It has been two weeks since YALC weekend, so I think I’m finally ready to post my wrap up! This year, I went to YALC all three days and met so many awesome authors, writers, bloggers, and book lovers alike! So as to not overwhelm you, I’m going to break it down into the three separate days.
FRIDAY: so, I was late and ended up at the very back of the line! I promise I’m not usually late but for some reason, I was late on both Friday and Saturday (*insert side-eye emoji*). But luckily, Christine (weereader) and Vicky (hunguponbooks) were not late and so, I snuck in with them. hEHE. First thing we did when stepping foot onto the YALC floor was sprint to the MyKindaBook stall, of course.
We were a little too busy rummaging through those beautiful picnic cases that I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the stall, so here’s a photo courtesy of MyKindaBook! The MyKindaBook stall was without any hesitation our first stop. Why? First, look at how beautiful. Second, THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins (author of Anna and the French Kiss) ARCs. Third, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi samplers.
Authors I met that day include: Alwyn Hamilton, Taran Matharu (who I’ve met at the past 3 YALCs, mwaha), Elizabeth May (technically, I was in the line for another author so Christine got this book signed for me!), Alison Goodman (who, being a wonderful person, signed our books before it was time for her signing!), and Karen M. McManus (who was super lovely, and we had a great chat about One of Us is Lying, and her next book!) I also met the wonderful Josephine Boyce, whom I ADORE. She is super lovely and spending the weekend at her stall made my YALC experience so much better.
I didn’t actually make it to any panels or workshops. I mean, I went into the HEROINES panel which I was super excited for but a few minutes into it, CITY OF BRASS ARCs were being handed out and we ended up legging it out (embarrassingly). I later apologised to Alwyn (who had been part of the panel) at her signing and we laughed about it, but she also gave us a pass because free BOOKS.
SATURDAY: late, again. (But was it worth it? Yes). This time, I didn’t really have much of the day planned. I bumped into my bookish friend, Humaira, and it being her first day at YALC, caught her up on everything she missed. We visited all the stalls, she bought some books, I cried over my ban. Vicky, Christine, Humaira and I, along with Ben (benjaminoftomes), hung out at stalls and grabbed a copy of ZENITH by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg from the HQYoungAdult stall after about an hour of waiting and fighting through a crowd.
This time, I didn’t bother with any panels though there were a few that sounded fantastic, because I didn’t want to embarrass myself by running out again.
Authors I met: Carlie Sorosiak, Vic James, Hayley Barker. I also met VE Schwab, which was a big deal for me because I was SO eager to meet her last summer but fell ill and didn’t get to. So this time, when I saw her tweet about arriving at YALC and being around, I kept my eyes peeled and saw her the moment she stepped foot inside and Vicky and I kinda ambushed her, and then a crowd formed behind us and we all took turns getting pictures with her. (Sorry, V). Her signing later on was super long, too, and she was only personalising two books per person but it was fun to finally get to talk to her and hear more about her new book! I also really wanted to meet Ayisha Malik but forgot my copies of her books at home, like an idiot.
SUNDAY: this day, I actually planned on being late… and got there on time. I know, right? It was the last day and I just wanted to absorb as much of the YALC atmosphere as I could, to keep me going until next year. I made a bee-line for Josie’s stall and hung out with her (which I already miss) and disappeared at moments to get books signed and hang with the wonderful Anissa at the FairyLoot stall.
The cover of Alwyn Hamilton’s last book of the Rebel of the Sands trilogy, Hero at the Fall, was revealed and eeeeeee, isn’t it beautiful!?
Authors I met: Katherine Webber (technically, I’ve met Katie many times but I still made sure to go to her YALC signing because YALC SIGNING). And then Anna Day, whose line was ABSURDLY long but was super lovely, and we discussed the ending of her story which I have yet to reach (stupid slump) but am excited to! Ryan Graudin. We talked about her recent Paris writing retreat which looked like what dreams are made of. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to grab an INVICTUS ARC until after her signing so my copy isn’t signed.
And then, I met Cat Doyle. Before I write anything about Cat Doyle, I have to give some backstory. So, I’ve loved Cat’s books (Blood for Blood trilogy) since just before book two was released, which is when I discovered her books. I’ve been a huge fan since and really wanted to meet her. So, imagine my excitement when I saw her on the YALC authors list! Me being me, I confused her signing time and thought it was at 2pm instead of 3pm and went searching for her table. When I couldn’t find it, I decided to give it a few minutes, and went to the toilet. If you used the female toilets at any point during YALC, you know that there’s always a line. So while in the line, I turned around and did a literal double-take. (We were the only two in the line now, and I could see Cat internally freaking out and wondering if I was some sort of murderer). So, I introduced myself. In the toilets. Beside the cubicles. It was the funniest and most embarrassing thing ever but Cat was super lovely and recognised me from Twitter, which was great. What an awesome first impression, right?
OVERALL, YALC HAUL:
OTHER FAVOURITE #YALC MOMENTS: talking favourite childhood reads with Christine, hanging out with the lovely Anissa at the FAIRYLOOT stall (which was fricking epic!) and seeing BENEDICT. FRICKING. CUMBERBATCH.
True bonding happened that day. We were no longer five strangers, but the Cumberbitches. Our group superpower is being able to sense whenever Benedict was within a 20ft radius, and then freezing/squealing when he glanced our way.
Vicky running for a chocolate LANGUAGE OF THORNS coin, and Christine spotting a second one 0.2 seconds after and giving it to me.
Overall, YALC was the absolute best weekend of my year so far. I’d been looking forward to it all year and it did not disappoint. Everyone was super lovely and being surrounded by readers and writers and books was just an amazing atmosphere, I wish I could bottle it up. It was so motivating and I’m already counting down the days to next year’s YALC! Is it YALC’18 yet?