An Unpopular Opinion on…YALC

An Unpopular Opinion on… YALC

So before I say anything in this post I want to make it absolutely clear that I think YALC is an incredible thing and I am incedibly glad that it exists. Everything works very hard to make it all come together and this post is not to diminish that. I am so stunned, amazed and proud of every single member of the publishing industry who have helped to make YALC happen year on year.

That being said, I have some THOUGHTS and OPINIONS that seem to be very UNPOPULAR.

(Also please note these are also personal thoughts and reflect only my opinion and experience!)

The Hype

Oh boy! What a hype! For the last few months all I’ve seen on twitter is HOW EXCITED everyone is for YALC and guys I am SO HAPPY for you. (No, really, I am!) I’m also so glad that you’re able to go and can share with the world how you’re going and how you’re going to have the best time. I think that is absolutely great.

But on the other side, from personal experience I have also never found YALC to be THAT exciting.

Mostly YALC is just busy, full of anxieties as you try to meet your favourite authors, and a little bit of exhaustion and fatigue thrown in. Of course there is excitement and happiness and fun but it’s not – for me at least – all sunshine and rainbows.

Now the real problem I have with the hype is that it mostly makes me feel so excluded. As a bookworm, a YA lover AND a book blogger, shouldn’t I be SUPER EXCITED too? And as I’m not, is there something wrong with me? Being excited for YALC seems to be expected and not being excited is making me feel like an alien and an outsider which in turn is making me not feel welcome on social media at the moment.

The Event Itself

I have been to YALC since it was first created and each year has been different and each year I get myself psyched up for it. I feel the excitement running through my veins and I am certain that I am going to have the best weekend of the year.

And without fail, every year I find that it is never as good as I think it’s going to be. Something always ends up going a little bit wrong.

The first year it was just TOO MUCH. Too busy, too hot, too loud, too anxiety-filled.

The second year was quieter but it was also filled me with anxiety. Plus exhaustion and I just found myself wandering from room to room at one point just needing some air and feeling far too overwhelmed.

Last year was the better year but it was also just not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. The most exciting part being the Harry Potter party but as it was at the end of the day and I was already spent by this point, it still wasn’t the most amazing thing.

Now I’m not saying that YALC is not exciting – it is! But mostly that FOR ME, YALC just isn’t quite right. I’m not a LOUD person, I’m not a CROWD person and I have anxieties and I’m an introvert. Meaning that YALC is essentially just TOO MUCH for me.

Every. Single. Time.

And I have come to terms with that this year and it is why I will not be going this year.

YALC is not for me

So to summarise, YALC just isn’t the right thing for me. In fact, I am not sure conventions will ever be for me. I feel the same about music festivals and sometimes even music gigs as well. Even if it’s just a one-time event, sometimes it’s just too much for me to handle – and that’s absolutely okay.

I just wish it was easier to “stand up” and say YALC is not for me or I am not excited about YALC but I feel like I will get a lot of hate for not liking the convention and that is incredibly sad.

So here’s hoping you’ll all still love me even though I don’t think I’ll ever go to YALC again – and hey, maybe it’s best to leave the event to the actual YA’s eh?

Will you be at YALC this year?



  • Ellie Warren

    I know how you feel. I’ve only been that first year where it was super crowded and stuffed in with LFCC, and whilst I know it has got better, I’ve had the experience with other cons that they are not as good as they seem from the outside. I like them OK, *but* I don’t think it is enough for the expense and social draining feeling. If it was held closer to me I’d be up for popping in but travelling and/or hotels all adds up…and then I want it to be the best thing ever. I could go to another country with Josh for a long weekend for the price of going to YALC or Nine Worlds all days and I think I’d like that better. But yeah, I feel excluded, a lot.

    • Faye

      I’m having some thoughts from all this. I know there is a virtual BEA that happens during BEA, maybe next year I can try and organise a virtual YALC so us introvert/anxiety/broke people can still get excited. I will think on this!!

  • Chrissi Reads

    I am with you Faye. I suffer from anxiety and sometimes it just gets too much for me. I’ve been to YALC twice and don’t get the big buzz that everyone else seems to get. I just find it stressful. I don’t feel sad that I’m missing it this year. I’m having a bookish weekend with my sister instead and that’s enough for me.

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