Saturday 28th July
The second day of YALC was definitely the biggest day in many ways! The tickets sold out so it was very busy and also there were some absolutely amazing signings and ARC drops happening! I was so unbelievably excited to get in and get started and the day definitely lived up to all of my expectations!
The morning started off quite chilled as there wasn’t too much going on that I was interested in until about 11am, but from about 12pm onwards it was utter chaos! Somehow though, between good planning and a whole lot of luck, I managed to do everything I wanted. The first thing I had planned for the day was an ARC drop at 11am at the BKMRK stand for Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap, and then I had to run straight to a signing which was also at 11! This signing was for Laura Wood, and although I have not yet read her book A Sky Painted Gold it was so nice to meet her and talk to her about her book etc, and hopefully I will be picking it up very soon!
Sometime after this, I saw a queue form for an ARC lucky dip and decided to join the queue as I had a little bit of time to kill before my next signing! I ended up winning an ARC of Easy Prey by Catherine Lo which I am super excited about as I want to read all the thrillers at the moment and this is another YA thriller that sounds amazing to satisfy my need!
At 12pm was the Tom Pollock signing, and as his book White Rabbit Red Wolf is basically my favourite book I have read so far this year I was dying to meet him and get both my ARC and finished copy signed! I made sure I was right at the front of his signing queue (I was literally the first person) and had a fantastic time chatting to him and honestly fangirling way more than I expected to!
And then the chaos begun…
At 1pm was the signing for Tomi Adeyemi and I knew that this would be extraordinarily busy as she is such a popular author, so I got in the queue almost an hour early so I definitely wouldn’t miss it! I managed to get to the front of the queue and meet her (and get my gorgeous copy of Children of Blood and Bone signed) just before 2pm, which was when Sasha Alsberg and Samantha Shannon both had signings scheduled! However, also at 1pm a raffle was being drawn for an ARC copy of Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich and somehow I was lucky enough to win one! So I had to rush to get that before continuing with the signings!
I was super lucky to get right at the front of the Sasha Alsberg queue and had a friend in the Samantha Shannon queue who agreed to get my book signed for me! It was so amazing to meet Sasha Alsberg as I have watched her YouTube videos for so long, and she is one of the people who inspired me to join the bookish community, so I was incredibly excited to meet her!
Because I was so lucky to be at the front of that queue, it meant I didn’t miss the ARC drop at Harper360 for Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.This was my most anticipated drop for the whole weekend and so I was extremely excited to get hold of one! It is probably going to be the next thing I read because I don’t think I can wait any longer at this point! After this, there was another ARC drop raffle at the Abrams & Chronicle stand for Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria where I was lucky enough to win one!
Finally, there was an ARC drop happening at HaperCollins at 4.30pm for The Witch of Wilow Hall by Hester Fox. However, whilst waiting in that queue I found out I had won an ARC of It Ends With You by S. K. Wright from a raffle at the ATOM stand, so I had to run and grab that quickly before returning for the ARC drop at Harper.
Then, just as I was leaving and thought everything was done, I found out I had won an ARC of No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen at the Andersen Press stall so had to collect that before I left! It was such an amazing way to end the day with one final very exciting surprise!
So that was my YALC experience! I had the absolute best time and walked away with so many books that it is quite frankly insane and I have no idea how I will get to them all, I just hope I can soon!! I would definitely say if you ever have the opportunity to go to YALC or a similar event then I would definitely recommend it as not only are there amazing books and swag either really cheap or even free, but just being surrounded by so many people with that same love for books for two days was honestly one of the best experiences of my life! I am really hoping I will be able to go next year, hopefully for all three days, though even if I can go to one I will be insanely excited! Next year can’t come soon enough!
– Maddie Browse