Thursday, April 26, 2012


**anyone who met me at the event, please tell me! Email or comment here or add me on Twitter! I wasn't able to get info from anyone :(  This is especially to the woman with dark curly hair who sat in the front row, got the goodreads accounts of the two ladies I was sitting next to, and absolutely loved Etienne! (I am so sorry, I don't remember your name...but I know you know who you are!)

YA or Bust came to gloomy little San Diego last night, and I was lucky enough to go. And seriously you guys...BEST NIGHT EVER.

I'm just going to get this out of the way: each of the authors who were there hold very special places in my heart, for specific reasons. In summary:

  • Stephanie Perkins: Lola was the first review I EVER wrote, before I even had a book blog (the one in my archives was "imported"). Because I loved it so much I had to write about it.
  • Gayle Forman: If I Stay & Where She Went are the reason I read mainly YA. Because her books are what made me realize the beauty and tragedy and pure emotion you can find.
  • Nina LaCour: As I tweeted yesterday, The Disenchantments makes me want to write again. The review will be up Friday, but trust me when I say it is everything I hope to be.
  • Kirsten Hubbard (moderator): If you can't see from my review of Wanderlove, her book made me have PANIC ATTACKS because I felt so many things. TFiOS notwithstanding, Wanderlove has held fast as my Favourite 2012 read. It is my first recommendation to everyone.
Me, Kirsten Hubbard, Nina LaCour, Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins
I'm barely holding it together, you guys. SO MUCH AWESOME.
So the fact that they were ALL here, ALL in front of me, ALL talking and telling us these amazing things...I can't tell you how much I had to hold in the squealing.  All of them are such funny, witty, intelligent women. There were so many jokes and so much laughter, I want to hang out with them all the time. (and Kierston White was in the audience, too!)

I had a minor freakout when I saw Kirsten Hubbard walk in. I did my best to reign it in (the two lovely ladies I met and was sitting with, Kami and Meredith, got to hear me have a whispered squeal), but I pretty much DIED when Kirsten saw me and goes, "Hey! I recognize you from Twitter! You're Ashley, right?"  SHE KNEW WHO I WAS, GUYS.

It kicked off with summaries of their books, BUT they each described another person's books! Stephanie introduced Nina's books (called Hold Still "hopeful"), Gayle introduced Stephanie's books (called Anna the "most swoony, romantic book"), and Nina introduced Gayle's (said she got goosebumps just talking about them because they're so beautiful). It was tons of fun to hear how and what the others thought of their books.

From there on, it was just laughter and awesomeness. The things I remember:
  • Nina is very quiet, and has a lovely melodic voice.
  • Gayle is absolutely HILARIOUS.
  • Stephanie is sarcastic in a perfect way.
  • Gayle is apparently the most disciplined of the three.
  • Stephanie took french lessons as research for Anna.
  • Nina went on road trips for her research (I think she mentioned 2, though I can't quite remember)
  • Kirsten and Stephanie jokingly called themselves Sloth "Hipsters" because they loved baby sloths before it was cool to.
  • Gayle's upcoming books are another duet (pair).
  • Stephanie guards her books very closely, but says her next book (Isla and the Happily Ever After) is the last companion to Anna & Lola...and that it will probably piss off a lot of people.
  • Nina considered Wilson Phillips to be the final girl band in her book, but settled on Heart.
  • Gayle listened to Falling Slowly from the Once soundtrack often while she wrote If I Stay.
  • Stephanie's favourite scene in If I Stay is "play me like a cello." (SWOON, RIGHT?!)
  • Gayle's favourite scene in The Disenchantments is the beer scene.
  • Stephanie had on black and yellow striped socks. It was adorable.
I apologize if I'm making you all jealous, but I am totally NOT sorry for having been there. They were the sweetest and so amazing, staying to sign everyone's books - I was one of the last 5 or so, and they were just as perky and nice as when it kicked off.  I got to talk to Kirsten and Nina for awhile about writing, Twitter, ALA, BEA...everything.

Click for the full version
How cute is that Disenchantments poster, you guys?? And they were troopers and signed everyone had.

So, is this not the best night ever?


Shannon Messenger was there too, who has two upcoming books: Keeper of the Lost Cities (Oct 2, 2012) and Let The Sky Fall (March 2013) - and I was creepy and hovering for a few minutes as she chatted with other fellow authors. But when I finally plucked up enough courage to introduce myself, she was so sweet and awesome and we talked about her books and she even gave me signed bookmarks. Keeper of the Lost Cities is almost 500 pages, guys! Andrea Ortega (of YA know) has a picture of us together, I'll add it as soon as it's tagged on Facebook!  And if you're going to BEA, be on the lookout for ARCs! They'll be there - and the cover for Let The Sky Fall will be revealed just before.


After the event finished, I realized I hadn't eaten since lunch and decided to swing by Tea Station (a local boba/tea shop) a few blocks down.  I was about to order a drink to go when I realized I also had to use the bathroom - so I went. And when I finished and swung open the door...who's standing there waiting to use the bathroom? KIRSTEN HUBBARD.  So not only does she still recognize me and say hello (I don't know how I didn't scare her off), but she offers to introduce me to all her friends. And when she did, they invited me to stay and hang out with them!! YOU GUYS. I held it together, but I was FREAKING OUT. I mean, I just had boba with Kirsten FREAKIN' Hubbard. Who I gushed about and absolutely HARASSED on Twitter when I was reading Wanderlove because I couldn't stop tweeting her about how much I loved it. I would not be surprised to receive a restraining order tomorrow.

Who were her friends? Maybe you'll recognize a few of mentioned, Andrea Ortega of YA Know; Nikki Katz of YA Know, is a Bookanista, has a few nonfiction books out, and is a freelance & social media extraordinaire; Cindy Pon, author of Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix; and Debra Driza, whose very anticipated YA Sci-Fi novel Mila 2.0 will be out next year.

Yeah. Best choice ever to go to the bathroom.  Kirsten is sweet, kind, fun, down-to-earth, totally someone I would hang out with on any regular day. And yeah, she's gorgeous in real life, too. Her friends were also phenomenal, so much fun to hang out. It blew my mind to be sitting with these people who are actually a part of the book world and hear names tossed about, only to realize they're talking about authors who I love, admire, put on pedestals, generally think the sun shines out their asses. Surreal.

I really don't think anything can top this night. To be around all bookish people, authors who I love and adore and admire, learn of new ones, to just chat with people who love what I was AMAZING. I just want to do this all day, every day. I was so honored and lucky to meet these people, to get to hang out with them, and I hope they know and understand just how deep my gratitude goes.

The last stop of the YA or Bust tour is tomorrow in Seattle - if you can, GO GO GO. Absolutely 100% go.

PS. I'm a selfish blogger and did not get anything at the signing to give away, but you can still win a signed copy of In Honor by Jessi Kirby! Enter here, US only. Ends 5/1, because I'm hoping to get the book to the winner before or in time for its official release! 


  1. I'm so jealous of you for meeting these beautiful ladies! It seems like you had a wonderful day. :)

    1. I'm jealous of my past self haha. It was definitely a wonderful day!

  2. Such a great recap Ashley - and so much fun to hang out with you!!

    1. Thanks Nikki! It was tons of fun, thank you for letting me interrupt and I hope you were able to wake up on time the next morning! Hopefully I see you at another event soon! (Fierce Reads, maybe? Will you be there?)

  3. Glad that you had such a great time! I was quite awestruck. I can't wait for more events like these to come into town. I'm really looking forward to the Fierce Reads tour in June! Here is my thoughts on the authors and event (not as squee worthy, though):


    1. i think it's bad that this was my first ever author event - the bar is so high now! I'm excited for the Fierce reads tour too, though I definitely have to get crackin' reading all their books!

  4. Love this post Ashley:) What a fun event for you, and you must be born under a lucky star to run into K.Hubbard and the rest afterwards:) I love my small town but sometimes I wish I lived in a big city so I could attend more of these events (I think the Fierce Reads Tour may be stopping by my neck of the woods this summer, *crosses fingers*) Until then, I shall live vicariously through you! :))

    1. I think I used up a years' supply of luck to run into her and her friends afterward and get to hang out! I hope the Fierce Reads tour ends up near you! I'm excited for its stop here in SD, but I definitely have to get crackin' reading all the authors' books!

  5. I didn't get to see you there, sad *_* I was totally gonna seek you out after you commented on by blog but I couldn't remember your name or what you looked like, lol. I'm gonna try and hit as many SD book events as possible, so maybe we can meet up later? I had a blast at the event too!

    1. I know!! I didn't know what you looked like and I was only about 50% sure your name was Jaime (I couldn't quite remember, especially since I could only remember your blog name), plus I didn't want to just call out your name because...y'know...that'd be kinda weird? haha. I'm sad I missed you, but definitely the next local event! I'm trying to make the Brodi Ashton event on Saturday, though it's a bit early so I'm still unsure...will you be there? Otherwise, I'm definitely going to be at the Fierce Reads stop :)

    2. I'm about 80% sure I'll be there on Saturday :D I wonder what time the YA authors will be signing?? I guess we'll just have to hang out all day at Mysterious Galaxy, lol. Hope to see you then!


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