Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BEA Recap: Saturday + Giveaway!

Saturday was BookCon day!! I didn’t go either days last year, but since my pass included BookCon, I thought: why not?! Since I’d stayed up so late the night before, though, I decided to sleep in. Haha. I woke up EARLY but heard about the lines and I was like, hell if I’m doing that right now. By the time I FINALLY made it over to the convention center with Rashika, the party was well underway. We headed over to Harper’s booth since Rashika wanted to meet Heather Doss and ask about her charms (and fangirl over Pax with her :p), I just went along. I literally had nothing to do, especially since I didn’t get a wristband for Laini Taylor’s signing later in the day, and there were like no drops happening. I do regret not meeting Laini when I had the chance, since she had been walking around during BEA at one point too, and I could’ve gotten up earlier and waited in line. BUT I WANTED SLEEP. Wah. It’s okay. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet her at a different time; it was just sad because I’d talked about her signing being my #1 priority at BookCon a lot, and then it didn’t happen. But I did have SUCH a fun day, regardless!

Earlier in the morning, I had been tweeting with Zoey from Uncreatively Zoey because I had wanted to meet up with her. Little did I know I’d spend basically the whole day with her and Rashika! I’m so happy I got to meet Zoey, who is so lovely and fun. It was a blast! After, I think we wandered a bit after we left the Harper booth, saw Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman in the crowd, and eventually we found Sarah from The YA Book Traveler. Sarah’s another one of my fave Michigan bloggers, and in general, human beings. We were able to talk for a little bit and we definitely had to get a picture together (which you can see in Sarah’s recap of BookCon). She also mentioned to us that Victoria Aveyard and Susan Dennard were hanging out around Disney, so when we parted with Sarah, we definitely had to go creep on these two authors. Rashika asked them if we could get pictures, and they were totally cool about it. EXCEPT MINE DISAPPEARED FOREVER. The woman who was with them was so sweet about taking them for us, but she only took one of me and them, and somehow it got deleted from my phone. I don’t know how or why, and I was definitely really upset about it. The worst part is that it never showed up in my “recently deleted” folder, so I’ve no idea what the fuck happened to it. SO MUCH SADNESS. :(

None of us really had anything to do after that until the Foxheart drop. I was stoked that I’d seen Claire Legrand tweeting about it like either that morning or the day before, and it was pretty much my only priority book to get. But beforehand, Rashika, Zoey, and I decided to check out the Epic Reads lounge and chill and get off our feet (because boy, mine were hurting after all the walking I’d done in the last few days). We got some cute little goodies, and we didn’t talk to anyone else there (a lot of people took advantage of a comfy place to wait things out!), but it was nice to just sit down for a bit. When it was time to start heading back to Harper, we got there and like casually hung out until the line started. Haha. Nori joined us at some point, as well as a friend of hers. I had thought this was a drop for Foxheart BUT IT WASN’T. It was a spin-the-wheel type of game! I was like SHIT. Legit only wanted one book, and I was nervous I wouldn’t get it. And I had been talking about it SO much. LOL. Good thing I had friends watching my back. ;) But it didn’t matter anyway because I landed on the jackpot square and got four books! (I ended up leaving two of them sitting on a table in Simon & Schuster’s booth so hopefully someone wanted them and picked them up). I kept Frazzled, though, because it sounds so cute.

We had some time before Morgan Matson’s ice cream social, so we found a space near the entrance to chill. And Shannon finally made her over from the hotel. Hahaha. It had been a chaotic morning for all of us, and I had to say goodbye to Val then, and THAT HAD SUCKED. I knew goodbyes were coming up, but I didn’t want them. And I didn’t want to think about it. LUCKILY, some of us still had some time left together. <3 We were some of the first people at Simon’s booth for the ice cream social, and there I saw Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) for the last time. (SO MANY LAST TIMES, SNIFFS). But getting to meet Morgan Matson and getting a wonderful picture with her was awesome! And so was the ice cream, because that’s obviously like the most important part here. :D
this is seriously one of my fave author + me photos ever

We said goodbye to Nori while there because we knew we wouldn’t see her again. *sobs* Then we made our way over to Penguin for the last thing I wanted to do, which was meet Ruta Sepetys (thank goodness I didn’t need a wristband for this). We were some of the first people in line for it, and we just waited out the time beforehand by chatting and saying goodbye to Mishma. Such bittersweet moments, and it’s so hard when you only have a few short days with your friends. IT’S NOT ENOUGH. *wonders why we all have to live so far away from each other* OKAY, I WILL STOP.  IT JUST ALWAYS MAKES ME SAD.

Meeting Ruta Sepetys was one of my favorite moments of the whole week! I’ve loved all 3 of her books, and I’ve always wanted to meet her, and I missed my chance when she was in Michigan back in February. So this was amazing! I told her I loved her books, and she seemed super surprised I read Between Shades of Gray for fun and not like for school. But I said I love WWII fiction. She was so sweet. And then I asked if we could get a quick picture, because it was a must! :D

After the signing, it was time for Rashika and I to head out! We said ANOTHER goodbye, but this time to Zoey. And then it took us awhile to get our bags situated and leave the hotel, but we did it (and said goodbye to Shannon before we left her there). We just didn’t give ourselves quite enough time to eat beforehand, but that’s okay, because I couldn’t think about eating. The train station was SO crowded, and I was super nervous about the fact that I was pretty sure my suitcase was over the 50 lbs limit. Rashika and I parted ways, and the guy who helped me lift the suitcase up the stairs was like “You’re pushing it” and I was just thinking something along the lines of SHUT THE FUCK UP I DON’T CARE. I made sure to NOT let him take the suitcase when I got off at Kalamazoo because I did not want to hear another comment. I literally dragged it down the steps and almost broke the wheels off, but I was not having it. The train ride itself was uneventful. I had to sit with someone and keep my suitcase from moving where it was right in front of me, but it worked (and the lady next to me was really nice about it all). When I got to the station, my aunt, uncle, and cousin were waiting for me!

I talked to them about the event a little bit while we got back to their house. (It’s so weird and honestly how do you explain what the book conference really entails?? And why you would go?? And now I feel like everyone knows about my blog. Haha). I could’ve stayed the night, but I really did just want to go home, and my aunt understood that, so my cousin rode up with us. (They have a place to stay near our house, so it wasn’t a big deal). I basically COLLAPSED when I got back. I was so tired, but I was also wired up, and I immediately started sorting my books and petting them and such because obviously. I still haven’t fully unpacked yet, and I don’t really have anywhere else for my BEA books, so they’re still in my suitcase. Someday this summer I will get around to cleaning/organizing/culling my bookshelves. But it is not this day. :p (If you get this reference, we should be friends).

Enter to win a BEA prize pack consisting of these two ARCs:
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I’ve read them both but now I want to pass them along to someone else. :) This is US only, unfortunately! And you must abide by the rules, no cheating, you know, the usual. Good luck!! :D

Monday, May 30, 2016

BEA Recap: Friday

Friday was my chill and relaxing day. Because I got most of the books I wanted during the last two days, there wasn’t much on my list. So I decided to head into McCormick a little later (I think everyone but Shannon and I were already there because they wanted to get tickets). I did want to get a ticket for Alexandra Bracken’s signing, but I figured not as many people would want one because a) she was signing finished copies of Passenger, and b) there were other BIG name authors signing the same day. I underestimated how many people would want to go to her signing, because when I got down there a little after 8, the tickets were out! I was understandably devastated, but it was my fault for not going in earlier. When Shannon and I were walking over to the quieter entrance to wait, we found Danielle (Love at First Page) and Sabrina (The Forest of Words and Pages) sitting on the ground, who told us that we weren’t allowed to line up yet. So we decided to join them! And there I met Wendy from Book Scents and Rebecca from Unbound Pages. We waited with them before the place opened, which was super fun!

When we were allowed on the floor, my first stop was Penguin’s booth to line up for the drop for The Sun Is Also a Star. Nicola had a signing later in the day, but I knew there was no way I’d make it to that (especially since Penguin had other signings going on then too). While we were waiting, some of the squad members met up with us. And CJ asked if anyone wanted some of her ticket passes. One of them was for Alexandra’s! I WAS LIKE OMG ARE YOU SURE I CAN HAVE THIS?? Guys, CJ is the actual best. Not only had I had no clue how I would spend my time (since I had like nothing until 12:30), but I got to meet Alex again thanks to her! <333 The wait for her signing wasn’t long, and I had no idea what to say to her when I went up there, because obviously we met at BEA last year, but I was thinking she definitely wouldn’t remember me. BUT SHE DID! She totally recognized me. And I was like, “YEAH! I was at your Passenger signing last year.” I told her it had been my first BEA read when I got home, and that I loved it. She talked about the changes and said she couldn’t wait to hear what I thought of them. And I guess I was fiddling with my phone (lolol no idea why honestly), so she asked if I wanted to get a picture. I said yes, even though I suck at selfies. But to my utter delight, my selfie game was fairly on point! :D
My faaaaave selfie with an author

After that, I went over to see how my friends were faring in the Maggie Stiefvater line. I found Shannon and shared my awesome experience with Alex, and then I went over and sat down and waited for her to get done. I honestly have NO idea what we did next. Seriously. I know at some point I picked up Phantom Limbs from Candlewick Press. I also met up with Nori at some point too, and she took me over to Harper so I could get a cute little charm from Heather Doss. She’d been handing them out throughout the week, and I obvs asked for a fox one. :D But the rest is a blur. OH! I do remember we went to Starbucks (again) because Shannon needed coffee and I wanted a donut. Rashika found us there, and we waited out the time before my signing. Then I met up with Val because she wanted the book too. Kerri is SO nice and she was so excited (I’m pretty sure this was her first ever signing). Stalking Jack the Ripper is one of the books I seriously cannot wait to read! I really hope I love it.

Before the signing, we’d been hearing how huge the line was for A Torch Against the Night already. Sabaa’s signing time wasn’t even close, but it was already packed near Penguin and the publicists HAD to get the line situated and in order. I was nervous because I really, really wanted Torch but I was sure I was too late. But we went over there anyway because most of my friends wanted Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (whose signing started a half hour after Sabaa’s). And I was right, there was no way I was getting in that line for Torch. But when we found Shannon around Penguin waiting for David’s line to form, she gave me her spot for Torch because SHE IS THE SWEETEST. I’m so thankful Shannon did that (and that she got her own copy of the book later in the day). I also grabbed a ticket for David’s signing for Larissa. Since she couldn’t go, I had wanted to get her SOMETHING, and it was perfect how this happened, and I was able to surprise her with KoA.

SABAA IS THE COOLEST, GUYS. She thought she recognized me when it was my turn (but there’s no way because we haven’t met. UNLESS she recognized me from my Twitter photo?? Idk. I mean, I have tweeted about Ember news every single time there’s been news, so THAT COULD BE IT. But I don’t really think I’m that memorable, haha). Anyway! She was funny and nice, and I’m so glad I got to meet her! I tried to be funny, all like, “well hey now you can say you’ve met me!” (I tried. I’m so awkward with authors). I’m just happy I didn’t say anything embarrassing. HAHA. But I have a picture to cherish forever:

Afterward, I met David, and then I headed over to the Gemina line, which had started around 12 (but the drop wasn’t actually happening until 3. Haha, we bookworms are devoted!). I kinda wish I hadn’t been running around and I could’ve just sat and talked with everyone while we waited. BUT AH WELL. CJ mentioned to us earlier that she’d been saving all of us spots, so we found her and settled down. Jay Kristoff was around and people were going up to him and asking for pictures and I HAD THOUGHT ABOUT DOING THAT but was too shy. The wait wasn’t too long, and it was fun to just sit and chill for a bit, especially because there were so many bloggers I knew around (I didn’t talk to any of them though, because I SUCK). I did have another quick chat with Danielle (I saw her so freaking much throughout BEA, it’s so funny!), which was the last time I’d see her that week. SADNESS. And then it was time to move the line and get ready for the drop. Jay was still around, so he took out his phone and shot a video of the Gemina line. YOU CAN TOTALLY SEE ME IN HERE, GUYS.

Once the drop was finished (AND I HAD THE PRECIOUS IN MY HANDS), that was it. None of us had anything else to do, except CJ, who went to a panel. Someone took the lead and dragged us around to the booths one last time (well, only the few of us who were around and ready to go back to the hotel that is, haha), and I’m super glad about it because there were some copies of Leave Me still lying around. After that, we went back to the hotel. Val, Shannon, and I spent a lot of time talking and debating whether or not to go to the blogger dinner we had signed up for. In the end, the three of us decided to head out alone for dinner instead. (I don’t regret that decision, but I did miss seeing some bloggers who were gonna be there). I think honestly we just wanted some time alone, and none of us were really up for socializing in a big group. Before we all went our separate ways though, we said goodbye to CJ and Amber and HAD to get a group picture for the last time (or the only time really, tbh). I also got a message from Sabrina that she was hanging out with Sara from The Hiding Spot, and I was like OMG I WILL BE RIGHT DOWN DON’T MOVE. Sara’s one of the fab Michigan bloggers I adore talking to on Twitter, so it was absolutely awesome to be able to meet her in real life (and she’s just as sweet as she on social media).

Eventually Val, Shannon, and I got an uber and made our way to Lou Malnati's. Except… we totally weren’t thinking about the crowds or needing a reservation, so we ended up heading elsewhere as it started to rain. EXCEPT THAT PLACE WAS NO GOOD EITHER. We did finally find a place, which did have a wait, but luckily it was only a few minutes for us (and we were willing to wait to NOT have to walk anymore :p). Dinner was amazing. Well, the company. The food, not so much ;) I am honestly so jealous of you all who had good food because I did NOT. I did *like* the deep dish, but I wasn’t a big fan, and probably will never have it again in my life. When we got back to the hotel, we made plans with Sabrina to chill in the room and have a little drinking party. I FINALLY found a wine I liked, and I also may or may not have gotten tipsy for the first time ever. Hahahaha. Honestly, I’ve never truly been opposed to drinking. I just never really had anybody I was comfortable enough with, and I have never seen the appeal in getting drunk, either. But social, casual drinking? That’s fun! Especially if you have good friends and you know that even if you did something embarrassing or stupid, it would be fine. :D Around 2 a.m., I decided it was probably time to start packing, so that’s what I did. A little while later, the party stopped and I went to sleep (way later than I should have, but again, during BEA week you really don’t get sleep!).

To end this post, I wanted to share my whole book haul (minus the three I got at BookCon).
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day 1, day 2, happy hour, and day 3

Tomorrow will be my last BEA recap!! BookCon didn't go like I had planned, but well, when does anything ever? But it was so much fun. However, it also meant saying goodbye to everyone and that was hell. ANYWAY. The giveaway will start tomorrow too, so I hope you'll stick around. :D

Saturday, May 28, 2016

BEA Recap: Thursday

How the hall looks from the back, near the autographing area

This was the first full day of BEA, which meant getting up earlier and an even longer time waiting in lines and walking around the exhibit hall. Val, Kalli, and I headed in earlier than everyone else (I think Val wanted to get tickets for something). Thankfully the people there had figured out how to NOT create a mob again. They actually made lines for it, and we got spots decently close to the entrance. I was glad of it, because my first stop was Hachette and Little Brown for the Laini Taylor sampler packs again (remember, I had missed them yesterday). While we waited, the rest of the squad joined us, and I figured out my game plan. I was READY by the time 9 a.m. hit and everyone started filing into the hall.

I quickly went to Little Brown, and then I headed to Penguin because they had dropped Our Chemical Hearts. Kalli had been with me as we walked, but I lost her because I was in such a rush afterward to get over to the autographing area for Audrey Coulthurst’s signing. I figured there’d be a huge line for it, given how big Of Fire and Stars is already even though it doesn’t come out until November (BECAUSE F/F FANTASY ROMANCE, FTW). But maybe I overestimated it being big compared to other books at BEA, WHO KNOWS. The line was fairly short by the time I caught up to Mishma and we joined the people waiting. It was fun chatting with Mishma for a bit. I could’ve gone and gotten a ticket for Metaltown like I had originally planned on doing, but I decided against it. (I DNFed Glass Arrow a long time ago so it wasn’t a huge loss to miss this one). Basically today was the day for Macmillan ticket drops (which did not always go well, which you might have heard about on social media already).

After the signing, Mishma and I basically just wandered around. We really didn’t have anything to do. Jennifer Niven’s signing wasn’t until 1 p.m., and I knew I wasn’t gonna line up for that one until around 12:30. While we were near the Bloomsbury booth, Sabrina from The Forest of Words and Pages recognized me and said hi! I ADORE this lady, and I’m so glad I got to spend so much time with her throughout this week. We spent quite a bit of time chatting, and then we parted ways. (And I met up with her again later that day near the Disney booth anyway, which I am mentioning now because hell if I remember when that was). At some point, I picked up a copy of Girl in Pieces. I’m super stoked about this one! I’m pretty sure I also hopped in the line for a Bloomsbury drop of The Edge of Everything and Stealing Snow. (I *think* it was before Penguin’s signings. But oh well, if it wasn’t! It’s a lot to remember!) A few of my friends and I almost didn’t get them, after being told by a person in the line that they’d cut it off.  But someone talked to the actual publicists, and they were like, “well, they lied, because we didn’t do that.” Cheers to Bloomsbury’s wonderful publicists for keeping that line manageable! Finally, it was about time for us to go over to Penguin, because they were having ALL THE SIGNINGS EVER at the same time!

As soon as I got a ticket for Jennifer Niven’s signing, though, I left and joined the line for Tahereh Mafi’s. Since I met Jennifer last year at BEA, I really wanted to make sure I met Tahereh more than anything. So I stayed there, even though her signing started later than Jennifer’s. While there, I wish I would’ve spent time talking to Gillian (Writer of Wrongs), since she was right next to me. But I think I just needed a timeout, a break from the loud atmosphere. This was one of the few times I was by myself throughout the week, and I didn’t mind it so much. The curse of being an introvert! Danielle (Love at First Page) was walking by, and stopped to talk. She showed us a video she had of the Macmillan stampede of 2016! Seriously, everyone wanted tickets for Marissa Meyer and Sarah Porter’s signings, so I’m actually kinda glad I skipped out on going. Though, I am sad I missed my chance at Vassa in the Night, since it was one of those books I REALLY didn’t want to leave BEA without. But I didn’t linger too long on it, because the line started moving, and I was going to meet one of my fave authors!!

Unfortunately, they weren’t doing pictures (I do have one of her signing someone else’s book, though). The guy in front of me had somehow missed when they handed out tickets. I cannot remember where he’d gone, but he’d been there, and he still went up even though he wasn’t sure they would let him meet Tahereh without a ticket. I really, really wish I’d spoken up, something I regretted the instant I didn’t (I don’t know if I was really thinking at the time since all I could process was I’M GONNA MEET TAHEREH MAFI OMGGGG). BUT thankfully the second publicist said, “oh, that’s fine!” when the first said no, and he was able to keep going. And then it was my turn! Even if I’ve read and loved an author’s books, I still never really know what to say to them. If I say I loooove your books, it’s probably not going to make a memorable impression since that’s what I think most people say. But that’s what I did! She was so sweet about it, though, and I cannot WAIT to read Furthermore. Then I hopped back over in Jennifer Niven’s line. I am really… upset about it, because her publicist started chatting her up when it was my turn, and then she ignored me. After she signed my book, that was it. I was like SERIOUSLY???? SADFACE.

Afterward, I think I went to the Abrams booth because someone messaged me earlier that Maresi had been set out. I’d never heard of this book before it was announced in the PW article, but it sounds so good! And Nori told me it gave her Grave Mercy vibes, so I’m even more eager to read it. And then I headed back to Hatchette because they were handing out the books they’d had in the dice game the day before (and you didn’t have to play a game this time, thank God). I grabbed the only one I wanted, Frostblood. I set my things against the outside of a booth and then remembered that Val had mentioned something about not being able to get that book. The line had disappeared when I went up to the booth again. I was afraid they’d think I was greedy or something (if they remembered that I had juuuust been there), so I asked if it was okay to pick up the book for a friend. Then I met up with Val, Shannon, and Rashika as they got done with a signing at Macmillan. I gave Val her book, and then headed to Soho Teen’s booth (which was WAAAAAY over yonder) with Shannon and Rashika. Either that, or I met up with them since they were already there. WHO KNOWS?? I didn’t necessarily want Adam’s book, since I DNFed More Happy Than Not (PUT DOWN THE PITCHFORKS, PEOPLE :p). So I was gonna get it signed for Val, except she made it before it was our turn, so I gave her have my place in line and left for my own signing!

Let me just say how much I freaking HATE the way Harlequin does their signings! I wanted to meet Heather Graham, only one of my all-time favorite authors. Except… I didn’t realize that she was signing with FIVE other authors! ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Not only did I have to wait in line longer than I thought I would, I ended up having to get all 6 of the damn books there. For the record, yes, I could’ve said no. But how the hell do you look an author in the face and say you don’t want their book? UUUUUGH. It’s so fucking awkward. Luckily, all of them immediately asked whether or not I wanted the book signed or personalized, so I was able to get out of having my name in books I didn’t actually want. (I kept a few after I read the synopses, but the rest I put in the tote bags Rashika and I left in random places on BookCon day). Meeting Heather was so worth the extra worry over the signing, though. SO WORTH IT! I love her books so much, and she’s one of the authors I’ve been reading since I was in high school. I’m not caught up in the series of her newest release, Haunted Destiny, but I can’t wait to get back to it.

I wasn’t sure when I left the signing and moved onto Harper’s booth right next door whether or not I’d be able to get the drop I had missed on Wednesday. But I made it, yay! I grabbed The Female of the Species (MINDY MCGINNIS IS A FAVE OF MINE!!!!) and The Thousandth Floor. Afterward, I met up with the squad while they waited near Macmillan for the Flatiron Cocktail party. Bekka from Pretty Deadly Reviews was sitting next to us and waiting for it too, so I got to actually spend some time chatting with her before the party started. (We’d exchanged a quick greeting and hug before the OFAS signing earlier in the day, so it was really nice to just chat for a bit). It was super cool to be invited to something like this (even though I didn’t get a drink, waaah), and they gave out tote bags filled with four books (two of which I left sitting in a tote bag at BookCon too. Haha). And one of them was Caraval!!! I was so happy I got it so I wouldn’t have to fight for a ticket tomorrow morning for Stephanie’s signing. I also kept The Guineveres by Sarah Domet because it sounded interesting.

We had a little bit of time to chill when we got back to the hotel before Shannon and I needed to leave for Macmillan’s publisher party. Being invited to this was completely unexpected, and I spent so many days freaking out about it. What to wear, who will be there, telling myself to actually SOCIALIZE with people. And I did do that! A little bit. Hahahaha. I tried some white wine (too strong for me), and one of the bite-sized foods waiters were bringing around (it was gross, not eating that again). I had kind of thought they’d feed us more than that. Thanks, Mac! Shannon and I spent most of our time hanging out with Danielle and Mary from Mary Had a Little Book Blog!! I LOVE these ladies so much. They are fabulous and fun, and I’m so glad I got to meet Mary and spend time with Danielle again. We took some pictures in front of the infamous Fierce Reads backdrop. And I was pretty shy, so I mostly listened to the conversations, but I was laughing so much and it was one of my favorite moments from BEA 16. I also got to see Bekka AGAIN for a bit, and Gillian. I also met Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles, Katie from Katie’s Book Blog, and Katie from Polished Page Turners. And I FINALLY introduced myself to Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide, as well as formally introduced myself to Becca from Reading Teen, lololol. I met her and Brittany from Please Feed the Bookworm on Wednesday but never actually talked to her, so IT WAS A MUST, OKAY?! Haha, I pretty much spent my time with only a few bloggers. Next time (if there is a next time, of course), I’ll take advantage of the event and chat it up with the publicists and authors! And not let the shyness get in the way. :(

I did see Marissa Meyer again. She was doing a little impromptu signing for Heartless (which was one of the books we got in the adorable Fierce Reads totes they handed out at the end. We also got 1984 [cannot wait to find out what this is all about], The Lovely Reckless, and Last Seen Leaving). I was like, I don’t know if you remember me, but we met at your Winter tour stop in Michigan. And she was like, at Petoskey? I said yes, and then told her how excited I was for the book. (I must read this soon. I’ve heard interesting things already and have been super curious about it, so it’ll probably happen next month). I also got another lovely picture with her!

When it was pretty much time to go, I noticed Leigh Bardugo was by herself. I could tell she was exhausted and in pain, but I REALLY wanted to meet her (I saw her last year at BEA but for like 5 seconds) and get a picture. So I asked her if I could, and she was SO nice about it. I told her I had meant to talk to her earlier, and she was like, oh you should have! (NEXT TIME, I SWEAR). Honestly, I figured her and Marissa would mostly be held up by all the other bloggers there, which did happen, so I don’t know if I’d have had much time to chat with either of them anyway. But I so wish I would’ve, even if for a few seconds! It’s okay, though, because this precious picture is something I will cherish.

Shannon wanted a picture too, but someone came up to Leigh and stole her attention, and we didn’t want to ask again because it was definitely time to start heading out. Which SADNESS and also rude af of the girl who did it. When we left the restaurant, Shannon and I were like WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT FOOOOOOD?? We considered walking in any direction to see what there was, but the more I thought about it, I was like, I really don’t wanna do that. I do not know the city of Chicago, and I wasn’t even sure if we’d find anything good where we were, so we just went back to the hotel and decided to get delivery. Except… Chicago sucks and everything closes down early. It took us a long time to find something, even with Rashika’s help. We finally ordered some Mexican food (which was actually pretty good, except that I had been set on pizza so it was a bit disappointing, plus it was so goddman expensive). The night didn’t end on a high note for reasons, but we did all talk for a bit (minus some of the other roommates), and I went to bed excited for a more chill and relaxing day of BEA.

On Monday, I will be recapping the last day of BEA! And then I'll be recapping BookCon on Tuesday, along with sharing highlights and things I did this year that I was too shy/scared to do BEA 15. I'll also be giving away two fantasy ARCs in that post, so be on the lookout! :D

Friday, May 27, 2016

BEA Recap: Wednesday

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.

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. :)