This is a retroactive post. For more details, please check out my Summer Hiatus post.
This post is pretty late as YALLWEST took place back almost three months ago. If you read my summer updates, you’ll know that I was burnt out and withdrew from most social media. However, it was my first book convention and I really wanted to share my experience.
- Jay Kristoff. This may sound a little ridiculous but the moment Jay announced he’d be at YALLWEST, I knew I had to make this trip happen. The Illuminae Files got me out of a reading funk I’ve been in for months so I really wanted to meet him and thank him. His Aurora Rising tour had other U.S. stops but none were near me. Since I knew a lot of the other authors attending, I thought it’d be the perfect festival to attend. It didn’t hurt that I could also get Aurora Rising a few days early 🙂
- Tahereh Mafi. If you follow me on instagram, you may remember how I hunted down a B&N copy of Restore Me after reading it because I ADORED it so much. I also preordered a signed B&N copy of Defy Me. Apart from loving her writing, I admire Tahereh Mafi’s work-life balance, kindness, and sense of fashion. So happy I got to meet her!
- V.E. Schwab. I waited over an hour immediately after meeting Jay Kristoff to V.E. Schwab. While I hadn’t read any of her books at this time, I did own the Monsters of Verity duology and Vicious. I followed her on social media for years and admired her for courage in sharing the good AND the bad. She’s incredibly sweet and creative!
- So many books signed! I only took one backpack with me on this trip, most of it filled with books I wanted signed. (Oh, and a piece of clothing or two.)
- ARCs and other free books! I walked in with a backpack and a red bag to carry what I got throughout the day. I ended up needing an extra bag and a tote bag to carry it all. (It was not fun walking around with four bags, though.) Some ARCS I received (not pictured here) were: Serpent & Dove, Song of the Crimson Flower, The Merciful Crow, Only Ashes Remain, Ink in the Blood, The Candle & The Flame, and The Grace Year.
For it being my first festival, YALLWEST exceeded my expectations. There was sooooo much to do, so many authors to meet, so many new books to add to my TBR, and readily accessible food.
I hope to attend YALLWEST again next year. In the meanwhile, I’ll be trying to attend YALLFEST in North Carolina– YALLWEST’s sister festival– in November. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!