Friday, April 20, 2012

RT2012 Recap Post. It's Photo-Heavy.

I had been counting down to this weekend for the longest time, I swear. Not only would I get to reunite with some amazing blogger friends, but an entire weekend spent doing only bookish things? YES, PLEASE.

"cabs are heeeeahh!"

So when April 13 rolled around, I drove my happy booty over to Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL to meet up with Anna and Jamie. I'd hung out with Anna before the previous year at the Dark Days tour, so I knew of her awesomeness. This would be my first time meeting Jamie and, given our mutual love for Jersey Shore (I scoff at your judgment!) I knew I had to shout out something ridiculous to her. So when we get there, I see them waiting for me outside the parking garage and start screaming "CABS ARE HEEEEAH!" Because she is the Pauly to my Vinny.

cynthia hand, tahereh mafi, anna carey, veronica rossi

kristi and me

sure, why not?

awesome bloggers!

i'm reading 50 cent's book, hence the expression

After some margaritas, we headed over to Anderson's and met up with some other lovely bloggers including, but not limited to, Lynn, Kristi, Heidi, Jacinda & Jasmine, Katelyn, and Laci. Tara showed up shortly after and the fun began. I really have to applaud the authors that were signing at Anderson's that night: Cynthia Hand, Tahereh Mafi, Anna Carey, and Veronica Rossi. You guys, these authors are HILARIOUS. Anna Carey should pretty much go into stand up comedy.

After having a little photo shoot with our blogger peeps, I headed back to Anna's house for an epic slumber party with her, Jamie, and Tara. There was wine. And salsa. And cookie butter. And over 300 photos of ridiculousness. But most importantly, book talk. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to talk about books with a group of people who actually know what you're talking about when you're fangirling over this or that book, instead of looking at you like "wait, is that a movie?"

TQ and me

anna and me
"book. landshark."

jamie and me

Fast-forward to Saturday morning: (Anna & Jamie almost get killed on the way to RT. They didn't.) We're finally in after waiting in the ridiculously long line and lugging like 50 lbs of books around on our shoulders...and another photoshoot.

it's just richelle mead. no big deal. no big deal at all...

There was a gargantuan book fair where you could get your own books signed or buy others. We met some seriously incredible authors. We ran over to Richelle Mead's line first. You guys, I thought I was going to legitimately pass out. I could not contain my excitement. This was an author who created the first world after Twilight that I became obsessed with. And she's SO TINY! How could someone so petite have such an expansive world cooped up in her brain? Anyway, I pretty much embarrassed myself with my propensity to blurt out random crap in times when I'm feeling nervous or awkward. But life goes on!


Next, Melissa Marr. She knew who I was and hugged me. Twice. I died both times.

And then Rachel Caine, with whom Anna and I discussed the complexities of the Morganville Vampires series. Especially Myrnin and how he should get to make out with a certain someone.

jsr love!

And my long-time coming meet up with Jeri Smith-Ready finally happened. Yet another teeny tiny person with ALL THESE STORIES AND CHARACTERS. Naturally I gushed over Logan and Zachary and my love for her books and her, in general.

We met a TON of incredible authors and somehow survived the sweaty bodies threatening to smother each other and us into oblivion. I'm actually kind of sad we didn't get to hang out with more bloggers more, but there was so much going on. YA Alley was only like 1/10th of the convention. There were cover models strutting around (honestly guys? They're kinda creepy!) handing out cards with their covers on them. After all, this is ROMANTIC TIMES convention. After devouring cheeseburgers (and tortilla soup!) and resting up for part two of the day, we headed to a couple panels, where I learned the following:

- Rachel Caine could probably write 45 books about a ghost cowboy who wants to be an ice cube.
- Stephanie Perkins was wholly inspired by a picture book called Walter the Farting Dog and once pissed of J.K. Rowling by disrespecting her castle and/or moat.
- YA authors say naughty things more often than not!
- Richelle Mead does not plan to write a book about Dimitri and Rose going to Bed Bath & Beyond. And if she does, there will be danger and death.
- Ally Carter can give you detailed instructions on bull castration.
- Margaret Stohl is probably the world's best moderator.

margaret stohl and stephanie perkins

After the panel, we hit up the YA Party which was organized by Melissa Marr, who I think is actually superwoman. She was sick and still managed to organize everything for hundreds of readers. We were a bit sad because ALL of the food was gone by the time we got in there (and we had gotten in line fairly early. seriously? SERIOUSLY.) but it was still fun. We got to mingle with tons of authors and bloggers and readers. I finally got to meet Cat @ Books 4 Hearts, Kyle from A Reader's Pensieve, and Katie @ Sophistikatied Reviews, both of whom are fabulous. I fist-pumped with an extremely adorable Kiera Cass, so that was hilarious! Not to mention there were ARCs of The Golden Lily flying about. I got weak in the knees.

The time to leave came way too quickly and I thought I was going to start bawling, because HOLY CRAP. I had to LEAVE all of these bookish people. I think the best thing about the weekend is the fact that everything was natural. Sure, we all don't see one another on a daily basis, but it's incredible that a love of books can bring people together in such an effortless way. There are no hierarchies and stereotypes. Just a bunch of crazy freaking readers who need books like oxygen.

In conclusion, the weekend was overwhelmingly fabulous. RT was fabulous, but overwhelming. I love bloggers. I love my blogger friends. I love readers, authors, books. I love my BFF Lynn for getting me an awesome belated (that's how we roll) birthday gift. I love Kristi, Lynn, and Heidi for letting us keep our 500 lbs of books in their hotel room. I love all of you who couldn't be there, and I so much wish you could have.

PS. Especially for you, Team Kilt. THIS PHOTO.


  1. So much FREXING CUTENESS. I can't even handle the prettiness of everyone! I'm glad you (and everyone else!) had such a wonderful time! :) Hopefully WE'LL get to meet and play soon too! xo -S

  2. <33333 CABS ARE HEEEEERE.

    Love you! Glad I finally got to meet my PERSON aka my Pauly to my Vinny/ the Christina to my Meredith.

    SUCH A GOOD RECAP. I'm thinking I don't need to do one. lol

  3. I love you so much I forgive you for posting ridiculous bookshark and mustache photos of me. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. <3 <3 <3 <3. Come back.

  4. Wishing I could have gone but so happy to see how much fun you had. I was at an event last night with bloggers and I know what you mean..there is nothing like talking books with a bunch of amazing people who just "get it". XO

  5. Dude...I already CANNOT WAIT for ALA 2013 in Chicago. SO PUMPED to do something like this again and not be all nervous and quiet. I plan fangirling and book nerding to the MAX.

  6. Sooooo jealous, but so happy for you. RT looked beyond awesome. Next time Gadget! =^)

  7. So great to finally meet you in person, Jen! I freaked out on the inside when I saw Zach and Logan on the board. We still don't know who added Logan's name (Lynn did Zach--well, not *did* him, know what I mean).

  8. Looks like you had a really amazing time. I loved reading your twitter updates and I am super jealous of all of the bloggers and authors you got to meet (was desperately wishing I still lived in the midwest last weekend).

  9. I wish so badly I could have been there!! The weekend looks/sounded AMAZING!! You make me laugh so hard, I can only imagine what it would be like in person ;-) ONE DAY.. it will happen ONE DAY.

  10. I can't even handle my jealousy right now. CAN NOT HANDLE IT.

    Also? Jamie is the bestest and I am so glad you two finally met and had a friggen blast in a glass.


    And I love all these pictures cuz it's like oh those are my blogging friends who are freakin' awesome and normal and so pretty and fashionable IN REAL LIFE OMG.

    Seriously, lots and lots of jealousy and love going on here.

  11. Talk about the best weekend EVER. Thanks for dealing with my awful driving directions and you need to COME BACK SOON!

  12. You can't see me right now but I am hugging my computer and imagining I am hugging all of your faces. Like, face smashing is involved.

    It's not weird at all.

  13. I just read this post now and I think it's making me like, nostalgic even thought it was only like 3 weeks ago! Such a fun time meeting awesome people and so many books, haha! Great recap!

  14. Your blogs are totally worth giving time and energy.
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