DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL 2015

It’s that time of year again: book festival season!

I’m actually pumped because after the Decatur Book Festival, there’s going to be a month full of author talks at the Little Shop of Stories in October, and then we have the YALL Fest in November.

This year we decided to go both Saturday and Sunday because you can never have too much book festival. On Saturday we walked around the different tents and got books signed and watched author panels, and Sunday we volunteered from around 12-3. I realized this is my fifth year going to the 10th annual festival, and every year I adore Decatur more and more.

Saturday we listened to Sarah Dessen, a panel with Andrew Smith, Becky Albertalli, David Arnold and Adam Silvera, and David Levithan. Sarah Dessen talked mostly about manuscript failures and her contemporary world-building techniques. Despite her 12 books, she’s had just as many failed attempts at books, and I feel like her talk was a good encouragement to young writers. She also discussed her characters and techniques she uses for creating them, and her Easter egg cameos of different characters into different books.

The panel with the four authors discussed pretty much everything from representation of diversity and their lives in their books to the different voices they take on and the labels of their books. This panel reminded the audience that young adult literature is just a box, and teen voices aren’t much different than adult ones. I also now really want to read Happier than Not by Adam Silvera, and I will continue my quest to finish all the Andrew Smith books. He said he’s working on another one that’s full of crazy perspectives, and I can’t wait!

I was low-key extremely excited because both David Arnold and Becky Albertalli remembered me from the Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agendalaunch party, so I guess I’m kind of a big deal now.

We scoured the tents for bookmarks and searched for the most interesting book-related shirts/ skirts/ jewelry. I think we acquired 30-40 bookmarks and spotted a lot of cute bookish clothing, along with some DragonCon goers mixed in between the reader totes.

On Sunday we weren’t able to hear all of Libba Bray’s talk or see the other panels, but I did get to talk to the authors a little bit. Libba Bray was such a sweetie and spent so much time talking to each person that her line lasted forever and a day– but it was definitely worth it to meet her and have an actual conversation instead of being whisked away as soon as she swirls her name. We did another once-over of the festival tents and grabbed some books for being volunteers and ended our bookish weekend on a high note.

It was another wonderful year at the festival, and I’m starting to run out of authors to meet! I’ve already seen/ met Sarah Dessen, David Levithan, Andrew Smith, David Arnold, Becky Albertalli and Libba Bray. But I adore seeing them again because each panel brings something different, and I’ll always have more books to get signed!

TOP TEN FINISHED SERIES I HAVE YET TO FINISH

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic focus on the series that we haven’t finished yet, and this basically encompassing every book I’ve ever read. I’m not dedicated enough to finish series. Honestly, some of these series may not be finished yet, but I know that I won’t finish them.

  1. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Program by Suzanne Young
  4. Matched by Allie Condie
  5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  6. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  9. Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  10. Legend by Marie Lu

CRABBY CONVERSATIONS: MAKE TIME

I’ve come to the realization that I have a lot of pet peeves. And I rant quite often about these pet peeves.

I thought of another one the other day that goes along with my whole, you know, book blog. I kind of feel like I’ve already talked about this before, but I couldn’t find anything like it in my posts, so maybe I’ve just complained about it to my friends. So now I can complain about it to you guys!

I think an example best explains it:

Person: Wow, you read? That’s so cool! I love reading. I read all the time.

Me: Really? What’s your favorite book?

Person: Oh, you know, [insert middle-grade staple book here].

Me: Yeah I liked that a lot in elementary school too….

Person: I haven’t read a book in so long…. I can’t actually remember the last time I read a book not for school. I just don’t have time to read anymore.

Me: …but… you said you liked reading…

Please refrain from having any conversations similar to this with me. I will pull my hair out.

If you loved reading or wanted to read or even liked reading, you would make time for it. Do not tell me you don’t have time! I take 4 AP classes and journalism and creative writing and write a column for a magazine and have a part-time job and go out with friends and run a blog… But I still make time to read. Because I love reading.  So if you “love” reading, you can make time.

But I get it if reading is not a priority. That’s fine. That’s your prerogative. But please do not tell me that you love reading when you don’t read. The fact that you enjoyed reading when you were a child and teachers forced you to is completely different from enjoying reading now. If you’re busy doing other things and would rather do something else like play sports or watch TV, then go ahead. But that means reading is not on your radar, so you must not love it as much as you supposedly do. You do not read all the time if you can’t remember the last book you read for leisure. And your favorite book still has pictures in it.

If you liked reading so much, you would make it a priority. I understand that not everyone wants to do this, but do not tell me you love something that you never do.

Alright, my rant is over. I feel like this post has a lot of anger in it. Whoops?

Is this a pet peeve for any of you guys? Or is it just me being unnecessarily hostile?

MONTHLY WRAP UPS: SUMMER

Alright, so I slacked on my wrap-ups. Conveniently, it was all the summer months that I missed, so here goes an all-in-one finishing post to summarize my summer. I definitely didn’t read as many books as I should have, and I’m way behind on my books to review and Goodreads challenge, but oh well.

Read: 14 novels

  1. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  3. The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
  4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
  6. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  7. The Future of Us by Jay Asher
  8. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  9. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M. T. Anderson
  10. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  11. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  13. The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior by Stephanie Barbe Hammer
  14. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Reviewed: 5 novels

  1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
  2. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
  4. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  5. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Mini Reviews: 3 novels

  1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Discussed:

  • Crabby Conversations: Spontaneous Road Trip
  • Confessions of a Teenage Reader: The Inevitable Hiatus
  • Confessions of a Teenage Reader: Beautiful Little Birdy
  • Crabby Conversations: The Bookish Patriarchy

Book Haul: 17 novels

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • The Underdogs by Markus Zusak
  • 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
  • Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes
  • The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

Bookish Excitement: 

  • YALL Festival and Decatur Book Festival released their author line-ups.
  • Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer held a signing sponsored by The Little Shop of Stories for their new book Off the Page.
  • 995 Bookmarks
  • Little Shop is hosting a good many author events coming in October and I’m super pumped!

Non-Bookish Excitement: 

I, surprisingly, had a very eventful summer without doing much…

  • Tybee Island and Orange Beach trip
  • Nashville trip to visit Vanderbilt (the campus and the school are both perfect, by the way)
  • It’s been the summer of concerts: Dave Matthews Band, Train, Fall Out Boy
  • Zoo Atlanta… twice

Guys, the summer has been beautiful and full of everything and I’m ready for it to be over but I’m also not ready to go back to school. Just think about it. I’m a senior now. This is it. You spend three years getting comfortable, one year to enjoy the glory, and the process begins again. Scary, right? I guess that’s just how it will always be. Cyclical to a fault. Anyway. Let’s see if I can even begin to pick the best parts out of the summer…

Summer Favorites:

  • Read: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson– How can I not pick this one? It’s a summer anthem book.
  • Reviewed: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
  • Mini Review: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Discussed: The Bookish Patriarchy
  • Haul: 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
  • Bookish: Guys. I’m five bookmarks away from reaching 1,000. Five.
  • Non-Bookish: The concert string– specifically Dave Matthews and Train.

CRABBY CONVERSATIONS: THE BOOKISH PATRIARCHY

I think I have a niche, which is something that I would never want to admit. All my favorite books seem to have the same basic elements.

  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
  • I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Winger by Andrew Smith

And if you haven’t noticed the trends yet, I’ll point them out to you.

  1. Written by guys
  2. Written about guys
  3. First person
  4. Contemporary
  5. Mundane settings but original perspectives
  6. Focus on thoughts rather than events

The thing that kills me about these trends are the first two. It’s agonizing. I’m feeding into the patriarchy! Where’s my feminist punch? I can’t help which books I like…. But I did come up with a theory of why this happens.

Alright, here comes a nice little rant.

So books had a long period of segregation that still has remnants in today’s society. Girl vs. guy books. Mostly, though, it was a one way street. Girls can read guy books, but guys could not read girl books. If the protagonist was female, they were not having any of that. Yet could you blame them? Female protagonists implied domestic family problems and romance while guy books could range from self realization to destroying alien planets. Nobody saw any girls developing themselves individually or saving worlds.

And thus the dystopian fad was born.

Female authors put on their big girl pants and decided their female protagonists were going to fight evil in fiction world and bring down the patriarchy in reality with girls who can pack a punch. She can do anything guys can do… but better. Now girls have overrun the action world in young adult literature and have successfully beaten out male dominance in this genre. Except for one crutch that remains. The boyfriend.

The boyfriend is the dreaded subplot that threatens to overthrow the actual issues in these books every single time. Sometimes it succeeds (ehm, Hunger Games), but sometimes it remains to be just a beautiful little subplot to keep readers blushing and hearts fluttering.

But here’s the thing. When a male author is writing for a male audience with a male protagonist in an action book, he doesn’t need a romance. When a female author is writing for a female audience with a female protagonist in an action book, she doesn’t need a romance. But there is the inevitable placement of a romance for the appeasement of the teen girls reading the book and the stereotype that goes along with what they like and don’t like. It’s the shreds of bookish segregation that persists into present day. Female protagonists have yet to shake the shackles of their ancestors in that respect. Because now teenage girls can appreciate a powerful heroine, but of course they still want the beautiful romance as well.

Then there’s me who resents this trend. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance as much as anybody and I am all for girl power, but these just aren’t my favorite things to read. I appreciate a good world and valiant fight scenes, but my favorite books are ones that I can quote. Books that have more than excitement and romance. All my top choices may not be the most action packed or creative, but they’re original. They have meaning and characters with realistic dimension.

But I hate it. I hate the fact that none of these characters are females! Or written by women! It kills me every time and I sit here and try to shove a book with a female protagonist into nabbing a spot on my list, but it never happens. And there’s my theory on why. Male authors have nothing to prove with their male characters, while female authors have to break stereotypes and make sure their girls are independent and self sufficient. Guys just seem to have more openings available and have no needs for the boy/girlfriend crutch.

Rant over. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for books in my niche written by and about females, and hopefully one that interests me pops up soon. And hopefully the boyfriend subplot is nonexistent or subtle at most.

CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE READER: BEAUTIFUL LITTLE BIRDY

I like to pretend I fear very little. I’m not scared of heights or small spaces. I can handle flying and water and darkness. I can pretend that snakes and horror films don’t bother me. But I do have a rather public list of irrational fears. Some of the fears are ordinary, some are impossible, and some are just plain embarrassing. So here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Ceiling fans
  2. Birds
  3. Tape measures
  4. Cockroaches
  5. Someone closing a car door for me and getting one of my limbs caught and having it fall off
  6. A baby kicking out of a mother’s stomach

Yep. Those are my fears. In black and white. I know some of them are really dumb, but… whoops?

But anyway, I did bring this up for a reason. I’ve been doing some soul searching as of recently, specifically during my hiatus. Bloggers are supposed to be super into Twitter, right? I’m supposed to be scrolling through my feed constantly, reading author tweets and responding to fellow book bloggers and being cyberly social. I should be tweeting about how obsessed I am with Twitter.

The thing is, I’m not. I hate Twitter. I hate it with a burning passion. I see that little icon, their cute little Twitter logo, and I cringe. I “read” my feed by seeing how far and fast I can scroll on one swipe. I have a widget on my phone’s home screen that’s *supposed* to help me care about Twitter, but I have yet to set it up. It’s bordering on pathetic, my inability to care about it.

Then I connected something. This may be far-fetched. This may be a laughable excuse. This may be downright wrong. But here goes…

Refer back to my second fear. Birds.

Click the next tab over, where I know you have Twitter opened. What’s that little blue icon? Oh? A bird.

Bam! Mystery solved.

Oh but Erin, why do you hate birds so much? Good question. I have no idea. I had not traumatizing situation relating to birds, I’ve never seen any movies to harbor my hatred of them. I just came to the realization that their are two things that make my skin crawl: fluttering and scuttling. Birds flutter. Cockroaches scuttle. End of discussion, they’re going on my list.

So in some weird connect-the-dots shape, I’ve come to the conclusion that I physically cannot like Twitter because of my pathological fear of birds.  I apologize to the blogesphere in general, and I will work to curb my fear of both the app and the creature. But I make no promises.

CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE READER: THE INEVITABLE HIATUS

It finally hit me. The disease that threatened the greats and plagued the minds of students everywhere. The disease that seeps its way into library walls and wraps its cloudy hands among computer screens and lined paper and destroys the works of many.

Writer’s block.

I struggled with it for a while. The better part of last semester I trudged through posts and reviews and just felt drained every time I opened my laptop. The disease worked its way into my mind and destroyed all of my discipline. And not only that, it found its way into other parts of my life. If I had no will to write, I read less, I slacked on my quotes, I let my room be taken over by books and clothes and trash.

Then I decided the only way to curb said disease would be to withdrawal myself from blogging. I still wrote for myself and I read (though not as much as I would like to say), but I figured that taking a blogging hiatus would be good for me. I didn’t have a plan for how long, and I felt guilty for the amount of books I have stacked in my “to review” pile.

So then yesterday I cleaned my room. Mostly. And I updated Goodreads. And I reshelved all my miscellaneous books and tallied my bookmark collection. And today felt like the day to start blogging again because despite my loss of will, I missed it. I feel so detached now because not only did I stop blogging, I stopped tweeting and reading blogs and withdrew from the general bookish fanbase.

Today rolled around. And I knew it was time. The sky was overcast, everyone was out of the house, and my laptop called to me. My writer’s block may take a little work to shake off, and I’ll have to be on overdrive to catch up with everything, but I can handle it. I think.

So here it is. My obligatory sorry-I-left-but-I’m-back-now post. I’m not going to give myself any real goals, yet, and I think I’ll just let myself drift back into things. I figure it’s not a big deal if I’m not completely involved all the time. It’ll be okay.

But I think I am going to give myself a little bit of an out.

As I previously noted, I have a stack of books to review. A literal stack. It makes me cringe just thinking about it, and I always want to curl up and put a book over my head and pretend they aren’t there. But they are. And I want to review them, I just don’t want to write the reviews. Which is not possible.

So here’s my out.

I think for the summer I’ll do a series of  mini reviews. I’ll have my book review on Monday, Top Ten Tuesday on Tuesday, (maybe) a discussion post on Friday, and a mini review that’s plopped into any day I have time to do it. It’ll probably just be a paragraph or two about the things that really stuck out at me about the book (considering I haven’t read them in a while), which will allow me to review them without going through the lengthy review process.

It’s a win win. Right?

Well, hopefully. So that’s my plan of action. After posting this, I’m going to update my quote jar and plan a couple weeks of posts. And write some of them. And maybe get on Twitter if I have enough energy after that. We’ll see. But I’m definitely ready to start blogging again. I’ve missed it!

CRABBY CONVERSATIONS: SPONTANEOUS ROAD TRIP!

I have a grand idea. Let’s jump into a snazzy little clunker and rev the engine into the distance. Let’s follow the sunset with a can of money and a drawstring bag of clothes. Pack light because things will work out on the way. Let’s not plan anything and focus on the objective. Let’s see the Northern Lights, let’s visit our long-lost lover, let’s just seek adventure and because we’re on a road trip we’ll find it. See a hitchhiker? Pick him up. See a road sign for the biggest block of cheese in the Western Hemisphere? Pull off. This is a road trip and we have all summer and our phones are nowhere to be found because those sedentary people are just holding us back.

Sounds implausible, reckless, and a generally awful idea, right? Wrong. Because this is fiction and we can do whatever the heck we want and nothing too terrible will happen unless we want it to.

Road trip books absolutely baffle me because they’re considered contemporary fiction. Realistic. I think I would categorize them as fantasy, because how does everything work out perfectly? How does adventure just kick you in the face? How is the road trip not just sleepy hours in a car with disgruntled occupants?

And I have one question, just one– where are your parents? If they know about your trip, how are they okay with it? If they don’t, how did you possibly deceive them of something this big? (alright that was more than one question)

But, seriously. I wish my parents caved to my reckless whims and allowed for my craving for adventure be satisfied by a road trip.

The thing is, despite the absolute absurdity of these trips and the complete unrealisticness of this niche, I love this books. I love them so much.

I think it’s my wistfulness. I would adore going on a road trip. The more spontaneous, the more fun. I’ve always wanted to have interesting things and interesting people fall into my life, and I’ve dreamed of breaking out of suburbia and into something real. Yet this books aren’t real… But they are what I wish was real. If that makes any sense.

So, yes. Road trip books are unrealistic. Completely fantasy. But somehow the valiant road-trippers find love and fulfillment and excitement and sorrow and everything in between. It’s the classic Hero’s Journey, but in contemporary terms.

But here’s the thing.

I hate the classic Hero’s Journey of trumping through woods and fighting evil with swords and magical powers and gaining alliances.

Yet I love the contemporary Hero’s Journey of driving down the highway of escaping sticky situations with wit and luck and meeting people from the forgotten folds of the world.

MONTHLY WRAP UPS: APRIL

Read: 4 novels

  1. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. Takeoff: Looking Beyond the Clouds by Austin Jackson

Reviewed: 3 books

  1. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  2. There’s No Place like Oz by Danielle Paige
  3. Killer Cruise by Jennifer Shaw

Discussed:

  • Crabby Conversations: Just Don’t Read It

Book Haul:

  1. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  4. Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

     

    How could I resist this beautiful cover? (Plus it was only $6)

  5. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  6. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  7. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
  8. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  9. Catch-22 by Joesph Heller

Wow, I actually got quite a bit of books this month! The haul has only been around 1-3 lately.

Bookish Excitement:

  • 972 Bookmarks
  • Author Event: Little Shop Launch Party
  • 8 books behind on Goodreads Challenge

Non-bookish Excitement:

  • Death Cab for Cutie concert!
  • Dogwood Festival
  • Tybee day trip #SB2k15
  • Standardized testing and exams! My favorite!

Monthly Favorites:

  • Read: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Reviewed: There’s No Place like Oz by Danielle Paige
  • Discussed: Just Don’t Read It
  • Haul: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer– Alright, so there’s a reason that this is my favorite out of my uncharacteristically large haul. Random House sent me an ARC of this book with the cutest little presentation, and (unlike some of the bigger bloggers) I’m not rolling in ARCs and publisher-sent books, so needless to say I was pretty pumped.
  • Bookish Excitement: Little Shop Launch Party
  • Nonbookish Excitement: Death Cab for Cutie concert

AUTHOR EVENT: LITTLE SHOP LAUNCH PARTY

I did something out of the ordinary over the weekend. I went to an author event (which isn’t the crazy part)….

I went to an author event without reading the book first.

*cue the shame*

In my defense, it was a launch party, so the book only came out like three or so days before the event. I know the more hardcore readers would have already read and reviewed the book, but I just decided that I would buy the book once I got there. Plus I had to buy a book to get one signed, so it worked out.

Basically, we did the usual routine with a bit more flexibility since it was on a Saturday instead of a random Monday night. My parents and I went to the Dogwood Festival in the afternoon and went over to Decatur of dinner before the event. I bought the first (two) books of the launch party, just sayin’.

It was actually quite an adorable event. Usually we head upstairs and listen to the author talk about whatever he/she wants to talk about, then we go downstairs to a signing line and jump back into our cars. This time, we stayed downstairs and they had Oreo cookies and milk and alcohol-soaked stacks of more Oreo cookies. And wine. Don’t forget the wine.

Can you guess the book? Published in April, revolves around chocolate cookies with creme filling…

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Plus it had a gorgeous display.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the event. My friend met me there, and we stood in the back surrounded by all Becky’s friends who came out to support her book release. You could tell that she was a first-time author and didn’t have the whole author-event thing down just yet, but I liked that about her. It was interesting to see how surreal the whole process was for her, and I felt like seeing a debut author gives young writers more confidence and makes their goal to write a novel more realistic.

Also, let’s talk about how she said it took her all of 6 months to write, edit, and sign her book. Oh my gosh! It took me 6 months just to think of a blog title and actually start writing book reviews!

She did a question/ answer session and signed books, and you could just tell how excited she was about her book being published. The complete opposite of a snobby writer. She thanked her friends and family a million times in the beginning, and I loved seeing her whole support system. It also made me feel a bit like I was intruding, but, hey, when she’s the next John Green I can boast about being at her first launch party. And she’s writing another book now, so I could totally see that happening. 

As I said earlier, I usually don’t go to bookish events if I haven’t read the spotlighted book or author. It always feels fake to me, like I’m pretending to be a fan of something I haven’t even read yet. But I had been seeing Simon on pretty much every platform that has anything to do with young adult literature, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. How could I resist a launch party!?

I had already read reviews and searched her author blog and watched a Tea Time episode that interviewed her literary agent, so I would say that I did know a bit of Simon and Becky trivia before going. Which sounds creepy, now that I think about it. But it’ll be okay.

Point being, the excitement I had for this book was unreal. I cannot tell you guys enough how much I appreciate The Little Shop of Stories, because they do the cutest events, and the Decatur Book Festival used to be the bookish event that became my lifeline to hold me over until next year. And now they’re doing all sorts of different events, and I’m currently making it my job to go to as many as I possibly can. I may or may not pull up their events page just about as often as I check Twitter. You know, just to chill, see what’s up in Decatur… make sure I’m not missing any authors.

Speaking of, in addition to meeting the lovely Becky Albertalli, her friend David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland also popped in to support her. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve walked across the beautiful cover of Mosquitoland and had to pick it up just to see what it felt like to hold a work of art in my hands. I haven’t done quite the extensive research on his book as I did Simon, but it still had a nice glowing spot on my TBR list. I didn’t really think I would be reading it anytime soon (I’m cheap, I don’t buy hardbacks… or full-priced paperbacks… Basically I will not buy a book over $6 unless it’s signed). So needless to say I was pumped to get the extra little gift of Mosquitoland in addition to Simon and meeting both authors who are wonderful down-to-earth people.

So please, if you don’t go to author events or festivals or anything, find yourself an adorable bookstore and get involved in this community! Everyone is always so nice and it’s really a lot of fun. Writers are awesome, but readers are the life of the party!:)

And a little sidnote: I just finished Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and it is all the adorableness rolled into a cute modern narrator, rounded friends, and a meaningful plot. More on the book with the review!