Thursday, June 4, 2015

BookCon 2015 Recap

So all of us here at Wonderland Novels were able to attend BookCon this year! It was an extremely packed day and it seemed like there was so much to do and not enough time for it.
Sarah, Yiling, and Raisa. (Sadly Alice left already before we could all get a picture together.)

Show Floor
Lois Lane!!
Yiling: I spent most of the day by Penguin Random House because there was so many activities going on in their booth from giveaways to signings. When we got to BookCon in the morning, we immediately went there to pick up a copy of one of Sarah's most anticipated arcs- Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The book is HUGE and honestly one of the most creatively designed books I've ever seen.

Another one of my first stops was to the Capstone booth to spin their wheel! I was so excited because they published one of most wanted books Lois Lane: Fallout. When I span the wheel, I landed on the spot to get a free pen but the people at the booth were kind enough to also let me pick a book of my choice. (Of course I picked Lois Lane!)

There were so many activities going on in the show floor but thankfully the space was not as crowded as last year although lines were so long. I wished that I could divide myself up so I could be everywhere at once!

Alice: After seeing BookCon lines, I no longer think the BEA lines were bad (except maybe that line for Black Widow, haha). There were lines for literally everything! The line for Penguin Random House's book drop was literally never ending. Go in at 10? The line was there. Come back at 1pm? Still a line. But I think most people can agree that Penguin Random House had the best drops for BookCon. I actually left early since I was still tired from BEA and didn't want to wait in any more crazy lines.

The Show Floor right before closing
Raisa: In comparison to last year's Bookcon, I'd say I got a lot more out of it. I knew what I wanted and I wasn't going to pick up every free thing I saw and not use it (I have so many posters and pins from last year). I also went to Penguin Random House for the free drops; unfortunately they ran out These Shallow Graves while I was waiting on line for it. The Show Floor was more organized than last year, but there were still many lines. I wish I could have divided myself so I could be in several places at once - I really wanted to get more books, but I couldn't be everywhere.

Sarah: Although it took a while for me to actually get in, I really enjoyed this year's Bookcon. The aisles were much wider than last year's so I didn't feel crushed in the crowd and had a much easier time viewing all the exhibits. I also really appreciated the schedule letting us know what and when each of the Penguin Random House giveaways were. The first thing I did was get a HARD COVER advanced copy of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. The entire book and cover is so creatively formatted, its made  to look like a collection of censured documents. I can't wait to read the story inside! Some publishers were really creative with their giveaways. If you whispered "discreet" to someone at the HarperCollins exhibit you got a free book. Alice noticed these instructions printed upside at the bottom of their pamphlets. I just wish I could have went Sunday as well for even more cool books.

In-Booth Autographing
Yiling: I attended the autographing sessions for Carrie Ryan and Jennifer Niven at the Penguin Random House booth. I got to Carrie Ryan's autographing pretty early so I didn't have to wait on line for that long. I loved Carrie's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series so I was so excited to meet her and get a copy of her latest book Daughter of Deep Silence. I also got to meet the lovely Jennifer Niven and get a copy of her book All the Bright Places. I arrived half an hour early with Sarah and the line was already so long that it wrapped around the entire booth!

Alice: The only autographing I went to at BookCon was Cindy Pon's signing at the Month9Books booth since I had a front of the line pass. I can't wait to read Serpentine and Cindy was sweet!


My personalized autograph!
Raisa: So I was under the impression I had to buy Meg Cabot's book in order to get an autograph, and even though the BookCon app (and my friends) warned me about the long line at the Word Bookstore, I went anyway. The line did have many people but it moved more efficiently than I thought; probably only was there for 20-25 minutes. Next I went on line 45 minutes early for the signing - there were already a lot of people lined up! Luckily, I ran into my college friends and ended up sitting with them. And even though I didn't need the book (thought I wasted money), Meg Cabot actually asked me if I wanted a personalized autograph so that basically made my day. She's so nice!

I also went to CinemaSin's autographing session. The line was much shorter and I got to take a photo with them (with Ms. Cabot I couldn't) and they were really cool about photos. Didn't have to buy Jeremy's book but I bought it afterwords haha.


Renee Ahdieh, Marie Lu, Aisha Saeed, and Sabaa Tahir: Faraway Lands
Sarah:  So I had the awesome opportunity to see a panel with so many talented authors. Although I was only familiar with Marie Lu's Young Elite series and Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes, I still was able to enjoy the panel. In only an hour they each touched upon a variety of topics, everything from character development and world building, to female characters and diversity in books. Did you know Marie has to draw her characters before she can write a word because she used to be graphic designer for videos games (so cool)?! She also feels super awkward when writing romance scenes. And Sabaa actually feels guilty towards her characters and is jokingly called the "Commandant" by her mom.  One of my favorite quotes from the panel came from Marie Lu however, when she was answering a question on her Russian-Mongolian character, Daniel Altan Wing, from the Legend series. She told us of all the emails she's received accusing her of "hiding his heritage" by giving this half Asian boy blond hair and blue eyes. She was very saddened by this until receiving an email from a mother thanking her, "because that's exactly how my daughter looks". She went on to say that even though there are comparatively so few diverse characters, one character can not be a representation of an entire group because there are so many different kinds of people within that group, "and that's why we need more diverse characters".

 Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer: Truth or Dare

Marissa Meyer standing on one foot
while Leigh Bardugo answers a question.
Yiling: Me and Sarah both attended the panel with Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer where they played Truth or Dare. It was such a fun panel! Leigh and Marissa were both so funny and interesting. For one of the first dares that Marissa got, they reenacted a scene from Cinder (when Kai and Cinder first met). Leigh did a freestyle rap about her books (I was SO impressed that she came up with a rap so quickly and it was actually really good! She also showed off her Russian accent and even did a remake of "I'm a little teapot" where she turned into a sugar bowl instead. Marissa Meyer revealed that she would glamour herself into Meg Ryan (pre-plastic surgery), impersonated Thorne (Would you like to see my spaceship later?), and even made up a Lunar anthem!

Marissa and Leigh doing a Lunar waltz!
They also talked talked about more serious topics in relation to their books. Marissa Meyer got a question asking her about her diverse cast and if it was intentional to which she responded both yes and no. She talked about how when she was younger and she went to anime cons with her friends, one of friends told her about how she didn't know who to cosplay because no characters looked like her and how that always was stuck in the back of her mind. Leigh talked about the YA genre and how she found that people to shame people about reading genres like romance and YA because both of those genres are primarily created by and consumed women. They both discussed their strong female characters and Marissa talked about how one thing that she hopes that her readers got from reading her books was romance and love and she hoped to bring that to readers.

Overall, it was such a lovely panel! I laughed so much through out the whole thing and one hour was not long enough. The people sitting next me even remarked that they thought that it was the best panel ever and I wish that I could see them doing a panel together again.

BookCon was so much fun and I'm sadden that we aren't able to go next year. (Why is Chicago so far?!) Hope that you guys enjoyed our post! Were you able to go to BookCon this year?


  1. Looks like you all had a great time! Wish I would've know about the summer blogger promo tour before -- would have been cool to meet up!

    1. You went to BEA/BookCon too? :D How did you like it?