Jun 14, 2018

Book Expo Recap : Day 1 & 2 ( + Giveaway!!! )

Hello my fellow bookworms!!!

I've been missing in action for some time but you would have known why if you follow me on social media! I was on a 15 day trip to NYC, mainly for Book Expo and Bookcon, and it was absolutely amazing! I am finally back home - and jet lag is killing me - and I am so excited to share all of my stories with you.

Before we begin, I ma going to do the recaps as three parts : part one is of Book Expo, the next of Bookcon and then the recap of all my other NYC shenanigans. Today is the time for Book Expo stories, and stick by me if it gets long - I do go on when I tell stories - because there's a very exciting giveaway if you brave it all.

This year's Book Expo trip is a little extra special. It's the last one before I set off to college, and even though I am moving to the USA, and I'll be much closer to New York than now - in the same continent! gasp! - I guess future plans are a bit uncertain at this point, so I was kind of mentally preparing myself for a last Book Expo. Plus the trip rolled around at a time where I was kind of slipping into a bad mental health space, so it was a very welcome distraction. So to say that I was excited is an understatement.

The Initiation

I arrived in NYC on the 28th of May, and was supposed to meet Aila in the evening. However I heavily overestimated my strength after an almost 20 hour trip, so I was literally sitting on the subway after getting off the train with luggage I couldn't move even if my life depended on it, until poor Aila had to come to save me. Sigh. I wish I could say that I was great company that night, but I am not so sure about it. *hides*

But still meeting Aila was so exciting, and we hit it off right away, even with all my exhaustion, and shamelessly had chicken nuggets for dinner. Just as my tired self was ready to shut down, we encountered a rat in our hotel room. Yes you heard that right.  A RAT. So we literally ran down to the lobby in our pjs only for the receptionist to very casually ask us, "was it a mouse or a rat?", and even proceeded to say that "it's not uncommon." As if the day could get any worse, lol. However, fortunately we were only going to stay in that hotel for one night anyway - which we'll leave unnamed - and was supposed to meet the rest of our roommates the next day and move to Hilton, so we just got a new room and slept off in the hope that there'll be no more rodents.

I was so jetlagged on the next day, but I was trying not to let it matter, as we finally set off from the rodent friendly hotel to explore NYC. We hung out at Times Square - which is always one of my fave places in New York, I just love all the buzz - and then went over to Strand, where I almost fell asleep. However, it was too much of an exciting day for me to stay tired, so Aila and I went next to find Brittany, as it was her birthday, and had lunch near the Flatiron Building.

P.S - I found out that I have a great magical power that is spotting people. Especially when they're book people. Even from miles away. It was epic.


Afterwards, I parted ways with the two ladies and went to the Bloomsbury Tour, where I also met Hazel and Nori. I was terribly late and tried to push a sliding door. *facepalm* But the tour was great, we got to hear about the upcoming YA titles and I snagged a copy of The Girl King. Which was a major win, because this book sounds awesome!!!

Hazel, Nori and I went to the hotel after the tour, and we were joined by Aila and then finally found Joey, and then, it was time for Blogbound! I was doing a panel, which had me so nervous, but it's such an awesome event that the nerves kinda flew away once I saw all the people. 

My panel was on Blogging Stories and it was actually so much fun. I did it with Alexa, Madalyn and Bonnie, and we just shared stories, confessed secrets, shared recommendations and mused about all our favourite things about blogging. I also kind of spent a whole bunch of time explaining to everyone how I met Victoria Schwab. I am proud of that story, okay? ( But really are you guys tired of me flailing about Schwab? I really hope not, because I am so not going to stop :D)

I saw a lot of familiar faces at Blogbound, especially Julie, Nicole, Michael, Rachel, Patrice, Alexandria, and Melissa and it was amazing. The whole event went down so great, and it will be definitely something I'll be missing a lot if I don't end up doing Book Expo next year.

The Day when nothing happened

The roommates finally assembled together and it was fantastic. There was nothing bookish to do the next day, so we picked up our badges from the Javits and gawked at all the posters. Next stop was lunch, and we were meeting Jon, but we got terribly lost because Joey is awesome at navigation, and somehow found the place after walking down half of Manhattan. We briefly visited the NYPL - the one at 53rd street - after dropping Joey off at the NOVL tea and little did I know that the place would become my second home the next week ( But more of that in part 3)

Brittany was treating Aila, Melissa, Joey and I for her birthday, so we went to Brooklyn for dinner. Well, it wasn't that straightforward, we went to Books of Wonder, made a few food stops while waiting for Joey - which led Brittany to go all mum over me regarding how little I eat. Really, she made sure I was fed that week. What would I do without her?

Brooklyn Heights was gorgeous, and we went to this pizza place, which I actually enjoyed even though I detest pizza ( yep, you heard me right ) However, I was falling asleep on the table and we had to return. ( I was so tired that I thought Joey's tote bag looked like a dog, and asked him why's he's walking a dog. I still don't know whether I was sleepy or high )

Book Expo Day 1

The big day arrived and I was all ready! I had a pretty relaxed schedule this year ( half of the time, I had nothing. In my defense, they scheduled all the exciting signings at the same time! ) and I didn't want to take too many books home with me. Last time I had a 46 kg allowance guys ( roughly around 100 pounds ) AND I was overweight. I tried hard to resist, and surprisingly I was pretty good at it!

I pretty much had nothing to do till one, so I roamed around and just met people. I saw Melissa Albert on her way back from Javits, and we chatted for a while, and she was so excited when she saw that my tote bag was - coincidentally - a Hazel Wood one. Plus I realized that Melissa had gone to my future college, and I almost screamed.

I snagged copies of A Curse So Dark and Lovely and Priory of the Orange Tree from Bloomsbury, but I ended up giving away the latter because it was SO HUGE!!! No way I am going to read that, lol. I mean the book does sound amazing - DRAGONS! - but 800 odd pages? Nah, I am good.

I saw someone holding an ARC of City of Ghosts suddenly, and my mind just went blank. I just sprinted to Scholastic, only to see that their drop was done. However, I was able to give out a very innocent smile with earnest eyes and got my copy :D

I ended up running into Stephanie Garber and briefly exchanged words with Nic Stone before she had to run off to something. I also met Elly Blake and we hung out for a bit, before I departed for the show floor. While aimlessly wandering, the best thing happened!!! Guess who I saw? Because I am so predictable, you would have already known that it was Victoria Schwab!

Meeting her last year was amazing, but it's even more magical when she sees me from a distance and goes, "Hi Mish!" My heart died a thousand deaths. We hugged, I flailed, and I tried to get words out - and failed. But she was as fantastic and kind as always, and even professed that we should take a selfie a day and record the progression of outfits. ( Even though she might have actually ended up regretting it because I really made sure I somehow tracked her down for the daily selfies. I can be a weird stalker, guys. I am shameless)

It couldn't have gotten any better, tbh, until Laini Taylor walked by and I somehow got included in a conversation with two very cool authors. ( Actually this kept happening to me a LOT! I just somehow ended up in a circle of very cool people not knowing what to say. Not that I am complaining)

I somehow left that place alive, after getting City of Ghosts signed and getting a picture with Laini. I went off to the autographing area as my signing schedule was finally going to have some events, and I was excited.

I got a copy of Seafire and was very pleasantly surprised when the author mentioned that she has read the blog! She recognized the name right away, and it made my heart sing. It was a double treat, because I had also encountered someone in the line who said to me that they are a huge fan of my diverse book recommendations on twitter, and I was melting already.

My next two signings were two author faves of mine. Sayantani Dasgupta, author of the badass brown book, The Serpent's Secret is amazing, and her guest post here on the blog would always be a favourite of mine. She was as excited to see me as I was to see her, and it warmed my heart so much. Also can I just say, I love that look of recognition that comes over author's faces when it's someone who knows you? It's the best thing ever!

The next was Nic Stone's Odd One Out, and I was joined by Aila and Joey, or as Nic addressed us - her squad. Joey was actually joking about the fact that I was getting a sticky note with my name on it for personalisation, as if Nic doesn't know my name, but I strangely like those post its. I am weird, don't mind me. Nic was as fabulous as ever, and my heart was so full by then.

Then it was once again an amazing author sighting, this time it was Roshani Chokshi. I've known Roshani forever, and The Star Touched Queen has always been such a special book to me, and meeting her finally was such a beautiful moment! She kept thanking me for all that I've done for TSTQ, and what can I say, I'll champion my desi authors until the end of time.

I also got her Aru Shah and the End of Time later at her signing, which has me so excited because Mahabharata!!! I only had one final signing afterwards - see I told you, such good restraint - so I was leisurely walking to the autographing area, and to my immense luck, I was near the Penguin booth when the drop for Wildcard was ending. The line for that drop was insane, so I didn't risk it, but luckily there was no one by that time, so I could just walk by and grab a copy.

My last signing was Sarah Maclean, and both Aila and I are huge historical romance trash and we were flailing even before we got near her. I had no chill when I did see her, and just gushed about all my favourite characters of hers, from Callie and Ralston, to my babies in Day of the Duchess, so much so that her publicist and editor were staring at me with amused smiles.

By the end of the day, Hazel, Aila, Joey and I went for dinner with Alexandria, Ying, Linh and Alexandra, which we dubbed as "InvAsian" See these pictures and you'll understand why.

Book Expo Day 2

I was all ready for the second day with my chai fix done. I had more signings scheduled than the day before, but it was still very relaxed. We also had a very exciting video call with my Filipino faves, JM, Inah and Miel and it was the best way to start the day!

I originally planned to get some signings done before the Becky and Adam one at 10.30, however that line started ridiculously early, and I knew my priorities, so I just gave up everything and went straight where my heart led me.

I did dash in and get Pride before that, and waited in line to meet my faves. Adam Silvera's books are extremely special to me, and I always look forward to meet him because I have some of the best author interaction stories with him. Becky on the other hand is another Roshani story, I feel like I've known her forever, but I've never seen her before, so it was a very exciting waiting for me. The line was looooong - there were around 200 people, and that's after they cut down half the line - and by the time it was my turn, they actually ran out of time, and had to move to another table. Adam recognised me asap, as usual, and Becky was so pleasantly surprised - she's just too adorable - and it was so beautiful. Plus as soon as I neared the table, Adam in a no nonsense tone goes, "M-I-S-H-M-A, that's how I spell it, right?" I spent a good time gushing over them, and Adam professed me the champ because it was my third year flying all over - and coincidentally he is one of the very few people I have seen every one of those years, and we were just recapping our meetings. It was golden.

P.S - What If It's Us was my first BEA book and it's sooooo beautiful! *cries*

The only person who could top it is who I saw next. I ran into Schwab again, and it was time for our day 2 selfie! I am pretty sure I am turning goofier by the day as I meet her. I actually convinced her to get a copy of The Girl King from Bloomsbury - Stephanie Garber too! I am good at leading authors towards great drops and arcs, interesting.

After gushing over Victoria again, I got a copy of Mirage from Macmillan - can't wait to start this one! I also finally saw Mackenzi Lee - why are her outfits so adorable???? - and we hugged and flailed and smiled like very happy kids for a picture.
I got Darius the Great is Not Okay - and I have to mention, Adib is very good with names! - Black Wings Beating - Alex London let know that there might be an Adam Silvera cameo in the book!!! - and Boneless Mercies

My next signing was For a Muse of Fire, and I was so excited to meet Heidi! We had a very fierce and a very awkward hug with a table between us, and you can see a cameo of Heidi's
baby - who is so cute! - in the background

P.S - Reading the book now, and this is phenomenal!!!! It's hard to get into, but once you're in, you're just swept away!

Another signing I was really excited for was Tomi Adeyemi. I met her last year when her book was just a sampler, and she was so cool, and I just wanted to meet her once again after the big success. She almost made me cry when she not only remembered me, but also remembered all my lamenting about college applications and what not - seriously, can you imagine me ranting about stupid college apps to Tomi? But apparently that's what I did last year - and asked me about updates and was so happy when I told her that I am moving to US for college.

By the end of the day, I ended up in another situation of, so-many-cool-people-what-am-I-doing-here? I was just for some reason in a group of people that included Victoria Schwab, Laura Sebastian, Maura Milan, Amanda Foody, Christine Herman, Shveta Thakrar and Patrice. Just imagine me there guys, you'll get what I am talking about!

And that's the end of Book Expo stories!!! Oh man, that was long, wasn't it? You guys are awesome for sticking around till now, so I have a giveaway for you all! And don't forget to check back for the rest of the two recaps!


  • 1 Winner will receive an ARC of City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
  • Open INTL

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