Monday, March 9, 2015

North Texas Teen Book Festival

This past Saturday I got to go to the first ever North Texas Teen Book Festival (NTTBF from now on) and I had such a great time, that I was finally inspired to break my blogging slump to talk about it. :) It was a free event (which made it 10x better lol) and I took my middle sister with me, because she is an awesome book nerd just like me!

I was super excited Saturday morning, but I had to finish the book I was reading before I went lol. (Spirit & Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore, which I'll be reviewing this week) Then I put on my pop-art comic dress, made sure my "Mischief Managed" tattoo was still there, and went off to pick up my sister.

There were 50+ young adult authors in attendance and they had panels all day long, which was so great. The only problem was there were 5-6 panels each hour and you had to pick which ones to go hard! The first one we went to was about dystopian & sci-fi futures with Ally Condie and a few others. (I didn't really know any of them.) The second was one I was really looking forward to: "My True Love Gave to Me", about Stephanie Perkins' wonderful holiday anthology. Perkins, Ally Carter, Jenny Han, and David Levithan were there and it was so great. Perkins talked about her battle with depression and how this anthology really helped her break out of it and then about her next project, Summer Days & Summer Nights. Can't wait for that! B went up and asked a question: "what kind of music do you listen to when you write?" Ally Carter sometimes listens to "Wrecking Ball" on repeat lol. And afterward, we got to meet the amazing Stephanie Perkins and take a picture with her! I got B into Anna and the French Kiss so this was really exciting for both of us. :)

At noon, I had to go to the "867-5309 Jenny" panel...because, you know, I'm a Jennifer lol. There was a panel full of Jenn* authors and it was loads of fun. Some interesting facts: most Jennifers have the middle name of either Lynn or Elizabeth, would have been named Jason if a boy, and the majority were born in 1980. :) After, all the Jennifers took a picture together and we got a bookmark signed by all the authors.
(Jenn* pic courtesy of @JenBigHeart)

The last panel we went to was "Thrill Ride" picked by B because it had one of her favorite authors, Rosemary Clement-Moore (yep, the one I was reading that morning). That one was fun. We found out everyone's phobias and that monkeys were little balls of fluffy death (or something like that lol). My sister got to talk to Rosemary afterwards and she was pretty excited about that.

And now I have to talk about the not-so-great parts. :( First was the cafe, which I'm sure was not really the fault of the NTTBF organizers. Everyone converged on the cafe at once after each panel and was such a ridiculously small area that we waited around 30 min just to get thru the line to pay for our outrageously expensive hamburgers. (Seriously, $2 for a bag of chips???) Then there was the author signings. They started at 3:30 til the event closed at 5:30ish. Our last panel ended around 2:45 and we went straight down there to get in line...but they were already closed. The authors were split up in 3 different areas, but all the big ones (Perkins, Han, Levithan, etc...) were in the Grand Ballroom, which was not really that grand. They had the lines capped off inside the room and then there was a line forming outside the room to get inside already. It was not great. B managed to get her book signed in a smaller room (along with the other 2 she already had), but I didn't get any of my 4 signed that I brought. Luckily, I don't really care too much about having a signature in my book. (My other sister offered to go sign all my books while I was gone. I declined lol.) I understand this was the first convention and I really hope they learn from their mistakes for next year, because otherwise it was a really wonderful day.

And so I'm not ending on a sour note, let's take a look at the actual books that I bought there, okay? Of course, there were tons of books for sale by Half Price Books (another small issue I had...the books were all regular price, even those that had been out for years. Greedy.) I picked up 2 newish ones: Adi Alsaid's Let's Get Lost and Jennifer E Smith's The Geography of You & Me; 1 that I read a while back & really wanted still: Sara Zarr's The Lucy Variations (review here); plus 1 that will be out in a few weeks: David Levithan's Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story. This one is much anticipated, the companion/sequel to Will Grayson, Will Grayson and I'm pretty excited to start it. I also bought B Lola & The Boy Next Door. :) So that was our day...wonderful and exciting with a few small hiccups and now I have to go find room on my bookshelves for these new books. Eeep!!

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