My First Book Tour
A revolution. A kick-butt female protagonist. A feuding royal family. Betrayal after betrayal.
Dystopian YA novels have grown increasingly popular in the last two decades. With books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, this genre has a huge franchise in not only books but movies and merchandise. Fandoms appear seemingly overnight and consume those within.
While YA is “Young Adult,” as a 26-year-old, I still prefer these books over all others. YA books are typically more fast-paced and easy to read, but they still hold deep messages. These books are relatable and powerful. They’re inspiring, helpful, and usually an escape from reality.
A revolution. A kick-butt female protagonist. A feuding royal family. Betrayal after betrayal. This describes many YA dystopian books, but in particular, it describes the plot of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Red Queen came out in 2015, with a sequel releasing each subsequent year. The last book of the series, War Storm, was released May 15 of this year.
I began reading this series in 2016, a few months after the second one, Glass Sword, was released. Red Queen had been on my TBR list for a year, but I hadn’t read it (this was before I became a true bibliophile and consumed books like it was my job). My school’s online book club chose Red Queen as its book of the month sometime around August 2016 (give or take a month). Now, at the time, I typically did not just buy books I hadn’t read at least part of, but I knew I was going to love this one. So, I bought hardback copies of both. AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!
This series is one of my absolute favorites. It’s intriguing and intense, and it literally has all of my favorite elements in it. It was like hitting the book jackpot.
Cut to 2018 and the final book. Funny story: I preordered the book in November 2017. A couple months ago, the book tour was announced, and Indiana was listed as one of the six stops in the country. I was beyond excited; authors I love never come here (other than John Green, but he lives here so it doesn’t count. I still haven’t seen him, though). Without knowing if I had a ride, I registered for the event and got tickets because it was free. Because I was one of the first 100 to register, I was told I’d get a free copy of War Storm for her to sign. So, I canceled my Amazon order. Or so I thought. When I found out you had to have a library card for the county the event was taking place, so I preordered the book again. Well, sure enough, I ended up with two copies from Amazon, went to the event, and was given the free one. There are now three copies of War Storm sitting next to me.
If there’s anything I learned this year it is to just go for it. Make those memories and have good time. Leave the stress of life behind once in a while.
All that is beside the point though. As I wrote about before, I recently started a website all about book reviews. Finding out about this tour shortly after it was up felt like a sign. I had never met an author before, let alone one of my favorites.
The event was held at a middle school, which took about an hour and a half to get to. They had a little set up on a stage in a cafeteria, with rows of chairs facing it. On stage was Victoria Aveyard, Francesca Zappia (author of Eliza and Her Monsters, which I already had as well), and a moderator. They answered questions, and talked about their books, publishing, and, of course, “booktube” and the book community. There was even a moment of Harry Potter references when the moderator asked, “which house do you think you’d be in?” in referral to the family houses in Red Queen. Victoria started to answer before realizing it was her book being referred to, not Harry Potter. “Oh, I was going to say Slytherin,” got a lot of laughter from the crowd.
Overall, the chat was extremely inspirational and basically just awesome. As someone who just joined the book community, who is working toward starting a “booktube” channel, it was great hearing their positive feedback and opinions. As someone writing her own fictional series, it was inspirational to hear firsthand that it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years sometimes to be published, and a lot of hard work.
We then got to meet both authors and get our books signed. Like I said, I had never met any authors before, but I have met several bands and musicians, as well as some actors at Indiana Comic Con this past March. Every time I meet someone, I freak out a bit; I can barely say more than “hi” to them usually. This was different, though. I actually spoke to Victoria, had a short conversation, and it was fantastic! She asked if I had started reading it yet, to which I told her I had only about 150 pages left.
It was a lot of fun. I really hope to continue going to events like this! If you get the opportunity to do something like this, do it. If there’s anything I learned this year it is to just go for it. Make those memories and have good time. Leave the stress of life behind once in a while.