I went back to Book Expo America this year for the 2nd time. This is what happened:
Bright and early Tuesday morning I drove across Pennsylvania and picked up my travel partner, Jamie. I was beyond excited to have someone to ride the train and navigate Penn Station and the NYC streets with. I was especially excited for it to be Jamie because she's super nice, and awesome and, we're a lot alike (I think so anyway). After we navigated our way to our hotel and met up with our roommates, Candice and Allison, (and got beautified) we all headed to Jenny Han's book launch (P.S. I Still Love You) party in Brooklyn.
A. I'd never been to Brooklyn, so that was nice. B. It was such a nice, chill, first day in NYC activity. I met so many new people and put faces to old ones. I also just loved hearing Jenny talk about her book. She's so adorable and fashionable. The party was on-point. There was a Polaroid photo area, a nail artist doing nails, makeup booth, champagne, and adorable 90's decorations (like GirlTalk the board game!!!). I was sad that I missed the Teen Author Carnival... I had debated back and forth which I wanted to do, but in the end I decided my love for Jenny Han and Lara Jean outweighed my love for the awesome Teen Author Carnival (but I highly recommend the TAC. I went in 2014 and had the BEST time). Also I almost forgot... I had my first experience with The Shake Shack!!! Holy hell that was a good burger!
Highlight of the Day: Meeting up with Jamie, Candice, Allison, Laura, Lindsey, Ashley, and Ellie... and Mandy from FYA!!! Oh and of course seeing Jenny Han (and Adele Griffin was there too, who I just love).
*Me and Jenny, a random building, and the awesome Shake Shake*
When we woke up, we were seeing on Twitter that people were lined up crazy-early to get Truthwitch by Susan Denard. For some odd reason, BEA decided to start the first day at 1 pm. It confused me. There wasn't much even going on, so I just wandered around and picked up books. The only signing I went to was Lauren Saft, because her debut Those Girls sounds so like something I would love. And she's adorable.
Highlight of the Day: Getting a copy of Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales... I'm really excited for that book!
*Me and Lauren Saft, Javits Center*
Day 2 was a normal day.... BEA opened at 9. People were lined up early to get Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. All I cared about this day was getting Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. And also I really wanted a copy of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff because I saw a copy the day before and it was BEAUTIFUL. This is seriously the nicest quality ARC I have ever held... and the inside!!! Well, it just looks so cool. I was SUPER happy to see Kristin, who was my Secret Santa this year. I hung out with her and Kristina for a big chunk of time, including the massive Libba Bray line, which we were 2nd in line for!! I think that was my most favorite time spent at actual Javits. Those girls are great fun. I also was excited to meet Andi and Gail and waited in line with them as well :) AND I saw Cassi from My Thoughts... Literally! Pittsburgh bloggers unite!!!
Highlight of the Day: I achieved redemption. Let's just say last year I sort of said something really dumb to Sarah Mlynowski bc I was nervous. Well I waited in her line on this day so I could prove to her that I can be a normal functioning human being. And whether she thinks I'm normal or not, I don't know, but she definitely knows that I know how to speak English. Also getting Lair of Dreams was EPIC! And A.S. King!!!
Later that night...
I went on a solo adventure to buy a gift for my son. I went to FAO Schwarz, but wasn't all that impressed. It was cool to see the Plaza Hotel because I'm a 90's girl and that place will always remind me of Home Alone 2. I ended up going to the Lego Store and getting my son some Lego crap that he didn't need, but I knew he would love it. Blah!! Buying gifts for my kid is really hard because he's so spoiled.
*Me Kristin & Kristina, my shopping adventures*
By the last day I'm always kind of over it. The hot books of the day were Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows and Richelle Mead's Soundless. What I really wanted was Never Always Sometimes and to meet Adi Alsaid again. I was also excited to tell Amy Spalding how much I loved Kissing Ted Callahan, and meet Lynn Weingarten. I also got to meet another blogger I'd been following for years- Quinn, which made me happy!
Highlight of the Day: Meeting Marissa Meyer!!! And having a great dinner with Candice at Juniors :) Oh and seeing my book club briefly. They made me homesick!
Later that night...
My whole room went to Bryant Park to meet up with Brittany, Amy, and Alyssa's crew. It was a fun time seeing people and just hanging out relaxing. Then I went and met up with a few girls from my book club who came in town for BookCon.
*ROOMMATES, Me & Lynn Weingarten, Me & Marissa Meyer!!!*
I went out to lunch with Allison and Candice and then walked up to Central Park. I stopped by The Strand stand up there, which saved me a trip down to the actual store. I'm a little bummed I didn't make it to the store, but I really didn't have time.... plus I didn't need book temptation! After that, I battled Penn Station with my huge bags filled with books that felt like boulders. I almost had a nervous breakdown when I had to go do to the platform because, HOLY SHIT people do not care that you are trying to walk down the steps with bags, and they do not care if their pushing you causes you to fall to your death!!
Final Book Haul
- So here are my takeaways from BEA 2015. Number one- I am never interested in the "hot" books that everyone is dying over. True I wanted the Libba Bray book, which was quite popular, but it was no where in the same galaxy that Truthwitch and Passenger was. Sometimes I feel like I don't fit in with normal YA bloggers because I'm not reading what everyone else is reading. And sometimes I don't understand WHY certain books catch on among bloggers to begin with. I mean props to Susan Denard and Alexandra Bracken for causing such buzz, I'm sure they deserve every flailing fan out there.... but I didn't think their previous series were THAT hyped to cause these new ones to have people lined up so many hours and running and pushing and crying over. The authors I die for are always so under the radar. I guess I kind of like it that way because I don't have to worry about lines, but at the same time, I WANT these amazing writers to get the attention that their amazing work deserves, ya know??
- So I'm never going to be swimming with the crowd. Bookwise and otherwise. I noticed this year how many bloggers go to BEA mostly to socialize with each other. That's awesome. I love meeting all the people. I feel awkward a lot though. It's weird to meet someone IRL that you only know on the internet. People are NOT the same over the internet as they are in real life... they just aren't. Not in a good or a bad way, just in ways. I will always go to BEA (if I go to ones in the future) for the books and the authors and the atmosphere. Anything else is a bonus. Meeting people and clicking with them= major bonus. But if I'm being honest, if I went to NYC solely for the social interaction, I probably wouldn't leave 100% happy. People are people. And some are super nice... and some are standoffish.... and some people make me feel like I'm not cool enough to talk to.
- I had the best time. I loved my roommates... LOVED!!! I can't wait to see them in the future and talk books and anything else with them. I hope I didn't scare them away with my harsh personality!! I came back from BEA 100% saying no way I would go to Chicago for BEA 2016 (I was just burnt out and tired)... but that lasted 2 days before I already started thinking what it would be like. HAHA. Hope to see all you lovely people there!!
- And as always, I wish I took more pictures!!!