Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Adventures at YALLFest 2017

YALLFest 2017 Program

One of my favorite things about November, besides stuffing my face on Thanksgiving with . . . stuffing is YALLFest, Charleston's young adult book festival! It's become an annual family event for Ally, Melissa, and I, and so a week and a half ago, we packed up the car and hit the road for South Carolina.

Another part of our yearly pilgrimage is leaving in the wee hours of the morning to avoid traffic as much as possible. This year, we pushed "wee hours" to a new level by departing at 1AM. Melissa and I allotted ourselves a half hour coffee stop before traveling north to pick up Ally about an hour and a half away.

We had a minor mishap on the way to Charleston involving driving past a Cracker Barrel because we thought there would be another one before we had to exit I-95. We eventually found out that there was not another one, and some hanger ensued. We did find some breakfast once we arrived in Charleston, though, LOL.

We spent most of the day browsing the local stores and doing some shopping. And more eating. Each year there are some signings and events on Friday, but everything we were interested in was happening on Saturday, which is a jam-packed, all-day affair. After picking up a copy of the festival program, we retired to the hotel early. I am not ashamed to admit that I was in bed by 8PM.

Some rather cool temperatures greeted us on Saturday morning, but it was a very welcome change from the relentless Florida heat and humidity we're used to. It was also perfect weather for all of the running around we were about to do. Equipped with the schedule that we'd made the night before—on a sticky note—we got on our first line of the day. The waiting never felt lengthy, though, and we actually got a rush out of trying to make every event that was on our list. It was challenging because there were so many things happening simultaneously, but again, we loved figuring out the logistics.

I was super, super, super excited to discover that NOVL was giving away ARCs of Claudia Gray's Defy the Worlds. The first book, Defy the Stars, was one of my favorite reads this year, and I was walking on air when I held the sequel in my hands. I was also ecstatic to see that Underlined had ARCs of Rachel Hartman's Tess of the Road. We also got to meet Emily X.R. Pan, who was signing ARCs of The Astonishing Color of After at the NOVL booth, and Jennifer A. Nielsen, who was signing ARCs of The Traitor's Game at the I Read YA booth. Both authors were super sweet, and we were thrilled to get our ARCs signed!

Later in the afternoon, Ally and I headed to Alexandra Bracken's signing. There were already about 70 people in line, and we got there half an hour early. The line ended up being quite long, and Alexandra Bracken very, very kindly stayed past the allotted time to continue signing for everyone. I got my copy of Wayfarer signed:

The signing was our last event of the day, and so we headed off in search of some much needed dinner. I devoured a ridiculous amount of pizza and regretted absolutely nothing. Between all of the scrumptious food we consumed and all of the bookish awesomeness we experienced, it was a fantastic trip and a much needed mini-break from adulting. There was even a happily ever after, when we stopped for breakfast on Sunday morning at the Cracker Barrel that we'd bypassed on our way to Charleston. XD

LOVE this tote bag from NOVL!
Some more bookish goodies:
Lord of Shadows poster given out at the Riveted booth:
SO excited to read these!
Ink by Alice Broadway
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray
Love and Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


  1. Sounds like a fantastic event! You're brave for getting up so early to make the drive. I hope you love Defy the Worlds - I'm really looking forward to that one!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I hope you love Defy the Worlds, too! I'm not a big sci-fi reader, but Defy the Stars blew me away!


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