Book a Date with Ellice

Posted June 7, 2017 by Andi in Book a Date / 0 Comments


Welcome to the newest feature on Andi’s ABCs, Book a Date, a post about something you are excited for that is releasing in the future. It can be a TV show, a movie (in the theater or out on DVD), a clothing line, a video game, a graphic novel, and of course a book. Actually it can be anything you want. If you would like more information or would like to sign-up you can click HERE.

Who booked a date this week? Ellice!


Hi, y’all! I was excited when Andi asked if I wanted to do this week’s Book a Date feature because 1) It’s been FAR TOO LONG since I’ve written a blog post (I miss blogging so much), & 2) there is ALWAYS something that I’m excited to talk about in the book world. So I dusted off my Illyrian leathers & pulled myself out of my ACOMAF/ACOWAR-obsessed state long enough to talk another source of my current bookish excitement—ALA Annual in Chicago in 2 weeks! I CAN’T WAIT! Here’s why:


I was lucky enough to attend my first BEA in Chicago last year, which was also my first time in the city. Friends had told me that food in Chicago is to die for, but I really had no expectations or plans to visit specific restaurants. I mean, I was there for the friends and the books—food shmood! So each evening, we would just wing it & choose restaurants based on Yelp ratings or recommendations from friends. This time? I’ve got a list with more restaurants than is humanly possible to visit (or revisit!) during my short stay.

Places I Plan to Re-Visit

GIORDANO’S – Hands down, THE best pizza I have ever eaten. The standard by which all pizza that comes after it will be measured. Just look at all that gooey cheese!

PORTILLO’S – This place is so good that it’s worth a second visit. Though they’re known for their Italian beef, the menu is chock full of so many incredible things: pastas, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, scrumptious desserts… le sigh. If you’re also going to ALA and looking for a good place to eat, look no further. (This is not the best picture, but I thought the inside was super cool looking so I tried to capture the atmosphere).

New Places on My List

Lou Malnati’s –Another restaurant that serves Chicago-style deep dish pizza. The pictures make it look heavenly, and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. Has anyone else been here? What did you think?

Yolk – While the hotel I’ll be staying at has a restaurant with a pretty great breakfast buffet, I really want to visit Yolk one morning during my stay. I had to be somewhere else when my friends met here for breakfast last summer, but they seemed to really enjoy it!


This is just a short version of my longer list, but these are at the top of it. I welcome any and all recs, because I’ve found that that’s usually the best way to find the best food!


I mean, obviously! 😀 These are the titles that I’m most excited about grabbing, assuming they’ll be there.

YA Books

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins – Stephanie Perkins? Teen slasher? Count me in! I’ve been waiting for this one for what seems like forever!

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno – Anything this woman writes immediately goes on my auto-buy list. I’d love to grab an early copy, if they’re even available!

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – One of my most anticipated upcoming fantasies.

Warcross by Marie Lu – Several of my bookish friends whose opinions I trust implicitly have read this one and loved it. NEED!

The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan – I loved this author’s second book, Love and Other Foreign Words, which I thought deserved much more buzz, so I can’t wait to read her new contemp.

Odd & True by Cat Winters –Historical fantasy. Yes, please!

Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco – I have a deep-seated love for historical fiction, so when I heard about this series, I had to have it. I got the first book at BEA last year & I NEED the second one. Like yesterday.

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke – Loved her New Adult romances, so I’m dying for this historical fantasy book!

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman – I don’t think an explanation is even needed for this one!

Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush – Magic &, most importantly, motorcycle gangs? GIVE IT TO ME NOW.


SARAH DESSEN. Need I say more? As soon as I found out that she would be the speaker at the Margaret A. Edwards Brunch at ALA, I was SO EXCITED. She was given this award for her lasting contribution to YA literature, which is a no brainer in my opinion. I love her books and cannot wait for her newest book, Once and For All. I am so hoping they take pity on all of us pitiful fangirls in the audience & let us at least mingle with her and have a picture made. It doesn’t say anything about a signing, but I’m still hoping…

There is another ticketed event called the YA Author Coffee Klatch which is described as “speed dating” where each other changes tables every 3-4 minutes & tells us about their upcoming books. There are supposed to be about 40 YA authors participating in it, and the lineup looks AMAZING. Emery Lord, Marie Lu, Kristin Cashore, Cat Winters, Victoria Schwab… and that’s just to name a few. I can’t wait!



I saved my favorite part of any conference for the end—getting to hang out with friends that you don’t get to see very often. It’s so great to spend time with the friends who ‘get’ you and don’t look at you like you’re crazy when you talk about the loves of your life as if they are real people. 😀  I’ve already made tentative plans with a couple of friends who live near Chicago but won’t be attending the conference. Since BEA & Book Con were just last week, I haven’t talked to many of my friends who plan to attend ALA. So tell me, will YOU be there? Let me know!



Thanks Ellice for Booking a Date!




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