So as most of the Book Blogging community that resides in England probably knows, this weekend is YALC weekend. For those that don't know, YALC stands for the Young Adult Literature Convention and this is it's third year being held in London! This is in fact the first time I've attended, for varying reasons I couldn't make it the last two times it was on. It's part of LFCC (London Film & Comic Con) so I managed to enjoy aspects of both conventions!
I started the day by visiting the Freebies stand (we managed to get in approaching 10 o Clock) before joining the rest of the audience at the 'Resistance & Rebellion in YA' panel, hosted by Anna James and joined by Alwyn Hamilton, Julie Mayhew, Simon Mayo and Kass Morgan. All authors were really insightful and managed to tie their own books into the theme well. I loved Julie Mayhew's idea that if a character changed their mind about something fundamental, then that is in it's own way a type of rebellion. Alwyn Hamilton spoke about writing Fantasy because she could make up her own rules, history and context. I'm really looking forward to reading her book, 'Rebel Of The Sands'. Simon Mayo's book, 'Blame' focused on heritage crime and sounded like a really interesting plot to read. All in all, a thoughtful panel.
Not long after came the second panel of the day: 'Friendship In YA' (once again hosted by Anna James). I had been really looking forward to this panel, largely because of Sara Barnard's presence, whose debut 'Beautiful Broken Things' I really enjoyed. I was also really excited to see that she was joined by Sarra Manning and Holly Bourne! Their discussion was certainly one of the most insightful of the three I listened to that day. So many interesting points raised about the lack of friendship in YA compared to romance, and that it's unrealistic to expect friends never to fall out. After the panel, I hurried to the signing table to get my new copy of 'Beautiful Broken Things' signed by Sara Barnard before buying a bulk load of books (more on that later).
The last panel I attended was the 'Secrets & Lies' panel, hosted by Chelsey Pippin and joined by Sarah Crossan, Keren David, Sophie Kinsella and Annabel Pitcher. While I've not read a book by any of these lovely ladies, I've heard of all of them and they're most certainly on my TBR for great YA. At times it felt like I was watching a comedy panel because the panel was so funny. I'm really excited about all four books of theirs, not only are there a lot of secrets and twists but in their own way they each deal with Mental Health issues which I feel is important to address in YA. We left the panel slightly early to run across to the Chicken House book stand because Kiran Millwood Hargrave was signing books. I read 'The Girl Of Ink & Stars' earlier this week and LOVED it!
After that, Mat and I went to explore the LFCC part of the convention which was great fun. My favourite thing that I took away was of course a Vinyl Pop Figure, and this time I chose Regina from Once Upon A Time because I love that show and I love her! Mat also won himself a Tomahawk at the weapon's raffle which he's very excited about, and we even saw the infamous Iron Throne! All in all a good day!
As you can see, my haul is pretty small but I'm still extra pleased with everything I bagged! I bought a lot of books while I was there, and the Patrick Ness books were signed too! I'm totally knackered after such an exhausting day, but deliriously happy because so many great things happened!