It's been a while since I've written in my book blog. I've been in a book slump for a while but the fun I had at YALLWEST this year cheered me right up. Now I just want to read more books ^O^
YALLWEST 2016 is a counter part Young Adult/Middle Grade book festivals of YALLFEST but happened in the West coast in Santa Monica, California. This event actually took place on April 30 - May 1 this year. I was working on April 30 so I was only able to attend on Sunday May 1st.
The last time I went to a book fest was 2 years ago at LA Times Festival of Books and that was amazing. I wasn't sure what to expect in YALLWEST but I knew it would be fun. The location was good. It was a sunny day but the breeze help cool the palce down. Santa Monica High School hosted YALLWEST this year and there was plenty of walking space and not too pact. Although I heard there were a bunch of people on Saturday. There was a nice atmosphere about it. They even have food trucks and In-N-Out too.
There were a bunch of YA/MG book lovers of different ages everywhere. I saw a ton of YA and middle grade book authors roaming around throughout the festival too. My plan for YALLWEST was to attend a few panels and get books sign by a few authors. The book signing part did not happened since I left my book in the car and I found out they were passing out free Advanced Reader Edition of upcoming YA books (I'll call them ARC for the rest of the post). I couldn't pass out on that. Planning ahead helped in a way. I got to attend three panels and got a bunch of book swags.
I started my day at the keynote panel where it's a conversation between authors Tehereh Mafi and Marie Lu. It was a fun panel where they talked about the struggles and what they've learn as an author. They even give advice and told us about how they came to be doing what they do and their previous career. I felt motivated to read and write more from this panel. It helped energized me for the rest of the day.
The next panel I attend was the ZOMG! AUTHORS AS FANS (MG/YA) panel. This panel was moderated by Margaret Stohl, with Victoria Aveyard, Alexandra Bracken, Soman Chainani, Danielle Paige, Neal Shusterman, Melissa de la Cruz. It was so nice to see that authors have fandom too. They talked about how books, TV shows, movies, and video games they like influence them in their work. Many of them like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. One of them even like the Fire Emblem video game.
After the panels, I wanted to try out the spin the wheels at Epic Reads since they were giving out upcoming ARC. That was how I got to made friends with a few book lovers and one of them was an author and she gave me her book too. I was super happy that Jennifer signed her book Exist for me too. At the Epic Reads booth, I kept landing on the blank slot on their wheel so they just let me choose a book. I chose The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. Afterward, I ended up with my author friend, Jennifer, and we line up for more ARC. We got The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab right after the wheel.
We walked around a little bit and saw a line at the Penguin Teen booth while they were passing out exclusive edition of The Young Elite by Marie Lu. I got a few more ARC later... A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess, and The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid.
I said goodbye to Jennifer while I went to see the YA STORYMOB FINALE. This was a pretty neat panel. It was hosted by Pseudonymous Bosch and C. Alexander London, featuring Victoria Aveyard, Ransom Riggs, and Veronica Roth. They authors had to make up a story with the help of volunteers. They story was very strange but ended well for each of the author's character. It was funny and relaxing. At the end, Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz came up to thank the sponsors and the volunteer as well as the Tehereh Mafi and Marie Lu for putting YALLWEST together.
Overall I had a wonderful time at YAAWEST 2016. I got to see lots of my favorite authors talked in various panels, I made new book loving friends, and I got lots of cool book swags. Harlequin Teen booth even give me a glass bowl since they were clearing out their table :) With all the activities happening, I forgot about the book signing. Maybe next year. I'm glad I was able to make it to YALLWEST. It reminded me of how much I love reading and talking to people about books. I'll even try to venture into writing too. I'd definitely recommend YALLWEST to YA/MG book lovers to attend.
Here's the book swags I got from YALLWEST
Book List(Can't wait to read all of them):
Exist by Jennifer Cazey Daniels
The Young Elite by Marie Lu
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid