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Saturday, July 12, 2014

When I met Stephanie Perkins...and Jarrod!

Warning: Long and sappy post ahead.

#StephaniePerkinsinPH
On Sunday, the 6th of July, we had the incredible opportunity to meet the bestselling author of international bestselling books Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and the upcoming Isla and the Happily Ever After. This event was hosted and organized by National Bookstore.

I was so thrilled when I heard about Stephanie Perkins' upcoming visit to my country.  This would only be my second author event and I was beyond excited to meet one of my favorite authors in person. My friend, Joy, was a first-timer and she came to her first book signing because of me. She has not read Stephanie Perkins' books yet and I'm so jealous that she's going to experience reading the books for the first time.

On the day of the signing, we were up so early so we wouldn't get caught up in traffic and we could score a reasonable place before the event. It was extra early for an insomniac like me, and it didn't obviously help that I was still awake at an ungodly hour the night before because I was too keyed up to sleep. I don't even know how we managed to get to the venue at such an early time, but we did, and we're so surprised to see a queue already! I just knew right then and there that we would have a very long day ahead.

We're already on the 250's. Crazy line!
The event registration was not until 10 AM so we had a couple of hours to kill...sitting...on the pavement. My friend and I entertained ourselves by listening to the buzz all around us. There were some pretty lively discussions happening behind us and we were so entertained by this person we named as "OMG Lady". They talked about books and I badly wanted to join the conversation, but I'm painfully shy so I just listened and took some book selfies with my friend. 


You can only take too many selfies before you get bored, but then Stephanie came riding in a black car, smiling and waving at us. I was so stunned that it took me a few seconds to realize it was her, and she had already rode past by our spot before I even managed to wave back.

These couches were really comfy.

I see lines everywhere. Not people.
By the time the registration started, we were pretty hungry and quite impatient to get our sign passes so we could already eat. We decided to eat out and this was the most boneheaded decision we made that day. All we could think about was food so we didn't realize that by leaving the venue, we would be losing our place near the stage/platform. Now, I could attest that hungry people really make stupid life choices.


Even this ice cream couldn't assuage my annoyance towards my pathetic decision-making skills.
This parfait makes me want to cry.
At around 1 pm, we went back to the venue only to find out our stupidity there's no breathing space on the first floor already, so we had to settle in a place where we could still see everything. We decided to sit on the second floor and obviously, this too would become a very bad idea.

I spotted this lovely lady while waiting and she's kind enough to let me take a picture of this cute bracelet she had planned on giving to Stephanie.

Ruby knows her fashion.
Anna-Lola-Isla bracelet!
We're too far up!

At 2 pm, the small, compact space came alive with this electric energy that could light up..I dunno..New York? Paris? Then Stephanie came in, and the crowd broke into cheers and screams...and it was awesome. We couldn't really see Stephanie from up above because of that blasted ceiling, but we were joining the lucky ones below with our own shrieking and fangirling. I have no decent pictures, but the worst thing was we couldn't really hear the interview. *sniffs* Since we couldn't really hear anything, I just stared at Stephanie until the interview was over.

Then some people were called on stage to be recognized. Those people happened to have lined up the day before, and Stephanie dropped in around midnight to meet them. Talk about dedication! But I really lost my cool when ARCs of Isla and tote bags were given out. I almost melted into a puddle of want.
The dedicated people with the coveted Isla ARCs. Photo courtesy of National Bookstore.

But there's still the signing and surprisingly Jarrod would be signing, too. We practically flew down the escalator so we can get in line to have our books signed by the man whom Stephanie's books were dedicated to. Jarrod was so nice, and warm, and cute, and adorable, and..wait, sorry I got carried away. He signed my books and even wrote DFTBA. He then looked up waiting for my reaction. I smiled my best polite (clueless) smile and thanked him.

Being this calm is not as easy as it looks.
Awkward smile. Still puzzled by what DFTBA meant.

I immediately went to my friend to ask what DFTBA meant. She didn't have any idea, either. Thankfully, a cool teenager told us that DFTBA meant Don't Forget to be Awesome and I almost went back to Jarrod to say I will and to return the sentiment. Gawd, the day I feared finally came. I can no longer understand teen lingo and I only lost the -teen in my age last year. *shifty eyes*

Then my moment with Stephanie finally arrived. As I got closer and closer, I had to keep wringing my hands to expel some nerves. Good thing, the OMG lady was behind me and she did all the freaking out and fangirling for both of us, to which I will forever be grateful, because I got to keep a calm facade.
All smiles. Look at that gorgeous lady on my right.


We got home at past 10 pm that day. Our feet were ready to walk home by themselves, our legs were carrying us by sheer mental power, and we braved the train. I could barely keep my eyes open as I crashed in bed, unmoving, and I oddly felt empty and full at the same time. And I know someday, I will tell my kids that I hugged Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins in one year. That's one awesome record, don't you think?

July 6, 2014 is a day to remember. Before the event happened, I'd always referred to it as the Stephanie freaking Perkins' Day. But I think this demands changing to: Stephanie and Jarrod freaking Perkins' Day.

Swoon. Photo Courtesy of National Bookstore
Stephanie and Jarrod freaking Perkins' Day is the day everybody witnessed how adorable a pair Stephanie and Jarrod are. The day everybody (especially me and my hopeless romantic friend) learned to hope and believe that something called true love can happen in real life and could touch orif we are as blessed as themstay in our lives. The day when Stephanie and Jarrod's bright smiles and enthusiasm for us (all 700+ of us), made all the exhaustionthe early commute and the late travel after, long lines, sore feet, and the humid weatherbearable and worth it.


Needless to say, Stephanie and Jarrod freaking Perkins' Day will always be remembered.

47 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great day it must have been for you and your friend! Stephanie Perkins looks lovely! I feel ashamed to say I haven't read her books but, hey, will do will do. That's what's awesome about summer; a lot of time to read!! This is a beautiful post and all those pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us, Sarah and I hope you'll do some more.^^

    Lola@Seeing Night Reviews

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    1. Thank you, Lola! I do hope you'll try reading Stephanie Perkins' books and love them as much as I did. It makes me happy that I get to make people read the books I love. :)

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  2. I have heard SO much about this event from all the Filipino bloggers and it just sounds so amazing! Stephanie and Jarrod sound like such a super cute and lovely couple, and I am so jealous of all the ARCs! Thanks for sharing with us :)

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. They are! We rarely have book events here and having these amazing people come over to our country is just a dream come true. Thanks for dropping by, Jeann. :)

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  3. Aw, you guys look so cute with Anna and Lola :) LOL @ OMG Lady hahaha. Ohh, gimme this ice cream! It looks delicious. And hungry people are the worst kind of people. No offence :D Aw, Ruby looks so gorgeous and I love her dress :) Yay for an arc :) That pic with Jarrod and Steph is totes adorbs! I'm glad you guys had fun :)

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    1. None taken, Siiri. ;) Did you ever come across a person who flails so hard that it actually calms you down. That was what OMG lady did that day...The ice cream was a good idea at first but thinking about what I had to sacrifice for it, makes me want to punch someone. The awesome peeps got an ARC but I felt a million bucks already because I got to meet the Perkins!! :D

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  4. I don't think people are notified when I post a comment after them because there is no ''reply'' but I really wanted to know what you thought of WGWG! It's a book I really look forward to reading because I like GLBT a lot. It's got pretty mixed review though so I was curious to know your opinion. :) And thank you, I loved writing that review.

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    1. You are very welcome, Lola. :) WGWG is an OK book. It has memorable characters and as always John Green's talent shines through. It just didn't wow me, but I think I'd have better luck with his other novels.

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  5. Lovely recap, dear! Glad you had fun. Stephanie Perkins was def very perky! Her husbands was also sooooo fun. Too bad I couldn't get the tote bag…I didn't even know she brought any. *sigh

    www.lite-rate-ture.com

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    1. My heart breaks a little for the tote bag that everybody wanted! Thanks for dropping by, Chyna!

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  6. I wasn't at the signing but my books were! I am so glad you had fun on this book signing. Perkins seems to be a really adorable person!

    ~ Dre @ Sporadic Reads

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    1. She is the most adorable person ever! I'm glad that even though you weren't there, you still have been able to get your books signed. Way to go!

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  7. What a wonderful, crazy, and exciting day meeting Stephanie Perkins and Jarod! I completely laughed over this post a few times (DFTBA, and hungry people really make stupid life choice) and I'm glad everything in the end turned out awesome and look at those cool books you got signed. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Kim! It was really a glorious day and I'm actually still hung over.

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  8. I am so excited that you got to go and meet her! I just love her books. I am glad everything went well in the end. :)

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    1. Yay for another Stephanie fan! I hope you get to meet her someday. She's simply adorable.

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  9. Ahh! OMG! You're so lucky to have met Jarrod and Stephanie. I would LOVELOVELOVE to meet them someday. They better come to Canada soon! I need an ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After ASAP, but it'll be okay if I don't get one because it releases on my bday. *cheers* It absolutely sounds that you had an amazing day with your friend! *envy face*

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    1. Oh I hope they do come to Canada so you can experience her gloriousness. And Happy Birthday in advance, Michelle. Isla and the Happily Ever After would definitely be a fantastic gift for your birthday! :)

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  10. DFTBA is something that nerdfighters say (Hank and John Green say it often in their Vlogbrothers videos on Youtube). I think Jarrod and Stephanie are both massive fans (I remember in one of the videos that Stephanie had given a copy of her book to JG and he was like "it's awesome!" and all that).

    This sounds like such a fun day! But damn, lining up the day before an event? That's quite some dedication. Although I guess I'd probs do it too, if an Isla ARC was on the line haha

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    1. Yes! It seriously scares me that the next time a big author comes here, we have to line up days before the event. XD

      And thank you for clearing up the DFTBA thing. I haven't been introduced to the nerdfighters bandwagon yet but some of my friends are a huge fan of the Green brothers. I brought the wrong friend to the signing. lol!

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  11. Oooh so jealous! I love Stephanie's books (especially Anna and the French Kiss) and this event looked like it was so much fun! I can't wait to read Isla as well. Glad it was a memorable day for you, and thanks for sharing this with us! It's nice to know what authors are like in real life.

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    1. It was a fun day and I'm so happy to have met Stephanie and Jarrod Perkins. I hope you get the chance to meet them someday, too. Thanks for stopping by, Liz! :)

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  12. I'm so starstruck at book signings. Every time! It can be stressful and overwhelming especially when things don't work out the way you intended. Still, you go to meet both Stephanie and her husband and have your books signed! She's really charming in person and you can see how she injects that into her stories. Wonderful recap Sarah! :)

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    1. Thank you, Rachel. And authors are like rockstars to me and we rarely have book signing events by international authors here so it was really a great experience.

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  13. Awww this is so lovely!! :) I have heard about this visit and read a couple of recaps and I'm so happy you people enjoyed this. Stephanie sounds so amazing and she seems super cute too. Jarrod seems the same. I'm so happy you had a great time. Great post, Sarah :)

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    1. It was an experience of a lifetime, Tanja. And although it was not a perfect day, Stephanie and Jarrod made all the exhaustion worth it. Thank you for stopping by! :)

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  14. Wow, what an awesome time! Looks like such fun, and I definitely love all the pictures. I've yet to read a book by the author but I plan on it soon :) Glad you had a good time, and thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope you do, Alise! I have dibs on Etienne already but you can definitely have Cricket. Heh. :D

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  15. Awww, looks like you had an exhausting BUT fun day, Sarah! I wasn't there because I've never read Perkins' books, and, well, it would just be weird to go to a signing of an author you don't really know you'd like haha (but hey props to your friend ;) I'm sure she'll love them!). The crowd must have been so huge... the amount of people there would have made me impatient (I am not patient with big crowds), but I guess it's all worth it in the end! Hope to see you in a future signing!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Yes, it would be weird but I have strong persuasion powers, so if you are my friend you would have no choice but to come. I guess that sounded like I threatened her or something. *shrugs innocently* The crowd was overwhelming and I'm not the most patient person in the world but I made it without killing anyone. Haha! And YESSS, I would love to meet you someday, Faye! :)

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  16. Wow it sounds like you had an absolute blast! And the people who were there a day early? WOAH. Talk about dedication!
    I've never read Stephanie's books but I'm definitely excited to read it after this awesome recap!

    Thank for sharing and happy reading! :D

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    1. Yes, those people makes me feel ashamed that I didn't line up before them and I call myself a Stephanie Perkins fan. *shakes head* You should read them and here's hoping you'll like them as much as I did. :)

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  17. SO MUCH VICARIOUS FANGIRLING. It sounds like you had an absolutely amazing time! I'm so jealous you got to meet Stephanie Perkins (and about the ARCs). I've never been to an author signing, aside from two fast-moving lines at ALA that didn't leave much time for talking, but I got pretty starstruck, and I think that I would do the same at any event like this. It's so worth it though - authors are the best kind of people.

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    1. *fangirls with you* You speak the truth, Emily. Authors are really the best kind of people. I hope you get to meet Stephanie soon and I'm telling myself not to be so jealous of the ARCs since August is just right around the corner.

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  18. Holy crap!! Okay, first: definitely jelly that you got to meet her because I am such a fangirl of hers, as well! And you got to hug her and meet Jarrod, as well!! But I'm happy for you because I can tell you enjoyed every minute of it. And second of all: 700 people!! WOW. That is a MASSIVE author event, can't believe so many people turned out! And some of them showed up the day before. Dedication!! Heh, so glad you enjoyed yourself and got to meet Steph, Sarah!

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    1. Well, Aylee, let's pretend I hugged Stephanie Perkins for you as well. ;) It was massive and overwhelming and over-the-top but if you'd ask me if I'd do it again, I would say yes without hesitation.

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  19. Great pictures! I'm glad you had such an awesome time. There are so many authors I would love to meet but they rarely come my way.

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    1. Time will come and you'll be the one sharing pictures. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. I'm just smiling right now because your enthusiasm was so obvious. I'm sorry that you lost your place, which is why you should leave stuff and tell other people to save your place for you and stuff like that. Though that doesn't always work.

    And DFTBA is a John Green thing, by the way. Not really a teen thing, haha. And you saw my recap, and I hoped that helped with your second floor problem! Though I guess it wouldn't, since hearing her answers itself would be awesome. I'm so glad that it helped you in some way, though!

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    1. I'll do that next time Shannelle. My first signing with Gayle Forman wasn't as crazy as this so I thought we would still have a place to come back to.

      It did. I love your recap, Shannelle. And I'm glad DFTBA is not a teen thing because I refuse to accept that I am at that age that don't get teen lingo anymore. Haha!

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  21. This is why I love book signings. They are just so fun. Especially when you really love their books. I love all the pictures!!

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    1. They are! Thank you so much, Angela! :)

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  22. I love your post! Although a part of me is still jealous, because stupid me decided to get sick on that exact same day. But seeing how loved Stephanie is makes me really giddy inside. :)

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    1. Awww, that sucks! I would hate to miss Stephanie on the one day she's here but at least you're feeling better now (I hope). :)

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    2. I am. And looking forward to Isla. :)

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  23. YAY for awesome bookish events!! If I ever go to one I'll make sure to have food with me to not repeat you hungry mistake!!

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    1. Yes! Learn from my mistakes because I'll surely never repeat them again. Haha!

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