Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ARC Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

SummaryPerfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want. (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 306

Release Date: July 7th, 2015

Rating: 4/5 Stars


After hearing the synopsis of A Million Miles Away in several BEA hauls, I knew this book was right up my alley. I searched all over the Twitter hashtag #BooksForTrade and finally managed to make a trade with Nichol over at Stacks Waiting for A Million Miles Away.

I had really high expectations going into A Million Miles Away and they were somewhat met. Unlike some reviews for A Million Miles Away, I did not care that the likelihood of the plot ever occurring was slim to none, but I was disappointed that the story was not quite as depressing and heart-breaking as I had hoped. The main reason I really wanted to read A Million Miles Away was because I was craving a really depressing and heart-breaking story.  I do realize that is an unusual thing to crave. Do not get me wrong, the story is heart-breaking and depressing, at times, but it is not overbearing, which is what I was looking for. 

Another problem I had with the book was the wording. At times, I had to re-read sentences or paragraphs because I was not grasping what the narrator was saying. I would not take that complaint too close to heart because I did read an advanced copy of A Million Miles Away, so the editing process since the printed ARC could easily fix those mistakes. 

I do not know about you, but I really like the cover of A Million Miles Away. I am usually not a big fan of contemporary covers, but the hot pink font and cover really pulled me in. 

Although I had a couple problems with A Million Miles Away, I could not get enough of the story. Once the plot pulled me in, I was a goner. A Million Miles Away is one of those books you stay up until 2 a.m. to finish, which I shamelessly did. I would highly recommend checking out A Million Miles Away if you are looking for a quick, guilty pleasure read.  

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

SummaryShe was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight. (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 562

Release Date: September 2nd, 2014

Rating: 5/5 Stars


I have enjoyed the entire Throne of Glass series, but up until Heir of Fire, I could have walked away from the series. When I read a book, I want to have a deep connection between myself and the characters, but throughout Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, I felt as though there was a glass (pun intended) wall separating me from the characters. But, in Heir of Fire, Celaena must have shattered that wall with one of her arrows because I no longer feel the presence of a daunting wall.

Do not let Heir of Fire's size intimidate you, it may seem extremely thick and dense, but you fly right through it. Heir of Fire had me laughing, crying and fangirling all within the same paragraph. Heir of Fire is one of my favorite books I read so far this year and I am so excited for the release of Queen of Shadows on September 1st. I am relieved to finally be on the Throne of Glass bandwagon.

When I found out Rowan would be a third contender for Celaena's heart, I rolled my eyes. Who needed a love-triangle, let alone a love-square/kite/whatever shape it actually is? However, that was before I knew how irresistible Sarah J. Maas' fictional men are. If you have read my Throne of Glass or Crown of Midnight review, you know I love Dorian, but that was before Rowan came into the picture. My love for Rowan makes my love for Dorian look like a school-girl crush. Rowan has replaced Adrian Ivashkov from the Bloodlines series as number four on my Book-Boyfriend List. Rowan reminds me so much of Death in The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole, who I absolutely love, but Death has yet to make the Book-Boyfriend List. 
After finishing Heir of Fire, I am left with so many questions and predictions, but I have one question that I doubt will ever be answered and I want to hear your thoughts. It is mentioned by both Maeve and Emrys how much Celaena resembles her mother and we know for a fact that both Dorian and the king have met her mother; how did they not recognize Celaena for who she really is? I know Aelin was supposedly "dead", but you would think the king would remember the faces of the royal family he slaughtered and be slightly suspicious of a girl the same age as Aelin who is also the spitting imagine of the former Terrasen Queen.

Speaking of encounters, the first time Dorian and Celaena met as kids was absolutely adorable. It is so sad that it was overshadowed by the rather unexpected turn that changed the fate of Erilea forever. 

The government in the Throne of Glass series is the worst government I have ever read about, and that is saying something because I used to be obsessed with dystopian books. I love stories where the worlds are ruled by Kings and Queens. It is so elegant, but Erilea needs to get rid of their King. The King is unnecessarily cruel, deceptive, manipulative and thousands of others rude words. I feel so horrible for Dorian; not only that he is now under his father's control, but he shares blood with him. I know Dorian is such a sweet and charming guy, but both his father and his younger brother have dark tendencies, are we sure they skipped Dorian? If we managed to free Dorian from his father, will he ever be the same?

After reading Heir of Fire, I feel like I need to re-read The Assassin's Blade. I read the novella bind-up before starting Throne of Glass to familiarize myself with the world, but I think I should have waited to read it until after Heir of Fire. I remembered enough from The Assassin's Blade to recognize when Celaena was referencing it, but I did not remember enough to recall exactly what happened. 

I can easily share a couple quotes I liked in Heir of Fire, but nothing compares to the last line "She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius—and she would not be afraid (562)." It reminds me so much of the end of The Assassin's Blade and it has my heart-pumping for Queen of Shadows even more. 

(Sarah J, Maas, Susan Dennard, Me)
Photo Taken at Comic-Con 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Author Interview: Susan Dennard

Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. As a marine biologist, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. 

She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the forthcoming Witchlands series (Tor, 2015), and when not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or practicing her tap dance shuffles.

Website  I  Twitter  I  Facebook  I  Tumblr  I  Pinterest


Casey Marie: Since Comic-Con is all about fangirling, has there been any author, at Comic-Con or another event, that you fangirled uncontrollably over when you met them?

Susan Dennard: Yes, the first time it happened was when I met author Robin Hobb. I met her at San Diego Comic-Con three years ago and I started crying. I brought my book from home because I knew she was going to be here and she is probably my most favorite author of all time. I had a meltdown once it was finally my time in line and it was really embarrassing, but she was so gracious and kind. I actually saw her again two months later and she remembered me and invited me out to dinner. I had dinner with her and it was the best experience in my life. She actually read my newest book Truthwitch and gave it a blurb, so her name is going to be on the cover of my new book. I can’t believe it! 

(Susan Dennard, Robin Hobb)
Photo Taken at Comic-Con 2012
CM: Wow! That’s amazing!

SD: I know, I can’t believe she has been so nice to me. I do not deserve this because I have done nothing but embarrass myself in front of her. She has been wonderful. So, yes that has been my biggest fangirling moment.

CM: On the same note, if you could write a book with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

SD: I don’t know if there is any author I would want to write a book with. I write with my best friend, Sarah J. Maas, and that’s pretty awesome. I think she is the only person I could write a book with; writing a book is such a personal experience and you have to have a certain creative meshing for it to work and I don't feel that most people have the same crazy, creative vibe that Sarah and I both have.

CM: If you could take one of your characters from the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy and a character from Truthwitch and ship them together, who would be the most compatible?

SD: Oh my gosh, that is so hard! I definitely think Eleanor from Something Strange and Deadly and the character Iseult from Truthwitch would be really good friends, but that’s not shipping, but it kind of is in terms of friend shipping. I think they would be really good friends. I think Safiya from Truthwitch and Oliver from Something Strange and Deadly would probably have chemistry, but I don’t know about long term.

CM: If you could be roommates with one of your characters, who would you choose?

SD: That’s a tough one! I feel like Joseph from Something Strange and Deadly would be the best roommate to have because he is very clean so I would not have to tell him to clean the dishes. But, Joseph would probably hate living with me because I am not clean. Eleanor would be really fun and Safi would be fun, too, but I do not trust them to get the dishes done. Maybe Iseult from Truthwitch, she would be responsible but also fun. You really need that perfect balance.

CM: How do you describe your books or writing in five words?

SD: Sweeping—there are sweeping worlds and stories— adventurous, epic, diverse—not just in terms of character diversity but also in how many places you get to go and see and explore and moving—I know when I write them, I get really invested in the characters and I hope readers also get invested and are moved by the time the series is over.

CM: Since you mentioned how diverse your worlds are, how do you come up with the maps and the names of locations? Do they just come to you?

SD: No, I search history or the real world for that stuff. Obviously, Something Strange and Deadly happens is this world—Philadelphia, Paris and then Egypt. That was based on real history and I did all the research there. But for the Witchlands series, it is very loosely based on Europe. The map looks a little bit like Europe and some of the cultural placements are the same, but I also had a major creative license and took it and evolved it in the ways I wanted to in the context of, what if the Empire had magic, what would it have become? I do try to make names seem culturally distinct so everyone from one culture will not have similar sounding names and if I can, I try to mimic history in some way, but that can be hard because of cultural appropriation. It’s a tricky balance, but yes I am on Wikipedia a lot.

Truthwitch Map

CM: So you have a membership on Wikipedia and everything?

SD: I don’t have a membership, but I am literally on there a least once a day and I tend to get in this Wikipedia vortex where I click on one thing and just keep clicking links inside until twenty links later I’m like, “Where did the last four hours go? Wow, I learned so much!”

CM: That’s like when you get on Tumblr!

SD: Oh my god, Tumblr! Tumblr is literally the biggest black hole. I could, no I do, shamefully spend hours on Tumblr and also on Pinterest looking at the pretty pictures.

CM: Going with the theme of Social Media, if your characters had the ability to access Social Media in their free-time, which website would they be obsessed with?

SD: Eleanor is super thoughtful and would probably have a blog so she could wax poetic and spend many hours talking about the thing she cares about in long-form. Safi, who is super impulsive, would fit well with Twitter because she wants to blurt out what she is thinking right now and she could do that on Twitter. Iseult, who is very quiet and reserved, would like something like Pinterest where she could express herself in a non-word fashion. Merik, who has a short temper, I could see him on Tumblr  getting angry, Tumblr style, “Just let me re-blog all this stuff about the rebellion in my country, I am so mad! *Re-blog, Re-blog*” Then there is Aeduan, the Bloodwitch, who would probably be like, “I eat computers for breakfast and I hate them.” So he would not be online.

CM: So he would want a Social Media ban?

SD: Yeah, he would be like, “Twitter what?” My husband will not use Social Media, so I think that is what Aeduan would be like, “Nope, not for me. I have people to rip apart.”

CM: That’s a little vicious.

SD: Not really, he does not kill anyone. He talks a big game.

CM: What is one question you have wanted to be asked in an interview or on a panel, but no one has ever asked you?

SD: I have no idea because I have never thought of it. Maybe, why am I so cool? That would be a really good question because then I would know they think I’m cool.

CM: Why are you so cool then?

SD: I fed you that line, you don’t think I’m cool.

CM: Why are you so awesome?

SD: You know, it takes a lot of hard work and focus. I wake up every morning and I have to do brain sit-ups to, “Be awesome, be awesome.” No, I am the biggest dork as you can see.

CM: Okay, then. I know Comic-Con is coming to a close, what was the highlight of this weekend for you?  

SD: I really enjoyed my signing yesterday with Sarah, I signed Truthwitch and she signed Throne of Glass. It was awesomely fun, it always is when you do stuff with your best friend. But we did the Outlander panel yesterday and….

(Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Me)
Photo Taken at Sarah & Susan's Signing at Comic-Con 2015
CM: *Fangirling at mention of Outlander*

SD: It was really entertaining, I love the show, I love the books and the chemistry of the people on the stage. It was just really great.

CM: *Rambles on about her love of Outlander for the next minute*

CM: What are you most excited for people to see in Truthwitch?

SD: You know, it is a really big world, and an epic fantasy that is epic in all aspects of the word. I am really excited for people to explore the world in the way that I have. I obviously love the characters but I also think a lot of what makes Truthwitch exciting and maybe a little bit new in YA is how big the world is and how much we get to see of it in all of the books and explore all the different cultures. I am really excited about that.

Truthwitch (Witchlands #1)
Releases from Tor on January 5th, 2016
CM: How many books are you expecting to have in the Witchlands series?

SD: Tor has bought four books and my plan is to stick with that and maybe write some side novellas about some of the secondary characters and whatever I can and whatever the fans seem to want. I really like to write to my audience and see what they are asking for. But, four as of right now. I hope I can do that because right now I have made that world so big that I think, “Maybe I need more books. Uh oh, better condense. Stop going to new places and stop introducing new cultures.” So we will see. 

Enter to win a signed Truthwitch poster and other Truthwitch and Something Strange and Deadly swag.

  • You must be 13 years or older, unless you have a parent's permission
  • This giveaway is U.S. ONLY (Sorry)
  • STARTS August 18th, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. EST 
  • ENDS September 19th, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. EST

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(Me, Susan Dennard)
Photo Taken at Comic-Con 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

SummaryGreg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight. (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 295

Release Date: March 1st, 2012

Rating: 4/5 Stars


I have wanted to read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl since I first discovered the book a few years ago; however, I never got around to it until recently. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was an enjoyable read that featured a very humorous and truthful narrator. Lately, I have began using sticky notes in my books to mark funny scenes, favorite quotes, etc. For Me and Earl and Dying Girl, I used a lot of blue for funny scenes, and purple for the truths about high school. Most Young Adult novels tend to either over- or under-dramatize high school. 
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a rare Young Adult novel that really embodied how high school actually is.  

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a quick read that features various methods of writing such as lists, scripts, etc. It is hard to put down and can easily be read in one sitting.

Even though Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is essentially a book about death, it really is not. This is going to sound grotesque, but I am glad Rachel died. I have nothing against Rachel's character, but her death was crucial to the story. I liked that after she dies, we did not learn about it until a few pages later because that's the thing about death, when you die, people do mourn for you, but it does not consume their every thought. Eventually you have to get over it and I feel that in Young Adult novels, the characters do not understand that. Death is a part of life and you have to accept that, you can't spend your whole life thinking about it.

Another point about Rachel that I want to bring up is that I loved how Greg kept telling himself and others that his friendship with Rachel was forced. Even though it seemed to everyone that he was doing a good deed befriending the dying girl, he really had no choice. If Rachel had not been dying, Greg's mom would not have forced him to befriend Rachel and we both know that Greg would not have befriended her on his own. I like that Greg did not take credit for his friendship with Rachel and was honest that their friendship would never have happened if she would have a been healthy. I also liked that Greg did not claim to know everything about Rachel because he really knew nothing about her. When death is featured in many Young Adult novels, the characters tend to act as though they have known each other forever, when they really have not.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a really unique novel that stepped outside of the typically Young Adult norms. The story and its' characters were hysterical and are hard to forget. Although I really enjoyed the novel, I do not think I will ever re-read it; however, I am really excited to see how the movie compares. I do have one question though, am I the only one who did not cry at all throughout the entire book?

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2015

Before I begin rambling about everything I did at Comic-Con this year, I want those of you who have yet to experience the Con, to understand how you feel at the beginning verses the end of Comic-Con.   
Beginning of Comic-Con:

End of Comic-Con:

Those two gifs are slightly over-dramatic, but they get the point across. Last year, I was fortunate enough to score a Sunday badge at Comic-Con 2014, but this year I got all FOUR days PLUS Preview Night. I thought Sunday was amazing last year, but it did not compare to all the amazing things I did this year in the span of five days. 

I am not going to give Preview Night it's own section because my parents and I did not do too many things that require mentioning. But, my parents and I did mange to get quite a bit of books; one of which was an ARC of Wendy Higgins' Sweet Temptation. If you follow me on Twitter, which you totally should, you know I would have given my soul to get a copy, so I was ecstatic when I manged to get one, at Comic-Con of all places. 

The other really cool thing on Preview Night was getting to meet Nolan Gould, who plays Luke Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family. It is amazing how many stars are walking around the convention hall. 

(Me, Nolan Gould)

Marie Rutkoski's Signing:
(Me, Marie Rutkoski)
Surprisingly, Thursday was one of the busiest days. I started off by attending Maire Rutkoski's in-booth signing at Macmillian, where I had her sign my copy of The Winner's Curse and bought a copy of The Winner's Crime there for her to sign.

"The Buffy Effect" Signing
(Me, Kiersten White)
(Me, Rachel Hawkins)

(Me, Rae Carson)
(Me, Brittany Geragotelis) 

(Me, Valerie Tejeda)
Next, I attended the signing for "The Buffy Effect" panel. I met authors like Kiersten White, Rachel Hawkins, Rae Carson, etc. Rachel Hawkins was the only author on that panel who I had read, but I had met Rae Carson previously this year at BookCon. I had Rachel sign my copy of Hex Hall and Rae signed my copy of The Crown of Embers. This was the first signing that I had authors sign my library card bag. All of the authors at the signing were extremely nice and I must say, Kiersten White is so adorable!

"The Modern Fairytale" Signing 
(Renee Ahdieh, Me)
(Me, Julie Kagawa)

Following "The Buffy Effect" signing, I went to "The Modern Fairytale" signing to see Julie Kagawa, who I had interviewed earlier in the day, and Renee Ahdieh. Julie was the only author on the panel who I had read and I had also met her a year ago at BookCon 2014, but it was nice to sit down and chat with her since she was one of the original authors who got me into reading. Julie signed my copy of Talon, Rouge and my ARC of The Iron Traitor. Renee signed my copy of The Wrath & The Dawn

"Authors of Epic Fantasy" Signing:
(Me, Susan Dennard)
Then, I attended the "Authors of Epic Fantasy" signing to get a signed, limited edition poster of Susan Dennard's Truthwitch. I interviewed Susan later on in the weekend and saw her multiple times at different signings as well as walking around the exhibit floor. Susan is such a sweetheart; I highly recommend going to see her if she is attending any events in your area. Marie Rutkoski was also at this signing and I had time to chat with her again. While in the line I also befriended a fellow blogger, Jasmine from Not A Picky Reader.

"Resurgence of Science Fiction" Signing:
(Margaret Stohl)
After reading a flyer from Disney-Hyperion, I was under the impression that Margaret Stohl was signing ARCs of Black Widow at the "Resurgence of Science Fiction" signing, so I sent my mom to get in line while I was at the "Authors of Epic Fantasy" signing. It turns out that Margaret was only signing chapter samplers of Black Widow, which I currently have an abundance of. The silver-lining is that I finally have a signed chapter sampler. 

"Worldbuilding" Signing:
(Me, Josephine Angelini)
(Me, Sabaa Tahir)


At the "Worldbuilding" signing I met various authors; the most mentionable were Josephine Angelini and Sabaa Tahir. Like Julie Kagawa from "The Modern Fairytale" signing, I have read Josephine Angelini's work for a few years now and she is one of the authors who fueled my love for Greek mythologies. Josephine signed the first book in her latest trilogy, Trial By Fire, and I am so excited to start reading it! I have yet to read Sabaa Tahir's An Ember In The Ashes, but I purchased a copy there for her to sign after all the hype I have heard surrounding the book. 

Mary E. Pearson's Signing:
(Mary E. Pearson)
(Mary E. Pearson Signing)

While I was at the "Worldbuilding" signing, my dad went downstairs to the exhibit floor for Mary E. Pearson's in-booth signing at Macmillan. Mary signed my copy of The Kiss of Deception and The Hearth of Betrayal along with some spare copies of The Kiss of Deception that I will be giving away soon, keep your eyes peeled for that.    

Rainbow Rowell's Signing:
(Rainbow Rowell, Me)
The last signing I attended on Thursday was Rainbow Rowell's. She signed my copy of Eleanor & Park as well as some really cool Carry On posters. I have adored Rainbow's work for about a year and a half now and it was amazing to finally meet her. She is such a sweetheart and is absolutely adorable, I know I keep using both of those adjectives to describe all of the authors I met, but it's true. 

My parents and I finished out the day by attending "The Scoop at Simon & Shuster" panel. It was not that great of a panel, and it made us rethink attending all the other panels centered around the upcoming releases of the year; but Harper Collin's and Penguin's panels were so much better. The silver-lining of "The Scoop at Simon & Shuster" was that I got to meet Emma, a fellow book-lover, who was adopted into my family throughout the rest of the weekend.

Leigh Bardugo's Signing:
(Me, Leigh Bardugo)
(Leigh Bardugo Signing)

I read Leigh Bardugo's Shadow & Bone and Siege & Storm back-to-back two summers ago and I really enjoyed them. However, leading up to the release of Ruin & Rising the following summer, I forgot everything except that I loved the Darkling. So, I was a bit nervous to meet Leigh at her in-booth signing since I was not really sure what to tell her. However, I should not have been nervous, Leigh was extremely nice and funny. The main reason I went to the signing was to try to get an ARC of Leigh's newest book, Six of Crows, but there were only fifteen copies available and my parents and I did not make it in line as the first fifteen since I was focused on get signing tickets for later on in the day. Emily, who we also met while waiting in a line together, was able to get one of the fifteen copies and she is letting me borrow it. There tends to be a silver-lining to all the things I did not manage to attend or get.

"Romantic Adventure" Signing: 
( (Photobomb-Sam Skyes), Mary E. Pearson, Me)
(Suzanne Young, Me)

(Gena Showalter, Me)
Following Leigh Bardugo's signing, I went to the "Romantic Adventure" signing to get a picture with Mary E. Pearson since my dad was the one to attend her in-booth signing on Thursday. I also got to meet Suzanne Young, the author of The Program, a book that had interested me for a long time, and Gena Showalter who is the author of Alice In Zombieland, a book that I won from a giveaway a couple years ago.

Josephine Angelini's Signing:
(Josephine Angelini Signing)
(Josephine Angelini)

While my mom and I were at the "Romantic Adventure" signing, my dad was downstairs on the exhibit floor getting me an ARC of Firewalker, the sequel to Trial By Fire, at Josephine's in-booth signing. He also got me another signed copy of Trial By Fire

Rachel Hawkin's Signing:
(Me, Rachel Hawkins)
(Rachel Hawkins Signing)

I met Rachel Hawkins again on Friday for her ticketed in-booth signing in which they were giving away free copies of Rebel Bell for Rachel to sign. I was the first person in line for Rachel's signing and this has to be one of my favorite pictures from Comic-Con. 

Diana Gabaldon's Signing:
(Diana Gabaldon Signing)
(Me, Diana Gabaldon)

Diana Gabaldon's signing was the longest line my parents and I encountered over the course of the convention. It was an extremely well deserved long line since Diana is the creator of Outlander. About a week before the start of Comic-Con, I started watching the television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and I fell in love with the world and the characters. I really wanted to get a ticket for Saturday's signing with the cast, producers and Diana, but I knew that was highly unlikely, so I figured I would try for Diana's signing so I would at least get to meet her. Thankfully, I manged to get a ticket in the morning for Diana's signing and she signed my two copies of Outlander, the original TV poster for the show and my library card bag. It still amazes me how legible Diana's signature is. I know of a lot of lesser known authors that have barely been around that sign illegible, but Diana Gabaldon, who has been an author for over twenty years and has sold millions of books still has a legible signature, it amazes me. Sadly, I was unable to get tickets for the Outlander signing on Saturday with the cast, producers and Diana, but I am really glad I got the opportunity to meet Diana.

We finished the day off by attending the "What's Up With Penguin" panel. This was probably my favorite panel out of all the panels discussing upcoming releases. The people at Penguin were a lot of fun and they have some really fantastic titles coming out this year, a few of which I managed to snag there.

Alexandra Bracken Signing Passenger Samplers:
(Alexandra Bracken, Me)
I never actually intended going to Alexandra Bracken's signing for Passenger chapter samplers. I love Alex, but I am not a big fan of chapter samplers. The only reason I went was because I left my parents at the panel for Land of the Lost and stumbled across her signing when I spotted Susan Dennard talking to her. Most of the time waiting in that line I spent talking to Susan Dennard. I am really glad that I went  because Alex was giving out Passenger bookmarks, which are literally the coolest bookmarks ever!  

"My Book Is A Movie/TV Show: What Now?" Signing:
(Me, Victoria Aveyard)
(Me, Lauren Kate)
My first scheduled signing on Saturday was the "My Book Is A Movie/TV Show: What Now?" signing. I met Victoria Aveyard, the author of Red Queen, and Lauren Kate, the author of the Fallen series. Out of those two, Lauren Kate was the only author I had read, I fell in love with her Fallen series when I was about 12. I have since grown out of Lauren Kate's books, but getting to meet a favorite author was really great. Surprisingly, I have yet to read Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen, even though it was one of my most highly anticipated books of this year.

Susan Dennard & Sarah J. Maas Signing:
(Sarah & Susan Signing)
(Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Me)

The award for the most craziest line goes to Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard. It was a stressful mad-dash to get near the front of the line for their signing. Normally it would not have bothered me to be near the end of the line, but this was no ordinary signing. I needed to be within the first fifty people because I was going to get an ARC of Susan Dennard's Truthwitch, even if I had to fight someone for it. Thankfully, it never got to that point, I manged to get a place in the mid-twenties and Truthwitch is safely in my hands. Sarah J. Maas signed my copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses and the free copy of Throne of Glass they were giving away. Susan and Sarah are literally the cutest together, you can easily tell how genuine and deep their friendship runs. I think they should start combining their tours together, they are like peanut butter and jelly, they were meant to be together. 

Marie Lu's Signing:
(Me, Marie Lu)
(Marie Lu Signing)

At Maire Lu's ticketed in-booth signing, they were giving away free copies of The Legend Graphic Novel. I have loved Marie's books for a couple years now and her Legend trilogy is my go-to recommendation when someone asks me what to read next. It was amazing to be able to meet an author I look so highly upon. 

After going back to the condo we were staying at near the convention center for a well-deserved break and dinner, my parents and I headed back to the convention center for the "Choosing the Right Publishing Path for Your Manuscript: Traditional, Small Press or Self-Publishing" panel. If you know me at all, I have no plans of ever writing a book, so the reason I went to a panel about publishing was the fact that Cora Carmack and Sarah J. Maas were two of the panelists. The panel wasn't actually that bad, I learned a lot of interesting new facts I never knew about the publishing world. Afterwards, I interviewed Cora Carmack and if you do not know, I absolutely adore her and being able to sit down and chat with her was amazing.

(Cora Carmack, Me)
(Me, Cora Carmack: Post Interview)

After my interview with Cora, my parents and I went to the "What's New from Harper Collins/Epic Reads" panel, which was another good panel.

"No Cape Required" Signing:
(Me, Pierce Brown)
(Me, Pierce Brown)
Our "Epic" Photo
(Me, Marie Lu)
(Me, James Dashner)

Sunday is always the slowest day at Comic-Con, it is considered Kid's Day and it is a much slower pace.  Many attendees don't stay long that day. Last year, Sunday was the only day my family and I managed to get badges for and the only thing book related was the "What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" panel and signing. This year I lucked out a little more on Sunday, not only was the "What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" panel back again, but there was the "No Cape Required" panel and signing. I got meet Marie Lu, again, but this time I managed to get one of her ten Rose Society ARCs. I also got to meet James Dashner and Pierce Brown.   

"What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" Panel
(Nathan Bransford, Alexandra Bracken, Rae Carson, Susan Dennard, Alan Gratz, Sarah J. Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, Sabaa Tahir)
Unlike last year on the "What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" panel, I knew almost all of the authors. Sadly, there wasn't an accompanying signing for this panel, but I met almost all of the authors throughout the convention or last year at Comic-Con. Right before this panel I interviewed Susan Dennard and, after the interview, Sarah J. Maas joined us. It was really great speaking to both of them outside the signings.  

Comic-Con was insane this year. I met so many amazing authors. I scored a ton of exciting finished copies and ARCs. I made several new bookish friends. I can't wait to see what Comic-Con 2016 has in-store for me.