I recently posted a list of books with low average ratings on Goodreads that I actually enjoyed. Today I’m going to flip that around and talk about the books on my TBR with low average ratings and why I want to read them!
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway about three years ago and I still haven’t read it because of that average rating. It’s probably the only book on this list that I don’t actually want to read, but feel obligated to because the publisher sent me a free copy. I’m hoping to read this at some point this year, but… I’ve also been saying that for the last three years.
This book might not have the best ratings, but I know that Caroline Kepnes can write. You was the best book I read in April and I’m planning to read Hidden Bodies soon. It only makes sense to see what else she’s written.
In case you missed all of my yelling (and my giveaway post from a couple days ago), I went to BookCon! You might remember from the giveaway post that I attended with Daniel from Page to Page. We somehow ended up with VIP passes and, overall, at least, I had a much better time than last year!
Look at me all awake and alive and excited! I did not look like this by the end of day two, that’s for sure. Even though I went to BookCon last year, I didn’t really know what to expect this year with the VIP badge and attending on both days.
The number one priority for day one was meeting Rainbow Rowell. I’ve read everything she’s written and she’s one of my favorite authors. Once those doors opened, we hurried to the Macmillan booth for tickets to her signing party and luckily, we made it in time and got our tickets!
Another thing we wanted to make sure to do was attend Rainbow Rowell’s panel about Wayward Son. I loved Carry On and was so excited to hear Rainbow talk about the sequel.
In general, Saturday was a lot busier than Sunday with a lot less going on. Only seven of the nineteen books I got for free came from Saturday’s events, and five of them were just because of my VIP badge. One of the others, Permanent Record, wasn’t even one I got for myself. I had been talking about how much I love Mary H.K. Choi while I waited in line for a chance to win a Simon & Schuster ARC, and although I didn’t win anything, someone who had been in line with me won that ARC and wasn’t really excited about it, so she just gave it to me! (If you’re reading this, thank you so much! You made my day!)
Saturday was also the day that I met Sarah Dessen! I’ve loved her books since I was in middle school and took my copy of Someone Like You to be signed. I was too nervous to really talk to her, but she commented on how cute that edition of her book is and how YA covers don’t look like that anymore.
We had tickets for Leigh Bardugo’s signing but ended up giving them away because the line was crazy and we didn’t want to miss the Rainbow Rowell party. Hopefully our tickets made someone else’s day since her signing had been sold out.
Here I am, nearing the end of day two, absolutely exhausted and waiting in line to meet Marissa Meyer. (And still very excited.)
Sunday was definitely a lot calmer than Saturday, and it seemed that there were a lot more opportunities to get ARCs and do fun events.
When the doors opened, everyone rushed to the Macmillan booth for tickets for that day’s signings and to the Hachette booth for The Bone Houses, while I went to the Lion Forge booth so I could get tickets for the Mooncakes and No Ivy League signings later that morning. Everyone was still waiting in the Macmillan line when I got those tickets, so I just wandered around for a little bit to see what was going on. I found out that Scholastic was giving away piles of ARCs of Technically, You Started It and Tarnished Are the Stars, so I was able to get those really easily.
After that, we did a trivia game with Epic Reads, where we had a ton of fun coming up with huge lists of books (one of my favorite things, honestly) and answering multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. Our team won and we each ended up getting an ARC of Serpent & Dove, a yoga mat, and some fun swag.
Sunday’s VIP signings were Meg Cabot and Sarah MacLean. I was definitely excited about Meg Cabot since The Princess Diaries was one of my favorite series when I was younger! I think I have a conversation about the spelling of my name with every Sara(h) I meet, so that’s what I talked to Sarah MacLean about.
That afternoon, we had signings for Marissa Meyer and V.E. Schwab, so a lot of our time was spent waiting in lines. By the time Schwab was done, BookCon was pretty much over, but a lot of publishers had swag sitting out on tables or were offering huge discounts. We had won tickets to Romance Candy Crush but had to miss it because we were in the Schwab signing line, but luckily, we ran into the people hosting that event as they were leaving and they gave us the books anyway!
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (ARC)
No Judgments by Meg Cabot (ARC, signed & personalized)
Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson (ARC)
Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor (ARC)
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett (ARC)
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi (ARC)
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu (ARC, signed & personalized)
No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant (ARC, signed & personalized)
A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel (signed)
Misfits by Jen Calonita (signed)
Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean (signed & personalized)
Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries (signed)
As Good as the First Time by K.M. Jackson (signed)
The Fresh New Face of Griselda by Jennifer Torres (ARC)
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn (ARC)
Hired by Zoey Castile (signed)
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (ARC)
Queen of the Conquered by Kheryn Callender (ARC)
Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman (ARC)
Crazy Cat Lady by Agnes Loonstra & Ester Scholten (so that I could get a cute tote bag)
Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (at her signing)
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (at her signing)
I also preordered both Pumpkinheads and Wayward Son at Rainbow Rowell’s signing
I am not very good at talking to people that I admire, so I mostly just mumbled a lot and smiled. But that’s still more than I did last year! Here are some pictures of me with Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen (my childhood hero), V.E. Schwab, and Marissa Meyer!
Tips, Tricks, and Plans for Next Year
Bring your lunch! We packed food, water, and snacks and it was so much less stressful than wasting time and money for food that’s not even good.
If you can only make to BookCon on one day, go on Sunday. I was honestly a little bit disappointed with Saturday, but Sunday more than made up for it.
Do your research! There were so many events that weren’t announced anywhere other than Twitter, and we missed a few authors that we would have liked to meet. I ended up turning on post notifications on Twitter so that we’d be more likely to know what was going on, but even then, you have to be in the right place at the right time.
I think VIP was worth the extra money, but I’m not sure that I really need to experience it again. Next year, I think we’ll try to go to BookExpo and maybe just attend one day of BookCon.
Did you go to BookCon this year? Do you plan to go in the future? Do you have any additional tips or tricks? Let’s talk in the comments!