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The North Texas Teen Book Festival is Only 12 Days Away!

On Saturday, March 4 over 80 authors will be in Irving for a free day-long event. This event is called the North Texas Teen Book Festival (NTTBF). While you can find most of this information at nttbf.org and on the NTTBF Twitter feed (@NTTBFest), I might have some more experienced information and tips that can help your day run a lot more smoothly.

So on Valentine’s Day, the NTTBF released its program, which means it’s time to start deciding which sessions you want to go to.

As someone who has been going to the NTTBF since it first started, here is some of my advice:

1) Plan which sessions you want to go to ahead of time and write down all the information.

2) Plan a back up session for each hour because you never know which ones will get full before you get there and you won’t be allowed in.

3) Don’t be upset if the session you wanted to go to is full. Last year, a friend and I couldn’t get into the big “To the Silver Screen” one, so we popped into a very small one about graphic novels. The guy who invented Poptropica was there, and he drew a guy who fell asleep in the first row. He gave the drawing to him, and we all had a good laugh. (Also, some of the authors were kind enough to sign my books beforehand too, but don’t expect that to happen to you.) It was the best session we attended all day!

4) Food isn’t allowed during the sessions, so pick an hour to go eat. There is a great outdoor area on the second floor (I believe), which is shaded and wasn’t all that crowded last year. Also, it was fun to look at the HUGE line of school buses literally stretching into the distance. The food lines are long, expensive, and basic (banana for $3! Stuff like that), so I recommend bringing your own. And bring a lot of good food, because books are heavier then you think, especially when you are carrying them around all day. I guess you could leave for lunch, but good luck finding a parking spot again.

5) Buy every one out of three books there. (In other words, for every two books you bring, buy one there.) The books are sold new by Half Price Books, so it’s not like you are paying $20 a book. Buying books there keeps admission and signings free, which I always appreciate. I tend to buy books for my younger siblings for future birthday presents, mostly because not only am I in a family that reads a lot, but they tend not to cost as much and because lines for those particular authors are pretty short. Also, here is the list of books being sold there.

6) If you are bringing several books, or if you know that one author’s line is going to be long, don’t go to the 3:00 session and instead get in line. There is one big line that goes into where the authors are signing, which is then divided into smaller lines for each author. Last year, the line was so long that it went outside and around the building. And remember, this IS Texas, so outside isn’t always… pleasant. Even in March. Point being, get in line early so you don’t end up in the outside part. Also, if you are outside, don’t plan on having time to get all of your books signed. Pick your favorites, note which authors have shorter lines, and go.

7) Some authors (like Marie Lu and Veronica Ross) require you have a special ticket in order to have a book signed by them, which are handed out during the day. Don’t count on being able to get these tickets, though. They run out fairly quickly, even if you run to get in line from the floor above.

8) This is basically an all day event. If you can go with your friends, great! If you can carpool, even better! But you WILL be both tired and hungry by the end of the day, so going out to eat is a perfect way to wind down and to gloat with your friends.

 

These are just a few tips I picked up in my travels, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I can only help, after all.

–Anne

 

 

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Teen Writing Group 

Teen Writing Group is always lots of fun because you get to talk to other people writing stories like you. We had a prompt at the beginning of the meeting about the location on your GPS changing and there was someone there waiting for you. No one has the exact same style of writing so it was cool seeing how our minds would take this. Somehow we ended up with a few Doctor Who references, but as they say great minds think alike. After that we got to work. Heather passed out character charts for us to develop our characters. All in all, it was a great meeting. Hope you come to the next one!

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The North Texas Teen Book Festival is Only 6 Months Away!

Yeah yeah, I know, that’s a long time. The author list doesn’t even come out until November or December, so why are you bringing it up now?

Wait. Okay, let me backtrack. You don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?

The North Texas Teen Book Festival is a yearly event in Irving, Texas. A bunch of authors show up (like, 50+ of ’em) and they get put in groups for decisions based around their books. And we get to watch! Admission is free, AND they do book signings afterwards (also free).

Some reasonable famous authors have showed up in the past. So. Great.

I have a crazy amount of books signed because of this. Wanna see?

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The book where you can’t see the spines I got signed elsewhere. So yeah, it’s a pretty decent portion of my  collection.

Now, the reason I’m bringing this up so early is because they have some volunteer options to help get things ready starting this November. You can get some book swag and volunteer hours and meet other book lovers.

You can find the details at http://www.northtexasteenbookfestival.com/bffs/

In the coming months I’ll be sure to update you on the NTTBF, but until then, hope to see you in Irving!

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Insert the Theme Music from Law & Order Here

rffingerprintIn case you don’t know, Law & Order is a show that’s been on for a billion years, it’s almost always playing on USA at any time of day, and your favorite actor has probably made an appearance on it at some point.

L&O aside, we love crime shows. There are so many of them, and they’re all the same but different. Whether the dead body is in LA, New York, Miami, Vegas, or Hawaii, we love the mystery and we love the characters. That’s why September’s Random Fandom celebrates the upcoming seasons of all crime shows.

BTW, Random Fandom is THURSDAY at 4 p.m. One of you will play the dead body, one of you will be the killer, and the rest of you will have to figure it out before you run out of time in this special murder mystery based on our favorite crime show characters.

If you need to get into the mood, go to your Netflix queue and watch a few episodes of CSI or NCIS, listen to the mystery of an actual crime on Serial, or check out one of these books: Continue reading

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Let’s Review: The Weight of Feathers

 

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Isn’t that such an interesting cover? Too bad the story inside wasn’t as great. Because I’m trying to blog all of the books I read for the Hub Challenge (in the spirit of The Weight of Feathers, número tres es completa/numéro trois est terminée. Thanks, Google Translate.), I’m posting about a book I didn’t particularly care for. But…

I’m old, so if you get that reference, good on you! Check the book out for yourself. It’s a 2016 finalist for the Morris Award for debut authors. Click below to see my full review (copied from my Goodreads because I’m lazy like that).

♥ Heather, Youth Services Librarian

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Let’s Review: The Vault of Dreamers

❥Storyline: The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there. (Goodreads) Continue reading

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Let’s Review: Girl Online

❥Storyline: Girl Online follows a 15-year-old blogger who travels on a surprise trip to New York City with her family. While there she meets a boy who changes her life. She can’t stop thinking about him, and for the few weeks that she’s there they’re inseparable. Everything’s going fine, but what she doesn’t expect is for this boy to have a secret and for this secret to threaten not only her blogging life, but her personal life too. Continue reading

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Let’s Review: Panic

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Storyline: Growing up in Carp, New York, nothing really happens of interest, except for the game Panic. Each summer, graduating seniors play life threatening, thrilling games, set up by anonymous judges for a large sum of money. Heather and Dodge each decide to play Panic. For them the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most. Continue reading

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Let’s Review: Vampire Academy Short Stories

If you have not already read the Vampire Academy series there may be some spoilers below.

This post is a review for the two short stories in the Vampire Academy series, The Meeting and Homecoming.

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❥Storyline: The Meeting is a retelling of a scene from the first book of the Vampire Academy series, as told from Dimitri’s point of view.

❥Opinion: This was a very very very short piece, but it was great to hear things from Dimitri’s point of view for once! I loved getting to find out exactly what he was thinking when he first set eyes on Rose. Just having the opportunity to be inside Dimitri’s mind was amazing! Reading this makes me wish that Richelle had alternated the POVs of the series between Dimitri and Rose!

❥My favorite quote: “She might be unarmed, but Rose Hathaway was in possession of many weapons.”

❥Rating ★★★★½

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❥Storyline: Homecoming starts off immediately after Last Sacrifice where Rose and Dimitri are going back to Russia to see Dimitri’s family, something that both of them deeply need. Dimitri has finally been restored into a dhampir, after being forcibly changed into strigoi. His family desperately needs to see him for themselves, and Rose needs to go back to Russia and face her trauma from the trip she made before.

❥Opinion: It has been a while since I read the Vampire Academy series for the first time, but when I heard about this story I knew I couldn’t wait to read it. Homecoming was cute, in the way that most things involving Rose and Dimitri are. It gives the reader another glimpse into the life that Rose and Dimitri share after Last Sacrifice (with more detail about the two of them than we are given in the Bloodlines series). But if you are looking for anything “new” in this short story then you’ll be disappointed; I was expecting more out of it. However, it was just a short story about a new strigoi killing adventure involving Rose and Dimitri. There are no new problems that the couple must face or anything else like that, but really you can’t really expect much from a 40 page story. This story really is just a conclusion to the original series. But I am glad that I took the half hour to read this add-on to Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, with a rather emotional end to Rose and Dimitri.

❥Rating ★★★½

If you want to read some of Richelle Mead’s books, you can check them out here!

 

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Carry On (My Wayward Simon)

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You know, recently some of my favorite bands had comebacks, and I told a friend of mine that I was screaming about it, and to that, she said I was “perpetually screaming.” As I write this now, I see she was right; there’s always something for me to scream about.

Today, it’s Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

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