A Young Adult “Ulysses”: Kelly Talks about Literature and “The Fault in Our Stars”

This is not a review! The Bibliomantics reviewed this in our book club on Feb 4th. This is in fact a poorly formed essay on the wonderful references and challenges to literature that is the backbone of The Fault in Our Stars. I didn’t want to hijack the aforementioned review, and have decided to write a separate entry. So, obviously, this is going to contain MASSIVE SPOILERS. And me blathering about capital “L” Literature in an overly-excited fashion.

You’ve been warned.

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Bibliomantic Book Club: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Genre: young adult fiction, heart break and despair, love and affirmation

Summary: Hazel Lancaster is depressed, spending her days watching reality TV marathons and avoiding interaction with others. Though you might be depressed too if you were dying. Hazel has Stage IV thyroid cancer, and despite a drug that keeps her alive, her prognosis has not changed. She’s terminal, so she’s entitled to some America’s Next Top Model.

Her mother, however, has other plans. She forces Hazel to attend a support group, held in a church basement with other kids who are in varied stages of cancer. These excursions are tortuous, and do little to help. This changes the day Augustus Waters rests his blue eyes on Hazel. What follows is a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, and human look at these two teenagers who exist in the in-between. 

The anticipation for this book started way back at LeakyCon, where The Katherine read us the first chapter aloud. It slowly built up over the months, with the cover being released, excerpts from the second chapter revealed. John Green’s sharpied face filled our monitors, a reminder of the signed copies that were somewhere waiting for us. It reached a fever pitch the week before its release. Preparations for the Tour de Nerdfighting filled our feeds, and people made memes of Rafiki presenting a copy of TFIOS to the African safari. Could this book possibly be everything we built it up to be?

The simple answer: Yes.
A suggestion: Get your tissues out now.

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We’re All Going to Die: Kelly Covers the 2012 Tour de Nerdfighting

Who: John and Hank Green
Symphony Space, NYC
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
: To promote his new, shiny novel The Fault in Our Stars, John Green is travelling around America in a van. Well, all the non-snowy parts of America. And the van is huge and emblazoned with his name (with Hank’s much smaller underneath – younger siblings always get second billing!). Essentially, they’re like rockstars… but smart, and with sock puppets and modest costume changes.

We of course had to be there. Sadly, Cassie-wa was unable to attend (since she has that pesky thing called a job) so I brought my younger sister Breanna along. All Vlogbrother fans, we were thrilled to see them (and also happy that John was not in an Orlando hospital, à la LeakyCon). The very boisterous crowd was filled with many teens wearing varied nerdfighteria gear, fezzes, and Harry Potter colors. We had our signed copies of TFIOS (each with a Hanklerfish!) in hand, programs out, and cameras at the ready. The curtain was drawn up, revealing a puppet stage, out of which emerged an arm covered with a bespectacled argyle sock. The New York stop of the Tour de Nerdfighting had officially begun.

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