Once again, and quite surprisingly, we are passing another annual benchmark here at Bibliophilia, Please. From what started as a one (wo)man lovefest for Kevin Hearne and the great YA Kayla stumbled upon in 2011 has evolved into two well-educated, eloquent, and magnificent women sharing and reviewing the books they love. And then, of course, there is Kayla. (Will is, unfortunately, still missing.)
Be sure to stop back by each day to see how 2014 was for Janelle, Amber, and Kayla; enter the giveaway on Wednesday; and maybe see a special guest post from an up-and-coming author.
2014 was a busy year for me. I graduated college and became the first person in my immediate family to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. I sent my 13-year-old to Europe for three weeks. I had back surgery, then starting working from home full-time. I attended a writing conference and pitched agents my YA contemporary novel. I published two poems, one in an anthology that now sits proudly on my bookshelf, swished in between books by my favorite authors. I started my website, discovered Tumblr, and uploaded YouTube videos (although I have to admit I watch more than I make). I started back to school, working my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.
I also joined Bibliophilia, Please because reading books has always been a constant part in my life. This year I read an eclectic mix of mostly young adult books. Grasshopper Jungle (I thought it was about THORNY grasshoppers), Code Name Verity, and The Truth about Alice all came as recommendations from my writing conference. My YA novel contains a gay character so I read Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Two Boys Kissing to learn more about gay and transgender characters. I read award finalists and winners like The Surrender Tree, Speak, and Brown Girl Dreaming. I even read non-fiction like The Opposite of Loneliness and The Port Chicago 50. For school I read Esperanza Rising, The Raft, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
I think The Truth About Alice and Speak were two of my favorites because they were about such emotional topics. The Truth About Alice is a must read for my 13-year-old son before he's allowed on any date (including a dance), and I already forced him to sit through the movie Speak (starring a young Kristen Stewart and based on the book). I think those were the two stories that had the most impact on me personally and really made me stop and think about what goes on in life.
I am very excited to see what 2015 brings. Reading and writing are such a large part of my life and I am so honored to share my thoughts and feelings on those topics here with you.