Dark Days of Summer YA Book Tour

Monday night, I took my children to see the Dark Days of Summer author tour. As you may remember from my reviews here, my daughter and I have read

Veronica Roth, SJ Kincaid, Dan Wells and Aprilynne Pike signing books and meeting fans

Partials, by Dan Wells, and both Divergent and Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, so we were excited to be there, but the other two authors were new to us. However, there is nothing like a book tour for tearing money out of my wallet, right? So, we got to the event early and bought some books, and when we sat down to wait for the authors to come out on stage, I had no one to talk to–my daughter was heads down in Aprilynne Pike’s first book, Wings, and my son was clutching SJ Kincaid’s Insignia (although he was getting in a bit more 3DS time before the talk started–he just had a birthday, so he had new games, 😉 ). I was okay with this, however, because I had brought some crocheting and I got to eavesdrop on the people around us. Right in front of us were three girls that looked to be my daughter’s age or a bit younger–early teens–passionately discussing books. I loved it! They talked about the books featured on the tour, but they also discussed and recommended other books they had read and enjoyed. My favorite quote, about Gossip Girls, went something like this:

“I liked the first three books, but I felt like my brain was rotting as I read them. These, I had stuff to remember!”

These girls looked like any other cute young teens, not the geeky kind at all, but they were totally passionate about these books, and I loved them for it. They weren’t alone, either–I heard many other kids really getting into the merits of their favorite books.

The authors came out and dived right into the question and answer format, saying they wanted to talk about what we wanted to talk about. They had one quick caveat, though, asking us to please not direct all of the questions to Veronica, because they all had interesting things to say. They were right, too, it was a great discussion.

I had not actually heard of Aprilynne Pike before, because fairies are not my thing at all, but she was a great speaker. She was funny and seemed like the kind of person who I would love to hang out with, which I think is a good sign when deciding whether to read a writer’s books. My daughter has been reading Wings, and she says it is amazing and we need to get the rest of the series right away, so I will definitely be giving these books a try.

Insignia is SJ Kincaid’s first book, so she was not as comfortable on stage as the rest of the group, but my son reports that her book is awesome, and he tried to argue when I pointed out that his sister and I would be reading his copy as well–”But it is my book! She signed it to me!” We reassured him that it does in fact belong to him, but we were still going to be reading it!

Dan Wells was really funny and interesting. He described Partials as a take on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica (with a better ending) with Hermione as the main character (as she really should have been in Harry Potter). It was awesome! He pointed out that Hermione really did all the stuff and figured everything out, but Harry got all the credit, so he made his smart main character girl the real main character of the book. I love that. He also talked a bit about making villains relatable in response to a question from the audience, and he did it so well, I ended up buying I am Not a Serial Killer, and reading it compulsively until I was finished the next day. I am even more excited about Isolation, the Partials world novella that is coming out next month now.

Veronica Roth was just as much fun as I expected from reading her blog. She is an awesome combination of dorky and authoritative. When everyone was talking about their favorite books, she was adorably dorky when she said she was going to talk about Harry Potter because <wordless fan squeal while falling on the table>. But when she was talking about writing, she was confident and so interested in what she was saying, she forgot to be self-conscious.

All of the authors were great during the signing, talking to fans and generally being gracious and even more interesting. When I told Roth about going to work on four hours of sleep after reading Divergent, she ducked her head, smiled evilly and said “The sinister part of me really likes to hear that.” Wells and Pike handed out bookmarks, temporary tattoos and other small swag stuff. Kincaid was clearly enjoying getting to meet her readers. No one had really read her book–it officially came out the day after the event–but there was a lot of excitement about it.

If I am any indication book tours like this are a definite win for authors and bookstores–I bought 3 books at the event, and I just bought another one from Wells while researching this article: A Night of Darker Blackness. I have plans to buy more of the books by these authors, too.  My kids are more excited about reading these books than they were before we went, especially my son, who has to be coaxed away from his 3DS and other activities a bit more than his sister does.

Have you read any of these books? Do you like to go to author book tours?