Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fierce Reads Tour Stop: Wellesley Books, Wellesley MA

The Fierce Reads tour stop happened about fifteen minutes from my dorm room so, of course, I couldn't resist wandering into Wellesley Books and listening in on a chat that included Marie Rutkoski, whose The Winner's Kiss you'll all remember I raved about. Joining her were Cecilia Ahern, Sandy Hall, and Harriet Reuter Hapgood with Erin Bowman moderating the panel.

I didn't record everything these ladies said, but here were some of my thoughts and impressions of these impressive authors.

Cecilia Ahern

I haven't read anything by Cecilia Ahern but her work is extremely well-known. Her newest novel is a YA debut called Flawed and, I have to admit, at first I thought it was just like every other dystopian. A society where everyone has to be perfect? Where have we not read that before? But Flawed is set in present-day society and it's all about the judgement and pressure put on us by societal standards today. Ahern really won me over with her discussion of how she tried to make this relevant and thoughtful to teens today so I'm curious to see what other readers will make of this duology!

Sandy Hall

I'd heard of Hall's debut, namely its multiple POVs, and while I had (and still have) no interest in picking it up, I cannot deny that Hall is hilarious. Also, her upcoming novel sounds amazing and I am so excited to have snagged an ARC of it! It's all about two neighbors, guys, who become best friends when the one begins to fall for the other. Hall said she was inspired by Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" only wanted to write a love story with a gay guy and a bi guy instead. I'm all about this, you guys. I cannot wait to dig into the ARC!

Harriet Reuter Hapgood

I think The Square Root of Summer is Hapgood's debut and she really sold me on this. "It's about all the ways in which you can love and lose love," and that alone has me adding this to my TBR. Hapgood used to work in the fashion industry in England so her stories of writing this book on late-night bus rides and over the weekends in-between any spare time she got were so inspiring. I'm really curious to see how this is received and I definitely need to snag a copy for myself!

Marie Rutkoski

Marie is exactly as I imagined she would be. She is succinct and careful with her words, much like her prose, and she is fierce. I was instantly in love with her lipstick, her rare smiles and, yes, I can see how parts of her are within Kestrel. Rutkoski shared with us that Arin's name is the name of a friend she knew who was born while it rained. His parents made his name an anagram of rain and Marie thought it was perfect for Arin, too, who can be a calm drizzle or a tempestuous storm. She also shared that she has signed another book deal with Macmillan and that her next series will be linked to The Winner's Curse trilogy in some way. We won't be seeing Arin or Kestrel for awhile but the worlds are similar. She spoke a lot about how the world-building in The Winner's Curse was inspired by ancient Greece and Rome so I'm curious to see where the elements of her world come from in her upcoming series. I also loved how she spoke about how Kestrel and Arin's world is as real as ours--there's no magic or potions or spells--but the natural world is different, whether it be through the animals or poisons or weather. We're always cognizant that they belong to another realm but their difficulties, strengths, and weaknesses are all as human and mortal as our own.

I really enjoyed the panel tonight and a huge thank you to Wellesley Books for hosting! We got absolutely adorable bags, ARCs, and signed books (along with LOTS of cool swag and posters) so I left with far more than I brought in (which, lets be real, is the only way to ever leave a bookstore). Did any of you make it to a Fierce Reads tour stop this Spring? Which one of these books are you dying to read? Which of one these authors is your favorite? Let me know in the comments because I always need new books to add to my TBR! :)


  1. There wasn't a tour near me, sadly, but I'm glad you were able to go and you had a good time! I haven't read anything by Ahern but I have Love, Rosie and I want to read that soon. It's an adult novel but it's told in letters or emails, and I'm a sucker for those type of books! I haven't read anything by Hall yet either, but I am curious about her debut. Her next one sounds AMAZING!! I love LGBT+ novels.


  2. I'm always jealous of my American friends when something like this comes along, but at the same time, I'm so happy you were given a chance to meet these wonderful authors, especially Marie Rutkoski. And yes, I desperately want to read Sandy Hall's new book! This is the first I hear of it, but I'll do my best to get my hands on a copy asap.

  3. Oh what a great group of authors! Wish they had one close to me like this! How fun! Would love to talk to Marie Rutkoski since I finally got to read the second one in that trilogy. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Ahh you're so lucky, Keertana! we don't get much action like that in my city so I live vicariously through you lucky people. :) Also, that's some snazzy header. Love it!

  5. I had no idea that Ahern had written a YA novel. This is interesting news. I was thinking of picking up one of her adult novels. I guess I'll be picking up the YA novel instead.Thanks for your short review.

  6. I've always wanted to go to one of Fierce Reads events but their closest stop is ALWAYS 3 hours away from me. I am so glad that you got to go though and I love reading your sum up of the event!

    I am also 1000x more excited for Been Here All Along and kind of want to read it RIGHT NOW. I LOVE that it's inspired by you belong with me because the music video for that song is such great YA material!

    ALSO SOMEDAY, I will meet Marie Rutkoski (also still need to read TWC and I WILL) and it will be amazing!

    Thanks for sharing, Keertana! :)

  7. Oh awesome, Keertana! I'm always in awe of authors and their talent! Nice that you only had to walk 15 minutes to see this! I look forward to your thoughts on the books you picked up! :)

  8. P.S. Love the new blog header! :)

  9. So much fun! I only read Rutkoski but I loved the trilogy and I love the movies from the Cecilia even if I haven't read the books.

  10. I am pretty sure I saw Flawed at the library...must check!

  11. This looks like it was a wonderful time with some great authors :)

  12. You were so lucky to be able to visit such book event and meet these authors, Keertana! I’ve read several books by Cecilia Ahern (all of them released a decade ago). My absolute favorite by her is Love, Rosie. I’ve read it long before the movie. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, if not I recommend you to read the book first. It’s very heartfelt, sad but full of hope story. And the audiobook was really good. I haven’t picked Flawed, because I’ve seen some mixed reviews on her latest release.

    I was thinking about reading Sandy Hall’s latest release. I'm curious to see what you think about it.

    Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a new to me author, and I haven’t heard about The Square Root of Summer. I’ll check it out.

    I’ve just finished The Winner's Curse, and in truth find it problematic. But everyone say that this series gets better, so I plan to continue. I loved your description of Marie Rutkoski, I imagined her this way too.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Keertana. Your post made me thing about how authors’ personalities influence our reading choices. Being a foreigner I don’t meet authors, but I think I would pick up a book written by the author who charmed me.

  13. BlueHost is ultimately one of the best web-hosting company for any hosting plans you require.


I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.