YALC 2017 round-up Part 2

During the last weekend of July I attended the Saturday and Sunday of YALC (the young adult literature convention). It was my third year attending and I had such a great time. I posted here about my time there on the Saturday so I thought I’d also give you guys my Sunday round-up.

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Once I arrived after having minimal sleep over night, I wondered around the publisher stalls again (where I purchased STAGS and Cell 7 at the Hot Key Books stand) before heading to the Fandom panel.  I absolutely loved the panel and thought it was sooo funny. Lucy Saxon hosted and she is just brilliant. After the panel I went to Anna Day’s signing where I got my proof of the Fandom signed. Luckily I had a small virtual queue number as the queue was getting quite big quite quickly.

 

 

I then popped down to the LFCC floor, something I hadn’t managed to do on the Saturday because of how busy it was. Thankfully it was much quieter and I managed to browse all the merch stalls and restrain myself. I brought just three things, muggle raspberry fudge, a sleeve for my Mark Sheppard photo and a Thor keyring for my fabulous friend who couldn’t make it this year. 😦

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Next I went back to the YALC floor and watched the life advice panel. This was so good with brillaint talk of bullying, periods, and life. Benedict Cumberbatch also walked through the panel area and it was great, although I slightly wish he had walked past during the more awkward topics just to have seen his reaction.

Afterwards, I joined a queue for a proof copy of the Treatment which the author kindly signed. I’ve since read this book and my review will be up closer to publication. I then got my copy of Soulmates signed by Holly Bourne (my name twin and my favourite author) and my copy of Beautiful Broken things signed by Sara Barnard. I absolutely loved meeting them both.

Before I went to Juno Dawson’s signing, I attended Penny Joelson’s: Writing a strong voice workshop. It was very interesting to see the different ways to make your character have that strong, individual voice you want them to have.

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Josephine Boyce at her stall selling her amazing books

 

I then took one final lap around the publisher stalls and did some last minute book buying. I purchased Editing Emma upon seeing Jim’s (@Yayeahyeah) recommendation on Twitter. (I also got to meet the lovely Jim briefly on the Sunday which was so nice.) I also purchased THUG and entered their competition to win The Hat You Give (which I found out yesterday that I won – whoop!!). I then stopped off at the Hot Key Book’s stand one last time as they were getting rid of their book swap books without needing to swap so I grabbed The Soterion Mission and The Rig.

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Finally, before leaving I headed down to Mark Sheppard’s (aka Crowley in Supernatural) talk which was hilarious. Unfortunately I had to leave early to catch my train home.

I had such a great time at YALC and LFCC again this year and cannot wait to go again next year for my fourth time. Are any of you planning on going again (or for the first time) next year? Let me know in the comments as I’m nosey. 😀

YALC 2017 Round-up Part 1

Last Saturday and Sunday I attended YALC (the young adult literature convention) at Olympia in London. This year was my third year attending and was once again amazing! This is my round up of the Saturday of the event.

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When I arrived on the Saturday (having had so many train troubles on my journey up) I met up with Alex from Inked Books and after obtaining a proof of The Fandom we wondered around the amazing stands. The publisher stands this year were amazing and had definitely upped their game since last year with MyKindaBook’s summer fete my favourite by far. I also loved Hot Key Book’s stand where I swapped two books for Ink and Catalyst in the book swap. I then realised Alice Broadway was signing so I got her to sign Ink.

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In the afternoon I went to Justina Robson’s creative writing workshop where we looked at writing a remix of the 3 little pigs story. It was really fun and interesting. I then went to the Samantha Shannon signing before attending the Magic, Myths and Fairy-tale panel. It was really interesting hearing all the authors favourite myths. I then also got some of the lovely authors of Change Book to sign my copy.

I then attended the first ever #teenbloggerschat meet-up. I got to meet all the awesome bloggers that I chat too on Twitter (almost) every Sunday. We had a great laugh, chatting books and wishing one of the moderators a Merry Christmas as he couldn’t attend (which wasn’t awkward to film in July at all…) I then went to Peadar Ó GuilĂ­n’s signing before heading down to the LFCC area for my photoshoot with Mark Sheppard. After waiting around and trying to work out how the photoshoot worked, I finally got my photo with Mark Sheppard AKA Crowley from my favourite TV show Supernatural. It was so amazing!

So, that’s my round up of my Saturday at YALC. My round-up of my time at YALC on the Sunday will be up soon. In the meantime, did you go to YALC this year? What was your favourite event of the weekend?

 

 

Review – Wishbones

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Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problems run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

This book is such a beautifully sweet book. The characters are lovable and I loved the coverage of real issues at both ends of the weight spectrum. I felt that the issues were dealt with perfectly and compassionately.

Feather herself is really inspirational. Her hope, will power and perseverance is just amazing and she is an amazing fictional role model. Through out the book I cheered her on, along her journey to help her mum and do well in her swimming competitions. My favourite character other than Feather is her eccentric neighbour Mrs Zas. Her help and story was lovely.

I was so happy with how the book ended and it was fantastic to read the reveal of many twists at the end.

Overall this is such a lovely book and a definite recommended read for anyone wanting something heart warming,

YALC Haul

This last weekend I attended YALC (the young adult literature convention) and came away with quite a few things, so I thought I’d show you guys what I got. 20170731_104841Firstly, I came home with 18 more books than I took with me. (oops 😀 ) The books on the left are the books I bought. I purchased Resistance, The Mime Order, The Hate You Give, Change, Editing Emma, Cell 7 and Stags. The stalls at YALC had some fantastic offers on their books so I’m surprised I didn’t buy more but I had to be restrained due to limited space to bring them home. BOO!! (Next year I will have to bring a suitcase)

The books of the right are ones I got for free. The bottom two I exchanged in the book swap, the two above those I got from the book swap on the Sunday when they were just getting rid of the books. The other ones are all proofs I was lucky enough to receive. I’m super excited to read them especially the Treatment and The Fandom.

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I also got loads of awesome free swag. I won some awesome bits from the Fairy Loot stand, got some totes, sweets and I counted and I got over 30 badges – don’t worry though as I’ll be adding them to a fab piece of art I have in my room. (I’ll show you all when it’s complete – I love it so far) I was also very grateful that the swag item of 2017 was a fan as it was so warm in Olympia.

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Whilst there I also bought a YALC T-shirt, a YALC travel mug (for uni) , some Muggle Raspberry fudge from the LFCC floor and I also got my photograph with Mark Sheppard aka Crowley in Supernatural.

I am very pleased with my haul this year and thankfully my purse isn’t crying too much after the weekend. Now, just to sort out my bookshelf…

Let me know which book you think I should read first in the comments below.

P.S If you went to YALC I’d love to read your blog posts or watch your videos – please share your link in the comments 😀

Review – Seed

seedFifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it’s too late

This book is absolutely amazing! I’ve never read a book quicker out of being so gripped. It was sad, thought-provoking and mind opening. It made me feel lucky especially with my periods (If you’ve read it you know what I mean). The introduction was so unusual but I loved it, it was certainty an effective way of getting the reader hooked fast.

The characters were fabulous too. Pearl was so innocent and loving. It’s easy to see why she believed Papa S, having never known any different. Papa S (and the Kindreds), however, are disgusting. Their manipulative actions to abuse these people is abominable. Lisa has perfectly created two opposite characters who are easy to love and hate.

And that ending! The ambiguity hurt me as I need to know what happens. But it does mean that I can form my own ending and decided myself what I want to happen to them. (Though I seriously want to know!)

I’ve loved Lisa’s writing so much that I can’t wait to read her other two books, however I don’t know which to start first. Comment below whether you think I should read Paper Butterflies next or Flight of a Stirling.

 

What’s in my YALC bag?

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With YALC just a few days away, I thought I would show you what’s in my YALC bag just in case you needed some tips as to what to bring or if you were just interested.

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Firstly, books (Obviously)! I separate my books into days and keep the ones for the next/previous day in my overnight bag. I’m only bringing a few books a day for ease and so that I have more room in my backpack to buy more.

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Next is food and drink. Although there are places to get food in the venue it’s very expensive. And as I’d rather spend my money on books, I’ll be bringing my own food. I recommend food in packets that won’t easily melt or squish too much as it will get very warm in the venue.

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I also always carry a few essentials with me. A packet of tissues, body spray, medicine, plasters, glasses cleaners, a portable charger, money (cash and card as not all venders/stalls accept card), my phone, a bookmark (in case you start reading any of the brilliant books you buy) and tote bags. Although publishers do give out tote bags, I find it handy to have some with me anyway. I also like to have a tote bag with my blog and twitter name on so that if any of you see me, you can come and say hi without wondering if it is me or not.

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Last but not least, I carry with me the paperwork I need for the weekend; my tickets and the schedules so I know what events are on and when. I also bring a notepad (with my plan for the weekend) and a pen.

All of this will be put in my big, sturdy backpack so that the weight is evenly spread out across my back and shoulders.

So, that’s what is in my YALC bag. What are your YALC essentials for the weekend? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

Waterstones event with Lisa Heathfield

LHEOn Saturday 15th July I went to my local Waterstones for a talk and signing with YA author Lisa Heathfield who has written the books Seed, Paper Butterflies and Flight of a Starling. Here is my round up of the event.

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Lisa talked to us about her books, her writing methods and her writing tips. Lisa told us that whilst she writes by hand, she doesn’t plot out her books. She very kindly showed us the notepad of her draft of Seed which was magnificent. I’ve never seen a notebook so neatly written in with so few crossings out or additions in the side of the page. My notepads are usually a mess.

Lisa also gave us some wonderful tips for aspiring writers and then kindly signed our books. I already own a copy of Seed but whilst I was there I also brought Paper Butterflies and Flight of a Sterling. I am very ready to cry when I read these. I have tissues ready.

This was my first author event that isn’t YALC and it was so good. It may have been small but the personal feel was lovely. Thanks again to Lisa Heathfield and to Portsmouth Watersones for organising the event.

Have you been to any non-YALC author events? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it.