My 2016 Books in Review

I’m joining in on Jamie’s End of the Year Survey! 

There are few things in life more important to a writer than reading amazing books from other writers. It was Stephen King who said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” How true this is!

Reading is fuel and I’m happy to say that in addition to all the incredible unpublished manuscripts I read this year, I also hit my goal of reading at least 1 published book a week. Go me!

 

Number Of Books You Read: 54
Number of Re-Reads: 9
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fantasy

 

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1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

 

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY BY SARAH J. MAAS

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

STAR WARS: CATALYST (TOO SLOW)

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

SIX OF CROWS

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY – I TOTALLY HAVE SEVERAL “RELUCTANT READER” FRIENDS OBSESSED WITH THE SERIES NOW.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

BEST SERIES I STARTED: WINNER’S CURSE TRILOGY

BEST SEQUEL: A COURT OF MIST AND FURY

BEST SERIES ENDER: MORNING STAR

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

JENNIFER LYNN BARNES

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

THE COMPLETE PERSEPOLIS BY MARJANE SATRAPI

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

ILLUMINAE AND GEMINA

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY OR EMPIRE OF STORMS

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

MADNESS SO DISCREET

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

SEFIA FROM THE READER BY TRACI CHEE

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

MADNESS SO DISCREET

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

SALT TO THE SEA

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

SIX OF CROWS

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? 

THAT’S EASY, IT’S FROM THE READER: “Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.” ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

SHORTEST: FAIREST (LUNAR CHRONICLES)

LONGEST: EMPIRE OF STORMS

 

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

 

COURT OF MIST AND FURY

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

RHYSAND AND FEYRE FOOOORRRRREEEEEVVVVEEEERRRRRR

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

MANON AND AELIN

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

MADNESS SO DISCREET BY MINDY MCGINNIS

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

FALLING KINGDOMS

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

RHYSAND

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

THE READER OR SUFFER LOVE

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

OUR LADY JANE

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

THE FIXER

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

SALT TO THE SEA OR BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY (DANG YOU RUTA!)

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

ILLUMINATE AND GEMINA

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

EMPIRE OF STORMS

 

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

THE BRIDGE BY JILL COX IS NEXT UP ON MY READING LIST!

 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

THE HATE YOU GIVE

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

ILLUMINAE #3 OR A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (WILL COMPLETE THE TRILOGY)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

STAY UP WITH READING ONE PUBLISHED BOOK A WEEK!

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION

 

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I <3 My #PitchWars Ladies

I can hardly believe how fast the last two months have gone by. We are one week away from the #PitchWars agent showcase and I could not be more proud of our mentees!

As they say in Texas, my buttons are poppin’! 

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They have both done some MAJOR re-writing of their manuscripts. They’ve gone through several rounds of revisions, cutting/combining characters, setting changes, deepening their characters, clarifying motivations,  plot changes—SO many plot changes—Meghan even implemented an entirely new magical system. These ladies have worked their butts off in such a short amount of time, and I know it’s going to be worth it in the end.

We participated in some fun mini-interviews on Brenda’s blog:

COURT OF GLITTERING CRIMSON is Meghan Jashinsky’s YA Fantasy and is a dark twist on the PRINCESS AND THE PAUPER tale meets THE YOUNG ELITES that I’m co-mentoring with Lynnette Labelle. You can read our interview HERE.

THEN BEGGARS WOULD RIDE is Tracie Martin’s YA Literary Thriller and is reminiscent of THE WALLS AROUND US and THE DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD told as a prison confessional. You can read our interview HERE.

I know, right? Those sound amazing and they ARE!

 

The YA part of the showcase is on November 5th where these ladies get to present their manuscripts to literary agents and hopefully get a leg up on gaining representation for their work!

I’m so psyched for them and privileged I got to play a part in their writing journeys.

#PitchWars Picks

So as I’ve mentioned earlier, I am a #PitchWars mentor this year and boy has it been fun!giphy

All in all, we had 141 submissions and of these we requested 28 fulls. You can find the exact breakdown of genre on Lynnette’s blog post HERE.

I was a little nervous going into this because Lynnette and I have never worked together before and all of a sudden, we needed to go through a ton of submissions and find ones that we could both agree on. How were we going to deal with SUBJECTIVITY??

But we had a great baseline: we knew we wanted something dark and twisty (probably in the Fantasy genre) and we both LOVE books. Those two factors were MORE than enough and we had a blast going through all the submissions. I was even able to tap into my nerd and made a Trello board that had 8 designations for requested materials.

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Half of our #PitchWars Trello Board

We were blown away by all the dark and twisty that ended up in our inbox and went through several “THIS IS THE ONE” wait, no, “THIS IS THE ONE” moments.

But then we came across Meghan Jashinsky’s A COURT OF GLITTERING CRIMSON and it was the first one that got an enthusiastic, YES from both of us. But we knew to make it more marketable, we needed to address the magical system which was going to be a big re-write.

We contacted Meghan before the submission period was over to see if she would even be open to making such a big change and she was. THEN came the part where we had to fight off other mentors from offering to mentor hers as well.

Long story short, we were able to snag Meghan’s manuscript and we couldn’t be more happy about it!

But that’s not where the story ends!

Lynnette and I had also loved Tracie Martin‘s THEN BEGGARS WOULD RIDE, a YA literary thriller that has a voice that will keep you up at night. BEGGARS was our #2 pick and we were campaigning hardcore behind the scenes to try to get other mentors to pick it up because it totally deserved some PitchWars love.

Then, the day of the big reveal, I found out I had won a wildcard spot and I could pick one more book to mentor if I so wished (or I could pass it on to another mentor). Due to Lynnette’s active editing business, she knew her schedule would only permit her to mentor one manuscript, but I felt so strongly for BEGGARS that I offered to mentor it myself!

SO there it goes!

I am mentoring both Meghan and Tracie for #PitchWars2016!

These books are high-concept, dark, gory, beautiful, and heartbreaking. You’re going to love them and I can’t wait to see these books shine!

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