Yesterday (Day 2) began incredibly early as we had to make our way up to London from Southampton where we spent the night (well early morning really since we didn’t go to bed till 1am). I woke at 6 when both mine and Hannah’s alarms went off but she didn’t wake up until 6.30. I had turned the light on, I’m sure me getting changed made noise and she was still dead to the world. Eventually I decided to turn on a second alarm and just left it ringing whilst I went to brush my teeth and she finally woke up. Once she had got ready, we both got in the car and she drove back to Windsor which took far less time than it had the previous night. We dropped her car off at her house and then walked to the Windsor train station. We arrived just a few minutes before the train to Slough left, so I went to the train and got a seat whilst Hannah got her ticket as I had more bags and couldn’t really run. I was worried she wouldn’t make it in time, but she did.
We chatted on the train about YALC and the authors we met on Saturday and what we were planning on doing that day and who we were excited for etc. We arrived at Slough in plenty of time and luckily the next train to Paddington was leaving pretty quickly. We got the train to Paddington and when we arrived it was around 9.30, so we decided to go and get breakfast in Paddington as YALC didn’t begin until 10 and we had planned on arriving later anyway to avoid the queue! We went to Costa, I had a blueberry muffin and a berry smoothie, Hannah had a chocolate muffin and a chocolate cooler. We were looking for somewhere to buy lunch and a cash machine since Hannah owed me some money (as we’re going on holiday with another friend of ours this weekend and she owed me money for the hostel) so we got the tube from Paddington to Edgware Road. We didn’t manage to find the Sainsbury’s but we did find a cash machine. Once we’d done that we went back to the tube station.
My ticket didn’t go through the barrier at Edgeware Road, so I went over to the person on the barrier to show her it. She said my ticket had been refused because it was only valid for one Underground journey and I had used it to get out at Edgeware Road (which the lady who I bought the ticket at Cambridge from hadn’t explained to me, she said that I could get around on the Underground on it and never mentioned I could only use it for one journey, although I had already used it for several underground journeys yesterday!). Anyway the ticket lady was very rude and not at all helpful. I had an oyster but it was one that the tenants in my family’s house in London had left and it was expired, so I ended up having to buy another ticket which sucked as it costed another £8. I was a little grouchy after that but as soon as the topic turned to books, I forgot about the rude ticket lady (well not totally forgot but it was put to the back of my mind anyway!). We got the tube from Edgeware Road back to Paddington and then got the tube from Paddington to Earl’s Court. We didn’t have to wait too long before a train to Olympia arrived.
Once we arrived at Olympia, we decided to go and find food before we went into the convention centre. We went to the Tesco Express across the street (which we somehow didn’t spot last year!) and I got a sandwich and a water and Hannah got a popcorn. We then went back across the street and there was no queue so we got straight in! We had our tickets scanned, and then got the lift up to level 2 where YALC was. We went to the toilets first and ran into Josephine Boyce who we met yesterday which was pretty cool! Where else can you go and run into an author in the toilets? We had decided that yesterday, since we did mostly signings on Saturday, would be more of a stall shopping day. We had a look round a few of the stalls, picking up freebies (mostly food!) and then at the Accent YA stand, Hannah and I both bought a copy of The Deepest Cut and Hannah bought another book (can’t remember the title) so we could get the 3 for 2 deal. We found out that Natalie Flynn (the author of The Deepest Cut) was signing, so we went over to her table and got our books signed.
After that we went and sat down for a little bit and I ate my lunch. We then wandered around the stands some more, I bought two books at the Chicken House stand, Under Rose Tainted Skies and Fire and Flood and Hannah bought Under Rose Tainted Skies to get signed later. We did some more wandering around the stands, I bought Burning from the Bloomsbury stand because it sounded great. We also went to the Electric Monkey stand and Hannah bought a book called Shift, which I asked to borrow once she was done with it! The Electric Monkey stand was really cool, it was set out like a diner and they gave us “menus” with all of their books on it. We wandered around a little more and then we went to the Waterstones bookshop and Hannah convinced me to buy You Against Me by Jenny Downham (a signed copy) as she has read it and said it was really good (I know the first and last time of the weekend when Hannah pushed me to buy a book, not the other way around!) and I convinced her to buy The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (also signed) because I want to read it but I’m not sure whether I’ll like it or not, so I wanted her to try it first! I also actually remembered to get her points on my card this time! Score!
After that we went back over to the Chicken House stand for Louise Gornall’s signing. Her queue was pretty long and I thought that was great, it’s great when a debut author has lots of people wanting them to sign their book. As with all the authors we met, she was really lovely and seemed quite happy to talk to us and I was so happy that she did so well because she must have been really nervous with it being her first signing and all!
Once we were done in Louise’s signing line, it was nearly time for the main event of the day, the thing we had come on Sunday for, Maggie Stiefvater’s talk. We went and sat near the entrance to the main stage and just talked for a bit but the previous talk (on Morally Complicated in YA, which we wanted to go to but kind of forgot about! I was getting a little stiff sitting down so I decided to go around the room finding the clues for Chicken House’s Fever Code game. I managed to find four of the codes (out of five) and we worked out two of them easily and managed to work out the third with a little help from the internet! We couldn’t work out the fourth one though and by then it was time for the talk.
Maggie Stiefvater’s talk was easily the best one of the weekend. I was worried that she wouldn’t be as funny in person as she is on Twitter but I really shouldn’t have, the woman is hilarious. Her talk was essentially a half an hour long stand up comedy set. I also worried that Hannah (who has not yet read The Raven Cycle) might get spoiled for the last book, but she didn’t, the talk was mostly Maggie telling funny stories with the occasional bit of The Raven Cycle thrown in and she had me and Hannah in stitches for the entirety of her talk. We had planned on leaving early so we could get a good spot in the signing line but we were having so much fun and we wanted to hear the Q&A (which was just as hilarious as the talk). We ran out after to get a good spot in the queue but it was huge already. The queue was so massive that they implemented ticketing so we had to queue to get tickets. We tried to get a good spot in the queue for the queue, but we unfortunately were not fast enough and ended up being 226 and 227. We went to see Louise O’Neill who was doing a signing, I didn’t have a copy of either of her books as I read Asking For It as an e-copy and Only Ever Yours is in storage in Scotland, but I just wanted to tell her I liked Asking For It. She was really nice and talked to us for a bit and offered to take a photo with us which we accepted (there was no one else there at the time so it wasn’t like we were holding up a queue of people who actually wanted their books signed).
We then decided to just go and sit for a bit because we knew it was going to be a long wait. We sat and read for a bit and then decided to try and find the fourth Fever Code game clue. We couldn’t find it anywhere though, so we went to the Chicken House stand to get a clue where it was. It turns out it had been taken down, but the lady on the stand found the clue for us and let us see it. Luckily it was quite easy to work out! We went to sit back down for a bit longer and we finally worked out the answer to the last clue (again with a little help from the Internet) and went back to the Chicken House stand to put it in the box. We read for a bit longer and then we went over to the Chapter 5 stand for the chance to win a proof of Caraval. Sadly the game was a throwing game, which both Hannah and I suck at. Although to be fair, everyone in the line sucked at it. The people running the stand thought that they would have to do several rounds of the game as there were so many people there but all but one of us missed, so that made it easy for them (the game was throwing a sweet in a jar). Hannah did get pretty close though, so that makes me feel slightly better about not winning the proof.
By the time that was over it was about five o’clock but our numbers still weren’t up on the board at Maggie Stiefvater’s signing (we had been watching the numbers of books you could get signed go down slowly through the hours, it had started at 4 and was now down to 2. Hannah and I were kind of peeved about this because it meant that we would now get less books signed than those who got tickets for the front of the line, we wished they’d just put the low signing limit in at the start, which would probably have made the queue go faster, but I digress). We decided to do one last round of the stalls and I bought one more book, Wintergirls as it was discounted down to £3.
After our last round of the stalls we decided to just sit and wait over by Maggie’s signing area. It took a while and we were worried that after all that time it would reach 6 o’clock and we wouldn’t even get one book signed (which was what the limit was down to by now). Our number group finally came up on the board and we got into the queue. We met a really nice girl in the queue who was a writer and she told us about her book which we said sounded really good and if she ever gets it published we want to read it! We chatted with her until our turn to meet Maggie finally came. It was brief, she just asked what our favourite book in the series was, I said The Raven King (which I got signed) and Hannah said she hadn’t read the series yet but couldn’t wait to. I think she would have liked to talk to everyone more but the staff were hurrying her along at this point (she had been signing for three hours after all! Seriously what a trooper!). She was so lovely though, especially considering how long she had been signing for. We did get a picture (although it’s not the best one of us, so I won’t be including it in this post! Maggie looks hilarious though!).
After that, it was the end of YALC and time for us to leave. We found a girl who had been at the Maggie Stiefvater signing on the way out and she was really nice, so we ended up talking to her and she was heading back to the same place as us (we were going to King’s Cross, she was going to St Pancras, so same place) and so we got the tube all the way back together. Once we got to the station we said goodbye to the girl (her name was Laura) and then went to WH Smith so I could get a sandwich for dinner. Hannah then helped me to get all my bags of books onto the train before we parted ways and that was the end of our incredible YALC weekend.
Here are my pictures from Day 2 of YALC:
My signed copy of The Deepest Cut.
My signed copy of Under Rose Tainted Skies.
My signed copy of You Against Me
My signed copy of The Raven King! (Like I said earlier, I do have a picture of us and Maggie Stiefvater, but I’m not going to share it because it’s not a great picture of me or my friend)
My Sunday Book Haul
All my YALC swag!
Us with Louise O’Neill
My whole weekend book haul
I had such a great weekend this year and so did Hannah, we’re already planning our trip to YALC for next year! I feel like I did much better this year, both in terms of swag and the number of books and signed books I have.
What do you think of my book haul? Any you’ve read? Any you want to read? Which should I read first? Anyone else go to YALC this year? Did you enjoy it? Which authors did you see? Which day (or days) did you go? Anyone who wants to go to YALC for the first time next year have any questions? Basically, talk to me! I love hearing from you guys!
I will have my #RockMyTBR post for you tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday depending on how much time I have after doing Top Ten Tuesday and blog hopping tomorrow!) and my new Top Ten Tuesday post, so stay tuned for those!