Archive for October, 2013


October 25, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

A.S. King - Reality BoyReality Boy by A.S. King
October 22, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
* Source: Netgalley

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

myreviewFirst sentence: “I’m the kid you saw on TV.”

Wow, I’m struck by how honest this book is and the raw emotions coming from Gerald Faust. It’s highly heart wrenching and extremely disturbing. He has had a really shitty life, and I want to hug him. The story is: when he was five years old, he was on this reality show called Network Nanny with his family because he pooped around the house in anger and became known as “the Crapper.” Twelve years later, Gerald is dealing with the effects of the show. He suffers from anger issues (a consequence of various harmful incidents – one of which is the reality show and the other will spoil you so I won’t so) and tries to survive in a world that antagonizes him. This book shows us what happens to those kids who were thrust into the limelight of reality shows and become known for their “bad” antics. Do they live happily ever after? Or do they continue to suffer from the trauma of being known as the person who crapped their pants or whatever?


  • Gerald Faust.

You can’t help but want all the happiness for Gerald. Yeah, he’s an angry teenager but he has justified reasons for being angry. He is constantly surrounded by people who continue to remind him that he is nothing and he’s in a powerless situation that he isn’t able to escape. When he talked about Gersday, I found myself clutching my heart because oh my god, that is adorable, but sad. He has to form a day and a world that he feels safe from all the anger and all the fear. I admire the strength he has for dealing with a toxic environment and trying not to use his fists and his anger as a way out. I like that he uses what he learned in anger management because this is a teenager who wants to be better. He owns up to his anger.

  • How the book deals with anger.

I like that Gerald’s anger isn’t being excused as a kid/teenage thing. It’s a legitimate problem that Gerald is trying to overcome. Gerald owns up to his actions when he’s angry. He apologizes when it’s deserved because he knows he shouldn’t use his fists to speak for him. Gerald is a self-aware teenager. He doesn’t want his anger to run his life or he’ll end up in prison like everyone expects him to be. The way anger is addressed in this book is kind of rare in books I read and I love it.

  • The way the family dynamic and the adults are portrayed.

Let me tell you, this is not a happy family. Dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe the dynamics of this family. It’s an extremely toxic environment. I get extremely angry at his parents, especially his mother, for not doing anything to protect Gerald, but at the same time, I feel really sad for them. They’re just as helpless as Gerald. They continue to enable the person who triggers Gerald’s anger – Tasha, Gerald’s older sister – out of fear. They have checked out of their children’s life because of Tasha and they aren’t willing to confront the problem because it’s much easier to ignore it and pretend that nothing is wrong or shift the cause of their problems to someone else. Unlike Gerald, they don’t own up to their absence in their children’s life nor do they want to change and I thought that’s an interesting contrast between them and Gerald (who wants to break the toxic cycle).

I am absolutely repulsed by most of the adults in the book (except Beth, Gerald’s supervisor). The nanny and the crew members of the reality show know what is going on, but they don’t alert the authorities. They don’t think of the effect they have on Gerald’s mental state by not acknowledging that yes, there is a real problem and it isn’t Gerald. For the sake of entertainment, they egg the children on to create more drama and they’re adding more problems that the family cannot deal with on their own.


  • Cultural appropriation.

I was uncomfortable during the scenes when Gerald imagines himself putting on war paint, feathers and moccasins, and when he continues to mention it and other things associated with Native Americans like “chief” and “tribal drumming.” I understand why he imagined it; he’s just reaffirming to himself that he is strong and in control of his actions. However, I find it extremely problematic because of things this post brings up about people like Gerald – a privileged white kid (at least, that’s my belief he is). As soon as I got to chapter ten when the Native American cultural appropriation occurred, I cringed because that is not right nor is it cool.

  • The romance.

I think I’m the only person who did not like the romance in it. It took me out of the story. I cringed because when Gerald and Hannah said I love you or used the phrase “soul mate,” I found myself thinking – let’s not do that. Here are two messed up kid who are still trying to deal with having crappy parents. They have their ups and downs, but when they fight, it reaffirms my belief that they are not ready for a romantic relationship. Somebody can use the argument that Gerald and Hannah being together is a step in the right direction for them, which is a better future, but for me, I couldn’t connect with it. (Maybe I’m cynical about love?)


Reality Boy shows readers what happens when children of reality shows are forced back into reality. For Gerald Faust, it added more problems to his family’s life. I’m usually not a fan of angry/problem characters, but this book has an excellent story and message. I was fine with not getting a final resolution with Gerald’s mother and Tasha because 1. they won’t change and 2. this book isn’t about addressing their problems. It’s about Gerald finally making a step to remove the toxic people in his life, about Gerald finally standing on his two feet without anger or fear, and about Gerald realizing he has the power to change his situation. You realize the healing process is just beginning for him and that is something you can’t wrap in a nice bow as if the story has truly ended. This book absolutely breaks my heart seeing Gerald’s well-being put aside for Tasha (who I have refrained from talking about because she plays a really important part in Gerald’s life and I don’t want to spoil it).

I want you to embrace this disturbingly good book, so we can all hug Gerald and give him a happy safe place.



October 24, 2013 • Cee • Events




I had the best time. I was laughing through the entire event because Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan are funny and awesome together. They captivated the audience and it was an amazing sight. It was the perfect last event for the month (and probably for the rest of the year if I don’t hear of future events in November and December). I got to the bookstore early and got a seat in the front, which was awesome because 1. I’m right in front of the authors and 2. rows two through four were reserved (so I would’ve sat in the back and that is not acceptable). I was a bit worried though because I didn’t know if there was signing rules (like if there was a book signing limit and if we can take pictures with Rainbow and David), but I asked the bookstore staff (who were all amazing) and they told me no rules. Yeeeee.

The lovely Jennifer Laughran moderated the event.


Rainbow Rowell started by reading the first page of Eleanor & Park because she realized she never read anything from that book in San Francisco, so boom, she read it. Then she and David read Fangirl and this is what happened –

(I didn’t take this video.)

Everybody was dying of laughter when Rainbow and David read Fangirl. As you can see, David was fucking hilarious when he read Levi’s part (ie. twirling his hair and his tone when he asked Cath for “dirty secret fanfiction”). He had it down! After the reading of Fangirl, David read the first few pages of Two Boys Kissing. Then, he and Rainbow read the scene with Neil and Peter in the bookstore. It was really adorable scene. I was “aww”-ing all over the place. You should definitely read this book.

(Source: NYMBC Facebook Page)

 Q & A

QUESTION | What happened with the Eleanor & Park ban? And have David ever had one of his books banned?

Rainbow Rowell (RR): What happened was – A father of one of the kids that read the book was put off by the swearing and thought certain scenes were extremely passionate (the hand holding perhaps?). What upset her was that they didn’t just cancel the event at the school, but at the public library too! And that the parents wanted the librarians punished.
David Levithan (DL): When his books are banned, the people who ban it are really attacking who David is. Yes, it’s very hard for the authors when their book is banned, but it is so much worst for the people – who live in the community, who are defending the book, and who are in the line of fire (like the librarians). They have to live in that town. He talked about how insidious preemptive censorship is because people will never get the chance to read the book because it isn’t in the library in the first place. He made a conscious decision to name it Two Boys Kissing and have the cover reflect that because he “wants people to go to the bookstore, see it, and know that it’s there for them.”

QUESTION | Is there anything readers can do? Do letters help?

DL: Sending support to the people who advocates for the book, but don’t spam the opponents into giving up because that doesn’t work or visit their sites. He says that what doesn’t work is when people (who don’t live in the community) attack the people who are challenging it. That doesn’t help the community. A book challenge is essentially a community issue.

QUESTION | David’s book has a Greek Chorus from the 1980’s. Rainbow has two books set in the 80’s and 90’s. Newbie writers are told not to sent their books in the 1980s. Did you have any push back for setting your book in that time period? Was that any concern to you?

RR: For Attachments, she did get pushback from an agent about setting the book in the 90s because it wasn’t far back in history to be relevant for people to care. For Eleanor & Park, nobody really questioned her because she was done with the book before she got an editor for it. The hard part was selling it.
DL: The Greek Chorus wasn’t going to make 80’s references because they’re in the present looking down. They’re not reminiscing of the past. He didn’t think he could’ve written Two Boys Kissing as his first book. He needed that 10 years between his other books to get to it.

QUESTION | To David, is it harder or easier to collaborate? How does it work? To Rainbow, would you collaborate with anyone? 

DL: He says that it’s more fun to write with somebody else because he got to write something he would never usually write about (paranormal in Invisibility). He loves that it’s a team effort and it’s a nice break from living inside his head. He had a two-hour session with Andrea Cremer, flushing out the rules of Invisibility.
RR: She loves working with people. (She worked in advertising with a creative partner for a while and loved that.) She’s more proud of the things she created with other people than by herself because “they feel more magical.” She’d want to collaborate with someone who’s extremely different from her. She wants somebody who’d be good in the things she isn’t.

(Source: NYMBC Facebook Page)

QUESTION | If the Internet had been around when you were in high school, what would you have done?

RR: She would’ve done what Cath did in the book. She fell into fan fiction a few years ago (and hasn’t stopped). Rainbow was very into Wham in high school and wrote Wham/X-Men crossover fic. (The Beast and Andrew Ridgeley were always trying to go out with her. LOLLL.) She’s jealous of young people because they have this thing that would’ve changed her life.
DL: He’s so glad he didn’t have the Internet when he was in high school. In his words, he “would’ve fucked up so bad.” If he had put his writing on to the Internet and got slammed or got no responses, he might’ve been discouraged and not become a writer. His writing was not ready to share then.

(There was a hilarious back and forth about George Michael that “although people might’ve thought Rainbow was aiming low for loving Andrew Ridgeley, she was actually aiming realistically.” LOLLL.)

QUESTION | When you work as an editor at Scholastic, have you ever edit something that made you go “damn, I can make this better. Want to write with me?”

DL: No. He had been an editor for ten years before publishing his first book so the wall between author and editor is so high that he doesn’t even think that. He approaches a book as its ideal reader, not a writer.

QUESTION | Are you a pantsers or a plotter? Do you have a writing routine?

RR: Not one or the other. She gets the story out all at once. She writes an essay when she has an idea. She comes up with the relationships first, not characters. Her plots happen between characters. Free-styling and improvising in the middle. She likes to write at night.
DL: A pantser. He has a sense of what he’s doing but tries not to think about it. His favorite parts of his books are the parts that surprise him. He wants to try an outline. He writes when he can on the weekend and on vacation.

QUESTION | To Rainbow, can you talk about the possibility of a sequel for Eleanor & Park?

RR: She would want to write them as adults. (Like what happens to them when they’re in their late twenties/early thirties.)

QUESTION | What’s the differences between writing for an adult audience and a young adult audience? 

DL: No difference. When you’re writing, you aren’t sitting there thinking that you’re writing for teenagers. What the books are about gears it toward a certain audience. Only about what section the book will sit under.
RR: The difference would be whether the book (let’s say Eleanor & Park) is immersed in the teenager’s life. It would be very different if it were about Eleanor in her 40s reflecting on her first love.

(Source: NYMBC Facebook Page)

QUESTION | To David, tell us about the evolution of Boy Meets Boy to Two Boys Kissing

DL: Boy Meets Boy was written to create reality. He finds it amazing that the things that occur in the book kind of comes true. It was meant to be a contrast between Paul’s world and Tony’s world. With Two Boys Kissing, he wanted to reflect on reality more.

QUESTION |  Do you ever find yourself locked into a perfectionist mentality while you’re writing?

DL: His writing doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be something he can work with. As an editor, he has been exposed so many rough first draft that has turned into extraordinary books. He would never hold anybody to that perfection standard. His best line of writing: “When you’re writing, you don’t have to make it good. You have to make it exist.”
RR: She expected her books to sound like the books she loves. She didn’t really think about how the books have gone through revisions and edits to reach that point. She had high expectations for herself. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

QUESTION | If you could recommend a book or two, what would it be? 

RR: The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan and Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. (Fun fact: Rainbow has a hard time recalling book titles. During Leaky Con, she couldn’t remember her favorite Neil Gaiman book and because of that, she looked like a poser. Lolll.)
DL: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black and The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle. Always recommends Feed by M.T. Anderson and Blankets by Craig Thompson because those are his favorite.


Because there was a ton of people, the signing was by rows. So the first row got their books signed first, then the second row, and so on.

I had prepared these personalized envelopes + cards for Rainbow and David.

It took me foreveerrrr to figure out how to custom print stuff on my printer, but I did it! Isn’t it beautiful? I hope they loved it.

When it was my turn to get my books signed by David Levithan, I actually didn’t say anything to him after giving him the envelope/card because I was too flustered to say anything. I just stood there watching him sign my books. I felt kind of dumb for not saying anything. I was quite intimidated because he’s such an awesome person who I admire. He’s a writer AND editor (everything I wish to be!).

Then, I waited to get my books signed by Rainbow Rowell. I actually brought five books with me (two from Kelly, one from my BFF, the other two) and bought Fangirl at the bookstore. Rainbow was absolutely sweet and lovely. I told her that I loooveedd Attachments and that it became one of my favorite books. Rainbow was pretty thrilled that I read it.

I think I got everything signed in five minutes since I was in the front row. I cannot stop saying that this was the best book event I’ve ever went to. If Rainbow Rowell or David Levithan (or both) stops nearby you, go to that event!


ALSO, I’m giving away a signed copy of Every Day by David Levithan! Whooo hooooo.

The rules:

  • This contest is only opened to the US. (Too broke to send it anywhere else.)
  • The giveaway will run from October 24 to November 11, 2013.
  • You must be 13 years (with your parent’s permission) or older.
  • You will be disqualified if you pick up entries you haven’t done.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


October 22, 2013 • Cee • Lists

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we list our top tens! This week’s topic is “top ten character names I love in YA.” THIS IS THE PERFECT TOP TEN FOR ME. If you don’t know, I’m a big name person. In my senior thesis, every name I used was important since naming and the meaning behind names drives the characters. (Don’t be surprised if I devote a whole discussion post about names.) I’m just fascinated with why parents name their kids certain names. I limited myself to YA because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. 

EZRA – Origin:  Hebrew | Meaning: “helper”

I have no idea why the sound of Ezra gets me giddy like a schoolgirl who’s crush just talked to her. I just love it so much. Ez-ra. Ezzz-raaa. It’s only four letters and it manages to make me swoon. (I would hate to meet an Ezra in real life because I don’t want him to be an asshole or a douche.) I love anything that’s a literary reference so when I read that Ezra’s last name is Faulkner, I nearly keeled over. (I’m not a big fan of William Faulkner’s work, but hey, he’s a classic.)

BASIL – Origin: Greek | Meaning: “king, royal”

I loooovvveee the name Basil. I find it fun to say because there’s two ways of saying it – 1. bay-sil (the spice) or 2. baz-il. Can you guess which pronunciation is my favorite? ;D I like it because it sounds like a stuffy English person who comes from a family of aristocrats, whose history can be dated back to the 14th century, who says things like “lovely” and “darling,” and who looks incredibly yet comical (whatever that means). Fun fact: I am listed as Basil in my sister’s partner’s phone. :D

ADRIAN – Origin: Latin | Meaning: “From Hadria”

I find the name ‘Adrian’ to not be memorable (and it makes me think of Rocky), but when it’s coupled with a fucking awesome last name like Ivashkov? Perfection. Ivashkov demands your presence.

CELAENA – Origin: Unknown | Meaning: Unknown

I love this name because it’s sooo unique. I’ve never seen this name spelled this way, which is to be expected since the Throne of Glass world isn’t set in the contemporary world. Lots of points for originality!

HALE – Origin: Old English  | Meaning: from a place meaning “nook, retreat”

I want to know his name! It’s probably a really long and a “family name,” which Hale probably hates (because why else would he abbreviate it?). Though, I’m content with Hale because that is a cool last name.

VIOLET – Origin: Latin | Meaning: “purple”
KLAUS – Origin: German| Meaning: another name for Nicholas, “people of victory”
SUNNY – Origin: English | Meaning: “sunshine, cheerful”
BAUDELAIRE – Origin: Medieval Latin | Meaning: “short sword”

Okay, so, all the names within A Series of Unfortunate Events are awesome. Every time names that are used in the books, I want to shriek in joy because I get overwhelmed by nostalgia. Like I said earlier, I love that these names are tongue-to-cheek jokes or literary figure references. Daniel Handler, ahem, I mean Lemony Snicket, plays with language (and names) in a way that is absolutely brilliant.

PEREGRINE – Origin:  Latin | Meaning: “traveller, wanderer”

My thoughts/feelings on Peregrine is similar to my thoughts/feelings on the name Basil. I love the way it rolls off my tongue. And I’m imagining a Peregrine and a Basil hanging out, sitting in the den room and sipping on cognac while discussing politics. Very up and up. ALSO, there’s the peregrine falcon, which is fucking badass.

INGRID – Origin: Scandinavian and Old Norse | Meaning: “Ing’s beauty”

Ingrid is such a perfect name for creepy stories. Sometimes, when I read gothic-y/creepy stories, I get disappointed when I don’t feel like the name fits with the atmosphere with the book. To me, Ingrid stands out. It strikes me in the goddamn face. Who wants a blah character name in a creepy story? Not me.

ELODIE – Origin: French and Greek | Meaning: “marsh flower”

I ADORE the name Elodie. It’s light and cute. I don’t know why, but when I see that name, I get incredibly hopeful like it’ll lift my spirit up (which it does). It makes me want to run through a meadow. :D

ARCHER – Origin: Latin | Meaning: “Bowman”

Oh Archer. A large part of my love for the Hex Hall series is because of his name. Archer. Fucking. Cross. When I read the first book, I wasn’t into the YA book scene, but as soon as I read his name…I couldn’t stay away. Like Peregrine, it’s fucking badass. (See, he makes me curse.) I imagine that he does badass magic as he jumps cliffs in a Jeep, constantly winking at people when he catches their entranced stares.


Do you like any of the names on my list? Link me up to your favorite character names!

October 17, 2013 • Cee • Holy Mother Cover


Inspired by Pure Imagination Blog and Stacked.

Let’s be honest, nobody follows the age-old cliché that tells us not to judge a book by its covers. If you say you do, I am side-eying you. Book covers are the first thing that attracts any of us readers to a book. Before you pick up a book, the cover can essentially make or break a book. If I don’t like a cover design, I won’t pick it up. Lucky for us, publishing companies publish different cover designs, especially when a paperback book comes out. Sometimes we like it, sometimes we don’t. Whatever the changes with cover designs, I will discuss it.

Today, we look at the cover of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.

cc mj-tnofs

Ever since Lori (or somebody else I can’t remember at the moment) said that the guy on the front cover looked like Abraham Lincoln, that image refuses to leave my brain! Every time I pick up this book, I get confused, thinking, “why is Abe Lincoln on the cover?” and assumed that this book will be a historical YA novel about the President as a teenager who somehow ends up in the 21st century and falls in love with a girl here. (I am actually laughing just imaging it.) It makes no sense because this book is about Jack the Ripper. Where is the mutton chop on this guy’s face? (That was the fad in 19th century, right?) I think the two things I like about this cover is the gold borders on the top corners and the atmosphere of the image. It certainly indicates that this book has the 19th century influences (ie. Jack the Ripper and all that).

The paperback cover is slightly better than the hardcover. I don’t think about Abraham Lincoln, so that’s good. I love the title’s font and the smudges (or whatever you call it) in the letters. In the picture, I do get a feeling that somebody is being stalked. (Y’know, parks are a renowned place for stalking. ;) ) I think my only problem with it is the greenish-teal color. I like it, but it make me think of an infectious outbreak, not Jack the Ripper.

What did you think of the cover design and the changes? Will you now think of Abraham Lincoln when you look at the hardcover design? (I hope you do. ;D) Is there anything you would change?

October 16, 2013 • Cee • Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Annabel Pitcher - Ketchup CloudsKetchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
November 12, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository

Dear Mr. S. Harris,

Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It’s jam, not blood, though I don’t think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn’t your wife’s jam the police found on your shoe. . . .

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal-Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe’s letters, but at least somebody will know her story-somebody who knows what it’s like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Rising literary star Annabel Pitcher pens a captivating second novel, rich with her distinctive balance between humor and heart. Annabel explores the themes of first love, guilt, and grief, introducing a character with a witty voice and true emotional resonance.

Why I’m waiting?

Look at that cover! It was the first thing that caught my attention. It’s so cute! I love that everything (except the girl and the bird) is essentially done by hand. This plot also interests because 1. oh my god, she killed somebody? Literally or figuratively? and 2. I could never be pen pals with a prison inmate. I already have a lot of anxiety thinking about it. To me, it takes guts to put yourself out there like that. 

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

October 15, 2013 • Cee • Events

Whether you’re a teen-lit addict or just a dabbler, you won’t want to miss this! Mingle with nearly two dozen YA authors, participate in existential conversations, and get your trivia on. Prizes will be won, books will be signed, pictures will be taken, and fun will be had.


Authors, books, prizes, photo booth. THE BEST TIME EVER.

For those who do not know what I’m talking about, Teenquake is an event that’s part of Litquake (a week long literary festival in October in San Francisco). A bunch of authors come and interact with readers. It’s like any regular book event, but 10x more awesome.

I didn’t go with anyone because my friends weren’t able to make it due to previous obligations, which sucked. On the plus side, BART didn’t strike! Yayyyy. I had a ride.

I was absolutely mortified by the thought of having to make conversations with people. You should know, I’m not a mingler. Making conversation is extremely difficult for me because what am I suppose to say?  I’m that quiet, awkward person who’d prefer to blend into the wallpaper or stay on the sidelines while everybody has fun. I spent close to 15 minutes off to the side, staring at the scavenger hunt paper that one of the lovely staff at Books Inc handed to me, as authors trickled into the area. I was watching, working up the courage to talk to people. However, I managed to talk to authors? (That’s a surprise!) There was a scavenger hunt and I wanted to win prizes! (Yeah, winning the prizes was great, but talking to authors was awesomeeeeeee.) So it was a good incentive. ;D

(This was the only picture I took that wasn’t blurry. :P)

Teenquake Author Salon Game Card/Scavenger Hunt
1. Which Amy Tan novel did Kasie West enjoy as a teenager? [The Joy Luck Club] 2. L. Tam Holland’s work In Between War is about a Swedish character named ________________?
3. Name the two authors whose favorite teen read was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. [Jason Myers, Corina Vacco] 4. Girl Jumps Into Painting is the title of which author’s 1st piece of writing? [Jandy Nelson] 5. Which Vonnegut title was Sean Beaudoin’s fave as a teen? [Cats Cradle] 6. Who had his/her 1st piece of writing published in Fiction Magazine in ’06? [Amy Reed] 7. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy’s love story still remains a favorite of many today. Which author hearted this book as a teen (and still does today)? [Ingrid Paulson] 8. What is the title of Katherine’s Longshore’s 1st piece of written work? [The Storm] 9. Name the author who wrote “The Best Father in the World” for a contest. [Donna Cooner] 10. Erica Lorraine Scheidt loved which Tom Robbins title as a teen? [Evening Cowgirls Get the Blues] 11. _______________’s 1st piece of work was a musical extravaganza retelling of The Little Mermaid. [Jill Wolfson] 12. Two authors’ 1st piece of written work have “tooth/teeth” in part of the title. Name the authors. [Michelle Gagnon, Max Doty] 13. This author has lived in more than 50 homes. (Seriously.) Who is it? [Michael Grant] 14. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier was this author’s fave as a teen. [Stephanie Kuehn] 15. Which two authors listed Stephen King as the author of their favorite book as a teeth? Extra credit if you can name each author’s favorite King novel. [Kevin Emerson – It, Stacey Jay – The Stand] 16. How old was Lewis Buzbee when he wrote his 1st short story? [15, The Dreamer] 17. Judy Blume was which author’s favorite as a teen? Name the most favored title for bonus points. [Corrine Jackson – Tiger Eyes] 18. Daisy Whitney’s 1st piece of writing was published in which city’s newspaper? Extra credit for the clever title. [Denver Post, cigar ashtray sales] 19. How old was C.J. Omololu when she wrote her 1st book? Name it. [38, Armadillo Season] 20. What epic fantasy was Veronica Rossi’s favorite teen read? [Lord of the Rings]

I will talk about the authors I met in the order I met them (but my memory is all over the place so it won’t quite be in chronological order nor will I remember everything that was said).


She had the cutest purse (it was a Kate Spade typewriter bag)! That was my way of starting a conversation with her. Lol.


Kasie West was frickin’ amazing. Her favorite Amy Tan book as a teenager was The Joy Luck Club, which I actually haven’t read. I don’t remember most of the conversation we had since I was completely in awe of her presence and just thought, “oh my god. She’s talking to me!” I stuck to her side (because I felt the most comfortable with her) when I wasn’t going around to other authors, doing the scavenger hunt. You can say, I naturally gravitated toward her. ;D When I won my first prize, she basically forced me to open it in front of her. ;D (The prize was The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron.) When I was doing the scavenger hunt, she was rooting for me to win prizes and when I did win, Kasie called me over to open the wrapped book in front of her. (You do not know how I squealed in glee when I heard her call my name!) And she agreed to take photo booth pictures with me. Gahhhhhhh. LOVE HER.


He could not remember what question was his, which I found amusing. He was looking through the game card and thought that he was one of the two authors for #15. His favorite Stephen King novel was It and The Shining, but settled on It. He talked about how he loved It, and how he kept imagining it like how it was portrayed in the movie, which he didn’t like.


I didn’t talk to her very long because I got extremely flustered. I told her that I loved Charm & Strange and didn’t really elaborate on why. Before I went up to her, I had planned to say that her book resonates in my head even after I finish and I have to applaud her for that. Oh wells.


She started writing her book later than most people. The first book she wrote was called Armadillo Season. It has yet to be published, and I believe it was about a guy who finds out he has a black father and goes to find him. (I’m not entirely sure if I’m remembering that wrong.)


Her first piece of written work was called “The Storm” and she told me that’s what the story was about – a storm. Ha! (She wrote it when she was younger, which made me understand why it was called that.)


I don’t remember much. I do remember her friend introduced the two of us to Lewis Buzbee because Jill is a huge fan of his. Oh! I totally need to read or see this “musical extravaganza retelling of The Little Mermaid.” How can anybody say no to that?


He was very sweet. He asked me to guess how old he was when he wrote his first short story. I was hesitant because I was expecting there to be a hidden motive behind it so I asked him to give me a hint. (I guess I’m a suspicious person by nature.) There were no hidden motives though, which made me feel silly. He just wanted me to guess a number. :D He was 15 when he wrote his first short story called “The Dreamer.” We talked about that short story and my plans in life.


She told me that piece of writing that was published in Fiction Magazine in 2006 was the beginnings of Over You (or maybe it was one of her other books).


She was frickin’ amazing. She asked me if I read or knew any of Tom Robbins’ work. I had never heard of him. She was in disbelief when I told her that. :D She saw the books I was holding and told me that The Sky Is Everywhere is an incredibly book. Lots of ~feels. (Well, she didn’t say that, but that’s what I got from what she was saying. ;D) It was so easy to talk to her. I loved how excited she was about every author.


I didn’t have much of a conversation with him because I’m sure I interrupted his with the person next to him. Whoops.


I got her to sign my book! I’ve heard so many good things about The Sky Is Everywhere. I told her that I was told I’ll cry like a baby reading it, and Jandy said she hoped I’d enjoy it – the book, not the weeping. ;D


I had no idea she was a journalist. We laughed about her first writing piece because it was about cigar ashtrays. She had to go to the shops and interview the sellers. I jokily said that business was probably not going too well these days. ;D


I was looking for her, but couldn’t spot her. (Kasie and Erica were looking forward to her too. Ha.) When I did find her, she was already talking to someone else. I had to come back ten minutes later because I didn’t want to interrupt her conversation. I was too nervous to engage in a conversation with her. I just told her that I plan to see her when she comes to Oakland on the 23rd (*cross my fingers*), and that I read Roar and Liv and loved it.


I don’t think I said anything to her after I asked her about her question. :P


She is such a sweetheart. Her favorite Stephen King novel is The Stand. For #15, she talked about how she was certain that one of the authors was lying about it being their question. She was sure that she was one of the authors for #15. (We solved the mystery below in MICHAEL GRANT’s section.)


I can’t remember if it was Stacey Jay (or Michelle Gagnon?) that said, jokily, that Sean couldn’t pick a more pretentious book. However, Sean and I both agreed that the name Vonnegut was already pretentious enough.


Stacey Jay was around when Michael Grant told me that his question was #15 and that his favorite Stephen King novel was The Stand. Then Stacey said that there’s another author, Kevin Emerson, who said that was his question too, and she was sure that somebody was lying. MYSTERY. Kevin Emerson then came by to introduce himself to Michael. What a weird coincidence! She was sure that #15 was her’s and Kevin’s question, and that Michael must’ve gotten his question mixed up. And you know what? She was right. Michael’s question was #13 – he lived in more than 50 homes. Ha. Michael said that there aren’t only two people in the world who considers Stephen King as their favorite. Lots of people like Stephen King, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. I was just amused that everybody was playing detective. :D


When I asked her which question was hers, she took my paper and wrote down her name. She told me that was easier than saying her name out loud because it was quite nosy and she didn’t want to hurt people’s ear with her voice. Awww. She was so sweet.


I basically ran after him to confirm that he is one of the two authors in #12. I didn’t have a conversation with him because we were interrupted by announcement for another prize giveaway.


She loved Pride & Prejudice as a teen. I didn’t talk to her much because I believe the prize giveaway announcement interrupted us. I wanted to tell her that I loved my favorite Austen novel was Persuasion. (Give me Anne + Wentworth any day!)


She actually wrote in her name for me. One of the woman around her, whose name I unfortunately did not know, went on her phone to try to help me find the answer for #2, but I had to turn in my scavenger hunt game card. :( I was really grateful that they would go to this length (of cheating ;D) to help me complete all the questions.


I, unfortunately, did not talk to her until after I turned in my scavenger hunt game card. It’s funny because when I was trying to find her by asking other authors where L. Tam Holland is, they had no idea where she was and decided to help. We only knew that she was blond, and bless Kasie West, she tried to help me find her.


All the authors were really sweet and so much fun. You do not know how much I wanted to hug everybody for rooting for me to win the scavenger prize. When I came back home, I realized that I forgot to get every author I met to sign my Litquake festival guide. Oh wells.



I won these two books – The Dark Unwinding from when I raised my hand to answer what recent Not Your Mother’s Book Club event I’ve been to (which, of course, was the Gayle Forman & Tamara Ireland Stone one) and Matched from being one of the people who completed the scavenger hunt with the correct answers. :D

I bought these books to get signed –

Awesome, right? I’m excited to start reading them.


I want to share the love for the authors and for this event! You see that I have extra copies of books, right? Well, you have the chance to win a Teenquake prize pack! You will get a signed copy of Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and a signed copy of The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.

The rules:

  • This contest is only opened to the US. (Too broke to send it anywhere else.)
  • The giveaway will run from October 15 to October 31, 2013.
  • You must be 13 years (with your parent’s permission) or older.
  • You will be disqualified if you pick up entries you haven’t done.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.

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