Storycrush Recap + Giveaway

Out of all the tours out there, the Storycrush tour is a tour after my own heart — all about contemporary YA. I love me other genres of course but you know this is my one true love. So when I heard that Storycrush was coming to the Philly burbs I wrangled book club and we made a date of it. And I mean…the author lineup was fantastic with a mix of newer debut authors and established authors.

Who was there you may ask? Lauren Oliver, Courtney C. Stevens, Melissa Kantor, Katie Cotugno and Robyn Schneider.


If you don’t know who they are/what their books are about, I got the chance to hang out with them for a while (wasn’t able to get there in time to do an interview with them!) and asked them to give you a synopsis of their book in 6 words or less.


Storycrush Books in 6 Words Or Less (Aren’t They All Adorable?)

The event:

The event took place at a Barnes and Noble that I’ve been to quite a lot because I used to live in that area during college and they host some great events there. When book club and I arrived it was already busy busy busy! I had the honor of being the official Storycrush live blogger — basically I live tweet the event until my fingers fall off. Very frantically because they have so much good stuff to say. I got to meet them before the event and I seriously loved every single one of them — so sweet and charming and fun! I knew it was going to be an energetic panel.

And an energetic panel it was — lots of laughs, really genuine conversations about their writing process and certain aspects of their books, great advice and wonderful questions from the audience. It was the kind of panel where I was DYING to get to the books I hadn’t read yet based on their answers and the non-spoilery discussion of their books and it gave new life and dimensions to the books I had read already. It was so apparent even from just talking to book club that we were all excited about various books now because of the panel. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, tour! It was one of my favorite panels of authors ever!

photo 2Book club with Lauren Oliver

Most LOL-worthy Moment

Either when Alison (publicist & moderator) called Ezra an “old grumpy man” when asking Robyn Schneider a question and Robyn said, “ummm well he’s kind of autobiographical.” (Seriously we were all dying). Or when an audience member started having a coughing/choking fit and got up (she took it all in stride!) and Lauren Oliver had just started speaking and she’s like, “Did I scare you off already??”

Best Writing Advice Given:

They all had a lot of great things to say — know there are ups and downs, don’t try to write how everyone else does/how you think you should, don’t take rejection letters as an “I hate this” but know it could mean many more things, etc. But my favorite piece of advice was from Courtney C. Stevens when she said, “Wear a cone of shame (you know those things dogs wear) — don’t look to the left or to the right trying to see what everyone else has.” I think that’s a good life lesson to in comparison and trying to make your own path. Your path is your own and isn’t the same as others.

Most Interesting Fact I Learned:

I totally didn’t know that Lauren Oliver started out for many years, before she wrote Before I Fall, writing a lot of adult books that she described as books talking about nothing for a zillion pages and pretty boring. The panel members all joked, “Pretty much what adult fiction IS!” Got a good laugh out of that!

Also, Courtney C. Stevens accent is adorable.

Most Exciting Moment:

Well besides meeting them I would say getting a postcard for Lauren Oliver’s new book (an adult fiction book!):

photo 1gffds

Question I Loved The Most:
What Was Your Favorite Scene to Write?

Lauren Oliver (Panic): A tiger scene!

Robyn Schneider (The Beginning Of Everything): A silent disco flashmob scene. (Also, a sex scene with an interrupting poodle? hahah)

Katie Cotugno (How To Love): A kissing scene that happens because it was a very high, wonderful moment for the character and then it is followed by a low low. (OMG I started How To Love after the tour and THAT SCENE. Devastating.)

Melissa Kantor (Maybe One Day): A scene where Zoe and Olivia talk about what happens when you die. (That scene!!)

Courtney C. Stevens (Faking Normal): A tent scene where Alexi really lets go and opens up.

Something I Learned About Each Book/Author That Made Me Want To Read It/Gave New Depth To What I Read:

1. Panic: I loved learning about Panic and I was interested to hear that Lauren Oliver thought as a high schooler she would have totally have played the game of Panic because was reckless and didn’t care about life back then. It sounds exciting and crazy and I can’t wait to read it!

2. Faking Normal: I think Courtney C. Stevens is one of the most wonderful and inspiring human beings ever. A lot of what she talked about added more to my reading experience but her and I had an interesting chat about how so often discussions of faith and God happen in YA in a way that isn’t preaching. I really appreciated that about her book because as a YA I felt like I was constantly questioning life and if God existed and why God lets bad things happen, etc. It was a wonderful side convo with her and I really enjoyed getting to know her!

3. Maybe One Day: I loved hearing how Melissa came to all of her ballet details in the book. Melissa had a friend’s daughter who had been in that competitive world and had the same kind of thing happen to her with getting cut from the program and so she talked to her a lot and drew upon her research! Love well researched details like that!

4. The Beginning Of Everything: It was so nice to see Robyn again. She is so delightful. I totally didn’t even KNOW that there was a huge Gatsby thread in her book and I’m so intrigued now. She was talking about how in high school people said they hated reading but suddenly everyone’s favorite book was the Great Gatsby on Facebook. She also said it’s a book that she thinks gets so misread in ways but a lot of people connect with and she wanted to explore that. I am intrigued about Ezra and his connection to Great Gatsby.

5. How To Love: I had to read this book immediately after this tour and finished it in a day and a half. I loved that Katie was inspired by the fact that she went to Catholic school growing up and every year there would always be a couple girls who would just disappear from school and then be back like 9 months later. She wanted to explore their story because she was always so curious.


Thanks to HarperTeen 1 very lucky winner will get a copy of the following:

– Panic by Lauren Oliver
– How To Love by Katie Cotugno
– Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stephens
– Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
– The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider


– US Only.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter. Please have a parent or someone older do it for you if you are not.
– Giveaway winner will be contacted via email. You have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I remember reading your live tweets — it sounds like such a fun and successful tour! I’ve been eyeing FAKING NORMAL and MAYBE ONE DAY for a while now, and just reading about how this went makes me very curious.

  2. Sounds fun! I wish this tour came near me. Thanks for the giveaway I’m dying to read some of these!

  3. I am so EXTREMELY excited about this giveaway! Thanks for always being so awesome!

  4. Oh my gosh I wish I could have went!!! I didn’t even know about it! Sounds like you had fun! I’m actually listening to the Maybe One Day audio book currently. I’m about halfway through and its really good. Sad but good. 🙂

  5. OMG so much fun!! And Lauren Oliver!!! So exciting! It’s interesting that she’ll be writing adult now!

    Hahahha I know what Katie means. Went to a Catholic school and that’s what all the talk was about too. Crazy gossip mongrels!

  6. What a fun event! I am excited for Lauren Oliver’s new book and that quote about writing is awesome!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  7. I hadn’t heard of a couple of these-now I can’t wait to read them! I have Panic coming to me soon from a friend. I’m so excited to read it!

  8. Oh wow….this looks like so much fun! Do they do these tours throughout the year? Hoping that I can find one in the Boston area sometime this year! Thanks for such a great post and giveaway!

  9. I read Panic already and I liked it although not as much as I thought I would. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Story Crush books also.

  10. Just reading your recap makes me wish I was there and makes me want to read the books even more.

  11. I wish they would have gone to Miami. 🙁 Im glad you had a great time and thanks for the pics and recap!

  12. Wow this sounds like it was so much fun! Wish I could have been there 🙁

    I’m definitely going to check out these books! Especially How To Love, I’ve read bad reviews for it, but this post and you review have made me curious.

    I’m currently reading The Beginning of Everything, and it’s interesting so far, I can see the Gatsby thing going on a bit.

  13. I think I have a girl crush on Robyn Schneider. I know that she is a huge Doctor Who fan like I am. I am so intrigued by her book too. *Crosses Fingers*

  14. Shelly S. says:

    Oh, how exciting! I love Lauren Oliver and am so excited to read Panic! More books for my wishlist! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. The tour sounds like it was so much fun. I have not read any of these books yet but they are all on my tbr list. Now I feel like bumping them up on the list though after reading this. Especially The Beginning of Everything and Panic.

  16. Great recap! I am so jealous of those of you who had tour stops in your area. Courtney is a good friend of mine, so I’ve read FAKING NORMAL, but hearing her talk about the other books made me really excited to read all of them! Glad it sounds like it was an awesome panel!

  17. That tour looked amazing! I love that you want to talk to the authors more now that you spoke with/heard them talk about their books!

  18. Tiffany says:

    What a fun event! I would love to go to something like this, guess I’ll have to search around for one in California!

  19. So jealous! It sounds like it was a ton of fun. 🙂

  20. That sounds awesome, i saw that the tour was coming to my favorite bookstore that i used to go to when i lived in atlanta and i was jealous. Now, even moreso. Love the cone of shame advice- definitely going to remember that.

  21. I’m so glad you got to go! I enjoyed reading your live tweets during the event as well. I was supposed to be going to the Decatur, Ga stop but something came up and I wasn’t able to make it. 🙁 I love the writing advice, I definitely need to put on a cone of shame so I can get my story revised. Thanks for sharing Jaime!

  22. Woooooooo dawwwgy!! Look at these beauties!! That was such a fun event, but I only walked away with 1 book. I really wanted them all though. I can’t wait to win them!! After talking to you about How To Love I’m super anxious to get reading it!! I hope I love Sawyer.

  23. Camille says:

    These sound so, so good! I love the things they talked about in the panel and all the fun facts about the books and the authors! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  24. Definitely LOVED Lauren’s response to the poor girl that started choking in the beginning. That was great. Loved this tour, great giveaway. I can’t wait to read all these books too, especially after the authors’ discussions about them. 🙂

  25. That sounds like a really fun night! I would have loved to gone to this event!

  26. Man, this tour sounds SO awesome. What a good write up, as well!! I love that we got a real feel for what it was like to be there. Thank you!

    • Thank you! I’ve been trying to really change up how I do event recaps and I felt pleased with this one because I felt like it was concise enough yet hopefully made you feel like you experienced it a little? So I appreciate the feedback!

  27. Kendall says:

    I was thisclose to being able to go to this tour, but it didn’t quite work out. Broke my heart, especially because Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors and I loved Robyn’s “The Beginning of Everything!”

  28. Michelle Lee says:

    You’re so lucky to have gone to see the authors! Thank you for this amazing giveaway!

  29. Oh my gosh! I am SOOO jealous you got to meet all of them! <3

  30. They all sound so awesome! I’m just a tad jealous that you got to meet them…why don’t any cool things come to Hawaii?!

  31. Christina R. says:

    Thank you for doing this recap! It was like attending along with you 🙂

    It’s so nice to get to know the authors outside of their books, and these little bits of themselves they share!

    The funny moments were very funny, and all these authors are such kind people!

    Thank you 🙂

  32. What an awesome event! I’ve had the hard copy of How To Love on my bookshelf for a month now and am so excited to read it. And reading this, it’s moving up to the top of the stack!

  33. Wow! All these books look amazing! I’m really stoked about reading How To Love, that book seems right up my alley (although, to be fair, all these books seem right up my alley!).

  34. Robert S says:

    I love your Blog. It always makes my day, when I have a chance to sit and read your comments and others posts. I want to thank to for your honesty and this great give away. I live in a small town were events like this are hard if not impossible to attend. So seeing them on Facebook, makes me happy and sad, at the same time. OK, so I’m strange. Anyway thanks for your blog and keep it coming.
    Robert S.

  35. OMG LAUREN OLIVER! Seriously… I would pass out if I stood next to her lol. Dramatic much eh? This tour sounded amazing!! I’m SOOO happy that you read How To Love Jamie!!! It was one of my favorite books of 2013, it completely stole my heart and I was an emotional mess while I read it! AND THAT SCENE… oh gosh, I didn’t expect it at all 🙁

    • Hahaha this is like the 3rd time I’ve seen her? But the first time? Oh yes. I was like in awe and ready to pass out. Not to mention she’s so stinking gorgeous and tall and awesome haha

      I think How To Love deserves sooo much more love!

  36. Contemporary YA is my favorite too! 🙂

  37. Oh wow, I didn’t realize there was a Gatsby thread running through the Schneider book! That is exciting to me because that HAS ALWAYS BEEN one of my favorite books, even before the new movie, even when I read it in high school. I’m so glad you pointed that out. This is the first Story Crush recap I’ve seen so far and these gals seem so neat. Love this. Also I need to get on reading these books!

  38. Looks like an awesome giveaway! 🙂

  39. Jillian DeMarco says:

    I’d love to go to meet some authors. I’ve not met any of my favorite authors yet. I think JR Ward , Eve Langlais is at the top of my list. I love adult erotica, adult paranormal romance, too.

  40. Great recap, getting to hang w/authors is always such a rush. Looked like an amazing night!

  41. I’m going to the Story Crush Tour in LA in May with a different line up of authors but I’m so bummed I won’t get to meet Katie Cotugno! I loved How to Love sooo much!! I’m glad you had a great time!!

  42. What an awesome event! We rarely get book events here with 1 author, let alone a group of them – I am majorly jelly!

    And the only author I’ve seen speak is Lauren when she came here a couple of years ago, she was such a fantastic speaker, it’s still one of my fave book events I’ve been to.

  43. This signing looked amazing. I would have loved to meet Lauren Oliver!!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  44. This sounds like such a fun event! I haven’t read any of these books yet (YA contemporary is not my favorite genre) yet I am very intrigued and will have to give some of them a try. And that video of authors describing their works is so cute!

  45. I am so excited to read all of these books! My YA roots are in Contemporary YA thanks to discovering the genre through Sarah Dessen a decade ago (side note: can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I first read Someone Like You, still one of my all time favourites). I always love to see you featuring Contemporary YA here on the blog when so much YA attention is on dystopian/supernatural/fantasy – all of which I love, but there’s a special spot in my heart for Contemporary

  46. It really does sound like the Storycrush tour was a lot of fun! The authors seem really awesome, and I love their 6 word descriptions of their books. Of the ones mentioned, I’ve only read (and really liked) How to Love, but I have almost finished Maybe One Day (waiting on the library copy) and want to read The Beginning of Everything.

  47. Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. Chemine S. says:

    I hope I win! These books look amazing!

  49. This event was so much fun! It was nice to see you again and meet other great book people. I loved listening to all them talk and man some of it made me laugh so hard. Especially the old grumpy man part! I couldn’t get all the books so here’s hoping I win your giveaway! 😉

  50. Awkward coughing/choking audience member? Ah, yes, that would be me. 😀
    Awesome recap! This event was a lot of fun, and the authors were all so wonderful. I’ve been to quite a few author events, but this was definitely one of my favorites.


  1. […] Melissa Kantor, Robyn Schnieder, Courtney J. Stephens and Katie Cotugno. You can check out my quick little recap I did of the event…tried something new so I’d like feedback on […]