The day readers have been waiting for all summer is finally here! Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman hit bookstores Tuesday, and everyone is going wild. Published 55 years after her iconic To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee's latest novel has dredged up a great deal of excitement, angst, and controversy since the announcement of the book back in February. The controversy has included concern about Lee's state of mind at age 88 and the motives of her publishers and agents, as well as controversy over the depiction of To Kill a Mockingbird hero Atticus Finch as racist in the new book.
But despite all of the controversy, midnight bookstore releases, long lines, and marathon reads are keeping bookstores busy. It's almost surreal to see so much excitement over a book that doesn't involve vampires or wizards. But sure enough, grown folk are blowing off work and swarming bookstores like it's Black Friday. #GoSetAWatchman is trending on Twitter, and readers across the Internet are treating the day like a national holiday (it does also happen to be Bastille Day, but I'm pretty sure everyone's too nose deep in Watchman to remember...). But seriously, people are actually calling today "Harper Lee Day."
So, if everything seems eerily silent today (save the bookstore mobs), or the office is bizarrely empty, don't worry, it's not the apocalypse... it's just that half the population of the U.S. is locked away in their homes tearing through Go Set a Watchman.
But not everybody's anxiously waiting with their faces pressed up against the windows the nearest bookstore. Some folk are wringing their hands over the new racist side of fan favorite Atticus Finch that Watchman reveals:
For others... it's just kind of hilarious/ridiculous:
And with rumors about a third Harper Lee book circulating, some are throwing a mean side-eye at the Harper Lee's attorneys and publishers, whom they feel have taken advantage of an elder Lee:
But for others, Scout is where the love is and they're just happy to have her in all her quirkiness back (even if it's kind weird to see her all grown up!):
For some, words just weren't enough to express the sheer overwhelming joy of this day.
It was a lifetime wait for this southern woman:
Things have gotten so crazy that people are comparing today to a Harry Potter release...only with a lot more adults.
...which means adult beverages are totally a legit way to celebrate, right?
And they're not too far off, I mean... who knew there'd be Go Set A Watchman cosplay? And sweet tea... in Illinois??
But whether you're thrilled or disappointed or even somewhat offended at the release of Go Set A Watchman, you've gotta admit, it's pretty insane that one author can cause such a stir after 50 years of silence.