YALLSTAYHOME

YALLWEST 2020 REBRANDED AS YALLSTAYHOME: OVER 70
BESTSELLING & AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS CREATE A VIRTUAL BOOK FESTIVAL

YOUR TOWN, YOUR STATE: YALLWEST returns for its sixth year with more than 70 authors presenting on April 25-26, 2020. The annual gathering typically draws over 20,000 readers to Santa Monica High School, but this year’s event will be entirely virtual. The biggest teen and middle grade book festival in the country is going worldwide (web). Rebranded as YALLSTAYHOME, this free event will feature a weekend of online panel discussions, giveaways, games and more. Special events will surround the festival, with promotions across social media platforms. Additionally, the festival is connecting participating authors with twenty underserved Los Angeles schools for virtual visits via Zoom and providing e-books to their students. Festival founders and #1 New York Times Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) and Melissa de la Cruz (The Queen’s Assassin) open the event at 10:00 AM (PDT) by discussing their decade-long collaboration culminating in their upcoming novel, Jo & Laurie. Starsight and Mistborn series author Brandon Sanderson will lead the afternoon keynote at 4:00 PM (PDT).

Saturday closes as Angie Thomas, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling blockbusters On the Come Up and The Hate U Give, host the annual YALLWEST SMACKDOWN variety show with Nic Stone (Dear Martin). Pseudonymous Bosch and Shane Pangburn host a Middle Grade Storyball on Sunday at 10:00 AM (PDT). The entire YALLSTAYHOME experience will end with a star-studded lineup of authors reading their earliest writing on Sunday, April 26th at 5:00 PM (PDT).

Additional YALLSTAYHOME attending authors include Cassandra Clare, Rainbow Rowell,
Karen McManus, Maureen Johnson, Ransom Riggs, Victoria Aveyard, Marie Lu, Roshani Chokshi, Mariko Tamaki and many others (see next page for full line-up). Multiple bestselling authors will appear on the virtual stage for the festival’s Saturday opening and
closing events.

Full event schedule and panel registration can be found at yallwest.com/schedule.

2020 FESTIVAL LINEUP YALLSTAYHOME • April 25-26, 2020

Renée Ahdieh
Melissa Albert
Becky Albertalli
Elise Allen
Janella Angeles
Victoria Aveyard
Gwenda Bond
Pseudonymous Bosch
Alexandra Bracken
Julie Buxbaum
Cecil Castellucci
Traci Chee
Soman Chainani
Roshani Chokshi
Dhonielle Clayton
Ally Condie
Mintie Das
Charlotte Nicole Davis
Melissa de la Cruz
Jennifer De Leon
Natasha Díaz
Hafsah Faizal
Jennifer Donnelly
Simone Elkeles
Sarah Enni
Francesca Flores
Romina Garber
Stephanie Garber
Kami Garcia
Stuart Gibbs
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Adalyn Grace
Shannon Hale
Frances Hardinge
Carlos Hernandez
Isabel Ibañez
Jordan Ifueko
George M Johnson
Leah Johnson
Maureen Johnson
Mike Johnston
Marisa Kanter
Amie Kaufman
Bill Konigsberg
Jay Kristoff
Victoria Lee
David Levithan
Alex London
Marie Lu
Tahereh Mafi
Sam Maggs
Karen M. McManus
Tehlor Kay Mejia
Shannon Messenger
Samuel Miller
Bethany C. Morrow
Sarah Mlynowski
Lauren Myracle
Danielle Paige
Shane Pangburn
Lewis Peterson
Rory Power
Brendan Reichs
Ransom Riggs
Lilliam Rivera
Margaret Rogerson
Zan Romanoff
Rainbow Rowell
Brandon Sanderson
Adam Silvera
Rachel Lynn Solomon
Tara Sim
Margaret Stohl
Nic Stone
Mariko Tamaki
Angie Thomas
Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Sarah Watson
David Yoon
F.C. Yee
Abigail Hing Wen
Tracy Wolff
Nicola Yoon

Diamond City

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more! 

Diamond City, Francesca Flores
January 28th, 2020

Heists!

Assassins!

Dark magic!

Action? Coherency?

I was so intrigued by Diamond City by Francesca Flores and the concepts it tried to present me. Key word: tried.

I wanted to love the characters and the setting, but there was just something I couldn’t connect to. The worldbuilding was interesting but not clear. I got 15% of the way through and realized pretty quickly that the story was less fantasy than it was a series of undefined tropes strung together very loosely.

There were some interesting things going on, especially in terms of the magic system using diamonds and those diamonds seemingly involved in some sort of dark magic/substance abuse situation, but it wasn’t enough to keep me hooked.

My rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.