@ReadDreamLive13 decided to create a Twitter chat called #YALCchat for those going to YALC at the end of July to chat about fears, tips and what they're looking forward to. I decided to summarise the tips and hints that were shared during the chat.
1) Chat with those in the queue
@yalc_uk said "It really is one of my favourite things about the event. Love seeing people make new friends in queues! #YALCchat"
@ReadDreamLive13 said "the queues do seem the perfect place to meet people #YalcChat
Don't be afraid to chat to those in the queue or even to ask them to take a picture of you getting your book signed.
2) Book signings
A big query is what happens with book signings - do we have to get a ticket or just queue?
Well the answer is - it depends as @yalc_uk explains
"In most cases, just turn up and join the queue. If queues are long, we may introduce virtual queuing (1/2) #YALCchat"
"This works like a deli counter - you get a numbered ticket and come back when your number is called (2/2) #YALCchat"
Also don't worry because as @iloveheartlandX says "The authors are really nice, not scary at all, honestly! #YalcChat"
3) Purchasing books
There are many stalls selling books. There will be a Waterstones stall selling many of the books especially for authors who are signing. There are also many publisher stalls who as @yalc_uk says "our publishers love the chance to chat with readers". Last year they were really friendly and they are great at recommending books to make your TBR even bigger. Some of them also had special deals and competitions running throughout the weekend so don't forget to check them out.
Remember to take cash! I can't stress that enough and neither could @yalc_uk who said "...Lots of stands (including our #YALC merchandise) are cash only so make sure you come ready #YALCchat"
4) What to wear
A general consensus from the chat was to wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet most of the day.
In terms of clothes, some people like to cosplay and feel free to if you'd like. Many people will be doing it so you won't be alone.
(With regards to cosplay, make sure it fits. You don't want to be spending your day trying to fix it when you could be doing something else.)
You could also just wear a fandom t-shirt. I'm probably just going to wear a Hogwarts one. Overall though, just wear what you feel comfortable in as @yalc_uk said "Wear whatever you like and feel comfortable in. We love #cosplay, but don't feel any pressure if it's not for you! #YALCchat" Remember though, it gets very hot in the venue so bear that in mind when choosing what to wear.
5) Food and Drink
My advice would be to bring food and drink. You will get hungry and thirsty and you won't want to pay venue prices or wait in their queues. @AddyPNewton agrees and said "Defs bring your own food and drink. Venue f&d is expensive, tho there is a handy Tescos across the road #YalcChat"
6) Other tips and hints
@AnnaliseBooks said "Take cash, expect to buy books! Get there early and check out the rest of the show at some point! #YalcChat"
You are definetly going to struggle if you're on a book buying ban and you will break it. And I completely agree, LFCC was great last year and had amazing merchandise on sale so you won't want to miss out.
Have some restraint. You will want to buy everything. So my advice would be to follow @ChloeSeager1 's words of wisdom "It's my first #YALC but think I'll bring enough £ to buy a good no. of books, but not so much I can't afford to eat through August #yalcchat"
Keep your water away from your books. A lesson many have had to learn including @iloveheartlandX "Yup. Lesson learned, keep your water bottle far, far, far away from your books. #YalcChat"
Bring a well charged camera or phone. You are going to want to take loads of pictures. If you're lucky enough, you might get one with your favourite author.
If you're unsure about carrying all your books, don't fret. There are many stragegies to help. Either have lots of totes or have a large rucksack or suitcase. The lovely @yalc_uk also reminded us "For those of you who want to bring/buy lots of books, remember we have #YALC cloakroom facilities where you can put bags #YALCchat" The cloakroom does have a small cost at around £1 a small item and £2 a large item.
Or you could just move closer just like @AnnaliseBooks is planning to do "Also planning on moving closer next year so can actually get them all signed! #YalcChat"
Finally, have fun, it's the most important thing.
If you have any more questions feel free to comment below and I will do my best to respond, tweet @yalc_uk or join in on the 23rd July 2016 at 8pm where @ReadDreamLive13 will be hosting another #YalcChat.
Scrabble genius Finlay McIntosh is a different lad to the one his mother left behind. One day she was there, the next she was gone. And his dad won't even mention her name. All Finlay has to remember her by is a bag of letter tiles and an empty journal. Then a chance remark by a mysterious new player he meets online changes everything. has he stumbled on to a major clue that could help him find his missing mother? Finlay will do whatever it takes to find out the truth. But can he find his voice... before it's too late?
A Seven Letter Word is an astounding book. It was gripping and near impossible to put down.
Slater has managed to provoke sympathy throughout the book for not only Finlay (the main character) but for Maryam too. I loved seeing Finlay's thoughts as he struggled to vocalise them and faced the everyday ignorance of bullies who make his life hell. I enjoyed seeing Finlay grow from the beginning of the book to the end. Maryam was my favourite character. Her care for Finlay and her own struggles made it hard not to love her. I loved how topical this book is in regards to the current treatment to Muslims and those with seemingly 'abnormal' illnesses like stutters.
The plot was fantastic and managed to keep me gripped. So much so, I finished it in one day (something I haven't done in a long, long time). It was eye-opening to see the personal effects of ill-patience, ignorance and prejudice has on young people who are virtually the same age as me. I found myself frustrated that even authorial figures in the book judged Finlay and didn't give him any support. It certainly made me more aware of stutters but I hope it opens more peoples eyes to the intolerance faced in schools not only from peers but from staff as well. I like the fact that Scrabble was Finlay's escape and the Scrabble tips throughout the book were a fantastic little added extra.
Kim Slater has written a beautiful book. The ending was lovely and rounded off the book perfectly. I would totally recommend this book especially to those who struggle to read longer books or want a diverse read. I will definitely be reading more of her writing in the future.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Maladapted by Richard Kurti after winning a competition on Twitter for World Book Day Teen Fest. I finally got round to reading it and it was so good. The plot was original and the characters were easy to love (and hate).
The characters were well developed and the main ones lovable. I felt sorry for Cillian throughout the book as things just kept going wrong for him. Often you, as the reader, were in the same position as Cillian - unsure who to trust and what was going on. I had high hopes that Tess wouldn't betray Cillian's trust as she was a great strong character with massive struggles of her own. (I won't tell you if she does or not as that would be telling).
It was horrifying to realise that the society in the book is not too far from the reality of our world. It's scary to think we are close to living in a society so focused on technology and science rather than interaction, free speech and faith.
Overall, this book was amazing. It did end of a cliff-hanger so I am excited to see how Cillian and Tess' story continues. I would recommend this book especially to those who want a unique dystopian read that is set in a world not too far from our own.
For a while, I've wanted to subscribe to a book subscription box. I finally decided to subscribe to one - MyBookishCrate, a new book subscription box based in the UK. It costs £28 plus shipping and it's a bi-monthly box.
The outside of the box is gorgeous and when it arrived I was so excited to see what goodies were inside (Unfortunately, I had to wait to get home from college after an exam, a free period and a lesson). Opening it was so fun!
The book inside was Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn. I hadn't previously heard of the book but it sounds amazing. It also came with a signed bookplate, a sticker and bookmark related to the book.
Inside was also a watercolour bookmark made by Gina from Behind the Pages (@behindthe_pages) and a mini wishlist notebook. They're both amazing and such good quality.
Personally, my favourite item was a bottle of moonshine necklace created by Anna from Enchanted bottles (@enchantedbyya). It's so beautiful. I only got the box yesterday and I've already worn it out. It will definitely get a lot of use.
Inside the box was also a art print of a quote from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It's lovely and so going on my wall as soon as my room is redecorated.
MyBookishCrate had randomly given two May subscribers something a little extra in their boxes. When I opened my box I saw I had been given two books. It turns out that I was one of those lucky subscribers and the something extra was a whole book. I received The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. Thank you so much to MyBookishCrate for that pleasant surprise.
I really loved this box and was so happy with everything in it. I can't wait to read the books and I look forward to the next box in July.
After a suggestion on Twitter I decided to get Bloglovin so you can easily follow my blog and see all my latest posts. Just search for 18thingsbefore.
At the weekend my friends and I went to an ice cream parlour to celebrate one of their birthdays. I had never been before so was really excited. Luckily the weather was perfect for eating ice cream.
On our way, we went to the park and looked at the animals that were there. The guinea pigs were so cute but I was worried my friends were going to kidnap them as they loved them so much.
When we arrived at the ice cream parlour, I was overwhelmed- there were over 50 flavours of ice cream to choose from. The choice was so hard. In the end, I had a 3 scoops: one Ferrer Roche, one pistachio, one toffee popcorn. It was delicious but really filling. The toffee popcorn one wasn't great but the other two tasted amazing together.
The day was great fun. I can't wait to go back and try more flavours another time.
Kyle has always been afraid of things, especially dying. But when he gets on the train that is taking him and his class on a school trip, he has no idea how close to Death he is going to come. Death enters the train and Kyle moves with him, past his friends, who are frozen in time, in life-or-death situations. Kyle finds that he can pick up on their deepest, darkest fears - real things that have happened to them, or may happen in the future, and sometimes their surreal nightmares too.
Kyle realises that he isn't the only one who has buried fears and, more importantly, he now burns with the desire to live, and to live without fear. But will Death release him?
This book was great. The plot was so original and different. I loved that the chapters told loads of separate stories from many characters due to Kyles ability to hide in their nightmares.
I found I wanted to read on with some of the characters' stories as they ended too quickly. Some of them could have been a story all by themselves as they often made me forget that Kyle was in their head. The nightmares were deep, dark and intense and definitely made me wonder what my worst nightmare would be.
The gradual reveal to Kyle's nightmare though was very gripping as it was only mentioned for a few sentences at a time; it was quite vague as to what had happened right up until the end. The climax of the book was a complete plot twist but it was an amazing one rather than one that left me feeling annoyed. It was totally unexpected and I would have never had guessed. I could say more but I don't want to spoil it.
The book wasn't as scary as the jacket made it out to be, for me it was more of an intense thriller than a horror but that didn't take away from the book at all. I loved it and can't wait to read more Malorie Blackman books in the future.
I am just coming to the end of the Easter half term. It's been great, for two weeks I've had lay-ins and read as much as I wanted. Except, I couldn't. I had half term revision and homework to do. With just 6 weeks until my first exam, there isn't much time to sit back and relax. My teachers set me 10 maths past papers, 35 ancient history questions and a 1000 word essay for English. It's been a struggle and at times all I've wanted to do is sit and do nothing but I managed it. Here are my tips for doing homework/revision in half term (or for any time during the year.)
1) Make a plan
A great way to help you get through your mountain of revision or homework is to create a timetable. If you can't stick to it (just like me) I would recommend creating one anyway as it can help to remind you what you have to do. Or if that is too time consuming for you a simple to do list every morning can work just as well. Ticking things off is so satisfying!
When you have a lot to do, it can be hard to know where to start. The best way to combat this is to prioritise. See what is due in first, what exams are first and what you are struggling with and decide what your priority is. Then do whatever that is first. At least then you get the most important stuff done just in case you don't have time to do it all.
3) Make it fun
Trying to stay interested in your work is hard and failing to do so can lead to procrastination. To combat this I like to make my doing my work more fun. I use colours, mind maps, note cards and record notes on my phone. This variety helps me to stay interested and focused for longer thus allows me to get more work done.
4) Don't forget to relax
Although completing all the work you have is important, it is also important to take time to relax. If you don't, you can go crazy. How long you do it for is up to you but I try to stop after a certain time in the evening, take regular but short breaks during the day and when I have a long time off (like the Easter half term) I like to dedicate a few days to doing something that is not work related. Overworking yourself can have negative effects on your work and your health. Remember that your health is more important that your education and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
I hope this has been helpful. Let me know your revision tips, suggestions or questions in the comments below.
Note: If you ever need feel work is affecting your health talk to a trusted adult straight away.
WOW, what an amazing ending to an amazing series! Cassandra Clare never fails to amaze me. All of her books are great and this one is no different.
It provoked a whirlwind of emotions including laughter and many, many tears.
The concern for the outcome of the love triangle is prominent throughout the book (though not too overpowering) but the solution is perfect. It links with bits from City of Heavenly Fire but not having read that book does not ruin this book at all. I loved that it explained what happened in the run up to that scene in COHF.
The characters are amazing. They're all fierce, brave and loving (well except Mortmain and the Consul). Tessa is my favourite character- she is great! I love her finesse and determination. Her love is so strong, it is almost alive with admiration and feelings for her institute family and friends. Mortmain and the Consul are both horrible and in my opinion deserved everything that came their way.
The ending was fabulous. It drew together the books and wasn't disappointing. The contrast of the humorous last scene of the book and the heart wrenching epilogue made it perfect. I would definitely read this series again.
I would totally recommend this series and all of Cassandra Clare's books.
On the 10th March, four of us from my Sixth form college took part in the Friends of the Earth debating competition against two other local colleges. For the past few weeks we swatted up, did research on the topics we would be debating and wrote out opening statements.
There were three rounds of the debate and we did not know until five minutes before which of the topics given we would be debating or whether we would be debating for or against.
Our team had to debate
We won the first debate against a local college. We were really proud of ourselves as it was the first time most of us had ever debated and it meant we went straight to the finals. I was surprisingly not nervous though am unsure why. Our team went into the competition thinking it would just be a bit of fun and a new experience. However, after winning the first debate we knew we had a chance so were determined to win.
In the finals we were against the first team again, as they won the second round. Our team had a rough start with the wrong intro being read however we answered, with confidence and surety, all the questions that the other team fired at us.
Waiting for the judges decision was tense but we were certain the other team had won. Much to our surprise our college was announced the winner. We won the trophy and £100 to be split between our team. We were so proud and went home on an unexpected high.
It was such a great experience and I would love to take part in more debates in the future.
Comment below if you have ever taken part in a debate/public speaking experience. I'd love to hear your experience and what it was like for you.
Hi, I'm Megan. I'm a 17 year old from England. This year I have decided to do something different so have set myself challenges of 18 things to do before I turn 18.
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