Book Expo America 2016 was in Chicago this year so it was a given that I’d attend! My other halves (other thirds?), Alyssa from Books Take You Places and Amy from Tripping Over Books, came out to Chicago and we all headed out to BEA together on Tuesday afternoon! The trip was excellent, as always, and it was so amazing to spend time with all of the wonderful bookish people I’ve come to know throughout the years!
TUESDAY, MAY 10TH
Tuesday we headed into the city and met up with some fellow bloggers to go see The Bean (official name: Cloud Gate) in Millennium Park! I’ve visited a few times being a Chicago suburbanite but it was so much fun to see everyone experience it for the first time and it’s always fun to feel free to be touristy, even when it’s a city I know well! We took some requisite Bean selfies and other photos before we headed off to dinner for some deep dish pizza! Lou Malnati’s is my favorite place to grab deep dish and I’m never, ever disappointed. The pizza was delicious and the company was wonderful!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11TH
Due to a family emergency, I got to the floor late on Wednesday so I really didn’t pick up too many books! I did end up getting REPLICA by Lauren Oliver which was something I really wanted to snag. The story has two different narrators but the two sides can either be read entirely one and then the other or alternating. I did get a copy of REPLICA from Edelweiss but if I’m going to read it in alternating POVs, that really doesn’t work reading it on my Kindle! I haven’t decided how I’m going to do it yet but I can’t wait to read this one!
After the conference, we headed out to dinner at Carnivale with a group of blogger besties! We were looking for something unique with a fun atmosphere and Carnivale was a delight! It wasn’t crowded since we came on a Wednesday and it looks like they get into some pretty cool shows on the weekends, complete with aerial performances! I got jerk ribs (I love ribs) and they were so good! We split a chocolate cigar for dessert and it actually looked like cigar. The service was great, atmosphere was fun, and company was top notch!
THURSDAY, MAY 12TH
Thursday was the busiest day! We spent a bunch of time trying to grab our most-coveted ARCs and were able to see so many amazing authors! I haven’t read the Miss Peregrine series yet (I am starting it soon!) but we met Ransom Riggs and got a chapter sampler signed for his upcoming release Tales of the Peculiar. I got to say hello again to Gayle Forman and get an ARC of her adult novel, Leave Me! I absolutely love Gayle and all of her young adult books so although I don’t really read adult contemporary, I can’t wait to see what this book has in store for readers! I met Jennifer Niven and received a copy of her upcoming release, Holding up the Universe, as well as Adam Gidwitz for his latest MG novel. I was able to pick up a bunch of ARCs I’ve been looking forward to from the NOVL, a cute contemporary from HarperTeen, and the first in a new series called Stalking Jack the Ripper!
Thursday night held some publisher parties for us! I met up with the Bloomsbury team and some of their authors for food and drinks! It was great to see Lizzy, Erica, and the rest of the Bloomsbury ladies in attendance! I also got to meet Elizabeth Eulberg who is so sweet as well as author Danielle Paige. Jeff Giles wasn’t able to make it to the party due to a flight delay but I did get to meet him the next day! It was the first time I had seen my blurb in the ARC of The Edge of Everything so that was SUCH a cool experience!!
After Bloomsbury we conveniently walked two blocks to the Macmillan/Fierce Reads party at Berghoff! It was such a delight to hang out with more blogger friends and I was overjoyed to be able to really spend some time with Marissa Meyer! We chatted for a bit with Mary from Macmillan and a gentleman who I later found out is the president of Macmillan! (I hope I didn’t say anything TOO embarrassing in front of him. We were all talking about truth or dare so…) I got to say hello to the lovely and fierce Leigh Bardugo and meet Caleb Roehrig who has a debut coming out in the fall! The party was great and I’m so glad I was able to attend, especially since I missed it last year!!
FRIDAY, MAY 13TH
Friday was all about obtaining an ARC of Gemina!! Penguin Random House didn’t really do ANY drops at all except for the one that was scheduled on Friday at 3:30pm so we meandered around the floor for most of the day, meeting a few authors and grabbing a few books, but we made sure to SET UP for Gemina! In the meantime, we happened to somehow stumble into Laini Taylor’s signing and there was mysteriously (miraculously?) NO LINE. We just walked right up and got to meet her! As usual I was quite flabbergasted and made an idiot of myself in front of a huge author but she was very sweet and I’m so excited I got to meet her because she was one of the author’s I’ve wanted to meet but she hadn’t come to town yet!
It was finally Gemina time and we almost didn’t even know it! Around 1pm, we ran out of places we really wanted to be so we figured why not go line up early for the ARC drop? It was a good thing we headed over there because there was already a line forming!! There had to have been hundreds and hundreds of people by the time it was time for the drop. Yes, we waited two and a half hours to grab this book! We are that excited for it. We heard that Jay Kristoff was walking around and if you gave him a secret keyword, he had ARCs of his latest solo release Nevernight! Girls literally went RUNNING. I want that book so badly and Kristina from Gone Pecan got one! He had limited ARCs since they were just in his messenger bag so we are convincing her to share ;D But really it was just super neat to meet him and he was so tickled with how many people were in line for Gemina!
All was well, we easily made it within the number range to grab Gemina (I think most people did!) and that was it for BEA 2016!