My Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival Recap

Hey guys! A couple of weeks ago, I went to the best book festival in the world: the Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival in Murfreesboro, TN! SE-YA was so amazing, and my dad and I managed to brave the snow and see 35 out of 40 amazing authors! Here are some pics and highlights from the festival!

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So I got this poster signed by a ton of fabulous authors, and I got four books signed: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, Emerge by Tobie Easton, The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, and Mosquitoland by David Arnold. Both the books and authors are amazing, and I loved reading the books and chatting with the authors! They are super nice!

 

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Sharon Cameron

 

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Mindy McGinnis

 

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David Arnold

 

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Tobie Easton

I also met some of the most amazing authors I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time! They are super nice and fun to talk to, and I loved reading their books!

 

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Shaila Patel

 

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Jennifer M. Eaton

 

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Brittany Goodwin
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M. Tara Crowl

I also got to meet a ton of other authors that I’m so glad I got to meet! I didn’t take pictures with all of them, but I’m certainly glad I got the opportunity to meet them!

 

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Monika Schroeder

 

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Nicole Castroman
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Cinda Williams Chima

I also got to meet Kym Brunner, Andrew Maraniss, E. Katherine Kottaras, Kathryn Ormsbee, Tracy Barrett, Brooks Benjamin, Jenn Bishop, I. W. Gregorio, C. J. Redwine, Beth Revis, Megan Shepherd, Lois Sepahban, Megan Shepherd, Sheba Karim, and more!!!! The full list of SE-YA 2017 authors is here: SE-YA 2017 Authors.

Well, that’s my 2017 SE-YA Recap in pictures, but if you want to know more, comment below, and let’s have a chat! Did you go to SE-YA? Have you read any books by these authors? Comment your thoughts!

Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eden’s Escape, by M. Tara Crowl

Hi guys! I am so stockpiled with reviews… this is number 1 out of 5! So March will definitely be crazy full of reviews. I will do my best in the month of March to do as many reviews as I can since I’m so far behind! This one is about a book I read over a month ago! So I hope you enjoy this review on Eden’s Escape by M. Tara Crowl!

Important Kester Note: On my review and little promotion for Jennifer M. Eaton’s Fire in the Woods when it was free last week, I forgot to include the legal disclaimer. The post has been updated, and I am sorry about that. Don’t let that affect you reading the book!

Goodreads Summary of Eden’s Escape (Eden of the Lamp #2): edens-escape_finalEden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in a giveaway. This will not affect my review.

Rating: 8/10 Stars

I liked this book! It was a fun and easy read that grabbed my attention at times! As I’m thinking about how the target audience will react to this book, I do think that middle-grade readers will enjoy running around Paris with Eden in her latest escapades. Although I loved the first book Eden’s Wish better than the sequel, Eden’s Escape is definitely a middle-grade book I would recommend to younger children!

Eden is one of the most relatable characters I have read in a middle-grade book. Crowl has portrayed her just like a 12-year old would, even though I sometimes forgot she was 12! I really connected with her: I could relate with her struggles and emotions. She was going through a short time where no one listened to her or understood her, and I know how that feels! The author definitely made Eden’s experiences similar to what middle schoolers would have gone through.

The plot is very interesting! As she’s trying to escape and defeat the Brightly forces, there is quite a bit of action and adventure! There’s also a few plot twists that had me go “Oh my goodness!” If you have read my past review, you know I love plot twists! The story definitely got me going. The beginning was really sweet while the end was full of surprises! The plot definitely resolved well, and I liked the ending.

I honestly didn’t love the sequel as I liked the original one. I wasn’t as hooked into this one because it felt a bit scattered to me at times. I was going “Why is the plot doing that?” occasionally since certain events didn’t mesh together as much as I wanted them to. But does that mean the book wasn’t great? Definitely not! I really liked it! It was cute and fun!

Eden’s Escape is great for young readers and even older ones! Although the target audience is for middle-grade readers, there’s a good possibility that older people will like it! I would recommend Eden’s Wish more, but if you want to continue the story when Eden is living outside of the lamp, then you should read this book!

Recommendation: Go for it!

Have you read this book? Are you interested in reading this? What do you like about books with magic in the real world? Comment below with your thoughts and let’s chat!