Pasadena Loves YA Recap + Giveaway

A couple weekends ago I attended the Pasadena Loves YA festival! This was my second time attending this festival—the first time was back in 2015. This year the four panels were Roads to Healing, The Art of the [Graphic] NovelWas Lost but Now Found: Overcoming Adversity Through Difficult Times, and Up for the Fight: Characters Who Won’t Back Down.

The day started with Roads to Healing with Carrie Arcos, Samuel Miller, Farrah Penn, and Aminah Mae Safi. Two of these authors I had never heard of before, so it was really interesting learning about their books. Carrie did a fantastic job moderating the panel and I enjoyed her questions. After the panel, I had Aminah sign my copy of Not the Girls You’re Looking For! I actually met her back in April at the LA Times Festival of Books, but that took place before her debut released so it was great meeting her again!

I met up with Camille @ The Literary Empress and we headed up to the second panel, The Art of the [Graphic] Novel with Cory Doctorow and Mairghread Scott. I don’t read too many graphic novels so I had never heard of these two authors either, but I really enjoyed listening to this panel. Both have worked on a variety of projects so it was fascinating listening to their different experiences. Interestingly enough, both cannot draw at all, so even though they work with graphic novels, they only write the text and work with illustrators who bring it to life.

Since I didn’t have any books from these authors, Camille and I spent the time in-between panels chatting about books and life in general. We then headed back downstairs for the third panel of the day Was Lost but Now Found: Overcoming Adversity Through Difficult Times, which featured Jennifer Brody, Atia Abawi, Nicole Maggi, and Sara Santana. Again, I have not read any of the books featured at the panel so I enjoyed hearing about these authors’ different stories and writing inspirations. Atia Abawi actually has a piece featured in Hope Nation, so she signed my book for me after the panel.

The final panel of the day was Up for the Fight: Characters Who Won’t Back Down with Bree Barton, Gwen C. Katz, Mary E. Pearson, and Amy Trueblood. This was the panel I was most looking forward to because I own books from all of the authors featured on it. The room was completely packed for this panel so I actually stood off to the side during it. Bree moderated the panel and she made it very interesting and fun by bringing different props to represent the characters/plot within the different books. I have actually met Gwen and Amy before, so I only had books for Bree and Mary to sign after the panel.

Once I made it through the long signing lines I was able to jump into the line for the Book Blitz! The Book Blitz was such a neat part of the festival because it was a few tables full of books up for grabs. All you had to do was wait in line, pick a book, and then get back in line if you wanted another one. There were was such a wide variety of YA books to choose from and I ended up with a few I have been wanting to read and a few I had never heard of before!

Overall, Pasadena Loves YA was a success! I enjoyed learning about new books and authors. I really love how small this festival was, and I cannot wait to go again next year!


I got a copy of The Adoration of Jenna Fox signed by Mary E. Pearson while at Pasadena Loves YA and I’m giving it away + swag a few of the other authors kindly gave me. Be sure to click on the link below to enter! PS-there’s an extra entry for following this blog 😉

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  • It sounds like a neat festival. I would’ve been super interested in the graphic novel one. Cory Doctorow’s book In Real Life is one I read a couple years ago, probably around the time it came out. It’s not super fresh in my mind, but I know he’s got some good stuff outside of that genre. For the Win is one of the books I’d recommend if you liked hearing him speak.

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll definitely have to check out his work in the future as I did really enjoy the panel 🙂

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