Oh my gosh, guys/gals/friends! I could not have been any happier with this year’s North Texas Teen Book Festival! It’s such a joy to be able to attend this book festival for the third year in a year, and I must say that this is the best one I’ve attended so far!
I attended with my best friend Calye, and we went in with a game plan this time. Last year we both got overwhelmed due to all the craziness and there just being a lot of people but this year, we faired much better. We also met Mary over at Fox and Wit and boy did we make a team!
We had a goal to our hands on some ARCs if the lines weren’t too crazy, and I think we did a fairly good job. The big bonus was seeing many of the authors I look up to and those who have written amazing books that I just go on and on and on about.
With this festival of over 70 authors, panels, and events, sometimes it’s just so hard to choose what to do and who to see! But because this is a teen book festival, there were some “Teen Only” events, and I have to admit, I was a bit envious! To be able to sit in a room or at a table with a famous author–wow! I wish events like these existed when I was a teenager (although I’m glad I can experience them now with a bit more freedom as an adult).
There was a bunch of really neat swag from posters, pins, playing cards, and the ever present and coveted ARCs! One publisher booth was WILD with people trying to get some stuff, and I managed to squeeze in and get a few things as well. 😉 I imagine this is a publisher’s way of getting rid of all their excess swag. LOL (As if I need any more of that in my house.)
On the right hand side of the book stack are the books I bought in order to get my books signed (minus Stay Sweet which I “won” by giving the publisher booth the password they Tweeted out. It was so random, and I happened to be all of 10 feet away from the booth when they Tweeted). As you can see, I also got a few ARCs. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green and the PenguinTeen T-shirt were gifts because I was already subscribed to their newsletter. I just had to go to the booth and show them the newsletter. 🙂
Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh, the sequel to Flame in the Mist, was a fun thing to obtain. PenguinTeen Tweeted a phrase you needed to tell them in order to win a “prize.” Little did I know it was SitS and I was so happy to get it! The year before, I got an ARC of Flame in the Mist!
One of my favorite items is the Shatter Me quote poster! You can’t tell but it’s actually quite metallic in real life. I love it so much that I already bought a frame to put it in and it’s currently sitting on my desk!
My next favorite thing? The A Reaper in the Gates sampler. You know why? Because:
A picture right next to Sabaa! Cue tears and happiness! She was so kind in agreeing to take a picture with me! She’s also such a blast to see as well. This is officially my third time seeing her, and I adore her and her writing so much, I will forever continue to see her. I’m crossing my fingers she’ll tour around me once A Reaper at the Gates hits shelves!
By the time the signing came around, my arms were so full of stuff! I had to drop the books I wasn’t getting signed at my car while also picking up the books I did want signed! The rule at this festival is that for every 2 books you bring from home, you must buy 1 book at the festival. The cashier will give you a wristband that you must wear in order to get into the signing line. Calye really wanted to see Leigh Bardugo, who was 1 of 3 authors whom you needed an extra wristband to see. Those wristbands were dispersed outside the convention center and Calye was fortunate enough to get a wristband! Cue triumphant music!
Look at these signing lines!
The area inside the convention center used for signing was ginormous, even with thousands upon thousands of people!
My first stop was to see Emily X.R. Pan, who wrote one of my favorite books of 2018.
I was so proud of myself for not crying! She signed the ARC and the finished copy, and I could not be happier to have both of these in my hands! Her book means so much to be as a biracial female, and if I haven’t told you already, go buy this book! (You can read my review of the ARC here.)
Robin Roe graciously signed her amazing book, A List of Cages. Then I scurried over to see Renee Ahdieh. She noticed The Flame in the Mist was not the U.S. edition, and asked me if I got it from a book subscription box. 🙂 She also signed the ARC of Smoke in the Sun. I just wanted to throw this in there: ARCs are NOT for sale. They’re NEVER for sale. Publishers graciously offer ARCs for FREE to readers. If you’re one of those despicable people who sell them on eBay, SHAME ON YOU. If you think publishers or authors don’t know better, think again. I actually wanted SitS only signed, but Renee stated it had to be personalized (with my name on it) as well because people are selling them on eBay. C’mon, people, there’s a giant stamp on the front that says NOT FOR SALE. How can you be so inconsiderate? /endrant
The only person I could not get a picture with was Jenny Han! I got the first two books in the All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy signed, but her line was long, so we couldn’t stop to take pictures. I really wanted to buy a copy of Always and Forever, Lara Jean but only the paperback copy was available to buy and since it didn’t match my hardbacks… I couldn’t bring myself to do it. 😅
Overall, I had a fantastic time. This year, I had a game plan! I focused less on panels and more about getting cool stuff from the publishers’ booths. I don’t regret it. 🙂 I want to give a special shoutout to the ladies running the PenguinTeen booth for being so incredibly kind despite all the craziness! 🙂
Next year’s North Texas Teen Book Festival is tentatively scheduled for March 23. Fortunately for me, I think I’m actually on spring break during that time, so maybe I’ll get the chance to go to the author luncheon which takes place the day before the festival. Who knows!
Until we meet again… ❤