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May 24, 2016

A BookTuber at BookCon --- Guest Post by Teen Board Member Brynn S.

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For the past three years, readers and authors alike have looked forward to BookCon, an event where storytelling and pop culture collide. Each year, authors, publishers, celebrities and creators converge with readers to discuss the latest trends in storytelling and the future of reading with fellow booklovers. In addition to panels and signing opportunities, BookCon features Q&As, storytelling podcasts, special screenings, literary quiz shows and, of course, the chance to meet fellow readers and make tons of new friends. Teen Board Member Brynn S. attended BookCon in Chicago this year and told us a bit about her experience --- which sounds like a blast!

Teenreads.com: Who did you attend Bookcon with?

Brynn S.: I attended BookCon with my mom! She is a teacher and loves books just like I do, so she always enjoys going to events like BookCon. Also, she was awesome enough to wait in lines for events for me when I needed it. I also met up with a bunch of my friends that I met through Booktube there!

TRC: What panel or event were you looking forward to the most?
 
Brynn: I was definitely looking forward to the First in Line event the most! It had a bunch of exclusive ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) like GEMINA, the sequel to ILLUMINAE, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon and HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE by Jennifer Niven. These were all books I’ve been really looking forward to, especially GEMINA, so I was eager to get my hands on them!

TRC: What panels did you attend? How did you choose these instead of the others?

Brynn: I went to the Friendship is Magic panel, where Sarah J. Maas, Victoria Aveyard, Alexandra Bracken and Susan Dennard talked about female friendship. I also went to the Booktube Panel, where Christine from polandbananasbooks, Kat from katytastic and Jesse from jessethereader all talked about Booktube. I picked the Friendship is Magic panel because it was jam-packed with tons of authors I admire and they are all my friendship goals. They are basically the best friend group of YA, so I really wanted to see them all together. Going to the Booktube panel was an easy choice too since I’m a booktuber myself.

TRC: Which was your favorite? Why?

Brynn: This is a hard question! I liked both panels for different reasons. If I had to pick a favorite, I would pick Friendship is Magic because the authors were all funny and hearing them talk about female friendship was very interesting.

TRC: Were there any authors who surprised you or shared something unexpected? Who and why?

Brynn: I always thought Morgan Matson seemed super nice, but she really surprised me when I met her! She was even nicer than I expected, if that’s possible. She was so sweet and caring. Even though there was a line, she still took time to have a conversation with everyone!

TRC: What was your best unexpected encounter with an author or fan?

Brynn: ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is my favorite book of all time. I’m a little more obsessed with it than the average reader. I got an ARC of it last year at Bookcon and then tweeted about it so much because of how much I loved it (without even tagging the authors). They saw the tweets anyway and that began the first conversation of many. Even though they recognized me when I saw them this past fall, I was still surprised to see them recognize me again in their signing line! It’s just so crazy having an author know your name and know you without you telling them.

TRC: Were there other panels that you wish you could have attended?

Brynn: There weren’t many other panels I wish I could have gone to, but there were so many more signings I wish I had the chance to go to. For example, I would have loved to see Leigh Bardugo, but didn’t have the chance.

TRC: And of course, the books! Tell us some of the books that you came away wanting to read after BookCon.

Brynn: GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (to nobody’s surprise) and THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon. I already got around to reading both of these and loved them! I highly recommend picking them up when they come out in the fall. Also, THE SECRET KEEPERS by Trenton Lee Stewart. I read his other series when I was a kid and loved it, so I was so excited to hear he had a new book.

TRC: What book would you encourage your friends to read after your hearing from the author?

Brynn: Any book by Alexandra Bracken! I already recommend her often, but hearing her talk at a panel would make me recommend her even more. She is very intelligent, which reflects in her books beautifully. The relationships between the characters she writes are enjoyable and unforgettable.

TRC: What’s your best memory of the day?

Brynn: As I mentioned earlier, I have a BookTube channel (brynnsbookshelf)! To my complete surprise, two people recognized me from my channel while I was at BookCon! One of them even asked me for a picture. The whole experience was really surreal and blew my mind. I knew I had subscribers before who watched me, but seeing who they are behind the screen was amazing.

TRC: Any additional thoughts?

Brynn: BookCon was super fun this year! I was so excited to hear that it is moving back to New York City next year, which is much closer to where I live. I am already counting down the days. Overall, I feel so lucky that I got to go this year, even though it required traveling a much farther distance. All of my closest friends from BookTube that I’ve been talking to for a long time got to come too, so it was surreal meeting them all in person. I’m already wishing I could go back!