January 18, 2014: Gayle Forman in Manila

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Apparently the title says it all.  New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay and Where She Went, Gayle Forman, had booked a flight here for two days to promote the second book of her second series, Just One Year. The events were scheduled January 18-19. So yesterday my best friend and I had the chance to meet her and had our books signed. It’s already our second time attending an event like that and just like last year, we were ecstatic about the whole thing. Some things never changed, like I still went with my best friend, we felt like it’s our first time, and how we went there even though we’re not done with all of Gayle’s books yet.

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sup 118 and 119

The registration started at exactly 10 AM, the moment the bookstore opened its doors for us bookworms. And we arrived at 10 AM just to get numbers 118 and 119. Oh my. We didn’t expect that. Last year, when we went to Tahereh and Ransom’s book signing, we got numbers 20 and 21. What does that mean? Haha. Anyway, we considered ourselves lucky compared to a friend of ours who unfortunately was given 292.

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me, jhedi and chui

The friend I was referring to was Jhed. She’s an old friend from high school, but we still have this constant contact to each other. And oh, she was with me during the MIBF last year. Hopefully we can hang out more often, if our schedules permit.

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candid shot, eh? chui reading a children’s book she got from a nearby shelf

For several hours the registration table seemed to have this never-ending line of awesome bookish people — both teens and adults. We roamed around the mall, window shopped, talk about the most random things, and laugh about the most stupid jokes while waiting for the event proper.

ImageWe spent most of our waiting time sitting on the carpet with our backs against the bookshelves. We talked, read, and listened to music to kill time. We sat with our eyes directly seeing Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. And then I remembered Beatrice and how Lemony (or should I say, Daniel) wrote all these books for her with these wrenching dedication pages that made our hearts melt. It’s painful.

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At 30 past four Gayle finally arrived. I didn’t expect her to be that.. hyper, I guess? She basically had this 101% of energy while going to the stage, and the next minute I couldn’t hear my voice while I tried talking to Chui. The crowd got overly excited and they, including me, had a hard time setting down. Before she even let the interviewer talk, Gayle asked everyone to wave their books so she could take a selfie with us in the background. She’s adorable.

That same old woman who interviewed Tahereh and Ransom last year was also the one who had the chance to interview Gayle. I’m sorry to say this, but I think the event planners could have gotten a better one. Hearing the other people inside the room comment about her punctuated it all. Oh well, what could we do? Maybe next time she might consider avoiding looking at her cue card every time she talks.

Gayle talked about her books, how this transition from being a journalist to being a YA writer happened, and how she painstakingly wrote If I Stay after something really tragic happened to someone she knew. There were three people in the room who asked her things about her writing and an advice she could give for all the aspiring young writers. She’s amazing and hilarious.  The forum lasted for almost an hour and the moment everyone was waiting for, the signing of books, had began.

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more like a pandemonium

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they said foods and drinks are not allowed inside the bookstore; we said it’s allowed LMAO

Reader, you can’t blame us for eating inside the venue. My stomach’s been rumbling for what seemed like forever and Chui gave me my favorite. Huhu. Seriously, reader. I think I fell in love with Kripy Kreme even more. And oh! Remember we’re 118 and 119. It took us more than an hour after the forum to have our turn.

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oh i love her hair

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Miss Gayle Forman with yours truly (excuse my face)

On another note, what I love the most about Miss Gayle is that she’s a frustrated singer like me. 🙂

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Miss Gayle and Chui

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\#AllTheFeelsPhilippines

She gave everyone this cutesy bookmark she had printed the night before her events. Such a sweetie.

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Yahooooo

Another memorable day to document, isn’t it? Aside from meeting one of my favorite authors, what’s so important to me is being reunited with my best friend. Everything last year seemed to be on a roller coaster that only goes down (TFiOS alert lmao). I missed her and I know we’re both trying to make it up to each other. Finally we choose to look behind the cracks. Remember last time I was with her when Tahereh and Ransom went here? Yayy me too. Haha. By the way, she’s my fave doughnut buddy in the entire universe. I’m grateful that we’re okay now, (well, okay is an understatement) and I’m looking forward to attend more book signings with her. I know you’re happy for me, reader. DFTBA!

I was now in a situation where I didn’t have to prove myself, because the one person that fully accepted me, my best friend, was now a permanent fixture in my life. — Jamie McGuire, Walking Disaster

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