We weren’t even planning on going to YALFest this year. When the authors were announced, we didn’t know any of them and most of the books weren’t going to be published until a month before YALFest 2018. In the end, after reading one of the author’s books, we just had to go!
Candyce was part of the street team for The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven and Isabelle listened to the audiobook, we both LOVED it as you can read in our buddy review. So when we saw a tweet by Laura saying she was packing for her flight to the Netherlands we just couldn’t resist and got YalfestNL tickets. That Sunday the event was happening so we did some quick shopping to get books that we wanted signed and made our game plan 😉
When we arrived we had a look around the venue and saw some changes compared to last year. There were a lot more small, bookish business owners showing of all their merch, we decided to take a look at that later. We first got a drink and then it was time to get to the first event of the day. The opening and interview with the authors. It was absolutely amazing to hear the authors speak, they were so funny and kind and we got super excited to read their books. The authors this year were; Laura Steven, Taran Matharu, Sara Holland, Tomi Adeyemi, Kass Morgan, and Sarah Crossan.
Bookplates with all the signatures <3
After the interview it was time to eat some lunch and do some shopping before the signing sessions. There was only one option for food which wasn’t that smart as everyone had to go there but it was pretty good fortunately! We looked around some shops and said hi to some friends and before long it was time to get in line for the authors. There were already people waiting so we decided it was time. We wanted to go to Laura first as she was the reason we went to Yalfest in the first place. Laura was so lovely to meet and it was wonderful talking to her for a little bit.
Tomi had a really long line so we decided to go for Sara Holland first. Isabelle listened to the audiobook in the days before the event and enjoyed it more than she expected. Sara is from Minnesota and Isabelle just came home from a trip there so they talked about that for a little bit. She is such a kind human being!
We still had a little bit of time in this signing session so decided to go for Taran Matharu as well. Neither of us has read his books yet but really wanted to! And after hearing him speak his first book just got bumped higher up on our TBR’s. We feel like repeating ourselves but once again, he was so nice and funny. Isn’t it amazing when you meet an author and they are just great?!
The line for Tomi Adeyemi was by far the longest! So a little before the second session began we stood in line. It took a little while before we got to the beginning on the line and met Tomi but it was so worth it. She took her time for everyone and yes, she was also super kind. As we said, the line was crazy long but Tomi told us she was only expecting about 20 people to show up for her. She did not expect to be so popular here! It was really cute, she learned to say her book title in Dutch and she was clearly very proud haha.
After Tomi we decided we didn’t want to wait in line for the other two authors. We don’t have any of their books and didn’t read any of Sarah Crossan’s books. Isabelle did read the original the 100 trilogy by Kass Morgan but (and you might’ve read her fangirl rant about the tv show) she likes the tv show 10000000000x more than the books, oops! We did really want to do some shopping and that is what we did! SO MUCH STUFF!!
Some fan art and quote cards from Celebrate Books
On the left Kaz tea and a Kaz lip balm from Oriandle
On the right ‘Tea with Hagrid’ and a ‘Hagrid’s Pumpkin Patch’ candle. And I just wish you all could smell that candle! It’s wonderful.
What do you mean I’m obsessed with the Shades of Magic series?
On the left we have an As Travars mug from Celebratebooks
In the middle the ‘Antari & Thief at Sea’ candle (yessss love it) by Light The Pages
And on the right a layered London candle by Oriandle
After loving The Exact Opposite of Okay so much we obviously needed some merch! So here are two lovely candles based on the book <3
Romemadecandles made a couple of Yalfest themed candles. One of them was the ‘The Exact Opposite of Okay’ candle. We also got ‘The Children of Orïsha’ based on Children of Blood and Bone, ‘Vocans Academy’ based on The Summoner books and one of the YalfestNL candles.
Andddd also from Romemadecandles there is ‘Timeless’ based on Everless and ‘May We Meet Again’ based on the 100.
Couldn’t resist these cute pins that Celebrate Books had left after putting them in a book box.
The YALFest box from A Bookish Flickering was just too cute not to buy. The candles smell amazing <3.
After all that shopping we decided to take some fun pictures together before slowly ending the day. We had so much fun taking those silly pics!
The day ended with a bingo, unfortunately we didn’t win anything. And then it was time to go home. We were so happy we decided to go after all. It was a really fun day filled with booklovers, amazing authors, wayyy to much shopping, and a lot of laughing.