For just a few minutes, I want to ignore all of the nonsense that happened and focus on some of the good things. Because no matter how bad the year, there are still people who make you smile, events that make you cheer, and books that make you cry.
The good things from my 2016?
- I published two books! Mark this one down in history, because I'm not sure it will ever happen again. It was a lot of work, but I'm so proud of Pieces of You and Me and All Laced Up, and so thrilled that I get to continue making my dream of being an author come true!
- I got a new job! Same company, different position. It merges my love of writing with my teaching experience, and I love it!
- I went to NYC again! The 2016 Writer's Digest Conference was a blast. I learned a lot, hung out with some awesome people, and solidified my love for the city.
- I indulged my inner theater junkie. The theater is one of my favorite places, and I spent as much time there as possible! Some of the shows I saw include Curious Incident, The Lion King, Kinky Boots, Fun Home, Newsies, RENT, A Christmas Carol, and The Grinch. (AND I'M SEEING HAMILTON IN 2017 OMG.)
- I also read some amazing books. It was impossible to choose just one "best book of 2016," so I cheated and choose several in different categories. (It's my blog; I get to make the rules, right?)
Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner -- This book made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think about it long after I finished reading.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline -- This was a book that made me want to do nothing but go for long drives and walks so I had a reason to keep listening.
Best Contemporary YA
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saaed -- Unique, beautifully written, un-put-down-able.
Best SciFi YA
Purge by Kat Ellis -- This book was incredibly creatively plotted and well-executed. I adored spending time with these characters in this intense world.
There are so many other books I loved...Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown, The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra Highley, This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson...let's just say 2017 has a lot to live up to in terms of good books, but I'm both hopeful for and optimistic about another good book year!
Are we ready for 2017? Maybe. Maybe not. But will there be good things next year? Absolutely. Let's go out and find them. Make them. We got this, y'all. See you in 2017.