So… a thing happened… I went to BookCon 2016!!!
I’m going to give you guys a quick run through of everything that happened. Be prepared for feels and flailing because I met a LOT of really cool people! 😀
The week before the event was a bit hectic. A lot of time was spent preparing, researching, and stressing. It would be my first time attending an event as big as this so, I made sure to watch a lot of YouTube videos and read articles on how to survive. It helped a lot!
A few days before the event, I downloaded the BookCon app and, through it, met of group of sixteen girls. We created an Instagram DM chat, calling ourselves The Spectacular Sixteen, and decided to meet up at the event. We made signs so we could find each other while we were there. It was really exciting!
Somehow I managed to survive the craziness, and made it to the night before. I spent all day preparing, then attended a birthday party at 4:30 (If you’re reading this, happy birthday again, Addy!).
We got back to the house around 10:00 that night and I still had things to get ready for tomorrow! It was a crazy stressful few hours but, I managed to get everything done and fall asleep around 12:30-1:00.
About one and a half hours later, I woke up and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I got out of bed at 3:00 to leave. I was far too excited to sleep in the car, and stayed awake for the entire three hour drive.
We arrived at McCormik Place in Chicago at 6:00 in the morning, and managed to score a pretty good place in line. We happened to get a spot right next to some really nice Canadians, and we ended up hanging out a lot through the event. (if you ever read this, hi Lindsey and Lauren! *waves*)
After waiting in line for awhile, I decided to go on Instagram to see if any of The Spectacular Sixteen had arrived yet. They had and they actually weren’t too far away from where I was in line! I went to find them and it was so nice to get to meet them in person! We hung out, talked and went to find Epic Reads totes and take pictures! Having them to hang out with made waiting in line for a few hours much more bearable. They were all really nice and they were booklovers like me so we instantly had something we could all connect with.
Around 8:00, they opened up the doors and let people into the area where they were giving out wristbands to see the authors. Lindsey, my brother, and I went straight to the James Dashner line, hoping to snag a wristband. We managed to get one and then headed to the Veronica Roth line which we were also lucky enough to get one for. Then we split up, and my brother and I were able to grab two more wristbands. He got Morgan Matson, and I got Jenny Han. My mom also snagged a Lauren Oliver wristband which was so amazing because she would be giving out ARCs of her new book Replica at the signing! We then went to wait in line to get onto the floor, which didn’t open up for another two hours.
The crowds were huge! There were people everywhere. I tried vlogging and I was pretty much shouting for my camera to pick up my voice!
Instead of going out on the show floor, my mom and I decided to attend the Balancing Good and Evil in YA Literature panel which was a super cool experience! Not sure if I would ever choose to go to a panel over the show floor again but I wanted to at least have one panel experience.
Once we got out of the panel, we immediately headed to the autographing sessions because Veronica Roth’s signing was right afterward. I joined Josiah and Lindsey there and we waited for an hour or two before I finally got to meet Veronica. It was so cool to finally be able to see her in real life! Her book, Divergent, has really impacted my life and I got to tell her that. It was super cool and surreal!
After meeting Veronica, I immediately headed to the Jenny Han line and waited for another hour or so. I got to meet Jenny Han and tell her that her book, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, was one of the first contemporaries I had ever picked up and how it had really inspired me during NaNoWriMo 2015. It was super cool to be able to meet her in real life!
Straight after her, I headed to the James Dashner line. I was freaking out in line because his series, The Maze Runner, is one of my favorites and I was finally going to meet him! AHHHHHH!!!!
I wanted him to sign four books and a board (I take it to all the book events I attend for authors to sign), so I needed to split the stuff up between people. I had my brother take my first edition copy of The Maze Runner, and a copy for my friend Alexa. He got those signed and then I came up behind him and had James sign page 250 of The Death Cure and apologize for what he did (if you read the book you’ll know), and then I also had him sign my board. GUYS!!! LOOK HOW HE SIGNED IT THOUGH!!!!
He was super nice and liked that I had a first edition copy and that I cosplayed as a Glader. It was awesome that he knew what I was! : D
After we left the Dashner signing we had about an hour to wander the show floor before the Booksplosion panel. By this time we had accumulated so many books that my arms were falling off and my mom and I made a trip to the car to drop some books off. I felt much better after dropping them off. Books are heavy guys! Especially when you’re carrying like 30 of them!
When we got back from the car, we wandered the show floor a little more and I got to see Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff signing ARCs of Gemina, and Ruta Septys signing copies of Salt to the Sea. I headed to the Booksplosion line shortly after.
We waited in the panel line for about an hour and a half before they let us into the room. While we were waiting I was able to let someone use my portable charger because their phone had died which was really nice to be able to do, and Jesse and Christine came into the room to film two or three times and everyone freaked out. I was a bit too stunned seeing them in real life for the first time to scream but the others definitely weren’t. 😄
When they finally let us into the room, my mom and I raced to find seats and were able to get some pretty close to the front.
The entire room exploded when the BookTubers came in, and I died right there in my seat! Not really though cuz if I had I wouldn’t be writing this… unless ghost me is writing this… hmmmmm… anyway!
The panel was super cool and I got to ask them a question! (if you guys want you can answer the question I asked them in the comments: If you could have as a pet any animal from any book, which animal would it be? I’d love to hear your answers!) The panel definitely wasn’t long enough. I seriously could have stayed in that room for another hour or two! 😄
But, fortunately, they had a meet and greet afterwards! I was super nervous the line would be too long to meet them, but I did! When I walked up and they all said hi I was freaking out on the inside but I think I managed to act pretty normal on the outside (at least I hope I did). I asked Jesse (link to his channel here. You guys should check out his videos! They’re seriously amazing and never fail to make me smile) to sign my copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children because it’s his favorite book and his channel was the thing that introduced me to it. He seemed pretty excited about signing it when I asked him!
I was able to tell him how much his videos have helped me. Whenever I’m sad, his videos make me smile and I was able to thank him for putting out such amazing content and having such an impact on my life. He teared up and I teared up and we hugged and took a picture and it was honestly one of the best experiences of my life! This book is never leaving my sight. 😄
I also got to meet Kat from Katytastic (link to her channel here), and Christine from polandbananasbooks (link to her channel here) which was also so incredible and surreal! I was like ‘uh what, this, what, they’re right in front of me THEY’RE REAL *dies from fangirl excitement*. 😄
I was also lucky enough to meet Natasha from tashapolis and Sasha Alsberg from abookutopia (links to both their channels here and here. You should seriously check out all of these channels. They’re really amazing! Especially if you love books!). Sasha even signed a card of her new book Zenith for me and gave me a signed bookmark too!
After the Booksplosion panel, we were leaving the convention hall when we ran into Margot from Epic Reads! I asked her if she would take a selfie with me and she did! She also gave me one of the yellow roses she had. It was so cool!
The next morning, we laid out all the stuff we got on the table to see our haul. This is what we ended up with!
I only bought four of those books! The rest were free! And this isn’t even everything, we have some more tote bags that weren’t shown in the picture!
Out of everything we got though, these items are definitely my favorites-
I cannot believe how amazing my first BookCon experience was! I went there expecting to maybe, maybe, get into the Veronica Roth line, the James Dashner line, and the Booksplosion panel. On the ride over though I was trying to make my expectations even lower because I thought the chances of getting into the signing lines were so low, it wasn’t going to happen. But I ended up getting everything I wanted and more!
BookCon was like an amazing, incredible dream. I think I’ve convinced myself it actually happened but, the day after, I was kind of doubting that it was even real. 😄
I want to go again so badly and hopefully it’ll come back to Chicago soon so I can! I met many amazing people and seeing all the authors who were exactly where I aspire to be someday was incredibly inspiring! Someone I was waiting with in line even told me that maybe, if BookCon came back to Chicago in two years, I would be on the other side signing my book for fans! She asked for my name so she would be able to recognize it when she saw it on shelves one day! It was incredibly inspiring to hear a complete stranger sound so excited about me and my career.
I’m so excited to see what the future holds and I’m so glad I was able to attend this event!
Thank you again so much to Veronica Roth, James Dashner, Jenny Han, Jesse, Kat, Christine, Sasha, Tasha, Margot, and The Spectacular Sixteen for making this event such an amazing experience! I hope to meet you all again someday! 😀
Did you go to BookCon this year? If you did, let me know what signings or panels you attended or if you walked around the show floor all day! I’d love to hear about your BookCon 2016 experience!
That’s all from me for now! I’ll be back soon with another post and until then, remember to keep writing, and keep reading!