Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Author Event: Storycrush Tour (Lauren Oliver, Courtney C. Stevens,Melissa Kantor, Robyn Schneider, Katie Cotugno)

This past Monday, I saw five wonderful YA romance authors at Barnes and Noble! Who? 
Lauren Oliver, Courtney C. Stevens, Melissa Kantor, Robyn Schneider, Katie Cotugno of course!

The weather forecasters were calling for another brutal storm, but they were so wrong.  Yet, the day was still great because I got to go to school late and still make my book signing.

I arrived pretty close to the start time, thinking that it wouldn't be bad to get a seat.  Boy, I underestimated the crowd!

 Alas, I found a seat, and who do I see walking in but two bloggers (Jamie @brokeandbookish and Betty @bookrockbetty) I follow onTwitter. I realized that I've been to a lot of signings they were at, and I've gotten in touch with them.  After every signing it seems like we say," You were there too? Did you see me?" Our planning is terrible.
Jamie sat down next to me.  I knew it was her, but I always feel awkward meeting people from a Twitter in real life. I think,"What if they don't recognize me?" So instead, I sent Jamie a tweet because she was busy blogging live.  It was like,"oh, hey! Sititing next to you!!" Talk about embarrassing.

And I didn't say anything throughout the event.

Taking a break from my awkwardness, the event was great!

The two authors that seemed the most interesting were Courtney and Lauren.  Courtney is from the South and has a sweet accent.  Robyn and Katie are also debut authors, but Courtney seemed like she was the most appreciative of the book and the tour.  Her excitement and passion for writing exuded!

You know that question that somebody asks at every book signing?
"What advice would you give to an aspiring author?"

Courtney gave the most interesting response, but a great one nonetheless that I've ever heard: you have to wear the cone of shame that animals get at the vet so that you can't see what everyone else to your sides are doing. Everybody's road to publication is different, and you just have to be you and look forward.

After this event, Lauren became my #wcw. Still waiting on a response from her after I sent that tweet. Danielle, my friend who programmed my keyboard to correct her name to My Nemesis, may have steered me wrong in encouraging me to send that tweet. Guess the autocorrect is true.

Lauren has dry, witty humor.  In the very beginning, someone coughed, and Lauren made a snarky remark about her presence causing someone to choke.

The thing I appreciated most about Lauren was her honesty.  Someone asked if her high school self would play Panic, to which she replied that she would because she was a reckless teen that didn't like herself very much, but now she is more careful because she's proud of what she's done.  I thought that was admirable and brave to admit.

How cool is it that I got a copy of the finished Panic one day it came out?! I could lie and say that I stayed up and read it all to be among the first, but I still haven't cracked the spine. I know, I'm a disgrace to the bookish community.

I know you are curious about how my encounter with Jamie and Betty went! So after I was done with the signing, I said hi to them.  They were really nice!  I'm going to be them in the next few years, I'm afraid. Not that reading YA books is a bad thing, but I want to develop my book tastes as I get older.

Lauren Oliver, me
me, Courtney C. Stevens

Current Goodreads Rating: 3.63
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
Current Goodreads Rating: 4.13
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Current Goodreads Rating: 3.84
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated-and pregnant-Reena behind. 

After: Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

Current Goodreads Rating: 3.88
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes? 

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Current Goodreads Rating: 4.0

Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

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