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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Recap: Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs and Veronica Rossi Book Signing in Manila. #VTRinPH

Yes, there's really a hashtag for the event. How awesome is that?

I didn't sleep much the previous night, because this was easily one of the most anticipated events in my YA book blogging/ book lover life. THREE New York Times bestselling authors in one event? National Bookstore just keeps on arranging these awesome events and now they've brought the big guns out with this! I've met Tahereh and Ransom the previous year, but what upped the excitement for me was the fact that I'd also get to meet THE Veronica Rossi herself. Filipinos have always been enthusiastic about events like this, and if you don't believe me, let me show you this:

At 10 am, the mall was open for about 10 minutes and I see this. PEOPLE! TONS OF PEOPLE!

I arrived at the venue with Leslie @ The Bibliophile Kid before Powerbooks even opened! I always look forward to meeting these wonderful authors up close and interacting with them and despite the lack of sleep, that got be going throughout the day. And I am always thankful for the chance given to me to be able to at least ask them questions about their works and the way they write. Couple that with the fact that I get to see my blogger friends again and I knew it was bound to be an amazing event!

And then they arrive, and I start shaking because that anticipation to see them seriously gets to you and when you see them up close, larger than life, you think "Oh my God, I love this author's book and now he/she's in front of me."

A quick rundown of things that happened:

- Before the Q&A started, Ransereh opted to share a mic. MY HEART! A few things had to be rushed so we started asking questions almost immediately. Ransom and Tahereh's flight arrived here in Manila at 4 am and they were clearly jetlagged, but we still had fun!
- We prepared shirts filled with quotes from the authors books and as Ransom said, it was clearly okay to check our bodies out.
- I had a chance to ask V. Rossi a VERY LONG question, and it was this: "Perry's from Outside and Aria's from Reverie and they were initially at odds with each other, with their own prejudices for each other to deal with, but then they realize that they aren't really different. When you were writing the novel, did you intend for your story to explore this particular kind of "social/cultural differences"?" And V. Rossi said yes, it was her intention from the start, and she wanted her characters to eventually deal with their differences themselves.
- V. Rossi has a new adult book coming out under the pen name Noelle August, and for her it started with a Skype conversation with a friend and they decided to write it. For her, it was a fun book to write and when asked if she had difficulties in transitioning from writing YA dystopian to NA, she said it wasn't, because the UtNS series has more of herself in it than her NA book.
- For those who are wondering if Tahereh knows who Juliette was going to end up with while she was writing the novel, she said she did. Hah!
- When asked which characters Tahereh would like to be friends with in their books, she said Kenji in her series, who is like a combination of her brothers, Roar from V. Rossi's series and Emma from Ransom's Miss Peregrine series.
- Ransom had a hard time answering this question: If his books were made into a picture, what picture would it be? He said it'll be a real heart, beating and with blood. (Creepy!)
- Ransom said he didn't really write controversial books, so when people disagree with what he's written, he still reads those messages!
- When asked what message V. Rossi wants her readers to get out of her UtNS series it was that she wanted her readers to take away the one they wanted to hear the most, but in the end there are two ideas: treat others well, love and kindness and that one can be happy and find happiness. Home, and the idea of it. Is it a place? The people in your life? Home means you.
- Also, people tend to say how Juliette is weak and whiny in the books, but Tahereh intentionally wrote her that way because she wanted people to see how she grows. Tahereh likes this idea of women who are physically weak but strong mentally, and that's what Juliette was.

(Thanks to Louisse of The Soul Sisters & Kate from The Bookaholic blurbs for some of the points from the rundown)

We also had the chance to have our books signed and we also got to take our pictures with these amazing authors. V. Rossi is really nice, and I like how both Ransom and Tahereh were still chatting with us despite being jetlagged!

More deets while they were signing:

- There were literally piles of books on V. Rossi's feet because she had a lot to sign! And I like how she puts messages in every single one of them, including a temp tattoo and a bookmark!
- When Ransom ran out of books to sign, he was waving around his silver sharpie and he said he wanted to sign more. We offered our shirts.
- Ransom calls it "defacing humans". Tahereh defaces books, he defaces humans!
- I wanted to make small talk with Tahereh, but when I was in front of her, I forgot what I was about to say. So glad she recognized me and remembered seeing me last year as well. And she's got awesome shoes and I love her Kate Spade bag that looks like a typewriter! (Check out Louisse's recap so you can see Tahereh's shoes!)

Also! I was wearing a shirt with a Tahereh quote and she signed it! And I ran over to V. Rossi and she signed my shirt too! Behold the awesomeness:

I wanted to go to the public signing with my fellow book blogger friends but in between the crowd and waking up real early just so I can be there in time to give out the shirts and register for the forum, I was too tired to try and squeeze myself in and battle with the sea of people. But you gotta see it! What a sight. There was more than 2000 people waiting in line just to have their books signed. Amazing!

Photo from Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs

Overall it was a day well spent with friends, book lovers and fellow bookworms. Laughing with these people and discussing our mutual passion for the books that we read is what I'm really looking forward to doing whenever we have a signing to attend. The perks is just the icing to the cake, and we're lucky to be able to get this chance to meet and talk to our favorite authors! I cannot thank you enough, National Bookstore, for organizing this!

Check out other signing recaps here:

Louisse of The Soul Sisters
Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs
Chyna of Lite-Rate-Ture
Jesselle of The Lifelong Bookworm
Hazel of Stay Bookish
Lyra of Defiantly Deviant
Kazhy of My Library in the Making

As an extra, if you don't mind dizzying videos and hearing me say "awww" and basically swoon at the three of them, check this video with a lovely message from the three of them:


  1. OMG. I couldn't sleep either! I was seriously so excited! xD Ransom and Tahereh were so cute together, I ship them together so much (almost as much as I ship Roar and I). <3 And Veronica Rossi is so pretty! Why do they all look good?! LOL Awesome post, Kai!! See you soon-ish!

    1. They're literally Gods and Goddess? I dunno, haha! Tahereh and V Rossi are like, glowing! And Ransom looks dapper. See you Louisse! <3

  2. Tahereh chose Emma from Miss Peregrine's! Not Jacob. :P Awesome post, Kai!

    1. Woops, si Emma ba? I remember her saying she loves Jacob and she loves Ransom too kasi. *feels* Thanks Sab! :D

  3. I am so envious of you guys! I wasn't able to get my name signed by the author because the coordinators actually forbid it in the public event. I was also really happy to have seen you in person! :)

    1. Hi Kevin! Were you the guy who was sitting there at the back? Near the forum's sign up table? I remember passing over that round couch and a guy was there reading. Was that you? You should've said hi! I didn't know you're tomebound pala. Hopefully we can meet na on Jenny Han's signing!

  4. 1) I MISS YOU
    3) Your smile in the fourth pic in the collage is absolutely pretty! You look glowing in your picture with the 3 of them too! And your hair looks really good <3<3<3<3<3
    4) Ate Louisse's pose in the second pic is disturbing. Someone stop her before she breeds...

    See you in June, yeah?

    1. MISS YOU TOO! <33333
      Thank you IG filters! They've done wonders with my hair and my teeth LOL
      And OMG Kayla! I'll tell Louisse! And you better be there at the Jenny Han signing. ;)

  5. Random thought of the day - I have always been, and will always be, in love with your layout. So simple and chic!


    Ack - not much photos with you! (This is what happens when you're always late, Lyra!) Also, see you next month for our summer getawaaaay! (We'll most probably eat in a restau at a mall but yeah still a getaway as far as I'm concerned!)

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

    1. Thanks, Ly!!! We need to catch up and talk about work stuff. When are you going on dayshift ba?
      And yeah... wow... aside from the group photo, I don't think we have a photo of just us lang. Eppp! That will be remedied next signing!


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