The Book Expo of America (BEA) is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. Which basically means it's the biggest opportunity to GET YOUR BOOK NERD ON, i.e. FYA CHRISTMAS, i.e. SPAZZFEST 2015.
This year, I headed to NYC with two BEA newbies-- Mandy Wan and Mandy Curtis!
Mandy W. came all the way from Canada! So Mandy C. and I finally got to meet her in person! And we were super relieved that she's not an internet bot.
As a four year veteran, I felt it was my duty to teach them the basic skills of BEA survival.
1. Spend enough time in Javits to enjoy the spectacle, but not enough time to melt your brain.
BEA takes place in a giant convention center, and it's pretty awesome to see book signs in a size normally reserved for blockbuster movies.
It's easy to get loaded down with books, because BEA has ALL OF THE BOOKS, but because we're
old lazy particular, we only picked up a few, including:
King Dork Approximately by Frank Portman, ZOMG BRB FREAKING OUT.
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Mandy C. discovered that Jennifer Armentrout signs the shizz out of her books. Also, that postcard.
But you know what's even better than encountering books? Meeting the authors who wrote them! Every year, BEA hosts some super famous folks-- this year, the big stars we spotted were Alan Cumming (who looked fabulous), Jane Lynch (who looked tall), and Billy Idol (who looked old)-- but obviously, we got the most excited about the rock stars of YA.
Um, how much do we love Steve Brezenoff? SO MUCH.
Then there's the unsung heroes of YA-- the publishing folks who champion authors and get their books out into the world.
Mandy C. with Meredith from Soho Teen. She's dressed Mad-Men-style in honor of their upcoming release, I'm Glad I Did.
The year 2014 might also be known as the year that BEA got cute. There was SO MUCH ADORABLENESS HAPPENING, YOU GUYS.
2. For a truly enjoyable BEA, spend the majority of your time away from BEA.
Specifically, get the hell out of Javits and enjoy being in NYC and:
Mandy C., Anna Marie from the Manhattan FYA Book Club and Mandy W. about to DOMINATE some gelatto.
Donut holes with Faye from Little, Brown. And yes, they came with two dipping sauces.
Ideally, drinking should occur in fabulous places:
Even the bathroom doors at this party were cool.
And with fabulous people!
Blogger Cocktail Panel with (l-r): Adele of Persnickety Snark, Allison from Good Books and Good Wine, Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner, Margot from Epic Reads, Mandy W., Posh, April from Good Books and Good Wine, Lenore from Presenting Lenore, Mandy C. and Elena from Novel Sounds.
Hobnobbing with (and girl crushing on) a few of the Manhattan FYA Book Club Gals!
Speaking of fabulous people...
3. Soak up the amazingness of your YA author pals and marvel at how you ever got so lucky.
And every year, his hair gets impossibly higher.
Thanks to Rebecca Serle, the hostess with the mostest, we continued our BEA Slumber Party tradition, which included cocktails, "junk food" (I feel the need to use quotes since Rebecca bought the gummi bears from a health food store), gossip and a generous dose of YouTube videos.
And this year, we created a new tradition that I can only pray will grow more ridiculous with time. Ladies and Brian, I present to you:
Don't miss the greatness that is the 2:49 minute mark.
In case it's not made clear by this video, the whole karaoke thing was Megan's idea. Because SHE IS A GENIUS.
BEA 2014 was a giddy, cocktail-fueled spree of book dorkdom, and we loved every B-A-N-A-N-A-S second of it. Even now, as our bodies ache and our livers throw up the white flag, we feel so thankful to have been a part of this literary extravaganza.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got some
karaoke practicing reading to do.