Helloo lovelies! Happy Wednesday, how’s your week going? What are you reading? Sorry about not posting this weekend, but Saturday I went to one of my favorite events of the year, YALLWEST! If you don’t know, Yallwest is the sister festival to Yallfest which is held in Charleston, South Carolina every year. So, needless to say my weekend was full of bookish fun and a lot of recovery (and getting a tattoo, but that’s a story for another day).
So, I’ll probably do a separate haul of all of the goodies I got this year, but I do have to say that this was the best year I’ve experienced….however, it was also a hectic year. I guess I should start telling you about the day haha. I’m from Southern California, so this event was a godsend when it first started five years ago, before that I would like have serious FOMO/be super jealous of everyone who go to go to Yallfest and Bookcon. With that being said, I’m still super anxious about like getting from my home to Santa Monica (I live like 2 hours away) because of all of the traffic…so I made my boyfriend get his happy butt up at 5AM and we went on our merry way.
Last year I went by myself and one of my good bookish friends, Rose (@ b3tweenthepage on Instagram), created a little schedule for me to help make this big event more manageable. Yallwest is a two day event, but typically I only go on Saturday because…well I work. Anyway, Rose helped me out again, and it also helped that I had another bookstagram friend going along. I always recommend going in groups to these events because then you can divide and conquer and that’s exactly what we did.
Like last year, the event started a little late, I think that’s because they let the press pass holders in early, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway when the gates opened, I gave my boyfriend his marching orders and me and my friends went about rushing to get our ARC (Advanced Reader Copies) tickets. A lot of the events, if not all of them were ticketed which was something new from last year. I think they started ticketing because when they would do ARC drops in the past people would come up and take multiple books which made it hard for everyone else to get one, so I understand why they did it…the only complaint I have is that ALL of the ARC tickets were dropped at 9am and…well we didn’t get in until 9:30AM sooooo….yeah. Thankfully we still managed to get most of the books we were all interested in.
This year, for me, was all about the ARCs and the swag. I’ve met quite a few of my favorite authors at past events and I usually get the books I want signed from Good Choice Reading and their virtual signings, so there were only two authors I was dying to see: Jay Kristoff and V.E. Schwab.
With that being said, there was a bit of an issue regarding an ARC drop at the Riveted booth this year. They handled it beautifully and it should never have happened. What happened was there was a scheduled ARC drop at 12PM, however people started lining up about half an hour before hand — this in and of itself wasn’t the whole issue. The issue was that people, large groups of people, would crowd in front of people who had been waiting there for much longer. Eventually the Riveted team had to hand out post-it notes for the drop/signing. Literally people almost mobbed this poor Riveted rep, I felt so bad, and my boyfriend was nice enough to offer to tell the group to back up, buuut they didn’t take him up on the offer. He and I both managed to get a ticket and I got to meet the author. She was super sweet about the whole thing and still signed everyone’s copy of Enchantment of Ravens as well as the Sorcery of Thorns ARC.
I met some really awesome people in this line! One of them was so kind and gave me her husband’s ticket to an exclusive Underlined author meet and greet event. At this event I met Jay Kristoff and kind of freaked out…internally of course, but also kind of externally. I also sat with some pretty awesome ladies! We’re all friends on Instagram now and we have a group called “Black as Pitch” which…when you see the photo (taken of our table and reposted by Mr. Kristoff himself).
We were also the most hyped table. Literally we were told by multiple people that everyone was just coloring their bandanas and not really talking to the authors, which was weird, but we definitely made up for it by chatting the hell out of them.
He was ridiculously tall, and all of his tattoos were great. AND HE WAS SUPER NICE AND SIGNED ALL OF THE THINGS for all of us even though he really didn’t have to at the event.
At this same event, I met the author of Pet, Akwaeke Emezi. She was the sweetest and had such a beautiful accent and her outfit was gorgeous and we all talked about her book which MADE ME WANT TO BUY IT EVEN MORE like it sounds super interesting.
After this event the day started to wind down. The boyfriend and I got to relax until the V.E. Schwab signing which was the last thing on our list. I’d originally wanted to go to her keynote, buuut…I decided I’d rather not run back and forth and mostly hung around the signing area with the boy. We were v tired at the end of the day.
When I did finally get to meet Ms. Schwab herself, I kind of freaked out. I only brought one book, Vicious which was the first book of hers that I read. To this day it is one of my all time favorite books and I got to tell her that and she said she was honored. Also, I know I said this before, but literally every author I met was SO sweet and even the ones I didn’t “meet” and who were just wandering around enjoying the festival. They were all so kind.
But here’s the last photo of my sunburnt self with one of my favorite authors ever!
If ya’ll are going to come to Yallwest next year hit me up! I also am planning on going to Yallfest later this year and hopefully meet my lovely co-blogger Stacia! Ya’ll will be getting a book haul post on Saturday. PREPARE yourself because I went with one book and came back with 17 (that I didn’t pay for) and more that I bought.