Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last Year's Mistake Release Recap and Launch Party Pics!

Hello there!

It doesn't seem possible that LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE has been out in the world for almost two weeks now, but somehow, it has. I wanted to write a post recapping all the wonderful craziness, so here goes:

First matter of business: Announcing the winner of the LYM Pre-Release Giveaway Extravaganza. The fabulous prize pack goes to:

For her two 2015 debut titles, Paola chose SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli and MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold. Both awesome choices! Congrats, Paola, and thanks so much to everyone who entered and spread the word about the contest!

Next, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made release day great - so many of you tweeted, texted, Facebooked, blogged, etc., and the love and support totally overwhelmed me in the best possible way. Especially when LYM started trending on Twitter!


Almost as cool as these t-shirts worn by my sister, mom, and son:

In case you're wondering, my mom is sitting next to my book in Target. MY BOOK IS ON THE SHELVES AT FREAKING TARGET!

Then my brother-in-law sent me this pic after he found my book at the Yale University book store. You guys, this is the closest I'll ever get to Ivy League:

But I was also SUPER psyched to see LYM at my own alma mater, in the very store where I bought all my college textbooks at The University of Connecticut. (Shoutout to the student who took the liberty of giving it this sweet spot on the shelf at the Co-op!)

So many of you tweeted me pics at your local stores, and I absolutely loved it. Seeing something I wrote as a real, live book on a store shelf, or in the hands of an actual reader never gets old. So thank you for giving me so many reasons to squeal with delight - like these:

Seriously, could Sherry be any cuter?
Misfit Love! Hi, Erica!

More Misfit Love! Hey, Lyla!

And speaking of squealing with delight, I can not say enough about the people who went out of their way to send kind words and reviews about LYM. Even as a debut author, I have no delusions that everyone will love and connect with my stories. But the people who do? Do it in the best possible way. Here are a few of my favorite post-release reviews so far:

Bittersweet Reads Review
Excerpt: I love it when books completely catch me by surprise, and that’s exactly what happened with Last Year’s Mistake! You never know what to expect when starting a new book, especially if it’s by a debut author. But guys, Gina Ciocca blew this one out of the park!

Seeing Double in Neverland ARC review
Excerpt: This was a well written contemporary romance that gave me everything I could have wanted. The back story was some of the best parts of the story and had me dying to find out what lead them to the point of losing out on their friendship. I think Gina captures the feelings of being a teen perfectly, the insecurities, and the jealousy.

A Bookish Escape's "4 Beautiful Friendship, Growing Up, and Falling in Love Filled Stars" Review
Excerpt: Last Year's Mistake brought me back to my teenage years, when you are learning who you are, social cliques can make or break you, and your first love is someone that you'll always remember.

The Reader Bee Review
Excerpt: Not only was the friendship between the two main characters in the story great, but also the relationships with their family members as well. I love a book that has really great family relationships. I especially loved Kelsey’s sister, and also David’s dad, who made me tear up more than a few times throughout the book.

Reading Between Felines Review 
Excerpt: it was a great read and I wish it could have gone on and on because now I have to find another book just as good to dive into, which, after LYM, won't be easy.

Book Sp(L)ot Review
Excerpt: I loved that 'before' Kelsey and David were best friends. They weren't friends-who-aren;t-really-friends for five minutes before they started dating, they really were friends. I liked the scenes of their friendship and seeing their relationship really grow.

Finally, this weekend was the long-awaited Summer Swoons launch party with Rachael Allen, Lauren Morrill, and Julie Reece at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA.

I assume my mouth is running in this picture, because everyone is looking at me

These are some truly awesome ladies, with truly awesome books to match. And Little Shop did a great job of keeping everything organized and running smoothly. I also didn't throw up or trip over anything, so BONUS.

But the ABSOLUTE BEST part? My mom and my sister flew in from Connecticut to surprise me:

Yes, they wore their LYM t-shirts!

Yep, there were tears. And since it was my first book, and therefore my first launch party, there was also an excess of LYM-themed items:

Chocolate chip cookies, saltwater taffy, and chocolate baseballs, oh my!
I had way too much fun planning the little details. And setting them up. And seeing total strangers buy my book and hand it to me to sign. It was crazy, surreal, and amazing.


Obviously nothing is without drawbacks, but I have to tell you: I absolutely love being a published author. Yes, there are times when I doubt my abilities and my endurance and my ideas. There are times when I'm impatient with the whole process, when I wonder if I was really cut out for this. But at the end of the day? This is a dream come true. I haven't forgotten that. And I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I am so, so grateful to everyone who played a part in it. Never stop being your amazing, awesome selves. You're a huge part of the reason for the smile on my face.


  1. Gina, Congratulations on a fantastic debut! These are wonderful pictures -- and OMG, Target?! That is awesome! I have 4 books published and none of them has ever seen the inside of a Target, so that is quite a coup! I'm very happy for you.

  2. I just finished reading this book yesterday and I am oh so in love with the way you put everything together. Keep in mind I read two books during the school year and other than that the last book I had read by choice, was the Fault in our Stars about two years ago. Books really have to click with me. Carrying on, it should without a doubt be made into a movie and hopefully it will, I think it would do so well.I adore the story, thank you so much for making such an amazing book. I must say the worst part of all of this is probably after reading "Last Years Mistake" because now I don't know what to do without it, when I finished reading the last page I just laid in my bed holding the book embracing every word I had just read. You've managed a great start with a great ending. So glad I stumbled upon it.

    -Jessica Franey Toronto