Two years ago I had a slightly misguided idea to start a blog, that reason is embarrassingly explained in last year's blogoversary post, so I will not be restating it. Regardless, I started this blog for a bad reason and I continued it for a very good one. Being involved in the YA community has not only offered me countless hours of important lessons disguised as entertainment, but it has also given me a network of dependable friends, a chance to interact with amazing authors, and even a career direction. This blog that was started in vain really has changed my life.
Reflecting on where I was two years ago - or even last year - compared to now is difficult for me. Last year's blogoversary was about you, my readers. I hosted a week-long giveaway fest featuring little bits about me and this blog that you might not have know (search blogoversary in the righthand side and they will come up). However, this year is more about me. I am very proud of everything I have created here, but it is difficult to transfer just how I feel without doing things that I don't like doing. I could say that I have over 1,000 followers and have whatever many hits per day/week/month, but I just do not like doing that. I do not like comparing myself to other blogs by way of who has more followers, or who's is "better", etc. and quantitatively assessing my blog following kind of seems that way to me. I am extremely honored and grateful for each of you who visit regularly (or sporadically) in ways that I cannot even explain. Be it 10, 100, 1,000 or 1,549,865 followers, each one of you really makes me smile, and I would continue this blog even if it was for that one person who found it useful.
I would not call this blog perfect, or even exceptional; in fact, I am still amazed that people actually take the time to read what I have to say. In a family of six children, having a way to have your opinion heard and appreciated is very liberating. In the past two years I have posted 572 posts (including this one), which means there has been a cumulative (but not successional) 22.6 weeks in which I have not posted (which amounts to about 5 months). When those numbers are compared in that way, it seems like I have slacked off and mysteriously disappeared; perhaps it seems like I am not as serious as other bloggers. But to me, this is not the case at all. I spend hours and hours writing reviews, contacting authors, organizing the Standalone Reading Challenge ( and Reading Road-Trip), and other blogging duties. I care a great deal about this blog, but I will never be the type of blogger to post everyday, and I've learned to be okay with that. I've made mistakes, I regret some decisions, I could have handled some things better, but overall I take everything as a learning experience and I hope that my blog, and myself, only become better because of it.
You may have noticed that I have not posted much in the past two weeks; I want to say that the lag does not reflect a change in how this blog will run, but rather a period in which my real life took president over this life. I started my senior year of high school and although I am lucky enough to be extremely prepared for the rigor of my classes, I still have had a lot of work. The transition back into school life has taken away most of my reading time. I hope to get back to reading excessively soon, but unfortunately I feel like my blog may be a bit unsteady for a little bit until I get college applications and what-not sorted out. I cannot wait to get back in the grove, so I really hope you stick around!
Which brings me back to my achievements and experiences in the past two years. Rather than mention statistics, I have decided to mention people, because after all, what are statistics without people to contribute to them? There are many people who make me want to keep this blog going, even when I just do not have the time. Here are just some.
Hafsah, it seems silly to think about how our friendship started, but I'm so glad that it did. We share a mutual love for complaining about what we can't have/do (like not going to BEA 2011). I would be lost without your constant nagging and reminders when my old brain forgets something (note to readers: We have an "old married couple" joke... I am not actually being really mean.). Hosting the Standalone Reading Challenge (which you should all sign up for if you haven't already) and the Reading Road-Trip with you has been filled with both drama and laughs, and I cannot wait to do it again with you... only more organized next time.
Mitali and Rachel. I mean, do I have to say anything else? You two are not directly related to this blog (do you even read it? ;) but you two have become a great part of my life because of our "bookish" connections. Mitali, you put up with my late arrivals to book signings, general lack of knowledge and me not having read so many awesome books with grace (most of the time). Rachel, you also put up with my shenanigans - like constant kombucha cravings, ramblings and stalker tendencies. Both of which I am extremely thankful for. I get so excited when I know I will be seeing either of you, and thank you both SO much for all of the books you have gifted me.
Danny, thank you so much for constantly reading and commenting, and often being the only one to give some love to a lonely post. I admire your ability to manage your amazing blog and still have time to pop over here all the time. I am SO mad that I missed you at the Teen Author Carnival, but next time you are in the NYC area, I will find some way to meet you there.
Lisa, thank you for being an active participant in everything I host here, as well as a friend on Twitter. Our conversations always make me laugh and you make me feel like people actually care about my first world problems.
There are so many authors that have been lucky enough to meet, but I wanted to give a shout out to two special girls. Alecia Whitaker who is the author of the extremely funny The Queen of Kentucky as well as the host of the Baby Book on Youtube (which I watch religiously even though I do not plan on parenting anytime soon - so you should too!). You should get aquatinted with her novel or with her on twitter, because she constantly makes me smile. Then of course there is Elizabeth Eulberg, the author of The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom & Prejudice, and Take a Bow. I am eagerly awaiting book #4, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality sounds like a great time. I feel like I haven't seen either of you in forever, but you still play a role in me continuing to be involved in this book "world". Let's meet up soon (I'll bring the cookies).
Lastly, but definitely not least, thank you to Danielle Ellison. Danielle used to be a blogger at Frenzy of Noise which was one of the blogs that shaped my interpretation of what a book blog should be and she constantly wrote thought provoking posts. Now she is an editor at Spencer Hill Press and an aspiring author. Danielle, you are one of the nicest people I have ever had the joy of interacting with. Meeting you for the first time just a few months ago I already felt like I knew you. Thank you for all the amazing opportunities you have given me, both knowing and unknowingly.
So 2 years and one extremely long post (which I'm interested to see if anyone actually reads...) later, I am ready to tackle number 3. Three's the magic number, right?