On day two, Nicole and I thought we could plan to leave later than the day before since were already registered. But then I panicked and we wound up leaving early still which was a good call because it was raining and took a while to get a cab to the Javits Center. Then when we arrived we found our usual coat check was full and had to detour to a different floor to drop off our bags. But of course we still had time to mill around waiting for the show floor to open.
Look at this fun banner that was there for Kevin Henkes upcoming picture book:
The morning started with almost being trampled at the Little Brown Young Readers booth when they were dropping Rule by Ellen Goodlett. This book sounds a bit like Three Dark Crowns but even more so and I’m excited to read it. I was less excited about the mob that formed for the 9am ARC drop. Nicole and I still aren’t sure why it was such a mob scene but it was a total mess and we just barely made it out of there in one piece.
Little, Brown’s booth was a mess for most of the show. They did secret password drops for their two biggest ARCs of the season (The Wicked King and Muse of Nightmares) and generally created chaos with their YA titles.
After that it was time to wait in another line at the Disney Hyperion booth for my biggest priority event of the day. Alexandra Bracken would be signing 100 ARCs of The Darkest Legacy in the afternoon but Disney was giving out wristbands for the signing that morning. I’ve been following this series since before The Darkest Minds was published so it’s no exaggeration to say that Alex’s signing was the most important thing on my entire schedule.
I also have to say that Disney’s booth was incredibly well-organized. Everything was very straightforward and clearly explained. There were no mobs and no chaos. It was great.
But of course that also meant more waiting in a line.
Wristbands secured, Nicole and browsed other booths for a little bit before heading back to autographing.
While waiting in that line I was also able to run over to see Christian Trimmer and Jessie Sima signing their new picture book Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies. I always end up leaving BookExpo with at least one signed picture book and I am thrilled that this year it was this book.
Next up were two really exciting things. First: You might have heard that Scott Westerfeld is returning to the world of Uglies with a new fifth book in the series. Impostors is set after the events of the original series with new characters but readers can expect some familiar faces too.
I love everything Scott Westerfeld writes and he is just the best so I knew I wanted to be sure to get a copy of Impostors signed. Even his photo with his book is epic:
Next up was Ngozi Ukazu’s signing. Ukazu is the artist behind a popular webcomic called Check, Please! First:Second Books is also publishing bindups of the start of the series. I discovered this title during my buzz panel reading and was pleasantly surprised. (I did not expect to get invested in a college hockey team at all.) I also found out my coworker Guybrarian B is a big fan so I made sure to get to Ukazu’s signing for him. She is so nice and made the best face during her photo.
Next up it was time to head to the Workman booth for Adele Griffin’s signing. Tell Me No Lies is a companion to Griffin’s earlier novel Be True to Me and promises to be another heady combination of historical fiction, romance, and intrigue this time set in the 1980s.
Griffin is delightful and we had a quick talk about other exciting titles to look for at BookExpo (I told her to check out Darius the Great is Not Okay and I will tell you too!).
After refueling we headed back to the Workman booth to wait for Nova Ren Suma’s signing.
We also got to watch a promotional photo shoot in progress for Born to Dance: Celebrating Moments of Joy, from Toddler to Teen by Jordan Matter with the author, his dancer daughter, and another talented young dancer. (If you don’t know anything about Workman’s titles, you can rest assured that this was extremely on brand for them!)
Honestly, I don’t know anything about Suma’s upcoming YA novel. All I needed to hear was that she had a new book coming out and I was ready for it. I always love picking up her YA novels–they’re never quite what you’d expect and they are always filled with mystery and suspense. I’m hoping for more of the same from A Room Away From the Wolves which, for Suma, means that the book will likely be wholly surprising and unexpected.
The rest of the afternoon was a blur of lines. Heading back to the autographing area I very happily ran into Isabel Bandeira and got to chat with her about how the day was going. I had sadly missed her earlier signing but she did have an extra sampler to share for the final book in her contemporary Ever After trilogy Practically Ever After which is gloriously pink and adorable.
Then, after that, I waited in line for almost ninety minutes for Marie Lu’s three o’clock signing of Wildcard. The autographing area was cavernous this year (not a bad thing) so it was easy to form early lines. Unfortunately it also meant standing around for a significant amount of time with not much to do.
Luckily while I waited I was able to catch Brigid Kemmerer (with bonus publicist Lizzy Mason sighting!) and get a signed copy of her upcoming novel A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Based on the cover it looks like a lush fantasy. And it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Sign me up!
Then, of course, I forgot to take a picture of Marie Lu with Wildcard but trust me it was very exciting and I can’t wait to see how things wrap up in the conclusion to her Warcross duology.
After that it was back to the Disney booth for Alex’s signing. Which meant waiting on another line. Of course.
But having a guaranteed spot thanks to my wristband made the signing super chill. I even broke my usual rule about no author photos and took a picture with Alex because I was so happy to have been able to see her. (The Darkest Legacy is the first book I picked up after BookExpo. It was harrowing and fast-paced and surprisingly timely. It was also an excellent story and a wonderful addition to one of my favorite series.)
I already missed one drop for this book so my only other chance was Taylor’s signing at 4:00pm. I got there right as the signing was starting and was more than a little dismayed to see that there were already about 130 people on line. But I decided to try my luck and, bless Nicole, she stuck it out with me.
The line was a total pain. A lot of people who pay to attend BookExpo also pay for front of the line passes to (as you might guess) jump to the front of a line of their choice. At least twenty people used this if not more including, annoyingly, several people who waited until the signing was almost over. Which meant that Nicole and I kept moving farther and farther back in the line.
Funnily at the start of the line I wasn’t sure how much I needed Muse of Nightmares. Would I love it? Would it make the entire Strange the Dreamer duology for me? Would it be worth it? I wasn’t sure but I stayed on the line.
While Nicole held my place I also got to run off to say hi to one of my grad school friend’s, Sandy! You might know him as Alex London. His new book Black Wings Beating is a queer fantasy novel about killer birds and falconry and it’s been getting compared to Graceling so be sure to watch for it this fall. Sandy and I were so busy talking that, of course, I forgot to take a picture but trust me he’s great and you want his book.
I think Taylor signed about 175 ARCs over an hour and a half maybe more since some industrious people who caught the earlier ARC drop had their copies from that to get signed. She was incredibly sweet even at the tail end of the line where Nicole and I, happily, made the cutoff and were able to get copies signed.After I finished The Darkest Legacy I picked up Muse of Nightmares and it turns out that was a great decision as was waiting for the signing. This book totally made the duology for me. I loved it and I can’t wait to talk with more of you about it after it publishers this fall.
Taylor’s signing wound up going so long that we basically closed out BookExpo. We made our way off the floor to pick up our bags and then Nicole and I met up with Sajda to head to the Fierce Reads party. I always go to the party because I love working with Macmillan and see so many people. But I also kind of hate mingling.
This year the party was a lot of fun! So much so that I don’t have any pictures of it!
Nicole and I got to talk more with Sandy. I saw some publicists I typically only email. And we also got to talk with Jen Doll and April Genevieve Tucholke about their respective upcoming novels Unclaimed Baggage (quirky contemporary about three teens working at a store that sells unclaimed luggage) and The Boneless Mercies (YA fantasy retelling of Beowulf with a female protagonist). After missing her all day at BookExpo I also got to say hi to Leila Sales and talk to her more about her latest novel If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say which is an intense read that is ripe for discussion. It was also kind of refreshing hearing a lot of authors say that they were nervous about mingling and realizing that we weren’t alone. Authors! They’re just like us!
And that’s a wrap on everything that happened this year at BookExpo.
Here are all of the books I picked up on day two of BookExpo 2018: