The air around me was buzzing with anticipation. Surrounded by teenagers chatting animatedly, I felt like I belonged there among the crowd, even though I was currently standing alone.
I glanced at the time. Just over an hour to go. Hugging my small stack of books to my chest, I looked up at the sky, scrutinizing the thick clouds. Maybe I should have brought a raincoat after all.
My feet were starting to ache from standing for so long and the wind was freezing. But my discomfort was easily overlooked as I excitedly considered that I was finally here. I had been looking forward to this day for weeks.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
Slightly startled, I glanced up to find a girl with long bright red hair and warm smile standing in front of me. She introduced herself as Maggie, and the blonde, shyer girl next to her as Teal. They were from Olympia in southern Washington state, several hours’ drive away from the bookstore we were gathered outside of.
Before long we were talking like old friends, geeking out together over the fact that we were finally here. Soon others joined in our conversation and I found myself among a large group of thrilled teenagers. Even though none of us knew each other and came from a wide range of backgrounds, we all had one thing in common that linked us together: a mutual love for John Green and his books. And we were about to meet him.
John Green is one of the most popular and talked about young adult authors of our generation. In the past eight years, he has released five best selling YA books, two of which have made the New York Times Bestseller list. Additionally, he collaborates with his brother Hank to produce VlogBrothers, a popular YouTube video blog series. This past March the channel passed one million subscribers.
Green’s latest book, The Fault in our Stars, is currently being adapted into a movie. Staring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, the film is set to release on June 6th, 2014.
While the young adult fiction genre makes most people cringe, don’t write off Green’s novels just yet. His books are witty, relatable, and leave a lasting impression; they easily stand out among the shallow vampire romances and numerous dystopian fantasies crowding the shelves of Barnes and Noble’s young adult section.
As I waited in line that day, I felt like I was part of something big, something important.
We weren’t just a group of fans; we were a community.
When it finally came time to actually meet him, I’ll admit I was a little star struck. As I approached the table, I nervously handed him my copies of his books and thanked him for inspiring me to take up writing. I told him that I even wanted to write my own book someday. With a huge smile, he thanked me for coming to the event and signed his name on the title page of each book with a flourish.
Yes, the whole event was more than a little nerdy, but I enjoyed every second of it. Spending time among a group of people passionate about the same things as me was encouraging and exciting, and meeting John Green is an experience I’ll never forget. Next time I have the chance to meet an author I admire, I definitely won’t pass it up.
Featured photo: http://goo.gl/DBaWsW