Holy crap…tomorrow Andi’s ABCs will be 3 years old! That is insane to me. Completely insane that I have been doing this crazy thing for 3 years. Like most I have had my ups and downs and my blogging lulls but I truly love it and that is why I’m still going strong. Make sure you read the whole thing as the giveaway is at the bottom!
Highlights of 2015:
- A New Blog Design: In early 2015 I decided to upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog and to change the design of things. It took a lot of trial and error and changing of things but I have found a design I like. Next step is to get a custom designed blog that is done just for me.
- More Moderating Fun: Last year I was asked to moderate a panel for the first time and it was no joke. It was for Sarah Maas and AC Gaughen and the crowd was huge. In 2015 I was lucky enough to moderate 2 more signings/events. In June (I think it was) I was asked to moderate a panel for AC Gaughan (again!) and Tiffany Schmidt. The two of them were kind enough to come to Porter Square Books and have a small event. It was a lot of fun chatting with this ladies as I know them so it was super low key and relaxing. I even got to throw in a random Boston sports question which was fun. Then in September Sarah from What Sarah Read and I co-moderated a panel for the Boston Teen Author Fest. It was Sarah’s first time moderating and she did a fantastic job and the authors made us both so at ease. I feel truly grateful for this community and for these opportunities.
- HOLY WOW MOMENT: In April I was contacted by the lovely Erica at Bloomsbury and was asked if I would be interested in reading Emery Lord‘s next book When We Collided so I could be blurbed in the ARC. I mean WHAT??? SAY AGAIN??? You want me??? The only catch was it had to be done in a certain time frame so I had to drop everything and drop everything I did. Besides being the book being fantastic it was truly an honor to be asked to do this and when I saw my words in print in an ARC it was even more amazing. Oh and did I mention I then got a signed copy of the ARC?? HOLY WOW Indeed!
- BEA (1 & 2): I was lucky enough to go to Book Expo America again in 2015 and to get to go as press which didn’t happen last year. As a not so new blogger I felt 2015 BEA was very different from 2014. In 2015 I really got to hang out with people and talk and relax. I got to see Estelle more times than I could imagine (I saw her once in 2014) and I got to hang out with Jamie for a day (I only saw her briefly in 2014) and I got invited to some fabulous events hosted by publishers. It was seriously one of the best times. I got to hang out with some of my favorite people. What can be better than that??
- Meeting Sarah Dessen: A month or so before BEA I was asked by Penguin if I would be able to go to Sarah Dessen‘s signing and interview her. Me…interview Sarah Dessen? I so wanted to say yes. Sadly I couldn’t because of location and timing. I was bummed to say the least. But then something remarkable happened. I was invited to a lunch at BEA with Sarah Dessen and Carrie Ryan (Daughter of Deep Silence) as the guests. It was truly amazing to finally meet her and to gush with her over Veronica Mars. Pinch me. I swear I was dreaming.
- My Anna Collection: If you read this blog or know me you know my love of Anna and the French Kiss. My collection had been progressively growing. At the end of February (after the horrendous winter we had in Boston) I posted my Anna/Lola/Isla collection on Twitter. Well imagine my surprise when the sweet, sweet Stephanie Perkins saw my collection and offered to help it grow by sending me foreign edition of Anna (which we decided was the best course of action since that is my book. I was in awe when I got the package of books and when I got the next package. I may have never meet Steph in person but she is one of the sweetest I have ever not met.
- #PocketLetterABCs: With my new found crafting mojo I found a thing online called Pocket Letters and I decided to bring it over to the book blogging community. I ran a swap at the end of November and it seemed to go really well. It was fun to get to be crafty with my other book nerds and I will be doing another one later this month.
I was a little slow in my reading in 2015. In total I only read 117 books (I say only because I read 158 last year). But I did read some really good, high quality books and got some rereads done so that made me happy. I was really bad at reviewing some of the ones I loved which I vow to be better about in 2016. But here are some of my favorites out of the 4.5/5 star reads.:
The Last Time We Say Goodbye: This book tour out my heart in the best of ways. It was so so good and it was unexpected for me. I hadn’t heard a lot about it but man was it fantastic.
Queen of Shadows: Sarah once again destroyed me with her writing and story telling. Queen of Shadows was so so good. Honestly I can’t stand how good it was. Did it go the way I expected…nope. But I think it went the way the story should have. Can’t wait to see what is in store in 2016.
What We Saw: I haven’t gotten around to reading this one but Hannah (The Irish Banana) suggested this one to me to make a priority and it was fantastic. It read like a really great Lifetime movie and I didn’t want it to end. It was real and it was raw and it was amazing.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids: Sarah Ockler has yet to write something I haven’t loved. I was scared with this being based on The Little Mermaid but Sarah did it in such a fantastically subtle way that you can’t help but fall in love with the beauty. Give me more books Sarah!
The Deal: I totally found this book when it was blowing up with chatter on my Twitter timeline. And I have never been more happy that I did. It is so great. Like beyond words great. I highly recommend this New Adult Series.
The Lies About Truth: Another book I read and loved but didn’t get to review yet. I can’t say enough great things about Courtney Stevens’ second book. It was such a great story with amazing characters. I mean I loved her first book, Faking Normal, and this one blew it out of the park.
2016 Favorite Books
The Mirror King: Jodi Meadows follow-up to The Orphan Queen is just fantastic. It is a must read book if you loved the first one. Honestly I loved it even more than The Orphan Queen. I’ll be reviewing closer to publication day.
When We Collided: My blurb in the ARC says it all…this book is fantastic. Emery Lord hit it out of the park. I can’t wait for you all to read it and love it like I did.
Built: This is just out this week but I got to read it early and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. I had binge read all of Jay Crownover’s Marked Men series and this spin off was the best out of all the Crownover books I have read. Zeb is just amazing.
I had a great year of blogging in 2015. I got to meet some really cool authors and bloggers and make some really great friends. I read some fantastic books and had some opportunities I never thought I would. I found my crafting mojo and have found my love for planners. When the year started I had no idea where it would go. Everything was a mystery and that is what’s great about a new year. And what leads to my 3 year blogiversary giveaway:
I thought about what I wanted to do for this and it came to me. I am going to do a mystery giveaway of some of my favorite things. You will have no idea what you will be getting. I promise at least one book (may be a book I read in 2015 or may be a book I just love or something yet to be released). The rest you will have no idea.
The giveaway is US Only (sorry foreign friends) and will run until 11:59PM EST on 1/31/15. Giveaway accounts will be disqualified.