Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: Ain't nobody got time for that!

First Wed of Every Month

(Check out the IWSG website here.)

It's the first Wednesday of the month. . . and not just any month, of NOVEMEBER! Which means it's my second IWSG! So I was going to write a long and detailed post about a famazing (Fabulous + amazing = famazing. Yes, that is a word. I am a writer, therefore I am allowed to create words.) idea having to do with relationships, both in writing and real life, but you're just going to have to wait, because I need to get back to my novel.

My quick thought for today is this: I have basically been guilting myself into writing this month. Which can be a good thing! Guilt can be a very good thing, when you put it to good use. It took me a while to discover that guilt is good for something. Just make sure you channel it toward the right things. I've learned I need to turn my guilt into determination and PRESS ON.

So, fellow Wrimos, PRESS ON.

And, whether you're a Wrimo or you're a Wrimo looking for a break, I have three things for you to do today.

1. Watch this!
LOVE LOVE LOVE Kid President! Best use of YouTube EVER. This his latest. . .so much truth here.

2. Go over to Faith Hough's blog and wish her congratulations on her new baby!!

3. Send an email to a writer who inspires you. Whether or not they are doing Nano, encourage them to PRESS ON in whatever they are working on. Seriously. Don't put this off; it takes less than five minutes.

So that's it for my IWSG! Now back to my book. . .*sigh*. Writing rocks.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kidlit Blog Tour!!!

I'm so excited to be participating in this Kidlit blog tour!! Actually, I'm a bit late. . .I was supposed to post on Monday, but life's been a bit crazy lately, with school and Nano prep. Sorry about that! Anyway, I was asked by R.T. Finneran (and you need to check out her blog, as she is an epically amazing writer:  to participate. This blog tour couldn't have come at a better time, since I get to explain to you guys what I will be writing this November.

Oh yeah, baby, I said it. . .NaNoWriMo #3, here I come! I kind of think I'm completely insane, but whatever. BRING IT, NOVEMEBER!

Now, then, here we go. . . .

What are you working on right now?

I'm currently working on what I like to refer to as a book of multiple genres. It's a YA book that's basically a modern fairytale. The overview is this: when Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger on her sixteenth birthday, she falls asleep, right? But she never gets kissed. . .and my book picks up when she wakes up a hundred years later. Hopefully, I'll be able to post excerpts soon! I finished the first draft a few months ago, but some MAJOR revisions need to be done. . .oh yeah, and it's called AWAKEN. And it'll hopefully be the first in a trilogy. . . .

How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Well, there are no werewolves of vampires, even though it does have a bit of a supernatural/sci-fi flare. Also, though it certainly isn't Christian fiction, faith plays a prominant role in the life of a rather significant character. I haven't really seen that a whole lot in the YA world.

Why do you write what you do?
I seriously think I've written almost every single genre, whether it be in the form of a novel, poem, or short story. I think I may be a little bit ADHD when it comes to writing. It takes a lot of self-control for me not to change projects the insant a new idea pops into my head. But no matter what I write, it is a reflection of my life. The characters are reflections of people I know and/or want to know. I write what I do because of what I've expirienced in my life. What has happened to me in life dictates what I do and don't write.

Also, what I read very heavily forms what I write. I attempt to try new techniques that I see used and steer clear of things that just didn't work. It's a lovely thing, learning from other people's successes as well as mistakes! 

How does your writing process work?

Ummm. . .well, I have the most random, unorganized writing process ever. Just to warn you. But it works, so hey, I'm happy as long as I write something! Usually my process involves me getting an idea (usually at an absolutely terrible time, of course, when I can't write it down right away) and then sprinting to the nearest writing utensil and paper/napkin/paper towel as soon as possible. I love turning the idea over and over in my mind, those minutes of anticipation before actually getting the first words down on paper.

And then, because I have no patience, I don't even outline. Once I get that writing bug, I can't outline, I just need to WRITE. Until about three chapters later, when I realize that I'm going absolutely nowhere and my characters are incredibly flat. THEN I outline. After that, it's write, write, write!

Any departing words of wisdom for other authors?

Three things came to mind and I just couldn't decide which one to do, so you get them all!

1. FORCE yourself to write. It's more important to push on in those moments when it feels impossible than in the times when it comes easy and the words flow like they were always meant to be together. It's in those "dry" days that make us writers because that is when other people would normally quit. Push on, stay strong, and WRITE ON!

2. DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T compare!!!!! You are just where you are supposed to be on the writing journey and you're not done yet. Don't be down on yourself because of the success of others. 

3. Friends are basically the best thing ever. Let them in on your writing life! Share your WIP with them, even if they're not writers. Their support encourages you to reach crazy heights you'd never believe you'd be able to reach by yourself. 

And next up, I asked fellow blogger Anna ( answer these same questions! She's an incredible writer and friend of mine...stop by her blog and give her a follow =)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG: Shine

First Wed of Every MonthThis is my very first Insecure Writer's Support Group post! *Excited squeal!* I have followed Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog for a while. . .I read his blog even before I started this baby. It's so awesome to have joined the group! (Check out the website here.)

Ahem. And now for my post. . ..

It's Cross Country and Soccer season.

...which means getting up Saturdays before seven and going to some park for five-plus hours to watch kids run their butts off and then throw up and cry. Pleasent. And it's impossible to know how to dress because for the first two to three hours it's freezing cold and all I can think about is my bed. Then it warms up to like seventy or eighty for the rest of the idea and all I can think is "Why did I wear these jeans?" 

And then there's Soccer Sunday! Which means I have to walk from field to field for three or four hours watching little kids push and shove and kick the ball. It also means I have to miss my Green Bay Packer games. Ugh.

No, but honestly, I love watching my siblings play sports. They have been blest with some incredible athletic-ness that I am in awe of because I greatly lack it. Did I say greatly? Greatly. 


The best is meeting people at these sporting events. 

"Oh, what sport do you play, honey?" The person (usually a woman) will ask, her grin spread from ear to ear.

"I'm kinda the un-official cheerleader. But I'm not like, a real cheerleader." I'll reply, with a small smile. "My siblings all play sports, so. . .but um, I don't play a sport."

"Oh." she'll say, her smile falling just slightly. "Well, do you play an instrument?"

"No, but my siblings do!" I'll say.

"Hmmm. Are you in any clubs at school, sweetheart?"

"Uh. No, not yet, we just moved–"

At this point my mom usually intervenes.

"She's our writer," she'll say, like that explains everything.

She'll nod like she understands. And then I'll make some excuse and leave or change the subject.

Ok, let's be real here. Writing is WORK. It's having ideas swimming through your brain that prevent you from ever getting a decent night's sleep. It's feeling sick to your stomach when you feel like whatever you've just written is terrible and you don't know how to fix it. Writing is finger cramps and sore arms. Writing is staring at a blank piece of paper for hours and knowing what to write but not how to write it. It's an answering machine with thirty un-heard messages and an inbox full of un-read messages. Writing is relief running through your veins, a symphony playing out before your eyes.

Writing sometimes involves hiding under the bed in fear of your manuscript. It also can involve us trying to shove our writing self under the bed.

I have been having a major problem. I act like a closet writer sometimes. Fine, usually. I usually act like a  closet writer.

So I woke up the other day and sunlight was streaming in my window and birds were singing. A voice from the sky said to me: Don't be a closet writer! Let your writer-ness shine. Don't feel embarressed telling people that you're a writer. Why?! Why do you need to feel embarressed?! You have been given a wonderful gift!

And after the voice was finished, I jumped out of my window and into the arms of a guy (who greatly resembled Chris Hemsworth) on a white horse. Then we rode off into the sunset and got married and had fourteen children and lived happily ever after. The end.

. . .if only it was so easy. I have come to the realization of what is means to fully embrace my writer-ness over a long time through sweat and tears. And now that I know I need to do it, the challenge is to actually do it. . .

I think part of the reason that people feel awkward or embarressed is that they feel like the other person doesn't understand or will judge them. First of all, how can it be so bad to be judged as a writer!? What could they say? "Oh yeah, Anne Marie's a writer. She writes. She thinks that she'll be published." Those people are just losers. Prove them wrong! Write, write, write and GET published! And then dedicate your book to them.

Secondly, about people not understanding. You know what I say to that?


Who cares if they understand what it means to be a writer? Who cares if they know anything of the joys and struggles? 

Be true to yourself. Be true to the writer that you are.

...but with realizing our writer-ness, we also need to realize that what we write doesn't make or break us. What we can do doesn't define us.

This has been another recent challenge of mine recently.

I'm a control freak, I admit it. I have to know what is going to happen and how. I sometimes drive my mom crazy with my need to know what's going on=)

I was having a sort-of mini crisis recently. I was feeling like I can't write, so why try? I felt like everything I was putting down on paper was irrelevent and poorly stated. Of course, then I started comparing myself to other writers (the WORST thing a writer can do) and how successful they are.

Let me just say, I couldn't have read TINAWM at a better time!

But more importantly, I think I have been basing a lot of my worth in what I write. I have been basing my worth in how much people like what I write. I've been basing my worth in the success of her writing.

And then it hit me–I am SO much more than just a writer. There is so much more to me than being able to put words on paper.

I am a person, beautifully and wonderfully made. I was DELIBRATELY formed in my mother's womb. I have a purpose. I am kind, smart, and important (thank you, Aibileen). My dreams and mistakes don't make me. Neither past nor future defines me. 

I am a human being, a daughter of God. Who happens to be able to write.

SO, today, remember this:
1. Don't cover up your writer-ness! Don't be a closet writer. Don't be a writer only when you're writer. Be a writer when it's comfortable and when it isn't.

2. There is so much more to you than what you're abilities are and are not. You are an incredible human being. With the gift of writing.

Shine as a human being. Shine as a writer.

What about you guys? Do you have any of these struggles?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This Is Not A Writing Manual–uh, can I say AMAZING?!

I have just read the BEST WRITING BOOK. EVER. Hands down.

I feel like my writing life has over gone a complete makeover. I am seriously mind blown by the sheer awesomeness of TINAWM (This Is Not A Writing Manual). 

Who should read this book?

Every single writer in the world. Whether you are 12 or 72, you NEED to read this book. It doesn't matter if you're just beginning your first-first draft or if you're J.K. Rowling. The book seems  to be marketed toward teenagers, but every writer has much to learn from TNAWM. READ THIS BOOK!

Why should you read this book?

Because I told you to! Duh.

Seriously, though, there is so much information to be gleaned from this book. It covers everything from sitting down and writing to drawing inspiration from everyday life to publishing and everything in between.

It encouraged me to BE A WRITER. 

It challenged me not to compare myself to other writers. It showed me that publishing a book and being a successful writer IS POSSIBLE. It taught me never  to write about something that I am not passionate about. It challenged me not to be afraid to leave one WIP and begin another. It affirmed my belief that there is a seriously awesome writing community. It challenged me not to let my insecurities get in the way of my writing and to better channel that energy.

And honestly? That's only the very beginning.

Kerri Majors affirmed me, challenged me, made me laugh, and made me think. I could probably write a whole book about how much I love her book. You should read this book because I GUARANTEE you that you will be challenged. You will learn something new. You will be encouraged and be inspired.

And it's not even that long! I finished it in one week, even with my super busy school-sports-homework schedule! (No, I still don't play a sport. . .but I cheer my darling siblings on.)

SO READ IT. Especially if you have been feeling blah about your writing lately. I recently started the second draft of my WIP and, let me tell you, writing is WORK. Right?! I mean, good work, but work nonetheless. TINAWM pushed me forward, telling me that every single part of the writing process is SO worth it. There is something to be learned from every rejection, from every victory. From every blah-in-between day.

Thank you, Kerri Majors. You seriously ROCK. By the way, check out Kerri's website:


Friday, August 23, 2013


August marked the one year birthday of my blog. 

Ahem. Where has the time gone?!

It has been a life changing year full of blessings, beauty, and surprises. It's been insane. In a good way. Well, mostly good, at least.

It has been a very, very crazy ride. And I owe lots of people lots of thanks.

Number One Thanks: JESUS! Because You rock my world. Thank You for holding me always, through both peace and turmoil.

Number Two: My parents! Thank you, Dad, for encouraging me to do things out of my comfort zone. Thank you for pushing me to greatness. Mom, thank you for always being there for me to cry or laugh or whatever with. Thank you for choosing to give me life. Thank you for your love and support.

Number Three: My absolutely beautiful, amazing cousin, Alex. You are wise beyond your years, girlfriend. Thank you for every time you've held me when I've cried and listened to me blubber over the phone. Thank you for laughing with me and staying up until. . .well, let's just say, very late. . .to listen and talk to me. Thank you for all the help you did in creating this blog--it seriously wouldn't have been posible without you. You're doing great things, love, and you are going to do so many more. To infinity and beyond!

Number Four: A very special thanks goes to Jen Wagner ( Jen, you are so talented in absolutely everything you do. I'm so, so blest that you are a part of my life. Thank you for telling me which books to read and which books not to. Thanks for telling me to start the blog in the first place. Thank you for always being there for me to rant to and for being excited with me about every little writing milestone. I can't wait to put your book on my shelf someday!

Number Five: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, to Faith Hough (
 )! Faith, I have looked up to you since day one. Thank you for your critiques of my writing. I value your opinion so very much. Thank you for reading what I write and for letting me peek into the mind of a creative genius. You seriously inspire me to no end. Every time I see your name pop up in my inbox, it makes me smile. Thank you=)

Number Six: Jeannette Smejkal (, you are ULTRA-AMAZING. Thank you for being the first to read my WIP and being honest with me about every single aspect of it. I've been so blest to work with you. You are a huge inspiration to me. I cannot believe how crazy talented you are. Thank you for keeping me writing.

Number Seven: Linda Kemper, who is probably the most giving person ever. Kempy, thank you for reading all my blog posts and always asking about my writing. Thank you for always being there for me. Words cannot express how grateful I am for you.

Number Eight: YOU! I have interacted with some of the most amazing readers/writers/whatever-ers on the planet. I have been so blest by each and every one of you guys. I have learned so much from all the blog posts I've read by you and the comments you've posted. I'm just so in awe of you all.

I'm so very blest to be on this writing journey with all of you guys. I love love love y'all!!!

Here's to another year of reading and writing!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Just got back from the library. . .

. . .and it's going to be a fantastic week.

Well, when it comes to books, at least.

Also, this Tuesday (August 6th) is one week until school starts for me. Uh, can we say CRAZY?!

And good luck to Jen Wagner with BOUT OF BOOKS 8.0! Check out her blog here to see what it's all about=)

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Round of Happy Birthdays!

*HARRY POTTER SPOLIER ALERT!* Just so you know=)

Happy birthday to Harry Potter, JK Rowling, and my baby-sister-who-isn't-a-baby-anymore!!!!

JK Rowling has seriously touched millions of lives and inspired millions of writers with the Harry Potter series. There are honestly very few books that have had such a strong emotional hold on me.

Afters months and months of pestering Catherine to read HP, she finally picked it up and fell in love almost as much as I did. And, actually, here's a picture of her reading it:

Appearently, we both get very emotionally involved with HP. She had just read about Lupin and Tonks dying. Poor kid.

What I wouldn't give to read HP again for the first time. *Sigh.*

Anyway. . .

I'm so blest by Catherine's life. I had to wait four loooong years for her=) She turns eleven today, which is way too crazy and makes me feel old. Before she was born, I would always tell my mom how unfair it was: she shared a room with my dad, and my brothers shared a room, but I had no one to share a room with!

After Catherine was born, we moved to a bigger house and my wish came true. I finally had a sister to share my room with! And then, about a year later, another sister came along and I had TWO sisters to share a room with! Wasn't I lucky?!

I was a strange child.

. . .years later, we would fight over who got to have their own room in our new house. . .naturally, being the oldest, I won. Isn't it funny how much we change?

But I did share a room with her for ten years. She's a neat freak (like, a crazy neat freak. She looooves cleaning anything. Even like a bathroom or a kitchen.) and she's kind-of-sort-of rubbed off on me.

Catherine inspires me. So much.

She's one of the most giving people I've ever met. She will seriously drop whatever she's doing and listen and help with whatever problem. She has a beautiful smile. She has a beautiful voice. She loves to read and make up stories. She loves watching Pride and Predjudice with me. (BBC-- there is no other watchable version as far as we're concerned.) She read the first chapter of my book and is constantly asking me question after question about it.

Catherine encourages me to press on with life, even when it's hard. When I have bad days, she makes me feel better. When my best friend and I resolved a very long fight we had, Cate was so excited for me. Everyone in my family couldn't believe that we were friends again, but Catherine told me how happy she was.

And sure, we argue just like sisters have since the beginning of time. We fight over the bathroom, over hair ties and bobby pins. . .typical girl stuff.

We were arguing about something a week or so ago, and I was clearly winning the argument, when Catherine exasperatedly threw her hands up in the air and said as she walked out of the room:

"FINE. But I get to marry SNAPE then. So THERE."

Isn't there a saying about how those who you love the most and who love you the most can also annoy you the most? Because if there isn't, there should be.

Anyway. . .Catherine rocks. And I'm so glad that she was born.

Happy birthday, baby sis. I love you forever<3

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Look!

I'm sure you've noticed that I've given my blog a makeover. If you haven't, well, then, please take a moment to notice.

There. Now you've noticed!

This blog turns one-year-old on August 20th (I can't even believe it) and I've been wanting to switch things up for a while, for a variety of reasons. Anyway, please be sure to check out the "AM Does NOT Stand for Amplitude Modulation" tab=)

I'd love to hear what you think about the new format, the "AM" tab, or whatever else you feel like telling me!

Friday, July 12, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm on CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

I promise I have not been ignoring my blog! Well, at least, I have not been intentionally ignoring the blogging world. But I have disappeared for over two months. And I give you my most sincere apologies.

But I do have excuses! Legit ones. Because an apology isn't an apology without excuses, right?

Excuse Number One: We are FINALLY in Toledo!!!!! We moved in May 13th and I LOVE my house. It's taken a lot though to unpack and get settled. I have my own room *squeal!* which is awesome.

After months and months and months and months of waiting. . .I honestly cannot believe we are here. It has been so incredible, though. Sure, there has been heartache and homesickness, but God is truly working through all that. He has affirmed time and time again that what He calls us to, He will provide for. I'm so amazed by all He is doing in my life.

Excuse Number Two: My book! Which now has a title! AWAKEN! I am so crazy in love with my characters and the story and everything (feelings that only a writer could understand, right?). But this has seriously consumed all my time. It's actually quite a mess right now and would not be quite as beautiful to you as it is to me, so I'll wait until I do my edits to post an excerpt.

Anyway, I'm on Chapter Twenty-Two (as you might have guessed) and AWAKEN has just reaffirmed my belief that writing is the best job ever. Writing is like an emotional tidal wave-- I'm so happy about my characters one minute and I am so angry with them the next. One moment I can't write fast enough and then a half hour later, I'm forcing myself to keep pushing the keys on the keyboard. It's exhilarating and tiring and leaves me breathless and amazed at the beauty and power of words. It keeps me up late at night thinking about my characters and distracts me from whatever I should be doing at times.

But it's always so worth it.

So, my dear friends, thank you for your patience. Now that things are more settled, I'll be doing my best to write more. How many times have I said that?! Oh, well, life goes on. Honestly, once I get myself to sit down and blog, it really doesn't take that much time. I just have to remember that, I guess=)

And, as always, feel free to check out what I've been reading on Goodreads:

Anyway. . .what have you guys been up to? Any exciting writing projects? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey

For a long time, pretty much ever since I've started the blog, I've wanted to write something about Fifty Shades. Unfortunatly, it has been rather difficult.

Probably mostly because I haven't read it and I won't.

However, I really wanted to get my feelings and opinion on the book out there. In my opinion, there are two kinds of readers in this world-- people who will read Fifty Shades and people who won't. I'm not jugding, so please, don't feel judged whether or not you have read the series.

I came across an article on one of my favorite blogs, LifeTeen ( It is written from a Catholic perspective and it doesn't just apply to Fifty Shades. But whether or not you are a Catholic, and whether or not you are a Fifty Shades fan, I HIGHLY encourage you to read this. There is so much truth in it for both readers and writers.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts=)



A few days ago I was sitting at the pool and noticed five ladies reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I knew the books were popular, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been all that surprised. What surprised me though, was that three of these ladies were teens. I had heard that these books are called “mommy porn,” but it’s not just mommies who are reading them.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in a trilogy which follows the relationship between an innocent virgin, Anastasia Steele, and a powerful, but emotionally damaged business man, Christian Grey. Like most romance novels, the books deal with the ups and downs and ins and outs of their complicated relationship, including his attempts to seduce her into his bed. There’s nothing normal about the seduction, though, as Grey tries throughout the books to convince Ana to join him in sado masochistic bondage sex.
Most romance novels center around an innocent girl who is overwhelmed by a powerful and more experienced man. Her innocence and virginity are lost (usually outside of marriage) and readers cheer them along never realizing that this “love” story misses the mark on who God has created us to be. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy misses the mark as well. Christian Grey is a man who uses women for sex and misses out on the great Divine Love that human relationships were created for.
I decided to ask one of these teens at the pool what she thought of the book, and she turned bright red when I interrupted her. She even admitted to being embarrassed because I interrupted her at “a really naughty part.” When we talked about it, she said that she knew the sex scenes were “a little much” but didn’t see anything wrong with it. “After all,” she said, “It’s not like I’m sitting here at the pool making out with my boyfriend while I read.”
Let’s be honest: There’s only one reason why these books are so popular. It’s because of the steamy, lengthy, and ultra-explicit sex scenes that are found within the pages. It’s because they are scandalous and shocking. But those ultra-explicit and scandalous sex scenes are exactly why we should steer clear of Fifty Shades.


  • Because sex is more than use. Sex – and all the things that physically, emotionally, and mentally lead to sex – was created by God to be shared between a married man and woman. Sex is an expression of love that reflects the Divine Love of God – a Love that is free, total, fruitful, and faithful. Pornography and erotica are a mockery of the intimacy and beauty of Sacramental love. It reduces the mystery of sex to mere use, turning something sacred and Godly into something profane and dark. As Blessed John Paul II said, “The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is use.” The lust that these books infect us with is all about self-gratification – it’s all about use.
  • Because the Church teaches us it’s not okay. Pope Benedict addressed the issue of pornography and erotic literature saying, “A relationship that does not take into account the fact that a man and a woman have the same dignity represents a serious lack of humanity . . . The moment has come to energetically halt the widespread distribution of material with an erotic and pornographic content, including through the internet in particular.”
  • Because lustful thoughts lead to lustful actions. Pope Benedict and Blessed John Paul II both understood that erotic words and images (like in Fifty Shades of Grey) create lustful thoughts in us. Those lustful thoughts don’t just end there; they cause in us physical reactions which end in lustful actions. Even St. Augustine struggled with this disordered and vicious pattern in his own life. After his conversion he wrote about his struggles with lust saying, “Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity.”
If you want to live a virtuous life, you have to be vigilant about it. Evil only needs to find a tiny little chink in your armor of holiness to begin to work. Don’t let these books crack open your virtue and start you down the vicious cycle of self-gratification and lust. Avoid these books, this author, and authors like her (V.C. Andrews comes to mind).
Pray for the intercession of St. Augustine and Our Blessed Mother in remaining chaste and pure in all of your thoughts and actions.
“Of all inner conflicts the most arduous are concerned with chastity. These battles are of daily occurrence.” – St. Augustine

Editor’s Note: Kristin Bird is a youth minister from Wisconsin. Two things that Kristin loves are teens and books; so it seemed appropriate to ask her to weigh in on this topic and share her wisdom.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Easter Pictures=)

I hope that you all are having a very blessed Easter season!

(Back: Catherine, 10, John Paul, 12, Me, 15 on Wendesday!: Front: Joseph, 13, Dominic, 8 next month, Grace, 9)

(Of course, me=D)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Letter to My Editor

I have the BEST editor in the whole world.

She always gives me honest feedback. She is certainly never shy about telling me when something doesn't flow as nicely as it could or doesn't fit with what I'm trying to say. When I ask her to read a post of mine, she reads it and comments within minutes. Pretty sweet.

She was a teacher before having children. So she is super useful in correcting grammar mistakes! She taught seventh and eighth graders for five years, and before that, substituted at a variety of Catholic schools. Another really cool thing about her-- though she was offered a well-paying position at a public school, she chose to work at a Catholic school because that's where she felt she was called.

I love that she stays home with her kids. I was about to add to the end of that sentence "instead of working," but really, six kids is a lot of work. Good work though, she tells me. Oh and on top of staying home with her crew, she HOMESCHOOLS them. She spends time with her kids and constantly puts their needs above her own.

My editor doesn't just edit my writing. She's been lovingly putting band-aids on my broken skin and broken heart for years. She's always available to hear about my day. She's always ready to laugh or cry with me. She's always listening to my new ideas. She helps me get over my fears, however irrational that they are (like when I had an imaginary bad guy who was named Michael Alvin and lived in my closet). She makes the BEST food EVER (especially salads).

She turns my negative comments into positive ones, but she also understands the need to just be in a bad mood sometimes. She has an INCREDIBLE fashion sense and doesn't shy at telling me when something totally doesn't look good. She's held me when I have a cold or the flu, though she knows that that means she might get sick. She doesn't let me give up, but encourages me to stand strong in my beliefs. She's given me a faith in Jesus and prays with me every day. She tells me that she's proud of me and gives me the strength I need to get through rough days. And she still brushes my hair sometimes even though I'm almost 15=)

And she has the best. Sense. Of. Humor. Ever. Period.

Oh yeah, and she's my mom<3

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life: Lessons and Ramblings


What comes to mind when you hear this word? Or in this instance, read it?  What does the word "life" mean to you?

Right now, I'd say life as meaning a crazy-wonderful-unexpected-heartbreaking-courage-building-making-me-fearless adventure. 

I'm a stubborn person. In one of my earliest posts, I wrote about a lesson one of the characters I wrote about taught me. A lesson I refused to learn for a time. I'm that way with a lot of things in life, I guess. For example, I constantly think that I know what will happen next. I think that I know what is going on. I think I am in control. 

Well, guess what I constantly have to remind myself? 

Number One: life is unexpected and one usually doesn't know what will happen next. Example? Many of you (if not all of you) know that I am moving to Toledo, Ohio. Well, our house closing was on Friday, April 5th and we didn't have a house to move into. (That's a long story in itself-- we thought we had a house, but it fell through upon the inspection.) So, we are now living with my wonderful grandparents about two hours away from Toledo, where my dad is working.

Number Two: more is usually going on with life than meets the eye. Many of you also may know that I've had a really rough year school-wise. This has been the first year since second grade that I have attended a "brick-and-mortar" school (I was homeschooled for third grade through eighth grade). So, that was a pretty big change in itself; I was learning in a whole new way, dealing with homework, teachers, and kids my age on a daily basis. 

Needless to say, it was hard. It was difficult. It was heartbreaking and left me feeling so worn. At times, I felt  lonely and it took all my strength to get out of bed each morning and plaster a smile on my face. It was so hard to just keep going through the motions, pretending that I was ok with everything, when I totally wasn't. And then add the whole "surprise-we-might-be-moving-to-Toledo!" drama.

But God was at work through all that. On my last day of school before we moved, many people shared stories of how I touched their lives. The story that touched me the most was an email that one girl sent me. She told me how much my openness about my faith encouraged her to be open about her faith. She told me that I encouraged her to have a stronger faith in Jesus.

Of course, I believe it wasn't just me who encouraged her. I believe God used me to encourage her. But this story really struck me because I probably spoke to this girl five times, at most. And our conversations were never at great length, but consisted of a "hey" in the hallways. This stuck me so much though because so many times this year, I have cried out to God in desperation. I have begged Him to show me the purpose of what I was going through. So, although I thought that I was pointlessly at school, "suffering," I was not at all. People were touching me, I was touching them, and God was strengthening my own faith and trust in Him.

Number Three: I am not in control. God is, and His plans are so much greater than mine. God so knows what He is doing. My mom told me once this year that God never allows us to go through anything that we can't handle. I truly believe this. I believe that everything we go through, we go through for a reason. Whether it is a bad year at school, a broken friendship, a death, or a rejection by a publisher, there is a reason. We are growing stronger and learning so much about ourselves.

So what is the sum of my ramblings? I know this isn't really a religious-y blog, if you will, but I really want to share this with you, dear readers. I don't write these things to make you feel bad for me or to pat myself on the back. I simply hope that perhaps my "ramblings" will touch you, with whatever you are going through in life.

Remember: life is unexpected and one usually doesn't know what will happen next, more is usually going on with life than meets the eye, we are not in control. May God bless you, my wonderful blog readers. You all mean more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for giving me the chance to express myself to you=)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lauren Oliver, You've Done it Again

I was 13 when I did NaNoWriMo for the first time. That was before I had ever read any Young Adult books, before I had ever finished a draft of any of my novels, before I began telling myself, "I want to be a published writer."

For those of you unfamiliar with Nano, they have a list of special pep-talks sent to the Wrimos (participants) by successful authors. Lauren Oliver was one of the pep-talkers the first year I ventured to do Nano. I really liked her pep-talk, so I decided to check out her books.

I was instantly hooked by Delirium. I remember lying on my bed, my eyes rapidly moving across page after page, devouring the words as quickly as possible to find out what would happen. Oh, geez, I wish I could go back to that first time I read the book. To be sure, I've re-read it multiple times, but there's something about the first time you read a book that you can never get back no matter how many times you re-read it.

Pandemonium was awesome, too. I didn't think it was as good as Delirium, but I honestly wasn't expecting it to be. That being said, I was not at all disappointed in it. It was still way better than most books. And that dang cliff hanger ending. . . even worst than the first=)

One thing I really like about Lauren Oliver is that her books aren't "video game books." That's what my dad calls books with action scene after scene. Even though her books are crazy exciting, Lauren knows how to write those mellow, everyday moments that everyone has. Though the Delirium trilogy takes place in the future, it is still so normal. People are still people, as they are today, and as they were a thousand years ago. People who are still making their way through life. People succeeding and failing, loving and hating, laughing and crying.

I just finished Requiem. As I closed the book, I was left with a strange array of emotions. The first one, I can't tell you, because it's a spoiler=) But after that feeling, I was like "Oh. My. Goodness. I just finished Delirium." The fact that I had finished the series made me want to cry more than the book actually did! And yes, my eyes did tear up multiple times while reading it. I was/am filled with a total awe of Lauren Oliver. She is such a talented writer who deserves all the attention and success that she is receiving and more.

Requiem was utterly beautiful. If there's one word that would describe the Delirium series, it's beautiful. So real, so honest, so soulful, so beautiful. Lauren Oliver, you've done it again. I hope someday I will be able to write as beautifully as you can.

(I would give the Delirium series a PG14 rating as a whole– probably PG13 for the first book, but PG14 for the last two. The books deal with some mature subject content, some language, and there is some sexual content.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

What I've Been Up To

Hello, dear readers. So sorry that I've been a bit MIA. Things have been sort of crazy in my formally quiet little life. Well, actually, my life has never been what one might call quiet. However, if I had been cruising along the highway of life at 60 MPH, now it's more like 120 MPH.

Let me enlighten you. Here's what's been going on in my reading/writing world:

1. I have been reading a lot more, which I am quite pleased about, considering how crazy things are. I'm still not reading as much as I was when I was homeschooled, but I have been reading more than I did in the beginning of the year. I'm currently reading Scarlet, book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. LOVED book 1, Cinder-- definitely a book that will be reviewed soon=) But I might have to shelf Scarlet for a bit because my hold on Requiem (book 3 in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver) just came in! I've been DYING to read it.

2. I mentioned before that I'm working on a new story. Progress on that is slow, but it's coming along. I'll try and post an excerpt soon. That leads me to thing number 3. . .

3. Preparations for Camp Nanowrimo! I'm going to camp this April because I really want to write the mentioned story. I'm absolutely in love with my characters already and I'm really enjoying writing their story. I've never done Camp Nano, but I think it would be a great way to help my story along. Plus, my birthday is in April, so Nano is the best present ever!

Now, here's what's been going on with everything else:

1. Toledo. I mentioned before that we're moving, which is crazy stuff in itself. Selling our house, buying a house, and registering in a new school (I'm SUPER excited about this new school, just thought I'd throw that out there) has been demanding most of my family's time. Even though I guess I personally don't have to sell our house or buy one, it still weighs heavily on my mind. Which is sort of dumb, considering that there's nothing I can do about it.

2. School, meh. Pretty self-explanitory. I've been working crazy hard to keep my grades up because of this new school I'll be going to.

And here's a sneak peak at some things coming soon on AM Station:

1. Cinder/Scarlet book review! Already spoke a bit about that, stay tuned!

2. Guest post! I'm pretty sure Perks of Being a Wallflower is going to be reviewed, but more on that later.

3. Camp Nanowrimo updates! I highly encourage you to take part in this upcoming camp. It sounds like it's going to be AMAZING!

Thanks for reading, guys. You all seriously rock my world-- thank you for taking the time to read my blog=)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Between Shades of Gray

Book: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Rating: PG14 for mature subject content and some sexual content

Summery via Goodreads:
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

This book left me with an array of different feelings. Feelings of awe, of shock, of sadness followed me for days. I was so moved by many factors of this book. As a big fan of World War II historical fiction, I really enjoyed reading this untold side of the war. Both the Soviets and the treatment of Catholics during WWII are rather untouched subjects in the historical fiction world. This book contained both topics and I really enjoyed that.

Between Shades of Gray contained so many different themes that completely changed the way I look at some things. One of favorite themes is this-- is it better to be the one leaving or the one left behind?

The question is proposed by my least favorite character, but it is nonetheless a good question to think about. Because we are in the process of moving, this thought has entered my mind more than once. Is it better to be the one leaving? The one going to a new school, a new town, knowing no one? Is it really better to be the one who leaves everyone s/he knows behind? Or is it better to be the one left behind? The one who continues to live his/her usually life, only with a piece taken out of it? Is it better to be the one who has gone to heaven and left loved ones behind? Or the one who is still making his or her way through life on earth?

I'm not quite sure what I think about that. I feel like it's probably worse to be the one left behind, as hard as it is to be the one moving on. I think we've all had the feeling of being left behind, whether we were left behind by a friend who was not loyal, a loved one who has passed on, or a friend who has had to move. But on the other hand, sometimes I feel terrified of living in a new place without everyone who has been so dear to me my whole life.

So, though I haven't been through nearly as many horrors as Lina has, I understand a bit of what she was going through. Ah, sometimes I feel like I can relate more to characters than actual people!

I'd love to hear your thoughts=)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy St. Valentine's Day!!

Hello, dear readers. I want to share with you two hilarious valentines I think you'll appreciate:


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Read-A-Thon: Day 7

I'm not quite sure that I'll get to Faerie Ring before tomorrow, but I have read so much more during this past week than I normally would have.

And check me out on Goodreads!

I'd love to see what you've been reading=) Book reviews coming soon, I promise!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Read-A-Thon: Day 6

Still pluggin' along. . .I'm reading The Selection. Not that far into it, but I'm really liking it. I'm not quite sure if I'll get to Faerie Ring, but I love all the extra reading I've been getting in!

Book reviews soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Read-A-Thon: Day 4

UPDATE! I finished Cinder and have just started The Selection.

I am in a total state of shock. Cinder was AMAZING. Like oh-my-goodness-drop-whatever-you're-reading-and-read-it amazing. Seriously, wow. Everything about that book was totally awesome. (I would recommend it for readers above 13.)

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Read-A-Thon: Day 3

Just a status update=)

On page 181 of Cinder and I LOVE IT! I was slightly skeptical at first, but within the first few pages, I was captivated. Now, I'd better get back to it. . . .

ALSO, I started writing something new. More on that later though. . . Cinder awaits, and I would like to finish it before midnight, ha!

(Google Images)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Read-A-Thon: Day 2: My Book List

As promised, I hope to get through:

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2. The Selection by Kiera Cass
3. The Faerie Ring  by Kiki Hamilton

Can't wait!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon!

I'm super excited to be doing the Wicked Valentine's Read-A-Thon!! (Check it out:

I'm getting together my list of books to read and I'll post them tomorrow. I'm aiming to read three or four books. A library visit may be in order. . . .=)

Is anyone else doing this read-a-thon?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Dad

My dad was always filming us when we were little. We have so many family videos that are pretty hilarious to watch. When I was little, I loved to get my face in the camera. Seriously, I was always talking. My mom would probably tell you that I am still always talking, but I like to think that I've become slightly more reflective than talkative over the years.

I have always loved to tell stories. It didn't matter if the stories were ones I made up or something that had happened to me, I loved to share them with everybody, especially the camera.

It's really my dad's fault that I started writing. He was the one who encouraged me to write down my crazy little stories. He, along with my beautiful mom, were the ones who listened to my constant ramblings. Fine, they still do. My dad is always expressing desire to know what I am working on. He constantly asks questions about plot struggles and characters. My mom (my faithful editor) reads every single one of my blog posts before I publish.

When we were little, my dad told us so many stories. Usually, it was at bedtime or on long car trips. I don't remember ever hearing the same story twice, which bugged me. I wished that he would write down his stories. I told him this, and he would always say the same thing-- "Someday."

My dad is always making up extremely ridiculous songs on the guitar, usually at the worst times. For example, when I'm trying to read and he's singing about me, it gets kind of hard to concentrate. Or when someone's in a bad mood, they get a full six-verse song complete with a refrain. That isn't the worst, though. The absolute worst is when he begins to belt out a song about me and whatever random guy he thinks I like. Yeah, those moments usually aren't my most virtuous. . . .

My point is, my dad is incredibly creative. He will try absolutely everything. One year, my mom got him a violin for Christmas (actually, he got himself a violin for Christmas and said it was from Mom) and he played around with it for months. Sure, it was really, really, really annoying, but I admired his determination. He always is eager to learn whatever my siblings' or my favorite song is on guitar so that we can sing it together. He is always providing opportunities for us, whether it be taking me to a cafe to write, paying for a Catholic school education, piano lessons, guitar lessons, and numerous other things.

As many of you may know, my family is moving. My dad was recently hired as the Secretariat Leader for Evangelization and Parish Life in the Diocese of Toledo. He began his job yesterday and moved on Friday. I just wanted to take this opportunity to share how much he has inspired me-- in my writing, yes, but in pretty much every aspect of my life. I am so proud of him and so blest to be his daughter.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Quote and a Note

How true this is. . . my family is moving to another state and I came home today to find many books packed up in boxes. My house feels incredibly hollow, I guess. I never noticed how much books bring to a home.

(Google Images)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Writers and Runners

I hate running. It stinks.

My siblings say that they hate it, too. But the difference between them and me is that they typically place within the top 15 whenever they race for cross country. My youngest brother won for his age group at the district race this fall. My sisters were numbers 5 and 6 in their age group. My other brothers placed 3rd and 14th in their respective age groups.

And then there's me. Cheering at the sidelines, freezing my butt off. Yay. . . .

I admire runners. Running takes guts. It takes a strong will. It takes a fearless, I'm-sure-as-heck-not-giving-up attitude. My dad says that running takes imagination. It takes strength to realize that where you are on the course is not where you will always be. You have to remember that there is a finish line waiting to be crossed and fans (ahem, loyal big sisters) are waiting to welcome you home.

Sounds sort of like writing, huh? It takes guts to write, to declare to the world that you are a writer. It takes a strong will to vow not to give up. It takes fearlessness to proudly pursue the writing goal. Writing takes imagination. It takes strength to realize that where you are in the writing process is not where you will always be. You have to remember that there are editors waiting for you. Readers wanting to read your story.

Now ready, set, go write! Or run. Or write about running, like I did=)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Interview with Cassie Mae!

Cassie Mae is an absolutely brilliant writer I came across a few weeks ago through her group blog, Falling For Fiction. She has a great writing style and does an amazing job bringing humor to just about any situation! She has a sparkling personality that really shines through in her writing. Anyway, I am honored to host CASSIE MAE of as well as So, read on and then check out her blog if you've aren't already one of her 500+ followers!

First, BIG THANK YOU AND CHEST BUMPS to Anne Marie for having me over :) I hope I don’t scare away all your followers ;)

Ok, so if anyone has read your bio, or any of your blog, they might know you kind of like Harry Potter just a little bit=) How old were you when you read HP for the first time? Do you remember any of your thoughts while reading? What kind of impact (if any) did Harry Potter have on your writing?

Oh, I love this interview already :) Gosh, how old was I in 2001? Um… 13 or 14, haha. So that’s when I first read it. I picked it up after I saw the first movie. (Which I saw in the theater 12 times ;)) All I remember while reading it, because I read them so fast was “this is pretty much the best thing ever!” And I sort of wanted to marry Ron.

I think the only impact HP really had though on my writing was being part of my inspiration for HOW TO DATE A NERD. I got the idea from playing HP Scene It for four hours straight… by myself, haha!

Lol, awesome sauce! Actually, I liked Ron so much that my cousin "code-named" my first crush Ron Weasly=)

And I have to know-- who is your favorite HP character and why?

It’s a tie between Ron and Luna. Ron is so awesome at being himself and saying whatever he thinks, yet he has all these worries and insecurities just like everyone else. I sort of love him. And Luna is so wonderfully weird. She reminds me a bit of myself. ;)

 Oh, goodness, I love Luna! I think I would totally wear radish earrings if I had them. Despite her quirks, she is a really insightful character.

You first started writing when you were a "20 year old new mommy." If at all, how has your writing style changed since then? What are some important writing lessons you've learned since then?

Goodness, I think I need to change my bio. Cuz that’s not exactly accurate, lol. I contemplated writing when I turned 20, but didn’t actually write anything until I was 23 (so two years ago, in case you aren’t keeping up with all the math of my age, haha!) When I finally took the dive into writing I had NO CLUE what I was doing. My first book is crap. I mean it. It sucks so so bad. It wasn’t until I started blogging and doing some major research and most importantly GETTING CRITIQUE PARTNERS that I learned my writing style and felt comfortable with the words I put down. ;)

What would we do if you hadn't taken the dive?! My first attempt at a novel was totally horrible, but if it wasn't for that novel, I never would have known how exhilarating it felt to write.

What are some "joys and sorrows" of being a writing mother?

I think it’s actually the best thing ever. I can’t even imagine those full-time job-ers and parents and writers. Um, agh! LOL. I get to pull out my computer whenever the kids are “napping”, or when they go to bed at 8:00 every night. Though, I’m sure things will change once baby number 3 pops out. But it’s nice to know I can write, even when it’s all in my head while I’m doing the dishes or changing diapers, whenever I want.

It is totally awesome that you are able to be with your kids and still be able to write as much as you do. Congrats on baby-the-third! That's wonderful!

You just not only completed but WON NaNoWriMo 2012 a little over a month ago with 57,124 words. That is a pretty amazing feat! What is your Nano novel about?

I actually wrote 2 novels during NaNo, but only recorded the one I worked on with the amazingly talented Kelley Lynn. :) It’s about two teens whose schedules are so packed, but end up working together and being in the school play. And when their onstage romance turns into something a little bit more, they wonder if they have time for a high school relationship. Right now it’s with our agents and about to go out on sub! So wahoo! :D

Oooooh, sounds exciting! You have me hooked!

You are a contributer to a totally awesome blog-- Falling For Fiction. How did you get involved with FFF?

Um, it’s going to come off arrogant as crap, haha! I actually founded the blog with my critique partners. I wrote a blog post about my cps on my blog and at the time, they didn’t really know each other. But I included them all in the email asking permission to use notes they wrote in my manuscripts. And that lovely “reply all” button turned those emails into this huge email chain of us basically making really lame jokes we thought were the funniest things ever, and it was the best conversation I’ve had with any of my writer buds. I created a group email for us all and all my critique partners became each other’s critique partners. One day we decided we wanted to start a blog together to help lift other writers the way we lift each other. And BAM! FFF was born :)

 That is so awesome that you are able to share the inspiration you all give each other with the rest of the writing world!

What was the best book you read in 2012 and why?

Oh no. I can’t possibly choose! There’s WAY too many. Night Sky by Jolene Perry is one I’ve read like a million times this year. And Blindsided by Kyra Lennon. Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn. Any book from Elizabeth Scott (because I picked up everything she’s written any chance I got, lol) Oh, and like, all my critique partners’ books. Pretty much anything with a super adorable male lead and really great kissing scenes!

Haha, I'm with you!

And, last but certainly not least, what is your favorite kind of cheesecake?=)

Junior Mint Cheesecake. It’s like, the ultimate foodgasm :)

Thanks so much to CASSIE MAE for allowing me to interview her!! Everyone, check out her blogs!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Loathe, I Like, I Love

I cannot believe that today marks the beginning of a new year. I'm sure many of you are experiencing similar feelings about 2013. Time truly flies by so fast, does it not?

For me, 2012 was the year of the YA books. I have been introduced to so many different characters and authors. Here are the first annual "I Love, I Like, I Loathe" awards for AM Station!

NOTE: Not all these books came out in 2012, but I that is the year in which I read them.

The Dynamic Duo Award for Best Movie/Book Goes To: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I still remember where I was when I read this book for the first time. It was in January or February and I was at back-to-back basketball games that my siblings were playing in. I was so engrossed in the book that I could not lift my eyes from it's pages!
(PG14 for heavy content, brief violence, language, and some sexual content)

The Most Amazing/Disappointing Award Goes To: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I read this book this past August and was extremely impressed by Green's ability to capture real life circumstances. This book was heartbreakingly beautiful. However, the book contained unnecessary sexual content, making it unable for me to give it a full five stars.
(PG14 for mature subject content and sexual content)

The Heartbreaker Award Goes To: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
I finished this book a few weeks ago and was so touched by it. I shed a good deal of tears over this one. The characters in this book are some of the most intriguing I have ever meet. Seriously. In fact, they are too good to be without a long review, so more on them later! Anyway, this story literally broke my heart with everything that transpired in its pages.
(PG14 for mature subject content)

The Disappointing End to a Series Goes To: Reached by Ally Condie
Matched was amazing. Crossed was ok; at the very least tolerable. I was barely even into the first few chapters when I couldn't take it any more. I tried and tried to keep reading, but I found myself reading and re-reading each word. Each page I read felt like two. I was very disappointed, to say the least.
(Rating is NA because I didn't finish it)

The Highest Expectations 2012 Award Goes To: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
After Delirium ended in such a cliff hanger fashion, I was DYING to read Pandemonium!! Though I wasn't as impressed with Pandemonium, (it kind of dragged in some parts) it was such a exciting read. Ugh, and the ending was WAY more of a cliff hanger that Delirium. ALEX!!!!!!!
(PG14 for mature subject content and brief sexual content)

The I Loathe Award for Worst Book I've Read Goes To: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Part of the reason why I disliked this book/series was probably because my expectations were so high. I thought that though the plot was good, but the characters and their actions didn't seem very realistic and I didn't care about them very much. There also didn't seem to be a whole lot of character development.
(PG13 for the first book, PG14 for books 2 and 3)

The I Like Award for Most Ok Book I've Read Goes To: Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck
The Tiger Saga was the first YA series I read, recommended to me by Jen Wagner, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then, I've read better written books, but these are still a fun read. That being said, this book lacked a certain pizazz. In my opinion, the characters didn't react the way real people would have when facing certain situations. Another reason why I wasn't very impressed could also be because my expectations were so high following the previous books in the series.
(PG12-- As a side note, the series is great for older preteens to younger teens, but also a great adult read.)

The I Love Award for Best Book I've Read Goes To:
*drum roll please*
Divergent by Veronica Roth!
Since I have already written a review of this novel, there is little left to say. But this was seriously one of the best books I've ever read. There are so many lessons to be drawn from this story. The characters were so real and and relatable. The plot was amazing and there were so many surprises within Divergent's pages! Almost needless to say, I can't wait for the last book in the series to come out in Fall 2013!!
(PG13 for a mild romance, mature subject content, and brief language)

Happy New Year, everyone!! I would love to hear your favorite book/books of this past year!!

(Pictures from Google images)