YALLFest 2015 was amazing, just as good if not better than last year. It was smaller last year, with fewer panels, and fewer authors I knew then. This year it was full to brim of authors I knew, authors I had just discovered, and panels I wanted to get to. Naturally you can never get to everything and you end up running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, but it was so great. I updated my YALLFEST IS HAPPENING post a few times during the two days, you can see that for my unorganized rambling thoughts, but here were the highlights for me and thoughts on the last part of day two:
- Friday was a bigger day this year than last year. Last year I did not participate in the YALLCrawl but this year I managed to get to four author signings! Soman Chainani, Brandon Mull, E. Lockhart, and Rae Carson
- I was first in line for Soman Chainani, which was a very cool.
- The best signing that do for me though was Brandon Mull. He asked if I’d read many of his books and I told him honestly I’d just started. His face lit up when he started to describe to me the level of ‘epic’ in his series and which ones I should pick up next. I adore seeing someone talk about something they love, which he obviously does.
- Meeting Sam, Lainey, and Kristin. These three ladies are a regular on my Booktube feed which, besides actually reading, is the only thing that keeps me sane at work most days. I had to really pysch myself out to actually approach them (the first time I saw them I turned around freaking out) but it was worth it. They were the nicest, sweetest people I saw at the con.
- Saturday was absolute chaos. Amazing, amazing chaos.
- We started off the morning strong by getting in line early enough for the keynote to get Richelle Mead wristbands, which I never expected and hadn’t brought a book for. I wound up buying the first Bloodlines books.
The important part of that signing? I asked Richelle who she would cast as Carter (from her Georgina Kincade series, since he is my platonic book boyfriend) and she said she could definitely see Woody Harrleson with his Haymitch look from the Hunger Games doing the job quite nicely. I could see it and the more I think about it the more perfect it is.
- After that we grabbed some freebies and dashed across the street for the Middle Grade StoryBall. This was cute but definitely more targeted to kids. More freebies were acquired and hit Libba Bray’s signing. She was a total sweetheart.
- We had some delicious wraps from the Black Bean Company (I believe that was it’s name), got even more freebies, and started the line for the Closing Keynote…
- Which BLEW MY MIND. The Brandons, as they call themselves, were hilarious and thought provoking. They talked about embarrassing stories, meaningful stories, and even touched on the Genre Fiction debate that I’m pretty passionate about (and so is Brandon Sanderson). Honestly, that was one of the top three parts of the event.
- The Smackdown after that was as funny as last year. I came out with a sore face and an even rougher throat.
All and all it was an amazing experience. I got a huge stack of freebies – from samplers to bags and some swag to even some ARCs! I also have a huge list of posts I want to cook up, especially since the year is done, as far as events go, for me. All I need to do is make it through NaNoWriMo and I’m great.
The important question though is what books did I get? Well here is the Instagram haul photo:
The top three are the ARCs that I received (my roommate got a few others, I’ll see if she can’t let me snap a pic of those later, but they will be reviewed on the blog at some point). Winter was a pre-order because I wasn’t crazy enough to brave her line. Mad props to those who did though. The rest I bought, which comes to a total of five books purchased. That for me is impressive!
I’ve already read two of those previously (VA and We Were Liars) and read It Came From Ohio by R.L. Stine last night. There should be a Goosebumps Movie/R.L. Stine biography review coming this week or next, along with thoughts on The Brandons and their discussion of ‘Why Fantasy?’. I haven’t looked at the Top 5 for this week, but either that or WWW Wednesday will be up as well! A few other things are on the cooker, just trust I’ll be back!
P.S. Fallout 4 is amazing. Respect my mad skills at blogging when I could be playing it. Respect them.