Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Off the Ice by Julie Cross

Off the Ice
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 2016

Junior Tate Tanley hasn’t made it off the bench since joining the hockey team as a freshman. But after the Otters’ star goalie leaves during a huge game, Tate’s got the attention of the entire town. Including Claire O’Connor, who’s mysteriously back in Juniper Falls and who he hasn’t seen in a year. But Tate hasn’t stopped thinking about Claire or what happened the night before she left.

Claire O’Connor should be enjoying college life in the big city. Instead, she’s serving drinks to handsy fishermen and taking care of her sick father back in Juniper Falls. And when she spots her best friend’s little brother, Tate, playing in a big varsity game, she’s thrown for a loop. Tate has grown up a lot: more muscles, more hotness, more…everything. But Claire’s responsibility is to her family, and she doesn’t have time for boys—especially not hockey players.

As games, parties, and town drama throw Tate and Claire together, they can’t ignore what happened last fall—and they can’t ignore what’s brewing between them now. It’s finally time for them to unravel the secrets of their past and face the future together.

I've been a fan of Julie Cross' work for awhile now - I'm on her street team, and I think she's a fantastic author who is big on theme, which can be a bit rare in YA these days.

She's also an author who normally writes about teens who are in a more professional capacity (Olympic stars, supermodels, major-league baseball players) so I'm interested in seeing what she does with someone who is NOT famous and his dynamic with an older girl.

Also, that cover is superb. I can feel the fire against the chilly winter air already!

Are you interested in reading OFF THE ICE? Have you read Julie's other novels, like the Tempest trilogy, Whatever Life Throws At You, or Halfway Perfect? What are you waiting for this week?

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that book bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

Monday, June 22, 2015

(Tiny, Mini) Blog Break

Hi all, just a quick note to let you know that I won't be doing any posting this week as I have a huge, ginormous show that I'm in until Sunday (1,000 performers! 12 choirs! 12 string quartets! Dancers, actors, performance artists!).

The good news is that I'm getting tons of reading done when I'm not singing in rehearsals, and I'm tweeting and Instagramming about it all! Feel free to follow and comment so that I don't get too bored while counting measures until my next entrance.

I couldn't even properly get a photo of the massive number of choir numbers here. But it's a lot. 
I should have some fresh and awesome content for you next week, but in the meantime, have a great week, and see you on the other side!



Friday, June 19, 2015

"Say What You Want to Say" Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone (website | twitter)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (HBG Canada)
Source/Format: ARC provided by Hachette Book Group Canada (thank you!)
Publication date: June 16, 2015
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Buy It: | | | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository | Audible | iTunes | Google Books

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.


ELW begins with an anxiety attack - Samantha McCallister’s. Sam has been diagnosed with Purely Obsessional OCD, meaning that she often gets into thought cycles that spiral and spiral and she can’t get out of it. At the beginning of the book, we find out that she’s on medication and has had weekly therapy sessions with a psychiatrist for years, but her best friends, the Eights - the most popular girls in school - don’t know about her mental illness, and she’s determined to keep it that way.

Everything changes when Sam meets Caroline, a nearby locker mate who seems to really get Sam and helps her open up. Caroline introduces Sam to a secret poetry group, and slowly, Sam begins to find the words to quiet her mind more.

The story perfectly balanced Samantha’s OCD with her poetry, her friendships with the poets, her budding romance, and her cycle of bad friendship. I read some reviews that said that there was too much going on. Not for me - this book felt so truthful to the number of things I had to balance as a teenager (school and extra-curriculars and good and bad friendships and unrequited crushes and outside interests…). There was never a moment when I just wanted to know more about another part of Samantha’s life because I was so invested in the entire thing.

The depiction of toxic friendships. This was a big one that elevated this book from good to great for me. Samantha has the feeling that she’s trapped in this friendship with her popular, manipulative best friends - but she can’t leave them because, as she says, “I don’t have anyplace else to go.” That line really spoke to me, and the rest of the book encapsulated so well my own toxic friendships and just how hard it was - and is - to let go of them.

Finally, the depiction of Samantha’s struggle with her own mind in ELW was BRILLIANTLY done, and, as I mentioned, seamlessly woven into the narrative. Samantha’s OCD is just a part of her , and what’s great is that it doesn’t feel weird at all being in her brain. I was just as frustrated and fascinated as she was by her obsession with threes, her occasional spirals into research, her compulsion to do things just so. It’s her normal, and it made her special.


Heart-Squeezing Romance: I swooned so damn hard for Samantha and her love interest (no, I’m not going to tell you who it is, but you’ll guess). We’re talking EXTREME swoons, reading back romantic passages, wanting to hug and kiss my own husband because OMG SO MUCH ADORABLE FIRST LOVE.

Very Real High School Poetry: As a Lit major, I found the words of the Poet’s Corner writers a bit simplistic, but also VERY TRUE to the type of poetry I was writing and reading when I was in high school and editing my HS literary magazine. Also, who doesn't want to be in a secret poetry group?! Why didn't I have one of these?

Emotional Writing: Tamara Ireland Stone has an incredible ability to make her characters voices deeply personal and deeply compelling. Her writing gets to the heart of the character, and with Sam, I was immediately captivated.

Book Theme Song: 

I immediately thought of this song when I finished the book - and even had it running through my head in some scenes. 
Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don't run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

The Final Word:

Guys, indulge my soapbox for a moment: I hate the term #sicklit or just the idea of Important Books. To me, a book is important if it speaks to you, and it’s truthful about what characters are experiencing, whether it’s about faeries or vampires or paranormal warthogs or a girl struggling with her identity.

Every Last Word is a great book. Don’t judge it by the fact that the main character has OCD. Or that it’s supposed to be important or talk about some issue.

This is, at its heart, a YA book about a girl who is lonely and struggling to figure out who she is. A girl who is, like many of us, trying to be the best version of herself, and make positive changes in her life. Read it, love it, swoon with Sam, and believe in the power of words and friends to make your life better.

EVERY LAST WORD is out in bookstores now. Have you read it? Are you planning to read it? Have you read other Tamara Ireland Stone books, like Time Between Us (swoon) or Time After Time (more swoon)? Do you like to write or read poetry? What’s your favourite poem?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Expected publication: April 5th 2016

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.


Emery stole my heart with Open Road Summer. I haven't even reviewed it yet because I don't know how to honour a book that made that big an impression on me. It inspired me to listen to Taylor Swift. It made me hug my best friend. It made me work on an entire essay about characters who have their guards up and how to read Reagan.

I'm starting The Start of You and Me this week, and I can't wait to sink back into Emery's world of summer and friendship and banter and picture-painting with words.

When We Collided sounds different, like it might be more heart-breaking than the other two...and I'm okay with that. I think what Emery does best is bring out every emotion and put it out there, bare, for people to see. I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with Vivi and Jonah.

Let's talk: Are you excited for WHEN WE COLLIDED? Have you read Emery's other books? And what about that awesome, sophisticated cover? What are you waiting for this week?

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that book bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mini-Reviews: In Which I Read & Love My First Sarah Ockler Book

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source/Format: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This was my first Sarah Ockler book, and I’m glad that it lived up to expectations. Ockler paints a gorgeous West Coast landscape to bring to life a story of finding the power and strength to make your voice heard. Elyse, the main character, is a Tobagonian girl who has had her beautiful singing (and speaking) voice ripped away from her in an accident. Elyse was destined to be a great singer along with her twin sister, but has now escaped to the coast of Oregon as refuge while she rebuilds her self and world. There, she gets drawn into a bet between the mayor and a local businessman where the very house she is living in could be destroyed as developers come into the town.

The secondary characters, including new friends Kirby and Vanessa, and love interest Christian make this a fun, sexy, and meaningful read. I sank deeply into the lulling, oceanic world of Cove Bay, and the mystical mermaid legends and Wiccan lore that accompanied it. Ockler’s writing is gorgeous and lyrical, with plenty of swoon and great banter. The brilliance of the book lies in how well Ockler ties together these themes with feminism and power. A fantastic summer read with a lot of substance. I will definitely be picking up the rest of her books.

Secrets of the Sisterhood: The Cinderella Society, Episode 1
Author: Kay Cassidy
Publisher: Camden Creek Press
Source/Format: Downloaded for Kindle; first episode is a free ebook!
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is a sort of re-read, as I read the original book several years ago and have re-read it several times. This new version adds a lot of extra content and makes some changes.

Jess Parker is the lowest of the low on the high school totem pole. A new kid to Mt. Sterling High, she has been bullied incessantly by mean girl Lexy Steele after taking Lexy's spot on the cheerleading squad. Unfortunately, Jess also happens to have a serious crush on Ryan, Lexy's hot older brother. Just when things look like they couldn't be worse, along comes an invitation to join a secret society of good-girls: The Cinderella Society. The Cindys sweep Jess into a social circle full of good vibes and makeovers...along with something much bigger: lessons in how to stand up to bullies and win.

Like the first time I read TCS, Jess' voice is very engaging and sweet, and I had overwhelming frustration at the bullying and torture she suffered at the hands of Lexy. Despite the sugar-sweet covers and the fairy-tale name, The Cinderella Society, at its heart, is about how to be good to yourself and others, and how to make positive changes in your life when nothing seems right. It's a book that has stayed with me for years because of how empowering and motivational it is.

The new version of the book - in three episodes, with extra content - emphasizes Jess' Christianity. This was interesting, but slightly jarring as a past reader. I think readers looking for Christian fiction will LOVE this book, but for me, it didn't add a ton. What did add a lot was the change in some of the Cinderella Society's makeover ideals - the original focused on power, but this time around, it's about image and branding. I thought this made a lot more sense for what the Cindys were trying to do, but felt it diluted the theme of power a bit.

For those new to it, this is a book that still holds as much relevance for teens as it did when it first came out. It's inspiring and fun at the same time. Highly recommended for teens who need a self-esteem boost.

Guy in Real Life
Author: Steve Brezenoff
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source/Format: Audiobook borrowed from library
Rating: Did Not Finish (stopped at chapter 25)

Steve Brezenoff weaves a tale of two different kinds of gamers – Svetlana, a role-playing game master who likes to draw and create her own characters, and Lesh, a new online role-playing gamer, and their romance together.

This was a DNF for me - I just couldn't get into the voices of the characters or their interests. While I’m not a gamer myself, I do feel like I understand gaming and the obsession with fantasy worlds from my own love of books and watching The Guild (not the same, I know). For me, this book didn’t work because I just could not like or empathize with the characters – I found Lesh incredibly jerkish and Svetlana very entitled. However, I might have continued with the book if nothing else but for interest in the gender roles and complications (Lesh plays a girl character – in fact, a girl character modeled on Svetlana, named Svvetlana), but I found the parts where narration of Lesh’s game and Svetlana’s group game incredibly boring (especially in audio form). A disappointing read for me, though I hope that others enjoy Brezenoff’s quirky concept and writing.

Let's talk: Have you read any of these books and what do you think of them? For the newer releases, are they on your summer TBR (because they really should be!)? Also, what do you think of this format of reviewing (sometimes I don't have that much to say, so this works sometimes for me, but I'd like to hear from you)?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

#BEA15 Recap: Day 2

Hi guys, I'm back with my recap of #BEA15: Day 2! Let's get to it!


We got up super early on Thursday to join a line-up to get into BEA and get Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger! In line, we saw Andi, Sarah, and Danielle (Love at First Page) as well as several other bloggers. Yay bloggers!

Me & Danielle (Source: Danielle)
When we finally got in, there was a massive rush to get to the Hyperion booth. Sarah laughed at me attempting to run with my still-healing sprained ankle (it was more of a limp-walk?). I was cranky until I had tea.

Micheline, me, & Giselle (Source: Micheline)
I did get to say hi to Giselle (Xpresso Reads) & Micheline (Lunar Rainbows) - love my Canadian YA bloggers, and I only get to see them at BEA because they live on the East Coast!

Me, Katherine & Kaley
Me, Steph & Sarah
And then we sat down because this line was going to be nuts. Katherine (Lady Critic’s Library) and Kaley (Books Etc) stopped by to say hi and laugh at us in the longest line ever. Then we saw Steph (Cuddlebuggery) and had a lovely chat with her - I only got to meet her for a second last year, so it was great to have a real chat.

Meeting Alexandra Bracken & getting Passenger!

Finally, we got to the front where the beautiful (seriously, LOOK AT HER) Alexandra Bracken was signing. YAY! Alexandra was lovely, and I told her how much I was looking forward to this book, which she said is DEFINITELY very different from The Darkest Minds (which is great for me bc TDM didn’t really appeal to me).

We rushed to Rebecca Serle’s line for Truly, Madly, Famously next - she is my Dawson’s Creek soul mate and we bonded over that.

Katherine, Jess, Ciara, Sarah & me!

While waiting for a galley drop at Harper Collins, we had a nice chat with Heather Demetrios at Harper Collins - she recommended this book which I MUST get. I picked up Dumplin by Julie Murphy (yay!)

Then we went over to the Romance Writers of America booth where I (finally!) got to meet Mark Perini, one of the co-authors of Halfway Perfect. Julie Cross is the other author, and I’m on her street team, so I’ve been chatting with Mark for awhile - he was very sweet, and as Sarah said, “He’s totally a hot geek” - check out his smile!

While waiting in line for Carolyn Mackler’s The Infinite In Between, we met Kelly Hager of Spencer Hill Press, who gave us a little package to promote Liza Wiemer’s HELLO?. We had met Liza (Who R U blog) the day before, so I promptly pulled out the Hello postcard and we did a little #HelloFrom right from the BEA lines. =)

Carolyn & Sarah

Carolyn is one of Sarah’s faves, so I got photos of her with Carolyn. I’d met her at the ALAN conference previous to this, and she is such a nice, smart YA writer. 

We had a break for lunch (VERY IMPORTANT), then headed over to Margo Rabb’s line next, and in line, we met Xander (Forever Bookish) and his mom. He was very sweet and we chatted a bit about how much we loved Margo’s book, Kissing in America.

Me & Margo Rabb
And then I met Margo, who is fantastic and lovely and I basically want to be her sister. If you haven’t read KiA, you MUST. It’s literary and beautiful and poignant and wonderful. 

We then went to line up for MT Anderson’s adult book Symphony for the City of the Dead, which is about the composer Shostakovich and WWII and sounds amazing. He was SUPER nice and said he was really interested to hear what musicians think of the book.

And then we headed over to get Will Walton’s book Anything Could Happen, which was on my must-get list. In line, we met Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not) and Julie Murphy (Dumplin) and Elena (Novel Sounds). I was so crazy excited to meet Adam as I’ve been chatting with him on Twitter a ton about writing and he’s been incredibly supportive. And Julie is just lovely and hilarious. 
And then this happened: 
Me: Let’s take a photo!
Adam: YES! Family photo!
Julie: You can be the child!
Me: Um, I think I’m older than both of you (I am). 

Hey, guess who was helping with personalizations in Will’s line? None other than David Levithan (Another Day, Every Day, Two Boys Kissing, basically writer and editor extraordinaire) himself, who I didn’t get a photo with (I also didn’t get one with Will because I’m an idiot, but he is so cute and has the best glasses). We chatted for a bit about how I LOVED Every Day. 

We got to chat with Will, who was giving out a page with his MC’s favourite Taylor Swift songs (someone in line yelled, “Ironically?” And he was like, “NO.”) along with his book, and we bonded over the fact that I was wearing my TSwift red lip (classic thing that you like). 

For our last signing, we went over to Capstone to get in line for Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond - I was really excited for this one (it was one of my most anticipated 2015 reads), and apparently so was everyone else - the line snaked around the booth a few times. 

In line, we met Sarah (Clear Eyes, Full Shelves) and bonded over shared love of FNL and a bunch of other things. We got to chat with the Switch Press publicist, Linda, for a second, which was great. Gwenda was super sweet and SOUTHERN (I had no idea) - cute accent! We only got to chat with her for a moment and because her line was so long, I didn’t want to ask for a picture.

Kaley pensively looking at her cake
Birthday dinner for Kaley!
Finding Neverland!
We finished up and had some nice hotel time before heading back out to meet with Kaley for her birthday dinner (at The Marshal, a nice farm-to-table place in Hell's Kitchen) and Finding Neverland: The Musical! Dinner was awesome, and the musical was MIND-BLOWINGLY good. I laughed, I whooped, I cried. Seriously, the fact that it didn’t get any Tonys was a travesty. 

We ended our night with donut ice cream sandwiches at Holey Cream up the street - yum! (Should I talk about the creepy guy who walked into the donut shop and tried to chat us up until the owners got rid of him? Ugh…). The other two girls only could only finish half, but this girl? Yeah, she finished the whole thing (I was very emotional after Finding Neverland!). 

Things To Learn/Keep in Mind from BEA Day 2: 

  • Caffeine is important for the early days.
  • Drink water - tons of it. Sarah had to keep reminding me, I was bad about that.
  • Taking breaks and eating lunch = acting like a human at BEA.
  • Talk to EVERYONE in line; you might meet some new blogger friends!
  • GO SEE A SHOW - you’re in New York, after all. Take advantage!

Guys, I'll be back tomorrow for my final BEA recap *collapses into heap*. What was your favourite book I mentioned today? And are you ready for Mindy Kaling/Felicia Day awesomeness tomorrow?

Friday, June 12, 2015

BEA15 Recap: Pre-BEA and BEA Day 1!

Hey guys! As some of you know, last week, I attended Book Expo America for the second time. If you don’t know about it, BEA is the mecca of authors, publishers, industry people, and yes, bloggers held in New York each year (well, next year, it’ll be in Chicago).

So without further ado, here’s what happened this year for me (along with some tips - tips in bold).


This year I knew how BEA was going to go, so I started packing a bit early and decided that I would try to take my books home with me on the plane. I packed my clothes in one carry-on suitcase and put it inside a second, larger suitcase so that I wouldn't pay extra baggage costs. This worked SO WELL for me.

I also created a spreadsheet on Google Docs and shared it with my roommate Sarah of You Should Read This, and we had a big Skype conversation on Sunday before where we hashed out what we would see and do. Because our time was going to be so packed, I wanted to make sure that we both knew what was happening (yes, I am that organized sometimes).

I flew in late on Tuesday to Newark and decided to take New Jersey Transit to the city. Big mistake. Trains were running late and it took me forever to get there lugging my big suitcase. Note to self: it’s worth it to pay for direct transportation to your hotel on the way in and back.

Unfortunately, I got in too late for the Teen Author Carnival, but luckily Sarah got to go and caught me up on everything over a late dinner at a diner (NYC diners are the best). After grabbing snacks for the next few days (NECESSARY), we headed back to our hotel, located less than 10 minutes from Javits (I learned my lesson last year when I commuted in from Brooklyn. COMPLETELY WORTH IT).


Sarah and I skipped Blogger Con to do some shopping (why isn't there a Uniqlo in Toronto?) and silly tourist things, including playing the Big Piano at FAO Schwarz, and getting Shake Shack for lunch.

Morning in NYC with @readthisya #shakeshack #Bigpiano
We got to BEA just in time to line up for a galley of Leila Sales’ Tonight the Streets Are Ours, our number one BEA book.

In the line, we got to meet Kristina (Gone Pecan) and Candice (Grown Up YA), and then Sarah (What Sarah Read) stopped by, followed by Estelle (Rather Be Reading) and it was total blogger love! WHY DIDN’T I TAKE A PICTURE?!

Sarah and I got our books, then ended up running into a couple bloggers: Tiffany (About to Read – my blogger twin because we have the same name, same wedding day, bought houses at the same time...!), Gail (Ticket to Anywhere), and Andi (Andi’s ABCs) – still no pics! Then we ended up chatting with some Penguin Random House Canada people, and some people at Bloomsbury (epic ice cream discussion with Emily Ritter, who is also a lactose-intolerant ice cream fanatic!).

We then went off to get Those Girls by Lauren Saft & met her! Finally, pics!

We stopped by the BEA Blogger Con end of day wrap up to see if anything was happening, and it was nuts – bloggers grabbing ARCs, no line up at all, people grabbing so many copies of things…it was horrible. We got out of there as quickly as possible, then I went to go meet Gail, Andi, and Tiffany so that we could go to a launch party off-site.

Grabbing an Uber proved a little difficult since it was rush hour and it took the car ages to get to Javits - should have just taken a taxi! We finally managed to get in and ended up at The Park, a gorgeous restaurant in Chelsea.

One of the wines served at the Eight Hundred Grapes party | Signage | The gorgeous indoor/outdoor restaurant where the party was held

There we got to meet Laura Dave, author of Eight Hundred Grapes, an adult novel about self-discovery and yes, a vineyard. Laura gave us a little tour of the different wines available (seriously delicious Prosecco & white – I didn’t try the red!) and we got to relax for a second with delicious hors d’oeuvres.

Kaley, Tiffany, Me, Laura Dave, Andi, Gail & Melissa!

We had great chats about our favourite reads with Laura (who is so lovely), her agent, and Melissa (Chick Lit Central), as well as some great people from Simon & Schuster. It was a good moment to catch our breaths.

Afterwards, I headed back uptown (but not before bonding with Gail about our mutual love of Diana Peterfreund in a cab!) to attend Harper Collins’ Epic Reads party.

I was greeted with a nametag & raffle ticket, and then headed out to the swelteringly hot patio, where I immediately got to chat with Margot from Epic Reads, and Ottawa Blogettes Jess (Read My Breath Away), Emilie (Emilie’s Book World), Kathy (A Glass of Wine), Ciara (Lost at Midnight) and Katie (The Bevy Bibliotheque), as well as Jaime and Erin (Fiction Fare), and Alexa (Alexa Loves Books.

Some photobooth photos I got with Margot, and Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) and author Aaron Hartzler (What We Saw). 

The party was really cute, with posters up asking people to write down their favourite literary crushes and villains, a photobooth, and raffle giveaways. I also got to chat more with Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) and meet the Forever Young Adult bloggers Sarah (Posh), Mandy W, Mandy C, and Jennie! Total bonding over the craziness of BEA, FYA book club picks (I’m the leader of the Toronto club), and Jessica Darling!

Mandy Wan of Forever Young Adult & me!
Speaking of authors, they were everywhere! I had a great time meeting Kate Scelsa (Fans of the Impossible Life) and Marcy Beller Paul (Underneath Everything), and such a fun time chatting with author fave Heather Demetrios about her books Something Real, I’ll Meet You There, and the upcoming Lexie Project.

Oh yeah…and I met and hung out with PATRICK NESS (The Rest of Us Just Live Here and the AMAZING Chaos Walking trilogy, and several other awesome books), who is way funnier and more charming and more cool than you could possibly imagine.

I ended the night by chatting with Christina (A Reader of Fictions), Jessica (publicist) from Harper Teen, and Kim and Layla (The Midnight Garden) as we were heading out in the rain, which was honestly a welcome relief from the heat!

Thank you so much to the authors, publishers, and bloggers for making BEA Day 1 a blast for me!

Things To Learn/Keep in Mind from Day 1 of BEA:

  • Do not be grabby or greedy about books; let's keep some semblance of professionalism, bloggers!
  • Downtime is good time, especially when it involves hanging with your blogger friends
  • If you're too excited to eat, eat anyway
  • TAKE PHOTOS of your friends
  • Having a great roommate who gets you is super important during BEA

Stay tuned for BEA Day 2 and 3 recaps, coming up Saturday & Sunday! Spoiler: MOAR BOOKS. MOAR AUTHORS.