So at the end of July I went up to YALC for the weekend. YALC stands for the Young Adult Literature Convention and it’s hosted as part of London’s Film and Comic Con. This was not only the first time I was going to a book convention but the first time I was going to any kind of convention at all on my own.
Understandably I was really nervous but it was all for nothing because the weekend I was at YALC turned out to be one of the best weekend’s of my life. I massively overspent on books and managed to bruise my shoulder carrying them all back in four tote bags, spent so much time in queues to get my books signed by my favourite authors, sat through some amazing panels and met some amazing people as well. And that was all without venturing down to Comic Con.
My highlights included meeting three of my favourite authors – Samantha Shannon, V.E. Schwab and Maggie Stiefvater – seeing them in their panels and getting my copies of their books signed, discovering some brand new authors who’s books I cannot wait to get started on, and receiving three ARCs I am so so excited for.
Of course there were plenty of freebies on offer; posters, badges, chapter samples of upcoming releases, and bookmarks which I loaded up my tote bags with. All in all I had a brilliant weekend and I am definitely going to go back to YALC next year; I’m already looking forwards to it.
My Tips for YALC:
- Talk to other people…If you’re on your own like I was talk to the people on the publisher stands, the people next to you in the queues, the people you sit besides waiting for a panel to start. Everyone is really friendly and given you’re all at a book convention you know you’ve got at least one thing in common.
- Drink and eat…This may seem like an obvious one but it really isn’t. There were days when it got to 3pm and I suddenly realised that, not only had I not eaten anything all day but, all I’d had to drink was a glass of water before leaving my house at half six that morning.
- Take plenty of bags…You will be coming away with loads of books. If you take some up to get them signed, if you buys loads from the publisher stands while you’re there, you end up having a lot to carry back with you. I saw some people with suitcases which is something I am seriously considering for next year.
- Wear comfy shoes…There is a lot of standing, a lot of queuing, and a lot of walking so be prepared for that.
- Explore Comic Con as well…This is something I wish I’d done this year. There is a whole other convention down there filled with stands selling amazing merchandise. It’s well worth a visit based on what I heard everyone saying while I was at YALC.
- Over budget…Even if you don’t expect to spend money there will be books that catch your eye. So when you budget over budget because trust me you will need it.
My YALC Book Haul
This is one of my favourite trilogies so when I saw it available at YALC I had to buy it. I managed to get the books cheaper than the retail price as well so it ended up being a bargain I couldn’t resist. It’s given me the perfect excuse to re-read the first two books and finally get started on Morning Star.
These were three book I only brought on a whim. When I saw Taran Matharu at the Behind the Magic panel on the first day and James Smythe at the YA in Space panel on the second day what I heard about both books and series made me want to immediately run out, buy a copy and start reading. I got all three at the Waterstones stand and also got them signed by the authors as well. I can’t wait to get started; if what I heard about them at YALC is anything to go by I’m going to really love them.
- Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
- A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
- Gilded Cage by Vic James
Honestly I’m not even sure how I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of these ARCs but I am so glad I did. I spent about an hour after I got my copy of Gemina just hugging it to my chest because I was so thrilled. I am really excited to start all of them; A Torch Against the Night is next on my to-read list and I think it’s going to be brilliant.
- Kook by Chris Vick
- Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins
- What’s a Girl Gotta Do by Holly Bourne
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Both Kook and Kindred Spirits were freebies, and as much as I loved Rainbow Rowell I’m not sure I would have picked up either of these if they hadn’t been free. However both sound interesting so I’ve added them to my to-read and hopefully I’ll be able to get around to them soon. Dune and My True Love Gave to Me were recommendations from the people manning various publisher stands, and of course when I saw a copy of What’s a Girl Gotta Do at the Waterstones stand I had to buy it.
I’m slowly building up my collection of Patrick Ness’s books, I brought The Rest of Us Just Live Here from the Waterstones stand and there’ll be a few more of Ness’s book in my July and August book haul.
And believe it or not this isn’t the only book haul I will be posting for this month. At the end of August I will be posting my combined July and August book haul and you will be able to see for yourself why I am putting myself on another book buying ban. It’s a little ridiculous how many books I’ve brought this month.