Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: A Year in Review

2012 has been an amazing year. I may have learned more about writing, patience, frustration, and joy than any year before. I’ve made awesome new friends through Twitter, who have encouraged and supported me while making me giggle. I also found my critique partners this year, and I probably haven’t said it enough, but having them help me to become a better writer has been incredible. They’ve pushed me past my comfort zone and cheered for me every step of the way. If you’re a writer and don’t have critique partners, you need some. Get connected with your local writing group or find them online. (I found mine through Maggie Steifvater’s love connection, but there is an awesome new website out there for finding critique partners. Check it out at

The biggest thing that happened to me this year was that I sold my YA debut novel Reclaimed to Spencer Hill Contemporary. Go here for the story. I just want to say that working with my editor Danielle (and everyone else at SHP) on edits has been such an awesome experience. I can’t wait to finally share this book with the world!

While my writing life had a great year (I also finished the first draft of another novel I’m really excited about), my reading life was great as well. I got to go to Harry Potter world in Universal this summer! The Harry Potter books mean a lot to me and are one of the the reasons I read and write young-adult. I mostly read adult classics in high school, and as an English major in college, I was kind of a literature snob. I was pretty put out when I had to take a children’s literature class, but that was when I fell in love with the genre. I read the first three Harry Potter books (the fourth hadn’t been released yet) as well as The Giver, The Westing Game, and The Chronicles of Narnia, just to name a few.

I didn’t read as many books this year as I normally do, but I think that is because I also read several manuscripts (2012 was the first year that I read other people's manuscripts, and I have learned so much from this) and wrote a lot. Here’s my reading recap of 2012:

Books Read – 62

Those that were re-reads – 8

I re-read Divergent and the Harry Potter series this year. I gave Divergent a second read because I’d assigned it to my English II students and because Insurgent was coming out. (They loved it, by the way. Not sure I’ve ever had that many kids actually read the assigned novel.) I allowed myself to re-read the HP series (I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve read it) since I was going to Harry Potter world. I also finally talked my husband into reading the series. I always feel a little guilty re-reading books when there are so many great new ones I should get to, but getting lost in a re-read is a little like going home.

Adult – 12

If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say Language of Flowers. This book is so beautifully written it made me ache. The story is sad but hopeful, but it was the writing that really did it for me.

Honorable Mention: Shadow of Night  This book did get a bit tedious at times, but I’m a huge fan of the series. I read the first book, A Discovery of Witches, right after it came out, and it was so good I read it twice in the same week. If you haven’t read this series yet, check it out. It has vampires, witches, and a whole lot of history.

Nonfiction – 3

Favorite: Reading Lolita in Tehran
I don’t read many nonfiction titles, so it’s easy to make my best list. But I love this book so much. It was heartbreaking and well-written.

YA – 47

Obviously I can’t pick my favorite YA’s because there are too many, but here’s a list of the ones I really enjoyed:

Shadow and Bone

The Fault in our Stars

A Million Suns

Code Name Verity


Raven Boys



  1. 2012 was a GREAT year because now we're book sisters and it's awesome! I can't wait for BEA, though!! ALL THE SHENANIGANS WILL BE HAD! ;)