Tuesday Top Ten: Best Books I Discovered at a Book Event

Often times, tadalafil I’ll go to events to see an author or two, but I’ll end up discovering new ones. Sometimes I go to an event not having read any books by the authors on the list and I end up discovering a whole group of amazing authors to dive into. I think that’s what beautiful about book events. You always leave with a sudden urgency to dive into these new books.

So that’s what this week’s top 10 is all about. Its all about the books that came into my life because of book events. WIthout book events, I may not have ever read them but I am so glad that I met these authors and I could jump into these awesome books! Check out the top ten books I’ve read that I discovered at a book event :)

Yes, I know there are 12. It was SO hard to narrow it down haha.

12. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

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Aaron Hartzler was an author I first encountered at the LA Times Festival of Books this year, and then a week later at the Pasadena Teen Book Fest. He was funny and charming and his book sounded SO good. I’ve never been much into memoirs and non-fiction books but I felt like I had to give this a chance because I just loved Aaron so much. It tells the story of Aaron’s life growing up, and how he is raised in a very conservative family and what that was like, and that sort of thing. It reads like a novel and its just so honest and beautiful and funny, and I love every bit of it.

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11. Noggin by John Corey Whaley  

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The first time I saw John Corey Whaley was at the LA Times Festival of Books back in April. I had heard of him, vaguely before, and had purchased his debut novel for his appearance at Ontario Teen Book Fest but I hadn’t really heard of him. After attending a panel with him, Andrew Smith, Rainbow Rowell, Aaron Hartzler and E. Lockhart and I knew immediately I had to read Noggin. I just read it recently and its SO good, and I’m so glad I read it. Its about a boy who has his head cryogenically frozen because he’s dying of cancer, and he’s woken up just five years later, in a world where he’s famous but his best friend and girlfriend have moved on from him. Its awesome, and I don’t know that I would have read it had I not seen him at FoB and TBF.

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10. Also Known As by Robin Benway 

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The first time I came into contact with Robin Benway was at the LA Times Festival of Books last year, 2013. She was in a panel with Sarah Dessen (!!), Morgan Matson (!!!!!), and Gayle Forman (!!). I had Gayle Forman’s books in my TBR pile so the new author to me was Robin and I loved her. She was so encouraging and she really believed in pushing yourself and not giving up and I knew that I had to read her. She was just so inspiring. I read Also Known As last year, I can’t remember when, and I adore it. Its so fun and light and adventurous and it has a cute boy and kissing and its awesome. I love Robin too, she’s SO sweet :) I ran into her at Disneyland once, which was kind of creepy because I knew she was there (Twitter!) and had been looking for her. Total creeper status! But its okay, because we laugh about it now. And she’s just awesome and I can’t wait for her next book!

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9. Parallel by Lauren Miller 

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Okay, this is KIND of cheating. A little. I was sent Free to Fall in the mail by a publicist friend of mine and had been about halfway through it before I met Lauren Miller at the Ontario Teen Book Fest. I immediately went home and needed to finish it because she was SO fun, and smart, and I had a good time meeting her. Then I saw her about a week ago at a Girls Gone Sci-Fi event and knew that I had to get Parallel. So technically I was brought to this book, and to my love of Lauren Miller, through a signing. I finished this book about a week ago and it blew my mind. I started it with the intention of finishing it the next day. Instead, I stayed up all night to read. Lauren writes a beautiful love story, wrapped up into this intricate and heart pounding sci-fi phenomenon of parallel worlds. Its brilliant.

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8. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

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THIS BOOK BLEW MY MIND. Seriously. Its been almost a year since I read it and I still just get tongue tied just thinking about it. Its just SO good. I discovered Jennifer Bosworth at the Ontario TBF last year, in 2013, and she talked about her life in a small town, and how she grew up in a religious family and how she sort of turned away from that, and it just resonated in me a lot. Then I read this book, and I was just floored. It makes you think so much, and she’s not afraid to write something that probably makes a lot of people’s jaws drop. It was beautiful and I’m so glad that I found this through that event. I only wish to write something as thought provoking as this.

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I discovered Carrie Arcos there too, but sadly I haven’t read her books yet. They are both in my TBR pile haha!

7. A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

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I had no idea who Catherine Linka was or of this book at all until I was looking at the author lists for Pasadena Teen Book Fest and Ontario Teen Book Fest. Since she was an attendee at both, I knew that I had to check her out, and I realized that this book had yet to be released…and then I got my hands on an e-galley! Yay! And I love it. It takes place in Los Angeles (wee!) and its about a world where the female population is controlled almost entirely due to the fact that majority died because of something wrong in the beef supply. Its sort of futuristic but Catherine Linka raises a lot of attention toward the fact that women are constantly being controlled, our choices, our freedoms, our bodies, etc. Its a great book and I was glad to hear a sequel is coming! I can’t wait to read more! Plus, she’s the sweetest lady :)

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6. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis 

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I literally read this yesterday. YESTERDAY. I’m currently reading the sequel, which I found as an e-galley on edelweiss, yes, yes, yes. Sadly I do not have a picture with her, nor a signature because I just didnt’ realize it at the time. I’ve met Mindy once, at a signing in Las Vegas, when I basically dragged my dad, brother and boyfriend out there so I could meet Rae Carson. Because I’m awesome that way. But anyway, one of the authors that was there was Mindy and I’ve been thinking of this book ever since. I wish I had the money at the time to buy this book but its remained on my radar ever since. I received it as a gift this week and immediately dove into it. Its SO good, and I have so much inspiration from it to make the survival bits of The Awakened better. This book is all about survival and I think its brilliant. I hope I can meet her again one day, to get this book signed because I just loved it.

5. Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott 

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Okay, this is SO cheating. But kind of not. I said book event and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I had to meet them in person. Jessica Brody was having an online chat thing for the release of Unforgotten, the second book of the Unremembered trilogy, and she had Victoria Scott with her, whose new book, Fire and Flood was releasing as well. I adore Jessica and I really loved Victoria after that. She was funny, and fresh and she made her book sound like so much fun. I also won a small swag prize pack, that included a signed bookmark, so I knew I had to get this book. When it released just a few days later, I picked up immediately and went home and read it, and was SO glad I did. I think its brilliant and I’ve been literally dying since February to have the sequel. Any day now, Victoria, I’m ready for it ;)

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 

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Another person I sadly do not have a picture with, even though I technically met her. Last year, when I met and interviewed Cassandra Clare, just after Clockwork Princess had released, I also met Sarah and Maureen Johson, who were her tour buddies. I had read a bit of Maureen Johnson, so she wasn’t new to me but Sarah was. I added both Unspoken and the Demon’s Lexicon to my TBR. I am not a huge fan of the Demon’s Lexicon BUT Unspoken was just brilliant. Jared Lynburn is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever. He’s beautiful and him and Jace Herondale should be best friends. For real. Sarah has this really fun main character, and she has diversity and her characters are real and I’m constantly laughing but also clutching the pages with fear. I keep trying to get my hands on a galley of the third book but no such luck…

3. Unremembered by Jessica Brody

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I had bought Unremembered and read about 30 pages when I met Jessica Brody for the first time. However, after meeting her, I knew I had to finish this book, and I did. I went home from WonderCon that day and literally finished the book that night. And now I’m a huge fan, and I kind of stalk her but I think we’re friends so that’s all good then, now isn’t it? But I think Unremembered is awesome, a sort of girl version of Jason Bourne, and following Sera on her crazy adventure is so fun. Watching her recite the most incredible knowledge and discover grilled cheeses for the first time and fall in love and all of it. I love it. Jessica was super funny, and I enjoyed meeting her that first time, and every time since. She said something about allowing yourself to write badly and I always remember it “Don’t be afraid to write crap; crap makes good fertilizer.” I try to remember that when I’m trying to write. She also told me, after I told her I was trying to be a writer, “Don’t try, just be one.” She’s awesome, basically, and I ADORE all her books, but especially this one.

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2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

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AGH! I love you, Leigh and your books and you BLOW my mind. I first encountered Leigh Bardugo at the Ontario Teen Book Fest in 2013, when she was on a panel with Marie Lu, Jessica Brody, Jennifer Bosworth and Morgan Matson. All amazing fantastic authors. It is still one of my favorite panels ever. But anyway, the moderator had said something along the lines of there being very little strong female characters in the past and Leigh immediately went “Uh, Alanna?”, like, duh! Alanna, for those of you who don’t know, is from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, which is brilliant, by the way. Any time someone mentions Tammy, I’m sold. I bought Shadow and Bone, and fell in love with her and her books. She writes epic fantasy, and its beautiful written and the characters are wonderful and the entire trilogy is just amazing, and without TBF, I don’t know if I would have ever picked it up.

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1. Winger by Andrew Smith 

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If you know me at all, even in the slightest, I’m sure you could have guessed at my number one answer to this. This is legitimately one of my favorite books ever, and I only read it just over a year ago. It crawled straight into my heart and stayed there, stuck. It blew my mind. I first came into contact, literally, ever, with Andrew at the Teen Book Fest in Ontario last year, 2013, and he made such a massive impression. He was funny and inspiring and I just knew that I needed to read his book. All the authors kept telling me that we needed to read Winger and I bought it almost immediately after the Fest, and just…it was just SO freakin’ good. I love it so much. I am SO glad that I met him at TBF because I have read so many other books by him since then and I just love everything he’s written. (I mean, Grasshopper Jungle…blew my mind! Craziest book ever). He also is such a great person that I’ve gotten to know, and he’s been so amazing, recommending me for different things, and that just makes me want to fangirl like crazy.

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Basically, the purpose of this post was this: discover new authors! buy new books! Get out there, and get to book events, even if you don’t know the authors because you never know when you’ll discover someone new, or discover a new favorite book. Its incredible and I’m grateful for the many events that I’m able to attend and all the authors I’ve discovered :)

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve picked up after meeting the author? Share in the comments!

Book of the Week-The Last Forever

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti

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GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, view Contemporary, dosage Romance

Part of a Series?:

No

You May Like if You Liked:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Age Recommendation:

13+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.

Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town at Tessa’s grandmother’s. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.

Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever.

My Review: 

Deb Caletti is an author that I’ve been reading for quite a few years now, and eagerly anticipate each and every release of hers. This book was no different. I was also determined to finish it quickly because she will be attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend and I am so excited to finally meet her! It’s going to be fantastic.

The thing that always impresses me about Deb Caletti’s books is that you would think after 9 YA books (and one adult books), things would start to get repetitive. Predictable. But that isn’t actually what happens. She surprises me every single time I read a book. I read the synopsis and wondered for a moment if I was going to be able to predict the ending or if I might get bored by it.

And I wasn’t at all. Deb Caletti has a way of telling such a familiar, deep story no matter what book it is. She’s such a beautiful writer. She has the ability to write an incredibly well written novel while also making it sound like we are in the mind of a typical teenager. We go through all the feelings that Tessa is going through, while Deb paints a beautiful picture of the story, and that’s what I love about this book. It somehow manages to keep those things that we come to know from capital-L literature and makes it a young adult story with that recognizable young adult voice.

What really got me about this book is that it seems like it would be a romance story, and while there is definitely a part of that, for me, it was a story about family, and the strange ways that you lose it and find it. The way a loss can change you and how to deal with that kind of loss. I seem to be reading a lot of books about loss and grief lately and it amazes me to see the similarities and differences in which a person deals with grief and I think that’s the beauty of it. Tessa is searching for her mother in something, and she holds her mother close in a little plant named Pix that her mother has left behind for her.

The story of Pix and the fight for the plant’s survival is a huge part of why I couldn’t stop reading. Tessa is obsessed with this plant, but its gaining her friends, its opening up a relationship with her grandmother, and its giving her purpose after the loss of her mother. She is able to find her mother in that plant and both hold onto the memories of her mother while also moving on into a new chapter of her life.

The relationship between Tessa and Henry in the book is unexpected and interesting to read about and I loved watching it from beginning to end, unsure of where it would end up. They both learn so much from each other, and its unlike most relationships that we see in a YA novel and I love that. I love seeing a unique take on romance, and friendship and family.

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You can never go wrong with a Deb Caletti book. She has 9 of them out there, and I honestly don’t think any of them are a bad place to start. The Secret Life of Prince Charming and The Nature of Jade are my two favorites but this is another winning novel from Deb Caletti. She captures a beautiful story of handling grief and moving on, and find purpose. I can’t wait to meet her this Sunday and tell her how much I loved this book!

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Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Authors Announced!

I can hardly contain my excitement and the list went up HOURS ago.

HOURS.

I love this event, clinic I have a blast every single year that I go and as I dive deeper into this world, the more I fall in love with this event, because of all the authors I get to meet!

And they’ve finally put up the list of authors that are going to be there. If your’e in the Los Angeles area, you HAVE to be there. Pssh, even if you’re not in the area, you should find a way to GET to the area because its going to be amazing.

Here’s the list of YA authors that will be at the fest. Plus some commentary by me, of course ;)

Katie Alender

She’s going to be at Ontario Teen Book Fest. Not sure of her yet, but I gotta try her books, of course!

Laurie Halse Anderson

I’ve only ever read Speak (I know, I know) but that book is amazing so I hope that I meet her soon. 

Carrie Arcos

She’ll be at Pasadena Teen Book Fest and I’m excited to see her because she’s awesome.

Kelley Armstrong

Leigh Bardugo

Always beautiful to meet. I’ll worry about her once Ruin and Rising comes out haha. 

Robin Benway

I’ll see her at Ontario TBF. And I just saw her at Disneyland in January. That was awesome. 

Francesca Lia Block

She is so sweet! I met her at Los Angeles TBF

Ann Brashares

I hope that I can meet her. The Traveling Pants books were huge to me in high school. 

Deb Caletti

Words cannot explain how excited I am about her coming. I can’t handle it. 

Cecil Castellucci

I’ve met her so many times, I’ve lost count haha. 

Stephen Chbosky 

Lovely lovely man. I’ve met him already but I don’t have a signed copy of Perks so that would be awesome. 

Heather Cocks

Eoin Colfer

Lovely man, and I’m so glad I was able to meet him and interview him. I know my sister will be happy to see him again. 

Andrea Cremer

Melissa de la Cruz

I hope to actually see her this year haha. I missed her last year because I hadn’t read any of her books. 

Ava Dellaira 

I will be seeing her at Ontario TBF

Huntley Fitzpatrick 

I LOVE her book, My Life Next Door, so I’m SO excited to meet her. This is a MUST. 

Maurene Goo

I met her at LA TBF and she was a doll, and she had an awesome dry sense of humor. 

John Green

I literally cannot handle this. I was shaking when I saw this. I need to tell him how amazing Abundance of Katherines is and I need to just love on him forever. Is that awkward? I don’t even care. Its like a fangirl’s dream come true to meet him. 

Daniel Handler

Bill Konigsberg

I met him at LA TBF but I have no books signed by him so hopefully I can do that here. 

E. Lockhart 

Sarah J. Maas

Always a blast to see her :) I’d love to see her again! 

DJ MacHale

I keep seeing his books all over the place so I gotta give him a try. If I can squeeze him, that’d be cool. 

Tahereh Mafi

Oh I’ve seen her so much haha. And I’m sure I can see her again, easily. 

Marissa Meyer

No words can describe. I MUST see her. I cannot go the weekend without meeting her. 

Jessica Morgan

Lauren Myracle

Lauren Oliver

If I can squeeze her in, that’d be great. I’ve met her before but getting Panic signed would be a full and complete collection. 

Ridley Pearson

Joanna Philbin 

Mimi Pond

Ransom Riggs

Have already met him, of course

Veronica Roth

YES! I was so hoping she would be back so I can get Allegiant signed! Which means I’ll have the WHOLE collection and I’ll be excited. 

Rainbow Rowell

Ohmygod I have to meet her. Even though Cassandra got me Fangirl signed, I need Eleanor and Park and Attachments and Landline if its out by then. And I need to write her a letter and tell her how amazing Fangirl was and how it changed my life, seriously. 

Rachel Shukert 

Neal Shusterman

I’ve met him! Yay!

Sarah Skilton

She’ll be at Ontario TBF

Holly Goldberg Sloan

Andrew Smith

He’ll be at Pasadena TBF so I’m going to try and get his books signed then. But I want to say hi to him at FoB because I adore him and I want to say hi, of course. 

Sonya Sones

Amy Spalding 

Ann Stampler

I think…Pasadena TBF? I think so. I’ve met her before though. Such a sweetheart. 

Margaret Stohl

I will meet her at Pasadena TBF. I am excited because I haven’t met her yet. 

Tamara Ireland Stone

I won both of her books signed, but it’d be cool to get them personalized, or even just to say hi because I like her books. 

Jonathan Stroud

Laini Taylor

I really need to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And then I can meet her, without feeling like a fool. 

Maya Van Wagenen

John Corey Whaley

He’ll be at Ontario TBF. WOO! 

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For the complete list of authors, and for other information, visit their website here.

Tuesday Top Ten-Best of 2013…So Far

Well, cialis 40mg guys, medical its July 2nd. This year is half over, and I can’t believe there’s still six months of awesome left.

The way I see it…2013 has been MY year so far. I’ve had a great year and I’ve had the chance to do a TON of things, I’ve had the chance to meet SO many people and I’m feeling so good this year. I feel like I’m finally on the right track. And not just in WhatANerdGirlSays world either.

My boyfriend just graduated university and I finally got into university, which means I’m on the downhill slope of my degree. Its just been SO great and I’m so happy.

So this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little different, and some of you may be a little disappointed, but I just kind of wanted to recap the awesome that has happened to me this year.

SO here it is: Sara’s Tuesday Top Ten of Best Things About 2013…So Far

10. Published A Little Less than Famous

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I’m dying to publish my own novel. I’m dying to be a published author like all the ones that I get SO excited to meet. And I was able to finish and self-publish my novel, A Little Less than Famous. And its not perfect. It could use a lot of editing work on it but I am so insanely proud of it. I’m proud of myself for finishing it. I’m proud of myself for writing it. I’m proud of myself every time someone reads it and likes it. I am so proud of it being part of my writing journey. I hope I can find some time to sit down and really edit it (or pay someone to edit it) and share it in all its perfection. For now, it is what it is and I am still so VERY proud of it. Almost every author that I’ve ever talked to has told me to keep writing, and to just finish something and I was able to accomplish that and I am proud of myself for that. On a side note, the book is ON SALE for only 99 cents until July 5th so click here to check it out!

9. Star Trek Premiere-My First Ever!

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I had never been to a full movie premiere before! Last year, I went to the Grove with a few people from LADA and we saw an advanced screening of the Woman in Black and Daniel Radcliffe WAS a special guest and that was really super awesome but this right here was SUCH an amazing experience. I’m a fangirl, I’m a geek, and I seriously get so excited to see famous people. I can talk to them, no problem at all, but all that anxiousness and excitement is WAY too much to handle. But what a GREAT experience for me and the other girls of iFandoms Collide. We got free t-shirts, saw an advanced screening of the movie, and saw Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and SO MANY MORE cool people. And at the end of the night, we ended up on the channel 5 news. Which, let me tell you, probably had to do with the fact that we were flirting with the guy the whole time. But seriously, a COOL time, and now all I want to do is go to premieres all the time!

8. My First Ever Gallifrey One! 

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I am a new Doctor Who fan. I’ve only been watching for a little over a year now, probably right after they put up season 6 on Netflix. But as soon as I started watching it, I was hooked. This is my favorite TV show, period. And when I found out from a few friends of mine that there was an ENTIRE Doctor Who convention, I was like, “okay, I gotta be there.” Now, unfortunately this convention is a little pricey but its TOTALLY worth it and my super awesome friend, Ana, bought me my badge before they sold out and I paid her back. And I am SO grateful she did that because WHAT an experience. It is probably one of the BEST cons I have ever been. First off, its in a hotel, which means its limited to how many people can go, which is great, because you’re not crowded *too* much. Two, its SO intimate because its ALL Doctor Who. Doctor Who 24/7. Three, it was just a blast. Karaoke until 5 am, seeing all kinds of Doctor Who actors and actresses, buying WAY too much Doctor Who merch. It was amazing.

7. Clockwork Princess

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This is EASILY the best book that I’ve read so far this year. And there’s a ton of epic books coming soon and I still think this will remain the best book of the year. Easily. I waited for this book for so long and then it was supposed to come out in December of 2012 and they pushed it back to March 2013 and I was just dying for it. Then I was going to a Cassie Clare event three days after the release, where I would get my copy and I was like, no way. I can’t wait three days! So I ordered it on my Kindle, refreshed my Kindle allll night, and then at 10 pm (midnight for where it was being published), it downloaded to my Kindle and I stayed up ALL night reading, finishing it at about 3ish am. My eyes were all bloodshot and raw, and I was sobbing and it was just SO much to deal with and NO ONE had finished it, obviously, because I had stayed up all night on its release day, before the bookstores had even opened, to read it. Every single person I know who has read it, has talked about what it did to them, especially that epilogue. What a beautiful book.

6. Discovering New Books: Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Jessica Brody and more..

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Seriously, I discover new authors all the time, mostly because I read so super fast and I have to find new things to read. But this year…seems to be a bit more and I attribute that to the combined factors that I know have a GoodReads that I am VERY active on, I have this blog, and I go to all these events now. I am discovering authors left and right, and they’re all so amazing, and I can’t keep up with my “to-read” list anymore. Before, I was just rereading the same books over and over again (which is okay, of course) but everyone would be like “You’re reading Goblet of Fire again!” or “You’re reading City of Bones again?!” and I was like, well, sure, because I don’t know what else to read. But NOW that I’ve made so many friends, especially all of YOU guys, I’m discovering new authors and new books and I’m loving it.  I am so excited for all the books that are now coming out in the second half of this year because I discovered their prequels in this half of the year.

5. City of Bones Meet and Greet at WonderCon 

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I am SO spoiled when it comes to City of Bones, at least so far. I mean, I’ve been SUPER bummed at missing out on the City of Bones panel at San Diego Comic Con because my best friend is getting married that day. And I realized, yeah, I do want to be there. But I’ve met them all already, the ones that are going to be there, AND I still have the TMI premiere coming up next month. So I’m still so lucky. I was able to be one of the five people that got to go to the VIP signing for City of Bones. I was planning on getting to WonderCon super early that day to try and get my hands on a wristband for the signing but it turns out, I didn’t even need to. Cassie did a contest through her Twitter, and I was picked and I got to go to the VIP signing where I got a book and a HUGE poster signed by Cassie, Jamie, Lily and Kevin. Cassie remembered me from the week before (see later), I told Jamie I was cooler than him (one of my finer moments haha), I could barely utter a word to the beautiful Lily, and I told Kevin that he was awesome in Gossip Girl. What a fantastic amazing experience.

4. Author Breakfast at Ontario Teen Book Fest


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Okay, so the whole reason I went to this fest was to meet Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody (again) and Marie Lu. I left that fest feeling like a million dollars, and meeting a TON of new authors that I now love and adore because I’ve read all their books and they are SO amazing. It was a seriously cool experience to sit down with these authors, and interview them for our first ever vlog post and to just sit and talk writing with them. I am an aspiring writer and being around all those published authors was TOO much for me to handle. I had a blast all day. All the panels were super awesome, Leigh Bardugo made me crack and has now become one of my favorite authors. Meeting Morgan after all this time of worshipping her book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was an experience. But it was also great because the four of us from iFandoms Collide and my sister Jessica got to go to the author breakfast because we were bloggers and we really got an intimate time with all of the authors and that was just the best part. Especially since now, whenever we see any of these authors, they totally remember us. We made an impression!

3. Seeing the Arrested Development Banana Stand 

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Okay, some people may be like, seriously, Sara? A banana stand? But it really is one of the BEST things about this year and there’s a lot of reasons why. I mean, Arrested Development is a GREAT show so there’s that. Frozen bananas (FREE ones) are SO delicious. And it was something that I could do with my boyfriend. My boyfriend is so incredibly patient and good with me being a fangirl and going to all these events and freaking out over things that most people just don’t get. He’s SO good with me, I swear. There are NOT a lot of boys in this world that would be as awesome as he is with me. I’m an intense person. But he’s the big Arrested Development fan and he got me into it almost six years ago, before we were even dating and it was one of those things that we always did together, watch that show. We’ve done that several times since then, with TV shows, but that was the first one and so we have kind of a bond with that. And it was super fun, celebrating that it had come back for a long long awaited fourth season. And its fun to be able to extend my nerd fun with my boyfriend every once in awhile :)

2. iFandoms Collide

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Seriously, this would be number one if number one wasn’t so epicly epic. I am so grateful for meeting these four girls. I met Tatiana, Sylvia and Megan back in April, though we’ve known each other through Twitter for so much longer. We actually were all at WonderCon and didn’t even realize it. Megan was part of the normal autograph session for City of Bones but Sylvia and Tatiana were both at the VIP too, and we didn’t even realize it. Then, when the Festival of Books came around, we all realized that we lived within a few miles of each other, and decided to go together…and the rest, as they say, is history. The first day we ever spent together was April 20th, day one of the Festival of Books. That literally was ONLY two months ago. TWO months…and yet it feels like its been forever. We’ve bonded so fast, and we’ve created iFandoms Collide together and so many of the cool things that I’ve gotten to do this year is with them. So thanks Megan, Sylvia and Tatiana for coming into my life and making it fangirl awesome. I can’t wait to go on the road trip with you, stalk Robbie Sheehan, hit up the City of Bones, Catching Fire and Divergent premieres with you and just be friends forever :)

And Gabby and Paulina, I love you girls too! I wish I saw my other ifandoms girls just as much :D

1. Meeting and Interviewing Cassandra Clare

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I can’t believe this even happened. All these months later and I’m still like, I interviewed one of my absolute favorite authors. I got to INTERVIEW her. I got to sit across the table from her and interview her and she gave me a hug and she saw my tattoo and took pictures of it with her phone and gave me a cool epic Clockwork Princess poster that, like, no body else has and a Clockwork Princess pendant designed by Hebel and ohmygod. I couldn’t even handle it. I entered the contest, and just never thought about it until I got the email from Allison Tran at the Mission Viejo Library and just DIED. I was so excited, I started jumping up and down at school…and I’m in college, by the way. I was SO nervous to meet her and so nervous to interview but she was so cool, and she made me feel super relaxed and answered my questions and told funny stories and its an experience that I’ll NEVER ever forget, no way, as long as I live.

If you’re interested in watching the interview, here it is!

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I seriously have had SUCH a great year so far and I am so lucky in the things I’ve been able to do and all I can think of is…

If the first six months of 2013 were THIS cool, the last six months are going to be even MORE COOL!

I can’t wait, and I’ll be sharing it ALL with all of you awesome people.

Don’t forget to check out previous Tuesday Top Tens!

What has been the best part of 2013 for YOU? Is it a book or a movie? Did you get to meet someone cool or was it an accomplishment you reached? As always, share in the comments!

Summer Lovin’ Tour at the Mission Viejo Library

I will never be able to stop singing the praises of Allison Tran, what is ed The Mission Viejo Library, and Alex and A Whale of a Tale Bookstore. I continue to have some of the most amazing times at this library, meeting some of the coolest authors. I’ve met Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare (twice), Lauren Oliver and Eoin Colfer at this place.

And yesterday, I had a fantastic time at the Mission Viejo Library once again, for the Summer Lovin’ Tour.

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The six authors I was honored to meet today were all super, super awesome.

First off, Morgan Matson. I have already met her twice in the last few weeks, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Ontario Teen Book Fest. It was awesome meeting her again because she totally remembered me and stood up and gave me a big hug, and I fangirled super hard at that because I think authors are rock stars. And an author that I love and completely look up to remembering who I am was seriously amazing. I definitely got a kick out of it.

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I really loved how they approached their presentation. You kind of get the same things over and over, the more you go to author events and you can see authors kind of becoming aware of that, and switching things up a little bit. These ladies totally did that and made me crack up. They played the game “Two Truths, One Lie“, where they told the audience three things about themselves. Two would be true, and one would be a lie and they would have people in the audience guess which ones were true and which one was false. It was really fun, and it got the authors talking and made everyone feel really relaxed about asking questions and all that.

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We learned that Suzanne Young once was a first mate on a dinner cruise, Shannon Messenger sat in the wrong seat at an Academy Awards nominee presentation and Sarah Ockler wanted to become a famous author by completely rewriting the story of E.T. when she was six years old, amongst other cool stories :)

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And it was really great to have all these authors together, giving writing advice and talking about books, and balancing their regular lives with their writing lives. It was inspiring and reassuring as well. Morgan Matson said her first book wasn’t published until she was 28. Kimberly Derting was nearly 42. Sarah Ockler was in her thirties and the other authors, while they wouldn’t give their exact age, said that it took some time. They were so encouraging in the way they spoke about not giving up on writing but they were also so realistic at the same time, telling us about the balance between life and writing, family and writing, friends and other jobs and school and writing. Sarah Ockler said that you have to really want it to make it happen, and Jessi Kirby, Suzanne Young, and Kimberly Derting all talked about managing husbands and kids and writing.

They also were all super fun, and funny as well. They have been touring together for about a week and they’ve built a sort of repertoire together and it came across a lot during their presentation. They made jokes about writing and deadlines and books with kissing and boys, and it was all so great. They also all had really terrible aim when it came to giving out candy to the people who dared guess in the Two Truths, One Lie game.

I definitely enjoyed talking to them after the presentation as well. Even though I was only able to purchase some of their books (I swear, I need a second job just for books!), they were giving out signed swag, like the postcard below, which is SUPER cool and is going to go up on my wall.

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I like that it had all of their signatures on there, and quotes from each of their books. Really cool swag to give out. A few of them had postcards and bookmarks that were signed as well, which was REALLY cool. I’m having a HUGE giveaway from my blog’s first birthday this Thursday, so come back to check out how you can win some of the cool stuff they gave out :)

And they all signed my poster as well, my writing advice poster. Do you guys remember that? Maybe not, well, last week when I went to the Ontario Teen Book Fest, where there were 13 cool YA authors, I came up with the idea to make a poster for writers to sign. I wrote “You are a writer!” in the middle (because I do sometimes forget, and fail to believe it) and I’ve had all the authors I’ve met in the last couple weeks sign it with words of encouragement or advice. I thought I would have some trouble with it, but all the authors I’ve met have been SO into it, and have loved the idea, and the six authors at this event were just the same!

You can see all the cool things writers have written on my poster in the writing advice section.

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I was also able to talk to them for a bit and they were all so encouraging and told me to keep writing and keep reading and to not give up. Kimberly said that the hardest part was knowing when to give up on a particular story but not to give up on actually writing. She said she worked on a story for over a decade and it just didn’t work but as soon as she gave up on it and moved on to something else, it fell into place.

I am always so incredibly grateful to meet these authors. One, and I’ve said it before, authors are rock stars to me and I am always super awed in their presence. Its like…when a little boy meets a firefighter for the first time, and he’s in so much awe because that’s his dream. Well, I’m 25 years old and my dream is-and has been since I was 13-to be a published author. So when I meet these men and women, I am just in awe of these talented people doing the job that I dream of doing one day. Two, as a writer, its awesome to be able to talk to these authors. They are always so encouraging and give really good advice, and they give me inspiration and belief and reassurance that I CAN do this.

And even though they’ve never read a word of what I’ve written ever, their encouraging words still mean the world to me. Because they tell me that they can’t wait to see what I do and that I AM a writer and that I can do it, and to never give up. And it really means a lot, especially coming from these authors that I admire so much. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed with my school work, and my job, my friends and family, my boyfriend, this blog and writing my novel, I just think, I can’t do this.

But these women (and men) are doing it with husbands and families, kids, and even sometimes full time jobs (props to you, Jessi Kirby) and its just fantastic. Its very inspiring.

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From left to right: Morgan Matson, Jessi Kirby, myself and Kimberly Derting

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From left to right: Suzanne Young, myself, Sarah Ockler and Shannon Messenger.

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I am so happy that I was able to meet these wonderful authors this past weekend and to be able to talk to them, and it was really cool being able to see Morgan and have her remember me :) I hope one today to count myself among super awesome authors like this.

Thanks to all the authors for taking the time to talk to me, to sign my writing advice/encouragement poster, for giving me cool swag for the blog and for just being all around fantastic. 

And thanks to Allison and Alex again for putting on another unforgettable and fun event. Trust me, ladies, you won’t ever be able to get rid of me :)

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Don’t forget to check back later this week for some awesome things!

Blogger Spotlight later today on Megan from The Nerdy Girlie

The Tuesday Top Ten tomorrow!

An Interview with Jessica Brody is coming your way!

And of course, the Book of the Week and Fandom Friday as well! So many exciting things!

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My Exclusive Interview with Cassandra Clare

I am so very excited to share this with you guys today. As you all know, cheapest I am a huge Cassandra Clare fan. I have consumed both of series, pharmacy the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices, link and am anxiously awaiting the film adaptation of City of Bones. I would say it is my favorite fandom, after only my super obsessions Harry Potter and Star Wars.

In the last month, I have had the chance to meet Cassandra Clare three times.

Once at an event at the Mission Viejo Library….

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Once at WonderCon with Lily, Jamie and Kevin.

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And once at the Los Angeles Festival of Books.

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Now, WonderCon was to promote the City of Bones movie and FoB was a little bit about both the books and the movie. The Mission Viejo event was more personal and easily my favorite.

The library held a contest for Cassandra Clare’s biggest fan. To enter the contest you had to submit why you thought you were Cassandra Clare’s biggest fan in written, picture or video form. I submitted a picture of Fearless rune tattoo and a short summary on how she changed my life. A few weeks later, I got an email from the lovely teen librarian at the Mission Viejo library, Allison Tran, saying that I was the winner.

The winner got a personalized signed copy of Clockwork Princess (in addition to one I bought to gain entry to the event, I had both signed and gave one away to a lucky reader!) and a video interview with Cassie herself.

I would just like to note that the day I got the news about the contest, I had found out I had earned a perfect score on my first art history exam, which I was so proud of. Then today, I received my second art history exam back and saw that I earned another perfect score…and got the email that my interview is ready. Coincidence? Perhaps :)

Moving on though, can I just say that this was such an amazing experience? I was so incredibly nervous and I couldn’t stop fidgeting and I had butterflies the size of Alaska in my stomach. And it didn’t help that Sarah Rees Brennan was like “oh you’re so cute!”

But Cassie was such a doll. She made me feel such at ease and gave me a Clockwork Angel necklace that I totally wear with pride and took a picture of my tattoo-which I love. I get a kick out of the fact that my tattoo is on Cassie’s phone. I especially loved talking Harry Potter with her. We all know how I am about Harry Potter.

It was just such a great experience, a one of a kind experience.

So without further ado, here is my exclusive interview with Cassandra Clare.

Hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it!

Much thanks to Cassandra Clare for doing this. The amount of time and effort and love that you give to your fans is remarkable!

Also huge thanks to Allison from the Mission Viejo library and Alex from A Whale of a Tale Bookstore for putting this on! You ladies are rock stars!

One last thanks to the guys who edited the video. I have no idea who you are but thanks!

Don’t forget to check out the Mission Viejo Library’s upcoming events! I have met Meg Cabot, Lauren Oliver and Cassandra Clare twice at this awesome place!

They will host Eoin Colfer, the author of the Artemis Fowl series, on May 12th. They will also be hosting the Summer Lovin’ Tour on May 18th, featuring Morgan Matson, Jenny Han and Jessi Kirby! Super excited :)

Thanks for watching my super awesome interview with Cassie guys :) hope you liked it!