The one bummer about this year's festival is that it was the first time I was sans my book nerd bestie Jessica. Luckily, one of my favorite friends Ashley was happy to hang with me, so Saturday morning after a quick trip to Starbucks to fuel up, we hit the freeway to USC and managed to make it to the first panel of the day with Kiersten White, Tahereh Mafi, Rachel Cohn, and Michelle Gagnon. Ashley and I managed to grab a small slice of shade under a tiny tree and listen to the authors read from their books and answer various questions.
(Sadly, there's no photo of the panel. I was off to the left and a big speaker cut off two of the authors. Boo.)
When it came time for the signing, I was super excited to finally meet Kiersten White and get my books signed. After standing in line for a bit, I was able to regale Kiersten with the story of my minor emotional breakdown when I couldn't find her book Endlessly at Barnes & Noble. Luckily I was able to buy it at the Mrs. Nelson's booth at the festival and get it signed with no worries and I made Kiersten laugh with my crazy.
After lunch and people watching (FYI- people included a quick celebrity gawk at the legendary Carol Burnett as she was nearing the end of her book signing!), we headed to an afternoon panel with Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver, Victoria Schwab, and Lissa Price. Thankfully, this panel took place inside with air conditioning and cushy auditorium seats as the good Lord intended, so I was comfy and excited to participate. There was such great discussion in this panel about the writing process in general and great insight into what makes each of these incredible authors tick. I really enjoyed it.
As Ashley and I trudged out to the USC Track field for the signing, I felt a bit trepidatious looking at the epically long line for Veronica Roth. We stood in Lauren Oliver's line which was only slightly shorter and after 45 minutes, I was able to get my copy of Requiem signed and take a pic with her.
Once I got through Lauren's line, I was devastated to see that Veronica's line had not gotten any smaller, if anything it had increased by at least half! As much I would have loved to wait and get the chance to meet Veronica, I had to leave. (sadface) I'm hoping that she'll make her way to LA when Allegiant is released and I'll be able to rectify this situation.
On Sunday, I got a bit of a late start and just barely made it to the Call Me Maybe panel with Robin Benway, Gayle Forman, Morgan Matson, and Sarah Dessen (!!!). I have to say this was my favorite panel of the whole festival. Not only are Gayle Forman and Robin Benway two of my favorite authors and imaginary best friends, but I was super stoked to meet Sarah Dessen, who is the author of one of my favorite books ever, This Lullaby (Hate Spinnerbait)!!!
When the panel was over and it was time for the signing I was grateful I remembered that Sarah Dessen would be having an additional signing later that afternoon, so I could get my books signed by Gayle Forman and Robin Benway and still make my next panel. Can I just to take a minute to say that both Gayle and Robin are completely awesome? Because seriously, they are. /gushing
For my last panel, it was back to the YA Stage with Elizabeth Eulberg, DC Pierson, Sean Beaudoin, and Amy Spalding. I was so glad to wrap up my day with this panel because it was all about comedy and humor in YA. It had some weird title about giggles and guffaws but really, each author was obviously hilarious and I enjoyed hearing snippets from each of their books.
My final stop of the festival was getting in line to get my books signed by Sarah Dessen. Luckily after my previous signing, I was right around the corner and jetted right over to get in line. Before I knew it, Sarah was in place and I was talking to her while she signed my books. I think the entire thing took less than a minute but Sarah was SO nice. In my excitement, of course I forgot to take a picture with her. (sadface again)
I absolutely love going to the Festival of Books. Despite the heat and epic amount of walking it is still one of the biggest highlights of my year.