Spoiler alert: I went to Yallfest.
And, much like Bookcon, I decided it’d be nice to talk about my experience going there for the people who are (a) curious, (b) want to know what it’s like, or (c) want to vicariously live through me. I AM HERE TO PROVIDE THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE.
Going to Yallfest hadn’t been a life-long dream of mine like it was for Bookcon, but I had heard about it via Booktube (like I have when it comes to all bookish festivals), and the fact that it was literally a (long) drive from where I lived and that it was free made it very desirable (mainly for my parents). In the end, I was allowed to go, and my dad and I drove six hours overnight to make it to South Carolina, arrived at the motel at eleven, and then woke up several hours later at seven or so to get there. Did I mention it was around thirty degrees when we woke up? Because it was.
Because of my experience with Bookcon, I had made a strict schedule and planned for lines to be crazy long and for everyone to be lining up at insane hours to get books.
My first plan when it came to my schedule was to meet Tomi Adeyemi so I could meet her and snag an ARC of Children of Blood and Bone, but when we went to the booth, we found out that apparently people had been lining up BEFORE YALLFEST HAD EVEN BEGUN, and all the tickets were out. At this point, I think it’s tradition that the first thing I do at book festivals is be disappointed because I didn’t make it into a line early enough. Since Bookcon was a load of disappointments before it got better, I decided to just move on and was determined to get ARCs of all the other books I was planning to get.
After that, my dad and I went to the HMH Teen booth (which was awesome; the lady who was running it was so nice and everything was so organized all day long, so kudos), and they allowed us to line up for Ashley Blake’s Girl Made of Stars! While we were waiting, I made my Dad go wait in line for the Epic Reads booth because I was not leaving Bookcon without a copy of Dread Nation if I had my way. I was one of the first in line for Girl Made of Stars, so I quickly got my ARC and left to go see where my Dad was in line. Because my dad isn’t as much as a book nerd as I am, I had to literally point out the cover of the book I wanted so he’d get the right one, and then I made my way to the Underlined booth so I could get a copy of Bennett’s S.T.A.G.S. The wait wasn’t very long, and, once again, I had gotten a pretty good spot in line so I got my copy quickly and left.
My dad texted me on my way to the Epic Reads booth that he had gotten Dread Nation, to my glee, but then we wasted, like, 20 minutes because my Dad thought it’d be nice to leave me and not tell me where he was going, then not respond to my texts. WHY? But we eventually ended up meeting up with each other, and we decided to wait in a nearby museum because it was warm inside and I didn’t have anything to wait for. Soon enough, we parted ways because I wanted to get Time Bomb at HMH Teen, but my dad decided to wait a little while longer until he had to get in line at Underlined for Batman: Nightwalker.
Once again, I ended up being super early and was actually second in line! While we were all waiting, Joelle Charbonneau, the author, ended up stopping by and was kind enough to sign our ARCs for us, even though she didn’t have to, so that was pretty awesome! After I got my copy, I walked over to the Underlined booth and waited with my dad until they handed out tickets, and I got my copy of Batman: Nightwalker, WHICH WAS SO EXCITING (also, if you don’t think I’m going to be collecting all the ARCs of the DC Icons series, YOU ARE SADLY MISTAKEN).
After that, we walked over to the Epic Reads booth! They were having their second give-away of the day, and I really wanted Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, so I waited in line while my dad went to the Penguin booth to wait for People Like Us. The people in front of me were having such an interesting conversation, so I sort of eavesdropped the entire time I was waiting in line, and after a long hour or so of waiting, I finally got my book, and met up with my dad at the Simon Teen booth so I could get Thunderhead! They were actually the most annoying booth of the day because they ignored anyone lining up before the designated time to give away ARCs, so two lines were made, and once it hit 2:30, we were all basically pushing and shoving because we didn’t know what was happening. IT WAS SO DUMB.
While I was waiting for Thunderhead, my dad went to put away my tote bag full of books and get me my other one because I was running out of space, and over at the Novl booth, they were giving away ARC copies of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince, which was basically a giant mob. I’m so glad I got a copy of it at Bookcon because it was truly crazy. I ended up getting my copy of Thunderhead, and because I didn’t have anything for an hour and a half, my dad and I decided to take a lunch break and get Chick-fil-a (which was absolutely delicious). We then drove back for one last top at the Fierce Reads booth because they were giving out ARCs of three upcoming 2018 thrillers, and I really wanted White Rabbit. Even though we were pretty late and the line was long, I actually managed to nab a copy well before they ran out, so that was exciting!
And with that, Yallfest was over, we got into the car, and we drove all the way home. I was pretty much exhausted by the time it was all over.
Though there were a few ARCs I REALLY wanted and didn’t get (Tyler Johnson Was Here, Children and Blood and Bone, and Everless), I can’t really complain and got pretty much everything I was planning to get, so I’m happy! May I present to you the books!
Were you at Yallfest? How was your experience if you did go? And if you didn’t, what are some conventions you’d love to attend?
(Also, guess who’s birthday is tomorrow? Obviously mine.)