Welcome to beautiful Vancouver, WA -- home of #YASummerShowdown participants, the Vancouver, WA FYA Book Club! They're here today to tell us about a few of their favourite things about their book club. Take it away, y'all!
The Vancouver, WA chapter of FYA Book Club has been going strong since February 2011, and we thought that #YASummerShowdown would be the perfect time to reflect on our years together and reminisce about our favorite things about ourselves group. Jennifer, McKenzie, Karey, Becky, and Megan - a sample of book clubbers from founding members to second-to-newest member - share their love of our little infinity.
The Truth about Book Club
I have been going to the FYA Vancouver book club for a little over two years, and I have to say, I just love it. Book club is something I really look forward to every month because it is a break from my normal routine, and a place where people can surround their conversation around a shared topic of interest for a few hours. Plus, the bar we go to has a good happy hour selection.
One of my favorite memories of book club is the meeting where we all read different books that were written by the same author: Sarah Dessen. Our meeting that day started out a little rough because our usual bar was closed. We packed up our books, got back into our cars and met at another bar a little ways away. The second bar we tried made us leave though because one of our group members had an expired ID. Pssh. The third time was the charm, we found a nice bar, and we all sat down to begin our discussion. Oh, and one of our group members had also recently had a birthday, soooo, there was cake.
The idea of centering book club on the theme of a common author rather than a common book was fun and refreshing. And what is great about Sarah Dessen’s books - that really generated interesting discussion in our book club - was the fact that many of the main characters have storylines that somehow intertwine with the storylines of the main characters of Dessen’s other books. I can’t remember the exact details now, but we’d say things like, “Oh, my character spent a year of school in the town where your main character’s story takes place,” or, “Hey, my main character went on a really terrible date with your main character.” Another good thing that turned out well was that although we had not discussed with one another which books we would be reading, but we all somehow managed to pick a different book. Sometimes our characters’ storylines would even connect with two or three of the other books our members had read.
At the end of the day, the long journey toward reaching a destination for book club made the meeting all the sweeter. And the cake didn’t hurt either.
No Book Book Club
One of my most favorite book club times is our several times a year “Let’s go watch a movie based on one of our books” get-togethers. This is only made more awesome by the fact that our meeting place for book club is a martini bar downtown...just stumbling distance from the movie theatre. Perfect for having a few cocktails and then walking over to the theatre....sobering up during the movie and then driving home with no worries about driving under the influence!
One such occasion was our viewing of the first Hunger Games. After a few cocktails, we wandered down to the theatre to view our first look at one of our favorite books on the big screen. Earlier that month, I had happened on the China Glaze website (that makes incredible nail polishes in every color and spectrum imaginable) and discovered that they had a whole Hunger Games Districts line of nail polish!
After looking at all the Districts, I chose three of my favs:
• Electrify (District 5 - Power), a stunning array of gold, yellow and red glitter and literally made your nails look like they were on fire - perfect for those “I’m a girl on fire” moments, and one of my favorite polishes I’ve owned. I seriously used the entire bottle!!!! –a first for me!
• Smoke & Ashes (District 12 - Mining), a coal black polish with green and blue metallic flakes that looked amazing paired with the fiery District 5 polish.
• Luxe & Lush (District 1 - Luxury), a District we love to hate (think Gloss and Cashmere) but since this district’s primary industry is to provide luxury items to the capital, it’s no wonder that polish manages to take any polish it covers and transform it into one even more spectacular than what it is at its core.
So, as we were lounging in the theatre, with an hour or so to kill before the show, sporting a martini bar buzz and high on buttery popcorn, our book club bonded over Hunger Games nail polish in fiery reds, coal blacks to match the color of Jon Snow’s eyes, and flecks of iridescent yellows, whites, and greens that could transform the bleakest district colors into something seen only in the Capitol.
My favorite thing about book club? How our book club can take simple things, like nail polish, martinis, and a movie, and make it into something memorable!
Mock Printz Book Club
As a relatively new member of this book group I don't have a whole lot to say, but I will do my best here. First it of course bears mentioning that it is totally and completely awesome to have a group of adults who share my love of young adult literature. There are a lot of adults out there who think my never ending love for the genre is a little strange and it's always great to talk with people who understand. Second, I want to say how much fun the first meeting I attended was.
The first meeting I came to was in January for the Mock Printz Award discussion. I only had a chance to read one of the books (Far Far Away by Tom McNeal) but I loved hearing about all the other nominees. Discussing the pros and cons of each book was a lot of fun, as was deciding what our favorites were. It's always great to actually dive into books and talk about more than just basic "I liked this book".
Halloween Book Club
My favorite book club tradition is probably Halloween Book Club (Mock Printz is so close though!). Each October we read a creepy book and come to our meeting dressed as a character from a book we’ve read over the previous year. We’ve come as Katniss and Tris, Sutter and Tesadora, Karou and Ismae. It’s our yearly cosplay.
Halloween Book Club has led to my best fangirl moments. Dressing as Karou in 2012 inspired me to actually dye my hair blue, and when I ran into Laini Taylor at an author event (not hers) a few months later, she actually called me Karou. The exchange went like this:
Me: “Laini Taylor! Hi!”
Her: “Hi! Karou!”
Last year, I told Maggie Stiefvater at an author event that I was going to dress up as Chainsaw for Halloween. She said to be sure to tweet her the photo. I did, and this is what happened:
I love book club because at moments like this they understand my squees. They squee along.
International Shipping Book Club
I was a little bit of a late comer to the party that is our book club. The first book I read was Divergent and that was almost three years ago already! With the exception of Twilight, I had never really read YA before, I don’t think I even really knew what it was to be completely honest. But, once Becky (who is, among other fabulous and wonderful things, our club leader and founder) introduced me to all these fantastic stories and adventures, I was hooked!
I was so hooked in fact, that after reading Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, there was no way in Hell I was going to wait for Quintana of Charyn to be released in the US. I remember that I saw Melina post a link for free shipping for Quintana. So, I decided to investigate! I ended up finding this website that would mail me a copy of Quintana on its release date in Australia. I was so excited!!
When it finally came in the mail, Becky and I took turns holding it and making observations about the differences in the cover art: “isn’t it strange how new releases in Australia are paperback?” and “those quotation marks aren’t right, are they?” That last one was me, I was flabbergasted. Then Becky patiently explained that their punctuation is probably not exactly the same as ours.
I read it in two or three days, maybe longer. Becky would probably have a better idea about how long it took me, because she was in agony waiting for me to finish it so she could read it too. Once Becky was done, we passed it around for everyone in book club to read! I think we all had it read before the US release date. I think that was probably my most exciting book club moment to date. I’m sure we’ll have some new memories to add once the Summer Showdown comes to an end.