It’s that time again …. time I post my BEA recap! Instead of writing up one extremely long, picture overloaded post I decided to break my recap down into three parts for your reading pleasure! This year was exceptionally fun! I had the chance to meet so many bloggers, publicists, and authors. This was my fifth year attending Book Expo, and I can say that this year, honestly was the best!
And what made it so great wasn’t just the books – it was the people, the vibe, and oddly enough the organization!
So, here’s how it all went down ….
BEA15 kicked off with Jenny Han’s launch of P.S. I Still Love You at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn. It may not have been the wisest idea to be out so late before the big BEA day, but it was totally worth it. As luck would have it I was able to get Tuesday off, so that mean that A) I would in fact be able to attend the launch and B) I would get to go into NYC a whole day earlier!
This year I decided to take Emma (fellow blogger, real life BFF, and BEA partner in crime) and her mom up on their very generous offer to spend the week at their place. This made my life, and BEA a little easier – no more earlier commutes, or expensive hotels!
I arrived at Emma’s place just around lunch time, we chatted, ate, and before we knew it we were headed towards Brooklyn! I was super excited about this launch – not just because it was my chance to meet Jenny, not just because P.S. I Still Love You would be mine, but because I was planning on meeting Nicole (from Nicole’s Novel Reads). Nicole is who I’ve been giving to for this round of the OTSPSecretSister Swap. I had her May gift in hand and I was ready for the night ahead of me.
I had been to Powerhouse Arena one time before, when I went for Ransom Riggs’ launch of Hollow City, so I was a bit familiar of the store’s layout. But let me tell you: the store was transform and buzzing electric with all the excitement!
(Photo courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)
Before we knew it, Jenny was taking to the podium! She looked radiant (as she normally does)! She read a bit from P.S. I Still Love You (boy, I was glad to have read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before just a few weeks prior to this, so nothing would be spoiled!), and answered all of our burning questions.
Because Emma and I arrived ridiculously early (as is our way) we were in the first group to get our books signed. Even though I already had a signed ARC of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I decided that I needed a hardcover copy in my life!
Jenny was super sweet! She signed both of my books, we chatted about my love of Peter, and she even took a picture with me!
After the signing it was time to mingle and check out all the things that Jenny had planned for the launch. On the upper level of Powerhouse Arena there was a fabulous nail artist doing P.S. I Still Love You inspired nails, there was an amazing makeup artist offering mini-makeovers, and there was even a replica of Lara Jean’s room for guests to take pictures in.
The line for the nail artist was by far the longest. So Emma and I decided to hop on the line for the mini-makeovers. I’m a makeup girl – I love buying it and wearing it. So getting the chance to get some tips from a real life makeup artist was great! And, not to sound vein, Emma and I looked great!
After our makeovers, we also were able to take two pictures inside of Lara Jean’s room. Sadly one of those pictures was so terrible, it will never see the light of day. Seriously, I think Emma destroyed it! But here’s the good picture for your viewing pleasure!
The launch for P.S. I Still Love You was so incredibly worth it! And it was the perfect way to kick off BEA week. Not only did I get to meet Jenny Han, but I had the chance to meet some fellow bloggers at the launch. I met Allison from Good Books and Good Wine , Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner, and Melissa from Novelty Podcast. It was so awesome to meet you ladies!
Now that the launch was over, it was time to leave Brooklyn, leave the festivities behind, and get a good night’s rest because the following day was the first official day of Book Expo America!
Wednesday (Official BEA15 Day One):
The first day of BEA15 wasn’t a full day – and Emma and I were glad for it. With the hall opening at 1:00 PM that day, it meant that we could sleep in a few extra minutes, we could take our time getting ready and getting to the Javits Center. Even though we technically didn’t need to be there until one, we decided it would be best to get there a bit early. And I’m sure glad we did! The press office, where we were to pick up our badges, was hopping!
After picking up our badges we found ourselves on an already long, snaking line! I (almost) couldn’t believe it! Seriously, it was noon! But rumor had it that people were lining up as early as 6:30 AM in hopes of running into the Exhibit Hall the moment it opened and scoring a ticket for the Truthwitch signing happening later that day. But the good thing about getting in line early is getting the chance to meet up with Cecelia from The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia. True story, Miss Print and I both met Cecelia at BEA and ever since then we’ve been thick as thieves! BEA is always great mainly because we get to hang out with her in real life!
I get the hype, and the excitement! And I’m so, so happy for all those who were able to get one of the one hundred coveted tickets. But I was also happier not to be frantic first thing in the day! Yes, crazy as it sounds Emma and I both agreed that this was one line we could skip. With most rushing towards McMillan’s booth, Emma and I were able to leisurely stroll into the hall, pick up some of our highly anticipated reads, and explore the floor in its entirety.
Wednesday was by far the quietest BEA day I have ever experienced in my BEA history.
After milling about, we made our way to the autographing area which was clear on the opposite side of the Javits Center. With all the walking back and forth, I knew I’d be getting my exercise that week! I was really excited about Emily Franklin’s signing. When the BEA lineup was officially released, I did some research and read up on all the authors/books that were going to be there. Emily’s book Last Night at Circle Cinema quickly became a book I was super excited about. I knew it needed to make a point to get this book.
And I did! Not only did I get the chance to get a copy of the book, but I also got to meet author Emily Franklin who was so sweet! It was a real pleasure meeting and chatting with her!
After meeting Emily, I made my way over to Courtney Sheinmel’s in booth signing. I’ve been curious about Edgewater since hearing about it. And the more I hear about it, the more excited I get. I was surprised to see that – after arriving a bit late to the signing – that Courtney was still there, and still signing! She was awesome, and meeting her made me even more excited to read Edgewater!
After our first two signings we met up with Cecelia who was busy with panels and signings of her own, we stopped by the Abrams books because they had a Photo Booth. But not just any photo booth a WIMPY KID photo booth! You know how much I love Wimpy Kid, right?
Abrams easily had the funnest booth of ANY BEA I’ve attended! Just see for yourself:
And this is the part of the day where things got a bit crazy. In a mere matter of hours HarperCollins was dropping Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, a book that both Emma and I was over the moon excited about! Jennifer Donnelly’s in booth signing for These Shallow Graves, and Macmillan’s in booth signing for Mike Curato, and Little Elliot, Big Family. All of which were top priorities for both of us.
Scoring a copy of Dumplin’ was easy peasy! The people at HarperCollins were on point, and as always were super nice! But getting to both Jennifer Donnelly and Mike Curato’s signing was proving to be a difficult task.
There was some confusion about when and where we could get tickets for Little Elliot, Big Family so originally we decided that we’d simply make our way to Jennifer Donnelly’s signing instead. We were handed tickets and made our way onto the long line.
It was while on line that we learned from Emma’s friend and fellow blogger Britt (from Please Feed the Bookworm) that there were a ton of tickets left for Mike’s signing. So, without hesitation Emma ran over and grabbed a ticket. In the meantime, I stayed behind holding our place and patiently waiting for her return. When I saw Emma come back into the line, I can only say she was SO happy to have that ticket in hand! Seriously, she’s probably Mike Curato’s biggest fan! Now it was my turn to run and get my ticket.
Picking up the ticket for Mike Curato’s signing a whole half hour early meant that we were able to make both in booth signings!
Now with ticket secured I had my chance to meet author Jennifer Donnelly. I read Revolution some years ago after Emma’s insistence (thanks for urging me to read this book!), and I loved every minute of it. Revolution is a book that has stuck with me since reading it. It made me smile as much as it made me cry. It was simply beautiful. So because of that, that’s why I’ve been so excited about These Shallow Graves!
Jennifer Donnelly was super nice! (I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot so get used to it, readers!). We chatted for a quick minute, I confessed my love of Revolution, and I was able to snap this quick pic of her and These Shallow Graves:
Now it was time to head over to Macmillan and onto to line for Mike Curato’s singing. It was super long, but to alleviate it the lovely people Macmillan had something fun up their sleeves. They had a Little Elliot frame where they urged fans to take a picture within and share all over the inter webs! It was such an adorable cutout, so how could we NOT take a picture (or two … or four):
Before we knew it we were at the head of the line. I was so happy that we got the chance to meet Mike. Not for my sake, but for Emma’s! She’s such a super fan, and as her friend I wanted her to meet one of her most fave authors … ever! And I know she’d do the same for me —- and she did on Friday when I dragged her to Oliver Jeffers line. But, that’s a story for my day three recap! (Stay tuned!)
After meeting Mike, and getting a signed copy of Little Elliot, Big Family it was time to say good night to the Javits Center and to BEA15 Day One!
Even though BEA15 Day One was over, the night was still young!
After scouring the streets for a way back home (the bus was VERY late and the Javits Center is in the middle of nowhere which is strange for NYC) we finally boarded a bus and heading back to Emma’s for a quick dinner with her mom. After a delicious pesto pasta dinner that Emma whipped up, we found ourselves heading into the heart of NYC – Times Square. Emma was invited to a preview for Brian Selznick’s upcoming book, The Marvels. And she was so nice to invite me along with her.
The Hudson Theater was packed wall to wall with Selznick’s fans! And I was both fortunate and happy to be among them. After hearing him talk about the book, share stories and pictures of his time in London (which you guys know I’m obsessed with), it was time to receive our arcs and meet the man behind this beautiful work of art.
Meeting Brian Selznick may have been the ultimate highlight of my day – of my whole BEA15 experience as a whole! He was so kind, and personable. And he really took the time to talk with each person he met, even though time was going by quickly and it was extremely hot!
And with that, Day One came to a close! It was a whirlwind day and the perfect kickoff to a perfect BEA experience.