September 28, 2012

The National Book Festival + Burn for Burn Launch Party

I've certainly had the luck of the draw and got to attend not one, but TWO book events this past week. Everything fell into place for me to be able to attend the annual National Book Festival in Washington DC, and I made time to check out the Burn for Burn launch party held at one of my favorite NY bookstores, Books of Wonder.

Last Saturday, I was able to attend one of the most fun bookish events I've been to by far - The National Book Festival. It's an incredibly large affair that takes place outdoors, in between the Capitol Building and the obelisk (Washington Monument), where we have books of all sorts of genres being celebrated.

What I enjoyed most about going to this particular event was two things - meeting my friend Jamie (of The Broke & The Bookish, as well as The Perpetual Page-turner) and meeting John FREAKING Green

me & Jamie

I will tell you guys this now - I absolutely adore Jamie. We had a lot of fun talking about books and travel and life and weddings and adventures and blogging and other fun things. I was slightly nervous to meet her because in my brain she's a mini-celebrity in the blogging world, but all my fears were totally unfounded - she's the nicest, sweetest, most awesome person ever.

He was looking over at us when I took this photo! Look at that crowd!!

See this sign!

Also, I totally gushed when meeting John Green. I was trying to tell him our Megabus story (if you're curious, it's coming up soon!), but I lost track of it somewhere in the middle because I was in awe that I was standing less than three feet away from him. I'm so happy he signed The Fault in Our Stars for me, since it's now my favorite book from him!

Maggie Stiefvater

Melissa Marr

David Levithan

RL Stine

Obviously, that alone was enough reason for me to say that my trip down from NYC was completely justified... But I also got the privilege of hearing Maggie Stiefvater (one of my writing inspirations!), Melissa Marr, David Levithan and R.L. Stine speak about their books, their writing process and lots of other things. Plus, I got to meet Emily (the John Green fan we were sitting behind in line, and who was amazing enough to take pictures for us) and Nikki (of Foil the Plot)!

What was not-so-fun (at least while it was happening) is our soon-to-be infamous Megabus story.

So, on Saturday morning, Jamie and I were up at 4:30, extremely excited about hopping onto a bus and making it in time to see John Green. We were at the bus stop by 5:40, just in time for our 5:50 bus... or so we thought. 

10 minutes passed, no bus. 30 minutes passed, no bus. 1 hour passed, STILL NO FREAKING BUS.

We were already worried about missing John Green, and could not decide what to do. Worse, there was basically NO INFORMATION being given to us except that the bus was "delayed". Thankfully, Will (a.k.a. Mr. Jamie) was able to get us more information - although it was the disheartening announcement that our bus was delayed by TWO HOURS.

He did, however, mention that there was an alternative - we could take the 7:10 Amtrak train to DC. A decision needed to be made - would we wait around for a bus that might NEVER come in time or would we spend another $70 bucks on an Amtrak ticket?

Since John Green is on Jamie's author bucket list, and he's someone that I really wanted to meet, we went with Amtrak. Of course, we decided this at 6:55 - which was 15 minutes before boarding. So if you were anywhere near Philadelphia's 30 St. station around that time on Saturday morning, we were those two girls running hard down the sidewalk towards the station and praying we'd catch the train.

Obviously, we caught the train, as you can tell from the beginning of this part of the post. And the rest, well, it's history! It might have been one of the best days EVER, no lie.

Burn for Burn Launch Party
Siobhan & Jenny were so cool!
On Tuesday night, I hopped on over to Books of Wonder to attend the fabulous book launch party for Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian to celebrate the launch of their book Burn for Burn. The atmosphere was really casual, plus there were drinks and ice cream to be had! Jenny and Siobhan talked a little bit about their own high school experiences, as well as sharing a little bit from Burn for Burn.

I was able to chat with Siobhan for a little bit, and I got so excited that she remembered my Twitter handle! I told her I was excited for the romance that she had mentioned in her tweet, and she said there was definitely something going on in book two. She and Jenny both signed my book and the amazing Burn for Burn poster they were giving away.

Also spotted: David Levithan and Elizabeth Eulberg, though I was too shy to approach them!

During the event and afterwards at Shake Shack, I was with my friend Rachel. We caught up a little on our lives and  shared about the books we'd been reading recently. It's always fun to hang out with her, and I'm so glad that we're friends.


I'm still amazed that I was able to attend both these events and meet all these incredible authors and bloggers. It's certainly cool to be able to be around people who understand and encourage my passion for books, as well as people who inspire me to blog and write. I've got so much love for the book blog community right now! I wish I could give you all a GIANT hug.


  1. Interesting Megabus story! I can totally imagine it; you and Jamie (that girl ROCKS) running for your lives (well kinda, I mean, it's John FREAKING Green!), jumping, dodging, nearly bolting people over. And your faces would be epic too. Determined, fierce, scary. Ha, I sure do have a good imagination ;) I'm so glad you got there and that you had the best day ever! Bookish days with meeting authors and bloggers for the first time are awesome - I love those days!

    Oh. my. goodness. You got to meet Jenny Han. THE Jenny Han. Did you hug her for me? Did you did you? :D

    You spotted David Levithan and Elizabeth Eulberg but didn't say hello? Aw, you totally should have said hi but I TOTALLY understand why you didn't. It's so scaring talking with authors. I met Melina Marchetta last month and I was kinda lost for words. I mean, she wrote Jellicoe Road. She came up with the idea and wrote it and made it PERFECT. She created it. My mind just couldn't handle it. And she also wrote Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca too and I'm also HUGE fan of both. I nearly passed out. Luckily, my bookish friends were in line with me incase I fainted ;) Next time, go up to those awesome authors you spot. If your shy, drag a friends along with you or be a badass and go give them a huge hug. If I were an author, I would LOVE meeting my fans. Especially crazy, fun fans when it's not even your own event!

    This post is AWESOMESAUCE. Thanks for sharing, though I wasn't there to experience the events first hand, I feel like I was there through you. If that make's any sense..

    P.S - I love the book blog community so much right now too! Meeting and chatting with bloggers IRL and chatting with awesome authors, it's just amazing. And the love? SO MUCH.

  2. The Book Festival sounds so much fun! and I am SO jealous that you got to meet John Green! He's on my bucket list too :)

    I'm also really glad we're friends too! I enjoyed the Burn for Burn party and getting Shake Shack afterwards!

  3. I got to read about y'alls crazy bus story on Jamie's blog earlier this week, but I loved reading it all from your perspective too. The pictures are so great as well! I had a fangirl moment when I met John Green earlier this year, so I completely understand the hands flailing - haha! The Burn For Burn launch party looked like so much fun! We won't discuss my total, absolute whack job, fangirl moment I had with Jenny Han last year. Hahaha Oh dear that was something to see lol!

  4. WOOO! lol I'm trying to picture us running down the street to catch the train. Like I know I was huffing and puffing withing the first minute. I probably looked pain and my shorts were definitely riding up my ass. OH GOOD TIMES. Also, I thought of that image on Pinterest where it has a picture of a graceful runner and it says "what I think I look like when I run" and then a picture of a chubby little girl running with her arms all flailing and a funny face that says "what I actually look like" YEP. That was me. In my head I was running down the street like in a movie but I'm sure I looked like a hot mess. OH WELL. WE MET JOHN GREEN!!!

    This weekend was so much fun!! So glad we got to hang out <33

  5. Aww you're adorable and this sounded like an awesome event! I wish more book festivals and events came close to me. We never get anyone over here :(

  6. Your pictures are awesome! That's so cool that you got to see R.L. Stine. Looks like a lot of fun. :)

  7. I'm so jealous! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun and SO awesome that you guys got to go together!! Both of you ladies are kind of blogging celebrities to me, so I understand the feeling!
    That was a great recap! :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. I'm so jealous!! I wish I could meet John Green one day ... he's so awesome! I think I would have flailing arms, too. :)

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. I love this recap, Alexa, so glad you posted it (with so many fantastic pics--I love seeing all of the authors talking with their hands). The National Book Festival seems like so much fun, and I love the intimacy of Books of Wonder. Hopefully I

  10. I'm so glad you guys had so much fun together!! And meeting bucket list authors is a very good reason to run like a crazy person to catch a train! And in the end it paid off :) I love the pictures, thanks for sharing Alexa!

  11. Oh wow, it sounds like you had an amazing week! I would have loved to attend The National Book Festival. Your lucky to have seen so many great authors, and to have MET John Green! Thanks for the brilliant recap post. :)

  12. Look at you, doing all the bookish things! I'm so glad that you finally got to meet John Green! And I'm jealous that you got to hear Maggie Stiefvater. LOVE her. One of these days I'm going to make it to a Books of Wonder event and hopefully we can FINALLY meet in person!!

  13. EEEE THIS LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN! Yes to meeting John Green and oh my goodness, you spotted David Levithan at the launch party?!! CRAZY! I would have totally been flustered too. These events sound like so much fun. :D

  14. I'm glad you had so much fun and then posted all about it. The pictures were great. :-)

  15. You girls are too cute and I'm so glad you had such a great time!! <3

  16. I still can't believe the whole Megabus story but so glad you and Jamie made it to my part of town. It was SUCH a pleasure meeting you ladies and I do hope to be able to make it up your way someday. I had a blast, for sure. You seriously rocked my socks off! Take care!

  17. Oh wow! What a crazy story with the Megabus! So glad you made it in time!

    I live in the DC suburbs, and my mom is an expert downtown driver, so she drove us down into the city because they were doing track work on Metro that weekend. And we were almost late for John Green because of traffic! Luckily we made it just in time and had to stand in the back where the poster tables were. (I tried to see if I was in your pic of the crowd but I think we were further over... hehe) Didn't you love how the crowd cheered like John Green was a rock star? (which he totally kind of is... in the YA world!)

    And I freaking love hearing Maggie Stiefvater speak. She's one of my favorite authors to hear in person.

    The National Book Fest is my favorite book event. I've been 4 times and all of them made it into my top ten memories for this week :)

    If you go this year (2013) we should meet up! I'll take you to a great DC restaurant!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews


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