Oops I may or may not have had this post inspired by a name that Christine’s (weereader) mum came up with… Bendy books I hear you ask? No, I don’t actually mean bent books, I’m talking Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, that’s right. In case you weren’t up to date with the happenings of YALC 2017 last weekend, Benedict Cumberbatch attended London Film & Comic Con, which YALC is part of, on Saturday and Sunday. He decided that he would trudge through the YALC floor from one end to the other and basically give everybody in the room a heart attack every time. He’s now my most seen celebrity, not that I’ve seen many, and I actually even spoke to him! I mean, all I asked was ‘Hi, how’re you?’ in my excitement, but he did wave, say hello and reply ‘yeah, good thanks’ and there is video footage of this.
So anyway, let’s talk YALC. Damn, what a weekend. Since YALC started, I’ve been sat sad behind my various technological screens wishing I was there, however that sadness from FOMO does not even compare to the sadness of YALC ending and having to leave your friends behind that you may have just met for the first time after speaking for ages (Christine and Naz, I’m looking at you). I mean, yes it’s super emotional, and yes I did cry about 6-8 times on Monday because I was so upset, however I would fully recommend the weekend. It was extremely fun to meet my friends, people I’d spoken to on twitter before, be surrounded by my people as well as all of the books.
Apparently this year is the first year they’ve really given out ARC’s and boy didn’t they do it! I have come away with 15 ARC’s and a couple of samplers INCLUDING LANGUAGE OF THORNS. Sorry, that had to be in all caps because OH MY GOD, I am so happy about that one. Bkmrk (Hatchette) basically sent us on a wild goose chase which I didn’t even know I was part of until Christine snagged a copy. I will reveal all further on. I actually didn’t attend any of the panels which is probably a good thing because I know I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate! I did attend some signings though which was fab. I think if I go next year, I’d like to have read more by the authors attending so I can actually meet more authors and I’d like to actually attend panels!
Honestly, if you are considering attending this event, just do it. You have a year to save up for it from now so get saving because you don’t want to miss out! Plus, you do get access to Comic Con from 10am every day so you get two con’s for the price of 1 basically and it’s all just so much fun!
DAY ONE: THURSDAY
I decided that I would go down on the Thursday because honestly, it was just much easier than having to get up at god knows what time to make it to YALC in time on a Friday morning. Christine, Lauren and Heather were also all going down on Thursday and myself and Christine were roomies so yah. I met up with them at Euston station before we went off to our hotels. We met up a bit later, went for pizza and then visited Piccadilly Waterstones and Foyles! We also passed the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre which was super cool as I have not seen it in the flesh before and it made me excited because I am going to see it next year! We then again went our separate ways to get some rest ready for Day One of YALC!
DAY TWO: FRIDAY
(The Holy Trinity, as called by Karen, Christine’s sister) So Christine and I got to the convention centre for 8:15/8:30am and the queue was already building up, however it did move quite quickly. Naz and Ciara also met up with us in the queue. Once we’d stepped out the lift and onto the YALC floor, it was all a bit of a blur. We were trying to find Lauren and Heather, but then we spotted Josephine Boyce (indie author who had her own stand there this year!) and we (I mean I) also wanted to nab a copy of There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. So the first thing we did was run to My Kinda Book and grab a copy of that, I also picked up a few samplers! The rest of the day was also pretty quick and full of running because this is what I call ARC day. I came away with 3-4 tote bags, one had books I had brought with me to be signed and the others had ARCs and swag. My shoulders were cursing me the next day for being so ruthless and honestly, I think next year I’ll be taking a backpack. I said I wouldn’t pick up stuff I didn’t need but the excitement just took over and I just went for anything and everything I thought looked interesting. It didn’t help that publishers also had goodies to give away too!
I managed to snag a highly anticipated 2017 book which is There’s Someone Inside Your House and also a sampler of another highly anticipated book, The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. In order to grab a copy of Language of Thorns, you had to find one of the gold chocolate coins that Bkmrk were leaving around the floor. I luckily spotted one and dashed over to grab it before anyone else spotted it. I liked this as I thought it was a fair challenge. I don’t even know whether to eat the chocolate coin because it’s chocolate but then it’s all pretty and is a reminder of that time that I ran across the convention floor for it (one of many times I ran..). I will be showing a haul of what I got at YALC in a separate post, but on Friday, I picked up 8 ARCs, a few samplers, I bought 3 books from Bloomsbury because they were 3 for £10 and bought 2 books from author Josephine Boyce! I am really excited to read all of these books, although I have had to make a schedule for my ARCs as I can’t remember which ones come out when!
I was able to meet the lovely Alwyn Hamilton after she signed my books and I did actually speak to her earlier in the day, so it was nice to see her again!
OH, AND THIS HAPPENED! Steven Yeun (aka Glenn in The Walking Dead, one of my favourite TV shows ever FYI) attended Comic Con and so when I found out, I asked my parents for the photo op so I could meet him as my birthday is in July. They kindly bought it for me and so yep, I met Steven Yeun and basically died because Glenn is one of my favourite characters from the show!
DAY THREE: SATURDAY
Day Three was a pretty good day, however we did actually leave early. Myself and Christine met Nazima, Ben and Taran at the station and walked down together. It was really nice to have a little group together and the line definitely went quickly. I managed to snag a few ARCs on this day, including Zenith which there were mad rushes for every single time. Everybody wanted that book, I swear! We then chilled and just visited the other booths. (Pics are with Ben of BenjaminofTomes and with Victoria Schwab…I think you can work out who’s who!)
Day three is where Bendy Cumberbath Part I begins. It was very unexpected and at first it was very low key. The first time I spotted him, I was sat with friends just chilling waiting for The Hazel Wood to be released by Penguin because I had been waiting all of Friday and they stopped giving it away. I was not going to miss this book. As I was sat with friends, Benedict Cumberbatch walked past, however at first I had my back to him. We all squealed basically in disbelief. It was amazing to be honest that more people weren’t screaming, I think everyone was in shock. After getting over the shock of Benedict Cumberbatch appearing, we milled about the floor a bit more, headed down to the actual comic con floor to take a look (I went on Friday for my photo shoot) and it was absolutely heaving. We left at 3pm because myself and Ben both had headaches so weren’t feeling too good! Unfortunately, this meant that we missed Benedict walking in on Non Pratt’s head shave, but I think Sunday made up for that.
DAY FOUR: SUNDAY
Day four was a whole lot more chilled than the rest of the weekend and it was bittersweet as you could tell YALC was starting to wind down a bit. It was also my last day with my gals Christine and Nazima. We basically spent Sunday just wandering round, although we did luckily snag an ARC of Invictus by Ryan Graudin. I read my first book by her, Wolf by Wolf, whilst travelling in Europe and I enjoyed it so I knew I had to snag a copy. Not to mention, she was signing that day so even more reason to get it! Alwyn Hamilton also revealed the cover to her third book, Hero at the Fall which was super cool to see. When we spoke to her on Friday, she had shown us her red and gold sparkly nails and said they matched her cover so I knew what the colour scheme was before. I really love the cover and think it’s just totally gorgeous!
Now, Bendy Cumberbath Part II happened on Sunday and it was wonderful. I think I saw him maybe 5 or 6 times on Sunday, presumably he felt safer walking through because he now knew what the YALC crowd were like when we saw him (quiet and in shock, mostly). Ok, so stalker mode was activated ever so slightly on Sunday at one point. We had spent every day sat at Josephine Boyce’s stand, which was opposite the ‘green room’ where the celebs hung out. So on one occasion, we sat there and waited where we met two lovely girls, Liv and Lisa, who were also waiting. I have no clue how long it took, but he finally came out and this is where my time to shine happened. He came out and walked past, and I stupidly said ‘hi, how’re you?’ WHO DOES THAT?? anyway, he politely replied ‘hello, yeah good thanks’ and I was a little in shock because someone who I think is such a fab actor, actually acknowledged my existence????? Anyway, that basically made my weekend, not to mention that I probably see Benedict about 7/8 times, mostly on Sunday. We then continued to just chill and walk around the convention, I was waiting for the Patrick Ness signing which wasn’t on until 4pm.
Nazima eventually left us and I thought I was going to cry because uh-oh, the weekend was definitely beginning to come to an end which was not what I wanted. We then also said goodbye to Lauren and Heather at this point so then it was just me and Christine. We did, however, spend a bit of time with friends Kate, Anna and Hollie which was lovely. We had seen them throughout the weekend but Sunday was when we really spent time together! Kate also had to leave, because she had a train to catch so then there were 4. We were all just hanging out, just waiting around after I’d seen Patrick Ness, when I had my last sighting of Bendy. Now this has become one of my favourite memories of the weekend just because it was so hilarious. Bendy came out of the green room and there was a panic between us. We essentially decided to run from one end to the other, so we run out from where we were stood, paused, looked round the corner to see if he was taking his usual route, he was not. We then practically sprinted to the end, stopped at the My Kinda Book booth, I dropped down like ‘act casual’, Anna landed on my foot so her legs were all up in the air, Christine was wall sitting with her phone out to take pics yet she took none and I think Hollie was just thinking what the hell is going on! We must’ve looked a right sight, however it was worth it just to see Bendy checking out the Waterstones stand before walking off. I’d love to know if he saw all the commotion that we had caused because we must’ve looked so funny!
Following that, me and Christine left (not before we saw Natalie Dormer though!) Anna and Hollie and like that, YALC was over. I was so sad, I don’t think I’ve actually ever been so sad as I was. I had just met my friends for the first time in real life and it was such a short amount of time. Myself and Christine then basically spent the evening talking about YALC and watching a bit of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
DAY FIVE: MONDAY
I suppose day five doesn’t really count, but on Monday, myself and Christine parted ways. Christine is one of my best friends in the universe and we’d basically spent the whole weekend with each other. We were both leaving from different stations so we had to part at King’s Cross station. I basically just started crying and then couldn’t stop until I got on the train home. Not great when you have an hour to wait either. I did start to feel a little better once I actually got on my train home, although I did tear up a few times. But I did what I do best, and read a bit of Our Dark Duet on the train back to distract myself.
So there you have it! YALC 2017 was absolutely amazing and I would fully recommend it to anyone and everyone who loves Young Adult books. I am now on a ban as a result of YALC but it’s ok, I have that many books to read, I think I should survive! I mostly just loved meeting all of my friends and I already want to see them all again. I am really hoping that I will be able to attend next year, although I know I’ll be seeing my friends before then because I will make sure of it!
Here are some pictures of the convention in case you’d like to get a feel for what the floor is actually like! 🙂