lit nerd, and Hank, the younger science/computer geek. Together they created Brotherhood 2.0 and thousands of videos for your viewing pleasure. They have also created many spin-off channels, my favorite of which is Crash Course. Here the Green brothers upload short, informative videos about everything from the Civil War to the endocrine system. Sometimes in fifteen minutes or less I can learn more about a subject than I can in a 50 minute class.
Not only is John Green active on YouTube, but also on other social medias, including Twitter and Tumblr. I think this is the way of the future. People love the feeling that they’re connected to the figures they look up to and respect. Being connected to the Green’s in the same ways that I’m connected to my own friends helps give me that feeling that Holden so eloquently describes, and I know that if I called up John Green that he would be a terrific friend of mine.