I have to say that I never expected blogging to be such a big part of my life. I may be repeating myself and this story over and over, but especially around Thanksgiving, it’s one I need to tell again. I mean, of course I WANTED people to read my blog back when I first started it in April 2012 but I figured I would write up reviews, strangers would read them and maybe they’d find a new book to read. Maybe they’d even comment! I had no idea that it would turn into a community, best friendships, a passion, a place where I belong — something that totally changed my life.
I’m Thankful for… the friends.
Yes, book blogging naturally = books but I never expected to equal best friendships. I’ve found my “soul friends” — people who I talk to all day, every day; people who I share everything with; people who have the same interests as me; people who I grew close enough to that they drove all the way out to Illinois from the east coast to be bridesmaids in my wedding. I am SO, SO thankful for Alyssa and Amy and I don’t know what I’d do without them! I’m so grateful that blogging brought us all together and helped us form this bond across the country. (Oh, and we also formed On the Same Page because we just can’t NOT read books together!)
I’ve also become close with SO many more amazing people that I never would have met without blogging. My first group feature — formerly Casting Call, now The Selective Collective — helped me form a bond with the wonderful ladies of Gone Pecan, Teen Lit Rocks, YA Crush, and The Grown-Up YA. We’ve had many, many emails about books, our lives, and so much more! I’m so fortunate to have met Sandie in person a few times (even though we’ve only been able to see each other at BEA) and I can’t wait for the day when we have our first Selective Collective reunion! This was the first group of ladies who really brought me in for a group project and really made me feel like I belonged in this community!
I also feel like I have a special bond with my Pub Date girls! Estelle, Andi, Maggie and I were all pretty good friends before we formed our book & beer feature, but our friendships just keep growing every day! I’ve known Estelle the longest and we’ve had some pretty good heart-to-hearts and Andi and I have gone in together on quite a few projects recently too! (And I need to tell her all of my feels from The Winner’s Crime!) Maggie and I still need to meet in person but I hope that day will come soon!!
And last but not least, where would I be without my Mistborn feels!? Thanks to Nikki for being there for me while I read Mistborn (and then I returned the favor with Blue Lily, Lily Blue)! I’m sure we’ll have many more feels to talk about (and let’s actually meet up in person someday)!
Of course, I can’t mention EVERYONE by name because there are so many amazing friendships I’ve formed throughout these past two years, but just know that if you’re reading this and we’ve interacted, I’m very grateful for you too! I appreciate every comment and Twitter chat and Goodreads update and excited email! You guys are my people and I can’t thank you enough for making me feel like I belong!
I’m Thankful for… opportunities.
When I started my blog, I never once thought about receiving books to review — whether that was digitally or physical copy. I didn’t even KNOW advanced copies existed. I was just going to read books and review them. It’s been such a dream come true (well, apparently a dream I didn’t know I had!) to be able to receive books from publishers in physical form and be approved to review egalleys and to read books before they’re released.
I NEVER would have thought I’d be going to book conferences like BEA 2013 and BEA 2014 — with plans to attend ALAMW in January 2015! Not only have I attended author events, but I’ve met and even interviewed some of my FAVORITE AUTHORS! I fell in love with their books and then dreams came true again when I got to interview them in person like with Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer + many, many more! I even got to MODERATE the Fierce Reads event in October of this year! I cannot even tell you how amazing that was.
I’m thankful for… the stories.
I’ve always been a reader but never have I fallen so in love with books as I am now. Something about YA just clicks with me and I just connect to these books and these authors and this community more than I ever have. I never thought I would have loved books about cyborgs or a boarding school in Paris or even finally finding a book with fae that not only enjoyed but fell in love with. (Don’t ask me why — I just don’t usually connect with fae/fairy plots!)
These books — and the things I’ve been able to do because of them — have changed me for the better. I’ve had incredible adventures, fallen in love all over again, relived my past, and made new best friends with these characters. I’ve expanded my horizons, met new people, and traveled to new places. Not only do I flail over the new stories I read, but I also have my own new stories to tell — from going to BEA to meeting an author to my best friends driving in for my wedding. Book blogging has brought so many wonderful things and opportunities into my life and I cannot express how grateful I am to be a part of each and every one of them, and I have the entire book and blogging community to thank for it!
Thank YOU for being a part of my life and making it that much better each and every day! I feel so lucky to be able to have my hobby be such an enriching part of my life and this community just enhances it. Hope everyone has a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!