Yesterday, Day Two of YALC got off to a very early start. We decided that we wanted to get there early because we knew Victoria Schwab’s signing queue was going to be virtual tickets and we knew that the earlier we got there, the lower number we would be able to get. Of course, the best laid plans go awry, and we had quite a lot of stuff to get together, as we were all heading home after so despite wanting to get there for nine, we didn’t actually arrive until about 9.30. Thankfully, the queue was not very long, so we got in quite quickly.
We made a beeline for the VQ tickets, and got our tickets for Victoria Schwab, and Malorie Blackman later on. Sadly, apparently everyone at YALC was a really eager beaver, and we were like 280+ in the signing queue, so we were a bit worried because when we were in the same situation with Tomi Adeyemi last year, we didn’t get our books signed, but never fear that didn’t happen this year (more on that later). Whilst we were waiting Hannah grabbed us some beautiful Shades of Magic prints that were being given away by I think FairyLoot, which you’ll get to see at the end of this post.
Once we had got our VQ tickets, we headed over to the Orion booth as we’d heard they were doing a Ninth House ARC raffle throughout the day. It wasn’t quite time yet, so we wandered around for a bit, and came back for our raffle tickets at 10.
I was scrolling through Twitter after that and I found that the lovely Charnell (of Reviews From A Bookworm) had a spare VQ ticket for Victoria Schwab with a much lower number than mine and she very kindly gave it to me, which Hannah and I were both really grateful for, as we both desperately wanted to see her, and knew the higher number you had, the more chance the queue got cut off before it got to you.
We wandered around for a bit after that as we knew we wouldn’t be right away in the Victoria Schwab queue, and I got some great stuff from Illumicrate and Fable and Black, an amazing Priory art print, a Shades of Magic enamel pin for my bag and a Shades of Magic keyring. I also got a free ACOTAR mug with my purchase which was lovely, and got entered into the raffle for Ninth House, as well as their other proofs. Hannah (author Hannah, not blogger Hannah), also bought quite a few books, and I got two new ones, Ink, Iron and Glass and Thief of Lies. Hannah (BooksLifeandOtherOddities) got the two books from HarperCollins she’d wanted to buy the day before, Gentleman’s Guide and Fawkes (she couldn’t decide between that and Romanov and I said I liked Fawkes better).
Once we were done there, it was past time for us to get into the VE Schwab queue, as I’d been longer than I thought at Illumicrate and the queue moved quite quickly! We got in though, and had the happy surprise that Victoria was personalising one book, having been told prior to YALC that she wouldn’t be doing dedications. Since we were kind of sharing the VQ ticket, so we both got through early and didn’t have to come back when the numbers were in the 200s, I got two comics signed and Hannah got her copy of Vicious dedicated, which made her day. The queue was long, so we didn’t have much time with V, but I managed to tell her that Vengeful was going to be my next read, and that I was super excited. Apparently she’s had people either really loving it or really hating it, so I told her I’d tweet her what I thought when I was done (I’m sure I will really love it, I will not be tweeting her telling her I despised it! I started it today and I’m already enjoying it).
When we’d finished in Victoria’s queue, we decided it was time for lunch, but none of us had bought any because we’d come straight in to get VQ tickets, so we headed out to the Tesco across the road to buy lunch and then got back in using our stamps. We sat by the book swap to eat, and I got a chicken and bacon sandwich, a big bag of quavers and fruit. We also had more of Hannah’s cookie dough brownies.
We had some time to kill after lunch as our next signing wasn’t until four, so we wandered around for a bit longer. I was basically done book buying, but Hannah (author Hannah) had catching up to do, and boy did she, she ended up with a massive stack of great books. I wanted to go to the Samantha Shannon signing, and Hannah (blogger Hannah) wanted to go to the FairyLoot stand for a Caraval announcement at 1, so we went our separate ways for a bit.
Samantha’s queue was quite long, but Hannah brought me a cupcake from the FairyLoot stand, which was lovely, and I was glad I waited even if I didn’t have a book to sign this year, as she signed the Priory print that I bought from Illumicrate and I got to tell her how much I enjoyed Priory. Apparently she’s working on a companion which will have many more dragons, which I was very excited to hear about! Samantha is always so lovely, and it was great to get to see her as I didn’t think we’d be able to since her official signing was on Sunday (thanks Illumicrate for organising the Saturday one)!
By the time we’d done that, it was getting close to 2pm and Hannah (author Hannah) had quite a long journey home, so she wanted to get going. We got the obligatory picture of all of us on the YALC sign, and said our goodbyes before going our separate ways. We then headed over to the Karen McManus queue, where Hannah got her copy of One of Us Is Lying signed (I just waited, as I didn’t have anything for her to sign).
After that, Hannah and I really didn’t have that much to do, so we spent a lot of time sitting and chilling. Hannah won a copy of To Best The Boys from FairyLoot for telling them how many anniversaries they’d had (I’d told her it was 3) so she was very happy about that. I was only one number away from winning the Illumicrate raffle for Kingdom of Souls, so that was annoying! We spent a lot of time checking if we had won different raffles (we hadn’t, Hannah really wanted to win a copy of Slay, but even with three numbers we didn’t get there) and just sitting and chatting.
I tried in vain to find more bats for an Into The Crooked Place arc of my own, but didn’t find any, so I’ll just be sharing Hananh’s. It wasn’t a total waste though, watching bookworms frantically scouring a very large convention centre for plastic bats in hopes of winning an ARC was pretty darn funny.
When it hit 4, we were really just waiting for Malorie Blackman’s numbers to get to ours. We were getting a little cranky because we were quite tired, and only really had that left to go, we both had very little money (and space) so there was no more book buying and there wasn’t much else we wanted to do. We took up residence on some bean bags near the stand and kept periodically going back and forth to check if our numbers were up yet.
Whilst we were waiting, we noticed that Alwyn Hamilton’s signing queue had pretty much finished and since we’ve seen her every other year that we’ve been at YALC, and she didn’t have a large queue anymore, we decided to go over and say hi and get a picture. She was so lovely, she knows us by now (we’ve seen her every year for five years, always at YALC and always together!) and seemed really happy to see us. We told her that we had photos of us over the years at YALC, which she loved and that we were super excited for her new book, The Notorious Virtues. We got a picture and she signed our Notorious Virtues Invites (which apparently might get you something cool!) and it really perked us up, because at that point we were getting a bit cranky with waiting for Malorie Blackman’s queue.
We still had to wait, I think about another 40 minutes to an hour after that before we finally got to the front of Malorie’s queue. She was so lovely though, we thanked her for setting up YALC in the first place because it’s been such a huge part of our bookworm lives over the past five years and commiserated that we missed her rapping in Klingon because we weren’t there for the first year. I also said that Noughts and Crosses was my first YA book when I was 11 and that I was super excited for Crossfire and she thanked me and said that she hoped I wasn’t too scarred from it. We joked that we were still here, so it couldn’t have been that bad. It was lovely to meet her, we probably would have got a photo, but by that point, we were quite sweaty and gross and needed to get home, so we didn’t (one day!). We definitely understood why her line was taking so long when we got there, she really loves to chat to readers (which is awesome)!
When we were done with Malorie, we made a beeline for the exit pretty sharpish, as it was about 6 o’clock by that time and we both needed to make our trains home. We picked up my bag from the cloakroom, and staggered towards the exit, laden down under the weight of all our books.
We walked back to High Street Kensington station, and got the tube. Hannah got off earlier than me as her stop was direct, I had to change at Edgware Road, and then get another train to Kings Cross. Thankfully when I got there, my train was already waiting on the platform so I didn’t have to wait very long and I got home much earlier this year, about 8.15 which was nice!
I had another amazing year at YALC, and I cannot wait to go back again next year, it’s my favourite annual bookworm tradition!
Us on the YALC sign
Meeting VE Schwab (yes we are fangirls, can you tell?)
Trying to win a copy of FairyLoot’s Finale (we didn’t, Hannah ended up buying one from Hodderscape).
My signed Malorie Blackman book
Saturday signed books
Entire weekend haul
New addition to the VE Schwab merchandise
Shades of Magic print
Shades of Magic pin
Us with Alwyn Hamilton
Gorgeous Priory print signed by Samantha Shannon
Hannah and I fulfilling our demigod dreams!
Meeting Samantha Shannon!
So what do you think of the books I got? Any I should desperately prioritise? Anyone else been at YALC this wekeend? Did you have fun? Who was your favourite author to meet? Let me know in the comments, I’d love for the YALC fangirling to continue a little longer!