Houston Teen Book Con 2013

This was my first time to go to the Teen Book Con, and it was as amazing as I had anticipated. I got to meet some of my favorite authors (Leigh Bardugo, Morgan Rhodes…). I attended three of the four panels, Power to the People, Power of Memory and Take Me Away.

Power to the People
Cinda Williams Chima, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jennifer Nielsen, Caragh O’Brien, Mary Pearson and Morgan Rhodes

Teen Book Con 2013Houston Teen book con
Power of Memory
Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, Bethany Frenette, Claudia Gray, Dan Krokos, Lisa McMann

The Houston Teen Book Con Power of Memory Panel Claudia Gray

Memory Panel

This panel was hilarious–you could really see how much fun the authors were having. You know, I had no idea Dan Krokos is so funny. I immediately followed him on Twitter after this panel. My favorite question from the crowd was: “Mr. Krokos, do you know that you look like Doctor Who?” The crowd cheered. He really does.
Another question was which books inspired them when they were teens, lots of answers but the one I was most excited about, Leigh Bardugo loved the Dragonlance series. I grew up on these books! I read them in fifth grade and have read them every few years to this day. A lot of George RR Martin love too.

After the panel I had to run up and tell Leigh Bardugo how much I love Shadow and Bone and tell her how awesome I thought it was that she is a fellow Dragonlance fan. It was a really great moment for me to fan girl with one of my favorite authors. We  even have the same favorite three books in the series–kismet people!

Awesome Sauce

Three of my most prized books. I will never part with them.

Take Me Away
Lenore Appelhans, Tera Lynn Childs, A. G. Howard, Sophie Jordan, Stacey Kade, Shannon Messenger

authors at the Take Me Away Panel
Then it was time to stand in line for the book signing
Author Signing
Leigh Bardugo at signingSadly, my picture with Leigh Bardugo didn’t come out (sobs)
Shannon MessengerStacey Kade

Morgan RhodesAG Howard

Maureen JohnsonJessica Brody

Everyone was super nice especially since I become an awkward mess when I get up there to get my books signed. I forget everything I had tried to remember to say. I was also working on the biggest headache so that’s why I’m not totally smiling huge in the pictures; my excitement did not translate.

Thank you to the amazing authors and everyone that helped put this event together. Shout out to Blue Willow Bookshop, my favorite independent bookstore.

Upcoming on My Friends Are Fiction- two signed books I’ll be giving away in the next few months…

 

 

Review of The Rules by Stacey Kade

The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1)The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1)
By: Stacey Kade
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Disney Book Group

My Rating:
star

The Summary (via Goodreads):
Ariane Tucker has the name–and life–of a dead girl. The original Ariane was fully human; this one’s not. There are Rules that come along with her being Ariane. They’re simple, but essential for her safety and her father’s: Never trust anyone. Remember they are always searching. Don’t get involved. Keep your head down. Don’t fall in love. She has followed these Rules faithfully for ten years.The trouble, though, with rules is that you’re always tempted to break one: for the right reasons, due to unavoidable circumstances, because it feels as if there’s no other choice. Enter Zane Bradshaw.

The Story:
The Rules is so much more than it lets on in the first half of the book. It seems like a simple story of an alien hybrid trying to stay under the radar in high school; all sort of been done before. There is a lot of focus on the social politics and hierarchy, mean girls out to punish each other and a possible crush on a boy. But it is so much more as you get past the first half. Deceptions, lies, love, heart ache and survival. I didn’t hate the beginning of the book but I wasn’t blown away either. All felt familiar and a little on the slow side, but once I hit the midway point I couldn’t put it down (cliché-yes, truth-yes). There was a nice twist, though I saw it coming, it didn’t take away from the ache in my gut reading it all play out. Overall I was incredibly impressed reading it all come together and realizing that the slow build-up was all worth while. I think that the sequel will be even more gripping than this latest installment. very excited to read it though I dread the wait.

The Characters:
Kade did an impressive job giving a realistic and likeable personality to an alien hybrid with Ariane. She had just enough teen girl to make her realistic yet she was always a tad off in her interactions and thoughts. She really shined in her interactions with Zane, I loved their dialog and looked forward to every time they spoke to one another. Zane is a well rounded guy and his point of view was masculine yet sensitive. I was not bothered in the slightest by the dual point of views in the novel. The antagonists, Dr. Jacobs and Rachel Jacobs, were both delightfully evil; hiding their malicious actions between sweet smiles.

Final Thoughts:
A bit slow at the onset but builds up to an intriguing, action paced first of a series.