Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Be True To Yourself event in Waterstones, Liverpool with Jandy Nelson, Lisa Williamson, and Sara Barnard. The minute I heard that this event would be coming to my nearest city, I had to book a ticket immediately. A talk with three fabulous authors whose books I adore? Yes, please!
Like the eager beaver that I am, I arrived super early and nabbed myself a seat on the front row. (This is something you do regularly when you’re are as tiny as me and know that your chances of seeing anything from a few rows back are slim.) The talk got underway, chaired by the awesome Cathy Cassidy who asked various questions to the authors about their books and the YA genre.
The talk touched upon plenty of interesting topics, including the issues teenagers face today as opposed to a decade ago, such as the constant pressures of social media changing how young people interact. There was also a discussion on a topic that I bring up a lot in my book reviews; female friendships in the YA genre. As Sara and Lisa both pointed out, friendships are so important at a young age, and can have a much bigger impact on your life than romantic relationships. Lisa made a great point by saying that whilst she still has friends from her teen years, she can barely remember the faces of her crushes, and that’s so very true! This is why we need more books written around the power of platonic love between friends.
All three of the authors did a reading from their books. Jandy even had Lisa provide the voice of the ‘hot British guy’ when reading an extract from I’ll Give You The Sun!
Afterwards, some of the guests had a chance to ask questions, and we got a clue from each author about the project they’re working on next. Once the talk was finished, we had the chance to go and get our books signed!
I had such a lovely time at the event and it was super inspiring to hear the authors talk about the topics they touch upon in their books. These are three very important stories, and I can’t recommend them enough to anyone who hasn’t read them yet! Hopefully, authors like Jandy, Sara, and Lisa will pave the way for more stories about embracing your true self. Thank you to Sara, Jandy, and Lisa for being wonderful - it was great to meet you all!