ALAMW Day 1 Recap


As you might know from my sporadic tweets on Twitter, I attended the American Library Association Mid-Winter (ALAMW) conference in Boston this past weekend. It was my first big book conference, and I can honestly say it will forever be a highlight of my bookish/blogging experience.

Before attending ALAMW, I made a list of books I wanted to get, but most of all I made a list of authors I knew were attending that I couldn't wait to meet! As you may know, I love debuts and I was so thrilled to hear so many 2016 debut authors would be at ALA.
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I got to the convention center on Saturday a few minutes before the conference started and was baffled by the sheer size and scope of it all. I passed so many familiar blogging faces and waved as enthusiastically as I possibly could muster at 8:30 AM. It was surreal to see the faces behind my favorite blogs!

I got to the floor at 9:00 AM right when it opened. I found my over to the three lanes of booths that essentially contained all the YA publishers. I made my rounds to each booth (probably around 15) and chatted with publicists, publicists, marketers, and other people in the industry. It was so much fun learning about the latest books and chatting about the ones I was excited for. I learned about so many new books! Within the first hour, I got nearly all the books I wanted from ALAMW and a few I hadn't even dreamed of! Caraval, Mirror in the Sky, And I Darken, The Crown's Game, The Reader, Rebel of the Sands, and How To Hang A Witch. I collected so many totes and picked up lots of other exciting titles.

I made my way around by myself for the first hour but then bumped into Brittany from Brittany's Book Rambles and Meredith from Pandora's Books. I also saw lots of Melissa Lee Live, Love, Read YA and Molly of Innocence Walker. I also saw Nori of ReadWriteLove28, Val of The Innocent Smiley, and MC from Blame the Books. These gals made ALA wonderful. I also ran into Julie Eshbaugh, author of the forthcoming Ivory and Bone. It's always a pleasure to talk with Julie.

Then around 10:00, loaded down with too many books and a copious amount of totes, I met up with the lovely Roshani Chokshi. If you don't already know about her gorgeous book, it's called The Star-Touched Queen and looks amazing!! Thanks to the sweetness of Roshani, I now have an ARC to read!! It's definitely one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I just started it and wow is it good... :) Roshani is charming and so hilarious, I had so much fun hanging out with her throughout the day.

Laura Tims Signing!
I traveled to booths again throughout the day with my blogger friends, and I was pleasantly surprised by the laid back and relaxed nature of the conference. Everyone was so friendly and genuinely wanted to chat. I saw so many other bloggers and librarians and booksellers whom I've talked to on Twitter, and it's so nice to get to chat with people in person! I saw Jess of Gone with the Words, Lauren of Love is Not A Triangle, Gaby Salpeter, Brittany of The Book Addict's Guide, Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Andi of Andi's ABCs, Rachel of Hello Chelly, the list is endless.... Forthcoming author of Please Don't Tell, Laura Tims was there too! I was elated she decided to come to ALA. And she had an impromptu first signing and viewing of her ARCs which was adorable.

Mer, Britt, Nicole, Me, Laura!
I ran into Mackenzi Lee, author of This Monstrous Thing, and it was wonderful meeting her in person. I kept asking Harper if they had Burning Glass ARCs (sadly no), but I talked to Kathryn's editor (for the book) which was surreal. We spent much time discussing and fangirling over the amazingness of that book. I met Nicole Castroman (Blackhearts), and she's just as sweet and wonderful person as you'd think. On my way to meet up with Roshani again, I saw Darcy Woods (Summer of Supernovas)! Then I went with Roshani to see a panel on "The Fantastic" and one of the panelists was none other than Kat Howard, forthcoming debut author of Roses and Rot from Saga Press. Another surprised came when a publicist started passing out Roses and Rot manuscripts. I think I died inside... Kat is so engaging, and I loved listening to her discussion in the panel. Rosh and I ran into Anna-Marie McLemore (The Weight of Feathers), her book is as lovely as she.
Darcy, Roshani, and Me (and The Crown's Game)

Laura Flynn and Me
Heidi and Me
After that I went back to meet Brittany at Harper, and who do I run into?! None other than the spectacular Heidi Heilig! I didn't recognize her at first because she was facing away from me, but I'm pretty sure once she turned around we gave simultaneous squeals of recognition before embracing. Meeting Heidi was indescribable. She is such a positive and creative force in the bookish community and I've gotten to know her pretty well throughout the past few months. Meeting her in person was epic. Then there was a huge Sweet 16ers (name of 2016 debut group) impromptu meet up at Harper's booth. There was lots of hugging and laughing and smiles all around. I saw Heidi (The Girl From Everywhere), Dana Elmendorf (South of Sunshine), Melanie Conklin (Counting Thyme), Emily Martin (The Year We Fell Apart), Laurie Flynn (and she signed Firsts for me!!), Kim Savage (After the Woods), Lygia Day PeƱaflor (Unscripted Joss Byrd) and more! It was seriously the sweetest, most adorable thing ever. 

I made my rounds to the YA booths a few more times and ended up with 50 books for day 1 and basically everything on my wish list. I spent a comical amount of time attempting to carry all my books, and funnily/sadly my arms, legs, and feet are still mad at me for trying to carry half my weight in books... I had so many bags that I had to get Uber to pick me up and take me back to my brother's house. All in all, ALA day 1 was unforgettable!!


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Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.

59 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had fun at ALAMW! I loved the pictures you posted on Twitter. It looked like you had such a great time, and looked amazing. Meeting all those bloggers must have been a wonderful experience! I hope sometime in the (near) future I'm able to attend, but probably not very soon because I live in California...:( anyway, enjoy your books!! I hope they are SO GOOD and make your favorites list.

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  2. Oh, this sounded INSANELY incredible! I'm so glad you had an amazing time there (and yes, I will shamelessly admit that I am completely jealous) and I hope you find some treasures in those books there. <3 :)

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  3. Oh my gosh, it sounds like an AMAZING time! I'm super excited for The Star Touched Queen too. The cover, the pitch, the blurbs <3 And all the nail art I've seen for it has blown my mind. So happy ALA was a blast.

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  4. I'm so glad I got meet you my love! <3 I had a lot of fun!

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  5. I really loved reading about your experience! I hope one day I can go to an event like this and meet other bloggers, it would be a dream come true. I joined the book community to make friends with other who love books because I dont have any in RL. So to meet them in person some day along with authors and publishers!?! I cant even imagine it! So thank you for sharing I now feel like dreams ccan come true and it's also nice to know it was such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

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  6. Aw, I loved seeing all your pictures, Rachel! It looks like you had an amazing time. I love how different ALA seems from what I've heard of BEA. I'm tentatively planning on going to ALA next year in Chicago. :)

    You got so many books! I stalked your pictures all weekend, haha. I can't believe you got every book you wanted, that's great.

    I'm so jealous you met Val. <3 And the authors too, I heard about their little impromptu meeting by the booth, how fun. I'm really excited for American Girls and How It Ends.

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  7. YAY FILIPINOS! Haha! I'm so glad you had so much fun at ALAMW! I've always wanted to experience something like that. I almost met Roshani when she visited the Philippines last December, so sad we didn't bump each other yet we were at the same bookstore! LOL. And your picture with Heidi is the CUTEST! <3

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  8. I can't believe you went to ALAMW. Must've been very exciting. I wish it could happen more often in the West. But don't worry. At least you're very happy about meeting authors you always wanted to meet and other bloggers as well.

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  9. This sounds amazing, Rachel! What an opportunity getting to see bloggers and authors IRL. I only wished I had such an opportunity. Looks like you have a lot of reading ahead of you, but that's a good thing.

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  10. I am glad you had an awesome time. I probably only recognized one third of all these names. Caraval and the crown's game, so nice. And a manuscript of another exciting book I am adding thanks to your mentioning it.

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  11. MEETING YOU WAS A HIGHLIGHT!!! SO EXCITED TO RELIVE THE JOY THROUGH THIS POST! :) <3

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  12. It looks like you had a lot fun at ALAMW! Seems like such an exciting event to be apart of!

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  13. I hope to someday be able to attend a book event. It sounds like so much fun. Of course I'd be excited to meet all the authors, but I'd been equally as excited to meet fellow bloggers. I don't know how you managed to carry all those books around. You're a trooper. Your arms must have been so sore the next day, lol! Who needs the gym? Go to a book event instead. ;) I'm jealous you met Heidi. She seems like such a wonderful human being.

    Sarah @ Kerosene Lit

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  14. Ahh looks like you had so much fun!!'m totally jealous, and can't wait for the day I can attend such a great bookish event like this, and meet loads of other bloggers, publishers... you name it!

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  15. Oooh Caraval! I had no idea they HAD that until it was all gone. Stephanie had been my mentor in The Writer's Voice competition, so I was bummed I didn't know. And that's a lot of totes to wobble around with! good thing the floors were carpeted, I bet everyone's feet would have been dead if it was concrete :P

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  16. Sounds like you had an amazing time! So glad you were able to meet so many authors and bloggers!

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  17. I'm quite glad we ran into each other the day I was at ALA! It was so good to see you :) And it sounds like you had a magical day, especially with all the exciting meet-ups and books you picked ;)

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  18. ALA and BEA always sound like so much fun, but I can't go because I'm too far away :-( Maybe next year? Sounds like you got ARCs of some of my most anticipated books of the year as well - very jealous :-P. I can't believe you managed to carry so many books around all day - I saw the picture on Twitter and was like WOW!

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  19. This sounds so great! I'm so looking forward to your thoughts on the books!

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  20. ALAMW looks like it was so much fun! I can't believe all those books, wow--you must have gotten a great arm workout carrying them around!!

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  21. Whoa. This sounds like so much fun! And you got a lot of cool books too. Man. I wish I had gone. (Though I am nowhere NEAR Boston.) You met so many cool authors. I hope I get to meet them one day

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  22. EEEP! SO MANY AMAZING SOUNDING BOOKS. *grabby hands* ALA sounds amazing and I wish we had stuff like that happen in NZ! Sounds like you had an amazing time and all the authors you meet were lovely! Of your stack I have my eyes glued to THE CROWN'S GAME, THE MARKED GIRL, THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD and REBEL OF THE SANDS! Hope these turn out excellent! ;)

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  23. ALA was a blast, and I'm missing Boston and hanging out with you and everyone else so bad! Of course it was a little hectic but all of the books and company made up for it =) I hope that we get to hang out again soon!

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  24. It looks like you had a WONDERFUL time at ALAMW!! I can't imagine how amazing it must have been to meet SO MANY AUTHORS!! And you have such a great haul of fabulous books!! I'm just quietly waiting for an opportunity to go to a book event like this (even though I'm on the other side of the world XD)!

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  25. I wish I could have gone. I live on the west coast, but hopefully someday. That's so awesome you had a blast at ALAMW, Rachel, and got to add some great books to the reading collection. :)

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  26. Omigosh, it seems like you had the FUNNEST time :D I can't wait to go to ALA Orlando myself because reading recaps like these make me sooo excited. And what an awesome book haul, too. One day I want to meet that many authors and bloggers too!

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

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  27. It looks like you had a blast at ALAMWs. That would be on the top of my dream day lists. I need the Crown's Game and Rebel of the sands. I think next year I'm just gonna sneak right in and join the fun.

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  28. I am so jealous, I beg my family to let me go! I wish I had meet with Roshani Chokshi! Glad you had a wonderful time there!

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  29. This is so cool! I saw your tweets and insanely jealous, especially when I saw the book haul. Not like a bad jealous, but like an " OMG, I WISH I WAS THERE" kind. I'm really happy that you got to do this!

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  30. The conference sounded awesome! That's crazy to see your book haul for Day 1 and imagine you carried around EVERYTHING by yourself! Uber was a life savior to go back, haha. I'd love to get to a book event like this one but sadly I don't live in America ^^

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  31. Thanks for the recap Rachel, it sounds like you had a wonderful time with so many books, authors and events! So excited for you to meet everyone and read all the books!

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  32. I'm so jealous! One of thee days I'll get to go to one of these events. I'm glad you had so much fun though.

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  33. HOORAY!! I'm so glad to hear you had such a wonderful time! I'm so very envious of all the awesome peeps you met!!

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  34. Wow! ALA looks like it was awesome. I hope to attend (some day). I am in awe of your haul.

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  35. This looks like so much fun! I am not the biggest fan of crowds but for al the fiends and books it's always worth it. I also love scoping out everyone's hauls cause let's face it it's awesome. I find so many great books that way like....a criminal magic and Caraval! Huggles nugget
    ❤️Britt

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  36. I have to admit, I'm super jealous of how many other awesome bloggers you got to meet! Texas has a ton of bookish people, but we don't often get visitors from other places. I also fully understand your feet/back/arms/legs/neck being mad at you. Mine do that every time I go to TLA, TTBF, NTTBF, etc. :) Glad you had a great time!

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  37. I'm glad I met you Rachel, even though we didn't have as much time to talk! Hopefully I'll see you at another book event :)

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  38. I'm glad you had fun!! ALAMW looks like so much fun! I'm really itching to go someday! Hopefully I can enjoy it myself sometime! :D

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  39. I wish I could go to something like this. It looks and sounds like so much fun. Living in a small town is boring. :( I see you got to get The Crown's Game, And I Darken, Summer of Sloane and Ruined. Actually let me just say I'd like that whole stack. I hope they're good books and will be worth the wait. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully one day I can make it.

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  40. It looks so much fun! I'm really jealous at all the books you got! I wish I could go there someday, too bad I don't live in the US.

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  41. Looks like you had a blast! I can't wait to experience one of these book conventions! I will be going to BEA this year though, since it is in my home state! :) Congrats on getting everything you wanted! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway! <3
    xo

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  42. Gah!!! You had so much fun and scored some amazing books! Hope one day when I visit US, I'll have a chance to attend one.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  43. This sounds like an amazing experience! I hope I will have the chance to attend one one these one day!

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  44. This sounds like an awesome conference. I hope that next year I can make it out to one...it would be my first big blogging event and I would be so excited! I am so happy that you had fun! :)

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  45. Thanks for the inside scoop on the conference. I follow on twitter and your pics made it look like a lot of fun. I'm hoping to go to a conference one of these days.

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  46. THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! ;D Jk jk. I need to find myself at ALA and/or BEA! Some day, when I can pay for flights and passes and hotels and whatnot, and can get the time off. I'd love to meet some of the authors and bloggers that you met!

    In all seriousness though... thank you for the giveaway! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  47. Ahh it sounds really awesome! You met a lot of wonderful authors that I also want to meet. This must be a great experience for you. Wish I could just fly to US and attend it haha xD

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  48. OHMYWOW! Your experience at ALAMW sounds awesome!!! You met so many awesome authors and bloggers I want to meet as well!! As for the giveaway, thank you for the chance!!

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  49. ALAMW looks like it was so much fun! It must have been a blast to meet the publishers and authors and just talk w/out the awkwardness of having other people in lines behind you. I always feel really weird/rushed when I'm on a signing line but want to talk. Anyway, the important part of this comment is that the photo of you and Heidi is SO cute!! ~ Danielle D.

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  50. That's so cool being able to meet so many other bloggers! And ahh your stack of books is amazing! I hope I can try attending one of those one day.

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  51. Good giveaway. Thank you! Great stack of books!

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  52. It looks like you had an amazing time. Thank you so much for the fantastic recap.

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  53. I hope you had a blast! I'm so jealous of your haul!!

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  54. Sounds like you had an amazing time. I'm jealous but in a totally happy for you way! You got so many books I'm dying to read/have already preordered! Enjoy your ARCs and memories!!

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  55. These events always look so amazing! You got to meet so many authors whose books I'm anticipating, lucky! Thanks for making the giveaway international for people halfway across the country who can only dream of attending. Enjoy all your books and look forward to hearing what you think of them.

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  56. Wow, that looks like such an amazing experience. How did you carry all those books around? Show me your ways haha. ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL ARCSSS

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  57. Eee, that part about you and Heidi Heilig meeting was SO cute!! I'm so glad you had fun and met all these new people!! :)

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  58. Rachel, it looks like you had such an awesome time at ALA! I'm so sad I didn't get to go too! So lucky you got to meet Heidi, she's the sweetest! And that haul is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    -Nicole L

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  59. I'm really looking forward to BEA in May this year because that will be my first convention after starting to blog! It looks like so much fun and you get to meet so many people!

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