This festival has become my one and only for the past few years. It’s the closest one to me, outside of the Oklahoma Teen Book Con, which takes place every two years. (I volunteered for the inaugural one in 2017!)
The North Texas Teen Book Festival (or NTTBF for short) boasts over 70 authors, a day filled with panels, giveaways from publishers, and thousands upon thousands of people crammed into a single Saturday starting at 8 AM to about 5 PM. It’s fun and exhilarating.
You can check out my previous NTTBF posts here:
This year I went with my friend, Amy, whom I met through bookstagram. I don’t even remember what caused us to start DMing… Maybe it was something about The Winner’s Curse since we both enjoy the series? Anyway, that’s not the point… The point is we had a blast together!
Please excuse the quality of some of these photos as I took them with my iPhone since I didn’t want to carry around my camera! And most of these photos I posted on my IG Story, so if you follow me there, you might recognize them! 😉
The day started super early! Amy wanted a ticket so she could stand in the signing line for Tahereh Mafi. We arrived at the convention center about 7:45 or so and scored a ticket!
Then we hurried inside to scout some of the publisher booths around the area. There were some on the 1st and the 4th floor, and I particularly kept my eye on both the Fierce Reads and the PenguinTeen booth because they had three of my most coveted ARCs that I hoped to get at the festival… And you guys! It happened!
I wish y’all could have felt my excitement when I got this in my hands! I’ve loved Maurene’s books since I Believe in a Thing Called Love, then I was on the blog tour for The Way You Make Me Feel. I tried requesting Somewhere Only We Know in Edelweiss and NetGalley but no luck! And now look! It’s in my hands! *screaming*
But that’s not all! I made sure to turn on my notifications via Twitter for the publishers that were attending, and shrieked when I found out Fierce Reads were giving away ARCs of We Hunt the Flame, which is another of my most anticipated releases of the year!
One of my favorite parts about book festivals is that these people are your people. I mean, you likes books, they like books, you talk about books–it’s seriously the best! So I met some friends when I was in line, waiting for the ARC drop of We Hunt the Flame… And we all did a thing!
Amy and I stopped for an early lunch. From my experience in the past, I know the line at the cafe to get lunch can be ridiculously long. We didn’t really eat breakfast either (gotta get that ticket!), so we were starving, lol. The view wasn’t bad either. 🙂
When I first started attending this festival, there really wasn’t a lot around this area. But in the past few years, so much has popped up! I remember when there wasn’t anything across the street. The weather was nice, a bit cloudy with some rain earlier, but it really cleared up and made for a great end of the day, too.
And then… Amy and I decided to brave the book buying lines!
I purchased a copy of Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Abid Khorram which I’ve heard amazing things about. I wanted to get Internment by Samira Ahmed as well, but it sold out really fast, and when I kept checking back to see if it was restocked, I never saw any. So I bought a copy of Little White Lies by Jennifer Barnes instead.
One of the great things about this festival is that all the books sold here are pre-signed, so in case you can’t get it signed in person, you still have a signed book!
I didn’t sit in many panels this year. To be honest, none of them really appealed to me. I did want to go to the BookTube one, but it coincided with something else I wanted to do. In the meantime, I went to a publisher panel with Get Underlined but had to leave a little early in hopes of getting another one of my most anticipated releases.
PenguinTeen did a really cool event, where you spun a wheel and whatever it landed on, was the book you got. I was dying for Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, but with this game of chance, I wasn’t sure I would get it. The line was so long that it extended outside and nearly wrapped around the convention center building. But bless Amy and the book gods for allowing her to win an ARC of Wicked Fox which she swapped with me. Book friends are the best friends!
Then I went to stand in line to get books signed.
I brought 3 books to get signed: Samira Ahmed’s Love, Hate, and Other Filters, Legendary by Stephanie Garber (I got Caraval signed last year before Legendary was out), and Mirage by Somaiya Daud.
Stephanie Garber’s line was so long, I had to go into another line to wait. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it signed but time was on my side! All the authors I met are literally the sweetest people ever!
Afterward Amy and I went to eat dinner and then collapsed on our hotel beds. It was a full, long day!
Of course, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of all the goodies I got when I came home.
I can’t wait for next year’s festival, which is already set for March 7! I hope I didn’t bore you with any of this! The thing you have to remember about book festivals is patience and long lines. I bought a new laptop backpack since I didn’t want to carry about my messenger bag and it helped so much.