Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hi guys! This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend Yallwest in Santa Monica, the sister book festival to Yallfest in South Carolina. This was the first year and they rolled out the red carpet for some crazy awesome authors: Veronica Roth, Richelle Mead, Leigh Bardugo, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, Marie Lu, Victoria Aveyard, and waaaaay more! It was insane.
This was my first book festival and I went alone, so I was pretty nervous at first. But the combination of the crazy and excited atmosphere, and realizing other people had gone alone too, quickly made me feel at ease. Plus everyone working there was super nice and open to any questions (which I had a bunch of), so before I knew it was talking to other people in line and running around without a single care. My favorite day was the second one. Everything had gone much smoother, the lines weren't as long (or maybe I was just used to being in line for an hour straight), and I got to meet way more authors and my favorite booktubers. Plus I got this cool ass surfboard!

In order from left to right: the band Tiger Beat, which consisted of Libba Bray, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Barnabas Miller, and Natalie Standiford; the Smackdown, which was an hour long panel of fun games and stories they had written when the authors were younger; a horrible picture of balloons that said Yallwest (it was super windy, sorry people); the Booksplosion Booktube meetup with my favorite booktubers Kat, Christine, and Jesse (they left me in tears because they were so funny); the kickoff conversation between Marissa Meyer and Leigh Bardugo (another riot act, EVERYONE WAS SO DAMN FUNNY THERE); and I finally managed to track down the three book tube amigos and have them sign my surf board while I stood there in awe of their tallness and overall awesomeness and get a picture (I didn't get one with Jesse, something I severely regret because he complimented my instagram and then proceeded to follow me on there and I almost had a heart attack NOT EVEN KIDDING, YOU GUYS) 
I wanna give a huge shoutout to my grandma and aunt for driving down there with me. Lucky for them I didn't drag them to the festival, so they were frolicking on the beach all weekend.
BUT, I did drag them to The Last Bookstore. I missed one opportunity to go there when I visited my friend at UCLA, so I wasn't missing this one. And it was glorious. I felt like such a noob for taking so many pictures but I couldn't get enough of it. Granted, the YA section there was a little pathetic, but I was mostly there just to ooh and ahh over the tunnel of books and all the other cool book sculptures they had there. 

Finally, let's get to the books I got over the weekend!

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid / Mostquitoland by David Arnold / Just One Day by Gayle Forman / Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon / Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway / 99 Days by Katie Cotugno / Unchanged by Jessica Brody / Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson / Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Thank you to everyone that put in the work to create and run this awesome book festival! I couldn't have asked for a better first experience and hope this continues :)

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