YALC 2019: My Best Moments, Haul & The Tea!

a novel love yalc 2019

So YALC 2019 happened at the end of July and I had an awesome time!

It was my very first YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) this year and I can already tell that it won’t be my last! I’m already raring to go back! So I thought I’d drop by here with a quick review of the event and a quick rundown of my favourite moments and, of course, my haul!

So YALC happened from Friday 26th – Sunday 28th and I was there for the Saturday and Sunday only but still got a lot crammed in to the two days!

So let’s start at the beginning!

Oh – before I start, if you’d rather have this in video form, I’ve got you covered! Check out my video below! The timestamps for the three main sections, Moments, Haul and Tea, are 1:19, 9:24 and 15:42.

So Friday, although technically the start of YALC, was a travel day for me and my YALC buddy Louise (of BookbestiesUK) and as my train was going to London, and London King’s Cross, you know what that means! Platform 9 ¾!

Louise and I had bought our VIP passes for this before we went, which meant that we could queue jump and get our photo taken straight away! And how glad we are that we did because the queue was heaving and we went straight to the front, got our photo taken and went straight into the shop (which also had a massive queue too!).

Oh boy, the look on people’s faces who had been waiting for what I can only guess was near an hour in the unusually unbearable heat, in a crowded train station, with their luggage was priceless as we queue jumped – but hey, we paid for the privilege, so we’re gonna use it!

Anyway, check out the awesome photos we got taken! I love them!

On to YALC!

Ok going forward I think I’m going to bullet point mostly and then elaborate where necessary!

Saturday highlights:

  • I got to pet the most adorable bomb sniffer dog in the queue
  • I managed to get an ARC of Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son
  • I went to every stall (duh) and had an awesome time chatting to people on the stalls and buying books
  • I got a load of interesting samplers and freebies
  • I saw a physical ARC of A Heart So Fierce and Broken *faint* but alas, it was for a competition that I didn’t win (but a girl can dream!)
  • I won a copy of Chinglish due to my amazing (aka, awful) self portrait skills!
  • I went to a panel with Karen M. McManus on it and got my books signed by her! Click for my reviews of One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep A Secret
  • Anissa from Fairyloot recognised me from my Fairyloot Finale unboxing video! OMG *dead*
  • I got a glitter tattoo from Hodderscape
  • I met some absolutely awesome people

Sunday highlights:

  • I went and explored LFCC (London Film & Comic Con) downstairs
  • Had my portrait drawn by Yishan Li
  • Met Sonia Leong again and bought her book (and art)!
  • Won an Exclusive copy of Girls of Paper and Fire at the Fairyloot stall by getting a free cupcake! I know right?! How awesome is that?! Basically, the cupcake toppers were fairies and if yours had a green splodge on her, then you won! I was one of the lucky three!
  • I hung out with the previously mentioned awesome people a lot
  • I won a soap from Geeky Clean!
  • I got loads of books (again!) and some art!

I had so much fun! And check out my haul!

Naturally, the event wasn’t perfect – no event possibly could be. And although it was a good event and I had fun, it wasn’t without its faults. So…here’s the tea on things that went wrong:

  • One of the raffles (on Saturday, 11am) was run in a way that excluded anyone who had other things on at the time that were run by YALC (like panels, workshops etc) or LFCC (like pre-paid photoshoots). Whilst they learnt from this mistake for future raffles, it was quite a disheartening experience as Louise and I showed up at 11am for the draw…but they had already started…annoying.

  • The big bit of tea is what I have dubbed the ‘Silvera Crush’. Hashtag Reads announced on Twitter that they had 300 ARCS of Adam Silvera’s upcoming fantasy novel Infinity Son to give away and there would be 100 a day given out. Friday (from what I heard) went off without a hitch and they still had some after an hour of opening. But Saturday was a different story. There was an insane crush and rush first thing Saturday morning to get to the Hashtag Reads stand. People were being tripped in the stairwell, suitcases were hitting people (I have a few bruises from that morning) and I got shoved out the way several times.

    Then, when the queue was formed, people had their friends queue with them when they hadn’t arrived at the same time, pushing themselves in to the queue and cutting people who legit would have been part of the first 100. I was lucky and got myself a copy because I had really hoped to get one.

    This way of doing it was not only dangerous (obviously) but discriminatory too. We had guests there who were in wheelchairs, walking with a cane, had mobility issues, sight issues, hearing issues – and this footrace discriminated against them. Luckily the stall was told by the event staff that they weren’t allowed to do that on Sunday because it’s fucking dangerous. So they did a raffle on Sunday for the remaining 100 copies instead. Even though I managed to get a copy, it was a pretty shit way to start my YALC weekend.

  • The entitlement was real. There were girls there behaving like spoilt brats when they didn’t win ARCs, saying that they ‘deserved’ them, and basically kicking off if they didn’t win. There was entitlement to books that were out of stock on the stalls too. I was disgusted by it. You bitches need to calm down and grow up – you are not owed anything or entitled to anything. *eyeroll*.

  • By Sunday afternoon, a few of the publisher stalls looked bored, fed up and over it all (which I can’t really blame them for because after some of the fuckery I witnessed, I’d be over it too) but it was a little disheartening for it to be so blatantly on display.

  • Some of the judgmental looks I got were unnecessary. For those who don’t watch my YouTube channel or haven’t seen me on Instagram; I have large breasts. I also really like them, they are part of my body and I like showing them off. So I wear low cut tops a lot (after all, Mother Nature won’t let me keep them up and firm forever lol!). I’m proud of them. Anyway, I was wearing a lot cut playsuit on Saturday that I ended up covering up with a second top to hide some of my cleavage after receiving several bitchy and judgmental looks from other YALC guests. Usually I don’t let things like that bother me. I have a very ‘fuck you’ attitude towards bitchy people. But I’m also known to be quite confrontational, and because I wanted to have fun primarily, and not cause more drama at YALC, I thought I’d better cover myself up a bit and nip the looks in the bud so that I wouldn’t risk confronting anyone who gave me those looks.

    People: stop being so judgmental and let people live their lives! I regret covering up (especially as it was so hot there) and next time I won’t let bitchy people dictate how I look. But if I got those looks, others definitely did too. So I felt like I needed to say it here.

But other than those few negative points I had about the event, YALC was a great experience and I would highly recommend going next year if you can!

a novel love yalc 2019

Thank you to the organisers and for all the publishers and stall runners for making it such a memorable experience! I can’t wait to see you all next year!

Did you go to YALC this year? What did you think about it all?

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