YALC 2017

The end of July means only one thing, one of the most anticipated events in the UK book blogging calendar! YALC; Young Adult Literature Convention. Held alongside LFCC; London Film and Comic Con.

This was the first time I’d ever gotten to attend YALC and it was all incredibly last minute, only buying our tickets two days before the day we were due to go!
Due to work commitments, my friend and I went on the Friday; the first day of the convention so it wasn’t overly busy, which was nice. We spent so much time just perusing every stall and loading ourselves full of samplers and little goodies. Everyone running the stalls were all so approachable and lovely and seemed genuinely excited about the books. It was really easy flowing conversation.


YALC Tip #1
As a first-timer, I didn’t realise that it probably would’ve been better to plan our day out, a bit of preparation never hurt anyone. There was so much to do and see, not just within YALC but with LFCC as well. You can get a tad lost in the shuffle.
Look up beforehand which authors you’d like to meet – as some are only signing on certain days. Have a peek at what panels interest you and which workshops excite you and plan your day around these.

YALC Tip #2 
Do some shoulder workouts beforehand. Ok, I’m joking but definitely be prepared for an aching shoulder at the end of the day. I saw people hauling around mini suitcases which if you’re planning on purchasing a lot, might be something to think about.

YALC Tip #3
Be Twitter aware. Sign in to the free Wi-fi, carry a charging pack and turn on notifications from publishing houses. Those exclusive, limited ARC’s are usually announced via Twitter and it’s a first come first serve basis.

YALC Tip #4
Don’t get disappointed when you don’t get those limited ARC’s and indulge yourself looking around the stalls; almost all are handing out badges/stickers/posters/samples/sweets and these are all free! At the end of the day, YALC is about all of our love for books, and sure I would’ve enjoyed getting my hands on a couple more ARC’s but just the atmosphere itself meant my tickets price was instantly worth it.

Things to know
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed my time at YALC, and will definitely try my best to attend next year. Everything can always be improved upon, and some of the formats for ARC giveaways didn’t entirely sit right with me.
The whole run here and get your ARC, or the first to arrive and do/say something gets an ARC, makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Although I might be a person who is able I do find these somewhat exclusive as not everyone is able to do these things, for whatever personal reasons they may have. And 15-year-old Katy would definitely not run around and yell/perform as that would send chills through her at the very thought.

Otherwise, I had a genuinely wonderful, if not totally exhausting day and by the sounds of it, the entire weekend was full of excited, happy book lovers with multiple appearances of a certain Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

Did you go to YALC this year? What were your thoughts? Do you plan to go next year?

 

 

 

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Back to blogging – a life anecdote.

And I’m back in the blogosphere once again! After a longer hiatus than I anticipated, to recuperate and re-evaluate, Ardent Attachments is back online.
As much as I didn’t really want to take time away, I definitely think it was what I needed; no pressures, no worrying. It was a welcome break that helped me get my brain into the right headspace.

I just want to thank you all so much for the lovely, lovely messages you left on my hiatus post. Though I haven’t responded individually (I will!!), I read them all and they really revitalised my love for both blogging and the community.
Honestly, y’all are great, I appreciate all of you.

So, it’s time to get back into the blogging game, with new features, bigger and better content, and an all around rejuvenated Ardent Attachments!

Thank you, and let’s get back to blogging, shall we?

Katy, x

 

Series I’ve yet to finish #1 (hint: there’s a lot)

Confession time, I am A-W-F-U-L at finishing series of books. Honestly, awful, I’ll read the first, sometimes the second book, then not continue them. I have so many unfinished series sitting my shelves; incomplete, alone.
It’s just not right.
Some of them I really, really enjoyed too! 4/5 star reads some of them and yet I still don’t carry them on, it’s an awful habit I have, and I don’t see myself breaking it anytime soon.

I am the worst.

So here they are – the top 5 series I’ve yet to finish #1 – because there’s too many for one list!

Continue reading “Series I’ve yet to finish #1 (hint: there’s a lot)”

A review: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Hey ho, I’m jumping on the bandwagon a bit here, I realise. It was the recent release of the Netflix series that got me interested in reading this book. It is a very polarizing subject at its core. Suicide is never a light subject, nor should it be taken as one.

Goodreads Synopsis

13RWYou can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

Trigger warning: suicide. This review contains spoilers.

Continue reading “A review: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher”

T5W #12: books that would make good video games.

This a topic right up my street! I adore books and I adore video games. So, putting the two and two together is a dream idea. There are so many ideas just floating around my head right now, so narrowing it down was so so difficult, but here we go!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is in collaboration with the BookTubeSFF Awards. And, as always, Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group now run by Samantha at Thoughts On Tomes. Where you are given a topic to post about every Wednesday; simple. You can find the link to the Goodreads group here.

Continue reading “T5W #12: books that would make good video games.”

A review: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

I honestly can’t think of a better book for people of the here and now to read. Although specifically targeted at the YA audience, as the main character, Starr, is sixteen years old, this book breaches the typical lines drawn for book genres and covers a spectrum of them.

If you haven’t heard about The Hate U Give, where have you been? Occupying the number one spot on the best-seller list for weeks now, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. An honest, heart-wrenching portrayal, The Hate U Give was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, a response to the on-going racial police brutality going on in the United States.

Goodreads Synopsis

THUGSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

This review does not contain spoilers.

Continue reading “A review: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas”

A review: Happy Mum, Happy Baby – Giovanna Fletcher

This is a weird book for me to have read really, I am not a parent. I am not experiencing motherhood, nor am I anticipating it, at all! I don’t plan on joining the ranks of these wondrous women for awhile yet here I am reading a book about parenting.
Being English, I know who Giovanna Fletcher is, I am the perfect age really to know who she is. Well-known in part to her long relationship and then marriage to McFly member Tom Fletcher, an author, actress, journalist, in her own right too, I grew up with McFly and their members – so I grew up knowing who Giovanna, Gi to her friends, was too.

Book description from the book itself

HMHBBeing a mum is an incredible journey, a remarkable experience that changes how we look, how we feel, who we are. As mothers we are strong, protective, proud. We feel a love like no other.
But being a parent can be hard too. It challenges us physically, mentally, emotionally. There are the days where just managing to fit a shower in amidst the endless feeding, entertaining young children and surviving on a lack of sleep feels like an achievement. With so many people ready to offer ‘advice’ on the best way to parent, it can feel like you are getting it all wrong.

Since Giovanna and her husband Tom Fletcher have had their sons Buzz and Buddy, they have been sharing glimpses of their family life. With an infectiously positive outlook and happy take on all things mum-related, Giovanna has developed a following of fellow parents and mums-to-be.

This is not a book about how to have the perfect family experience – Gi would be the first to admit she is winging it just as much as the rest of us – instead it is an honest, upbeat and incredibly personal account of her own experience of having a family. In Happy Mum, Happy Baby Giovanna shares her own journey through parenthood and in doing so, she looks at what it is to be a mother today, encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can really make for a happy baby.

I received this book for free through my work (in a bookshop) in exchange for an honest review.
So let us get to said review!

Continue reading “A review: Happy Mum, Happy Baby – Giovanna Fletcher”