A Day Full of YA Book Love at YALLWEST 2024

Come and relive my YALLWEST 2024 experience with me! Here are all the exciting details, from author signings to prizes and more.

Book Culture Bookish Lifestyle
Photos of different YALLWEST aspects like photoop backgrounds, free goodies at booths, and and Owlcrate tote bag with other Owlcrate pin giveaways.

With its 10th anniversary, YALLWEST brought a little bit of everything for YA book lovers. Whether you were there to hear from your favorite author or try your hand at winning a giveaway, there were different activities and panels that visitors could take part in. Since this was my first time at YALLWEST and my first book festival ever, I came in with an open mind, ready to see and experience YA book love alongside everyone else.

Choosing Where To Go

Upon stepping foot on the Santa Monica High School campus, I was in awe and a bit overwhelmed. I had never been around this many fellow readers, nor had I seen so many publishing companies tabling to promote their latest books. I was incredibly spontaneous that day (which rarely happens), so I didn’t plan out which panels or events I wanted to visit. If you are looking for a specific panel, I would suggest going to the YALLWEST website before coming so you know the exact speakers and times of the panels. I didn’t go to the panels, however, this did not put a damper on my experience!

Article writer with friends in front of one of the photo-op backgrounds filled with flowers and piles of books.
IMAGE VIA BERNARDINE LANDICHO

Since I was with two friends, we walked around, found interesting booths, and even took photos with photo-op backgrounds. It was a fun experience to try and figure out what other people were lining up for, especially with the longer lines. We went to the OwlCrate booth where everyone was a winner! People chose a rubber duck, different colored stickers were stuck under the duck, and depending on the color, the staff would give prizes from pins to journals to tote bags and more.

Teamwork at Its Best

Noon was soon approaching, and wristbands for the author signings were given about 30 minutes before the start of the signing. Since I was in line for my wristband, my friends continued to stay in line with different booths, and even got a signed ARC copy of Louder Than Words for me signed by Lexi Underwood. As I was trying to figure out where to wait for the signings, lines were getting longer for various authors, but I couldn’t find Hafsah Faizal’s signing line. Thankfully, as my friends came back, we worked together to ask around and eventually got to the right line right before the signing started.

YALLWEST haul with an ARC, signed copy of A Tempest of Tea, bookmarks, a tote bag, and various pins.
IMAGE VIA BERNARDINE LANDICHO

Meeting Hafsah Faizal

With all the love and praise I have for A Tempest of Tea, I knew that I wanted to meet the author and tell her how excited I was for the next book and how much A Tempest of Tea has now become a favorite read of mine. Initially, she didn’t have California dates for her book tour, so as soon as YALLWEST announced she’d be there, I had to go! Everyone we met in line was kind, and despite getting nervous that I wouldn’t be able to say what I wanted, meeting her was such a sweet experience. Though I rambled on about how much I loved the characters and story, she truly deserves all the flowers for her writing, and I hope I relayed that.

Article writer with author Hafsah Faizal.
IMAGE VIA BERNARDINE LANDICHO

With my signed books, a tote bag filled with goodies, and a watch telling me that I walked well over 10,000 steps, I left YALLWEST with my friends, still feeling giddy, not nearly as exhausted as I thought I’d be, and excited to do it all again next time.


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FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / BERNARDINE LANDICHO