Monday, June 1, 2015

BEA Recap

Guess who officially survived her first ever Book Expo America? This girl!

I am so glad that I got to attend BEA before it moves to Chicago next year. I only live about two and a half hours from New York City, so it was easy to drive there. The close proximity also meant that I didn't have to worry about shipping books home or carting them on a plane or train. Unfortunately, that will not be the case in Chicago; I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend next year. Which made this year all the more special!

I'll go through it all day by day, for those who were wondering how it went:

Day 1 (Wednesday, May 27)
The first day started at 1pm, which meant it should've been the easier day. Unfortunately, I took some bad advice. Someone on Twitter had said that attendees could do without a suitcase for Wednesday because it was a half day. This meant that my mom and I had to carry all our books around the conference and then to Penn Station, which was not very fun. But we learned our lesson and made sure to bring a suitcase for Thursday and Friday.

We started our day by waking up at 4am. We arrived at Javits at around 9am and then soon discovered that people were already lining up to get into the exhibit hall for tickets for the signing of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (which would only have 100 galleys). We quickly hopped on line, where we waited until 1pm, when the doors opened. We immediately fast walked to the Macmillan booth, where I got a ticket for the Truthwitch signing! That was my top goal for Wednesday, so the day started off great. From then on, we just basically wandered the floor, picked up some great galleys, and went to a few signings. Wednesday was definitely relaxed besides Truthwitch.

At 3pm, we went to the Truthwitch signing. Susan Dennard is probably the sweetest person I've ever met. I told her about how we woke up at 4am just so we could get tickets for the signing and she almost cried. She's completely adorable. Despite the fact that so many people were gushing about how they couldn't wait for Truthwitch, she was still worried no one would show up. How cute is that?! She's absolutely lovely and I can't wait to devour Truthwitch. Susan is actually the only author that I got a picture with at BEA!

Some books that I'm excited about from Wednesday:

  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
  • Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
  • The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
  • These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (it's an absolutely beautiful hardcover ARC--I'm so excited!)

Day 2 (Thursday, May 28)
The next day's big book was Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, which had a signing at 9:30am (with only 200 galleys). We got up at about 5:30am; we were staying in Newark so we had to take the train in every morning. We ended up at Javits at about 8am. We quickly zipped over to the Passenger line at the Disney booth. Alexandra was so sweet, as usual. I met her at Apollycon in February and she's the nicest person ever! I was so excited to get Passenger--the cover is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to read!

After we finally got Passenger, we headed over to the autograph tables. I got a ton of awesome titles that I'm super excited about. There were a lot of finished copies too, which I heard others saying was a little peculiar for BEA. I also found it interesting that so many titles that were being signed at BEA had just come out on Monday--like The Cage by Megan Shepherd and Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry. But anyway, at the tables I got some great books like Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, Kissing in America by Margo Rabb, The Cage by Megan Shepherd, and City Love by Susane Colasanti. I also got to Margaret Stohl for her signing of Dangerous Deception--I just gushed about how excited I was for Black Widow: Forever Red on Friday to be completely honest.

After these signings, I quickly ran over to the Harlequin booth because I heard people were already lining up for the HarlequinTeen Signing! I was lucky enough to get a ticket, but I was stuck waiting for more than an hour before the signing started at 1pm. But I had no complaints--I'm so excited about the authors I got to meet. I got to meet the lovely Katie McGarry again (I met her at Apollycon as well), and she signed a hardcover of Nowhere But Here. I'm so excited to have a physical copy of that book because I had just started reading it on my Kindle while waiting in lines! I also got to meet Jennifer Armentrout again (who I've met quite a few times) and she was as fantastic as ever. I then got Legacy of Kings signed by Eleanor Herman. I've only heard great things about this book and I'm so excited to read it! Eleanor was in full costume and was a blast. Then I got to meet Adi Alsaid, who was so sweet! We chatted about my name spelling for a bit before he signed a copy of Never Always Sometimes for me. I'm so insanely excited about that book, one of my most anticipated galleys of Thursday! Finally, I met Dawn Metclaf who was signing Invisible. I haven't read the first book of her series, but I'm looking forward to it.

After the Harlequin signing, I waited in an insanely long line for Libba Bray! She was signing galleys of Lair of Dreams. The wait was well worth it because Libba is probably the most fun person I've ever met. I asked her how she was and she said "Good, how are you?" and I replied, "Fantastic!" She then accused me of trying to one-up her and we arm wrestled. She's absolutely awesome!

I then rushed over to the Marissa Meyer signing for Fairest. It was totally crazy crowded and the line got cut off really early. Luckily, I made some awesome friends in line. I met the lovely ladies of Armchair BEA and also chatted with a librarian named Kim. They were fantastic and made the time pass very quickly! Marissa Meyer was lovely and I'm so excited to read the beautiful Fairest.

After that, we mainly just went to other miscellaneous signings and wandered around for galley drops. Some of my most anticipated galleys from Thursday (other than the ones mentioned already):

  • Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
  • Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
  • I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Day 3 (Friday, May 29)
Finally, it was the last day of BEA! I was filled with nerves for this day because I had a huge schedule that I wanted to tackle. I had completely overscheduled for all three days, but I actually ended up getting to almost everything I wanted to. First on the list for Friday was Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, which I've been itching for ever since I heard about it. I tweeted the publisher the night before and found out that there'd be 200 copies for the 9:30am signing. So we got up at about the same time as Thursday and headed to Javits. We zoomed straight to the Disney booth. Margaret Stohl was as fantastic as ever. They even gave out little Black Widow gadget wipes! It was an awesome start to an awesome day.

Oh! On my way to the Black Widow line, I actually stopped by the Penguin booth and snagged an ARC of Soundless by Richelle Mead during their surprise drop! This was an awesome bonus, because I had been stressing about the line for that signing (around 2pm that afternoon). I was so excited to get a copy before the day had even really started!

After that, we headed over to the autograph tables, where we spent most of our day. I got a bunch of awesome titles over there. I got Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio, The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong, and more. I tried to get to the signing of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but the line was absolutely insane. I tried to get a copy at the galley drop later that day, but the line was already cut off by the time I got there. So no luck for that! But I did manage to get a copy of Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson at a Harper drop, which I'm insanely excited for. That's one of the galleys that I'm most eager to read.

Later, we went back to the autograph tables. I got a galley of Dumplin' by Julie Murphy signed, which I'm super excited for. I also managed to get a copy of Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld signed! That was completely surreal. I did an author project on Scott Westerfeld in 8th grade and it was crazy to meet him in person. He was so awesome. I'm so glad I got to meet him. I also got a copy of What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler signed. He was so cool and sweet. He actually talked to me and asked me about my blog. He was one of the nicest authors I met all week!

Finally, I tried to get another of my most anticipated books: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I had tried to get a copy at a drop that morning, but they ran out five people before me. I got in line, but was unfortunately cut off. This was super sad because that was one of the books I really wanted. I went to the Harper booth that evening and asked about it being at Bookcon and they told me to keep an eye out so I vowed to come back on Saturday!

After being turned away from Patrick Ness's line, I headed over to the table for The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow. I ran into Alice @ Wonderland Novels in that line. That was super fun because I'd been tweeting her all throughout BEA. It was really cool to finally see her in person. I gave her a huge hug across the line (which might have freaked her out, but oh well).

Some other books I was excited about getting on Friday:

  • Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
  • Reawakened by Colleen Houck
  • This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (I bonded with a lovely girl named Cassie on this line who works for a self help book publisher--she was the sweetest!)

That basically marked the end of my official BEA experience! I was so impressed with how organized everything was and how lovely everyone was. It was an awesome week.

Day 4 (Saturday, May 30) ((Bookcon))
As I said earlier, I decided to go to Bookcon on Saturday just to try to get The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. We had bought tickets for both Saturday and Sunday but weren't sure about going. The lines were crazy and it was far too much like New York Comic Con for my taste. I much preferred BEA. However, my goal was reached. I got The Rest of Us Just Live Here! I was so excited. After that success, we just wandered the floor a bit and left after about an hour. However, before we left, we also got little *book shimmy* EpicReads bags! That was totally awesome.

When we finally headed out, we decided to go to Times Square and see a show. We saw Matilda and then relaxed in the city. We didn't attend on Sunday.

And so that was my BEA experience! I had an absolutely fantastic time and hope that I can go to Chicago next year. If not, maybe 2017. I definitely want to go back. It was an amazing week filled with amazing books and amazing people.

If you also went to BEA, what did you think? What were your favorite parts?

If you didn't go to BEA, which titles do you wish you got or are you excited about?