BookCon: Final Thoughts and Haul!

bookcon sign

I am finally home from the craziness that is BookCon. I am still suffering from exhaustion and back pain from carrying all the books that I got. Despite the fact that BookCon was extremely tiring and crazy, I did have an amazing time.

Day 1: Arriving in New York

The day I arrived in New York, I had to take the train in from New Jersey. On the train, I met a family that was attending BookCon. It was their first Bookcon and the mom asked me if I could give her son and his friend some advice on what to expect. After talking to and giving advice to them, it was time to leave the train. When I finally arrived in New York, I met up with Booktubers and Bloggers. We went out to eat and talked about what events we wanted to attend. Overall, day one of New York was so much fun. I met so many new amazing people, especially Justin and Laura! Not to mention, I finally went to the Shake Shack and it was amazing!

Day 2: BookCon!

The first day of Bookcon was amazing! I spent a majority of my day with Laura, Justin, Jennifer, and many other incredible people! The main signing that I wanted to attend was Adam Silvera. Luckily, I was within the first 25 attendees waiting and I received a copy of They Both Die in the End!

After that, I went to more in-booth signings and ARC drops. However, the highlight of my day was going to the Entangled Teen booth to meet one of the authors that I wrote a review for and also meeting the publicist that sends me books to review for the company. Also, the publicist published my aunt’s new young adult series, Proof of Lies! It was incredible to meet an author whose book I had reviewed and a publicist that lets me review their company’s books. Anyway, if you have never read True Born by L.E. Sterling, you definitely need to!

LE  sterling.png

Later on in the day, I met another awesome blogger, Dee from Nerd and Lace. Actually, I won a giveaway from her blog two years ago at BookCon but I never met her until now. She was very nice and hilarious! She is definitely one of my favorite people that I had met.

Day Two: Final Day of BookCon

Out of my three years of being a BookCon attendee, I have never seen something as chaotic as the Sunday of BookCon 2017. Penguin did a horrendous job at managing their booths. Because Penguin was placed directly in the middle of the show floor and it was a big mob, you could not go anywhere near their area. Not to mention, the staff around Penguin was extremely rude.

I was waiting for the E. Lockhart signing at BookCon. When I saw other people waiting for the signing, I believed it was in my best interest to do so as well. When the security told us to move at 10:29 (literally one minute before the line was supposed to form), we all tried to move out of the way of other attendees while waiting in the vicinity of the table where they would be giving out tickets. Out of spite, the line security members started the signing line on the opposite side of the Penguin booth so that many people who were not waiting got a place in line. As I walked to the end of the line, I walked across an area that was meant for lining up but was vacant at that time. When I did this, a member of the Bookcon staff pushed me away. There was no reason for a staff member to put their hands on me. I simply made the mistake of walking in an area that I was ill-informed that we couldn’t walk on. Many people saw her do this and brought it to her attention, she tried to lie even though it was evident that it was her fault. She only apologized when a fellow attendee mentioned to her that it was a violation of their no harassment policy and that I could sue her for touching me without my consent. Her actions were inappropriate and disgraceful.

Besides the unfortunate events at Penguin, I was extremely happy. I got (almost) all of the ARCs that I had wanted. Also, I spent the entire day with Laura, Justin, and Sarah. Honestly, without those people, BookCon wouldn’t have been as much fun. It was great meeting so many awesome people and getting to experience BookCon with them. I cannot wait to see them again. Also, I cannot wait to get to read the ARCs we received.

Books I Received that Were ARCs:

  1. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno
  2. Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill
  3. Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni
  4. Follow Me by Sara Shepard
  5. Suspect Red by L.M Elliott
  6. Natural Disasters
  7. The Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
  8. Odd and True by Cat Winter
  9. Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert
  10. She, Myself, and I by Emma Young
  11. A Short History of The Girl Next Door by Jared Reck
  12. Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock
  13. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente
  14. Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
  15. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  16. The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose
  17. The Goblins of BellWater by Molly Ringle
  18. A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
  19. The Audition by Maddy Ziegler

Signed Books that I Got:

  1. Mean Girls by Micol Ostow
  2. Red Dirt by Anna Jarzab
  3. At Home in the World
  4. The Rules of Love and Grammar by Mary Simses
  5. Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
  6. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  7. Select by Marit Weisenberg
  8. The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
  9. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
  10. All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
  11. If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  12. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  13. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  14. Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake
  15. The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
  16. Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle

Other Books I Got:

  1. Aging Disgracefully by Danny Cahill
  2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  3. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  4. The books I got in the VIP bag…. I cannot remember the books.

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

DO NOT SELL ARCs!!! Just a friendly reminder since I know a few of you did not know what an ARC is. An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy which means they are uncorrected proofs and have not been published yet. Publishers give out ARCs to create hype for the books. Often, they are given to reviewers to promote and review the book prior to its publication. With that being said, it is absolutely, 100% illegal to sell ARCs. You cannot give people your ARCs in exchange for money. You could face severe penalties. Also, DO NOT BUY ARCS!!! You are just as bad if you buy books. Authors work really hard on their books and you’re damaging their success.

To end this on a happy note: Thank you to everyone who is nice and welcoming to the blogging community. I loved meeting you all! Comment below your BEA/Bookcon experience.

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BookCon For Beginners: Part 2

It’s that time of year again! For the people who are unaware of what “that time” is, it is when BookCon is close and many newcomers are prepping for their first time. BookCon can be best described as a beautiful chaos. The event is incredible and allows you to create many amazing memories, however, if you are ill prepared, you will not enjoy the event. Conventions, like BookCon, are not something that you can simply arrive at and hope for the best. The events require some knowledge and planning. Luckily, this being my third time attending, I am here to help you!

If you are familiar with my blog, you may have noticed that I had a similar post last year. Also, I had weekly posts leading up to the event to help you fully prepare. Because those posts were so popular and helpful, I decided to recreate them this year and include some new tips. Because BookCon is a primarily new convention, they are continuing to improve so my posts will be different from the originals. If you all enjoy this post, let me know and feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have about BookCon!

Though a rolling bad is not necessarily needed, it could be a massive help!

At BookCon, you will get plenty of books. As you all know, books are heavy. Carrying many books with only a few tote bags is complete hell. If you want to save your back and arms, put a rolling bag in coat check. NO ROLLING BAGS CAN BE ON THE SHOW FLOOR, YOU HAVE TO CHECK IT INTO COAT CHECK!!

Do not over plan!!

I did this, too. I thought that I could be at five places at one time. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong. I am going to state the sad truth, you will not make it to half of your events if you over plan (especially if they require a wristband). For autographing area signings, you have to be in line AT LEAST an hour before it starts. It does not matter whether you buy a book or not. Despite BookCon stating that you need a book purchase, a purchased book does not mean that you will be able to get it signed. So, if you are planning on buying a book and showing up ten minutes before the signing, you have a slim chance of that happening.

Also, unless you are a VIP, you need to be super early for popular panels in order to get good seats. Panels are first come first serve! VIPs, you get first to pick for seats as long as you stand in line twenty minutes prior.

To be honest, I ditched my schedule and spent most of my Bookcon at the booths.You receive way more free stuff at booths and you can still go to signings that you don’t have to wait in line for hours. Spend a lot of time at booths!

Arrive at Bookcon really early!!

I do not know if BookCon is still having wristband events because they haven’t announced the autographing schedule yet. However, the wristband signings were significantly better than the sessions the prior year where it was based off who arrived at the autograph line early. The prior years, people would buy the book but not be able to get it signed. However, the wristbands were given out before BookCon even started and GUARANTEED you an autograph. Only problem, the people in the front of the line to get into the convention get first choice of wristbands. If you are at the end of the line, you WILL NOT receive a wristband. It’s annoying but it is, in a way, fair because if you show us at the convention at 4am you do deserve the wristbands you want. I arrived at 4:30 AM last year and I was one of the first thirty people in line. Because of that, I got all of the wristbands that I wanted. (In the picture above, that was all of my friends and me waiting in line at 4:30. It’s tiring but it’s so exciting that you do not care!)

DO NOT CUT LINES!!!!!!

If there is one thing that I despise, it is line cutters. And if you happen to have a habit of cutting lines, you better not do it around me. I will call you out in front of the whole convention center. And since BookCon has a strict rule against cutting lines, you will be asked to leave. I do not care to hear your reasoning for cutting lines. If I see you cut, I will not hesitate to call you out.

Stay at the Show Floor

So, you can either spend your whole day waiting in line for signings at the autographing area, or you can spend you day receiving many books and having to only waste thirty minutes in line at booth signings. The show area is incredible. Last year, I spent the whole day there and received many amazing books! However, DO NOT (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE) TAKE MULTIPLE COPIES OF ARCS!! You are the biggest asshole if you take three ARCs when there are other people who paid to go to BookCon who would love to have one of those ARCs. You only need one ARC and if your friend wants one, share the ARC. Don’t be annoying. You will be the reason publishers refuse to bring ARCs and we will all hate you. Also, SELLING ARCS IS ILLEGAL AND A SERIOUS MATTER. There was a lot of controversy over these two topics after BookCon last year, If you do these things, you lose respect in the book industry and will probably never receive ARCs again. ARCS ARE A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT!!

Socialize While Waiting

In all honesty, you will spend half of your day in lines. It could go both ways: it could either be terrible or you could make the most of it and talk to fellow bookworms. You are going to be surrounded by bookworms, make friends!!

Wear Comfy Clothes

You will be walking A LOT! You want to wear shows and clothes that won’t make you in pain. Keep in mind, the floors are concrete and only some exhibitors have carpet floors. Concretes is hard on your feet if you walk on it all day. Also, flip flops, although they are comfy, aren’t desired shoes.

Get the App!

The BookCon app is truly a blessing. Not only is it informational, the people you meet on the app are so amazing. I still am great friends with many of them. On the app, there are planners that you can use to organize your schedule for BookCon. Also, it allows you to see whats going on during the event. Another fun thing is every year, I make a group chat with newbies and experienced BookCon attendees where we plan meets ups and talk about books. Usually, we will all go out to dinner one night during BookCon. If you are interested in joining it, contact me!

There are events around BookCon, too!

The fun of BookCon will be available at other places around the city! Because, so many authors will be staying in New York, book stores will typically host events with them after BookCon. If you look at the event tabs on bookstore websites, they will list when they are hosting events around the time of BookCon. Many Attendees will be at the other events as well.

Do Not Bring Every Book From Every Author You Want To Meet!

You will regret it. You will have to carry those books with you for the whole day. Also, some authors may only sign one book so it would be a waste. Bring only the ones that you desperately want to get signed.

Bring Snacks!

My friend and I forgot to bring snacks because we were planning on buying lunch instead. However, me and my friend were too bus looking for books that we wanted so we never bought lunch. Starving, my friend and I ate left over food from Penguin that had been out all day. I would strongly advise you to being snacks so you don’t have to eat stale food and have people look disgusted at you.

Follow and turn on post notifications for publishers and other people at the event.

Many publishers and authors will tweet about give aways at the event. When I was there last year, all the books that I wanted  had received  because of these giveaways. Once you see a notification, you have to sprint to those booths because their items will be gone in seconds. Last year, there was one final copy of Futhermore by Tahereh Mafi (she is my favorite author ever) and I waited by that booth until they finally tweeted it. I ended up getting that book sixteen seconds after they tweeted it.

Bookcon Checklist

  1. Book money!!!! Books are sold at Barnes and Noble price. If you want five hard cover novels, then bring around $110. A lot of booths give out free books so you really don’t need to buy many books.
  2. Lunch money. Lunch is pretty pricey at convention centers. Snacks are a far better option since lunch is expensive and takes up too much time.
  3. Your ticket!!!!! It is the only way you will be allowed inside.
  4. A lanyard for your ticket!! You should wear your badge at ALL TIMES!
  5. One tote bag. You will get more but you want to bring one to hold your books until you find more totes.
  6. Rolling bag!!
  7. Snacks!
  8. Some books that you want to get signed.
  9. A list or schedule of who you want to meet.
  10. Business cards if you are a blogger, booktuber, author, publisher, etc.

 

Bookcon FAQs

  • Will they post a map of the show floor? Yes, but the maps aren’t that great.
  • How early should I arrive at the convention center? Two hours before or earlier. The earlier you arrive, the better chance you have at getting wristbands for everything you want to see.
  • How early should I arrive for panels and signings? In booth signings: a half and hour. Autographing area and panels: an hour and a half or earlier.
  • Will there be food to buy there? Yes, but it will be pretty pricey.
  • Will it be okay to bring a backpack with me? Yes, But I recommend bringing a rolling bag and putting it in coat check.
  • Do you need to buy books for signings at Bookcon? Only if it says that you do on the details of the signing.

Social Media in Books

Hello!

My blog has been very inactive and it is because of finals. Finals are the worst thing about the school year. Because I want to get decent grades on my exams, I needed to use all my time for studying. However I will be done on tuesday.

Anyway, I have been having a little conflict with many of the books I have been reading. A while ago, my aunt pointed out that many books she read in her teen years weren’t as good now because the outdated fads present in those books. I used to not notice how fads are present in books but now I feel as if they are everywhere. Personally, I am not a fan of using fads in books.

The main craze that I see authors use in their books is social media. In these past few months, most of the books I read incorporated social media into their stories. I am fine reading about a fake website that the author created but it feels a little weird when certain stories incorporate Twitter into the plot. See how I said “certain”? Not all stories are bad for using Instagram or Twitter. However, some books portray the media platforms oddly. Also, they use texting in awkward ways. For example, I once read a book where the author typed “smiley face emoji”. I would be okay if the emoji was actually present but when the author types “smiley face emoji”, it makes the idea of incorporating emojis completely pointless.

Another major thing is that fads are usually not permanent. In reality, Twitter won’t be people’s main source of media for long. Our society moves through crazes very quickly. When you use fads frequently in your novels, it makes your book feel outdated when the craze has ended. Also, it makes your book hard to relate to when you mention a fad that hasn’t been relevant for many years. For example, I read a story that heavily mentioned Myspace. Even considering this book was young adult and was targeted at the young adult audience, the book did not seem as relatable. I am 16 years old so reading about a social media platform that was only used when I was in middle school has no use for me. I could not relate to something that was not popular when I began social media. The book, no matter how amazing it is, won’t be as good because young adults today never used Myspace.

Overall, I do not enjoy social media references in books because new social media is constantly being creating and it is getting rid of previous media platforms. It is better to create a fake media platform in your book than risking your book will be outdated in a few years because of a fad you wrote about. However, this is just my opinion. I do not need anyone feeling targeted by this post. How do you feel about social media references in books?

True Born by L.E. Sterling

*I RECEIVED THIS NOVEL FROM ENTANGLED TEEN. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN!*

TitleTrue Born

Author: L.E. Sterling

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia

Date of Publication:May 3rd , 2016

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Pages:Hardcover, 304 pages

SummaryWelcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

Purchase Here: http://amzn.to/1WFacxn


In every book bloggers career, there comes a time where she/he is asked to review a starter of a series, This is my third time and it is torture! I need the rest of the series now!

As I state every time I read a fantasy or science fiction novel, I am not a huge fan of those genres. It’s not that I dislike those genres, I just prefer contemporary reads over them. However, when Entangled Teen sent me a box with True Born and an adorable mug, I could not help but be excited about this book.

True Born is about Lucy and her twin sister, Margot, who were attached at birth. In Dominion City, there is a plague that occurred and damaged the genes of all citizens. Splicers and Lasters have no hope of their genes not self-destructing. However, True Borns are evolved to not be affected by the plague.

On a person’s eighteenth birthday, the young adult has a party to reveal whether they are True Born, Splicer, or Laster. If they are True Born they are shunned and disowned from their family. The twins are a part of the Upper Circle, the high society of Dominion City. That being said, being True Born would disgrace their family. Just their luck, their test to decide what group they are a part of are inconclusive. The pair has to face problems of people after them, possible romance with potentially dangerous men, and a battle of themselves as they try to find where they belong.

The first part of the story is primarily the world and character building. Readers get a glimpse of what it means to be labeled into each group. The main reason for the first half of the book was to shed light onto Lucy and Margot’s character.

Lucy is someone who would do anything to protect her sister even if it meant she had to face the consequences. The author stresses how Lucy feels she is not as important as Margot is, “And when Margo walks into a room, she commands all eyes while I, the sparrow, sit unnoticed and observe. Margot is fire: bright and ready to burn out of control. I am the less exciting twin, the responsible twin” (Sterling, 2). The author emphasizes the bond between the twins throughout the story. She often states the connection and bond they share as well as how much she references Lucy’s big toe, where Margot and her were connected. Lucy is a very sympathetic character. Readers will want to reach into the book and yell at her for not living life for herself. Lucy developed immensely throughout the story and you begin to realize how badass she is.

Margot is a character that is harder to enjoy. Despite her love for her sister, Margot was careless throughout the story. The author constantly mentions her carelessness. Many times, her ability to not look out for herself affected many people. She develops slightly in the story.

Jared is a hot and cold character. As Lucy’s potential love interest, he shows up and she is automatically charmed by his looks. Like many stories, Jared is shown to be a jerk who then becomes likable. In the end, readers will ship the two together. Being True Born, he faces a lot of problems that make him irritable. However, his protectiveness over Lucy is what makes his character admiral. Jared often confronts Lucy about her focus on keeping her sister safe. In fact, he helps Lucy understand that she is allowed a life outside of keeping her sister safe. I cannot wait to see how he evolves in the rest of the series.

A slight problem I had with the book was the writing style. I believe the author has a beautiful and poetic style but it sometimes felt sloppy. Parts of the story felt rushed or overshadowed. I know that the major concepts of the story were the plague and the groups. I felt that it jumped back and forth when focusing on each and it felt awkward.

The overall plot was awesome. After the world building, we got into all the action! Also, the slow building of sexual tension between Lucy and Jared was perfect. I kept wanting more scenes between them. Readers will be faced with a few crazy plot twists. The story held me until it was over. I finished the book in five hours and still have a massive book hangover. I. NEED. THE. NEXT. TWO. BOOKS!!

Overall, I loved this book! One of the best books that I have ever promoted. I need the rest of the series now. Entangled Teen is killing me with these series starters! They are so incredible. I highly recommend.

How To Continue Reading Despite a Busy Schedule

Because my spring break is quickly approaching, I have become bombarded with work. Between taking the IOWA tests, starting softball, doing CrossFit, finishing many papers for school, and almost being done the third marking period of Sophomore year, I feel completely overwhelmed.

During times where I have an increased amount of work, I tend to lose time for reading and writing. As you can tell, my blog has been pretty inactive lately. I swear it is not because I am quitting, it is because I can’t find time to write. I decided that since I haven’t completed a book, I would post a piece about how to find time for reading when you are busy.

Read when you find time at work/school/anywhere else.

The time where I read the most is during school. When I am already in a learning environment, I feel more focused. Whenever I finish a test or assignment, I pick up my book and read. Also, if I want to, I will read during my lunch break. If you don’t make time during the day to read, you cannot expect to find time.

If you use public transportation then try to read during your commute.

Whether it be a bus, train, or even a plane, I find that reading when traveling helps pass the time. For me, it is easy for to read when commuting to school because I do not drive. However, for some people I understand why it would be difficult.

Read a chapter a night!

My golden rule for staying motivated is to read a chapter a night. A chapter is not a lot but it is better than not reading at all. By reading a chapter a night, you are able to not fall too deep into a reading slump.

I hope you find these tips helpful. I know how hard reading can be in busy situations but it is manageable. Please let me know in the comments of any tips that you have!