I attended YA Shot this weekend for the first time and I had so much fun! Thank you so much to Maximum Books for giving me the chance to win tickets as it was incredible meeting some of my favourite authors!
When I woke up on Saturday, I wasn't feeling too well so I didn't manage to attend the first few events (which is a pity as I would've loved to meet Sophia Bennett and Kathryn Evans!) but I left my house at around 12:00 and got to Uxbridge (where the event was held) at around 14:00. We parked at this one mall and the civic center was actually RIGHT THERE and I managed to get my parents and I completely lost (I'm not very good at directions, unfortunately) so I was slightly late for the first panel!
I attended two panels: Stand by Me (friendship in YA) and Terms of Endearment (feminism and the portrayal of romance in YA) and I loved them both! The first panel featured Alexia Cassale, Maggie Harcourt, Jess Valance and Sara Barnard. I've only read Maggie's book (The Last Summer of Us which I loved - you can find my review here) and I loved learning more about Limpet, Steffan and Jared and their friendship, as well as why it's so important to have more friendships featured in YA. Afterward, I went to the signing room to get my copy of The Last Summer of Us signed and to meet Maggie Harcourt - she's so, so nice and funny and I absolutely loved meeting her!
After having a lovely chat with Maggie, I rushed off to the next panel which was hosted by Holly Bourne, Holly Smale, Harriet Reuter Hapgood and Rachel McIntyre. They discussed feminism and the portrayal of romance in YA. I thought it was a brilliant talk and everything they had to say was so true and so eye-opening! Once that was done I rushed to the signing room and I tried to compose myself because the Geek Girl series and the Spinster Club trilogy are among my favourites so staying calm was an effort! They're both so nice and I want to be their best friend! Also, I've met 5 authors the past month but I have yet to master remaining calm and collected when meeting my favourite authors – I tend to babble and fangirl a lot. I'M SORRY.
After I had met Holly Bourne and Holly Smale, I went to the Waterstones pop-up shop and bought a book! One book – LOOK AT THAT SELF-CONTROL. It literally took me like 10 minutes to decide which book to buy but I eventually decided on Head Over Heels by Holly Smale, which is the latest Geek Girl book that I've been meaning to get! I also really wanted to buy Songs Abut a Girl by Chris Russell and The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood...but maybe another time!
It was then a 2-hour trip back home which consisted of me squealing to my parents about how much I adored meeting all the authors and how nice everyone was and OH MY GOSH MY NEW BOOKMARKS AND BADGES AND SIGNED BOOKS.
I had a lovely time and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to go! Thank you to everyone who was involved in organising such a fun event!