I, Haley of Fangirl Fury, fiercely loyal Hufflepuff, Pawnee Ranger, honorary member of the Terrasen Army, reader, blogger, and lover of ‘90s movies, am now officially a Book Expo slayer. In other words, 2018 marks the first year that I have ever attended Book Expo. Thanks to Booktube and many of your lovely blogs, Book Expo has always been my #1 bookish dream and I was beyond fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the convention this year. Today, I’ll be walking you through my first day at Book Expo, and my experience posts for Friday and Book Con will be coming to a Fangirl Fury near you soon. You can see my full haul from all four days here.
Held at the Javits Centers in New York City, I made my way into the convention’s Crystal Palace (aka main lobby) around 9:30. My first stop was at the Fierce Reads booth for a sampler of Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. I’m usually not one for samplers, but like the Language of Thorns sampler, King of Scars was too beautiful to pass up!
My first stop on the show floor was at the Owlcrate booth, where I realized one of the differences between Book Expo and Book Con. At Book Con, the line for Owlcrate’s spin wheel giveaways can wrap through multiple passageways and often includes anywhere from a fifteen minute to an hour wait. When I got to Owlcrate at Book Expo, there were maybe 5 PEOPLE ahead of me in line for the spin wheel give away. I won a finished copy of Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited, which I’m super excited to have because it’s my favorite Albertalli book and I had borrowed it from the library. After, I went back to Fierce Reads for a giveaway and received an ARC of Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu.
Soon after I left Fierce Reads, Simon & Schuster announced on their Twitter that they would be doing an ARC drop of Neal and Jarrod Shusterman’s Dry at 11. Dry was one of my wanted books of the convention, and I had planned on hopefully going to a signing for it later in the day. Instead, I went to their booth around 10:45 to see if there was a line for the drop AND I ENDED UP BEING HANDED AN ARC RIGHT THEN AND THERE!
11:30 brought a signing for Isabelle Laflèche’s Bonjour Girl. I was the first person in line and while waiting, I made some bookish friends that I attended more events with later in the day. And I may or may not have seen Ron Swanson IRL.
Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson aka one of my all-time fictional characters from my all-time favorite TV show, and Megan Mullally were at Book Con promoting their new book, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. I think my jaw must have dropped to the floor as they walked by.
Meeting Isabelle Laflèche was really sweet and since I was the first in line, I also received a YSL perfume. I then returned to Owlcrate for an ARC Drop of Sarah Porter’s Never Contented Things. Never Contented Things is slated to come out in March 2019, so it’s really exciting to have an ARC already! I also made another stop at Fierce Reads and participated in the cover voting for Shani Petroff’s Finding Mr. Better-Than You, and I got to meet Shani while there! We’ve been following each other on Instagram since December, so it was fun to meet in person and talk about her new book. I wasn’t aware of too many events between 12 and 1, so this was the perfect opportunity to take a break for lunch. Books can only fill a reader’s stomach so much.
After lunch, I decided to wander around the show floor for a bit and I truly believe some higher power guided me to Penguin around 1. I saw a short line forming at the booth and decided to ask what the line was for, where Mikayla from The Book Instruments told me it was for an ARC Drop of Marie Lu’s Wildcard. You know, JUST THE ONE BOOK MY SOUL NEEDED TO WALK OUT OF BOOK EXPO WITH, since there was only going to be samplers at Book Con. I immediately got in line for the drop, where I got to know Mikayla and a few other bloggers. At 2PM, after some not-so nice line cutting from a few well-known book bloggers, I had Wildcard in my possession!
After Wildcard, I went to the autographing area for Nic Stone’s Odd One Out. Nic is easily one of the coolest and most stylish authors I’ve ever met! She gave me a high five after I told her about my blog *sighs that I forgot to ask someone to take a photo of me meeting her*. While waiting for Odd One Out, I had a quick conversation with Annie Sullivan, the author of A Touch of Gold. She was also waiting for Odd One Out—she deserves all the house points for getting the book 15 minutes before she had to be at her own signing- and how her book was a retelling of King Midas. I was immediately sold and after Nic Stone, I went to Annie’s signing!
I ended my day with three more ARC drops. The first was at Epic Reads, and it was my longest wait of the day (but definitely not of the convention…) at an hour and a half, but I was one of the first in line and I received Pride by Ibi Zoboi. While in the Epic Reads line, I ended up picking up a copy of Katherine Arden’s Small Spaces across the way at Penguin. My friends and I took turns walking across to the booth to pick up extra copies that Penguin had from Katherine’s signing. Later, I went to two of Hachette’s ARC drops, where I walked away with The Summer of Us by Cecelia Vinesse, The War Outside by Monica Hesse, and Phantom Wheel by Tracy Deebs .
Did you attend Book Expo? What books are you anticipating for this summer & fall? Share in the comments!