BEST BOOKISH WEEK: My Friday at Book Expo 2019

The last day of Book Expo is always bittersweet. On the one hand, Book Expo is easily one of my favorite weeks of the year. On the other, by Friday, I’m ready to return to waking up after the sun has already risen and my back, feet and (weirdly enough my toes this year?!) aren’t crying from the fifteen pounds of paper I’m carrying around in my backpack and totes.

Friday was my earliest day at the Javits, arriving around 8:15. I had a lot planned for Friday, but it felt like a much calmer day. Much of this was because I had gotten most of my biggest or most wanted titles on Wednesday and Thursday. Maybe because Friday is the earlier end time of the three days, but the showfloor also seemed quieter. My top three somewhat achievable priorities for Friday were Christina Lauren’s Twice In a Blue Moon, Kim Liggett’s The Grace Year, and Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates.

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Once the showfloor opened at 9 AM, I rushed to Simon & Schuster for Christina Lauren’s Twice in a Blue Moon, which I got, and I picked up Jason Reynolds’ new MG Look Both Ways. The rushing was not over, as I sped walked to Macmillan for a ticket for Kim Liggett’s signing. Throughout the convention, the Macmillan ticket lines were long, but having early ticket pickup times was such a smart move on their part. Although it was on my schedule, I really wasn’t expecting to get a ticket for Rainbow Rowell’s Wayward Son poster signing, but I did! As much as I would love to have a currently nonexistent Wayward Son ARC, much like my feelings about Marie Lu’s Rebel and Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing, if these ARCs existed, there would be absolute chaos. I was also excited for the poster because I have the Kevin Wada) poster for Carry On.

IMG_7495Right after Macmillan ticket pickup, I joined the line for a 9:30 drop of Brigid Kemmerer’s A Heart So Fierce and Broken. I tried getting this on Thursday, but the line was capped decently early. My ticket (aka post-it note) marked me as 55. While waiting to get the book, I watched a crowd gather at Penguin for a secret drop of 10 AM drop of 10 copies of Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was not there to see the results.

After the drop, I went to Workman and picked up How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian. You can probably tell by my haul, but contemporary books were my #1 priority this convention and this 2020 release was recommended by The Book Bratz. I then went to Fierce Reads Recommends, where I met with Jess from The Book Bratz, Cait from Cait’s Books, and Ben from Ace of Bens. I received The Liars of Mariposa Island by Jennifer Mathieu. I read a lot of Cuban literature this year at school so excited for this one (plus totally on the hype train for Amy Poehler’s adaptation of Moxie).

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STRESSING OUT OVER BOOKS WITH FRIENDS: My Thursday at Book Expo 2019

Don’t get me wrong, book conventions are all about being in bookish environments and having fun. But don’t get me wrong, they can be very stressful, even with a highlighted Excel sheet in tow. I couldn’t be more excited for Thursday, but this day was filled with many of my most-wanted books of the year and most of them were only available that day. My absolute priorities were Emery Lord’s The Map from Here to There and Ruta Sepetys’ The Fountains of Silence.

My second day of Book Expo 2019 started with my 8:30 arrival at the Javits with Dunkin’ iced coffee in tow. I took the half hour of sitting in line to go over PW Daily and read over my schedule.

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When I got on the showfloor, I picked up Cara Wall’s The Dearly Beloved from Simon & Schuster and Elizabeth Ames’ The Other’s Gold from Penguin. Penguin Random House was being pretty quiet about their drops throughout the convention, so I often just checked their booth whenever I had a break in the day to see what was going on.

My stress books and events didn’t start until 10:30, so I spent some time walking around, picking up Renegades swag and Nadine Jolie Courtney’s All- American Muslim Girl. From there, I lined up for Hachette’s 10:30 ARC drop, picking up Sarah Henning’s Throw Like A Girl and The Bone Houses, which I later passed on to Taschima from For the Sake of Reading. I got my desired fantasy and historical fiction reads, but contemporary was the name of my Book Expo.

Returning to stress, the night before I should’ve been able to get 7 hours of sleep. In reality, I only got about 5. Why? Because I was stressing out about getting an ARC Emery Lord’s The Map from Here to There. Now readers, I know that not getting this book would not have been the end of the world. There was another drop on Friday, not to mention that the finished shiny copy will be out in January. But let’s be honest: this book was in my top five most wanted books of Book Expo, if not my number 1 goal. I ran for this 11 AM drop right after Hachette. While a line had formed, my spot was close enough where I was guaranteed the book!

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FIRST DAY OF THE BEST WEEK: My Wednesday at Book Expo 2019

Book Expo has been on my brain since it ended last year. I can work Book Expo and Book Con into almost every conversation. My non-bookish best friends each got a countdown Snapchat for the past two weeks. That being said, this reader was more than excited to get to the Javits Center on Wednesday morning for the first day of Book Expo. My second time attending the convention, I had debated on attending for the full day on Wednesday, but there were many more book drops and signings than in years’ past.

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I arrived at the Javits around 9:30, picking up my badge and sitting for a few minutes reading through the Book Expo book. I also took advantage of the fairly empty lobby to take photos of banners. I soon left to head over to Bloomsbury with a few other bloggers through Blogbound Con. Bloomsbury hosted us for breakfast and discussed their upcoming 2019 and 2020 YA and children’s titles. We were each given an ARC of Phil Stamper’s The Gravity of Us-highly recommend checking this one out AND following Phil on Twitter. As everyone chatted after their presentation. I met Lili from Utopia State of Mind IRL. We knew of each other’s blogs, but it wasn’t until after we walked back to Javits together that we realized we were on the Small Town Hearts blog tour together!

IMG_7500We got back to Javits around 11:45, where there was a crowd waiting to get on the showfloor. If you were at the convention or having been following it online, you’ll likely know that much of the hype surrounding Wednesday was a 100 ARC signing of Leigh Bardugo’s adult book, Ninth House. While I wanted Ninth House like everyone else, I really wasn’t expecting to get a ticket for the signing, but I figured I would swing by Macmillan to at least try. I’m not sure what bookish goddesses were looking down upon me, but I managed to get a ticket to the later signing when I got on the showfloor.

While still in shock, I had a little lull in my schedule to walk around the showfloor. I picked up Shea Ernshaw’s Winterwood from Simon & Schuster, Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow from Hachette, a Pumpkinheads sampler from Fierce Reads (yes, I’m still sad this wasn’t a full ARC), and a ticket for Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker’s Mooncakes. At some point during my travels, I also saw and talked with Cece from Problems of a Book Nerd, who I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen in two years!

I then went to my first scheduled event of the day, which was an ARC and tote bag giveaway for Karen Dukess’s The Last Book Party. Despite that a lot of ARC drops line up and get capped before the scheduled time, many publishers (understandably) still wait until the designated time to start the event. However, I was glad that The Last Book Party started two or three minutes beforehand because I was then able to go to Sourcebooks’ 1 PM drop for Gina Lamanna’s Pretty Guilty Women and Kath Shackleton’s Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children. Right after, I made my way to Penguin Random House, where I talked with one of the publicists and received and Katherine McGee’s American Royals! This is one of my most anticipated books for the fall, but I wasn’t sure if it would be at Book Expo.
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OH MY BOOKISH HEART: Book Expo 2019 Haul

Book Expo, the best week of the year. And yes, in my head, I wrote that line in Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle’s best Treat Yo Self voice.

Book Expo 2019 was my second time attending this book convention centered around the publishing business. I was fortunate enough to be approved for a blogger pass, having the opportunity to meet various bookish people, from publishing staff to my fellow book bloggers. Last but certainly not least, one of the best parts of Book Expo was being able to pick up so many of my anticipated 2019 and 2020 releases.

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In 2018, I combined my Book Expo haul with my Book Con haul, but I decided not to attend Book Con in 2019. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Book Con because it was my favorite bookish experience as a reader before I became a blogger. I decided not to attend in 2019 for a variety of reasons. I felt I had spent enough money on Book Expo between my pass, travel and other expenses. I knew I would likely be physically and mentally exhausted from the 3 days of Expo (which I was correct about, being that I could barely feel my upper back and shoulders Saturday morning after ten hours of sleep). Book Con has honestly gotten crazier and crazier each year, especially for ARC giveaways and signings. If I had attended this year, I likely would have gone for some panels (which are often uploaded to Youtube), socializing, and maybe another book or two.

However, as you’ll be able to see by my haul, having books to read won’t be a problem for a while! I am absolutely head over heels in love with my Book Expo haul. Out of the 40 books that I picked up over the week, I only went for books that I knew I want to read or sounded like something I will actually read. It’s definitely easy to be caught up in all the free books and hype. I am so beyond ecstatic and thankful that I got all of my must-have ARCs. I ran a Twitter poll on Friday to best decide how to break down my haul, and the most popular answer was my haul for each Book Expo day. I’ll also be including the current release date for each title.

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Book Expo & Book Con: What You Need to Know Guide

The time has come for one of my most highly requested posts here on Fangirl Fury: my Book Expo & Book Con Guidebook. I considered creating this post right after I attended Book Expo and Book Con 2018, but I decided to wait until closer to ticket dates. Book Con tickets will be going on sale this Monday, November 19th.

Before jumping into everything you need to know, I am here to say that I am not the absolute expert of the best bookish weekend-I’ll even say below when I am not 100% sure of something. While I’ve attended Book Con three times (2015, 2017 & 2018), I’ve only attend Book Expo once (2018) and there are plenty of other bloggers/vloggers who have attended the latter convention more than me. However, using my own knowledge and some tips I’ve picked up from others’ content, I am here to present what I think you need to know to have the best possible Book Expo and Book Con for years to come! 

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IT WAS EPIC: My Experience at Epic Reads Day

On Friday, I attended a pretty epic (the epic jokes will should stop eventually) book event, the first ever Epic Reads Day. Epic Reads, HarperCollin’s YA community, opened up their offices for us readers for a day filled with panels, authors, and books. As I’m sure you’ll discover as I continue, I’m so thankful I got to attend this event, especially since it sold out not even a day after I bought my ticket.

Rimg_6091.jpgegistration started at 10 AM, where you were welcomed with your very own *book shimmy* t-shirt and you could sign up to participate in one of Epic Read’s video. After, you were directed into their conference room, where most of the day’s events would take place, with a bag filled with books and bookish goodies at your seat. The books inside the bag (or at least mine) were: Seawitch by Sarah Henning (a finished copy which didn’t even come out yet), American Street and Pride (ARC) by Ibi Zoboi Three Dark Crowns and Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, and AN ARC OF BECKY AND ADAM’S WHAT IF IT’S US! I didn’t manage to get What If It’s Us at Book Expo and Book Con, so I thanked all the book shimmy gods once I saw it in my bag. The bag also included an Epic Reads pop socket, book nerd question cards, and pins for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and On the Come Up.

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The day kicked off with a welcome session from Team Epic Reads. They talked about some of their most anticipated releases, including one of my own, When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen. The Luxe and the Bright Young Things series were some of my first YA books and I loved them so much, so you better believe I am more than ready for When We Caught Fire. After some bookish questions from the audience (I said that Second Chance Summer was an ugly-cry worthy read) , the first author discussion began between Ibi Zoboi and her editor, Alessandra Balzer. While I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, I am so excited to jump into Pride, and it was fun hearing Ibi talk about her writing process and the book itself. We then moved on to lunch, but before I ate, I participated in an Epic Reads video. I chose to do a book talk, where I was asked to talk about my favorite book and why I love reading YA. While waiting to film, Jane, the Team Epic Reads member who talked about When We Caught Fire, showed me a copy of The Luxe with its new cover design. I’ll give you some insider info and say that I talked about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in my video. Did anyone really expect anything else?

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After lunch, two members of Team Epic Reads who work in the design department walked us through their cover-making process. We got a behind-the-scenes look of the covers of Pride and Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’. It was cool to see how much 3D-design work went into Pride and how MANY (amazing) cover designs there were for Dumplin’. We then moved on to our next author discussion with Kendare Blake and BookTuber Emma Giordano. All three authors discussions were filled with laughter, but Kendare Blake is easily one of the most funny, sassy authors I’ve ever met. She often referred to her morbid sense of things, but it was so funny to hear the stories behind her research and honestly daily happenings! One of my best bookish friends IRL has begged me to read Three Dark Crowns and after hearing Kendare speak, I need to immediately! During the Q&A, I asked her about her favorite YA fantasies, which included The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke and Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. Emma and Kendare then moved on to a game of Rip It or Ship It.

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Rip It or Ship it was followed by a quick break featuring Dō cookie dough and a panel from Team Epic Reads about their experiences in publishing. It was really awesome to hear how they each got their start, and they gave out great advice about how to get into the publishing industry. Their panel then led to the last author discussion of the day featuring Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Like Kendare Blake, Becky and Adam’s discussion was filled with humor and it was really fun to hear about their process of writing a book together. Everyone was cracking up throughout, from Becky talking about stepping on Nick Robinson’s toe when she first met him to Adam saying that Becky has written 3.5 books during their BFF Challenge.

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The day ended with a signing from all four authors, and after the signing, it was time to book shimmy home. Overall, Epic Reads Day was such a great day and it was one of the smoothest book events I’ve ever attended. I hope Epic Reads continues to hold this event.

Did you attend Epic Reads Day? What are some of your favorite Epic Reads books? Share in the comments!

My Sunday at Book Con 2018

The last day of my most bookish weekend of the year, Sunday marked the last day of Book Con 2018. It honestly felt so odd thinking that this would be last day of commuting to the Javits Center, since I had attended Book Con on Saturday and Book Expo on Thursday & Friday. My mom, the best Book Con buddy, and I arrived at the Javits Center around 8:45. This gave us plenty of time to read through the PW Daily and strategize for my goal to get Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts.

Like Saturday, the show floor opened a few minutes before 10 AM, and this gave me some extra time to get to Scholastic’s I Read YA event. I was among the first twenty people in line, which “guaranteed” me getting to meet Victoria Schwab, Scott Westerfeld, and Kody Keplinger and get signed copies of their upcoming books. While waiting, Rainbow Rowell posted a small announcement on Instagram and Twitter that CARRY ON IS GETTING A SEQUEL CALLED WAYWARD SONS IN 2020. I cannot tell you how nice it was to fangirl over Wayward Sons with the girl next to me in line, who was also a huge Rainbow Rowell fan.

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At the I Read YA event, I was able to meet the above authors, and I was especially excited to meet Victoria Schwab and Kody Keplinger. I showed Victoria my friend’s “Anoshe” tattoo and how we basically became BFFs over our love for her books. It was also cool to meet Kody, since The Duff was one of the first YA books that I ever read. I also picked up a Harry Potter 20th Anniversary tote bag and pin with some other bookish pins. Unfortunately due to the speed of the signing, I was unable to get photos while meeting the authors, but I was able to get the following picture taken in front of I Read YA’s awesome rainbow shelves. I later shared it on Twitter, where I Read YA retweeted it and Victoria Schwab liked my tweet!!

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As I was finishing up at I Read YA, my mom was again a super amazing soul by braving her first and only stampede of the convention for Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver. I’ve heard from a few people that this was one of the worst mobs of the convention when Penguin was handing out tickets, so I owe my mom a book or two. It was really cool meeting Naomi Novik, who’s a fantasy icon in my opinion, and she wrote Book Con 2018 under her signature- perfect for bookish memories.

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After Naomi Novik, I went to the Autographing Area for A.C. Gaughen, who signed my copies of Reign the Earth and Imprison the Sky. She was so awesome to meet, asking what color pen I preferred her signature to be in (I went with blue!) and we talked about my blog and Broadway shows! She loved my blog name, which SHE LATER SAID WAS THE BEST BLOG NAME EVER IN HER INSTAGRAM STORY!?! CAN I JUST LIVE AT BOOK CON FOR ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA LOVE PLEASE???

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After A.C. Gaughen, I went in line for Marie Lu’s signing in the autographing area. I had tickets for both of these signings, but I knew and was correct that people were lining up for Marie an hour before. I had her sign my copies of Batman: Nightwalker and Champion and my ARC of Wildcard, which I kept hidden in my Book Beau until I got to the signing table. The two people behind me in line kept talking about how they would sell their souls for Wildcard, so my grip on my Book Beau may or may not have increased with each minute in line. The best part of the signing?? MARIE LU REMEMBERED WHO I WAS!! I brought up her giving me a Warcross ARC in her line last year, and she was so happy that I already had my hands on Wildcard.

My mom and I met up after the signing, and we decided to wander the showfloor one last time. I picked up a Scythe poster and a Riveted Teen tote bag, and we both went to Owlcrate for one last spinwheel giveaway, where we won a fountain pen and Anna and the French Kiss-inspired tea. I also took some photos in front of Bloomsbury’s Kingdom of Ash poster, and after getting my Throne of Glass fill, we decided to end our Book Con 2018 adventure. After grabbing a late lunch at one our favorite diners, Book Con was over. I am beyond appreciative of my experiences at Book Expo and Book Con, from getting my hands on my most anticipated books to meeting some amazing authors and bookish friends.

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If you want to know more about the most bookish days of the year, check out my experience posts for my Thursday and Friday at Book Expo and my Saturday experience at Book Con. I also posted my combined Book Expo and Book Con haul here.

 Did you attend Book Expo or Book Con? If you could choose one book to have signed, what book would it be? Share in the comments!