YALC is over. I can’t quite believe that it’s over. The whole weekend went so quickly and I had such a great time. The last time I went was in 2016 so it had been a while but I’ve definitely decided that I will now try to go every year (if finances allow it). Today’s blog post is going to be about my experience at YALC as well as my haul. It’s going to be a long one so grab a drink and read on.
I don’t want to rattle on and on about my experience at YALC because it will be way too long but I had a great time this year. For me, what really made YALC was all of the people I hung out with. I hung out with some blogger friends and I made quite a lot of new ones. I love being in a room full of book nerds who love YA as much as you do. Special thanks go to Jamie who I spent the whole weekend with and stayed with as well as Lily who ended up being my unofficial YALC buddy on the two days that she was there. I also got to hang out with a bunch of other people like Eleanor, Faye, Cerys, Demet, Chelley, Naz, Shaz, Kate, Sally and so much more! I love socialising with people at book events and I had great fun making friends with people who I can definitely see myself hanging out with a lot in the future.
This year was extra special because I got to be on a workshop panel which is just crazy. As I was nominated for a UKYA blogger award, I was invited to talk on a panel about working with publishers/authors as a blogger and I loved every second of it. I was so nervous because I am not very good with public speaking but everyone I was with on the panel was great and I loved having that discussion with them in the room. Massive thank you to everyone who came to the panel and even bigger thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who did the panel with me.
Whilst YALC was great, there definitely were some issues. There was a lot of craziness this year with people running around to get ARCs that were first come, first serve. I definitely think that the YALC team need to work through some issues with accessibility and more publishers need to commit to a raffle system to make it fairer and allow for people with disabilities to win proofs. Though an error with the raffle system is that all of them look the same and it was really hard to keep track of which tickets were for which raffles. There are a number of issues that definitely need to be sorted and I hope it gets better by next year.
Now onto my haul! I got a lot of stuff this year, across a number of different categories so I’m going to split it up into smaller categories.
I went a bit crazy on the books side this year. I acquired many books this year so I have a lot of reading to do but I am so excited about all of the books I picked up.
- Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich – I picked this up from the book swap area because I’m going to see the show in November and I want to read it after seeing it.
- Jackpot by Nic Stone – I won this book through a tombola giveaway and I’m so excited to read it before it comes out in December.
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – this is probably the craziest purchase I made but it was 3 for £10 and I have wanted these editions since they came out.
- Alex Approximately, Night Owls and Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett – I actually bought all 4 of her books for £10 but I already owned Serious Moonlight so I gave it to a friend but I am so excited to read Night Owels and Starry Eyes since I’ve already read Alex, Approximately.
- The Inside of Out, Night Music and The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne – I also purchased all of the books by Jenn Marie Thorne because she was at the stand and signing copies of her books and I had already read The Wrong Side of Right so I decided to pick up all three. It was also if you buy a book, you get another free so I got all three for the price of two.
- Frankly in Love by David Yoon – I was really excited for this proof and went almost straight for this book as soon as I got to YAlC on Friday after I got another ARC.
- The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon – In order to get a proof of Frankly in Love, I had to purchase another book so I decided to buy the film copy of The Sun Is Also A Star because it felt right to get a Nicola Yoon book to get a proof of her husband’s debut book.
- Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – at the Hodder stand, we had to buy two books in order to get a proof of another book that I wanted to so I decided to finally purchase this duology and give Laini Taylor a try.
- American Royals by Katherine McGee – this was technically before YALC but on Thursday, my friend gave me a proof copy of this because she knew how excited I was to read it.
- Infinity Son by Adam Silvera – this was the proof that caused the most drama as people were running to get it as soon as doors opened and they were pushing people over but thankfully, I managed to get it on Friday with no issues and no pushing and running.
- Crossfire by Malorie Blackman – I planned to get this book at YALC as it doesn’t release until the 8th August. I cannot wait to read it as I love Malorie Blackman.
- If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann – I decided to pick this up from one of the stands as I have heard great things about it.
- Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan – with the purchase of If It Makes You Happy, I got to choose a free book from a separate section so I decided to choose Hot Dog Girl as I have heard a lot about this book.
- The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – this was also in the book swap section and I was so happy to find it as it was an illumicrate exclusive proof copy and I have wanted to read this book for ages.
- The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – this was the proof copy that we had to buy two books from Hodder for and this caused madness as well. I am very happy that I got it even if I got pushed around a lot in the attempt to get it.
We’re now going into the swag section and I also got a few bags this year which I always appreciate.
- To Thine Own Shelf Be True – this was a tote bag from quirk books that I adored and I’m so happy that I managed to get it.
- YALC – this was the goodie bag for people who had weekend passes and I’m happy that it was a drawstring bag. I do think the contents of the goodie bag were very disappointing.
- Harper Voyager – I got this cute tote bag for signing up to their newsletter as well as getting a link to a free audiobook of Nevernight so maybe it’s time that I finally read it.
- Alex in Wonderland – I got this tote bag for buying 3 books at the Scholastic stand and I thought it was great, especially since I loved the book.
I picked up these two candles from the Bookish Burns stall which I loved. These are the first bookish candles I have ever bought and I will definitely buy more in the future.
- Jem’s Medicine – Jem Carstairs is my favourite character in the world so as soon as I saw this, I knew that I needed it.
- Bookstagram – I don’t actually have a bookstagram but I loved the spell and look of this candle so much that I needed it.
I purchased these two pins from the Illumicrate/Fable and Black stall and I love them. Enamel pins are my new favourite thing.
- Slytherin Locket – this was the YALC exclusive version of the pin that they did earlier this year and I loved it so much and it is perfect for repping my Slytherin Pride.
- Book Lover – I loved the look of all of their pins but this was my favourite and I needed it.
I got a lot of stickers this year which is so weird but they are perfect to decorate the outside of my bullet journal.
- The Paper and Hearts Society – this was available as swag and I adored it because I loved the book and it will go perfectly on my bullet journal.
- Dark mark, never enough books, to whatever end – a bookish sticker maker was putting these on the book swap shelf and I loved them so I picked them up. I’m sad that I missed out on her Six of Crows stickers but I love these ones.
- America’s ass, pizza cat, stop body shaming, Hamilton, catcallers, literal king – these were my only purchases from LFCC but I adored them as soon as I saw them. I can’t even pick one favourite.
- Parabatai rune – this is technically a temporary rune but you all know I am Shadowhunter trash and I needed it.
- Book lover – I bought this in pin format but I also needed it in sticker format for the front cover of my bullet journal.
I didn’t get many bookmarks this year because I only picked up the ones that I wanted as I have way too many already.
- Heartstopper bookmarks – these were available at Alice Oseman’s signing and I adored them because they are just so cute.
- Aurora Rising – I enjoyed this book even if I was slightly disappointed with it so I picked up the bookmark at YALC.
- Wayward Son – you already know I had to pick up the Rainbow Rowell bookmark because I adore her books so much and I cannot wait for Wayward Son.
I was also picky with samplers this year because I hardly ever read them so I only picked up the ones that I knew I definitely was going to read.
- Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks – as we established earlier, I am Rainbow Rowell trash and I needed this.
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – I entered the raffle for this and sadly didn’t win but at least I got the sampler.
- Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury – as soon as this was announced, I knew that I needed it. I also got it signed by her as well!
- Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – people were literally queuing for this sampler but I decided not to. I swung by later in the day and picked up a sampler from the table after the queue had died down.
I love getting postcards because I stick them on my wall but I was selective about which ones I picked up this year because I’m running out of space.
- Hunger Games – I love how it is untitled and has no cover but I wanted the postcard.
- Wayward Son – you already know I needed this.
- Chain of Gold – I obviously needed this one too.
- BKMRK – this one was included in our goodie bag.
- Alice Oseman – this was another thing she was giving out at her signing and I loved how it links all of her books together.
- Infinity Son – this was included in our proof copies
I used to be a huge fan of these badges and whilst I still enjoy them, they aren’t as good to wear as enamel pins are. I put them on lanyards and hang them off of my bookshelves instead.
- YALC – this was included in our goodie bag too.
- Birthday – I picked up this set of two because I loved the book.
- Yes, No, Maybe So – I got this badge for entering the raffle to win a proof of the book.
- Shadowhunter Army – obviously I needed this.
- Wayward Son – and this too.
- Aurora Rising – I got this when I did a test to find out which part of the team that I am.
- Noughts and Crosses – the lovely people at the Penguin stand gave this to me after I gushed about my love for Malorie Blackman.
- Heartstopper – this was another thing that Alice was giving out at her signing.
I also love getting prints to put on my wall as well so I picked up a few cute ones.
- Nevernight quote – I haven’t even read Nevernight but I loved this quote and the design so I needed it.
- Cardan and Jude – Fairyloot were giving this out for free and I was very excited to get it to add to my wall.
- Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card – this is technically Fable and Black’s business card but I loved it so much that I’m going to put it on display.
Even though you try to categorise everything, there always ends up being a miscellanenous category.
- YALC programme, lanyard and pen – these were all included in our goodie bags.
- With the Fire on High bag – I got this from the Hot Key stand.
- Odd Voice Out notebook – I won this notebook in a lucky dip kind of thing.
So that’s it for YALC 2019. I’m so sad that it’s over and I cannot wait for next year. If I hung out with you at any point, do comment down below so we can chat again!