Book Review

YALL Stay Home 2020 Panels I Attended



Hey guys, I know that this is a bit late coming, but, I just wanted to recap the panels I attended for the YallStayHome/YallWest 2020!

I only attended two, being in the UK, I was not up for all that time zone math!

Here are the two I attended:


Both panels were super intriguing and fun. Yes, I did miss the element of going to an event, but this was still a great experience and I felt so lucky to still attend a bookish event so YAY for YallStayHome!!


First Panel

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I signed up for this one because I had read most of the books on this panel or, in the case of We Free The Stars  I am anxiously awaiting its release!

The theme of the panel was also really intriguing!

RayBearer is one of my top 2020 books so far, and I’ve chosen it as one of my books to champion as well, so, I was super excited to hear Jordan Ifueko talking about her marvellous book.

This was a fun panel to sit in, but, I felt the moderator could have done a better job asking them questions, it felt a little chaotic lol and I feel the authors didn’t really get a chance to speak much, especially Hafsah Faizal who I really wanted to hear speak as well, I’m a huge fan of We Hunt the Flame. Though I did get to learn that originally her book idea was actually Eurocentric, I AM SO GLAD that she ditched that and gave us We Hunt the Flame.

I was really interested in what all the authors had to say, each had a unique aspect of their book that fit the theme and so that was definitely on point!

Isabel Ibanez spoke about how Woven in Moonlight was inspired by the political climate in Bolivia and her family that are there. [I haven’t read Woven in Moonlight yet, but it is a book I have on my tbr and on my physical shelf, so, I’m really planning on getting to it soon lol.]

Victoria Lee’s Feverwake duology was originally inspired by the Holocaust despite the parallels to today, wanting to look at personal and intergenerational trauma.

Next, they all talked about hope and its place in their books.

Isabel Ibanez says she likes a bit of dark with fluffy heart and because of that WiM is not lost completely in war for its story.

Victoria Lee: “I’m just the darkness.” However. she talks about how her characters are all creating their own hope(s).

Hafsah Faizal her name means young lioness! And she does like dark things and used some things for hope for the characters to drive them thru the dark.

Jordan Ifueko: She wanted to show that this whole legacy in her book’s world was tainted, to have her MC acknowledge that and what she has, and where she comes from all in retrospect to that darkness, and also that despite all of this, her MC has the agency to change, where is where the hope comes in!

Danielle Paige sais she maintains hope for her character but not necessarily for the world, but it can be a step forward for all.


So there we have it, the authors speaking about the hope and darkness in their worlds amidst revolution/war and change!

**The recordings for the panels will be posted on the YallStayHome/YallWest page, so never fear!**


Second Panel

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Another one I signed up for because I’d either read the book or it’s on my tbr!

I adored Roshani Chokshi as a moderator! She did a great job and though I loved all the authors I did love the setup and execution of this panel more.

They were asked about their books, where the inspiration for the settings came from and ideas came from, how they added in their worlds magic if it was set in the ‘real’ world, and so on.

Marie Lu: The Kingdom of Back was about Mozart’s sister, taking the idea of seeing someone, Amadeus Mozart, succeeding while staying in the shadows.

Bethany C. Morrow: Portland Oregon used as a setting for black, mermaid, voices For her it was easy to add magic to Portland as it’s a perfect setting to do so for her. This book she expects will get pushback as it’s contemporary and individuals will have their own feelings about Portland. The Sirens and Mermaids are based on her perceptions and ideas instead of on mythology and she expects people to speak on that ‘issue.’

Gwenda Bond: Making things your own within intellectual property means focusing on what she could add to this already established world of Stranger Things. So, Bond focused on the women, ‘zoomed in on women’ as she says She wanted to give the readers a women gang/group versus the primarily male group in the show.

Jennifer Donnelly: She uses ‘ghosts’ to get her stories, letting women of history give their voices and stories to her work and drawing on them for her inspiration.

Renee Ahdieh: She uses the idea of ‘beautiful decay’ like Anne Rice, she uses food because she loves food and stemming from that she has the vampires simply just enjoying their meal. Food is rooted in history and is an equalizer like music to her.

Roshani Chokshi: Chokshi says that when thinking of a story, her first question is, “what does the culture do with their dead?” [Which I think is freakin brilliant]

Jennifer Donnelly then claims that she always asks ‘Can I get back there” when she’s writing her historical novels, because if she can’t, then it’s the answer to if she can write the story!

Marie Lu spoke about wanting to even go so far back as Mesopotamia, and I am begging her to write that story ASAP lol while Renee Ahdieh wants to write a PoC Camelot or a Roaring 20s inspired book!

So there we have it, a recap of our second panel and I loved it, loved listening to all the authors talking about their stories. I can’t wait to read all the books!


2 replies on “YALL Stay Home 2020 Panels I Attended”

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