Day 1 of BEA, aka WHAT DO I DO WITH MYSELF day.
*I also remembered to put links with names in this post, so you can find everyone I met easily. :D*
Even though the floor didn’t open until 1 p.m., I needed to go in early to get a ticket for Scotty McCreery’s signing (and the place for that opened at 11). I think most of us got up early anyway, to get lunch before we got too busy to eat (because seriously, you do not eat lunch during these days). After I got my ticket and we all got our passes, the group broke off to do just that. But Shannon and I (and I can’t remember if anyone else came with us) didn’t want to go, so we stayed and went to Starbucks for coffee because Shannon cannot function without coffee. :p While there, we met up with Karen from KissinBlueKaren, and her daughter, Belle. I was so happy I was able to meet both of them! We got to chill with them quite a bit throughout BEA. Mishma also joined us after her Blogger panel got done. After awhile, we decided it was probably time to line up. Except…. the line consisted of a mob toward the entrance. Karen mentioned a quieter line at the other side of registration (and somehow a few of our group members managed to get in early before it officially opened. LOL), but I wanted to stay where I was because the booth I needed to go to first was a straight shot. But I underestimated how long it would take to get into the exhibit hall.
I should’ve just gone with either of the groups, because I didn’t get the thing I wanted anyway, and then I was left wandering around for like 20 minutes by myself. (I got the sampler package the next day, though, so YAY!). But for real, being alone at the start of it was AWFUL. In the beginning, when the crowds have soared through the entrance, it’s insane. SO overwhelming. People are already shoving their way through to get book drops. It’s a mob mentality! And I had felt panicky after the disaster at Little Brown (basically everyone wanted to go there first too, which I wasn’t expecting), and I didn’t know what to do. But I did grab The Secret Keepers before leaving. Then I wandered, trying to get my bearings straight, trying to not let myself get too overwhelmed by it all. I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE TO GO. Eventually I made my way over to Penguin, because I knew I wanted to grab How to Hang a Witch. I also picked up A Deadly Affection when it dropped at Sourcebooks. And when I was still around Sourcebooks, I saw Danielle from Love at First Page coming through the booth, and stopped her because obviously. Last year, we only had a few minutes to hug and get a picture, and I only ever saw her in passing after that. (I spent a lot of time with her this BEA, though, which was WONDERFUL!). After chatting with Danielle for a few minutes, I think I finally found Shannon? I don’t know, but I grabbed the book I wanted. While there, I found Nikki from There Were Books Involved hanging around Penguin!
I chatted with her for a few seconds (wish it had been longer!), and then I remembered Shannon telling me that Scholastic had dropped books, and I practically dragged her back over there so I could get The Forgetting. I also picked up The Scourge. I’ve wanted to try more MG novels, and this had been on my interested list, and I didn’t know if I could get to the signing on a different day. Somehow, Shannon and I managed to find ourselves near the Holiday House booth. There, we both talked to the publicists! I’m so proud of us. Haha. The one girl was super nice and friendly to me, and she asked for my business card, so yes I can say that I gave one out to at least one publicist! :D I found out that The Kingdom of Ash and Briars was actually marketed wrong. It’s YA, and not MG. She also totally sold me on The Devil’s Banshee, which is the 3rd book in a series (but can be read as a standalone. I think.). I was still only with Shannon at this time, and I'm certain we made our way back to Penguin for the A Shadow Bright and Burning drop? I really don’t remember (this day was a serious blur in my memory), but I know we eventually went over there because we figured the line would start fairly early for this one.
There was no one around, or at least, no line had formed. But there was a space near Penguin to sit, and we were tired. (Seriously, if you can sit at any point in time during BEA, fucking DO IT OR YOUR FEET WILL HATE YOU LATER). Pretty sure the rest of the squad members joined us after awhile (Val, Nori, Rashika, Mishma, CJ, and Kalli). While there, we realized that at Penguin Canada, the dog who can surf and his owner were around! So obviously we all had to take turns seeing and petting the precious puppy. HE WAS SO ADORABLE, I HAD TO TAKE A PICTURE.
Suddenly, I heard a voice shout. Gillian from Writer of Wrongs had somehow seen my tote bag among the ones surrounding me. Why would she shout about it, you ask? I have her Gansey, Blue, and the Pig design on the tote bag! And btw, here is the link for it because you need it on something in your life. So her freaking out about seeing it in person was so cute, haha, and the person standing next to her was happy about it too. AND THEN I REALIZED IT WAS MEG FROM CUDDLEBUGGERY. I adore Meg, so I immediately said hi to her and introduced myself to them. They were with a huge group, and among them was Lindsey from Bring My Books. I was able to grab a quick hug from her before we all realized the line was starting to form for the Penguin drop. I was so glad I met all 3 of them in the span of 10 minutes, because they were some of the bloggers on my I-need-to-meet-them-at-BEA mental list. When I got my copy of the book, I raced over to the autographing area (I think I was the only one in our group who used it on Wednesday. LOL) for Scotty’s signing. I was like the 4th or 5th person in line, which I wasn’t expecting because he’s, you know, a celeb.
ANYWAY. When I met him, I had NO IDEA what to say! Like omg he is one of the country music artists I adore. AND HE IS SO FLIPPING CUTE AND HIS DEEP VOICE IS SEXY AF. I introduced myself and explained that the book was for my mom. I told him that I loved his music, and he was all like, thank you! And then he asked me if they were treating me well here (which I took to mean the people at BEA in general), and I said yes. He was super humble, and even though it was only like 30 seconds, I can tell he’s a really down-to-earth individual. And though he’s a celebrity, his signing and line were very casual and chill. I liked that! I was also crazy happy that one of the women helping out with the signing asked if I wanted a picture. And I was like OH YES PLEASE.
OH MY GOD MY FAAAAVE
After that, I quickly went over to the Little Brown booth. They were having a dice game for a bunch of their ARCS (which grrr I just wanted ONE book that I didn’t even get, but it’s okay, because I got it the next day :D). Oh, and when I met up with my squad members again (where? I have no idea anymore), I realized I missed a Harper drop for two of the books I really wanted (thankfully they had drops everyday, and I was able to grab them on Thursday!). At some point, I had my only OH SHIT WHERE IS MY PHONE panic moment. Major props to Val for dealing with me during that trying time! (Girl should get a medal for some of the things we all put her through, tbh). The Graces had dropped at the Abrams booth too, one of the books I’m more excited to read than the rest! And then we basically all spent the rest of the day creeping around the Harper booth for the next two BIG drops. I picked up Replica, Disruption (which I’m thankful Shannon said I would want because I wasn’t originally going to grab it), Three Dark Crowns, and Spare and Found Parts. Harper pretty much hated everyone by the end of this. WHOOPS.
When we got back to the hotel, we decided to chill for nearly an hour before heading out to dinner. I *almost* did not want to go because it was another night of my feet screaming at me to sit down and rest. (I was seriously not a fun person to be around when I was hungry/exhausted/hurting, so apologies to my roommates and the squad who had to deal with my complaining, like a lot. Love you guys. <3) BUT Rashika had picked out a nice restaurant and I had so badly wanted to see The Bean while I was in Chicago. What’s The Bean, you ask? IT’S ONLY THE COOLEST THING EVER.
If you can’t appreciate this, I have nothing to say to you
I did not like the dinner I had (I’m a very picky eater, so trying new things is nearly ALWAYS a miss for me), but I loved walking around Millennium Park and seeing all of the things there. And taking pictures, because OBVIOUSLY, that was a must. It was a really fun adventure for the first night of BEA! :)
This was not at the park, but I wanted to take a picture of the view from the subway platform!
I, um, don’t remember what this was called, but it looked cool
It was WAY prettier lit up at night!!
The Bean selfie was a must! (also ugh I suck at selfies)
When we got back to the hotel, we just hung out even though we were all tired. Rashika came up to our room a little later by herself, and we decided to FaceTime with Larissa. Larissa was originally going to be part of our squad, but she unfortunately had to back out. I was super sad I didn’t get to meet her, but having a bit of time to talk to her with Rashika, Val, and Shannon was so wonderful! Of course, it was after midnight (probably around 1 or 2, tbh), before we all finally said goodnight. There is just not enough time in the world during BEA week, so you make the most of it, no matter how much sleep you lose or how badly your feet are hurting! IT IS WORTH IT ALL!
Tomorrow I'll be recapping Thursday, which will probably be an even longer post, honestly, considering all that went down and how much I did. I know I talk in heavy detail, but I hope you guys still like it! I keep a lot of it to myself bc precious memories, but I still have so much to say about it. So I really hope you guys don't mind the length of these posts. :)