Events, spoiler free

YALC 2019 Report

event report

So I’m only doing one YALC post this year as I only went for one day! I enjoyed myself but I defintley want to do more than one day again next year. I enjoyed myself for the most part but there was a bit of a winding down feeling and a this is all lets left look to some parts which got me a little down after seeing some of the awesome activities, giveaways and books others got during the first two days. One of the stands I was looking forward to the most was the Rock the Boat stand as they had a fun little Aurora Rising quiz and a tombola with a chance to win an AR proof but when I got there Sunday morning the person running the stall didn’t seem to have a clue what was going on and there was no tombola so I was pretty disappointed that we weren’t given the same opportunities as those who could make the other days.

I somehow managed to get to the venue on just before the event opened, with Sunday trains this is no small miracle and Gaynor (from paperbacks and pinot) and her daughter Biba spotted me and called me over, it was lovely to finally meet them both as me and Gaynor have been chatting online for a little while now and attending completely alone for the first time it was lovely to find a friendly couple of faces. Once the entrance line started moving we chose to take the elevator and I’m glad we did as those who had chosen to take the stairs were stopped for some reason and not allowed to go any further, resulting in a large group of people being stuck on the stairwell which sounds terrifying to me.

Once on the YALC floor all three of us headed to the Rock the Boat stand where we took part in the Aurora Rising quiz (once the person manning it read some instructions as they didn’t know what to do) me and Biba both got Alpha and Gaynor got face I believe! It was fun and we got little cards and badges with our roles on (although my badge didn’t match and was actually a face one). I picked up some Once and Future bookmarks as well as I was gutted we weren’t able to get them via preorder like in the US and I love the art of Ari and Merlin on them.

We headed to the Illumicrate table next and I picked up a badge for a friend and I entered the raffle, I was already starting to get frazzled by the heat in the building and finding it hard to think straight and am gutted I missed out on the Vicious pin. We went our separate ways for a bit after this as when I’d finished queuing I headed to the chill-out zone to try and cool down for a bit and get my head straight. Thankfully I’m actually pretty comfortable sitting on the floor as there were only a couple of chairs scattered about that I could see and I’m sure I had seen people asking YALC on Twitter about chairs in this area because, for a number of reasons, not everyone is comfortable sitting on the floor and they were assured there would be enough chairs, I’m fairly certain this was not the case. Nevertheless, I found a spot on the floor, had a drink and cooled down a little, I was still a little fritzed and over the next couple of hours I still found I had trouble with my words getting muddled up and constant sweating which was not fun and meant to had to sit down to try and cool off a lot.

The first author I got to meet was N.J Simmonds which was lovely as she was the first author I met at my very first YALC and her book “The Path Keeper” was the first book I brought, the new version was also the first book I brought at this YALC and let me tell you it’s beautiful! I can’t wait to read it! I battled the queue for the VQ tickets then wandered around for a bit, entered a couple of raffles (note to self, in future write on the back of raffle tickets so you know where they’re for and when they draw them) and then went to the signing for Christine Lynn Herman, author of The Devouring Gray. I know I was a bit off when I met her as I still didn’t have a clear head but I did manage to tell her how much I loved her book and Issac!

The hour or so after this was a bit of a blur but I did get to meet the lovely Kirstin from Barrington Stoke and popped over to say hi to my friends at Geeky Clean. I took part in the Vanessa Jones “Sing” panel and I’m so glad I decided to do it because it really helped to clear my head. It felt a bit like a drama lesson from back at school (I went to a performing arts school) and was full of improv games that were a lot of fun. I swapped some books at the book swap and had a little lunch before the “One small step for man, one giant leap for YA” panel. Sadly Lauren James, who was meant to be chairing the event had to pull out that morning after her dog (poor Ollie, hope you’re feeling better) got injured but Taran Matharu stepped in to join Alistair Renyolds, Temi Oh and Sasha Alsberg. It was a good panel and I regretted not bringing my Alistair Renyolds books to be signed because he seemed like he would be really interesting to chat too.

I had no panels or signings for another hour or so and decided to check out some of the books for sale, I was gutted the pop-up Waterstones had sold out of copies of the Gilded Cage by Vic James as I was meeting her later but did pick up a good few books such as We Hunt the Flame, STAGS, Lifes a Beach, Perfectly Preventable Deaths, GodsGrave, Jemima Small vs the Universe, Lady Smoke and The Kingdom and all were pretty good deals with most being £5 each or three for £10.

Next up I watched the Monsters and their maker’s panel featuring Kristen Ciccarelli, Natasha Ngan, Samantha Shannon, and Taran Matharu with Eleanor Pender as chair. This was another great panel and I actually enjoyed it more than the sci-fi one which I was shocked by. I also bumped into Fiona from Felfira Moon Designs which was lovely (and I won a light fury pin!) Then headed to the Kristen Ciccarelli signing after, I again made an idiot out of myself and told her that I loved Asha and actually have a character in a dungeons and dragons game based on her.

I wound down the day by hanging out with the Geeky Clean Crew which now included Emily helping out too (if you’re reading this Em, I honestly don’t know where you get all that energy, you’re amazing) which was lovely and made me feel a lot more comfortable. Not long after Vic came to hang out as well and we got to chat, I told her how much I loved Sanctuary and how much it stressed me out which was fun, she told me she loved my hair and she signed my book! I’m kind of glad I didn’t look at what she had written at the time because I looked when I got home and welled up, she’d written “stay fantastic” in it. I know it might sound silly but I felt so honoured that this person who had written this book that I adored remembered my blog name.

After randomly bumping into Jason Mamoa while filming for my YALC vlog (see below) I headed down to the London Film and Comic-Con floor, grabbed some cake from the lovely Cake in a Jar and headed home. The trip back was actually really easy and fairly relaxed which was nice. I had just about enough energy when I got home to unpack a little and take a picture of my haul which I don’t think was too bad for a Sunday to be fair and I love some of the prints and posters I got, most of which are already up on my wall! Overall I did enjoy the event but I think I’ll defintley aim for more than one day next year so I don’t end up trying to fit everything into one day.

Did you go to YALC? If so how was your experience?

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spoiler free, tbr thursday

August TBR


So as I thought it might, YALC totally messed with my TBR plans for the month. I may have brought…a few books. I think I might have to be extra lucky to get through all six of these this month but you never know!

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
My next read after Nevernight for obvious reasons. I hear the cliffhanger endings are painful so I’m glad I have these two to read together and then not too long of a wait for Darkdawn releasing in September!

X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine
I did start reading this last month but ended up putting it on hold due to wanting to get my YALC reads finished so I’m getting back to it this month alongside my rewatching of all the X-Men films because I love them, even the bad ones.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
I was excited to be approached by a publisher I hadn’t worked with before and offered a review copy of Lisa Jewell’s new book in exchange for an honest review, I wasn’t sure at first as my TBR is somehow still growing at a painful rate but I checked out the synopsis and I was sold. “You thought they were just staying for the weekend. They looked harmless enough – with only two suitcases and a cat in a wicker box. But soon things turn very, very dark. It happens slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly. Now you and your sister must find a way to survive…”

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
This was a YALC buy, I had actually picked up two other books in a two for £7 deal when the bookseller told me they also did three for £10 and recommended The Kingdom. I was getting low on bag space so thought to decline when she mentioned that the book was essentially, “imagine Disney princesses but they’re A.I” as I’m sure you can guess I caved the moment she mentioned A.I. Lots of people who I spoke to (while holding said book as, like I said, bag space was at an all-time low) recommended the book and said how much they loved it so it got bumped right to this months TBR, it’s only a reasonably short book too so I’m hoping I should be able to fit it in easily.

STAGS by M.A Bennett
So I’ve had STAGS on my Netgalley for ages but after reading and not enjoying The Island by M.A Bennett I had been reluctant to try STAGS for a while, despite all the great reviews I’d heard it’s been getting. I got chatting with one of the booksellers at the Hot Key books stand who went into a bit more depth and showed me the prospectus they had made to go alongside the book and honestly that kind of sold me. STAGS has a sequel called DOGS coming out pretty immanently (I resisted buying it early at YALC in case I didn’t like STAGS in the end) so thought now would be a good time to read it.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power
I’ve been going through my books lately and trying to get rid of ones I really don’t think I’m going to get around to reading and I’d put a few of my arcs up for trade and one I got in return was Wilder Girls. I’d already become intrigued by this book after reading a review from one of the bloggers I’m in a “support” group with (I can’t remember whose blog it was I’m sorry! If I commented on your Wilder Girls review though it was probably you) and so when I was offered this arc in return I jumped at the chance, I’ve seen some beautiful fan art for it recently as well and decided that as it’s out soon I should get to that one asap too.

What is your TBR for the month looking like? If you attended, have you got a lot of books from YALC to read? What book are you most looking forward to reading this month?

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Summer TBR

So I have already posted a TBR for the month which is also sort of doubled up as my YALC TBR as well so I’m going to take the opportunity this week to use the Summer TBR prompt for this weeks Six for Sunday as a broader TBR of books I want to read over the next few months. There are a lot of books that have been out for a good while that I’ve been meaning to get to. I may have cheated a little bit and lumped some series of books together but I won’t tell if you don’t. You can find lots of awesome stuff, including some of the 2019 prompts for Six for Sunday if you want to join in over at Steph’s blog A Little but a Lot. 

Nevernight, Godsgrave and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
I am determined to finally finish Nevernight and get through Godsgrave in time for the Darkdawn release in September! I’ve loved what I’ve read of it so far but I made the mistake of sandwiching my reading of Nevernight between two blog tour books and ran out of time to finish it. Once I’ve worked my way through this months review books I’m dedicating August to getting caught up ready for the final book and Jay’s impending September visit to the UK as well!

Six of Crows and The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I made the same mistake with Six of Crows as with Nevernight and had to abandon it over halfway through which was painful because it’s SO up my alley, I LOVE groups of misfits, heists and morally grey characters and Six of Crows has all of these things. Then obviously I can move onto the Crooked Kingdom which will mean I’ll be caught up enough to finally read King of Scars although that’s not a summer priority for me.

Gilded Cage by Vic James
Since reading Sanctuary I’ve been desperate to read Vic’s earlier work, I’ve been hearing great things about this trilogy and I would really like to at least get the first one read before YALC (I’m debating trying to go Saturday too so I can meet her!)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I have been meaning to read this book and its sequels FOREVER. I think I just get worried they won’t live up to the hype I’ve heard sometimes but this is one of the reasons it took me so long to read the Illuminae files which have become my favourite books so I know I need to take the leap and I think this summer it might finally be time.

Ghosts of the Shadowmarket By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
The most recent book on this list, I’d really like to get this bindup of short stories read to start The Red Scrolls of Magic in the Autumn, I kept putting it on my monthly TBR but I think this is one that will have to wait until later in the summer as it is one of the only ones I have yet to buy.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I’ve been debating reading this for a little while now. The sheer size of it has put me off time and again but earlier this year both the kindle and audible versions were on sale super cheap so I brought them both and now have absolutely no excuse not to finally listen to/read this book!

I’m so excited to finally read these damn books. I get distracted so easily so feel free to bug me and bug me about reading them!

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer and are any of them books you’ve been wanting to read for a while?

 

 

 

book reviews, spoiler free

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe Review

32601841.jpgThe Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Rating: XXXXX

Published September 7th 2017 by Walker Books

“Love takes so much energy, and it just leads to pain. I think it’s probably best for people to be self-sufficient. If I was strong enough to be independent, then I wouldn’t be so desperately lonely. I’m sure of it,”

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

I stumbled across this beautiful book at YALC in 2017 on early sale at the Waterstones stand and although to me it looked like it was probably just a contemporary, maybe set in space? (I know contemporaries can be good too, I’m just not usually as interested in them). After I read the blurb I figured it was maybe a cross of Fangirl and the lake house somehow? Either way, I couldn’t say no to that shiny, sparkly cover. That and on behalf of Walker to celebrate the books release I’d just had a sparkly makeover so figured the least I could do was to check out the book they were promoting (and that sweet sweet cover). I had no idea that The Loneliest Girl would end up being one of my absolute favourite books. Two years later and now eagerly awaiting Lauren’s new book “The Quiet at the End of the World” which is out in early March, I decided to revisit the book that started it all for me, “The Loneliest Girl in the Universe.”

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The first time I read The Loneliest Girl I found out far too late that this book is a thriller. It starts off fluffy and light, very much in the vein of Fangirl, despite the darker sides to Romy’s backstory and her situation it feels like boy meets girl but are thousands beyond thousands of miles away from each other, cute emailing ensues etc. When I realised it was a thriller it was far too late to turn back, I was utterly hooked and terrified at the same time. I want to say that it’s different the second time around but to be honest it still pulls you in, lulls you into a false sense of security and makes you complacent so that when it really gets going you still feel like you’ve hit the floor at the bottom of the stairs when you were convinced there was one more step. This book is a wild ride that will not let you go, as the story goes on you recognise that feeling when you know something bad is going to happen but you can’t stop looking anyway and it is WORTH IT.

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Romy is a fantastic character, she’s realistic and relatable despite living her entire life on a spaceship she is wracked with anxiety and real fears and wants that just really hit a note with me and from having spoken to others who have read this she has the same effect on them as well. There are only a small number of characters in this book and I think in a lot of other books I might have found that boring but it works so well with The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, it adds to Romy’s isolation and you feel how important any kind of communication between the small number of characters really is and makes you appreciate them all the more which I imagine is the same case for Romy. This is one of my favourite aspects of the book because it really puts you in Romy’s shoes and heightens so much of the story.

The science is fantastic and fairly easy to wrap your head around instead of the pages of confusing words that don’t actually make sense together or sound ridiculous like you find in some Science Fiction books, strangely especially the adult ones… I now realise after having read Lauren’s other books that this is always a defining feature as well as featuring female scientists in prominent roles which gets a huge thumbs up from me! I actually found out after reading this book for the first time that it was inspired by a physics calculation Lauren was tasked with completing while at university! How cool is that?!

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If for some reason you haven’t checked this book out yet I highly recommend you do so, it’s only a short read and you can even buy a personalised and signed copy from Lauren’s Etsy store (it’s a dangerous place) there are pin badges and different versions of the books of which I now own all of…my personal favourite is the doodle in my US copy of a space cat because I like space. and cats. You get the idea. Don’t forget you can also preorder The Quiet at the end of the World, I just read the prologue and I HAVE CHILLS.

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Events

Sunday YA Chat Summer Secret Santa Exchange

Earlier this year those of us who regularly take part in the Sunday YA chat on Twitter created a chat group just for us to chat throughout the rest of the week when we’re not doing SundayYA and it’s been amazing! Its spawned a lot of other chats and has really helped me to feel like a part of the YA and blogger community this year, I’m so grateful for the friends I’ve made through it. Mols (@Bibookishbabe) decided to get us all together for a Bookish Summer Secret Santa exchange just before YALC and it was SO much fun being paired up and trying to work out what to get for our Partners!

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I found out me and my partner both love Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman so I decided to ask Jenn (@JennieLy) from Literary Galaxy (@LiteraryGalaxy) to help me out in creating a special Starfish themed bookmark and I loved the finished product so much I may have had to order myself one as well…

As for the book I had chosen to get a copy of Floored as they had done such a brilliant post for the blog tour and had asked for a copy to get signed at YALC. I got everything together but a couple of bits took a little longer to arrive and by the time I had all the bits it was the day before YALC! I had to message my partner in the end and come clean that I was their partner so I could meet up with them at YALC to make sure they got their book on time!

In a funny turn of events it turned out not only did we have a fair bit in common with our book tastes, YALC schedule etc but she was also the one sending to me as well and when I got home from YALC Friday evening I found a box full of wrapped goodies waiting for me!!

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I was completely blown away by the goodies picked out by my swap partner! We’d been asked to give a rough idea of what kinds of books etc that we liked and my partner got it spot on with their choices which I cannot wait to read! They were so perfect it actually made me well up a little at the thought that went into this (Chris was rather confused that I was hugging books but chalked it up to it being YALC weekend an all), not to mention all the other amazing things in my box! (Ravenclaw badge, pin from one of my favourite pin suppliers, black kitty post it notes, owl bookmark AND sweets) I got so lucky ❤

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So thank you so much to my Summer Secret Santa and to Mols for setting this all up! I can’t wait to do it all over again in December!

Events

Day Three YALC Recap

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YALC Day three recap is here! After the huge post from yesterday you’ll be pleased to know Sunday was a much quieter, much less hectic day. I got a lift up with some “non bookish” friends I’d persuaded to join me for LFCC which was fun, even if we did have to take some detours >.< For the most part though the journey was pretty good and not too stressful. I popped upstairs to YALC first for a flying visit as Harper were holding a raffle for unbound proofs of Shadow of the Fox, I waited with Kirsty and was surprised to find out I had actually won a copy! As today was pretty relaxed we had a good look around at the LFCC floors which were much less crowded and stressful then I remember them being last year which was great because I got to pay a visit to my favourite stand at any convention, the lovely people at Cake in a Jar! They’ve just changed their cake recipes so that they’re now plant-based and Vegan friendly, not to mention still delicious ❤ They did so well they sold out twice and I’m so glad I managed to grab a couple of their yummy cakes!

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After a wander around I decided to head up for the Vampire Talk with Paul Wesley and Daniel Giles, I hoped if I got there in good time I might get an okay seat but nearly had a heart attack when I saw the length of the line already. I started to forget getting a good seat and become worried I wouldn’t get one at all. The line was HUGE and spanned a whole side of the gallery. I’d seen the size of the talks area and I had no idea how they planned to fit us all in. My friend spoke to some of the Showmasters crew who told her that they don’t sell more tickets than seats but I didn’t find myself convinced. Eventually the line started to move very slowly and I was horrified that by the time I got to the front of the line the talk had ALREADY STARTED! I was SO angry that I’d paid for this talk and missed almost half of it already! I will say that thankfully what I did see of the talk was FANTASTIC, Paul and Daniel had such great chemistry together and it was a laugh a minute to the point where I’d almost forgotten my annoyance. I did manage to get a seat in the end but only through complete luck as there were a few single seats left but a lot of people were left standing. I really think Showmasters need to think this through in future and maybe get people in and seated much earlier to avoid this in future.

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Next up I rushed back up to the YALC floor for the Akemi Dawn Bowman signing, I had really wanted to make the talk she was in but with getting through the large crowd forming upstairs for some of the big photo ops I just didn’t make it in time. I did manage to find an excited/slightly nervous Charlotte and Lydia in the signing queue which was lovely because I was a bit nervous myself!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know how I feel about Starfish and I wanted to try to tell Akemi how much her book meant to me. After mocking Charlotte a little for having actual feelings (love you really!) I ended up being the one getting a little bit teary! Meeting Akemi was absolutely lovely and I’m so excited for her new book Summer Bird Blue coming to the UK next year.

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With most of my to do a list for the weekend now over with I took the time to sit and relax with my friends for a bit, we took a picture in front of this years book wall later on we managed to see Jason Momoa walk past multiple times as well as quite a few other people which was pretty cool.

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I went for a bit of a last walk around YALC towards the end of the day and spotted Holly Jackson (author of A Good Girls Guide to Murder, who thanks to Charlotte I’ve come to know as Murder Lady >.<) sitting in the Book of Dust canoe. After speaking to her when Charlotte won a proof Saturday I became really interested in her book and she was pretty awesome to talk to, she’d signed a sampler for me already but I headed over to say hi and she told me she was hiding. Electronic Monkey have been doing a proof giveaway for her book where if you find Holly during certain times she’ll give you a numbered ticket and if you’re ticket matches a proof at their stand you win it! I’d tried Friday and Saturday but hadn’t thought about it on Sunday so when I realised what she meant I asked if it was okay to have a ticket. I’d seen the poor woman get pretty much mobbed on Saturday so didn’t want to seem like I’d just come over for that but seemed pretty pleased to give me one which was lovely. Once I had my ticket the flood gates seemed to open and the masses descended, I thanked her, waved and got out-of-the-way. A little later on once the crowd around the stand had died off I headed over and it turned out I had managed to win a copy of A Good Girls Guide to Murder After talking to Holly I had gotten SO excited for this book so I may have jumped up and down a little bit!

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My new friend from the Sunday YA chat who I’d been hanging out with a bit at YALC who was also excited for the book won one as well which was brilliant as now I could talk to her and Charlotte about the book which is always a bonus!

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Holly was super sweet and signed my book while we had a great chat and then posed for a picture with me and the book. Honestly I think this may have been the highlight of my day! A Good Girls Guide to Murder is next on my TBR and I’m SO EXCITED for it! Not to mention I love (although I’m sure will hate when I get to it) that the publishers ripped out the last few chapters of the book and left a note blaming the murderer at the back with an email we could contact for the last few chapters! I think it’s such a great idea and a really fun little quirk which makes it feel even more special, this was absolutely my favourite ARC I got over the YALC weekend.

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With that and my friends photo shoots done we decided to call it a day and head off. The journey back was a lot smoother and after all agreeing we were hungry and in dire need of chicken nuggets we headed to McDonalds for what was dubbed “Nugfest18”

Although there were definitely some issues over the weekend I had a great time and two weeks later I’m still enjoying reminiscing about the fantastic three days I had. Overall I think a lot of aspects were much better than they had been the year before and I hope they can continue to improve. I hope everyone else had a great time and feel free to drop me links to your YALC blogs in the comments because I’m loving looking back at it all. I’ll be back with my review of The Last Beginning by Lauren James Tuesday so I’ll talk to you all then!

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Events

YALC Day Two Recap

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Day Two of my YALC recap is here (yes two weeks later I’m aware). The Saturday of YALC was a great one but easily the most grueling. I had a lot of signings I wanted to get to, three of which were straight after a panel and with very popular authors but I’ll go into more detail about that later.

My first stop of the morning was to the Hot Key Books stand where I signed up for a Siren makeover and grabbed a copy of To Kill a Kingdom to get signed by author Alexandra Christi, I had a digital ARC of the book and loved it so knew I had to get a hard copy. The lovely ladies at the stall also made an easy extra two book sales by informing me that M.A Bennett would be around to sign books later too so I grabbed a copy of The Island and then also telling me that their books were 3 for £10 and I nabbed a copy of Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray after loving her work on Star Wars: Bloodline and Leia, plus I was in a very spacey kind of mood.

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On the way to get my Siren make up done I also paid a quick visit to the Ink Road Stall after having a lovely chat with the ladies there the day before. I figured I’d pop over and say hi, see how they were doing etc and I also wanted to pick up a sampler for Summer Bird Blue when I spot Akemi Dawn Bowman just sitting behind the stand  – which is fine she’s an actual human being who is allowed to sit etc but I just hadn’t expected it as she wasn’t signing until Sunday. I mumbled about how much I loved Starfish and then got super nervous and kind of ran away. I’m an idiot but plucked up the courage after a quick sit down and a drink to head back and say hi properly. She was SO lovely and signed my sampler for me as I wouldn’t have my copy of Starfish with me until the next day and we took a picture together, it was lovely and was a super awesome start to the day. Apart from the running away bit obviously.

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Next up were the signings for the Floored authors! For some reason I assumed that all of the authors would perhaps be at a table together and we’d all queue in one line then when we got to the front we would work our way across each of the authors and DONE. Alas it was not to be! I think I got this idea from the fact that all of the authors were represented on the timetable by a picture of the Floored book cover whereas when they’d been shown on other days they had different pictures, i.e Non’s was Giant days (and I’m an idiot and didn’t take Floored for her to sign with me when I met her then!). The way it was shown said to me that it was a special signing session for Floored but I was horrified to discover when I got to the signing area that we actually had to queue individually for almost every one of the authors and they were NOT small queues by any stretch of the imagination. I managed to only miss Melinda Sailsbury and Non Pratt in the end telling myself I was likely to see them at more events and possibly YALC next year thankfully as I absolutely had to sit down for a but and have something to drink etc. I’d brought a big bottle of juice squash I’d left in the freezer over night and it was an absolute live saver each day so I’ll definitely be doing that again next year.

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As you can see I managed to bump into Melinda Sailsbury later on and she was more than happy to sign my copy of Floored for me as she was a bit miffed that the Showmasters staff cut her queue off and didn’t tell her when she was more than happy to keep on signing. As much as I liked the extra space we have on the YALC floor I wonder if it’s time for a bit more of a move around so we have more space for signing queues or a better application of the virtual queue ticketing which I think is a great idea when used right.

Before heading off to the “Among the Stars” panel I met up with a load of the girls from the SundayYA group and got a few group pictures taken (one of which is the header for this post). Again it was lovely seeing everyone and OH MY GOSH Layla’s Kaz cosplay was STUNNING.

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I was SO excited for the Among the Stars panel that I can’t even explain. I literally wore a spacey outfit for the occasion. The panel featured Becky Chambers, Lauren James, Lindsay Cummings, Sasha Alsberg and was chaired by Samantha Shannon. The panel was to discuss space and creating worlds that none of us have had the chance to go to except in our authors wonderful books and it did NOT disappoint. I was lucky enough to even be able to ask a question (who would you chose to take to space with you?). Not to mention at the end of the talk Lauren James revealed the cover for her new book “The Quiet at the End of the World which I am SO SO ready for already. Also look at this cover it’s gorgeous!!

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Next were the dreaded signings. I had been anxious all day about getting to all three authors in their two-hour signing slots because they’re so very popular. I joined the Sasha Alsberg queue first and was super pleased to have managed to get in quite near the front. We (me and Mel) were in fact in the first thirty which meant we won a Geeky Clean Zenith Bath Bomb (which I had inadvertently helped design while wicking candles for a super secret NPC thing). Meeting Sasha was AMAZING. I could talk and talk about Zenith and my copy is FULL of tabs as it was my very first ARC/review copy I had ever had and I’d read it twice so I mean it when I say it is FULL of these little tabs. Sasha loved going through asking me what each colour meant and I was a little embarrassed as a few were frustrated or annoyed bits but she told me it means so much to see a copy of her book like that and I thought I was going to cry which is totally lame. Sasha’s channel was the very first booktube chanel I ever watched and she got me hooked on Shadowhunters so I’m so glad I got to meet someone who had already had such an impact on me. It was also so lovely that she had brought bookplates signed by Lindsay along with her too as Lindsay couldn’t make it as she’s getting ready to have her baby soon and it was such a nice little touch. P.S Don’t ask about the picture we had taken together because I made a face at Steph and that was the picture I got so I’ll include one of us talking while she went though my tabs instead!

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While I was in the queue for Sasha I started to feel a bit dismayed about getting through the other queues as they were building fast. Thankfully the lovely Jenn and her boyfriend were next to us in the Becky Chambers queue and her boyfriend offered to take mine to get it signed which I am super grateful for as I don’t think I would have been able to make it through all of them. I do wonder whether YALC need to consider the types of authors they’re all having signing at the same time and weather or not these are authors people are going to want to meet all of and perhaps stagger them a bit more?

Thankfully I did manage to make it through the queue to meet Lauren James! I absolutely LOVED her book that released early at YALC last year “The Loneliest Girl In The Universe” and was that weekend actually reading her debut book “The Next Together” (which I reviewed on Tuesday if you want to check it out) so it was even more fantastic than normal to meet her. Being one of my top favourite authors and an instabuy for me I was so happy to get this chance to talk to her and get excited about her new book etc.

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The day was coming to an end fast and I had one more signing to get to and that was for Laura Steven, the author of The Exact Opposite of Okay which is another book that really resonated with me and my teenage years. It was lovely to have a nice chat with her and let her know how grateful I am for this fantastic, funny and important book she’s written as well as telling her much I couldn’t wait to get hold of the sequel coming next year!

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It was a long old day and my only real problem were the way some of the signings were done to be honest. The overground wasn’t running that weekend so I had to get the district line back to Liverpool Street, I ended up on a wrong tube but it all worked out pretty good in the end. Mainly because I met a super adorable Dog who wanted to sit with me have strokes and share my fan. Win/win situation. I’ll be back tomorrow for my Day Three recap and my all round sum up!

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I couldn’t not post the picture of this good boy!