I booked my ticket for YALC in the way back of last November. I took the gamble of not knowing which authors were going to be there or if anyone would come with me. I'm horribly shy, full of anxiety and somehow I don't know how I usually hold a conversation. But, above all else I was excited, having had my "YALC" books in a separate pile since I got back to London... in May.
I ended up going on my own, which I'm kind of glad about? I went to YALC back in 2015, when Cassandra Clare was there on the Saturday. It was one of the best days I've had and I knew I wanted to go back.
Of course, this year was different. I wasn't just Lauren the reader, but Lauren the blogger. Having spoken and made friends with people through our passions of reading. So, to anyone that I met over the weekend- it was fabulous to finally meet you!
I think this year was the first year that publishing stall were handing out proofs, and I did manage to grab a few. There were a few whispers of people who were just getting proofs because they were pre-released books, and then going on to trade. Some of which were books I was dying to get hold of. Anyway, the books that I did.
I managed to grab ARCs of The Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke (my most anticipated debut of 2017!), Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings and The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (which I've since read and loved).
I am inclined to include The Fandom by Anna Day and The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. As both were available over the weekend, only I got mine from the author's publicist via post.
And... I may have treated myself to one book. Because You Love To Hate Me, a short collection of stories based on villains with contributions from popular YA authors and Booktubers, edited by Ameriie.
Panels & Signings
|Signed: Samantha Shannon, V.E.Schwab and Ben Alderson (Benjaminoftomes)|
I spent most of the day in panels and waiting for my ticket number to be called for signings.
The first person I saw walking through the stalls was Sarah-Jane from TheBookLife. She gave me a hug, had a quick chat and took a photo before before tottering off to the first panel of the morning.
|I'm the one standing with the Dan and Phil backpack.|
The panel highlight for me was the "SFF Now" one. I loved how the panel was taken up by mostly woman authors- even if, this is still YA. I think it would have been interesting if SFF authors like Zen Cho could have made it.
Where do I start?
The start of Benedict Cumber-watch. Sorry, Cumberbatch.
Not even before getting in the lift I spotted a familiar face- Ben! From BenjaminofTomes. A surreal moment for sure, it's weird that feeling of meeting some who's videos you've watched for actual years!
Saw a few peeps from the day before, including Karen from ASimpleCupofTea and my fellow Voidwitch. It was lovely just to have a quick chat- I know I kept moving.
I talked cats with V. I know, but Roissy and Oliver. And my nan text me to make sure I said she was a fan of Oliver. (I'm still laughing.)
The highlight for me was the end of the day. I made sure to get to all the panel's I was dying to hear- Genre-bending with V.E.Schwab and Zen Cho, In Conversation with Laini Taylor and the panel that left me warm, and fuzzy and a bit teary- Books That Made Me with V, Laini and Joanne Harris. I love talking about books that I hold with fondness, so this panel was just made for me. When Joanne talked about receiving a book from her childhood library -- Oh my! I'm glad I had some tissues with me.
|Caught V.E.Schwab on the YALC floor.|
And then we shaved Non Pratt's hair. Got a bit crazy when BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH walked past and double taked and realised how cultish the YA community can be.
If only he walked past when we were chanting "Shave". It would have completed that picture.
But in realness, I just wanted to say I felt taken aback. I had this sudden moment of realization, when we really felt like a community. We were all laughing and making jokes, conversations. Author, reader, blogger, booktuber, all of us. Now matter gender, age, sexuality, class, ethnicity, disability. It made me remember just how special the YA community can be. Aww.. I just got really sentimental.
Sunday was the most relaxed day of all three. A signing here and there, a panel and the last rush to grab some proofs, yes, I got the proofs I was after. And I am currently speeding through them.
Cumber-watch continued, with my final count at 11. Honestly, I'm convinced he was just trying to see if we were shaving any more heads.
A book that was really being pushed- with 150 proofs being given out per day- was The Fandom by Anna Day. And she was there to sign. I really enjoyed the Fandom panel that went on prior, in all it's weird fandom glory. Plus, Anna Day was lovely, very chatty and happy to talk about her books, much to organisers chagrin. Her queue was pretty long, so you can only imagine why. But, that's great!
Also, the weekend was well concluded with the sass of the one and only Patrick Ness and Juno Dawson. Gotta luv 'em.
Okay, so this post is longer than I was expecting it to be and I wanted to talk a little bit about a few issues that came up. However, Sarah-Jane from TheBookLife has managed to address them, so I'm going to link you to her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS5X2Jbiagk