I finally got to meet Jenny Han! Yay! She was at Indigo Yorkdale for a book signing, but to be honest, I just wanted to go there to hear her talk. But I wasn’t sure if it was just a plain and simple book signing or something with an actual discussion. In the end, I opted to go and asked a customer service representative at Indigo if she was going to speak before signing, and she said yes. So I ran over to get my ticket because I thought that it might be connected to where we sit (but it wasn’t really…). Then the waiting began. And more waiting. And even more waiting, until the seating was arranged (I may have went there a bit on the early side).ย While I was standing around waiting, I got to know a few fellow book lovers, which is always nice! We got to sit down, talk about books we’ve read, and had the chance to win some prizes, which I didn’t win, but the person sitting beside me did. Here’s what it looked like:

Anyways, once it’s finally time, Jenny Han appears and you can tell that everyone’s ecstatic! At first, she tells us that this is the last leg of her tour, and that she’s always loved coming to Canada for publicity purposes. Then she gets into a little detail about how Always and Forever, Lara Jean came to be. I think it was covered in the news or a social media posting, but basically, after writing P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han tried to move on and start another project but couldn’t get Lara Jean out of her head. It went to the point where she considered writing another novel and even asking fellow writer, Siobhan Vivian for her advice, which was basically to go for it. And aren’t we all glad for that! ๐Ÿ™‚

After that, there was some Q&A with some very interesting answers and making me really happy to have come. First of all, I asked a question and had my suspicions confirmed! My question was about the characters and their Hogwarts Houses, since Lara Jean is revealed to be a Hufflepuff and Margot a Ravenclaw. I’m surprised that I nailed Kitty being a Slytherin, but I’m sure it was pretty obvious to everyone else! ๐Ÿ˜‰ What was even more surprising, though, was that Jenny Han states that she’s a Slytherin as well, which made me really happy since I’m one, too! Other info that came about during Q&A was the fact that the concept of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before came from Jenny Han’s own experience writing secret love letters and keeping them in a hatbox, which were luckily left unsent. She also mentioned the fact that she likes that Lara Jean represents a facet of the American girl and that having a story with a POC character doesn’t mean it’s a story just about their struggles; it could also be a sweet and light contemporary.

Once the signing actually started, I got in line immediately since I was one of the first few. You’re probably wondering why I was in line if I didn’t bring a book to be signed. Since I already read the library’s copy of Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I didn’t feel like buying a copy of the book,ย and was ready to give up my group one ticket to someone who wanted it. That’s when a woman sitting in my row gave me the idea that I should get my picture with Jenny Han instead, which I didn’t even think of! But apparently, you needed a book to sign if you wanted to enter the line. So the woman sitting near me gave me a copy of Always and Forever, Lara Jeanย that she bought for her daughter to sign so that I could get my picture, which was really, really nice of her! I honestly couldn’t- and still can’t- express how grateful I was. So, in the end, I got a picture and a really great experience at a book signing! I’m so glad I got to meet Jenny Han!

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Me awkwardly holding my stuff while taking a picture with Jenny Han!ย 

There’s probably a whole bunch of other stuff I’m forgetting, but I’m just going to leave it at that for now! Oh, and if any of you are interested in hearing more about the book, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I’ve written a review for it that you can check out! Thanks for reading, everyone!

– Sumaya

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