Tuesday, May 10, 2016

YALL West 2016

Hello Everyone!

Once again, it's been months!  I know, I know, but life is crazy, and so much excitement is happening in my life right now (details in a later post!).  School is finally slowly winding down, I am down to one week left of my first year at university; which means only one more year to go before I FINALLY graduate with my Bachelors!!!!
Work is crazy as ever.  I really starting to question whether I want to stay there for another year, or possibly look for something else until I graduate next year.

But besides that, there unfortunately has been no time for reading, mainly because when I actually do have a few moments to myself, I am too darn exhausted to even think about picking up a book!  However, that does not mean books have not been on my mind!  In fact, today I got the latest Meg Cabot book in the mail!

Can't wait to dig into this one, hopefully latest by the end of next week, when all my classes are over! :)

And then I also got to go to a SUPER exciting event a couple of weekends ago in Santa Monica!  YALL West!!

We decided to make a whole mini vacation out of it, and booked a hotel for the weekend of April 30th-May 1st.  We left Friday afternoon, and arrived with enough time to check out the Santa Monica Pier!

I will admit, it was rather disappointing.  I hadn't been there since I was seven, and Vincent had never been there.  It was pretty dirty and run-down.  We had dinner at this overpriced, disappointing fish and chip place.  But in the end it was an experience, that we can now say we did! And we were able to be together, and spend time together.

Saturday and Sunday were the days of excitement!

We arrived at Santa Monica High School right before the opening of YALL West!  The gates opened and the long line of people rushed in to get in their respective lines and check out all the awesome stands!

It was honestly such a cool event!  Not only were there incredible authors there, but they were selling books, GIVING AWAY books, swag, and so much randomness!  There was deliciously terrible food! We hit the Boba truck both days!  SO YUMMY!!!  Saturday we got amazing pizza, that Vincent said is the closest thing he's had to New York style pizza, since moving to California!  And then Sunday, since the pizza truck was not there, we decided to give the grilled cheese truck a chance, and I got a macaroni and cheese grilled cheese, which was pretty bomb!

Anyway now to the authors!

On Saturday, I got to meet Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy),  David Levithan (again!), Matt de la Pena, Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy), Siobhan Vivian (Burn for Burn Series, written with Jenny Han), Libba Bray (Gemma Doyle Trilogy), and Simone Elkeles!

Along with these amazing authors, I met some awesome people throughout the day!!  And even saw authors walking around, that I have already met over these incredible past years!

Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy)

Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy)

Libba Bray with Leigh Bardugo in the background!
AND FINALLY the incredible...

Simone Elkeles!! (Perfect Chemistry)
I have been a HUGE fan of Simone Elkeles, since reading Perfect Chemistry in 2009!  She is actually the main reason why I knew I HAD to go to YALL West!  She was incredibly sweet, and signed EVERY SINGLE Copy of her book! I own them all, so it was A LOT!!  She was amazing!  Thank you Simone, if you read this, because you 100% made that incredibly stressful week worthwhile!

After Simone, we got to go back to the hotel to relax and order room service in.  We were exhausted and definitely needed it!

There was a bit of a bummer on Saturday!  I had gotten conversation tickets to see Rainbow Rowell, and had thought they allowed me to go to the signing, but it turned out that was a separate wristband! So once again I was missing my chance to meet Rainbow!  I missed her in 2014 at FOB too, I had waited in line, only to find out I couldn't get my copy of Fangirl signed because I didn't have a ticket from buying the book at the bookstand at the event (I had bought mine in advance!). 
I got so lucky though, because the amazing Sara at What a Nerd Girl Says, was in line and got me my copy of Rainbow's Fangirl signed!  I wasn't able to meet her myself, but hopefully one day!! :)

Sunday was a bit more calmer!

I had to carry less books, and was able to walk around and actually enjoy some of the stands!  

I not only was able to snag a TON of ARCs, but also bought TWO books shirts, and WON another one!  I started the weekend with owning NO book shirts, and left the weekend with THREE!!!!  

Sunday I met Jennifer Niven (again!), Kody Keplinger (again!), Christina Lauren (again!), Veronica Roth (FINALLY!!), Margaret Stohl (again!), Kami Garcia, Alyson Noel, Melissa de la Cruz (again!), and Susanne Colasanti!

I can't even tell you how blessed I feel, that I was able to meet so many authors a second time!  Both Jennifer Niven and Kody Keplinger I met last year at Pasadena Loves Ya; but this year I was able to actually get my copy of All the Bright Places signed, which was sold out last year.  And for Kody, I wanted to meet her again, because she is just so much fun!  Vincent and I got SO lucky!! As we walked by one of the book tables, they were GIVING AWAY ARCs of Kody Keplinger newest book, Run, coming out next month!!  I can't even tell how stoked I was on this!! I had been so disappointed when I saw it wouldn't be available until June, because I wanted an excuse to meet Kody again!!

Veronica Roth, is an interesting story! I have actually tried getting Veronica to sign my copy of Divergent, THREE times!!  The first time being my first year at Festival of Books in 2014, the line had been RIDICULOUS!!  The second time being the day before at YALL West, but the line had been also absolutely ridiculous!!  People were standing in line for over three hours!  I was like, NO!  I was not going to waste away my day!  But Sunday, I tried again, and third time must be the charm, because not only was Vincent able to snag me a wristband for the signing line, but it wasn't nearly as long!  I ended up waiting maybe 40 minutes, and that was with having arrived twenty minutes early, before the signing actually began.  
But yes, I FINALLY got my copy of Divergent signed!!

Afterwards I had to rush to meet Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, so I could finally complete my copy of Beautiful Creatures (I had Margaret Stohl sign it in 2014 at FOB), and my copy of Beautiful Darkness!

And then, luckily I still had enough time to run over to the Alyson Noel line to have her sign a short story I had from her!  I ended up getting an ARC of her latest book Unrivaled, which of course I got signed right away! :)

Afterwards I had a chance to walk around a bit, and enjoy some of the stands!  There I was able to pick quite a few more ARCs, which was awesome!!  During that time I was able to meet Melissa de la Cruz again, so she could sign my copy of Skinny Dipping (the second book in the Au Pairs series).  

Before heading to the last signing I ran into Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked), who I hadn't met since 2012, when I went to Passion and Prose!

And last our weekend ended with me meeting another author I've been waiting years to meet...Susanne Colasanti!  She was so sweet! It was actually her birthday that day, and she told me how she was able to go to the beach in California (she lives in New York)! 

Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)

I got a photo this year with Kody Keplinger (The DUFF)!!

Got to meet Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) again!  Had plenty for them to sign again, since the last time I met them was 2014!

Veronica Roth!!! (Divergent)
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures Series)
Alyson Noel
Jessica Spotswood
Susanne Colasanti
So much awesome stuff that weekend!!  Not only did I meet so many awesome authors and people (including my friend Lourdes again, who I hadn't seen since 2014 at FOB!!!), but I also got to add so many awesome new books to my signed collection!  A HUGE Shout-out to Lourdes!!  Not only did she get my copy of Hollow City by Ransom Riggs signed, she also got me in line for a bunch of awesome stuff!!

Books and so many books!

My ARC haul from the weekend!

My overall signed book, ARC, and swag haul!

Got this awesome bag with John Green quote!

Got more of my Christina Lauren books signed!

Libba Bray

Added Siobhan Vivian's signature! (I met Jenny Han in 2014 at FOB)

Added Kami Garcia's signature to this one!

All my Simone Elkeles copies!

Simone even added a signed Perfect Chemistry series poster!!

The one and only book I paid for my entire weekend!

Each of these anthologies had stories from authors that were there that weekend

My ARC haul!

Managed to snag a Jay Asher ARC!


I carried all of these books around that weekend!! SO MANY BOOKS!! I bought one at the event, the pile on the left I got there, and the rest I brought all with me from home!
I also got a new kindle cover before the trip, because my old one was FULL of signatures.  All of these are from YALL West weekend!  Featured are: Richelle Mead, Jennifer Niven, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Alyson Noel, David Leviathan, Susanne Colasanti, Jessica Spotswood, Simone Elkeles, Libba Bray, and Kody Keplinger.

Such a fun memorable weekend!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

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