Monday, October 4, 2010

The 1st (Annual?) Teen Read Awards

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, I had the pleasure of attending the 1st ever Teen Read Awards, presented by the awesome people at Chapters Indigo Books and Music. After the success of the evening, I'm hoping that this will become an annual event!

The evening was to kick off with a "red carpet" at 6pm. Much to my dismay there was no actual red carpet (how cool would that have been?) but we did get to see the authors slowly streaming into the venue, Six Degrees. To keep the common people amused while waiting in line, Chapters Indigo had a mime, a magician, and a few of their employees asking trivia questions. This was a great way to stave off the chill that had hit Toronto that night.

When the doors were finally opened for the audience, the first thing that caught my eye was the cluster of disco balls (see above). I'm thinking I may find a place at home to put of one of these for myself... Anyway, there was a DJ already working up some musical magic, while finger foods were being brought around. I have honestly never attended a function that offered sushi on one tray, while having mac & cheese and french fries as alternate options. All around, I think the organizer did a great job of catering to every taste...(yes, yes, pun intended). There were lots of giveaways, including signed copies of Darklight by Lesley Livingston and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. They also had a few Kobo readers as giveaways, but I didn't win one of these.

We knew things were about to really get going when the dance crew, Mayhem's Finest, hit the floor. These guys have appeared in videos by Rihanna, Sean Paul, Keisha Chante and many more. They had some great moves but were sadly restricted for room by the number of people in attendance that night. It was a great way to keep the atmosphere pumped.

Though not on the original list of performers, the next act was a pleasant surprise. Emily Osment showed up to sing a few songs. It was nice to see her on her own, away from the Hannah Montana setting.

The hosts for the evening were Jessi Cruickshank and Dan Levy, the former co-hosts of the MTV Canada's show The After Show, among other TV ventures. Did you know Dan Levy is Eugene Levy's son? I thought he looked familiar....(Yes, I had to Google it!)

The first award announced by Jessi and Dan was the Best New Writer category which Lauren Kate won for Fallen.

The next musical act up was Alyssa Reid, a former contestant on YTV's The Next Star. She sang two songs, including If You Are, her newest single to be released.

During the intermission, a dance contest was held. The lucky winner went home with a laptop, sponsored by The Source. My moves are a little rusty, so I didn't even throw my hat in the ring. Maybe next year?!

Richelle Mead was on hand to accept her award for Best Teen Series, which she won for The Vampire Academy.

Other awards were given to Stephenie Meyer for Best Lip Lock (Bella and Edward, of course) which was received by a rep. from Hachette Canada, Best Hottie that went to Jace Wayland from the Mortal Instruments series (Cassie Clare accepted her award by video), and Best Book to Flick went to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was also accepted by a rep. from the publisher.

Canada's own Kelley Armstrong was also in attendance to accept her award for The Recking in the Best Canadian Read category.

The Best Hero award went to Percy Jackson, which Rick Riordan accepted with a video. In a surprising upset, Alice Milthorpe beat out Lord Voldemort for Best Villain. Michelle Zink also accepted by video. As a fan of Michelle Zink, I do find her Alice character fairly creepy but I'm not sure about pitting her against Voldermort, though I'm very happy she won.

Best All Time Fave went to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows. Again, this award was received by a publisher representative but J.K. Rowling did send in a letter showing her appreciation for her two wins.

The last musical act for the evening was Alex Lacasse, another alumni of The Next Star. He performed five songs, including his new single, My Girl. And, yes, all the screaming teen girls love him. For someone not, um, quite a teen like myself, I would have liked to clear away to the back of the room but was squished to the stage front, which just looked awkward.

The Evening concluded with the Best Read category which went to Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Suzanne also graced us with a video acceptance of her award.

Overall, it was a well organized, entertaining show. The fact that so many authors were in attendance was great for the people at Chapters Indigo, the city of Toronto and, of course, all of the reader/fans. The only fault I could find was that the authors were segregated from the crowd, in the VIP section, during the event. For those that didn't win an award, we only got to see them if they were creeping down the stairs to watch the musical acts. It seems some popped down after for some pictures, while others headed across the street to the Chapters Indigo at Yonge and Eglinton for more book signings, so not a total loss after all.

It was nice to see so many of the publishers showing their support by attending and all of the authors who took their time to send videos.

Well done Chapters Indigo!
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