Hollywood Week: Meeting the Star a.k.a Author

Hollywood Week at Rather Be Reading Blog

Greetings!

Honest truth: I always forget to do recaps of author events on Rather Be Reading. It’s so so terrible of me because I’ve gone to some great ones and never seem to get them written in time. But by a huge stroke of luck, Starstuck and Love Me author Rachel Shukert was in town around the time I brainstormed Hollywood Week (in the Notes app on my phone over a drink with my husband).

Another truth tidbit: I was absolutely so nervous to meet her. After all, she’s written two awesome books, and she used to write fantastically funny recaps for Smash (the deceased NBC show about theatre that I had a total love/hate relationship with) for New York Magazine so there’s sort of kind of a degree or two of separation between her and Jeremy Jordan (my just-below-Zac-Efron celebrity crush).

Anyway! Last Sunday afternoon, I headed over to McNally Jackson in Soho for a pre-Oscars launch party for Love Me. Truly impeccable timing because the opening of Rachel’s latest book started with main character Margo freaking out over the Oscar nominations. All bets are on her getting a nod for her first starring role, but until she knows for sure, she opts to be a total wreck.

McNally Jackson Soho

Nestled in a cozy corner of McNally’s second floor, I had a seat next to one of my (other) favorite books.

Books I Sat Next To McNally Jackson

Couldn’t be more fitting since Rachel is a huge Muppet fan too.

Rachel Shukert Book Event at McNally Jackson

To kick the event off, Rachel read a great bit from Love Me. I kept thinking WHY ISN’T MY INSIDE VOICE AS ENTERTAINING AS HERS because it’s so interesting to hear someone read from a book that you read  alone on your couch or on the subway. I’ve decided that Rachel will have to read part 3 of the series outloud to me.

In a Q&A afterwards, the crowd learned a few of these tidbits:

  • Most of her research for the 1930s Hollywood setting was done spur of the moment because she had accumulated so much “useless” Hollywood knowledge over the years.
  • She tried to write the book as realistically as possible but had to edit some minor details to fit in her fictional characters. (Like omitting a person from an Oscar category.) It made her think a lot about what actors and actresses we would be remembering 70 years later.
  • Rachel is a pro at Oscar speeches. She was even quoted in the New York Times last week.
  • Book 3 of the Starstruck series (out next year) will bring readers into the 1940s and into a war.

Afterwards, Rachel was sweet enough to chat, sign a copy of my book, and even draw something very special.

Rachel Shukert at her Book Signing

Yes, I took a very up close shot. Of course.

Can’t say I’ve ever had an author draw a Muppet in my book before.

Obviously, she’s the best.

It’s been so long since I’ve visited McNally Jackson (which Rachel called her favorite bookstore in NYC) and I’m so glad I stopped in to celebrate the release of Love Me! I’m pretty much dying to find out what happens with Margo, Amanda, and Gabby in the last book of the trilogy. Let’s hope I can keep my patience in check.

Until then, there’s time for you to experience the Starstruck series! The books are a total guilty pleasure but they are also so smartly written and I think it brings them to a whole new level in the young adult genre!

♥

» THIS IS HOLLYWOOD WEEK! For info on STARSTUCK: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Rachel Shukert «

Are You There, Readers? It’s Tiger Eyes.

I absolutely adore Twitter.

I love it most when it’s one of those right place, right time situations and I see a tweet about an event happening in New York City. One of the latest examples was seeing a preview of Tiger Eyes at The JCC on April 25. Tiger Eyes is the first full-length film from literary icon Judy Blume, and while I never read Tiger Eyes as a child, I have loved Judy since I first read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Fudge-a-mania, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Forever, Summer Sisters… I could go on for awhile.

It’s kind of crazy to think that Judy Blume has been publishing her work since 1969 and her fans have yet to see her work on the big screen. But after hearing her talk on that rainy evening in April, it made sense. She was waiting for the right opportunity. That moment came when she was able to co-write the screenplay with her son, Lawrence Blume — who also took on the role of director.

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume Movie Poster

Tiger Eyes is a story about dealing with grief and moving forward. Main character Davey and her little brother are uprooted from their home in Atlantic City, New Jersey to New Mexico by their mother after their dad is killed in a robbery. In New Mexico, Davey’s aunt and uncle swoop in to take parental responsible while their mom wrestles with her new reality and Davey and her little brother come to terms with a longer stay in New Mexico than they thought. There’s first love, new friendships, family challenges and more.

Grief is universal. You never know when you are going to experience it. – JB

Lawrence and Judy were very mindful of the fans when it came to filming the movie; they made sure to include small details (including a certain snack) and aimed to stay “emotionally true to the story and the characters.” The actors are a little older, a cell phone makes a cameo, and Native American culture is even more present in the movie, but otherwise Tiger Eyes, touching without being over the top, is a great tribute to the 1981 novel.

Judy Blume Lawrence Blume Tiger Eyes Early Preview NYC

I cried. A lot.

(Apparently Judy Blume cries every time she sees it too so I’m in good company.)

Filmed on location in New Mexico, the stills from the movie are gorgeous and Willa Holland as Davey is so naturally beautiful with the most expressive eyes. She’s basically in every scene of the movie and authentically transitions between this girl mourning the loss of her dad and also learning to come into her own when she feels the loneliest. The music, handpicked by Lawrence and featuring all female singers, punctuates these months of discover for Davey and felt so right.

It’s a movie for my nostalgia readers. – JB

Here are a few other tidbits Lawrence and Judy shared during the post-movie Q+A:

→ Tiger Eyes is Lawrence’s favorite book of his mom’s. It meant a lot to him especially since he moved from New Jersey to New Mexico when he was a kid too.

→ Judy calls the actual filming of the movie “the best experience of her life.”

→ After the movie marketing is over (which they are doing entirely by themselves), Judy is going to hopefully finish a book she has been writing since 2009. In the future, Lawrence would love to do a movie adaption of Summer Sisters. (This made my heart almost burst.)

→ In the past, Judy did have offers to make her books into movies but nothing ever felt right.

→ Best quip I have EVER heard about movies from books: “A book is a book and a movie is a movie.” THANK YOU.

♥

I am still a little starstruck from this whole experience because I never thought I would be in such close proximity to Judy Blume in my life. But I have to say this — never have I seen a more gracious, enthusiastic, and utterly lovely author. She was incredibly patient with everyone that asked questions, so excited about her movie, so professional with her son, and even convinced one of the hosts of the event to go back and get a few more questions from the audience. She seems so amazingly down to earth and eager to connect with fans. That’s something I’ll definitely hold dear.

Tiger Eyes is officially out in select theaters and on-demand today, June 7, and there are multiple ways you can find out about it:

TE Facebook Page | TE Twitter | TE Main Website

Buy Tiger Eyes novel on Amazon | Visit Judy Blume’s Website

tahereh mafi making silly faces at book signing in austin, tx

Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi at Book People: Austin, TX

 

For months, I was so excited to see Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Rossi at Book People. If I had one of those big desk calendars (instead of being all technological with my online gmail calendar), I would have circled April 26th with big, happy hearts. These two ladies are extraordinary authors. Tahereh is the author of Shatter Me, and Veronica is the author of Under the Never Sky. I read both of their books and fell in love with their worlds and characters long before April rolled around.

I helped Katie at Mundie Moms live tweet the event, so the fun facts I’m going to share with you below are from the event that we tweeted under the #IntoTheFuture hashtag.

 

 

Fun Facts about Tahereh and Veronica:

  • Both lovely ladies write full time. They agreed that there is so much more to being a writer than writing.
  • They also love to write the romance parts of their stories. (Gee, I wonder why… *cough* Adam *cough* Perry…)

Tahereh:

  • Wrote about Juliette’s fight to find out who she is. Juliette is trying to take back what’s been stripped away from her.
  • Juliette’s story didn’t come out of no where, but from questions Tahereh asks about the world that bled into the story.
  • “Writing is such a solitary experience, talking to people in your head who don’t exist.”
  • Fan mail makes her life and she always tries to respond.
  • When asked who she would choose to play her characters in a movie, she said, “It feels strange saying who the characters would be because everyone’s idea of beauty is different.”
  • She needs endless amounts of tea to write. Somedays writing is like slow dancing with a wildebeast.
  • When she’s stuck and needs to think, she takes a shower to help her with her writing.
  • Warner is derived from the word WAR. Warner is his last name and we will learn his first name in book two, which is totally different than his last name.
  • Chose Juliette and Adam’s names before she began the story.
  • Warner has a fascination with clothes and we’ll get to learn more about him in book two, Unravel Me. She sees pieces of herself in Warner via his fascination with fashion.
  • Sometimes writes romance scenes that don’t make their way into her books because she just wants to see what happens. (Anyone else anxious to read these?!)
  • Loved when we used the word “y’all”.
  • Says authors get inspiration from every where. Listened to a conversation on a plane and thought it would make an interesting story.
  • Character Kenji’s comments come from her brother. A specific conversation in Unravel Me is from something he said. Tahereh doesn’t think her brothers realize how much she pulls from them.
  • Juliette’s strikethroughs won’t go away in book two. She’s entering a new world so she (Juliette) will have reservations. The strikethroughs bleed into her inner monologue and stem from her self-censorship.

Veronica:

  • There is freedom in being able to work from anywhere.
  • When asked about Under the Never Sky becoming a movie, she replied, “I would like the characters to be real artists, even if the story evolves differently, if made into a movie.”
  • You shouldn’t get discouraged when [the writing] doesn’t feel like it’s flowing.
  • Her writing process (drafting) involved a lot of thinking and note taking and took 9-12 months to draft.
  • Thinks a name is a significant thing – a name tells you a lot about a character.
  • Didn’t base her characters on anyone specifically.
  • Had a sense for the name Peregrine and Roar was named after her favorite wine.
  • Went to art school! Like her art, there is a little bit of everything in her stories.
  • Had real life inspiration for the setting: a Central CA beach, a bay in central CA, rugged and very dramatic.
  • We explore reality through our senses and that led her to explore super natural powers with her characters.
  • Her story began as a story of contrast.

Now it’s time for recap photos and a few GIFs… one in which it may or may not look like I’m trying to eat Tahereh. :-/ You be the judge.

book people into the future event spring 2012recommendation cards drawn by employees at book people austin txbook people into the future event spring 2012

Below: Katie surprised Tahereh and Veronica with delicious cupcakes. YUM YUM!

book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: Katie from Mundie Moms with Veronica and Tahereh

book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: Two of the sisters from The YA Sisterhood with Veronica

book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: Jennifer (of Novel Thoughts) brought in an ARC of Shatter Me to have signed. Tahereh drew a picture of Juliette on the cover so it would match the finished copies.

book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: My friend, Heather, as she waited patiently to have her books signed (left) and Tahereh happily drawing Juliette (right).

Below: Tahereh and Jennifer together. 🙂

book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: My “normal” picture with Tahereh. Things got a silly after this…

book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: We decided to do silly faces, but as I’ve mentioned a few times this week, I’m kind of terrible at them. It definitely looks like I’m about to eat Tahereh. She genuinely looks scared for her life. HA!

tahereh mafi making silly faces at book signing in austin, tx

Below: My normal picture with Veronica…

book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: We tried to be silly, but we just laughed and my facial expression, again, looked weird. You can fill in the blanks for how to describe that one.

gif of magan and veronica rossi laughing and making silly faces

Below: Just thought you guys should see Tahereh’s finished drawing of Juliette.

book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: Jennifer and Veronica together!

book people into the future event spring 2012

Below: This last photo was taken with my iPhone. Photo bomb, anyone?

Thanks so much to Katie for having me along! To Veronica and Tahereh, thank you for spending the evening with us in Austin. I felt like my two best friends left when the event was over. However, I felt incredibly inspired to maybe (one day) write one of my own stories (even if no one ever reads it). Thanks for sharing so much about your work, your characters, and yourselves with us!

stack of hunger games books passed out for world book night 2012

Magan: World Book Night Recap

stack of hunger games books passed out for world book night 2012

 

WHO: Last Monday, I had the chance to volunteer for World Book Night with a few of my favorite bookish people: Jen, Stephanie, Jennifer, and Megan.

WHAT & WHEN: You may be wondering what this event was. If you want to learn it in more detail, you can visit the official World Book Night website. In a nutshell, April 23rd was dedicated to sharing books with people (for free!). THIRTY, yes, 30, authors relinquished the rights to their books for World Book Night. That means they made absolutely nothing from the copies of their books that were printed and spread around the country.

 

The goal was for volunteers to pass out one million books on

World Book Night across the United States.

 

WHERE: In advance, team leaders (like Jen and Stephanie) were to request a number of books they would commit to passing out. The five of us loaded into Jen’s suburban, prepped with tons of books. (I have no idea what the final handout number from our small group was.) This makes me so proud of the city I live in: Austin was the number one city for the most volunteers and book requests. Go, Austin!

Our small group went around to pass out books to children’s homes, kids studying to get their GED, families and random dog walkers in parks, and homeless people. We gladly passed along a book to anyone that seemed remotely interested in receiving a book.

 

 

 

WHY: I think it was really special for our group to hand out books to people who don’t have the same opportunities to purchase them as often or frequently as we do.. if at all. We handed out a ton of books to kids who were beyond excited to grab a copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins that could be just for them. A book they could call their own that they could actually write their names in on the inside.

It was a huge personal reality check because I look now at my bookshelves and books are indispensable to me. Yet, they are a part of my well-being that I take for granted. Without a second thought, I can easily pull a book off my shelf to read.

 

 

 

It was so incredible to be able to promote reading

and place a book in someone’s hands.

 


 

 

Keep a lookout at Jen’s blog for her recap and more information!

How You Can Get Involved: Mark your calendar for World Book Night 2013. The date is to be announced, but really, this is a fantastic opportunity to give back to your community and actively promote books! Do it – get involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was our team (yay for the Capitol in the background…and also, photo credit/props to Jen) minus Jen, who was actually, ya know, taking the photograph.

Thanks to these ladies for making the evening so awesome! (Next year, I’d love it if I got to see your awesome face on our team for World Book Night.)

New York City Teen Author Festival Recap: Part 2

Hi! I’m back with the final installment about my time checking out the NYCTAF festival. Unfortunately, due to work, I couldn’t attend any of the awesome-sounding panels that were going on the Friday of the festival. (For details on who attended, check this out.) Luckily, I didn’t miss out on all Friday events:

Friday, March 30th: Reading/Signing at Barnes & Noble in Union Square:

Who was there:

David Levithan (Every You, Every Me)
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade)
Emily Danforth (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
Lucas Klauss (Everything You Need to Survive the Apocolypse)
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss)
Siobhan Vivian (The List)
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)

What happened:

This particular events ranks number 1 for anything I attended for NYCTAF. Each author got to have a chapter of one of their books acted out. It was pretty hysterical and a great way to experience new work. I even took some semi-crappy pictures! Enjoy!

Highlights:

  • The authors opened by reading various one liners from different YA books including Sweet Valley High and good old Judy Blume. (It was funny to see which lines you could identify.)
  • David Levithan and Andrea Cremer tangoed.
  • After weeks of staring at the cover of The Miseducation of Cameron Post at Barnes & Noble, the scene performed from this book made me finally buy it.
  • Lucas Klauss played St. Clair in the “performance” from Anna and the French Kiss and it was beyond hilarious. His British accent was a cross between a butler and a vampire? Neither of which was sexy and just sort of the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
  • Afterwards, I totally forgot how to speak when I met Siobhan Vivian, told Emily Danforth how much I loved the cover of her book, and told Stephanie Perkins that her hair reminded me of Ariel. (Clearly, I am horrible at speaking at authors. But not so much the people on line with me. How weird that I meet a girl (hi Laura!) who grew up a town over from where I did?)

Saturday, March 31, 2012: New York Public Library

A full day of panels while it was gray and dreary outside! One thing about Saturday is that it ran 5 hours with one 10 minute break. I was fully expecting to go grab a snack during the “Killer Instincts:  Death, Murder, and the YA Novel” (not my thing) but all the of panels started right after the other. By the end, I was pretty much starving. (A suggestion for next time… longer break? Granola bars, something? I should have been more prepared but I thought I’d have more time to step out.)

Rising to the Challenge: YA Characters Facing Down What Life Throws Them

Who was there:

Tara Altebrando (Dreamland Social Club)
Matt Blackstone (A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie)
Susane Colasanti (Something Like Fate)
Kody Keplinger (Shut Out)
Siobhan Vivian (The List)
K.M. Walton (Cracked)

Highlights:

  • Three of the authors on this panel were teachers — Susane, Matt, and K.M. Both K.M. and Matt talked about how experiences in school helped them to write their books.
  •  Susane is a Jersey girl! Many of the experiences that happened in her newest book, Keep Holding On, are based on real bullying she experienced as a kid.
  • Kody says her writing doesn’t tell her own story, instead she writes about what she saw and what she wanted to read when she was in school.
  • K.M. was very delighted she could use the “f-bomb” in her novel.
  • Tara wanted to write a book about Coney Island and high school as a freak show. First draft didn’t work out and her editor suggested something more emotional had to happen. She went back to writing about the loss of a mom. “I’ve said all I need to say about dead mothers.”
  • David Levithan was Siobhan’s editor. She first pitched The List coming from one girl’s perspective. David asked about the others girls and writing about them actually made the whole thing more of an intimate experience. “The line between feeling pretty and unpretty is fragile.” She was able to put a piece of herself in all the girls.

Moments of Truth: Characters at a Crossroads

Who was there:

Natasha Friend (For Keeps)
Margie Gelbwasser (Pieces of Us)
Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year)
Stewart Lewis (You Have 7 Messages)
Sarah Darer Littman (Want to Go Private?)
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
Daisy Whitney (The Mockingbirds)
Moderator: E. Lockhart (The Boyfriend List)

This panel flew by! Everyone read a bit from their books (which took up some time), Stewart Lewis brought his guitar and sang a song, and they all answered some questions. I didn’t take a lot of notes on this one but here are a few highlights:

  • Littman talked about writing Want to Go Private? and how she didn’t want to face what happens to her character. As a victim of sexual abuse, Littman had nightmares while writing this and she couldn’t sleep. “Hardest thing ever.”
  • Whitney says The Rivals was the only book she outlined. There also wouldn’t be a third book in the series and this second book is all about choices.
  • Rothenberg used the 5 stages of grief as an outline for her book: The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

Looking Forward to Fall

In the final panel of the day, authors went up and read a bit from their books that will be released later in the year.

David Levithan, Every Day
Brian Meehl, Suck It Up and Die
Marie Rutkoski, The Shadow Society
Alyssa Scheinmel, The Stone Girl
Eliot Schrefer, Endangered

One comment… while all of these sounded amazing, Endangered probably intrigued me the most. It’s not a book I would normally pick up but I was very very moved by the reading,

And there we have it! I’m so glad I was able to take part in these events and I hope to attend more in the future! Thanks to all those involved for making it a great week!

New York City Teen Author Festival Recap: Part 1

During the last week of March, I depended on Lara Bars for dinner sustenance and headed downtown for a bunch of New York City Teen Author Festival events! Of course, I made sure to make an appearance because a) there were so many authors participating that I have grown to love b) I wanted to discover some new writers and c) I wanted to listen to authors talk about writing. It feels like forever since I’ve graduated college as a writing major, and it’s always nice to feel a surge of inspiration coursing through your veins.

I attended four events during the week so I thought I would split this up into two parts. Like a geek, I took some notes. Okay, a lot of notes. So I hope you find my recap enjoyable and maybe discover a few new books along the way as well.

Day 1: Plotting Dangerously (Doing What It Takes to Find the Story)
A.K.A. The day I met the sweet & enthusatic Ghenet (who is a budding YA author herself) and an author I know (Morgan Matson)

Moderated by David Levithan (Every You, Every Me). The panel included:
Coe Booth (Bronxwood)
Jen Calonita (Secrets of My Hollywood Life)
Paul Griffin (Stay with Me)
Deborah Heiligman (Intentions)
Melissa Kantor (The Darlings in Love)
Morgan Matson (Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour)
Kieran Scott (She’s So Dead to Us)
Melissa Walker (Small Town Sinners)

Whew! What a crew, right? For about an hour, the authors answered questions posed by David and also read a bit from their current (and yet-to-be-released novels), and took some time to do a Q&A with the audience.

The highlights:

  • It made me feel a bit relieved that many of these writers did not plan out their stories ahead of time. Many began their books with just an idea, a feeling, or a character and went from there.
  • Just like us readers, authors fall in love with their characters and don’t want their relationship with them to be over. “Endings are hard.”
  • Coe Booth on the voices in her head: “If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be institutionalized.” She hears the voice of these characters and figures out how to “screw up their life.”
  • Kieran Scott is a Jersey girl! I had no idea. (I am,  too.) She mentioned her trilogy, “He’s So/She’s So”, and how she wrote it so that if a person picked up a book out of order they wouldn’t be lost. (I found this amusing because Magan did this very thing so obviously Scott’s plan worked!)
  • Morgan Matson on Amy & Roger’s: She knew the book would be a road trip from California to Connecticut but wasn’t sure of the in-between. She actually had to cut about 150 pages because she kept the trip going too long.
  • Melissa Kantor talked about how she would take an intense feeling from when she was a teenager and start writing from that. Admittedly terrible with plot, Kantor likes to focus on the characters talking.
  • Morgan Matson on her writing process: “Write your character into a corner on purpose and try to get them out.”
  • Books I was most excited about afterwards: Second Chance Summer (Morgan Matson), Small Town Sinners (Melissa Walker), Intentions (Deborah Heiligman). Keep in mind these were the standouts. I added books from every author to my TBR list that evening.

Tip: This started at 6pm, and I came from midtown on the subway. We just made it about 10 minutes before it started and there were still chairs to spare. (I know I was worried about crowds before attending these events so just something to keep in mind.)

Day 2: The Mutual Admiration Society Reading
A.K.A. The day I felt like a huge stalker.

Moderated again by David Levithan (Every You, Every Me), this group included:
Madeleine George (The Difference Between You and Me)
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
Ellen Hopkins (Crank)
John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back)

This event was more of a reading but there was a Q&A at the end.

Did you know?

  • David Levithan edited The Hunger Games. I had no clue.

The highlights:

  • Hearing Madeleine George read a passage from The Difference Between You and Me. I had such an emotional response to that book so to hear her take on the stuffy character and make everyone in the room laugh and laugh just amazed me. Not because I didn’t think the book was funny. It was! But because it makes such a difference to hear a book read out loud like that, and even more so, I was impressed with the strength of her characters.
  • When asked about the YA community: Madeleine George said it was “nice to participate [in a community] that was rah rah reading, literacy, and art!”
  • On STAT: Jennifer E. Smith said it was a “logisitical challenge” — writing a book that takes place over a span of 24 hours makes you realize just how long 24 hours is. (It’s long.)
  • On Where Things Come Back: It was about finding “a balance between small town absurd commedy and sincerity of a teenager losing his borther” and also “tragic moments can be funny.”
  • For David Levithan, place is “not in the top 10” of his story priorities. Mostly, his stories take place in suburbia, so they can be anywhere. “It’s all about words, place isn’t important.”
  • Jennifer E. Smith told a story about how she handed in a piece of writing told in the first person and her teacher came to her all worried about her subject, thinking it was true. This is how she ended up writing in the third person exclusively. She sort of stuck with it.
  • Carley Moore of The Stalker Chronicles was sitting in front of me at the reading, and I surprised myself by tapping her on the shoulder afterwards and congratulating her on the release of her book that day. Yes, I know what she looks like because I had been on her website & twitter account the day or two before setting up my review. So ha. My own stalker moment. (She was very gracious and super nice!)
  • Books I most want to read afterwards: Every You, Every Me (David Levithan), Where Things Come Back (John Corey Whaley), and anything by Ellen Hopkins.

Tip: This particular event was held on one of the floors at McNally Jackson Bookstore at 52 Prince Street and it was CROWDED. It started at 7 so I was half hour early and in the end, it turned out to be standing room. This was also a great bookstore. If you are in the area, I would check it out.

Okay! Part 1 complete! Next week I continue with the remainder of the festival!