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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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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