My First YALC!

mfy!

YALC is the Young Adult Literature Convention, and has been held in London for the past four years. It spans over a weekend, and promises days of bookish fun for all!

This year is the first time I’ve been to YALC, and it was awesome! It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was still a lot of fun (and it was actually better in some aspects). I thought there’d be more bookish merchandise for sale, but the stalls that were there were still cool (So. Many. Books.)!

The only negative thing I’ll say about it is that I had no idea what to expect, and upon getting there was quite stressed because I didn’t know what was going on. I think if the hosts of the event maybe put a little ‘What To Expect’ section on their site, it would be great.

The rest of the day when I was there was awesome – I met some lovely authors, listened to some cool panels and, of course, got a lot of bookish goodies!

The Haul

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So I got quite a lot of stuff at YALC (most of which were freebies) – all of which I couldn’t actually fit in this picture. I think I’ve got about 16 badges, a few samplers, one awesome BKMRK tote bag and some cool bookmarks and posters. I also bought a YALC tote bag and a Book Boyfriend candle from Geeky Clean (the owner of which I met yesterday, and she was really nice)!

I visited nearly all of the stalls, except for a couple which includes Fairy Loot – their stall had a queue all day (a lengthy queue at that), so I didn’t get a chance, but I’m really happy with the stalls I did visit!

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I also bought books, of course! I’m a bookworm and I was surrounded by books (literally – books were everywhere)! Here are the books I bought:

Hello Me, It’s You edited by Hannah Todd

The idea of this book is truly wonderful, and I’m really looking forward to reading it (though I know I’m going to get emotional haha). And the people at the stall that I got it from were really nice, too.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

I’ve wanted to read this novel for a while now, and since it was only £5 I just had to buy it!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This is a book that I should’ve picked up years ago, but always seemed to find something else to buy in its place. I’m looking forward to starting it soon!

Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally

I got a free proof copy of this one, and since I used to read books by this author when I was younger, I’ve been wanting to read it since I knew of its release.

This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack

This was another free proof, and though I don’t normally read non-fiction, I’m looking forward to giving it a go with this novel.

Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

This book sounds rather hilarious, and I’ve read a book by the author that I enjoyed before. Also, it’s a hardback and was only £8, so how could I not buy it?!

Panel Events

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Genre-Bending

I was really looking forward to this talk, but unfortunately it was super busy and I sat right at the back, so I couldn’t quite hear what was going on half the time. V. E. Schwab had some interesting ideas on the literature hierarchy which I thought was really interesting, though!

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E. Lockhart

I really love the books I’ve read by E. Lockhart, so I really wanted to see this talk! Unfortunately I missed the beginning and the very end of it, but it was still really interesting to hear more about how the story of We Were Liars came to be! It was also chaired by Holly Bourne, so there’s a plus too!

Author Signings

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I met three authors yesterday! I first saw Carlie Sorosiak (who is in the photo above, excuse my weird face), who was really nice! I was the second person to get my book signed by her, and I’m so happy I got to meet her.

I also saw V. E. Schwab who was lovely! The queue for her was so long, and I think she was signing for at least four hours (but it was definitely worth the wait)!

I didn’t actually get to meet E. Lockhart (I was stuck in the queue for another author), but my parents were kind enough to go and get my book autographed for me. It’s a shame because I really wanted to fangirl about We Were Liars to her, but it seems my mom did for me haha!

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And finally, I got to meet Holly Bourne who was so lovely! Am I Normal Yet? means so much to me, and to be able to tell her that in person was so amazing (there’s a possibility I got sort of emotional after meeting her). She also high-fived my friend and I for starting our own feminist club, which we did after being inspired by her novels.

And that’s my day at YALC summed up! It was definitely worth getting out of bed in the ungodly hours of the morning to be there, and it’s an experience I won’t forget!

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

 

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Bookworm Adventure Time | YALC!

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It’s just a quick post from me today guys! I’ve finished with college for the summer, and I I’m actually still pretty busy with life haha! I’m hoping in a few days everything will calm down and  and I can spend my days reading book after book after book

I’m also hoping to attend some author events too! There are a few events on which seem awesome, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to go to them! This actually brings me to the point of this post:

I’m attending YALC this year!

If you don’t know what YALC is, it stands for the Young Adult Literature Convention, and it sounds like the best thing an England-bound YA bookworm can attend!

Over the span of three days, authors of YA will convene to talk about all things bookish, along with signing their books. There are also workshop sessions and agent talks if you’re interested in finding out more about the publishing world. I’ve heard that there are some awesome stalls dotted around, too!

To say I’m excited to be going is to say the least! I can’t wait (though I’m sort of dreading the trip to London haha) and I’m going with my friend, so I’m hoping it’ll be a wonderful day!

Are you planning on going to YALC this year? Have you attended in previous years?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Meeting Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Hey guys!

Something really awesome happened the other day! I noticed a certain bookish event a few weeks back on Twitter, and right away booked tickets for it! I’d been very excitedly waiting for the day of it to come, and on Thursday, it did!

I MET JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve loved this author’s writing for many years now – The Lux and Covenant series are some of my favourites ever, and I adore all of the characters. Literally just talking about these books gives me a major case of the feels!

Anyway, the event took place in a bookstore, and it was a Q&A, followed by a signing. Unfortunately, I got there a bit late, and the only seats left were at the back. This meant I couldn’t really see what was going on up at the front, but it didn’t matter –  I loved listening to everyone’s questions and hearing Jennifer’s answers!

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(Please excuse the bad quality, I had to zoom in a bit!)

It was amazing getting an insight into these books, and the characters that I love so much! It was also pretty darn cool to be surrounded by people that love them just as much as I do!

It then came to the signing. Because they did it row-by-row, I think I was the second to last person to go up and get my books signed! The table that Jennifer was sitting at was right beside me though!

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(I may have been fangirling a little bit too much to my friends via SnapChat!)

Being the awesome person she is, Jennifer was signing everything people had brought with them, which I thought was such a nice thing to do! When I went up, she said she was doing it because she didn’t know when she was coming back to the UK, and she’d flown over here so she may as well go all out!

But guys, something terrible happened when I went up to get my books signed: I couldn’t talk. Well, no, I could talk, but I couldn’t say what I wanted to say. I talked about taking the train, and how it was the easiest way to travel to the store, and that was it. I’m so upset with myself, but I just couldn’t seem to get the words ‘I adore your books; your writing is so awesome!‘ out. I can’t believe I had the opportunity to tell this author how much her books mean to me, and I talked about the train. Honestly, only I would do that!

I wanted to tell her about a certain thing that happened to me a few weeks ago. (You won’t understand this if you haven’t read Obsidian!) Long story short, a few doors down, new people moved in on my street. When I met them for the first time, I was standing on their doorstep, and this shirtless dude opens the door, looks at me in a very Daemon way, and I’m like, ‘this is it! I’m finally meeting my Daemon!!

Turns out, the dude isn’t like Daemon. He’s worse than Daemon 3.0.

But that moment was so like when Katy meets Daemon for the first time in Obsidian, I wanted to share the experience!! (But words decided to stop working for me, unfortunately!)

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I did get a photo though, and she said she liked my t-shirt! (My face was actually shaking I was that nervous!)

However, as much as I’m annoyed at my self for being a shy heffalump, I’m so happy I got to meet her! She was so lovely, and the Q&A was amazing!

(Also, I found out some pretty awesome things that night – The Lux series is being scripted for a film, and The Covenant series is optioned for a TV series!! How amazing is that?!!)

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And look how she signed one of my Lux books!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Have you read any of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books? What did you think?

Thanks!

 – Emma

Read On!

Bookworm Adventures: Vol. 1

Hey guys!

 

Bookworm Adventures is a new segment on my blog, where I’ll be going on bookish adventures and telling you guys all about them! So without further do, let’s get started!

If any of you follow me on Instagram (you can find me here!), you may know that I went on an adventure earlier this week, and I’m happy to say I had an amazing time! I spent a little time on Google the night before, searching for anything that remotely resembled a bookworm’s paradise…and I found something that looked promising. And so the next day, off I went on my first official Bookworm Adventure!

And low and behold, I found a beautiful Book Farm!

This place was a little out of the way, and was slightly tricky to find, but my family’s navigational skills didn’t fail! There were two buildings – we went in the smaller one first, which really just consisted of one room full of books.

 

I didn’t find any books of interest in here, however it was still fun just marveling at the vast amount of books in this small room!

Then we moved onto the converted barn, which is the main shop, and I fell. In. Love.

It literally felt like I had walked into a bibliophile’s heaven – this place was rammed to the brim with books! I didn’t manage to get too many photos of this part, because I was too busy looking at what the shelves had to offer. However, in the first section on the windowsill, I spotted this, and had to take a photo:

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(This photo shows a Kindle in a cage, with a sign saying ‘Danger: Do Not Feed’.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle – I treasure it! However, I do think this joke is funny, as this place is boasting hundreds and hundreds of physical books! (What are your thoughts on Kindles? Comment below!)

After this section, the shop just carried on, and on…and on!

I did have a genuine moment where I thought I would get lost in this place, but it didn’t feel like a bad thing at all! Wondering aisles and aisles of bookcases holding hundreds of books for the rest of my life? That would literally be a dream come true.

My favourite section was sci-fi and fantasy – they had two rooms for it, and it was awesome! They also had two small manga and graphic novel sections by the windows, but unfortunately they didn’t have any first books in a series, so I couldn’t get any.

I did, however, get some ‘normal’ books! I did have quite a haul, but I had to put some down (as soon as I neared the till, I remembered all of the unread books I already own, and knew I couldn’t add to it by that amount).

In the end, I got:

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I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I have wanted to read this book for such a long time, and couldn’t leave it after I saw it! The movie is an absolute favourite of mine, so I’m hoping the book will be as good as that!

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The reason I picked this book up was because of the author – I love the movie Stardust (as in, I absolutely adore it!), and I know that Neil Gaiman wrote it. Though I have yet to read Stardust, Neverwhere sounded interesting, and I wanted to give it a go!

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I bought American Gods partly because of the author, but also because I’ve heard such good things about it! Both of the Neil Gaiman books I picked up are special editions, and are not the widely published versions of the books, but more how Gaiman originally wrote them!

After we bought our respective books, we went to the cafe that was in the barn. And my gods, was it beautiful!

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I only managed to get a photo of it on my phone, so it doesn’t really do it justice, but you get the gist of it! There were more tables behind us as well. The staff were lovely, the food was lovely, and overall the atmosphere in there was wonderful! I wouldn’t have minded curling up on one of the couches to read for the rest of the day!

As seen on the counter in the photo above, they had this amazing wallpaper, which I now desperately want:

(It seemed to involve a lot of James Bond!)

I had an amazing day, and I know I’ll be visiting the Book Farm again soon!

(p.s: hope you guys enjoyed this post! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!)

Thanks!

 – Emma

Read On!

Cassandra Clare Signing!

Yesterday was absolutely amazing. It still feels like it was all a dream, because it doesn’t really seem possible that I could have met one of my favourite authors ever yesterday, and have her autograph my copy of Lady Midnight.

My friends and I joined the queue at 2:30 in the afternoon, and contemplated whether or not to actually stay. Cassie was starting the signing at 5:00, and since there were so many people ahead of us, we weren’t sure if we’d actually be seen.

But after queuing for half an hour, I realised I couldn’t leave. There was no way I could pass up on the opportunity of possibly meeting one of the worlds (in my personal opinion) best authors, and having her sign my copy of her latest book.

And so we waited.

And waited. And waited. However, the queuing seemed to go by in a blur after the first hour and a half. We were beside a lovely girl called Anna, who made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable since we chatted about the books and the show.

We ended up at the front of the queue, because Waterstones let a few hundred people in to queue on the higher floors (just to give you a visual: over 800 people were there). I can’t tell you how many times people came up to us, and the woman at the door, asking what we were queuing for (people were very curious, and I can’t really blame them: there were a lot of us fans queuing).

At 6:00, we were let onto a higher floor in Waterstones (which I’m so glad about, because it was starting to get quite chilly). Then we went down to a lower floor, and joined the final part of the queue. (To say I was excited is the understatement of the year!)

Beginning of Rant (You can skip this part if you like, I just really need to get this all off of my chest! I’ve carried on with what I was saying after this part.)

The whole queuing experience as a whole had been pretty awesome – we were surrounded by people that loved Cassandra Clare’s writing and world just as much as we did. Since we were at the front of the outside queue for a long time, we saw a lot of people coming to the worker at the door, asking how long it would be and so on.

But there was a group of about four families that came up to the door, and started complaining. They said that they weren’t prepared to wait in the queue if there was chance Cassie wouldn’t get to them, and started kicking up a fuss. They claimed they had small children waiting with them, and had apparently had an ‘incident’ in the line.

I do just have to say, as a quick note, the Waterstones employee at the door did such an amazing job handling them. They were really being rather rude, and I don’t know how she kept a smile on her face. It was really annoying to me, just as an on-looker, because this employee had no say over what was going on. How does being rude to her, and having a go at her, get you any nearer to having your book signed, and meeting the author?

Well, apparently, it does the trick. Since they demanded to speak to the manager, he came out to speak with them, and then let them in before everyone else that had been queuing before them.

I wasn’t annoyed at the fact that they’d gone before me, please understand that. I was pretty certain at this point that I was going to meet Cassandra Clare, so I was so happy it really didn’t matter to me if a few people butted in, since meeting her was all that mattered. But because of those people that went inside, it meant that other people who were true fans of the books didn’t get to meet their idol.

Now, you might be thinking, how do you know they weren’t true fans of the books? When the next group of people were allowed into the shop, they were right in front of us. The lady who I assumed was the mother of the family (who’s kids were definitely not little), was assigning them with books to get signed and stamped, in a rather brusque way.

We saw them ‘meet’ Cassie, and this was what annoyed me the most: they didn’t even speak to Cassie! They didn’t go over to her, or even look in her direction. They just waited for the books to be signed and stamped, and then left.

So people who I assume were only there to sell the signed books got in the way of real fans meeting Cassie, and that is just wrong on so many levels. When we were let inside, the manager did apologise to us and say that, looking back on it, he shouldn’t have done what he had.

End of Rant!

(Wow, that was a lot of hate for one post. I really did have an amazing time, I promise! That experience didn’t in anyway taint my day, but I just have a lot to say about that, so sorry!)

It’s safe to carry on reading here! (Honestly, I’m done with the negative part!)

When I actually saw Cassandra Clare, I nearly cried. I was literally minutes away from meeting this beautiful, amazing woman, and I didn’t know what I would say to her. Saying ‘I love you and I love your books’ didn’t really seem to convey how much love I actually have for all of the Shadowhunter series’ and her.

My friends went before me, and then it was my turn, and everything seemed to happen so fast. At ten to seven, a woman took my books from me (I’d taken Lady Midnight, City of Bones, and City of Heavenly Fire), stamped my two TMI ones, and passed Lady Midnight to Cassie.

She asked me how I was, and I asked her too, and then something amazing happened! I’d painted the angelic runes on my friend and I’s nails, and had drawn matching parabatai runes on our forearms. I’d also drawn (while we were waiting on the higher floors) a clairvoyance rune on my friends hand, and Cassie said she liked her runes. I was just like, omigods! Maybe I didn’t screw up that much when I’d drawn them!

But when she spoke to me, she asked me what my necklace said. I was wearing the necklace my sister got me a few years back, which has this quote on it from The Infernal Devices:

‘” One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”‘

I told her it was a quote from TID, and she leaned across the table and read it, and said ‘how sweet’! (Not joking, nearly went crazy fangirl on the spot. She, the creator of this fantastic quote, liked my necklace!!!!!)

And then my friend and I got a photo with her!!

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I’ve got to say, Cassandra Clare is an absolutely lovely person. While I was still queuing outside, they had to stop anymore people from joining the queue, but she said that she’d be signing everyone’s that had been queuing, which is a pretty amazing feat. She had a cold paper towel/ice on her hand just before I met her, so I can’t imagine how sore her hand must be today!

You may have noticed that I mentioned earlier getting the TMI books stamped. To get through more people, Cassie was only signing her new book, Lady Midnight, and stamping two others.

Here’s a picture of the stamp in City of Heavenly Fire:

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(Which I’m guessing is the mortal sword with Cassie’s signature in the middle! You can see my attempt at painting the angelic rune on my nails here – I did one hand with them on, and the other hand just plain black. This was partly because I’m not ambidextrous, and because I thought one hand would be what the mundanes see, and the other would be what the Shadowhunters see!)

Here’s Cassie’s autograph in Lady Midnight:

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I also got a free Lady Midnight poster:

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Gods, this was such a long post! If you’re still reading this, thanks for reading down to this point! (And sorry for the rant section being so long :/)

Yesterday was an amazing day; one that I will never forget. Thank you to my wonderful mom for taking me, my best friend for sticking with me, Anna for being so kind to us all, and to, of course, (the goddess herself) Cassandra Clare for being so lovely and amazing and awesome (and for writing the books!).

If you could meet one of your favourite authors, who would it be? And have you already met a favourite author of yours?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

(p.s: I feel the need to clarify this once more: it all still feels like a dream.)