YALC 2018 | book haul & review!

Last weekend (27th – 29th July) was the Young Adult Literature Convention, or YALC, and London Film and Comic Con, or LFCC, and I was lucky enough to be able to attend for the full three days! I thought today I’d talk about the weekend as a whole, and then share my book haul with you all…

the diary part

Friday 27th July – I started the day pretty early and jumped onto a train from Winchester to London, but still arrived before the con started at 10am. Queued up, got my wrist band, and got in! Friday was pretty chill, which was nice. I met Sara Barnard, Joanne Harris and Chloe Seager, and went to an agent talk called “how to get published” which was really informative – I took so many notes!

Saturday 28th July – we started this day out pretty relaxed, and immediately tried to meet all of the Floored authors! We played author bingo all weekend, and I’m proud to say we achieved all 7! On Saturday, I met Tom Pollock who wrote a book I loved, and he was so lovely. I also met Lauren James (I’d read her book the night before), Giovanna and Tom Fletcher (aah!) and Laura Dockrill, and I went to a great panel Laura was on before, called “my body, my way”. I also popped down to LFCC on Saturday, but to be honest it was so hot and crowded! I found a fantastic pair cosplaying though, and that’s probably my favourite cosplay of the weekend, apart from an epic Spiderwoman I saw in passing at YALC. I wish I’d been alert enough to ask for a photo!

I love these so much!

Sunday 29th July – this was a day for checking out the stands I hadn’t looked at much before I left, and I bought a couple of books I am so excited to read! I went to a talk called “traveller’s life for me” which was fascinating and just makes me want to jump on a plane and go everywhere in the world. I only met one author in a signing queue on this day – Holly Bourne, and she was so lovely (and our last author on Floored author bingo!). I had to leave about 3pm on Sunday to make sure I could get my train, because the strikes meant I had to travel across London and then about half way back.

I also went to Platform 9 3/4 on Saturday night which was awesome and I bought myself a miniature Pickett who’s adorable and I love him.

the book haul part

Okay, so this haul is in four parts, and we’re going to start with… not an actual haul. These are books I already had and brought with me to get signed at YALC!

  • Editing Emma by Chloe Seager (SUCH a hilarious book, and Chloe was so nice!)
  • The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne (I ❤ Holly’s books)
  • The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris (unread, but Joanne was lovely and talked about LFCC with me!)
  • White Rabbit Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (already talked about how much I love this man)
  • Big Bones by Laura Dockrill (SO MUCH FOOD. I LOVE)
  • Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard (faaaab)
  • Eve of Man by Tom and Giovanna Fletcher (I was SO NERVOUS to meet Tom, I was surprised at myself! They were both so lovely though)

This set of books is the arcs/free books I got!

  • The Penguin Platform Yearbook 2018/2019 (this book is a set of samplers for some of Penguin’s biggest releases in the next year)
  • Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich (just kind of entered the raffle for this, but I’m so excited to read it!)
  • Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (queued for about 20 minutes to get my paws on this arc, and I am SO EXCITED, I love Jennifer Mathieu so much!)
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers (this was a “buy a book, get an arc” scenario, and it looked pretty good!)

And these are (some of) the books that I bought…

  • Gabriel and the Swallows by Esther Dalseno (this is from OfTomes publishing and I love Ben’s publishing company so much!)
  • The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (just looked exciting to be honest)
  • The Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen (this looked really cool, and I’m super excited to read it!)
  • Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon (it is about a girl who goes climbing and I thought YES PLEASE)

Final list! These are books that I bought there & got signed too.

  • Floored by 7 awesome YA authors! (this was the book that I played author bingo with! I started reading it at yalc, and I’m so excited to continue it!)
  • Hope is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei (Rutendo was on the “traveller’s life for me” panel, and I found her book later in Waterstones. She inscribed it “always keep hope”, and I decided to pick it up even though I didn’t meet her!)
  • Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne (this was released early at YALC, as it won’t be on sale until September! I’m so excited to read it<3)
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (I bought this on Friday, read it on Friday, then met Lauren James on Saturday! I loved this book, Romy Silvers is just awesome)

And there you finally have my very long 2018 YALC blog post! I hope that you enjoyed reading it, and let me know which book I should start reading first!

Did you go to YALC? If not, would you ever go? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep reading ❤ Hx

My Top Ten Tips for YALC Newbies!

Next week brings one of the biggest events in the bookish calendar – YALC, or the Young Adult Literature Convention. It’s a 3-day event at Olympia in London, where LFCC – the London Film and Comic Convention – is also taking place in the same weekend.

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It begins on Friday 27th July, and lasts until Sunday 29th July, and as it starts at 10am and finishes at 6pm, that’s 8 hours a day of bookish goodness! That’s a lot of books in one day, and if you’re going, for one day, two, or three, it’s worth it to try and make the most of the day. I went for all three days last year, so although I’ve only been once, I’ve still collected a few tips to share with you all if this is your first time, or you’re just plain curious.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes! Always, always wear comfortable shoes. A lot of the day will be spent on your feet/walking from place to place, so although your heels may look pretty, you’ll be wanting to throw them across the hall by the end of the day.
  2. Take a spare bag (preferably a tote). You’ll be getting a lot of books so you need somewhere to put them and a tote is one of the easiest bags to take.
  3. Layer up – but not too many! Wear layers so you can strip them off / put them on if you get too hot or too cold. Just don’t take a big coat, remember that it’s the middle of summer in London, so it’s always going to be hot. A jacket might be useful though.
  4. Plan your day in advance. Honestly, everyone says this… but do it. Print out the first day schedule from the website, and grab a programme.
  5. Take food in when you start. You’ll be able to enter and come back in, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do that. Grab some lunch when before you even start.
  6. STAY. HYDRATED. Dehydration is the worst and will ruin your day. Bring a water bottle, or be prepared to buy them!
  7. Be selective. It’s easy to make grabby hands and take every book that you think you might want to read, but your bag will get very heavy very fast, and keep in mind that if you pick up a book you might want, someone else might not have had a chance to get a book they really want.
  8. With that said – be mindful. Be mindful of stepping backwards into people, be mindful of people in queues, be mindful of what you say.
  9. Turn on @yalc_uk Twitter notifications. And bkmrk notifications. And basically every single publisher who is there. Some Tweet about giveaways and exciting things, so it’s well worth checking Twitter all the time. (Oh, and bring a phone charger too). I’m counting 9 as all things phone!
  10. Make sure to check out LFCC! That’s the London Film and Comin Con, it’s downstairs so it’s really easy to get to and it’s so worth checking out if you love all things geek. I’m planning on spending a bit of time at LFCC because I love so many different TV shows and films!

So there you go, here’s 10 tips I picked up from last year that I wanted to pass on to anyone. If you’re going for the first time, feel free to follow me on Twitter where I’ll be Tweeting throughout the weekend!

And if you go, make sure to have fun!

~ Hannah @ Sprinkled With Words 🙂

YALC 2017!

Hello dear readers. So for the past weekend (from July 28th – July 30th 2017) I have been in good old London, at the Kensington Olympia show grounds, to be exact, for the Young Adult Literature Convention, or YALC for short. (And if you were wondering, YALC is not pronounced Y-A-L-C but YAL-C, with a hard-C sound.)

What an incredible weekend it was! I went with my wonderful friend Natalie, and we had a weekend full of books and other nerdiness.

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YALC is such an exceptional event. Disappearing into LFCC, which was downstairs, simply showed how special YALC was. LFCC was overwhelming, busy and pushy, and although when the Tweets came out about ARC releases, this was definitely the case, YALC was so much quieter and more relaxed, and definitely friendlier. I really felt like I’d found a place I want to keep returning to, year after year!

Natalie and I were at YALC for all three days of the event. For the first night, we stayed in a tiny little AirBNB, which was actually super well-stocked and really great. And for the second night, we stayed in the swanky K West Hotel and Spa, courtesy of MyKindaBook and Macmillan!

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MyKindaBook had run a Heartless cosplay competition, for the character of Catherine, the future Queen of Hearts. The above picture is what Natalie and I sent in, and it’s what was on the MyKindaBook stand! It was awesome. Thank you so so much to MyKindaBook and Macmillan! Sunday I attended an awesome baking class too, and the brownies that came out of it were delicious.

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L-R: Me, Ellie and Alia, the overall winner!

I met so many great authors, like Non Pratt, Laure Eve, Moira Fowley-Doyle and Patrick Ness, many of whom I became tongue-tied and talked far too much to (sorry about that). I also saw Benedict Cumberbatch!! (Seriously, if you’re in the UK bookish world and haven’t heard about that yet, get onto Twitter! It was epic. Poor Benedict.) AND I saw James and Oliver Phelps which has just made my year.

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We also saw Sanne @ booksandquills, who is one of our favourite booktubers!

Overall, YALC was SUCH an incredible event, and I really, really would love to go back next year. If you can, I really urge you to attend, because it’s an experience quite like no other!

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(I really like this selfie, okay?)

And thank you so much to Natalie for making my weekend a wonderful one! ❤

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I’m not going to post my haul because it’s a biggun’, but if you skip to 5:20 in the YouTube video below, I show them all pretty quickly!

Thank you guys so much for reading my blog post! Let me know if you went to YALC in the comments below, and if you didn’t, if it’s something you would like to attend! ❤ Until the next time,

Hannah x

Book Review | Countless by Karen Gregory

DSC_0253When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she knows that the numbers just can’t add up. An eating disorder, which she has called Nia, just simply won’t allow it. But as the days continue to count themselves along, Hedda comes to a decision. She and Nia will call a truce; just until the baby is born. She can do it, surely, if she takes it one day at a time… [Adapted from the back of the book]

I really enjoyed this new YA novel. It was a fascinating story, and it seemed to be Own Voices too, from what I could infer from the acknowledgements. I think reading a book where the author has had a similar experience helps to cement the reality of what you’re reading.  Continue reading “Book Review | Countless by Karen Gregory”