Yallfest 2019 has come and gone, but this girl is officially in hangover mode. It was an amazing time, and the second time brought trials, tribulations, and far more organization, I think. I knew more of what to expect, but things were still so surprising. I felt like this year was busier than last, but I think I still managed to get everything I wanted mostly accomplished. I’ll be posting part 1 of this recap today, and since I can never contain myself to just one post, I’ll be posting part 2 of the recap next week along with the official haul.
I didn’t do any Friday events, as there were no authors I wanted to see nor any tickets left available for anything of the special events. So, we’re starting off with Saturday!
⏰ 8:00 am ⏰
Last year, I got to Yallfest around 8:20 – 8:30, and I was already too late. I was determined to get there a bit earlier this year to make sure I was ready to go. The first place that I planned to head was the Fierce Reads booth where they were giving out tickets for their ARC giveaways. This is a new format, since I think they were trying to alleviate some of the chaos last year since they literally got into mob issues with trampling. There were a few giveaways that I was intrigued to get tickets for – Girl, Serpent, Thorn; fantasy; and contemporary – so I was eager to get some tickets.
However, by the time I got there a few minutes after 8:00, the line was already outrageous. I mean, it literally was wrapping around even worst than last year when people were lining up. It was 8??? Yallfest didn’t even open for another hour. I was sorely unprepared.
I felt a bit lost since none of the publisher booths were set up, so I couldn’t purchase any of the books I needed or get any of the subscriber rewards. I decided to take a walk up to Blue Bicycle Books to see if I could purchase the rest of the Stephanie Garber books – Legendary and Finale – that I didn’t own, but they weren’t open either. So I consulted the great and powerful spreadsheet and I saw that the Novl was going to be giving out totes and an exclusive item. I decided I would go line up for that – even though I really didn’t want it – just for the sake of killing time.
When walking by the Music Hall, I thanked the book gods that Holly Black and I were not meant to be, because the line was so longggggggggggg. I got to the Novl, and there was only like 3 people in front of me. Me and one of the girls had a good conversation, so it was a nice way to start the morning and get myself pepped up to go. They were seasoned professionals, and I think they had been to the festival like 6 – 9 times, so I was definitely feeling a bit inferior.
⏰ 9:00 am ⏰
Novl is definitely one of the pubs that always has their stuff together. Their team is also always a lot of fun. We got into the line in a nice organized fashion, and it went pretty smoothly. We were given two different tote bags – one from Novl and one from Jimmy Patterson Books – a water bottle, and a makeup pouch. They were good quality tote bags, so I was pleased.
I literally finished this in record time, so I raced back to the main publisher tent area to get some business done. I was aiming to go straight to HMH Teen since they were dropping The Circus Rose, which I was so excited for. However, the line was already capped – another cool thing that HMH was doing. They were counting lines down early to make sure that people weren’t wasting their time when they know that they don’t have enough ARCs. I was disappointed, but also glad that I didn’t have to waste my time.
I accidentally joined The Riveted’s line for wristbands for the Pep Rally that I didn’t really want to go to, and I ended up getting a Chain of Gold sampler, poster, and tea packet. I, of course, accidentally crumpled up the poster, so I killed a nice Herondale with my accidental line jumping.
From there, I hoped into Fierce Reads’s line. They had a promo that if you bought a book from one of their imprints, you would get an ARC. If you bought a book from Wednesday Books, you would get Where Dreams Descend, which is a book I’ve been SO SO SO SO hyped for since it’s pitched as Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge. I picked up Six Goodbyes We Never Said, which I had looked up before I went, since I thought the cover was cool and knew it was from the imprint. It has two main characters that deal with anxiety, GAD, and OCD, so I was super interested. I got my ARC, a Wednesday Books tote bag, and book and was on the go.
At that point, it was getting to be around 9:30, and I knew that Pique was dropping Deeplight, which was a weirdish sounding ocean book that might be middle grade? I’ve been binging this scary mermaid series by Mira Grant, so, like, I’m not trusting anything with oceans rn. But both Sha and I seemed intrigued, so I hopped into that line. The line moved decently smoothly, and we were able to grab another ARC – there were 4 up to grabs. I wanted to move along in the line, so I just took a quick look at the two sentence blurbs. Unscripted promised girl power and camps, and I’m a total sucker for both, so I grabbed that one and ran.
At this point, I then raced over to Penguin Teen that was giving out ARCs if you showed them an email that was an email subscriber reward. I got my pick of five ARCs, and I chose Rebelwing, which is an odd choice for me which is like this futuristic arms dealer story with a cybernetic dragon (when does Mandy ever do this at all???), but I’m kind of really down for it??
I had originally planned on going for the I Read YA breakfast, but it was way too late to jump in the line now as I know last year, the line was quite large. I decided I would go for The Novl, since they were giving out ARCs of The Winter Duke in their Girl Power hour, which is a book that my princess heart has been demanding I get since it’s part Sleeping Beauty and part Anastasia – two of my most ultimate favorites. I got in that line, which wasn’t terrible, but not gonna lie, I was a bit concerned that I might not get a copy.
⏰ 10:00 am ⏰
I managed to snag a copy of The Winter Duke, and Y’ALL I AM SCREAMING. I had no time to celebrate, though, because I had things to do. I went to go visit Let’s Talk YA (aka Disney) since if you showed them that you were following them on Instagram, they would give you a free ARC. However, they weren’t there??? The lady at the door was like, um, maybe try again at 12? It was odd, but I moved on (even though I literally battled mobs of people in the I Read YA breakfast line and empty trashcans to get there, lol).
I hopped into the Riveted’s What in Our Backpack line, which was a giveaway where you pull a name out of their sack and you get an ARC/finished copy of whatever name you pop up. I wanted to hit this one up, because it included the sequel to Sky Without Stars, which Sha wanted so badly. However, they had like 3 options, and this was not one of them??? I ended up getting a copy of The Last Magician, which I already had, so Sha will be getting herself a nice copy, lol.
I ended back up at the Fierce Reads booth because when I was walking by, I saw that they had Legendary and Finale. I was going to purchase them anyway, and I figured I might as well get them at the booth here if they were signed so I didn’t have to take another walk down the block. They ended up having signed ones, and I ended up getting another pick of an ARC. I didn’t plan that, but it ended up working out perfectly. They only had 3 selections left, and they were like, which ones do you want (without telling me what the options were so I was panicking).
They asked me if I liked Shakespeare, which I said yes for, and then I realized they were getting me the Macbeth retelling by Hannah Capin, which Sha had major issues with her first one. I majorly fumbled hard at this point because I struggled not to say please please don’t give this to me because Capin did problematic things in her first one so I def don’t want this. They then asked me if I wanted A Breathe Too Late or All Boys Aren’t Blue, and I couldn’t remember which was which and I panicked and fumbled again and finally just said All Boys Aren’t Blue, totally forgetting the fact that I actually wanted to read A Breathe Too Late.
I decided to try to get in line for A Phoenix First Must Burn, which is an anthology featuring some killer authors, celebrating black voices that was dropping at 10:30 that both Sha and I want to read. Penguin Teen had a strict policy of no lining up until 5 minutes before, so everyone was kind of just meandering around. I kind of stuck to the back of the line on the side, and when the time was called, I didn’t get in too bad of a spot, but it was pretty far back. Someone from Penguin Teen came to our spot and admitted that we were in a spot that was definitely dicey on getting one, but if we wanted to stick around, the line would go really quickly and we would figure it out.
I decided to chance it, and thank gosh, I did! I was given the third to the last book. I grabbed my book, and I immediately sought out the line that I forming for Running at the HMH Teen, which is a contemporary regarding a girl’s dad running for political office. I ended up in between two really nice people – one was a girl’s mom and another was a teen who had her entire family racing around for her and wearing an amazing Buzzfeed Unsolved t-shirt – who I chatted with for the duration of the line.
Since this is already a million years long, I’m going to break it up into two parts. I’ll be posting the second part next Wednesday, so keep an eye out for it! So, what do you think?