Serena Takes Pasadena Loves YA!

5:34 PM Serena 2 Comments

Saturday I had the opportunity to go to Pasadena Loves YA at the Pasadena Public Library, which is a beautiful library by the way. I took one of my best friends with me, and it was her very first book fest/signing thing, so that was exciting. We had a lot of fun! 

First thing we did when we got to the area was go to Porto's because we needed fuel and Porto's is amazing. We took a couple sandwiches and potato balls (AMAZING STUFF, FRIENDS) to go for lunch. Then we headed to the library. 

We went to Vroman's pop-up store when we got to the library because my friend wanted to buy one of Morgan Matson's books. When we were done paying, we ran into Morgan Matson, and we discussed Porto's potato balls, as one does. And then it was time for the keynote! 

Mary McCoy, author of Dead to Me
Mary gave a very moving and inspiring speech about, among other things, what it means to her to be a youth librarian. There were misty eyes in the audience, mine included. 

After her keynote, it was time for the first panel of the day! My friend and I were a bit confused, but we just followed the crowd (up four flights of stairs!) to the space where the panel and signing were taking place. 

Morgan Matson, Sarah Tomp, Brandy Colbert, and Lauren Miller. 
The panel was called Second Chances, so the authors talked about second chances their characters are given. Lauren, who was the moderator, also asked what they would change about the book if they were given a second chance at writing it. Another thing they talked about was how they wrote. It was interesting to see that they all write in different places at different times of the day. Morgan rents a writing rents a writing office and writes for large chunks of time. Sarah writes early in the morning and throughout the day. Brandy writes between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. Lauren also writes in the morning. They opened the panel up to audience questions, and then it was signing time. 

Sarah Tomp, author of My Best Everything
I went to Sarah's line first, since it was the shortest. She was very sweet and super adorable, as you can see from the photo. And her signature is cute, too! 

I jumped back in Morgan's line after Sarah signed my book. Morgan's line was the longest of that signing time, but she was one of the two that BFF really wanted to get books signed by. Also, I just love Morgan, and I bought the new SYBG paperback so she'd have something to sign. ALSO, bonus scene! AHHH. 
It's always nice to chat with Morgan. 
Once that signing was over, we went back down to the auditorium to catch the tail end of the next panel. 

Victoria Aveyard, Alexis Bass, Virgina Boeker, and Kody Keplinger. 
This group of authors was so fun to watch together. There was talk of feathered dinosaurs and future books and lots of laughs. I watched part of it from the signing line because it was already getting long by the end of the panel. 

Myself and Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, among many other books. 
I told Kody my name was Serena, as in Van Der Woodsen, except I'm not really Serena Van Der Woodsen. That got us talking about Blair and then Blake Lively. Then of course we talked about how Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold's child is going to be the prettiest ever, and if her baby girl married one of Brangelina's kids or one of the Beckham kids, the world would have a second generation of ultra gorgeous celebrity children couples. It was awesome. Also, her guide dog is a beautiful German Shepard, and he was sooo cute. 

Then we ran back upstairs, so I could jump into Kiersten White's signing line. I just realized this morning that I forgot to have her sign my copy of My True Love Gave to Me, so darn! But YAY, I finally asked her to sign my copy of Illusions of Fate! 

Kiersten White created Finn, who I love dearly. 
And then I ran into Victoria Aveyard outside of the restroom. I asked her for a selfie, but OH NO, my phone died! But then a very nice lady working the event said she could take the picture and text it to me. Which she did! 

This is that photo. Me, Victoria Aveyard, author of Red Queen, and the women's restroom sign. 
Next was lunch time because food is important. They had snacks set out, but we ate our Porto's. Then we went back inside the auditorium to get good seats for the next panel. It was the one I personally had been waiting for all day. 

Ava Dellaira, Jennifer Niven, Liz Maccie, and Stephen Chbosky. (!!!)
The panel was called Tough Topics. Stephen opened by introducing everyone. He said that this was a cool panel because he was on it with his wife, Liz, and Ava who was his assistant for a few years. And then Jennifer who he had only just met. Jennifer said she was still recovering from her fangirling over Stephen outside. Me too, Jennifer. Me too. 

They talked about quite a few things, including their hardest scenes to write, what they would change about their books if they would change everything, and how they stayed honest to the tough topics they wrote about. The three ladies said there wasn't really anything they would change about their books, but Stephen said he would have had Charlie cry less and made him less sexually naive. They also talked about TV show obsessions. I appreciate that Jennifer is hardcore Supernatural fam. I can't really remember much more specifics because I was on the verge of tears the whole time and could not take notes. Perks and All the Bright Places are two of my favorite books, so just hearing the authors talk about them and getting emotional about them made me emotional. GAH. SO MANY FEELINGS. 

Next was the signing. We ended up towards the back of the line, but it was so worth the hour and fifteenish wait. I met Ava Dellaira and got a copy of Love Letters to the Dead signed. It just might be showing up in an upcoming giveaway *winks*. And then we met Stephen Chbosky who was so cool and nice. I was a bit starstruck. It was easier to talk to him after we told him that one of the books isn't for us, but for a friend who missed the event because of a marching band thing. He offered to film a video for her, and it was amazing. 

This is said video. (I hope it plays!) 

Stacie took this picture for us! Thanks, Stacie! 
And that was that! Pasadena Loves YA was a very cool event, and I'm hoping to be back next year too! 


  1. It looks like you had a great time at this event! So many great authors! (Some of them I very much hope to meet) Thanks for the awesome recap! :D

    ~Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!

    1. Thanks for always taking the time to read my recaps! I appreciate it. :)