event recap: LA Times Festival of Books 2012 and giveaway!

April 27, 2012 2012, event, giveaway, guest post, kendare blake, marie lu, rachel, Wendy 66

LA Times Festival of Books
Every time the lovely ♥ Rachel ♥ stops by the blog, she always has fantastic bits of author news that I haven’t heard elsewhere, so I was thrilled to hear she wanted to cover the Los Angeles Times Festival Books for us. 

As if that weren’t exciting enough, Rachel is such a sweetie that she also has an autographed copy of Deb Caletti’s new book to give away! Read on to see how you can win. ~ Wendy

I just like to say thanks again to Wendy inviting me to share my experience!

LA Times Festival of Books  Abby McDonald YA Panel
Aaron Karo, Abby McDonald, Tristan Bancks

Attending the Event:

This was my first year attending the Festival, so I was pretty excited to go. So armed with sun block, a camera, and my husband’s muscles (books are heavy!) I was ready to tackle this large event.

I had read schedules, knew which panels I wanted to attend and which authors I wanted to stalk for signatures. In the end I went to three different YA panels. They are set up like a book signing, but they have a moderator there to direct the discussion and ask questions. This is nice because often they ask questions you wouldn’t even think of, and it keeps the panel lively! I also met some authors who were signing at booths all over the event. 

Kendare Blake LA Times Festival of Books
Kendare Blake signs a book for Rachel!

The Authors:

Abby McDonald is a spunky Brit who wrote Getting Over Garrett Delany, a contemporary YA novel I read earlier this year and loved. Even though I’d met Marie Lu at the HarperTeen Spring Into the Future signing, she still managed to surprise me with interesting tidbits. As an aid to her writing, she sketched out characters and the city of Los Angeles as depicted in her book, Legend

Deb Caletti Story of Us LA Times Festival of BooksSome of the authors that I got signatures from were Maureen Johnson said The Name of the Star is definitely a trilogy, possibly four books in all. Kendare Blake said that if she could cast Anna, the title character from Anna Dressed in Blood, her dream actress for the movie would be Summer Glau from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly. Deb Caletti was such a sweetheart, who said that the family in her new release, The Story of Us, is a mash-up of her own family. Being a supreme “vanilla” lover, I thought it would be great to give away a signed copy of Deb’s book here on The Midnight Garden since it just released this last Tuesday. Good luck!

Thanks for the wonderful post, Rachel! We’re always thrilled to have you here. :)

Win an Autographed Copy of Deb Caletti’s THE STORY OF US!

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti giveawayThanks to Rachel’s generosity, we’re able to offer our readers a chance to win a copy of the latest contemporary YA novel from popular author Deb Caletti. The author has even inscribed the book “To The Reader of The Midnight Garden, Congratulations!”

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. As always, you can earn extra entries by tweeting about the contest, sharing it on Facebook, etc. 

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66 Responses to “event recap: LA Times Festival of Books 2012 and giveaway!”

  1. armchairauthor

    Sounds like a great time! I hope to make it next year. Rats Saw God is my favorite YA Contemporary (well, it was contemporary at the time).

  2. rabbitsfortea

    Such events are always so much fun!
    Wish I lived in the states T_T

    Favourite contemp has got to be Anna and the French Kiss, absolutely love me some english boys, heh.
    Always been dying to start on If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

  3. rabbitsfortea

    Aww. such events are always so much fun.

    I REALLY loved Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. And I can’t wait to start on If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

  4. Sam

    My favourite contemporary…..Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler! It was sad, yet fun, story that I don’t think I will be able to forget!

  5. rachchan2006

    My favourite contemporary novel is probably If I Fall by Lauren Oliver (although I’m not sure if it’s really classified as YA contemporary). It was an amazingly written, touching book that I always recommend to others!

  6. Shelver 506

    I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but I’m not sure I have a favorite… yet.

  7. Celine

    My favouite YA contemporary novel is Anna and the French Kiss! I really really ADORE and LOVE this book + the swoon-worthy Etienne St. Clair!

    And WOW, what an awesome recap, Rachel! I hope you’ve had lots of fun! <3

    Thank you SO MUCH for the giveaway!!! I’ve been dying to read The Story of Us! <3

    • Rachel

      Wow, I think if we did a count, Stephanie Perkins would top the favorites, Celine. Very understandable, Etienne was completely swoon-worthy, and who can resist the English accent? :)

  8. Sam

    Another great experience for Rachel! Thanks to her for sharing it with us. And look how sweet she is giving away a copy of The Story of Us! :)

    I’m not much of a contemporary reader but one book which I guess could fall into the category is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I LOVED that book.

  9. Mimi Valentine

    Every time someone talks about how awesome these author events are, I can’t believe I’ve never been to one before! It’s just that they’re always in Toronto (an hour away from where I live) and usually on school nights, so they’re always a no go in my house haha… x) But I’m really glad you had fun meeting all of those awesome authors, Rachel! I’ve never read a Deb Caletti book before, but my favourite contemporary books have to be Anna and the French Kiss, Take a Bow, and If I Stay. All were so incredibly sweet! <3

    Thanks so much for sharing and for the giveaway too! :)

  10. The Romance Bookie

    Oooh that is such a tough question!! There are just so many…but I think when it comes to contemporary YA I am going to have to go between “Along for the Ride” by Sarah Dessen and “The DUFF” by Kody Keplinger. Love both those novels so much! :)

    You are so lucky you got to go to the Festival of Books, I’m hoping to go next year! :)

    • Rachel

      Japrit raves about this series too, Savannah. I have all three books, so I really should read them!

  11. Amy

    This sounds like it was a great event! I wish there were more events in my area. Though I have to say I found out about a few that were this past weekend, but it was a little late. :( Thanks for the great recap!!

  12. sarabara081

    That festival sounds so fun!!!! So exciting to meet Marie Lu and Kendare Blake! I still need to read my copy of The Story of Us! :)

  13. Teresa

    My favourite is If I Stay by Gayle Forman definitely. I also loved Thirteen Reasons Why and Graffiti Moon :)

  14. Zeinab

    Easy question! Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is my all-time favorite contemporary! :D

    Thank you for the giveaway and for making it international!! :)

  15. Christy D

    Ah, when was this? I wish I could’ve gone. Thanks for sharing – I’ll have to keep my eye out for event like this.

  16. A Canadian Girl

    My favourite contemporary YA novel would probably be If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Thirteen Reasons Why. I also loved, loved Wanderlove this year.

  17. YA Anonymous

    Thanks for the recap, Rachel. I was so disappointed that I missed it! I was dying to see Patrick Ness.

    My favorite contemporary YA is either Piper’s Son or Graffiti Moon. :)


    • Rachel

      Bummer, Maggie. I’m sure you’ll catch other events, though. There seem to be so many where we live, right?

      You picked two Aussie favorites of mine! Love Thomas McKee! Graffiti Moon had me both swooning, and laughing so hard, I was crying! The whole bicycle scene in the park was priceless.

  18. Natalie (Mindful Musings)

    My favorite YA contemporary novel would probably have to be a toss up between Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, and Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnart.

  19. Aneeqah

    The festival sounds so amazing! And I’m totally jealous that you got to meet Kendare Blake! I loved Anna Dressed In Blood. =) My favorite contemporary novel has to be Anna and the French Kiss, or 13 Reasons Why. Both are totally amazing!

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Rachel. =)

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

    • Rachel

      Stephanie Perkins seems to be a favorite for all of our ladies! Anna and Lola where amazing for me too. Can’t wait for Isla!

  20. Vivien

    I absolutely LOVE Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door….great stuff!!!

  21. Ellisa

    wish I could go to the event *sigh*

    My fave so far is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins! It’s so light, beautiful, plus it takes place in Paris omg. The characters are likable too, because they’re realistic :D

  22. Missie, The Unread Reader

    Does If I Stay count? If not, then The Piper’s Son, mostly because of Georgie!

    Rachel is awesome for sharing about this. What an amazing event. Wish I could have been there.

    • Rachel

      Oh definitely, Missie! If I Stay and Where She Went were soooo heartbreakingly good. The Piper’s Son was amazing as well, I was fascinated by Georgie’s story. Well, the whole story, if I’m being honest! :)

  23. Debbie

    My favourite YA contemp is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It’s filled with great, loveable characters and I absolutely loved the entire thing. Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. rocksann

    If it’s a Melina Marchetta book, it’s a favorite for me. I just fall in love with her characters & stories. Another book I love is Split. Split deals with a very difficult situation & although it is heartbreaking & sad, it is also touching, hopeful,& real. The story stays with you long after you are done reading the book. Some other faves are Five Flavors of Dumb & Graffiti Moon. Thanks for the giveaway =)

  25. rocksann

    My fave YA contemporary books… Pretty much all of Melina Marchetta’s books. I just fall in love with her stories & her characters. I also really love Split & Five Flavors of Dumb.

    • Rachel

      rocksann, Marchetta is definitely a god. I wish she’d hurry up and write more books I’ve run through them all!

  26. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Sounds like a fantastic event!!!!! I love all the pictures!
    My favorite contemporary book series at the moment is The Ivy series by lauren kunze.
    My favorite contemporary stand alone right now is Take A Bow by Elizabeth eulberg.

  27. Bonnie Regan

    It sounds like you had a blast – thanks for sharing all the fun details. :)

    Fav contemporary? Probably Flat Out Love.

  28. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Sounds like a fantastic event!!!!! I love all the pictures!
    My favorite contemporary book series at the moment is The Ivy series by lauren kunze.
    My favorite contemporary stand alone right now is Take A Bow by Elizabeth eulberg.

    • Rachel

      Rachel, I just popped over to Goodreads to check out Take A Bow, it looks good. Sort of reminds me of that movie Center Stage.

      If anyone is interested, you can enter to win it on Goodreads right now until April 30th.

  29. Fara

    Right now, it’s Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. I like Audrey. She’s as crazy for music as I am :D
    Thx for the giveaway!=D

    • Rachel

      Never heard of that one, Fara, but I love it when a story incorporates music in the story! I’ll have to check it out.

  30. A.J.

    Looks like you had a great time, Rachel! :) I wish the book festival where I live was as exciting. Thanks for sharing and the giveaway!

    My favorite YA contemp is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta!

    • Rachel

      Alexa, when someone asks me what my all-time favorite book is, Jellicoe Road always pops into my mind. It’s definitely in the top five of all my favorites! Jonah!! :)

  31. Jasprit

    I’m so glad you had another fab time Rachel! And you got to meet some amazing authors like Deb Caletti! I absolutely adore contemporary YA, one of my favourites has to be Anna and the French Kiss! Thanks so much for the giveaway! I actually can’t wait for this book, my wow post this week was this book! :)

    • Rachel

      Jasprit, I’m not surprised that you’re looking forward to Deb Caletti’s book. That’s why we share our title! I hope we end up liking it. We’ll have to compare notes. :)

  32. papalbina

    favorite contemporaneous YA novel? oh, god, it’s that difficult… hmmm, saving francesca, probably, or Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. i can’t choose only one, come on!! xDDD

    • Rachel

      I know, papalbina it’s hard to choose! You listed two of my absolute favorites, though! In some parts, I was laughing so hard that I was crying when I read Saving Francesca. Marchetta is a god! :)

  33. Maree

    Hi Wendy and Rachel. I love reading about these author events! We just don’t get anything like that here in Aus – well at least not where I live lol. My favourite contem YA is Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson. Wilson is one of my absolute all-time favourite authors and Kiss is one of her best YA. It’s about a girl who has a crush on her best friend, but all is not as it seems and there is a lot of heartbreak for her. A close runner up would be Wilson’s Falling Apart which was recently republished after being out of print. Keep up the good work both of you!

    Maree @ Maree’s Musings

    • Rachel

      Maree, I’ve never heard of Kiss. I love the whole best-friend thing turning into love scenario, though! I’m going to have to check that out. Is it an Aussie book?