Event Recap: Ontario Teen Bookfest + Jay Crownover Meeting

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and for that I apologize, but I wanted to recap on an event I went to on Saturday that just blew my mind – Ontraio Teen Book Fest. & also the fantastic meet I had with Jay Crownover!

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It was my first time attending this event (despite my blogger friend having told me about it before), but when that same blogger friend asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour, I jumped on it. And I’m so glad I did! As you guys have read from my previous post, I got to interview Shannon Messenger who is a joy to talk to, so seeing her at the fest was awesome. But the amount of authors in attendance, and all the readers and other bloggers, it was all so amazing.

The keynote speakers were my favorite part of this event. Hearing the way writing and reading has changed the lives of these authors was like validation to something I already knew, but love to hear time and time again. And that is words are very powerful. The words we speak, the words we write, the words we read, even the words we don’t say – they are so powerful. And the keynote speakers definitely reflected that beautifully.

The panels from the event were also super fun and entertaining, and we learned so much more about the authors themselves and the book they wrote. The first panel I went to featured some great panelist all talking about sci-fi and how they build those worlds…

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The second panel of the day featured more great authors who discussed how they create and maintain their “normal” worlds in their contemporary novels…

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The best part of this event was also the author speed dating. The way that works is you get a small group of people (about 3 to 4) and sit them at a numbered table and, much like speed dating, you get a small window of time to talk with a few authors. It’s a lot of fun when you get passed the general nervousness of “omg, what do I say to these awesome authors?”

You just ask any question you want and end up going on for five minutes about YA heroines having their periods during post-apocalyptic times and The 100. Yup, that really happened.

Then came the signing! I got to talk and take photos with the authors and got so many compliments on my purple hair and green eyes. Seriously. Not to toot my own horn but, go me πŸ˜‰

First we have: Katie Finn aka Morgan Matson
I seriously need to read her Katie Finn books like asap.

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Then: Melissa Landers
She also informed me that she has a few NA books out so, you all know I HAVE to get my hands on those!

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Then: Shannon Messenger
Poor thing has gone through hell just to finish her drafts, but her bubbly personality never faltered.

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Then: Lauren Miller
I bought her book Parallel at the fest so I can’t wait to read it!

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Then came: Claudia Gray
I am so so excited to read her book A Thousand Pieces of You because, hello, Russia & also: book 2’s cover is wicked!

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Then: Kasie West
I absolutely LOVE what she wrote in my copy of On The Fence because it’s my tattered book from Disneyland…long story.

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Yup that is me on Splash Mountain with Kasie West’s On The Fence – front and center.

Then came: Jessica Brody
I am about to start reading Unchanged but she told me something that I imagine will stay with me forever basically: “Give the readers the ending they want, but not in the way they expect it.” Solid advice. And very reassuring πŸ˜‰

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Then: Michelle Levy
Her debut novel comes out in August and I’m so excited to read it. Romantic comedy, of course πŸ˜‰

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And finally: Aaron Hartzler
He will also be at YallWest and LATFOB this year and that is where I’ll gush over him again because I’ll have read his book. But seriously, his keynote speech brought me to tears. He’s amazing!

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Now, the fun did not stop there for me. Oh, no. My friend and I had tickets to attend a Authors Under the Lights event and, long story short, I’m an idiot who can’t get dates right. We were really only going to see Jay Crownover because we are in LOVE with her books and she mentioned she wouldn’t be coming back to LA for a veeeery long time. So, despite getting our ticket date wrong, I took to the magical world of Twitter. I got in contact with Jay and, because she’s an awesome human being, she agreed to meet us!

So, after driving there & sitting in traffic, and then waiting another hour and a half, we finally met Jay. She casually strolled by the coffee cart we were sitting next to and then the words “JAY” left my mouth so fast I didn’t even know I had said it until she turned around. Then the world stood still. Ha, no totally kidding. But it was awesome. She sat and chatted with us and it honestly felt like meeting up with an old friend, not a bestselling author. And I have to say, it was well worth the wait. Never mind the fact that all the things I wanted to say flew out of my head the moment she sat down with us, and never mind the fact I was running on about five hours of sleep, and forget that I hadn’t eaten for 8 hours that day…Completely worth it. And now I’m expecting a calendar for Christmas, Jay. Preferably something with hot men on them. And some tattoos. I can guarantee I will NEVER get my dates wrong again πŸ˜‰

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It was an epic way to end the day (that and the delicious Wendy’s chicken nuggets I devoured afterward. Shout out to those nuggets.)

Exhaustion and elation are the only two words I can think to describe that Saturday. Amazing, amazing day.

Till the next review, guys!

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