Hey Y'all!

So, today I went to YALLFEST for the first time and I need to tell y'all about it because I don't have any bookish people in my real life. YALLFEST is a young adult book festival held in Charleston, SC. 60 YA authors descend upon the city for panels and signings and awesomeness. You can find out more about it here:

The only unfortunate thing about YALLFEST is there is NO possible way to get to all of the signings and all of the panels that you want to (unless, of course, McGonagall gave you a time turner. In that case, you're gonna have to share it with me next year.) So, I went to 1 panel, got 2 arcs, and went to 3 signings and got lots of bookish buttons.

Victoria Aveyard Signing

I got my copy of Red Queen signed!! This signing was at the top of my list. This has been my favorite book so far this year and I'm so excited that I got it signed. I also got a cute little Victoria Aveyard button.

Epic Reads was also having a special event for the sequel, Glass Sword. The instructions were to go up to an Epic Reads staff member NO EARLIER than 10:00am and say "I pledge my oath to the Scarlet Gaurd" and the first 50 people would be given tickets to the special event. I made it up to the table at 10:01am and they were already out of tickets. I was (and still am) super bummed. :( That was the only bad thing that happened all day though.

Marissa Meyer Signing
I got the first three books of the Lunar Chronicles signed by Marissa Meyer! I haven't even read the series yet but I couldn't pass up the chance. I wasn't sure I was actually gonna be able to get this one. I was person number 246 and waited in line for two hours! I was lucky, Marissa didn't make it through the whole line because she had to grab lunch before her panel, so not everyone got to get their books signed.

Gail Carriger Signing

Okay, first of all, Gail Carriger is adorable. She had earrings shaped like gears and was wearing red gloves. Second of all, she actually signed more than just her name! I know you can't read the inscriptions, so here is what they say:

Curtsies & Conspiracies:  "Happy Floating"

Etiquette & Espionage:  "Enjoy the ride"

Souless: "Best read with tea"

Arc of Front Lines by Michael Grant

I won this from the Epic Reads wheel of ARCs. As long as you got in line before they cut it off you were GUARANTEED to win an ARC. How awesome is that!?!
This book is about three women who volunteer to fight in WWII. This isn't something I would've picked up on my own, but it actually looks really good. Epic Reads also gave out the *book shimmy* totes. What is a book shimmy?

ARC of Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

I got this ARC for signing up for the First In Line newsletter (I think it was a newsletter. I signed up for something!) It looks like this is the story of a high school junior who has a secret admirer and is trying to find out who it is. Contemporary/realistic isn't really my cup of tea, but we'll see how it is.  They also gave out a sweet tote bag.

This is actually the other side of the First In Line tote from above. I also picked up several free "I READ ________ BEFORE YOU DID" buttons. You can't really read them in the picture but the titles are: Calamity, Illuminae, Unforgiven, All the Bright Places, The Game of Lives, and Every Day. I haven't actually read any of these yet, but, hey, free buttons!

Panel: Once Upon A(nother) Time: Fairytale Reboots
Featuring: Marissa Meyer, E.K. Johnston, E. Lockhart, Soman Chainani, and Renee Ahdieh

Y'all know I love fairy tale retellings, but the only person I had actually heard of on this panel was Marissa Meyer. I really wasn't sure what to expect from this panel. I mean, when the authors are all wearing crowns/tiaras, anything can happen. Moderator Danielle Paige opened by asking if anyone was wearing fairy tale related underwear (Emily Lockhart admitted she was wearing princess underwear) then proceeded to normal questions like 'how did you choose what elements of the story to keep and which to change' and 'is there a fairy tale character you hated that you now love'.  There was a good deal of Disney bashing and a duel almost broke out about whether Disney's Little Mermaid is fantastic or terrible. Do not get Soman Chainani started on the topic. Actually, if you ever have a chance, do get him started on the topic. He said he wishes we all grew up with Grimm-style fairy tales instead of the happily-ever-after Disney versions. He also talked about how, when you get down to their core, princesses and witches really are the same character. In all honesty, he was my favorite part of the panel. Another highlight of the panel was Marissa Meyer saying she named her first car "Tinker Bell" and made everyone in the car clap to help the car get the encouragement/strength to make it uphill.

Well, that was my YALLFEST adventure. Hopefully I'll get to go back next year.


  1. Ah, Britt! I'm so jealous and so excited for you! My instagram feed was showing #yallfest2015 last week and I was like, "what and where is this event?!" How much were tickets? I couldn't find any info on their website since it's over.

    I keep hearing about Red Queen! I want to get to it before summer, but we'll see ...

    I was able to get a scholarship and attend ALA's annual conference last year and got a book signed by Marissa Meyer! I was kind of near the beginning of the line there, but it still took like 45 minutes. Still, she's the "biggest" author I've ever "met." I really think you'll enjoy them --the last book, Winter, was released last week!

    Gail Carriger sounds familiar ... she has a steampunk series, right?

    I agree, those ARCs aren't authors I'd probably pick up on my own, but their books sound interesting. Please consider reviewing them after you read --I'd love to see what you thought of them!

    That panel sounds amazing! Other than Marissa Meyer, I'm only somewhat familiar with Soman Chainani --at ALA, I saw a woman with the most gorgeous poster with cover art from his book series and she said there had been a poster signing with Chainani and the book cover illustrator. I want to read his middle grade series for the cover art alone --it was beautiful! Another one I want to get to this summer ... =)

    LOL, I didn't grow up with Disney, so I don't really have nostalgic feelings on them --I both love and dislike portions of their films. However, I always appreciate good animation and the work that the Disney artists have put in over the years...

    1. If you get the chance next year you should definitely go to #yallfest. There were only a couple of things that had tickets (opening, closing event, a couple of the big author panels). I think they were only $7. But ALL of the signings and MOST of the panels were completely FREE! Some of the signings required you to get a wristband (free) because the author would only do a certain number of people. I heard people were lining up at like 6AM to get one of the 150 Veronica Roth wristbands. I like Divergent okay, but not enough to get in line hours before they started actually handing out wristbands lol. The signings and panels were spread over a couple of blocks. And Charleston is a beautiful city.

      I love Red Queen. If I were you I would wait until the sequel, Glass Sword, comes out in February so you can read them back-to-back. I think its going to be a four-book series in total.

      How cool that you got to go to ALA. I'm hoping to go next year.

      Gail Carriger does have a steampunk series. She has a YA series (The Finishing School Series) which I love. I listened to one of the audiobooks for a class and just had to read the whole series. You'll definitely want to read it in order though. She also has an adult series called the Parasol Protectorate Series. I haven't read it yet but its on the TBR list (I think the YA series is supposed to be kind of a prequel to the adult series but I'm not totally sure).

      I'll definitely post reviews of the ARCs when I read them. Hopefully, I'll be able to read them over Christmas break.I'll have limited time for reading next semester.

    2. Oh, wow --free?! That's awesome! I wish I lived on the east coast ... that sounds amazing (especially compared to the library conferences I've been looking at).

      Was it a cliffhanger ending? I think there's a bit of a line for my library's copy of Red Queen, so I'll probably wait a bit.

      If you're a member of your school's ALA student chapter, you should definitely apply for the student-to-staff program: http://www.ala.org/groups/affiliates/chapters/student/resources/studenttostaffprogram

      For working about 16 hours at the ALA conference, you get free registration and lodging for 4 nights --I'm applying since this will be my last opportunity. Let me know if you go! I'd love to meet up with you in Orlando. =)

      I think our library has the Finishing School books --that must be why her name sounded familiar!

      I'll keep an eye out for your reviews. =)

    3. I wouldn't quite call it a cliffhanger ending, but it did definitely set up the next book.

      And I'll definitely check out the student-to-staff program :)


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