YALC Recap and Book Haul

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.

YALC (1)

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.

YALC (2)

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

YALC Book Haul (1)

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.

YALC Book Haul (2)

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.

YALC Book Haul (3)

YALC Book Haul (4)

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.

YALC Book Haul (5)

YALC Book Haul (6)

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.


60 thoughts on “YALC Recap and Book Haul

  1. Beth, I think I might have started crying when I saw that Gemina ARC 😂😂 This is such an AMAZING haul. I dont even know where to start. There’s so many pretty books 😍😍 You met so many wonderful authors too!! I’m glad you had such a wonderful time. Great tips too! I’ve never been to a convention, but when I’ve been lining up all day to see bands on my own it’s so great talking to everyone in line!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m 99% sure I wanted to cry when I got my ARC for Gemina, definitely my favourite book from my haul and I got some amazing ones from YALC.
      It was a brilliant time, if you ever get the chance to go to a book convention I would highly recommend it. I am already planning on going next year! And thanks I’m glad you liked my tips as well! 😀


      1. Your back must’ve hurt after lugging all those books around. 😂 I’ve always wanted to go to England. I’m planning for spring or summer 2017. 🙂 YALC would make it even more exciting of a trip. I don’t know what I’d do with all of my books. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Actually it was more my shoulder that hurt at the end of the day!
        It’d be great if you did make it to England in 2017, and even better if you could make it YALC as well! It would make your trip a lot more exciting.
        I feel like I should advise you to bring an extra suitcase for all the books! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I recall going on some intense shopping sprees and my bra strap was literally dug into my shoulder like it was part of my skin. I think I would need a cart that I can roll around. I know what you mean. 😂 Yeah, YALC would be awesome. A bunch of my blogger friends live in England. We could all meet up there. That would be so fun. I’ll be the one with the American accent. Ha! You won’t be able to miss me. 🤗 I wonder what they would charge for international suitcases full of books. 😂 Oh the shame! Haha! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah it was definitely like that for me, if I go next year I am definitely thinking of taking a suitcase with me to carry all the books I will undoubtedly buy! I saw a few people at YALC with suitcases and now I understand why they took them!
        Ohh England blogger meet-up! I’d definitely be there, and yeah I guess with your accent you’ll be easy to spot in the sea of English people. 🙂
        God knows probably a bit because a lot of books in one suitcase would weigh a lot! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it was amazing! And yeah a lot of books, more than I’ve ever brought in one weekend before, but an amazing haul so I was pretty pleased with myself.
      I’m planning to start it soon and I’ll be posting a review when I’ve read it as well, but there’s not long to go now until it’s actual release! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OH MY GOD, BETH. This is such a great haul – you’ve gotten so many books and I am totally living vicariously through your pictures. ❤

    Really hoping you like A Torch Against the Night! I loved the first book and it ended with a non-ending, so I'm glad that the series is continuing soon. This is a totally noob question also but did you have to do anything for the ARCs, or were they just giving them out to anyone who wants them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Reg! And yeah there were definitely a lot of books brought over one weekend, more than I’ve ever brought before!
      I’m hopefully gonna be starting it soon, I think it’s going to be a trilogy if I remember correctly. Either way I’m really excited to get started on it.
      There were competitions for ARCs throughout the weekend but the three I got I was pretty much just given. I think it depends on the publisher you know. 🙂


      1. How many books did you get in total? You know I have to ask. 😛

        I’m in a very shopping mood right now and I feel like I might just go on a book shopping spree soon. I’m usually very good, but some days the temptation is impossible to resist. D:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Combining my YALC book haul with the books I brought July/August (I count that as one month because I get paid in the middle of the month, really my hauls should be the second half of one month and first half of the next) I think around 40 books. Normally my budget is between £40-£45 so I was way over this month!
        I’m feeling in a shopping mood but I need to control myself. I’m going to put myself on a tight book ban until at least after Christmas! 😀


      3. Depends on if they’re hardcover or paperback, on average I’d say about seven, also depending on the price!
        I’ve yet to stick to my book budget so I may as well throw mine out the window, especially after this month! 🙂


  3. I’m very glad to see that you had an amazing time! 😀 Also super jealous that you got to meet Victoria Schwab – I really hope I get to meet her one day as well.
    Wow! You got a TON of books, I can understand how your shoulder got bruised if you had to carry them. Do you plan on reading the samples of Crooked Kingdom and Strange the Dreamer? I’m curious if you read samplers or not! I’m personally not one for them, I will just wait for the full book to come out instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was amazing, definitely an unforgettable weekend. Meeting V.E. Schwab was one of the highlights, she’s such an amazing person.
      Yeah loads of books, I was in agony by the time I got home I was carrying everything over my right shoulder and it was a lot of books. I don’t normally read samplers but for books like Strange the Dreamer and Crooked Kingdom, which I cannot wait for, I will read anything of them I can get my hands on! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only imagine how amazing it was. I have never actually been to a bookish convention or event (there just weren’t many/any where I was living). Hopefully I’ll go to a few in the future! 🙂
        Hahaha, that’s true! If I got a sampler for Crooked Kingdom I would read it immediately as well…for obvious reasons of course! XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’d highly recommend going to one if you ever get a chance. And there may be one near where you live, I wasn’t even aware YALC was a thing in London until someone else mentioned.
        There were tons of samplers there, but yeah for the books I’m really excited for I just had to pick them up! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so happy you had a blast and met all those fabulous authors and got so many amazing books! I’d love to go to some sort of bookish convention some day– my bucket list is calling!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was definitely a blast, so manay amazing authors and amazing books as well. I feel like I could have brought a lot more than I did so I managed to moderately control myself!
      I’d definitely recommend going if you ever get a chance, it’s a weekend you won’t soon forget! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my post in that case! And god it was such an amazing weekend, I didn’t want it to end and I am already planning on going again next year! It would be amazing if you could come along as well, we could definitely meet up and fangirl over books together! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG! You met some of the greatest YA authors, and I am terribly jealous of you… I feel as if something like this calls for a book haul, so don’t even feel guilty about it 🙂 I actually copied those tips and will be remembering them for whenever I have a chance to go to something like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes some of my favourite authors were at YALC this year so I was so beyond thrilled I got to go and meet them as well.
      It was a lot of books I got that weekend so I think it definitely called for a book haul. I wonder if next year I’ll have even more books from YALC! 😀
      In that case I hope you both manage to go to a book convention and you find the tips useful as well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Look at all of those books! That’s one amazing haul. Also that Samantha Shannon signature 😍! I’m still so jealous that you got to meet her. YALC sounds incredible and it seems like you had so much fun! I’ve never been to any kind of book convention but I hope to be able to go to one one day. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s a lot this month! 🙂
      It was beyond brilliant meeting her she’s such a nice person as well, all the authors were actually.
      YALC was amazing, honestly I didn’t want it to end and part of me is already planning my trip there next year because, well, I’m definitely going to be going! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bet! Most authors are so incredibly nice. 😊

        I wouldn’t have wanted it to end either! I saw how much fun everyone was having through twitter and it seemed amazing. I actually want to try to go to BEA next year, but I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to swing it. Plane tickets are so much and not to mention whatever fees they charge to go. I’d have to save every penny.

        Did you hear the news about the signed collectors edition of The Song Rising that they’re doing with the original cover design!? 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t really expect anything else but I was still really surprised by how nice everyone was, and not just the authors but the other con goers and the people manning the publisher stands.
        Ohh it would be amazing if you got to go to BEA. I saw people’s posts from that con and it looked incredible. Yeah expensive, but probably worth it.
        Also I had no idea that was being released, I have to go and look that up right this second! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s great, that everyone was so nice 😃! It was the same experience for me when I went to that CoHo signing, all the people were so nice. It makes for a great experience. It would be amazing and definitely worth it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to make it happen. 😊

        Yep! I flipped. Samantha Shannon announced it on her twitter and then the TBS twitter did too. It’s a gorgeous cover!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ve yet to meet a mean person while at a con, and yet I constantly find myself surprised by how nice everyone is! It definitely makes it an amazing experience, speaking to everyone about all the books they love and just reading in general.
        Yep, I need that edition now! It’s gone to the top of my wishlist! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It’s nice to be surrounded by people, in person, that share your passion for something. I think it’s something that is infectious so everyone at cons are so ready to talk to everyone else. It’s a happy atmosphere for sure. 😃

        Same! I actually preordered it even though I told myself I would wait until it got closer to release day. I couldn’t help it. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s one called YALLfest that’s in November, and EVERYONE is going to be there. I’m going to go to that. I just wish I had someone to go to these things with. I’m bummed you live so far away!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So many books!!!!! I’m happy you had a good time. Loved your tips even for Comic Con and Bookcon here in the United States. I am super jealous that you have a copy of Gemina lol, I would’ve been hugging it toooooo!!!!!! I look forward to your next haul cause this one was pretty amazing =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I definitely overspent this month, can’t bring myself to regret it though! 🙂
      It was a brilliant weekend and yeah I think the tips will be good for any convention, book or otherwise. Oh Gemina was by far my best find of the weekend, I was so beyond thrilled I managed to get a copy.
      Thanks, hopefully I’ll have my July/August haul up just before the end of August with the rest of the books I brought this month! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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