Fangirls Unleashed: Yallwest 2015 (vlog)

Hey there fangirls and fanboys or any other YA enthusiasts! This is your friendly neighborhood fangirls, Addie and Alyssa, here to tell you about our experience at Yallwest!. For those of you that don't know, Yallwest is an annual YA book festival dedicated to empowering readers and celebrate the joy that is YA. It is the companion west coast festival for Yallfest, which is held Charleston, South Carolina. This was the first time that the festival was held in the west coast. It was full of book signings, panels, author meet ups and other geeky debauchery. And you won't go hungry at this event as they had several selections of food trucks available for hungry fans (Our favorite was the Grilled Cheese Truck Yum!).

The event took place on April 11-12, 2015 and was located in Santa Monica, CA. The first day took place in Santa Monica High School and concluded the second day at the Santa Monica Public Library. Here are the things we enjoyed about the festival and things we think can be improved:

Pros:

1. Authors!!!!-- so many great authors. A total of 36! You could get your books signed and, in some cases, even get a picture with them. (Our favorites were: Veronica Roth and Marie Lu)

2.Food Trucks!-- the selection of food was amazing and the portions were good for the price. There was a wide variety and they were there all day long so you didn't have to rush to get your food. More time to enjoy drooling over your favorite authors and attending panels.

3. The Panels!-- There was a wide variety of panels, so there is something for everyone. We attended the "How we Hero: Benders, Boxers and Beyond--Avatar and Korra" which featured YA author Leigh Bardugo and creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino along with Gene Luen Yang. In addition, we also attended an openning commencement with Ransom Riggs and Tea Time with Veronica Roth and Marie Lu, which you can see below in our vlog.

4. Free Swag!...book swag that is. There was tons of free stuff, a lot of it courtesy of Epic Reads. You can check out their youtube channel here. Some of the things we got for free was advanced readers copies of YA books, totes, t-shirts and pins.

Cons:

1. Line!...Lines!...and more lines!!!???? At any big event there is bound to be lines. We felt the lines could have been a tad more organized, but at least you get to stare at your favorite authors while you wait.

2. More booths! There were booths stationed throughout the event to entertain you while you waited in lines or for panels, but there were so few of them. Maybe some craft tables next time? More game tables?

As you can see, there wasn't a lot of cons because overall the event was great. One of the best things was being surrounded by fellow YA book lovers. For more YA fun make sure you check your local library's event page for YA crafts and book clubs. You don't have to drive 6 hours to get some good YA vibes, just drop by your branches teen room. If you want to see our full experience check out our vlog below!

League of Extraordinary Readers YA Book Club:

For more information on Yallwest visit their website: Yallwest.com. See you next year Yallwest and we hope to see some of you there too!