Books, Fandom

Meeting Jennifer E. Smith & What I Read in September 2017

Oh September, you were filled with days spent in class, combatting summer weather while at university, reuniting with friends, filled with homework, and trying to read as much as I could. This What I Read post is going to be formatted a bit differently than usual, especially since I’ve only read 4 books this month. You’re probably accustomed to scrolling through my list of 10+ books, but since this was my first full month back at school, I’ve had less time to read (*major sigh*). I have my reviews for I, Eliza Hamilton, One Plus One, and Moxie scheduled to come out within the next week, so I’m not going to talk about them right now. However, I will be talking about my experience meeting Jennifer E. Smith below!

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The Girls by Emma Cline | 3/5 Stars

I didn’t really know what to expect going into The Girls, knowing that it has received mixed hype. I decided to pick up book when I found it at a library book sale for 50 cents! The Girls takes place in 1960s Northern California as teenage Evie Boyd is drawn into a cult. This book had a lot more adult content that I would have expected, and all in all, I don’t really know how I feel about the very flowerily writing style.

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott | 5/5 Stars

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes | 4/5 Stars

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | 4.25/ 5 Stars

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September 23rd was Barnes and Nobles’ Teen B-Fest, and my local B&N hosted Jennifer E. Smith. Jennifer’s books are YA staples, and I enjoyed reading Windfall this past May alongside Bookspolsion’s read-a-long. Between Book Con and other author events I’ve attended, it was really refreshing to go to a signing that wasn’t ticketed and was pretty calm. I was a bit disappointed that the store didn’t host a Q & A session with Jennifer before the signing, however, I was able to talk to her for a while as she signed my books. We talked about being an English major and getting the classics out of the way in college, what’s it like working for literary agencies, and of course, Book Con,aka the love of my life. Besides signing my copies of The Geography of You and Me and This Is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer gave me a cute magnet and pins based off of Windfall. Overall, it was such a lovely experience meeting Jennifer and I highly recommend checking out her books for all your YA contemporary needs.

What did you read in September? Share in the comments!

 

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Books, Fandom

My Sunday at Book Con 2017

While my Saturday at Book Con 2017 was amazing, my Sunday at Book was even more incredible. This was my first time attending both days of the convention (I only went to the Saturday of Book Con 2015), so I was looking forward to seeing what Sunday was all about. My mom and I entered the Queue Hall of the Javits Center around 8:30 in the morning, and we were able to get into a separate line for the Sarah J. Maas signing. At 10:00, my line was brought right up to the autographing area, Sarah and Papa Maas ready for signing. This was my second time meeting Sarah, and we both fangirled over Charlie Bowater’s latest A Court of Thorns and Roses artwork as she signed my copy of Crown of Midnight.

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After Sarah’s signing, I headed straight to the Penguin booth and I received a ticket for E.Lockhart’s signing of Genuine Fraud. I’m so happy that I was able to meet E. Lockhart because I loved We Were Liars and The Disreputable History Frankie Landau-Banks, and Genuine Fraud is one of my most anticipated releases of fall 2017.Since I was one of the first people in line, I also received a makeup bag with an awesome quote from the book (pictured below).Right after that signing, I met my mom at a smaller booth and got in line for Meg Kassel’s Black Bird of the Gallows. While I waited an hour or so for the book, it was really awesome to meet Meg because she was so excited that I had been anticipating her book, as it was her first novel. She was even more happy when one of my friends in line asked for a photo with her!

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As you’re probably starting to tell, Sunday was alllll about running about from signing to signing for me. Right after Meg Kassel’s signing, I headed right to the best part of my day—Marie Lu’s autographing. Like Sarah J. Maas, Marie Lu is one of my all-time favorite authors, as the Legend trilogy  is one of my all-time favorite series and I plan on rereading The Young Elites and continuing that series very soon. This was my second time meeting Marie, and I loved meeting her once again. She’s just such a kind and super-sweet person, which you can easily tell anywhere talking to her in person or following her social media accounts (she stays up-to-date on current events, author news, and more). While Marie signed my copies of Legend, Prodigy, and The Young Elites, one of the topics we talked about was the craziness of her Warcross signing on Saturday and how I unfortunately couldn’t get a ticket for the event. After she finished signing my last book, she told me that she happened to have a copy of Warcross in her bag AND SHE WANTED ME TO HAVE IT AND SHE GAVE ME IT! I was completely blown away, and as I felt tears in my eyes. I told her that she absolutely made my weekend (not to mention, MY LIFE).

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Soon after, I met back up with my mom at the Owlcrate booth, where we both received tote bags and little 2017 calendars. We took some time for a bathroom and snack break, where we both freaked out over Warcross (my mom even cried, guys), and then we spilt up again, my mom headed to Jeff Kinney’s signing for my sister and I made my way to Adam Silvera’s signing. I loved reading Adam’s More Happy than Not and History is All You Left Me, and I’m so pumped for They Both Die at the End to come out this fall. While he signed my copy of History is All You Left Me, we talked about his soon-to-be appearance on Flea Market Flip—I read this on Twitter, as Adam is also another great author to follow on Twitter.

After taking one last lap around the showfloor, my mom and I called it a day and thus my Book Con 2017 was over. To be honest, after having an amazing time at Book Con 2015, I was a bit nervous about how my Book Con 2017 would go. I ended up having an incredible time at Book Con this year, from meeting so many authors to receiving 14 free books to meeting bookish people and more!

I didn’t realize how many amazing books were coming out this fall 2017 until I went to Book Con. If there was one fall 2017 release you could have right now, what would it be?? Let me know in the comments below!

Books, Fandom

My Saturday at Book Con 2017

Book Con, the land of all things books and story-telling, came back to New York City on June 3rd and 4th. This was my second time at Book Con, as I first attended in 2015 and wanted to relive this amazing experience. I woke up Saturday morning, yelling “Merry Christmas” to my mom- the tickets were a Christmas present and my mom was my buddy for the convention- and I couldn’t wait to get to the Javits Center.

My mom and I arrived at the convention center around 8:30 AM In my ‘professional Book Con attendee’ opinion, unless you’re aiming for a ticket to a main stage panel or event, there’s no reason to show to the convention before 8 AM. It’s awesome to be one of the first to enter the show floor, however, not being one of the first in line or even in one of the first lines has ever affected my experience. At 10:00, people started heading up to level 3 of the Javits Center in a pretty orderly fashion, but the hecticness started as soon as I entered the show floor. My first stop was the Penguin-Random House booth for an exclusive Underlined tote bag and possibly getting into Stephanie Perkins’ autographing for an ARC of There’s Someone Inside Your House.IMG_4599.JPG

I received the Underlined tote bag, which I’m super happy about because the tote bag was the nicest quality bag I received over the weekend and was filled with goodies, such as an ARC of The Breathless and a beach towel that says “Don’t Get My Books Wet ”. I ended up not getting into Stephanie Perkin’s autographing line, as it was pretty long plus I was disappointed that she was only signing a partial ARC of There’s Someone Inside Your House.

After some walking around the showfloor and not being able to get into Adam Silvera’s signing at the Owlcrate booth (I was really hoping for an ARC of They Both Die at the End), I made my way to the RWA booth. There, I went to two autographings, the most exciting being for an ARC of McCall Hoyle’s The Thing with Feathers . The Thing with Feathers is one of my most anticipated releases of fall 2017, so it was awesome to be able to get the book and meet McCall herself. Afterwards, I met up with my mom, where we both attended giveaways at Penguin. We received copies of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, an ARC of Jared Reck’s The Short History of the Girl Next Door,  and a finished copy of The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter.

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My mom and I then took a break from the showfloor and had some lunch—you can never go wrong with chicken fingers and French fries- and we went over our plan for the day. As soon as we were done, I made my way to the Autographing Area for the Rainbow Rowell signing. This was my second time meeting Rainbow, as I went to her Carry On-inspired meet and greet at Book Con 2015. All of the authors I met at Book Con were super-nice, and Rainbow was no exception. We talked about how my day was going, and she signed my paperback copy of Carry On (bought because I had to for the signing, but also for its gorgeous cover design), my Barnes and Noble edition of Fangirl, and my B&N edition of Eleanor and Park. Right after Rainbow, I jumped right into Jenny Han’s autographing line. I was lucky enough to be one of the first twenty people in line so I received a cute Sixteen Candles-inspired card with Lara Jean on the front. Jenny signed my bind up of The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and my copies of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

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After Jenny Han’s autographing, my mom and I did our best to try to get a ticket for Marie Lu’s signing of Warcross (aka one of the most, if not the most wanted ARC of Book Con). The signing was taking place at Penguin, and while Penguin had some amazing authors and volunteers this weekend, they were just not prepared for how many people wanted Warcross. Fans were swarming the booth before tickets were being handed out, and volunteers continued to warn that they would call security if people did not clear the area. I kid you not, as soon as tickets were finally being handed out, a line of people took up over half of the showfloor. Despite my efforts, I was unable to get a ticket for the signing. My mom and I went to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse booth for  The Language of Thorns photo booth and buttons and then we called it a day, as we were completely ecstatic about the books we had received and the events we had both attended.

My Sunday at Book Con is soon to come! Now here’s a question for you: if there was one author you could meet and have sign your books, who would it be?? Let me know in the comments!

Fandom, Uncategorized

Disney Tag

Disney has always been a main staple in my life. My family and I are really big Pixar fans, and we make it a priority to see their latest releases. After watching Natasha’s (Tashapolis)  recent Disney Tag, I felt really inspired to do a similar version here!

Favorite Disney movie

Pixar: Toy Story 2

Non-Pixar: The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan

Favorite childhood Disney movie(s)

The Aristocats, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and A Goofy Movie. My cousin and I had so many Disney movies on tape, but these were the ones we constantly watched.

Walt Disney World or Disneyland?:

Being that I’ve only been to Disney World, I’m going to have to go with Disney World over Disneyland for right now. However, I haven’t visited the park since I was really young. I’m hoping to make it down to Orlando soon, since Orlando also means Universal Orlando Resorts aka the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Cutest Disney Character

Pua from Moana. I might buy Moana’a Funko Pop just to have his figurine. 

What kind of Disney item do you collect the most?

I collect Disney stuffed animals the most. My favorites include my Green Alien from Toy Story, Stitch from Lilo & Stitch, and a mini Wheezy from Toy Story 2.

Favorite Disney song

I’m going to go with my current favorite- “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Favorite Pixar character

I am absolutely obsessed with the green aliens from Toy Story! They’re just so funny and cute, and I just want to have a claw machine filled with them. From figurines to t-shirts, they make up most of my Disney memorabilia.

What’s your favorite Disney movie? Share in the comments below!

Fandom

Ron Chernow Talk

2017 continues to be another year of Hamilton for me! Last week, Ron Chernow gave a forum discussion at my school. Ron Chernow is the author of a Alexander Hamilton, aka the 800 page (!!!) biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write his hit-musical about the founding father. I actually bought the book right after seeing Hamilton back in January, but I’ve only read a few sections that mainly focus on his relationship with Eliza. I’m really enjoying it so far  because the book reads more like a narrative than a history lesson.

Over 800 people came to the discussion, and it was so cool to see that many people interested in Hamilton in one space. Chernow began his talk by discussing some key points about Alexander’s life. As seen in the musical, he joked that Hamilton loved to talk, which helped him a lot as Washington’s right hand man and later Secretary of the Treasury. He also explained how Burr and Hamilton came to their famous duel. Despite what the show depicts, it wasn’t just the election of 1800 that caused them to duel (side note: the Drunk History episode does a fantastic job making this point as well and features Lin as our narrator!).

 

Chernow soon transitioned to talking about Hamilton: An American Musical and how he became involved in the project. He admitted that he was a bit skeptical of Lin’s idea at first, but Lin’s passion and determination won him over. When he recalled the first time Lin sang “Alexander Hamilton” to him, Chernow sang the entire song on stage! It was so genuine and funny, I just couldn’t stop smiling! He also shared some behind the scenes information about the show.I knew that the characters’ type of singing had something to do with their age, for example, Jefferson sings jazz while the rest of the characters have moved on to rap. However  I never knew that the characters’ appearance above their neck was purposely modern-looking, while their outfits were inspired by eighteenth and nineteenth century wear.

Toward the end of the discussion, Chernow answered questions from the audience. Many of the history teachers in the crowd thanked Chernow for making history fun again. They said that Hamilton has  inspired to students to learn more about Alexander Hamilton’s time in history, as well as easily incorporating the musical into their lesson plans. My hands-down favorite questions came at the end by two children, who asked what Chernow’s  favorite song was (“Satisfied”) and if he would sign their books (yes). Overall, it was so exciting to have Ron Chernow at my school and hope to attend more Hamilton-esque events in the future.

Fandom

My Experience Seeing Hamilton

Since February 2016, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Hamilton. And when one is obsessed with this musical about Alexander Hamilton, one knows that there’s a 0.00000001% chance of ever being able to see it due to its high demand and extremely expensive tickets. That being said, you can imagine my shock when I found two tickets underneath my Christmas tree. My parents first played the tickets off as a joke gift, as they were wrapped in a bunch of The Children’s Place bags. I’m just five feet tall (or so they tell me) so I’m used to my height being the source of most ha-ha moments. What I thought would be a pair of kids’ pajamas turned into an envelope with two tickets to the room where it happens.

So on January 8th, 2017, my mom and I set off on our experience seeing Hamilton. Beforehand, my mom had never listened to the show besides listening to my constant renditions of “My Shot”. We went the day after a huge snowstorm and it was still really cold out. So naturally at the train station, I stepped into a huge pile of slush while getting out of the car, my feet freezing and my once-black boots taking on whatever what was in that pile. Once we got into the city, the weather and my feet warmed up, the latter thanks to a pair of fuzzy socks from Duane Reade.

Since we already had our tickets, my mom and I weren’t in a rush to get to the theatre, and we had a great lunch at The Pig N Whistle (next way to my heart: food from an Irish pub). We arrived at the Richard Rodgers Theatre around 2:30 and there were just people on people on people in line. Even with the crowds, we went into the theatre quickly and had time to splurge $60 on the classic Hamilton tee and mug.

While we sat in the second row of the rear mezzanine, I could see the stage with no problem. Before the show even started, I was completely mesmerized by the lights. The lights hit the stage so that it looked like there were “Alex”s spelt all over the stage. As soon as “Alexander Hamilton” started,  I began judging how this cast sounded compared to the album. Unfortunately, by the time I saw the show, the original cast had left for other projects (even though there was a small part of me that hoped that Lin would make an appearance).I quickly stopped because the singing and acting were amazing. Jordan Fisher played John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, and I was in love with the character he brought to each role . While Javier Muñoz, aka ‘Sexy Hamilton’ didn’t perform as the title character, Michael Luwoye bought a lot of emotion and humor to Hamilton himself.

Hands-down, my favorite part of the show was the humor. Between Laurens drunkenly slumping over Burr during “The Story of Tonight (Reprise)” to King George III stomping his foot for his spotlight to turn blue, I couldn’t stop laughing. My mom loved every scene that King George III was in, both of us agreeing that Rory O’Malley completely stole the show as the monarch. Overall, I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire show and I’m so lucky to have had this experience seeing Hamilton. I ordered the Alexander Hamilton biography, the book that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the show, right when I got home because I needed more! The author, Ron Chernow, is coming to my school in a week to give a talk about his book so my Hamilton experience will most definitely continue throughout 2017.