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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SUMMER READING & NETFLIX BINGEING: May 2019 Wrap Up

The unofficial start of summer has treated me so well! Fangirl-wise, I read 16 books and binge-watched Netflix shows and movies. IRL-wise, with school over for the year, I’ve had more time to relax, catch up with friends, exercise, GO TO THE BEACH, and start my summer job. At the time of this post’s publication, I am currently attending the most exciting event of May, Book Expo! I’m really excited for my June content overall, but especially because I’ll be doing wrap-ups for each day of the convention.

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Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin | 4/5 Stars

This was my first book by Adele Griffin. I really enjoyed her writing style and this book’s atmospheric setting.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston |5/5 Stars

Like everyone and their mother, I freaking loved RW&RB. It’s definitely my all-time favorite new adult book and a 2019 favorite read.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | 4/5 Stars

Although I still enjoyed this book, unlike everyone and their mother, I didn’t necessarily love Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston| 4.25/5 Stars

It was so much fun jumping back into the Once Upon a Con series and I’m really looking forward to the third installment that will be based on Beauty and the Beast.

The Off-Campus Series (The Deal, The Mistake, The Score & The Goal) by Elle Kennedy | 4.5/5 Stars

I have a full series review coming for these books, but for right now, I’ll share that my favorite was The Goal (another 2019 favorite read)

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith | 4/5 Stars

This book is tempting me to book a cross-country train trip.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker | 4.5/5

I loved jumping into the new adult genre this month, including The Simple Wild. Also catch me planning a trip to the Alaskan wilderness.

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Top Five Wednesday: Bookish Things I’ve Changed My Mind About

Although this isn’t today’s Top Five Wednesday topic, I really loved this month’s first topic, bookish things us readers have changed our minds about in our reading lives. Since I really loved this topic (let’s not talk about it, but blame it on finals for not allowing me to do it then and there), today I’ll be discussing some bookish things I never thought I would see differently.

Borrowing ebooks from the library

Let’s be clear: I am still not the world’s biggest fan of ebooks and I will always turn to physical copies whenever possible. As much as I would love to have my hands on some ARCs, I would much rather wait to read a finished copy than using NetGalley or Edelweiss. I think some of this may have to do with that fact that the only tablet I have access to is an iPad. Maybe if I had a tablet that was primarily meant for reading, like a Nook or Amazon Fire, I would be more open to ebooks. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer that nothing is better for me than being able to physically flip pages.

However, for certain titles, I do make exceptions and read ebooks. For example, I recently was on a blog tour for a book that was only available via ecopy and I was too interested in the book to pass up the opportunity to be on such a fun blog tour. While reading on my iPad wasn’t perfect- I had to read it in iBooks and the zoom wouldn’t stay the same as I flipped pages- I enjoyed the reading experience much more than I thought. There’s a few books available via my local library only as electronic copies that I plan on reading on my iPad. Instead of buying physical copies like usual when my library doesn’t have them, I am going to try and read borrowed ebooks when possible. The only thing I think I may not like about doing this is that I don’t want to bring my iPad when I read in the pool or on the beach.

Some books I’ve recently read as ebooks:

Posting my monthly TBRS

Until last summer, I never posted my monthly TBRs on the blog mostly because I was (and still am) very much a mood reader. I also felt that publishing my TBRs placed more pressure on me to actually read said books that month. I’ve been creating monthly TBRs both offline and online lately for a few reasons. One, I’ve had more time to read lately with summer time. Two, I need to figure out what books I can get from my local library and what ones I need to place on hold through the county system. Three, if I have books that I’ve been sent for review, they need to often get prioritized in my reading plans. I’ve combatted my moody reader self by planning out books that suit my reading mood. For example, I’ve been in the mood for a lot of contemporary lately, thus my May TBR was filled with contemporary books. I also realize that I don’t need to read every single book on my TBR—I often end up slightly adjusting my plans or reading even more books (which I include in my intro in almost every TBR post).

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LOVE ON A TRAIN: Field Notes on Love Review

Summary (from the publisher):
It’s the perfect idea for a romantic week together: traveling across America by train.But then Hugo’s girlfriend dumps him. Her parting gift: the tickets for their long-planned last-hurrah-before-uni trip. Only, it’s been booked under her name. Nontransferable, no exceptions.81RitjfpepL

Mae is still reeling from being rejected from USC’s film school. When she stumbles across Hugo’s ad for a replacement Margaret Campbell (her full name!), she’s certain it’s exactly the adventure she needs to shake off her disappointment and jump-start her next film.

A cross-country train trip with a complete stranger might not seem like the best idea. But to Mae and Hugo, both eager to escape their regular lives, it makes perfect sense. What starts as a convenient arrangement soon turns into something more. But when life outside the train catches up to them, can they find a way to keep their feelings for each other from getting derailed?

 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Jennifer E. Smith is one of my go-to contemporary authors. While I’ve only fallen head-over-heels in love with one of her books, The Geography of You and Me, her other books provide such-feel good vibes and really deliver on their premises. This of course includes her latest release, Field Notes on Love. Hugo and his girlfriend have planned a train trip across the United States, but when she breaks up with him, Hugo has to find someone of the same name to take the non-transferrable train ticket. Enter Mae Campbell, an aspiring filmmaker who is looking for some sort of adventure before starting her freshmen year of college.

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Field Notes on Love is for sure a book that you can read over the course of one day. I didn’t do this myself over the course of the two busy days (including some Netflix watching), but I sort’ve wish I had saved this one for binge-reading on a beach or pool day this summer. At its 271 pages, readers can easily join in on Hugo and Mae’s weeklong journey in one day. The premise of the book completely delivered, as the majority of the book takes place on the train. The train  was such an atmospheric setting, making me want to take a cross-country train trip myself! While much of the book focuses on Hugo and Mae, I liked Mae’s interviews with the other passengers and getting a glimpse at their own lives. Although I wish we spent more time in the cities and places the duo visit, what makes this book work so well as a shorter book is that there is really no fluff.

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