22 July 2015

My YALC Experience: Part 1


I'm super excited to write this post so I think I'm just going to get straight to it!

For those of you who don't know what YALC is, it stands for 'Young Adult Literature Convention' and it's a super exciting extension of Comic Con UK. It's a place for all the authors, publishers, booksellers, and of course, the readers to come together and talk about all things books. I think it's such a great idea as it brings the book community so much closer together and is a cool way of sharing new book content and finding new friends over a shared love of books!

On the Friday, I went with my cousin, Kelly, who is just as book obsessed as me and is actually the person who persuaded me to read Harry Potter - without her, I may never have discovered the magical world that I love so much! We had a late start that was purely down to the 'family lateness gene'... none of us, and I mean NONE of us, ever run to time, oops! Anyway, it's good to be fashionably late, right? We got to Olympia (the venue) at around 4pm and eagerly raced through the check in area, desperate to see as much as possible. We headed straight to the YALC floor and we were mostly definitely not disappointed! After wandering around in a bit of a shocked daze, we stumbled across the information desk where we picked up our complimentary YALC totes, which were filled with bookish goodies - so cool! 

Once we'd acclimatized to our surroundings, we stared to really take in all the different things that were happening. There were so many author signings taking place, so we decided to have a look at who was there. The author's name that caught Kelly's eye the most was Darren Shan, renowned young adult horror writer. Her brother/my cousin is absolutely obsessed with his work so we thought a signed book would be a well appreciated gift! We quickly brought the first 'Zom-B' book and jumped in the queue. After around an hour of queuing, we were finally at the front of line and I was actually very excited considering I'd never read a single one of his books before! He quickly guessed that the book wasn't for us and began asking us about my cousin so he could write him a personalised message which I thought was super cool.

After many 'thank-yous', we walked off and decided to have a quick look around the lower level, the Comic Con level, before heading back upstairs for the Harry Potter party. I wouldn't call myself a comic fan but I still really enjoyed looking around Comic Con - the effort that people put into their cosplays is crazy... props to you guys! The theme this year was 'Back to the Future' as 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the first film in the trilogy. I'm a huge BTTF fan so to know that I've been in the same building as the likes of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd is SO COOL - total fangirl moment! 

At around 6:30pm, the real fun began! We headed back to the YALC section and took our seats in the main stage area and eagerly waited for the party to start. We were given a short introduction to what the night would consist of and were introduced to our head of houses for the night. We then got started on a horcrux hunt - just like Harry, Ron and Hermione! We had to race around the YALC section and try and find all 7 horcruxes to earn points for our house - this was definitely my favourite part of the night! After about half an hour of searching, we all gave in our sheets so that the point could be added up throughout the party. We then began the second activity of the night, GNOMEs; Gruellingly Nauseating and Onerous Mugglenet Exercises. Take it from me, those questions were hard! Our team (made up of just me and Kelly!) managed a measly 11.5 out of 20, while the winners got an enormous 19 out of 20 - congrats! Finally, there was a cosplay competition, where everyone who wanted to, had a chance to show of their fantastic costumes on the YALC main stage. My personal favourite and also the winner, was Hermione with a twist; she was Hermione after she'd taken the polyjuice potion in the Chamber of Secrets... so in other words, a cat! 

We then headed home, absolutely exhausted but completely buzzing. I met my dad at the station and chewed his ear of the whole journey home, telling him about how cool my day had been! If you went, leave a comment of what your favourite part was (of Comic Con or YALC, I don't mind!).

See you soon,
Charlotte x

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