Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (29)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...

Dear Bully
edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones
Coming September 1, 2011 - Preorder it below

I hadn't heard anything about this book, so when I saw it up for grabs at ALA this past weekend I was immediately intrigued. I snatched up a copy before they were all gone and fell in love. In this anthology, seventy authors including A.S. King, Carolyn Mackler, Carrie Ryan, Ellen Hopkins, Heather Brewer, Jon Scieszka, Kiersten White, Lauren Kate, Lauren Oliver, Lisa McMann, Lisa Schroeder, Megan McCafferty, Michelle Zink, Mo Willems, Nancy Werlin, and R. L. Stine share their personal stories about bullies. Even though this is a book I have that I'm not technically waiting on, I wanted to share it with you in case you hadn't heard about it. I hope you all add it to your goodreads and visit the Dear Bully website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
John Green and David Levithan
Publisher: Dutton
Released: April 10, 2010
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 310
Source: Bought
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.
Every once in a while, something truly great happens. Like when your two most favorite authors team up and write a book together. Crazy, right? I mean, who doesn't want that to happen? You can imagine my excitement for this book. I went to the bookstore the week it came out... and bought something else. The next several times I shopped for books I picked it up... but then set it back down. I broke down and finally bought it February, nearly a year after its release, and STILL waited weeks before finally reading it. Why am I so crazy? There's a reason for the madness, I swear.

What if it wasn't good?

What if John wasn't funny or David wasn't poetic or their individual brilliance clashed when brought together? Crazy talk, I know, but it could happen! I was so afraid of this book. Afraid of it not living up to my expectations, afraid of never being able to relive that first time experience if it did.

If there is anyone else out there feeling like I did, just pick the damn book up already! There's a reason it was a NYT bestseller and YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick! It's John Green and David Levithan! Do you really think they're capable of not delivering? Didn't think so. So save yourself any added grief by just reading it already.

Chapter one opens with John Green's Will Grayson: "When I was little, my dad used to tell me, "Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose."

Chapter two opens with David Levithan's will grayson: "i am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me."

After reading the first two chapters I breathed a sigh of relief and got comfortable. I don't think I've ever laughed as much while reading as I did with this book. John in particular is so good at making the tough, uglier aspects of life funny. This is so important, because if we can't laugh at ourselves, even when things are bad, then it's a lot harder to trudge through the crap.

Will and will are great on their own, but it's after they meet and Tiny becomes their link that the story really gets going. I wish I could describe Tiny Cooper for you, but words won't do him justice. He is a character you will never forget, but you really need to read it for yourself to understand.

This novel is, in a word, stellar. It is brilliantly funny yet poignant, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest Post: Lee Wind

Today I am incredibly honored and excited to have Lee Wind of I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read? on the blog! I am a huge fan of Lee's, and I hope those of you who aren't familiar with him will visit his site and take a look around. Basically, Lee offers up his site as a safe haven for people of any and all sexual orientation to talk about YA books with GLBTQ themes. This includes reviews, quotes, poems, and Lee's thoughts on current events pertaining to the GLBTQ community.

I've been a follower of Lee's blog for some time, and I am ever amazed at the important, relevant content he posts. It is a huge source of inspiration to me; I can't imagine how empowering it must be to young people struggling with their identities. I sincerely wish you all take the time to visit his blog and commend him on the incredible work he's doing for today's youth.

When I emailed him a few months ago requesting a guest post, I was hopeful but doubtful. Lee is a busy man, and I am so privileged to host him here at bookmarked today. He suggested we repost his Challenged Book Challenge, and I graciously agreed. While this sort of topic usually comes up in September, I think it is completely relevant today when there are articles such as this one being published. It's very unfortunate that there are people out there attempting to censor such amazing and important literature, but people like Lee remind us that we can gracefully stand up to these bullies and decide for ourselves what to read.

Every year about this time the American Library Association comes out with their list of the top 10 most challenged books in America. Books that are seen by some as too dangerous to be in library collections. Books that some people not only want to make sure their own children don't read but these people want to make sure no one else's child gets to read them, either.

Often, these are the books that challenge stereotypes. That tell it like it is. That change (and save) lives. Sometimes they're just a good story that contains something controversial, and sometimes they're, well to some people, challenging.

In 2010, once again the #1 most challenged book in America was one of my favorite picture books of all time, "And Tango Makes Three."
But... They're so cute!

What's "dangerous" about this book? By telling the sweet (and true) story of two male penguins who become a couple and then loving parents, "And Tango Makes Three" directly challenges the stereotype that gay men can't find love - that we can't be parents, and if we do somehow become parents, we can't be good parents. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, with Henry Cole's heart-warming illustrations, have created a story where it's so clear that LOVE is what makes a family - and with the parallel of penguins - readers see that gay love is that same kind of love.

There are other wonderful books on this list of the top ten most challenged books: "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins, a searing novel in verse about a good teen girl's descent into drug addition. Ellen has gotten so much flack about her books in which teens make bad decisions with sometimes horrible consequences - they're riveting and wrenching and so important - because no one who reads "Crank" is going to think, "wow, I gotta try that stuff. It sounds great." Because it doesn't.

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, a wonderful, funny, and not-afraid-to-look-at-the-ugly-stuff novel that I talk about in my Smashing Stereotypes workshops all the time as an example of how writers can deal with stereotypes not by ignoring them but by tackling them head-on.

There are popular books like "The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins and "Twilight," by Stephenie Meyer.

There are queer books, like "And Tango Makes Three" and "Revolutionary Voices."

And even a few books I haven't heard of till now. (Sonya Sones! Your books are awesome, but I haven't read this one... yet.)

So I want to put out a CHALLENGE to you:

Let's read them.

Let's read all ten of these books as our protest to the ridiculous notion that books of literary merit should be pulled from library collections to avoid offending certain people.

Here are the ten titles with the reasons given for challenging each:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence

3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit

4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit

5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence

6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

7. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint

9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality and sexually explicit

10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence

Because a book that is challenging shouldn't be challenged - it should be read and discussed.


Thanks so much, Lee, for the guest post! I've (ashamedly) only read two of the books on the list. I'll have to remedy that soon!

You can find Lee on his website, Facebook, or on Twitter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

Because of the special feature running this week and next, this edition of WoW lists more than one book, and some have already been released. But just because they're available doesn't mean I'm not still waiting to read them!

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Shine by Lauren Myracle

What books are you waiting on this week? Do any of them have LGBT themes?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bermudez Triangle

The Bermudez Triangle
Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: October 12, 2004
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: Bought
Lifelong best friends Nina, Avery and Mel face their first separation the summer before their senior year, when Nina attends a ten-week summer program at Stanford. But how much can happen in ten weeks?

Plenty, it seems. Nina finds herself blindsided by Steve, the quirky yet adorable ecowarrior down the hall. Too bad he lives in Oregon and she's from upstate New York. When the Stanford program ends, she has to wait 8736 hours before she can see him again. Somehow, even calculating that number doesn't comfort her.

At least she'll soon be reunited with Mel and Avery. But Nina isn't the only one whose life was turned upside down in ten weeks. While Nina was gone, Mel had her first real kiss. With Avery.

Mel knows it's love. But Avery isn't so sure. Is she really gay - or is it that everyone wants to be with Mel?
I'm pretty embarrassed to admit to you, readers, that I have not read a single book by Maureen Johnson until now. I always knew I needed to get to her, but now that I've realized what I've been missing all this time, I am truly ashamed. Not only has Maureen penned eight Young Adult novels, but she has also contributed to several anthologies and is pretty much the queen of Twitter.

Maureen is super funny on Twitter, and I was glad to see her humor translated into her writing. There were a lot of jokes and sarcasm, which worked well with the seriousness of the issues found in this novel. The Bermudez Triangle is very much a coming-of-age story in that it follows Nina, Avery, and Mel through a very pivotal time in their lives. Senior year is a huge milestone in anyone's life, and it was great to see this threesome figure it out both together and individually.

For the first time in their lives, Nina, Avery, and Mel are spending a summer apart. But it's just a summer, right? How much can happen in a summer? A lot, it turns out. Nina returns with an experience that's hard to share with her two best friends. Even harder to share is the new romantic relationship in which Avery and Mel have found themselves. The once close-knit trio now find their friendship unraveling at the seams, unable to reconnect after so much has happened since they've been apart.

The Bermudez Triangle is a great story of friendship and its evolution. Things change and people change, but that doesn't mean friendships have to end. I think this is a very important lesson in life, and this novel captures it perfectly. Each of the three girls are dealing with so much; it was refreshing to see the way they handled it despite their uncertainty and fear.

This novel has been challenged twice due to having "no moral fiber" and "homosexual themes." While it definitely has homosexual themes, I think it has more moral fiber than the majority of books I found in my high school library. Thankfully, in both situations this book was kept on the shelf with restrictions and not banned completely. I sincerely hope Maureen saw an increase in sales after these banners brought more attention to this novel because it is a very important book for LGBT and questioning teens out there.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Let's Get Better Together

On May 31, for the third year in a row, President Obama declared June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. This celebration month was created to recognize the LGBT community, to educate and spread acceptance, and to fight prejudice and discrimination.While I think this is an issue that should be addressed every day, I am glad our nation's leader has designated an entire month to raise awareness for such an important cause.

In honor of LGBT Month, I'm running a two-week special feature here at bookmarked, called Let's Get Better Together. The name is inspired by the It Gets Better Project, a web project created by Dan Savage in response to the suicides of several gay teenagers who were bullied. What started as a single YouTube video a mere nine months ago has since exploded: there are now more than 10,000 videos uploaded by people from around the world of all sexual orientations, including many celebrities. The project works with The Trevor Project and GLSEN to provide support for young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning along with their straight allies.

What this means is for the next two weeks there will be reviews, guest posts, and discussions featuring LGBT characters, authors, and issues within the world of YA literature. I hope these posts will encourage you to pick up some of these books (if you haven't already) and see how important they are to today's teens. In a world where people read to relate or escape, there must be books available for everyone to relate to. And for those of us who are straight allies, LGBT books can be a surprisingly great escape.

Please feel free to interact in the comments! I'd love to know what people think, what they're reading, and any personal stories or experiences you'd like to share.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...

Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.
Medeia Sharif
Coming July 8, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
During Ramadan, we're not allowed to eat from sunrise to sunset, for a whole month. My family does this every year, even though I've been to a mosque exactly twice in my fifteen years. My exercise-obsessed mom—whose hotness skipped a generation, sadly—says I could stand to lose a few. But is torture really an acceptable method? I think not.

Things wouldn't be so bad if I had a boyfriend, but my oppressive parents forbid me to date. This is just cruel and wrong. Especially since Peter, a cute and crushable artist, might be my soul mate. Figures my bestest friend Lisa likes him, too.

To top it off, there's a new Muslim girl in school who struts around in super-short skirts, commanding every boy's attention—including Peter's. How can I get him to notice me? And will I ever feel like a typical American girl?

My thoughts:

Last year I read Skunk Girl, loved it, and immediately wished there were more books out there featuring Muslim characters. After searching Goodreads, I found this title and was surprised when I recognized its author. Medeia was actually one of my first followers. I'm so excited her book is almost here so I can finally reciprocate the support she's given me. I'm also looking forward to meeting her at ALA to thank her in person.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont
Released: June 14, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 397
Source: Cavalier House Books
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.
Yall. I have been writing and rewriting this review for months. Literally. I had the extreme pleasure of reading this book back in February when I had the flu, and I swear it cured me. I read it in one sitting while ignoring hunger, sleep, and Josh. It was my favorite kind of book: one that will not let me put it down and keeps me guessing to the very end. Sometimes it feels like not many books surprise me anymore, but this one did in the best possible way.

Emerson is fabulously snarky. She reminded me a little of Sophie from Hex Hall. It's like they know they're weird and everyone thinks they're freaks and they just want everyone to get over it already. I loved her sarcasm and attitude; it kept things light and humorous when the story became much darker and twisted. And Michael? Michael is buttered biscuits and honey. Just read it, and you'll see what I mean. There were so many things I didn't see coming in this novel. Even the one thing I managed to figure out ended up being far more complex than I could have imagined. Is it paranormal? Is it sci-fi? Who cares. It was fantastic.

Can we talk about the cover? Let's talk about the cover. The dress! The dress is exactly as described in the party scene at the beginning of the novel. (Easy, right? Should be, but we all know cover designers don't always look at what's inside the book for inspiration.) The girl! She's freaking walking on the wall. The wall! Okay, I don't really know what's so special about the wall, but the purple damask is very attractive. The blurb! Beth. Revis. I can practically hear Myra screaming in excitement from here. Even the title font is perfect.

This novel could easily be my favorite read of the year. The fact that it is a debut just blows me away. Myra does such a fantastic job of weaving a completely believable tale through time and space. Her characters are fun and witty, and they command the reader's full attention from the very first page. I keep being drawn to it, rereading my favorite passages dozens of times. I really don't know how I'll ever make it to next year. Must. Have. Sequel. Now!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...

The Day Before
Coming June 28, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
Sometimes there's no turning back.

Amber's life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of her family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell that he's also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she's drawn to him. And the more she's troubled by his darkness. Because Cade's not just living in the now - he's living each moment like it's his last.

My thoughts:

I loved Lisa's Chasing Brooklyn so much that I chose it as my favorite new release of 2010. I said then that I would read anything she wrote, and I haven't changed my mind. I cannot wait for this book to come out. I have a feeling I'm going to love it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Imaginary Girls
Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Dutton
Released: June 14, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: won at Teen Author Carnival
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.
I just featured this book last month in a Waiting on Wednesday post, and I admitted then to having no idea what it was about. Even after reading the synopsis for the first time then, and again just before reading, I was not at all prepared for what this novel had in store.

Chloe and her older sister Ruby are inseparable. Except when Chloe finds her classmate's body, she is forced to leave Ruby to live with her father. Ruby comes for her two years later and brings her home, where things are very much different, yet very much the same in a way that is very wrong. Chloe soon finds herself questioning everything she's ever known and the one person she's always loved the most.

From the very beginning of Imaginary Girls, I was pulled in by the writing. Every little thing was written with painstaking detail, making each character and every scene palpable. While the plot definitely made for a page-turner, I found myself struggling to slow down and savor each and every word. It was just beautiful and put new-to-me Nova Ren Suma on my auto-buy list (which, for the record, is not very long).

Chloe was a great main character. I loved being in her head and seeing the world through her eyes. She was perfectly flawed, and her transformation from young girl hiding in her sister's shadow to being her own person was painted vividly. I loved the way I was taken through this journey with her, as she began to understand the world around her and Ruby's true role in it. Throughout this novel, I felt like I was under Ruby's spell as well. I couldn't get through the pages fast enough - not for the end necessarily, but because I wanted needed more.

I was so excited when I found this novel in the goody bag I won at Teen Author Carnival. So excited, in fact, that it was the first book I picked up from my BEA haul. This book was so surprising - everything I thought it would be, it wasn't. It far exceeded my expectations. I sincerely hope you pick it up and feel the same way, too.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: June 7, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416
Source: Cavalier House Books
Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Back in January I received an amazing stack of ARCs John picked up at Winter Institute. With titles like Wither and Hourglass (both of which I loved profusely), I felt like I was on a winning streak and dove into Hereafter despite my self-induced break from paranormal. Unfortunately, this was not the book I was hoping would welcome me back to the genre.

I feel like I'm one of the few bloggers who hasn't addressed the "insta-love" trend in YA. It's not that I don't see it, it's just that I typically don't have that much of an issue with it. Is it realistic to me now? No. Is it realistic to teenage me? Yes. Despite its ridiculousness, teenagers can be dramatic. I know I was. So insta-love in a lot of ways is very realistic to me in YA because my teenage life was constantly insta-fill-in-the-blank. That said, the insta-love in Hereafter - so not realistic.

I thought the story had a lot of promise. The plot definitely delivered enough to keep me reading. I just felt like after 400 pages I should care about the characters, but I didn't. None of them were developed enough to make me root for them, to make me hate them, to make me feel . . . anything. This novel lacked the emotional connection I crave while reading, which was what ultimately disappointed me.

The writing wasn't bad at all, and like I said, the story had a lot of promise. For a debut, I've certainly read much worse. I'd still be willing to give book two a try in hopes that the things lacking in book one find their way to the sequel.

Don't just take my word for it. Plenty of people enjoyed Hereafter. Here's what other bloggers had to say:
The Book Scout
A Good Addiction
Supernatural Snark

Friday, June 3, 2011

BEA Recap: Day 6

Day 6: Friday

Thankfully after some much needed sleep and amazing Israeli food, Friday morning boded much better than the previous. Josh and I headed to Javits bright and early for the second annual Book Blogger Convention. I was really excited about this part of the week because I was looking forward to meeting up with other bloggers and learning great tips from the experts. However, the whole thing left me disappointingly underwhelmed. The panels I attended weren't as informative as I'd expected, and I was not very impressed by the amount of swag for the taking. I guess it all just seemed like it would be so much bigger than it was. I feel terrible saying this, and maybe it was just me. Either way, I don't think I'll be attending next year.

Because of our shared disappointment, Josh and I left early to spend our last afternoon exploring the city. Before that, however, we thought it was a good idea to visit UPS first to ship all our goodies back. Dozens of blocks and a few hours later, I said goodbye to my babies (all 106 lbs of them) and entrusted them with Billy. I may or may not have personally threatened his existence should something have happened to said babies.

After that fiasco, we headed to The Strand first to pay homage to one of the oldest bookstores in the city (and to Dash and Lily, of course). To say The Strand is a booklover's heaven just doesn't quite cover it. With over 2.5 million books covering 18 miles of shelves in a 55,000 square foot store, it is the mecca. I could have spent days weeks in that store. It was amazing.

Sticking with the theme, we walked a few blocks over to the famed Veselka for dinner. (Have you caught the theme yet?) We ordered borscht (not too bad!) and pirogies (so so good) and reflected on our week in New York. Back in March 2009 I read this book called Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and it blew me away. I could not believe that this book - this book that so perfectly captured so many of the thoughts and feelings I could never convey to words - was written for young adults. This was the book that led me to Jessica Darling, to The Book Thief, to Laurie Halse Anderson, to John Green. This was the book that led me to blogging. This was the book that ultimately lead me to New York. No matter what I read, what I discover, or how much my love for YA grows - it all comes back to that one book. It all comes down to Nick and Norah. So it's really no wonder I spent my last night in the city in a Ukrainian diner reflecting on just how far I've come. It was truly a great week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

BEA Recap: Day 5

Day 5: Thursday

Thursday morning was the second Adult Author Breakfast, which featured Jim Lehrer; Roger Ebert, Anne Enright, and Erik Larson. We received ARCs of Lehrer's Tension City, finished copies of Larson's In the Garden of Beasts, and chapter samples of Ebert's upcoming memoir. Unfortunately the speeches got started a bit late, so we were only able to stay for Jim Lehrer and Roger Ebert. I was really looking forward to Erik Larson, but I was planning on seeing him at a signing later that afternoon so we made our way to the floor for the last day of BEA.

Josh and I split up again to grab copies of Caridad Ferrer's When the Stars Go Blue and Steve Brezenoff's Burning Brooklyn. I was really excited to meet Steve as I loved his debut, The Absolute Value of -1, and I've talked to him on twitter before. I actually won a contest on his blog the week before, so in addition to his new novel, I was able to get a signed copy of |-1|. This was very much appreciated because it was sort of an ordeal for me to get my copy. (I say this jokingly, of course, because I would have waited forever.)

While I was at the Lerner booth chatting with Steve, Josh grabbed copies of Ellen Hopkins's Perfect and Allisa Grosso's Popular. Then I got in Kody Keplinger's line for Shut Out, and I just so happened to be behind Kirsten Hubbard. After that I waited in line for Micol Ostow's Family, but unfortunately she wasn't there so I wasn't able to get a signed copy. I found out later that she got there not long after I left because Steve Brezenoff blogged about getting her signature, and he wasn't too far behind me in line.

After the last of the signings we made our last rounds of the floor. I was able to get a few books from Flux and a few others from various publishers. At some point on Thursday I just so happened to see Sara Zarr tweet about her new book being at the Little Brown booth. So freaking excited to have gotten a copy of that. When we were done scoping everything out, we headed back to our hotel. I had planned on going to the Erik Larson signing that afternoon and then to the This is Teen event at the Scholastic store, but I wasn't feeling very well and opted to stay in. I really wish I would have gone, but I knew I needed to catch up on some sleep if I was going to make it through Friday.

Unfortunately I don't have any other pictures from Thursday. I wasn't feeling well, and Josh was too busy running around for me. I wish we would have taken more pictures of the floor, but there wasn't a whole lot of time to stop and look around without getting run over. I, fortunately, didn't incur anyone rude or pushy, but it was just too crowded to stop and take pictures. Leaving Javits on Thursday was definitely bittersweet. I was worn out but not quite ready to say goodbye to BEA.

BEA Recap: Days 1 & 2
BEA Recap: Day 3
BEA Recap: Day 4

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BEA Recap: Day 4

Day 4: Wednesday

Wednesday started off with an Adult Author Breakfast featuring Mindy Kaling, Diane Keaton, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Charlaine Harris. We all received a flyer about Keaton's book, a chapter sampler from Kaling's, and a finished copy of Dead Reckoning. Mindy Kaling (Kelly from The Office) was freaking hilarious. From introducing herself as Padma from Top Chef to making fun of the audience's shoes, she had everyone laughing the entire time. On the other end of the spectrum, Diane Keaton had most of the room bleary-eyed (okay, me) with a reading from her upcoming memoir. Jeffrey Eugenides was also funny, and he spoke a lot about his inspiration for his new novel and the few bumps he incurred. Charlaine Harris was last, and instead of talking in detail about the latest installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series (because she could have been there all day recapping the first ten books) she talked a lot about her journey to publication and having the HBO series. She, too, was funny, and I loved her accent! It was nice hearing a fellow Southerner speak.

After that we made our way back to the autographing area. I guess I should explain this for those of you who have never been. This whole thing was a cause of great stress to me because I just did not understand how this was supposed to work. First of all, Javits is ridiculously huge. However, it is also ridiculously well organized, and even though I felt like a fish out of water on Tuesday, by Wednesday I could actually make my way around rather easily. There was a large autographing area with around 25 tables which featured authors pretty much back to back all day. There was also in-booth autographing where authors would sign in their publisher's booth. The autograph schedule was put out way in advance, so there was plenty of time to map out who I wanted to see. My only complaint (which isn't really a complaint) was that there were so many great people scheduled at the same time! Again, it's not an actual complaint because this was not due to poor scheduling. There were just THAT many authors there. Also, having Josh there was great because we could be in two lines at once. As for the lines, they were MASSIVE! Especially for the big name authors who naturally I wanted to see. However, these lines moved very quickly, and there was only one instance the whole week where I waited in line for over an hour for them to run out of books just a few people ahead of me. Another thing I just didn't get was where these books came from. I knew it was frowned upon to bring books to BEA, but I didn't understand where I was supposed to get these books for signings. THEY GIVE THEM TO YOU! There is literally a huge stack of books on the tables/in the booths and the author grabs one, signs it, and hands it to you. FOR FREE! They do ask for a donation of $1 for every book signed for the National Book Foundation (?) so be sure to bring cash for that.

Okay, back to the day. First up was Lauren Oliver signing finished copies of Delirium and ARCs of Liesl and Po. While I was in that line Josh ran over to the Penguin booth to grab me a ticket for Ally Condie. Then he got in line for Jennifer Castle's The Beginning of After while I went to Penguin for Crossed. Then I got in line super early for Maggie Stiefvater because I knew it would be a long one (I was right) and got The Scorpio Races signed. Then Josh went over to Maureen Johnson's booth for The Last Little Blue Envelope while I headed over to Harlequin Teen for Julie Kagawa's The Iron Queen and Hannah Harrington's Saving June. That was the line that took FOREVER and unfortunately they ran out of the other books before I got there :(

After lunch Josh and I had tickets to the ABA Tea with Children's Authors. When we got there they told us we'd be seated at different tables which freaked us out because Josh was like my security blanket all week, and he doesn't read nearly as much as I do so he was only there because of me. For a minute we thought about skipping out, but I thought we should at least find out which authors we were seated with. When I saw I was at Maggie Stiefvater's table I knew I couldn't pass it up. Then I saw Josh was seated with R.L. Stine, who was probably the only author there he'd actually read! Needless to say, we both stayed and had a great time. Maggie talked about her inspiration for Shiver (She'd just read The Time Traveler's Wife and wanted to create a story with that same emotion but for teens.), her real name (I'll let you google that one ;)), and her upcoming novel The Scorpio Races.

We left Javits to drop our loot at the hotel before headed to NYPL Mulberry again for a Writing for Teens Today event that featured Ellen Hopkins, Lauren Kate, Ally Condy, Scott Westerfeld, Maureen Johnson, and James Dashner. It wasn't nearly as crowded as TAC, but it was just as hot and I ended up having a rematch with the copy card dispenser. FYI: Do not bump into one of those things! They will leave a nasty bruise. After getting a few books signed, we headed to 'wichcraft for some amazing sandwiches. Sure it was just a sandwich, but Tom Colicchio does it right.

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