Yallfest, Y’all! event recap + giveaway

November 15, 2013 2013, anna and the french kiss, bookish trips, emma trevayne, event, events, Gayle Forman, giveaway, tonya, veronica roth 95

by tonya
photo (3)

Hey, y’all.

I just got back from a glorious five days in Charleston, South Carolina where I visited friends, basked in the friendliness of the south, and had the BEST TIME EVER at Yallfest–a free festival held every year in Charleston, organized in part by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.

I’ve not been to many book festivals aside from the bookish panels at SDCC and all its attending craziness, so I was pleasantly surprised by the smaller scope of Yallfest. The panels felt so intimate and unhurried, and gave an insight into the authors and their stories I hadn’t seen in person before.

Plus, with signings on such a smaller scale than typical, it gave the authors an opportunity to give each person a moment of personal attention, instead of having to hurry through the line like usual. (Though the lines were very long in some cases.)

I was so pleasantly surprised to have both Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins remember me from previous signings. I’ve only seen them once before, but it meant so much to know the brief conversations we’d had had been memorable to them as well. I think we tend to see authors as bigger than life celebrities, but it was nice to see them in such a laid back setting, fangirling over their readers as much as we were over them.

Keep reading for more Yallfest memories, and a chance to win three signed books!

photoThe Keynote conversation between Veronica Roth and Rae Carson on gender roles in YA fiction may have been the highlight of the entire day for me.  I’m pretty sure I spent the entire thing nodding my head and murmuring PREACH.

They discussed how the compliment of “strong female character” is actually rather insulting–to both women and men–because strength is almost always used in the physical sense; like a man. But women can be strong in any number of ways while being physically weak–and so can men. Veronica Roth defines strength as a character with agency, and Rae Carson sees strength in characters who experience moments of weakness and overcome.

Veronica said she sees the traditional gender roles flipped for Tris and Four in the Divergent series; though they were both very physical, Tris was more guarded, emoting through action, whereas Four’s arc was one of redemption and healing, and he was much more emotionally available than Tris.

Perhaps my favorite question, and certainly answer, of the panel was when Veronica asked Rae why her character Elisa in the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy didn’t get to end up with her first love.

Though Elisa’s first love interest was a very nice person in the end, at the root of it he’d kidnapped her and Rae didn’t Elisa’s feelings to be seen as Stockholm Syndrome. I don’t know that I’ve ever clapped so hard for anything.

At the end, Rae and Veronica recommended some YA that demonstrate strong characters:

LEGEND series by Marie Lu for opposite gender roles/dynamics

BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray for complicated characters

SHADOW AND BONE  by Leigh Bardugo for power dynamics

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST by Emily M. Danforth for strong, unique characters

photo (2)Next up was the  ALL THE FEELS panel featuring contemporary YA writers Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, Rachel Cohn, and Gayle Forman.

They discussed the way their stories are sometimes described as Sad Books, but don’t see them that way. Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins especially believe they write happy books (tell that to my tears, Rainbow!).

Stephanie said high stakes about small things is the most honest way she knows how to write. She writes about love because she believes it’s the only real magic we have in this world, and falling in love was the most profound experience of her life. She tries to recreate it with every book she writes.

Rainbow Rowell and Ellen Hopkins discussed the banning of their books. Ellen said that if you’re a responsible parent, so-called Dark YA can be the conversation starter for the hard issues. “The books open the conversation. You can’t close the books.”

Rainbow talked about how she feels that every experience gets stored away and becomes your palette while writing, even if you don’t really know it. She said she sometimes writes to herself through her characters–if someone asked her about her stepdad, she would probably cry, but when she talks about it through Eleanor’s character, it’s easier.

Gayle Forman: “Why do we write? Because it’s cheaper than therapy.”

These were such interesting and eye opening discussions, I hope someone recorded it for the masses. For now, you can check out my live tweeting on @awkwordly.


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Giveaway, Y’all!

Because I love you, I brought you back some signed goodies from Yallfest.

  • Signed ALLEGIANT hardcover
  • Signed LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR paperback with the new cover
  • Signed JUST ONE DAY hardcover

Leave your info on the Rafflecopter form along with a comment below for your chance to win! You may also earn additional entries by tweeting daily, sharing the contest on Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.

Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and up, or 13 and up with parental permission. See entry form for complete details. Good luck!


Tonya sig - teal

a Rafflecopter giveaway



95 Responses to “Yallfest, Y’all! event recap + giveaway”

  1. Ranee

    I just came across this on your site and I have to say that I had a bit of a geek moment. I loved reading about your experience and wished I had been there. I’d never heard of this particular festival but it sounds wonderful! I am going to do everything possible to attend their next event!

  2. Jasprit

    Oh my gosh Tonya, this event sounds absolutely amazing! I’ve been lucky to meet some great authors this year, but not so many great ones all in one go! How did you manage to keep your fangirling in check? I usually get super nervous and stand there and let someone else do the talking! And I agree Stephanie and Rainbow’s books are happy, but I always find myself grabbing tissues! Thank you for sharing a brilliant recap with us!
    Jasprit recently posted…Bookish Survey: Cast a Harry Potter Spell: Part one.

  3. Tabitha the Pabkins

    There is nothing better than getting personal one on one time with authors. That is what you definitely don’t get at BEA. I went to World Con a few months ago and LOVED it since I got to hang out with authors the entire time. It was amazing. Plus you get to vote on the HUGOs each year if you’re a member who doesn’t like to vote on awards!?
    Tabitha the Pabkins recently posted…Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

  4. Anya

    First off *pets new blog design* LOOOOVE it :D

    Second, ” it gave the authors an opportunity to give each person a moment of personal attention” that’s awesome!! I always feel awkward trying to figure out if the author wants to keep talking to me, wants to move on to the next person, or is just too tired from touring to even have that deliberate of a thought, haha! One of my favorite things about a signing I recently went to was that the author specifically took the time to ask “Do you have a question for me?” and I was like uhhhhhh, you have time for me to ask you a question??? *swoons*
    Anya recently posted…World After by Susan Ee Giveaway!

  5. Ariel Tam

    I admit that I still haven’t read Allegiant, because I’m scared. Everyone either loves it or hates it and I just don’t want it to end! I also really need to read Gayle Forman’s books because I’ve only read If I Stay. And I also need to read Lola and the Boy Next Door because everyone adores Stephanie Perkins writing, but I still haven’t read any of her books…

  6. Paola Benavides

    I’ve never been to a convention! I have to do it at some point, though. It sounds like fun. As far as the books, I’ve read all three and I love them!

  7. Katherine

    So exciting to hear your stories from the conference! Looks like loads of fun. Those speeches must’ve been SO inspiring, especially to hear them in person.

  8. Kate (@imlostinabook)

    So wish I could have gone to this! I loved your favourite quote re: Rae Carson’s work. I need to read her stuff ASAP.

  9. Nicole L

    I have read all these books and adored them all but Just One Day has a special place in my heart. Allys road to self discovery was just something that really reached out to me and one I hope I never forget. One of my absolute favorite books i’ve read so far.

  10. Heather

    So glad you had a blast! I am jealous beyond all belief. One of these days I am going to make it to a book festival/convention/get-together/etc. As soon as one hits NOLA, I am so there! I’d be thrilled to win the Lola and the Boy Next Door book, b/c I LOVE that book, but I have been wanting to read Gayle Forman’s stuff for a while too. Allegiant still has me a tad bit ragey, but you know…I guess that will simmer down eventually. I haven’t read Rae Carson’s stuff yet, but I am going to need to look it up now. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Kristi

    I absolutely adore Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins. Their stories are amazing. Stephanie is an inspiration and I’m so proud of her and how open she is about depression and how willing she is to talk to people about it. Gayle’s novels are ones that have stuck with me for years. When we got a new library in my town her books were the first books to ever be checked out (by none other than me!). Also, um, Veronica Roth. Yeah, her books are BA and I don’t care how many people complained about Allegiant, I loved it and I really, really want a copy, but alas, no money. Babysitting doesn’t always pay too well. Anyway, I cannot wait, for next year because I should be able to attend Yallfest. Also, I’m so jealous that Rainbow remembered you! (She is the bomb. Also, her books make me cry all the tears.)
    Thanks for the ever so cool giveaway!
    XO, Kristi
    P.S. I really love your tweets, they entertain me all the time. You are hilarious. *fist bump*

  12. Ann

    I heard so many great reviews for Allegient and Lola and the Boy Next Door. I really want to read Lola! Eeekk

  13. theladyreads

    I absolutely love attending signings, and was disappointed that I couldn’t make it to YALLfest, but I am trying to save money to go to BEA next year–so there’s that! I’ve been lucky enough to attend a bunch of signings. The last one I went to was the second leg of the Fierce Reads Fall 2013 tour with Leigh Bardugo, Gennifer Albin, Ann Aguirre and Jessica Brody. That was so fun! They were hilarious, and so sweet.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway! :)
    theladyreads recently posted…Blog Tour: Giveaway, Guest Post + Review: One & Only (Canton #1) by Viv Daniels

  14. Jenni

    I was following along with a lot of these pictures on Instagram, it sure looks like it was a great time. I really wish there were more exciting bookish events in my part of Canada!
    Jenni recently posted…Sex & Violence Review

    • tonya

      These are the times I’m so grateful for social media. I love being able to share my experiences with other people, and live vicariously through others too!

  15. Vanessa

    I’m excited to read allegiant because of heard so much about it. Good and bad, and i want to decide for myself.

    • tonya

      It’s definitely drawn some intense reactions from people, which is a success in and of itself, I suppose. I hope you end up enjoying it. :)

    • tonya

      I wish you could have tooooooooooo. Come to ALA in Vegas this year? It’s your JOB.

  16. Tanja

    Oh my! This sounds spectacular. I have never been on a bookish even (due to my living place) but I so wish to visit one. This one sounds so good and so many amazing authors were there. WOW I mean Veronica Roth and Stephanie Perkins. It’s hard not to be jealous. Great recap! :)
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarry

    • tonya

      I actually don’t end up going to many either, so I’m always extra grateful when one drops in my lap. :)

    • tonya

      Isn’t so fun? I think it’s getting a little bigger than they can handle now; they’ll probably have to move venues or start charging in the future, but I love the feel of it.

    • tonya

      It was so much fun! Rainbow and Stephanie are the kind of authors who really take the time to speak with you at their signings, so I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that they remember, but it still gave me a little thrill! I didn’t actually get to meet Veronica Roth, but I loved hearing her speak. She’s very articulate and funny… I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was very pleased with her panel!

    • tonya

      I wonder why more authors don’t go to Canada. In most cases, it’s no farther than going to east/west coast. We should petition. ;)

  17. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    It’s so cool that Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins both remembered you from previous events! I’m so painfully shy when it comes to talking to authors in the flesh, but I do appreciate every conversation that I have with them. I would have loved to have seen that gender roles panel. It sounds fantastic. Thanks for the great recap! :)
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Review: World After by Susan Ee

    • tonya

      I think it helps when you follow an author on twitter; it kind of breaks the ice before you actually meet them, and in a lot of cases gives you added insight into their daily lives and you realize they’re just regular people who avoid laundry and eat cookies just like you, hehe.

    • tonya

      I haven’t read Allegiant yet, but it seems to be drawing some pretty passionate responses from readers, hee. Thank you!

  18. Jools

    I’d love to read these books, though I know nothing about them. They sounds really interesting though.

    The entry thing told me to leave a comment about my favorite signing, so here goes:

    My favorite signing, well is in two parts: the first part is contained within the post that I attached to this comment, the second was last night. Since I don’t think I could write the stories here without prolixity I’ll just sum it up: Both involve Neil Gaiman. I got to hear him speak, meet him, and give him a wool sculpture each time and each time was wonderful. I’m always cheered up and encouraged from listening to him speak. His “make good art” speech and work are a light in the dark for me, so it was quite the honor to be able to meet him however briefly.

    Oh! I also met Maggie Steifvater and gave her a sculpture. That was great. I actually got to be part of her excerpt reading too! She had three audience members come on stage to read out character voices with her. I was Persephone. It was great.
    Jools recently posted…The Genius At The End Of The Line

    • tonya

      That’s amazing! Neil Gaiman is such an inspiration to aspiring writers (and readers in general). I’ve never gotten to hear him speak in person, but I’ve seen videos, etc, and he’s such a PRESENCE. And Maggie is just FUN. Crazy, but fun. I’m so glad you’ve had such meaningful authors meetings. It makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable. :)

  19. Stephanie Moore

    I’ve been DYING to read Allegiant! I would love to win this so I can FINALLY know how the Divergent trilogy ends :)

    • tonya

      Good luck, my dear! I’m glad you’ve made it this far without being spoiled. The internet is a dangerous place!

  20. Alise

    I haven’t been here in awhile so this is the first time since I’ve seen your new blog look but The Midnight Garden looks FANTASTIC. Congrats on moving to WordPress :) Sounds like you had an awesome time, thanks for sharing the experience and the pics!
    Alise recently posted…ARC Review: Red by Alison Cherry

  21. Andrea @ Bookish

    Unfortunately, I am not lucky enough to be in a city (or near of for that matter) that authors tend to frequent. So when an author is close enough, I jump at the chance to attend – especially if it’s one I really REALLY love. Two years ago – yes, it’s been that long since an author has been around – I got to see an absolute favorite author. Sherilyn Kenyon! I went down with my barrage of books to be signed and in high hopes that I would get to speak the the author of my dreams. I waited in Barnes & Noble (not so patiently) for my time to get into line and when I finally got up to meet her . . . I froze. Totally froze. It was straight up embarrassing and my mom has a few pictures of me just standing there was an idiot grin on my face. She was beyond nice though. She signed everything I brought and even took a picture of me for her own album. It was so, so magical!
    Andrea @ Bookish recently posted…The Liberator by Victoria Scott (Giveaway)

    • tonya

      Aww, that’s so sweet. I love that bookish people get starstruck with authors. They truly are our celebrities. I’m glad you got to meet her, even if you froze!

  22. ashley

    I went to YALL fest and it was awesome! I do wish the lines would have been better, I waited an hour for certain authors and never got to meet them. That was a bit of a let down, but I understand that they’re growing at a speed they aren’t prepared for.

    That being said, I do think Rae Carson and Veronica Roth’s keynote was genius.
    ashley recently posted…The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

    • tonya

      The lines were a bit unwieldy; I think they’ve grown in popularity more than they banked on. Hopefully they’ll be more organized next year, or change the format a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if they began charging admittance, etc. It’s definitely too large to be the free for all it is now. I’m so glad you were able to attend, though. Was it Ransom Riggs you weren’t able to see?

  23. Kelly L.

    It looks like you had a lot of fun Tonya! :D
    I’ll LOVE to meet Stephanie Perkins (why hasn’t she come to NYC?) and fangirl all over her and her books. Anna and Lola are two of my favorite boks ever.
    I’ve never read Rae Carson’s books yet, but after seeing your tweet/her answer, I’ll definitely be checking them out.
    Hmmm…my favorite book event? I don’t remember all the authors I’ve met or all the book events I’ve attended, but it’ll probably be the second Fierce Reads event I attended. I met Leigh Bardugo when I attended my first Fierce Reads signing and had her sign Siege and Storm for me. Last month, I saw her again and this time, she tripled signed my copy for me and she just so nice and awesome about it. It definitely made my day. :D<3
    Kelly L. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves [58]

    • tonya

      I’m so glad I’ve inspired you to check out Rae Carson! I admit, I’ve only read the first in her series, but I too am inspired to finish it after hearing her speak.

      Leigh Bardugo is so awesome! She’s just fun to be around. I’m glad you’ve gotten to see her so often… maybe this time next year you’ll get her to quadruple sign, haha.

  24. Kayla Graham

    I’ve honestly never been to a signing or book festival. But I plan on being way more involved in bookish happenings in 2014! I would really love to have a signed copy of Allegiant because let’s face it… who doesn’t love the Divergent Trilogy! I absolutely loved Lola and the Boy Next Door… one of my favorites. And I haven’t read Just One Day yet, but would be totally interested in reading it.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful giveaway,
    Kayla Graham
    Kayla Graham recently posted…For Those of You Wondering What Happened To Me.

    • tonya

      I hope you’re able to check out a few bookish events next year; they’re so much fun! Good luck in the giveaway. :)

  25. Candace

    Wow, that sounds amazing! We had Wordstock in October and some of these authors were there (Gayle and Stephanie Perkins were there and so some of the same things were discussed). Isn’t it just amazing to see panels where they actually really chat and get some real depth into the conversations? I love it! It sounds like an amazing time!
    Candace recently posted…Saturday Situation: Link Up Your Reviews & Giveaway’s!

    • tonya

      I love panels that are focused in that way. Most of the ones I’ve attended have been either readings, or kind of rambling on a bunch of different topics, so it was nice to get some real depth on a particular subject. I heard Wordstock was awesome!

  26. Nadia

    The only bookish events I have ever been were the annual book fairs in my country, and while I always end up buying something they are not really that great :( The highlight of this year’s was buying HP #3 and #4 REALLY cheap and finding comics!

    And for the giveaway books, I really want to read Allegiant because I previously enjoyed the first two books. I want to see how it ends! (despite the reviews sigh)

    • tonya

      Finding cheap books and comics is always a highlight, but I’m sorry the panels are not great. I wish teleportation was a thing! Good luck in the giveaway. :)

  27. Kaitlyn

    I’m dying to meet Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins! Thanks for the recap; sounds like it was pretty awesome! :)

    • tonya

      They are just as sweet as you imagine them to be. Seriously, the nicest, most genuine authors I’ve met.

  28. Lindsey

    YALL Fest was amaaaaaazing!! It was so fun to read your recap. I can’t believe it’s already been a week :(( such fun memories.

    • tonya

      I know! I want to go back right now. :( I’m so glad we finally got to meet!

  29. Amber

    I also attended YALLFest! It was wonderful reading you recap the day almost a week after the event! I wasn’t able to make it to Stephanie or Gayle’s signings, so it would be super awesome to win this wonderful giveaway!

    • tonya

      Spoiler alert: I didn’t get to go to Gayle’s signing either, but Leiah hooked me up. ;) It was so good to finally meet you in person. we must do it all again soon. :)

  30. Vivien

    Oh I’m definitely jealous! I absolutely love attending bookish events. They can be such a blast :) The last book signing I was able to attend was Jojo Moyes who wrote Me Before You *sob*. She was such a lovely person. It’s so fabulous how much you don’t know about an author just from reading their books. Meeting them just adds a whole new perspective.

    The prizes are definitely eye catching :)

    • tonya

      I have been meaning to read ME BEFORE YOU. I actually picked it up a few weeks ago, but was warned off because it was so heartbreaking (I needed a happy book at the time). I love getting insight into authors; it adds another layer to their writing, and you start to see THEM in their words.

  31. Wendy Darling

    You always seem to have the best time at these conventions, Tonya–I would say it’d be fun to follow you around one sometime, except that I think I’d be EXHAUSTED. Loved hearing all the insider info on the panels you attended–and hey, Cameron Post was one of my favorite books from last year so I’m glad to see it got a shout-out!

    Thanks for offering up the amazing giveaway for our readers, too. <3

  32. Annie

    Wish I could go to these book conventions. They look like so much fun!
    I was able to go to the local Festival of Books this year. It was an amazing day. Got Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Roth to sign my books. So great!!! Wish I could do it more often.

    • tonya

      I don’t make it to many events, either. They always seem to be on weekdays in places that involve a lot of sitting in traffic, heh. So I’m extra excited when I can make one work–especially when it involves exploring a new city. So glad you got to meet Tahereh and Veronica! They’re so sweet in person. :)

  33. Lauren Spieller

    It’s so nice of you to do this giveaway! YAllfest sounds so incredibly fun. Hearing authors talk about the books they care so much about is AMAZING. I’m a huge Rainbow Rowell fan–I wish I could have been there to hear her discuss the inspiration behind ELEANOR AND PARK.

    • tonya

      I love Rainbow so much. She and Stephanie had a panel together where they discussed their issues with writing and depression, and how their writing helps them work through issues they wouldn’t be able to address with themselves otherwise. It was so inspiring to hear them talk so candidly.

  34. Jillyn

    I am so jealous that you got to go to an event like this! The coolest event for me was when I met the band Barenaked Ladies after one of their concerts, and they signed a copy of their children’s book for me. I love their music, so getting a book [that comes with a cd] from them was really cool. Thanks for sharing the event with us, and for the chance to win!
    Jillyn recently posted…Cover Reveal: Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia

  35. Jill Ferguson

    I was so bummed that I couldn’t make it to YALLfest. But after reading Tonya’s recap (and tweets) I honestly feel like I *was* there! Thank you for your awesome coverage of the festival Tonya!!! You’re the best!! It would awesome to have some YALLfest loot so I can *REALLY* feel like I was there!!!

    • tonya

      I’m so glad I was able to bring a bit of YAllfest to you! I wish I could have gone to more panels and live tweeted for you guys, but then I wouldn’t have been able to bring back the loot, so… priorities. ;)

  36. Jenn

    First off, I love the new layout of the site.

    Second, so jealous. I really wanted to go to this convention, but live on the wrong side of the country. Stephanie Perkins is one of my all-time favorite authors. Excellent giveaway :)

    • tonya

      Technically, I’m on the wrong side of the country too, but I happened to have a friend in the area so used YAllfest as an excuse to finally visit her. ;) Good luck in the giveaway!

    • tonya

      Do you mean… you HAVEN’T? OH DEAR. *wrings hands* *clutches pearls* *weeps*

  37. Kim

    **A note of warning: Is it okay that I went on a rant about “strong female characters”? because that’s what I did :\***

    Whoa, this seems like such a great time! I am super jeal. I need to get myself to a YA book festival. Are there any in the Northeast? In any case, if Yallfest is annual I think I really want to try and go next year!

    The panel on gender roles in YA sounds like it was super interesting. My mind wanders to this quote by Natalie Portman:

    “I want [female characters] to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”

    When female characters are allowed to run the full gamut of human experiences and characteristics that we afford to male characters that will be a happy day for me. When we stop privileging male roles and characteristics over traditionally feminine ones that will also be a happy day. I see way more often than I care to flawed but decent male characters (even really terrible male characters) being valued and given more understanding and leeway than flawed but incredibly good female characters who are viewed as passive and weak.

    A prime example of this is Sansa Stark, from the ASOIAF series, one of my all time favorite characters . A very traditionally female character, she embodies many of the female gender roles she’s been raised to adhere to (she is 11 when the series begins). The mostly male fanbase hates her. They hate her more than they hate some characters that are murderers and rapists. Seriously. She is a political hostage in a fantasy medieval setting that does not permit her much agency. Her characterization and growth is largely internal. If she spoke her mind she’d be killed for treason. She keeps herself alive the best way she can and she does so with poise, grace, empathy and a continual drawing within her deep reserve of resilience and inner strength. Sometimes I honestly feel bad for the bro-readers who are completely missing out on how fantastic her arc is because all they see is “silly little girl who is too passive and weak to escape her situation”. I personally consider Sansa Stark a fantastically strong female character. She embodies and embraces traditionally feminine characteristics (which I refuse to see as weak) but her strength lies in how good she is as a person. She has been through the wringer, so many truly horrific things happen to her, but her emotional strength and composure remains throughout. When she witnesses the death of a character that has been beyond terrible to her she has sympathy, she feels bad for the character in that moment. How is that not strength? Why is not seen as such? These are questions I think on a good deal.

    I really loved what Rae had to say about not wanting her character to fall for someone who’d abused her. That is exactly what I want to see. I don’t mean to “call out” any books or authors, but here’s an example of a time I was super unsettled by a relationship in YA: I was so disturbed when I read the dynamics between Juliette and Warner in Shatter Me. He is an obsessive, child torturer who literally assaults her. She thinks of him in very fearful ways understandably. I wasn’t interested in reading Book 2 but I glanced at some reviews. I was shocked, shocked and astounded, to discover he becomes a love interest in Book 2. It is so beyond unhealthy to depict this character as someone worthy of a protag’s love. Gah, I’m so bothered just thinking about this again that I went ahead and changed my GR rating from 2 to 1.

    Anyway, what I guess I’m saying, is that I’m so happy to see what Rae said since I’ve seen for myself how terrible role models can be in YA. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Somewhat related, Maureen Johnson wrote a pretty good thing yesterday on being an author while female:

    Okay, thank you for letting me share my thoughts! That felt good to get out.

    • tonya

      Totally agree with everything you said! Thank you for being so articulate. (And we love a good rant here at TMG, please indulge us any time.)

      I too was so glad to hear Rae Carson’s reasoning behind killing off that character–especially because I’d been so indoctrinated into accepting the “redemption” of abusive characters that Stockholm Syndrom DIDN’T EVEN CROSS MY MIND. Which is rather horrifying, actually. So many relationships in not only YA, but romance, etc. are questionable–controlling, stalking, possessiveness, jealousy… attributes of so many of the Alpha Male heroes, but also some of the biggest red flags for abusers.

      I’m not typically a fan of Maureen Johnson’s rants, but I do agree wholeheartedly with that post. Thank you for sharing!

  38. Lucy @ The Reading Date

    YallFest sounds like such a blast! I really want to go sometime. That is one stellar author lineup. And that pic of you and Stephanie Perkins is completely adorable :)

    Wish I was at the All the Feels panel, and got to hear the keynote. I like Gayle Forman’s quote.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us! The only con I faithfully attend is SDCC but is seems like YallFest is worth a trip.
    Lucy @ The Reading Date recently posted…If He Had Been With Me By Laura Nowlin Book Review

    • tonya

      SDCC is typically the only con/big bookish event I attend as well. It gets so overwhelming sometimes, though; YAllfest was a breath of fresh air with its simplicity. Hope you’re able to attend next year!

    • tonya

      Isn’t Rainbow the sweetest?

      I know what you mean about events being too far away. We do have quite a few here in Southern California, but they seem to always be on week nights and somewhere that requires me to be in traffic for hours, haha. I don’t make it to many of them, unfortunately. Hopefully there will be one closer to your area soon!

  39. Sunny

    I absolutely loved reading your recap, it sounds like it was an amazing event! If Rowell and Perkins remembered me from a signing, my life would be made. Of course, I first have to meet them, haha. I sadly haven’t caught up to the rest in Carson’s series, but the fact that she didn’t want her character to be described as Stockholm’s Syndrome makes me want to read it even more. I smiled throughout reading this!
    Sunny recently posted…Stop! In the Name of Love…please.

    • tonya

      I’m so glad the post made you smile! I was pretty smiley myself while attending. :)

      To be honest, I haven’t finished Rae Carson’s series yet, either (only read the first one), but now I’m so inspired to read the rest. Knowing she puts so much thought and effort into her character gives me so much trust in the series.