The Book Closes on 2013

OMG you guys. 2013 is almost over. Kristy and I thought it fitting to spend some time looking back on 2013 - the highs as well as the lows!

What has been the best part of blogging in 2013?

Melissa - I’ve had a really interesting year. At one point in this year (May) I lost my passion and was about to close the website, when I decided last minute to book a call out for a co-blogger. And Kristy has been amazing. I am going to say that she has been the best part of blogging for me this year, because she’s not only helped keep this site up and running, but she helped me reignite my love for blogging again! Together we created new features, had some really awesome discussions and of course read some great books. 2013 has turned into my best year for blogging!

I also went to my first author meet and greet this year, where I met Gayle Forman, Myke Bartlett and Vikki Wakefield which was amazing. I also went to my first book launch as well. I met authors, other bloggers and publishers, and so it was a really good year for me for socialising and putting myself out there. I plan to do heaps more next year!

Kristy - What hasn’t been the best part? Every moment since I joined Book Nerd Reviews mid this year, I have had the best time! So, I will break it down into 4 categories: Melissa, bloggers, followers and publishers/publicists.

  • Melissa: Melissa has been wonderful!!! I know it might seem that I have to say that, but for those who know me, know I wouldn’t say it unless it was true. Book Nerd Reviews was founded by Melissa, and she took a gamble on taking me on as a co-blogger - and I am so thankful she did! Melissa has been utterly amazing to me - she has far exceeded any expectations I could have had for a co-blogger. She has been more than welcoming, helpful, lovely and supportive. I didn’t gain a blogging partner, I gained a great friend, and that in itself is priceless! (Melissa, you totes rock lady! Thanks for everything x)
  • Bloggers: I have met so many wonderful bloggers since joining Book Nerd Reviews! They have supported me, helped me, taught me, made me smile and overall, have been fantastic. I thank every blogger for what they have done for me this year!
  • Followers: Yes, I may be biased, but we have the best followers! The support that was shown to me when I joined Book Nerd Reviews blew me away, and that continued support is very much appreciated! We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you, so thank you for everything!
  • Publishers/Publicists: Once again, here is another very supportive group! i have “met” some amazing people in the publishing world, and they have helped me to no end during my newbie-phase. I appreciate everyone that I have contact with, and everything they do for me!

What has been your favourite book(s) of 2013?

Melissa - A question that’s impossible for a book blogger to answer. So there’s a few - Looking For Alaska - John Green, Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) - Tahereh Mafi, The Coldest Girl In Coldtown - Holly Black, Just One Day (Just One Day #1) - Gayle Forman and Graffiti Moon - Cath Crowley.

Kristy - This is never an easy question to answer! My favourite would have to be Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. But, there have been so many other wonderful books: Darkest Mind/Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken, Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas, Angelfall/World After by Susan Ee, When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach and Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover. And then there are my favourite novellas: Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor and Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover.

What have you enjoyed most about books in 2013?

Melissa - I found my passion for reading again! After falling into a slump I never thought I’d get out of, I was able to start enjoying reading again. I still slump every now and then (Book blogger problems, I know you all hear me!), but overall, I love what I do and I love reading. I’ve been privileged to read some wonderful books, and I finished some really good series in 2013!

Kristy - What I have enjoyed the most is all the “great”. All the great books basically! I read so many great books. I know this doesn’t sound like a highlight, but it really is. I don’t think I’ve read a book that I didn’t like since I joined Book Nerd Reviews - and the fact that I haven’t read a book I didn’t really like in 6 months is a great thing (my luck can’t last forever).

I read so many great sequels. I am always wary of sequels, and rarely enjoy them as much as the first in a series, but I have read so many great sequels this year: Crown of Midnight, Never Fade, World After - just to name a few.

And all the great novellas, I have actually enjoyed novellas this year. I know this sounds odd, but in all honest, I have never been a huge fan of novellas. I can’t say that I disliked them, but previously I didn’t find them fantastic either. Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor and Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover certainly changed my mind on novellas!

What is your favourite book to movie adaptation of 2013?

Melissa - I don’t even need to think - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Kristy and I are both in agreement on this! It was incredible!

Kristy - Without a doubt, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. What an amazing adaptation this was!

What has been your bookish highlight of 2013?

Melissa - Probably meeting Gayle Forman in June. She’s one of my all time favourite authors, and not only did I get to meet her and get some books signed, but I got a HUG and I got to have a really good chat to her as well, and we recommended reads to each other. That was a really amazing moment for me since it was the first author I had actually met, AND she was one of my very favourites, so I was just overwhelmed at how cool that was.

2013 was a big year for Kristy and I in terms of author support. We reviewed a so many books this year, and authors for the first time really actively went out there to thank us for reading their books. That’s not why we review books obviously, but all the same, it was actually really nice. Especially when you’re the first person to provide an author with a review. I’ll never forget Sarah Ayoub’s reaction to the review I wrote of Hate Is Such A Strong Word. She said she started crying because I just got her characters so well. It was such a sweet thing for her to tell me, and it reminded me how important this is to authors. This is their livelihood.

Annnnnnd Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I went in Gold Class with a bunch of girlfriends. We had so much to drink and eat and just had the best night in our recliner chairs absorbing every minute. Amazing.

Kristy - So many great things! But three immediately jump to mind.

First, Jim Di Bartolo followed me on Twitter and thanked me for my book reveal post of In The Shadows. This was a total fangirl moment for me, as I love Jim’s art!

The second would be Laini Taylor releasing Night of Cake and Puppets. I wasn’t expecting a novella from my favourite series, but Laini surprised us, and I am so grateful! (and yes, I do recognise that 2 of my favourite bookish things relate to the Taylor/Di Bartolo family - I am not ashamed about that one bit).

And last, but not least, would be The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie. Firstly, this was a fantastic movie, but more importantly, I got to see this with a lot of my bookish friends from all over Australia. It was a great trip!

And since we are doing the best, we must to do the worst - what was your least favourite book you read in 2013?

Melissa - Nameless (Tales of Beauty and Madness #1) – Lili St. Crow… I didn’t even get 100 pages in. I just couldn’t.

Kristy - Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - I read this before I joined Book Nerd Reviews, and while I know that so many love this book, I just could not connect to it.

Final thoughts on 2013….

Melissa - 2013 had it all for me! At times I was over blogging and ready to walk away, but then I found my passion for blogging all over again and in hindsight, I am SO happy Kristy came on board BNR. It’s been really fun having a co-blogger because Kristy has also become a really good friend to me as well. So that’s been an amazing part of my year.

In regards to the website, we’ve tried some new things this year that I feel have really paid off for us, and we’ve experimented with other things that we may not do again, or may park it and try it again later. I am really excited going into 2014 to see where this year is going to take us. A new blog layout will be on it’s way soonish, a new look and feel (but not too different!), and I am sure Kristy and I will come up with even more features to try out next year as well.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of our readers, those who have visited BNR for the last three years, and those who just started following us today for all of your support. We’ve had our most successful year this year, and I can’t even begin to imagine what next year looks like, but I am excited all the same. I hope you’ll all come along with us for the journey, and thank you for being a part of this alongside us this year. x

Kristy - I have had a fantastic year, both reading and blogging. I have found some amazing authors this year, and I have also started to read some more contemporary books, and I am glad that I now have more of a balance between contemporary, paranormal and dystopian. There are also so many sequels that I am really looking forward to in the new year, thanks to some amazing series starters I have read this year. I have read so many great books, and thankfully only a few that I didn’t like (before joining Melissa here), and while that is a great thing, I have actually missed out on the opportunity to do a “negative” review. I know it will happen - it is just a matter of time. There has only been 2 things that disappointed me this year when it comes to books: there have been a few cover changes that I was disappointed in this year (I hate cover changes mid series), and the 2 novella’s that I adored (Finding Cinderella and Night of Cake and Puppets) only came out as ebooks - I really, really, really want printed copies of these books!

My entry into the blogging world has been nothing short of amazing. And that is thanks to all of you! Whether you are a follower of Book Nerd Reviews, a blogger from another blog, a publicist, an author or a book retailer - you have all made my entry into blogging a wonderful experience, and I thank you for your patience, support and friendship. You have made my 2013 great!

Book Nerd Reviews has had some amazing achievements in 2013, and I am thankful to have been a part of it. Melissa created a wonderful blog in Book Nerd Reviews, I was a fan before joining as co-blogger, so I would have been happy about its success even if I hadn’t joined her here. I am grateful for everything Melissa is, everything she has done for me and for her hard work in building Book Nerd Reviews. I also appreciate all the support received from Book Nerd Review followers when I came on board - and you continued support throughout the year. It is thanks to you that we were able to achieve such great things!

I can’t wait to see you all in 2014! Happy reading!

What do you think?

  • I don’t have much to say on this post, except you guys are ridiculously adorable.
    Your blog is one of my all time favourites.
    And I hope your 2014 year of reading and blogging is as good as this one has been :D

    • Melissa says:

      haha Thanks Chiara!! :) We are rather sickening!

      And thank you for regularly stopping by and commenting. It’s been awesome to have the support of people like yourself. We really appreciate it!

      Likewise, I hope you have an amazing 2014!
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #67My Profile

  • Hands down to Catching Fire! I think that’s the best book to movie adaptation this year, too. I still need to read Just One Day by Gayle Forman. Her books If I Stay and Where She Went are just fantastic, and I’ll definitely be reading her other books next year. I’m really glad you both had an amazing bookish year! I hope 2014 is more amazing than this year to the both of you. :) 2013 was a pretty amazing blogging year for me as well. I reached my Goodreads goal which is to read 100 books, and I got autoapproved by 2 publishers (Angry Robot and HarperTeen). I’m very excited for what 2014 has in store for me. Hope you guys have a great New Year’s!

    • Melissa says:

      Easily right?! Yes - definitely read Just One Day (and the companion, Just One Year) they’re really good!!

      Congratulations on reaching your goal of 100 books! I failed on that this year, but there’s always next year for me. I hope 2014 is even bigger and better for you my dear! x
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #67My Profile

  • I’m just so glad you didn’t give up, Melissa, BNR is one of my favourite book blogging sites. The fact that you are Australian makes it even more awesome. Kristy has been a wonderful addition and it has been nice interacting with her. I look forward to seeing what you girls bring us in the new year!

    • Melissa says:

      Awww Rochelle, thank you!! That’s super sweet, and I am really glad I didn’t give up too. This year has turned out to be the best one yet! Here’s to 2014!

      Thanks so much for all your support - I know you’re a regular visitor of ours, and we love seeing familiar faces around this place! x
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #67My Profile

  • Kristin says:

    Catching Fire was seriously good. It wasn’t my favorite book in the trilogy - I thought it dragged a little - but the movie hit all the highlights at a good pace. I like this version of a reflection post. You get to have an expansive conversation vs. a list of favorites. I found your blog via Asti @ A Bookish Heart, and I’ll be checking back to see what you are up to in 2014!

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Kristin. I agree, I think the movie contained all the right things, and showed the right emotions, to capture the essence of Catching Fire without it feeling dragged out.
      It is good to hear that you liked our reflection post :) Lists can be good, but sometimes (especially with favourites) you just want to talk about a book :)
      We must thank Asti for directing you to our blog. We look forward to seeing you around here at Book Nerd Reviews :)

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