This past weekend, I got to go to Teen Book Con! Teen Book Con is a book festival held in Houston. This was my second year to go and I had such a great time! I’m already counting the days until next year 🙂
The day started off with Ruta Sepetys (pictured to the right) as the key note speaker. I had hear of Ruta before, all the booktubers talk about her but have not read one of her books. I absolutely loved listening to her speak. She talked about fighting dragons. Fighting dragons being a metaphor for over coming obstacles. She also talked about telling stories and how telling stories gives a voice to not just you but to the people of the stories you’re telling. I’m usually not a fan of historical fiction, but after listening to her speak, i’m dying to pick up one of her books, especially her newest, Salt To the Seas. Her speech left me feeling inspired and was a great way to kick off the day!
Once keynote was finished, it was time to break out in to panels. There was a total of six panels to choose from. Of course, I went in to the day with a game plan, knowing exactly what panels I wanted to go to and when.
The first panel I went to of the day was SHIP IT. This panel consisted of Jesse Andrews (pictured to the left), Tina Connolly, Samantha Mabry, Meredith Moore and Kristin Rae.After having read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl last week, this was probably my most anticipated panel of the day. It didn’t disappoint. I might even go as far as to call this my favorite panel of the day (and that’s a super hard call). This panel was moderated by Jennifer Matheu, author of The Truth About Alice and Devoted. She had recognized me from when I went to the launch party for Devoted last year. I thought that was super cool! I’m glad she was there because i’ve been wanting to tell her how much I loved Alice (you might remember I mentioned this book in my Christmas Song Book Tag as a book I think that everyone should read). I loved how much this panel made me laugh. I love Jesse’s since of humor and if you’ve read one of his books, you know what i’m talking about. Also, I really enjoyed seeing Samantha Mabry from this panel. She was witty and bubbly and also very funny. She and Jesse played great off each other.
Up next I went to the I’m New Here panel. This panel included Sean McGinty, Julie Murphy, Becky Wallace and Jeff Zentner. This panel was called i’m new here because of all of the authors in the panel only have one or two books out. What drew me to this panel, was Julie Murphy. I loved listening to her talk about her writing process. Something else I enjoyed about this panel, was listening to Becky Wallace talk about how creepy certain aspects of Sleeping Beauty are. I agree with her one hundred percent when she says that dancing with strangers in the forrest is creepy and something we should not be teaching our daughters.
After lunch, I went in to the Life is Rough panel. I got to see E.K Johnson, Amber Smith, Ray Villareal, Nicola Yoon and Amy Zhang. I loved this panel because all of the author’s stories are strong character driven stores- my favorite kind. Also, I was the only one in that room who had heard of the undertaker (I love WWE!). I learned this when Ray mentioned he had a book called My Father, the Angel of Death, a book about a boy whose father is a wrestler named the Angel of Death. He mentioned that the Angel of Death was heavily inspired by the undertaker. Naturally, I added this to my TBR on goodreads right away. I loved hearing Nicola Yoon’s story about how her book got it’s tittle Everything, Everything. As a young writer, I love hearing about authors who have published books at a young age. Any Zhang published her first book when she was still in high school. It gives me hope. Plus, when I got to meet her in the signing lines that afternoon, she gave me some great advice on getting my query letter written.
For my last panel of the day, I went to Back in The Day with authors Ruta Sepetys, Jennifer Donnelly, Monica Hesse, Katherine Howe and Steve Sheinkin. All of the authors write either non-fiction or historical fiction. Now as an adult reader, i’ve never gravitated to historical fiction, witch I find hilarious because as a kid, the American Girl books were practically all I read. What I loved about this panel was hearing about how the authors get inspired by real life events and how they want to tell the stories about things that happened that aren’t in our history books. This panel started a spark in me to pick up some young adult historical fiction.
The closing session of the day a local high school improve group preformed along with author Michael Buckley, an author in a panel I didn’t get to make it to. They were great performers and was it was a neat way to close out the day.
They very last part of the day was book signing! Unforunately, as a broke college student, I wasn’t able to buy nearly as many books as I wanted to but I did make it out with a pretty awesome stack. I don’t think you guys even realize how much I can’t wait to dive in to this pile of books and start reviewing them! Also, I can’t wait to go and pick up more books from some of the authors I saw today.
I had a blast and I would definitely say that Teen Book Con 2016 was a success! Have you guys read any of the books I bought? Tell me witch one I should read first because I can’t decide.