Three Years of Blogging!

ThreeYears

 Yep, you read that right – three years. I thought two years of blogging was a stretch, so I was quite surprised when I double-checked to see when I created my Livejournal (where this blog originally was) and saw that it was June of 2010. Sure, the first year or two were a bit more uneven and consisted almost exclusively of reviews and little else, but off and on I’ve been blogging for three years.

So how to celebrate three years? Plenty of blogs use giveaways for anniversaries and reminisce about meeting authors and fellow reviewers, but I’ve only ever reviewed books from the library or that I bought for personal use and I don’t live in a place where I can meet a lot of authors, let alone reviewers who don’t need to go on tours to promote their blogs. I tried to think of something a bit different and hopefully fun, but my mind mostly came up blank. So, get ready for a bunch of random things to commemorate three years of blogging!

First up: lists!

Top Ten Favorite Books Since I Began Blogging

Do I really need to say anything? If you’ve read any blog post where this series comes up, you’ll know that I loved these books when I read them at the beginning of 2012 and I am definitely due for a reread as soon as possible.

I’m a big Libba Bray fan, and since I read her Gemma Boyle books before I started blogging, I went with her standalone book about teenage beauty queens stranded on an island that holds many secrets. And, like Ruby Oliver, it has funny footnotes!

My first Deb Caletti book has remained one of my favorite ones and probably one of the first books that really got me into reading contemporary books.

I was already a fan of The Darkest Powers trilogy when I started blogging – in fact, along with the Gemma Doyle books, they were some of the first reviews I did, if I remember correctly. This companion trilogy came out after I started blogging, though, and I just read the final book in the trilogy this past weekend, so it gets to represent all of Kelley Armstrong’s YA works (haven’t tried her adult books yet, but I might do that in the future).

Unearthly was one of my first official debuts, if I remember correctly, and was a pleasant surprise when I first read it back in 2011. I never had a bad relationship with “angel” books, as many other fans of Unearthly, but it does seem like other angel books have yet to fully measure up.

 

Most people who love Stephanie Perkins list Anna and the French Kiss as their favorite of hers, but I actually enjoyed her second book better. It’s one of those books that I really enjoyed but was never an obsess-over-it-until-it-gets-annoying book for me, yet when I was looking at all the books I had read during my blogging time, I realized that it had actually remained a great read for me, one that I hope to reread soon to rediscover its quirky characters and San Francisco setting.

This was a surprise hit for me and I feel like I’m always talking about how surprised I was to enjoy this high-fantasy book, so I’ll just leave it at this: really, really loved this trilogy (although less sure about the sudden three new books that Maria V. Snyder is apparently going to write).

Just one word is necessary: heartbreaking. OK, I’ll say a few more words: amazing, fascinating, and really, really sad. Don’t read it if you don’t want to cry.

Another one of my first official debuts, so this duology also has a bit of a special place in my heart. Plus, I really love the cover – as soon as I saw it way back in 2010, I knew I wanted to know what the book was about, and I’m glad to say that I enjoyed the story just as much as the cover.

I was surprised by how strongly this book affected me. I thought it was really quite powerful and heartbreaking and an important story to boot. I’m sad that this series hasn’t gotten more attention and thus seems to have ended, but at least there are these two books to think about and possibly reread.

Top Ten Books Learned About Through Blogging

Heard about it through the Debut Challenge and seeing other people participating in the challenge – definitely thankful that I decided to attempt the challenge. What if I hadn’t and never read this book? (Who am I kidding? It has a gorgeous cover – I would have at least picked it up at the bookstore to check it out)

Another debut, but this is a series that I really don’t think I would have picked up if I hadn’t heard raving reviews on other blogs. When I first read the summary, it really didn’t interest me – in fact, it kind of turned me off, with its reference of a love triangle with a “good” boy and a “bad” boy. Yet, I read plenty of reviews and decided to give it a shot and ended up really, really enjoying it. Sometimes positive (or negative) reviews really can make or break a book.

Reading loads of positive reviews of these books definitely led me to read these amazing books. And, again, less is more – love these books, need to reread them.

Well, it was really Anna and the French Kiss that I decided to check out after reading so many glowing reviews, but I liked the second book better, so it ends up on this list.

This looked like yet another fantasy book that probably wouldn’t really interest me, so it took good reviews before I decided to give it a shot and found that I actually quite enjoyed it and read it very quickly.

It’s hard to be in the YA blogging community without hearing about Sarah Dessen, so that was definitely a huge factor in my personal challenge to read as many of her books as possible this summer. My introduction to Sarah Dessen has remained a favorite of the four books I’ve read so far.

Not a big historical fan, so it took quite a few raving reviews to check this book out and realize, yet again, that I often quite enjoy historical books; still not sure I want to check out Ruta Sepetys’s first book about the Holocaust, though – I don’t do very well with realistic tragic events, and the Holocaust definitely fits in that category.

Another historical book, this time with a paranormal twist, that I don’t know if I would have even looked twice at if I didn’t read a really good review from a critical reviewer, and God am I glad I did, because I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Adrienne Kress’s future books.

I used to really shy away from issue-heavy books like Courtney Summers, but I’m glad I finally decided to take the plunge to check out her books. Definitely not happy books, but very emotionally impactful, especially my first experience with her books, Some Girls Are.

(sorry, I apparently forgot to make a graphic for In Honor, and after some trouble with writing this post – darn thing deleted half of this particular list – I was too lazy to make one)

I thought about checking out Jessi Kirby’s first book, Moonglass, for a while, but later changed my mind. After reading some reviews about her second book and deciding the premise sounded interesting enough, though, I ended up reading both it and her first book and really enjoying myself (when I wasn’t crying, that is) and am now really looking forward to the much-loved (even though it just came out last month) Golden, her third book.

Well, making these two lists and the graphics actually took a lot longer than I thought they would, so that’s it for my great third year anniversary. Four is my favorite number, so I’ll have to start planning for a really spectacular fourth anniversary, because there’s no way I can stop when I’m so close to my lucky number!

I hope everyone sticks around for the next year and beyond! I love everyone who takes the time to even just check out my blog and I hope you stick around much longer! And now I’m going to stop writing and using exclamation marks, at least for this post!

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