The Boston Teen Author Festival Is A Book-Lover's Paradise

The Boston Teen Author Festival Is A Book-Lover's Paradise

My adventure at a hidden gem of a book convention.
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One day I was scrolling through one of my book-related facebook groups and saw a few people talking about book conventions that they were going to.

I decided to look up book festivals near me and found a listing for one taking place in Cambridge in September. It was already the second week in September so I was thinking that the event had already passed and I could plan to go next year. So I clicked on the event and saw that it was not the coming weekend but the next weekend. I then looked at the lineup for the panel and saw that not only did they have 40 authors coming, they had quite a few popular YA authors like Leigh Bardugo and Victoria Aveyard. I then went to check the cost of the event and saw the best part of the event; it was free! Cue the storm of cap-lock texts that I sent to my best friend. We both freaked out because some of our favorite authors were going and we could go meet them. We planned out how we were getting there and waited for the day to come.

The day of the event finally arrived. We had all the books that we wanted signed picked out and packed and a general idea of what panels we wanted to attend. We arrived at the venue early like many other bookworms who were attending the con. Once the door finally opened, we were funneled through the venue past a goodie table and towards the auditorium for the first panel. All of the authors were seated on stage, while the attendees filled the auditorium. Once everyone was settled, the moderator introduced the event and then had the authors introduce their books in one sentence. Two of my personal favorites were Leigh Bardugo’s talking about Wonder Woman (“It is Wonder Woman but Diana finds a woman instead of Chris Pine.”) and Jason Reynold’s talking about Miles Morales: Spiderman (“It's Spiderman.”). After the initial introduction, the moderator asked questions like; “what superlative would your character have had in high school?” “what would your character have in his or her locker?” “Would your seventeen-year-old-self be friends with your protagonist?” and “Which fictional character from another series would your character take to prom?”. It allowed for the audience to get to know the authors and their books in a way that many people wouldn’t normally think of. After the initial introduction panel, the authors split up into groups of 4-5 for smaller panels based on their newest book. My friend and I went to two panels: Their Dark Materials featuring Traci Chee (The Reader), Linsey Miller (Mask of Shadows), Rin Chupeco (The Bone Witch), and Amanda Foody (Daughter of the Burning City) where they discussed what made their books “dark” (and defining what dark meant to them) and some of the research that went into writing their book, and In a World featuring Rhoda Belleza (Empress of a Thousand Skies), Axie Oh (Rebel Seoul), Cindy Pon (Want), and Gregory Scott Katsoulis (All Rights Reserved) where they talked about the challenges of writing Sci-fi books and some of the aspects that go into publishing a book including cover design.

After an afternoon of panels came my favorite part: the author signing. Before the signing, I ended up spending an hour in line talking with the other people around me and people who were promoting their business (I got a few really cool freebies from it and found more bookish stores to support). After the wait, we entered the area where all of the authors were set up to do signings and got into line for the authors we wanted to see. I decided to only go to three authors (which is my only regret because I had enough time to go to more than that) and I hopped in line for Leigh Bardugo since her line was the longest. After awkwardly fumbling for words while she signed my book, I moved on to one of my favorite Sci-fi authors, Rhoda Belleza. Since her line was shorter I was able to talk to her a bit more than I was able to talk to Bardugo. I told her about how I got her book in my Fairyloot box and we made some jokes while she signed my book (and messed up spelling cheers which made me love it even more!). Then I moved on to get my copy of Mask of Shadows signed by Linsey Miller and thanked her for writing the book the way she did (if you like assassin’s read this book, it is so good).

This place was pretty much a paradise for someone who is a bookworm like me. Not only did I get to meet some of my favorite authors but I was able to find out about books that I normally would not have known about. If you think that you might be interested in attending next year, check out their website here!

Cover Image Credit: Boston Teen Author Festival

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If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
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With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Board Games Are More Important Than You Think They Are

They've become a defining part of my family.

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Remember when you were a kid and you'd have a family game night? Or your friends would come over and you'd open the game cabinet and play at least three different games together?

Maybe it's just me, but those are some of my best memories from my childhood. My family loves games, board games, and electronic games.

Of course, as I got older, gaming consoles like PlayStation and Wii became more and more popular. That meant that the game cabinet was opened less and less, collecting dust.

Thankfully, I live in New Jersey near the shore and Hurricane Sandy left my family with no power for five days. Sure, it was scary not having power and walking around my neighborhood seeing fallen trees or roof shingles, but we were inland enough to not have had any flood water damage.

No power also meant no PlayStation or Wii games. The gaming cabinet was opened again, this time with vigor. Now, four years later, and I still think about sitting in the dark with a flashlight playing Scrabble with my family.

That was also the week I learned how to play Yahtzee and dominated my dad in every game. My sister constantly was looking for someone to play her to Battleship. We exhausted Rummikub.

The game was already a family favorite, and that's including extended family. Family barbeques had been ending with late night games of Rummikub for at least a year by the time Sandy hit.

We were ready to strategize and crunch numbers, but after day three, we never wanted to a number ever again.

This semester, there's been a surge of board game love again in my family. My sister bought Jenga, which we are currently trying to exhaust ourselves with. My favorite board game also had a comeback: Life.

I loved this game so much that I had the SpongeBob version as a kid. I would play it with my best friend, just the two of us, playing game after game of Bikini Bottom themed Life. Now, I have a car full of "kids" that I've started to make pets in my head. I can handle having five pretend dogs, but not five pretend kids.

I don't know what it is about board games, but my family has always had an affinity for them. We've gone through our cycles of playing video games and card games, but we always come back to the classics. Maybe it's more a defining part of my family than I originally thought.

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