Today is an INCREDIBLY special day. As you should have guessed from the title of this post, it’s YA Midnight Reads’ birthday!
Two years ago, 0n the 21st of December of 2012, we were told that the world was going to end. What were you doing on that day? Well, we don’t know about you guys, but for Melanie, that was the day she finally got the guts to schedule her first ever post on YA Midnight Reads. In a way, Mel totally saved the world. Because of that post, the world didn’t end; instead, Mel gave life to the Earth by posting that first blog post. (Don’t convince us otherwise.) It was a very special day indeed.
Today’s post will consist of many things. We’re gonna thank some people, shed some tears, thank some more people, give some advice, maybe shed more tears, and leave with a super ultra awesome giveaway.
So let’s get this party started!
How We Started Reading/Blogging
I’ve talked about how I started reading and blogging a few times in the past now, but I’ve met so many new awesome friends since the last time I talked about it, so here it is again!
In April 2012, I was a quiet little girl who recently started Year 7 at High School, detested the world and HATED reading. I couldn’t bear reading at all. I believed that it was the lamest thing in the world, and I couldn’t believe people actually wasted their time just to sit on a seat and read a bunch of words. (I know, little Melanie deserves to be thrown in a fire and be burned to death.) Anyhoo, at my old school we had these reading sessions about once a fortnight for English class. We’d be told to borrow a book from the school library and sit there and read it for the rest of the period. For me, that meant borrowing the thinnest book I could find that looked somewhat decent, and to stare at the middle of the page for a good 5 minutes before flicking it. In other words, fake reading. (I KNOW, I was such a bad, bad person.)
At the same time, my mum had this habit of borrowing towers of books from the local library for me to read. She’d nag me a lot if I didn’t touch the books, so I did look through them, seeing if any of the books caught my attention. 99% of the time, none of the books looked interesting enough. Anyway, a month passed and the books would soon become overdue; so my mum would return them and a new tower of books would replace that stack. She’d nag me some more, and I’d groan and pretend to read one or two of them.
In June 2012, I picked up Evernight by Claudia Gray. It was in one of those tower of books, and I immediately fell in love with it. After devouring that one, I soon found book 2 and 3 at the library myself and read them too. Now, I couldn’t seem to find book 4 ANYWHERE. It wasn’t at my local library, and it wasn’t at my school library. So, I typed in the title of the book and the author’s name into Google in hopes that there’d be a PDF online. (I KNOW, BAD MELANIE, BAD.) If you don’t know, when you type in the author’s name and book title into Google, one of the first things that pops up is Goodreads.
July 2012, I made a Goodreads account. Maaaan, I was GLUED to that site. I found suggestions of other books like Evernight and soon devoured them too. Basically, other YA novels. And soon enough, I had this never ending TBR and met a bunch of totally awesome book people, including Stephanie @ Chasm of Books; we met on a Rick Riordan fan group on Goodreads, and we both didn’t have blogs back then.
Goodreads soon enough became my second home. I hated the world less, because I found people who had so much in common with me. It was seriously the best thing ever. I am forever thankful for Goodreads. Anyhoo, in November 2012, I started following a lot of book blogs. I discovered them through reading Goodreads reviews (because some reviewers leave their blog link at the end/start of their GR review). In particular, Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain’s blog. (No link, because she no longer blogs and her blog isn’t up 🙁 ) She was the same age as me–only 4 months older–and we had a lot in common. I don’t know exactly how, but she totally inspired me to start my own blog.
Late December 2012, I made my own blog, Eileen and I became close friends, and she gave me a crap load of tips and blog help. Eileen, you’re probably never going to read this since you no longer blog but THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.
Okay now I’m getting emotional.
My story is a lot less more lengthy than and interesting as Mel’s haha. I’ve always enjoyed reading, even as a young girl. I suppose my love of reading started with my mother who was a very large bookworm herself. As a young girl (when my reading skills weren’t the best) she would sit me down before bed and read me some great stories, by authors such as: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beverley Clearly and Judy Blum. As I grew in age and education, I found myself having access to the library. It was there where I would check out mountains of books (literally, I checked out the entire magic treehouse series once and at the time it had like 28 books) and read whenever I could find time.
It was only a matter of time before I started reading YA, and I believe my first official YA book was….. Twilight. Yes, it was that infamously bad story that got me hooked in the genre of young adult. At least I can say that my tastes have broadened since then, and that I’ve certainly becoming more critical with joining goodreads and being a part of this blog. I can honestly say that reading will always be a part of my life, and an activity that never ceases to calm me down and make me feel comfortable- like I’m at home. Cheesy, but true.
I’m afraid I don’t have a really inspiring story about how I started reading, haha. It’s just something that I’ve always done – I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t reading. Even when I couldn’t read myself my parents used to read me bedtime stories. At some point they stopped doing that because I would always read whatever book we were currently reading during the day because I wanted to know how everything would end (impatient I was, yes) and my parents would be completely lost as to where in the story I even was anymore 😛
YA is another thing I feel I’ve always read, even though I know that isn’t true. I didn’t really have a ‘gateway YA book’ like many do – I just started picking up random books with pretty covers at the library and a few of them were YA and since then I’ve pretty much been obsessed. There is, however, the story of how I got into reading in English. (Seeing as, obviously, I mostly read Dutch books.) Ah yes, that I remember perfectly. *coughs* So, don’t tell anyone, but I used to be obsessed with the House of Night series. Don’t judge me 😛 I actually can’t stand the books now (which I suppose is a sign of my growth as a reader) but back then I loved them. However, I hated having to wait until they were all translated into Dutch (gee, my impatience as a reader really is the theme here, isn’t it), so at one point I decided to start one of them in English. One thing led to another and here I am now, 99% of the books I read this year in English.
YA Midnight Reads’ Milestones
21st December, 2012: The YA Book Lover was born. YES THAT WAS THE OLD BLOG NAME–SHUSH I KNOW, SO BAD.
January 2013: The YA Book Lover was changed to YA Midnight Reads. (This also explains why I have such a horrid email address.)
July 2013: YA Midnight Reads moved to WordPress and got it’s own domain name! WHOOOT!
August 2013: Mel went to her first book event which was PenguinTeen Australia Live in Melbourne. YA Midnight Reads was featured on their PowerPoint!
January 2014: Celine and Larissa joined YA Midnight Reads! YAAAAAAAAAY 😀 A Midnightian Book Fort was also made. It is where we all currently live.
April 2014: Mel met the HarperCollins publicist, Amanda, and Jessica Shirvington (and she hugged Mel, and Mel totally freaked because it was totally awesome.) (And Mel ate the best cupcakes in the world.) It was also the first time Mel went to an author signing.
June 2014: YA Midnight Reads got quoted in Shimmer by Paula Weston
September 2014: Mel met Laini Taylor (her first non Aussie author signing!). She also got signed copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone for Celine and Larissa and they totally freaked.
We’d Like to Thank
There are seriously SO MANY people I want to thank. I’ve already thanked a lot of people, and now I’m going to thank some more. (This is like Thanksgiving or something. Only a month late.)
Firstly, to my mum. THANK YOU, for nagging me to read. It’s made all the difference to me today, and I don’t think I’d be the same me today, if it weren’t for you and your perseverance to get me to read.
I’d also like to thank Celine and Larissa. I want to thank you for sticking with me this year, and for all your contributions to YA Midnight Reads. You’ve both made this blog so much better with your awesome reviews and entertaining discussion posts that I would never be able to write myself. You both are such intelligent, fun and sweet girls, and I am so grateful to have met you. Seriously, thank you for dealing with me, and my strange mood swings where I have totally random blog ideas that sometimes make no sense. You girls are seriously the best. *group hug*
Celine–I just read your comment last year on YA Midnight Reads’ first blogversary, and I have just realised how close we’ve become. I’m so freaking glad you wanted to co-blog here, here’s to many more awesome discussion reviews together! (Particularly Hellhole. I AM SO EXCITED TO START THAT BOOK.)
Larissa–I cannot believe that I didn’t know you until January! You write the most thoughtful reviews–I cannot believe that one time when you said you didn’t know what to say for this book and you wrote 1000+ words. You’re da queen, girl. QUEEN. Also, boy drama sucks, and he doesn’t deserve you 😛
Jaz, my ice cream buddy (among several other things), you are one of the bestest people I know in the world. You’re so sweet and thoughtful and just a totally fun person to chat with. I am so glad that we got to meet in person this year, I have to fly up to Sydney one day so we can have a REAL ice cream date! To think of it, I believe we met when I joined Finding Bliss in Books. You were the first to comment on the welcome post, and that was pretty much how we started talking. LOVE YOU LOTS!
Emily! You’re like my non-blood related twin from Singapore. You’re so freaking talented, and our conversations always put a smile to my face. (REMEMBER THAT TWITTER COMPETITION WE HAD TO SEE WHO COULD HAVE THE LONGEST HASHTAG? THAT WAS TRULY FANTASTIC. WE SHOULD DO IT AGAIN SOMETIME.) I love your blog as much I adore you, your designs are so gorgeous 😀 I am so glad to know you. I definitely have meeting you on my bucket list, because it HAS to happen. (Or I’ll die trying.)
Ellis, you are the best frenemy anyone could ever have. SERIOUSLY. You have the best humour, a BRILLIANT taste in TV shows, and there isn’t one Twitter conversation that we have that doesn’t have me resulting in a huge grin. (Sure, sometimes I wouldn’t mind chopping your head off, but that’s okay.) You can also be real sweet when you are feeling like it (I’m only ever going to admit this once.) Thank you for being an awesome co-blogger at Finding Bliss in Books, too of course. #swagbird
There are so many more people I want to thank as well, but I think I might be here forever doing so. :O I want to thank every single person who has made the effort to leave a comment on here, because sometimes when I am feeling down, your comments give me the motivation and confidence to keep me doing what I’m doing. Also, thank you to all those booknerds who read this blog. Every pageview counts, and it puts a smile on my face when I see so many people actually taking the time to read what I (and Celine and Larissa) have to say.
A huge thank you to all the Aussie YA Book Bloggers too, you guys are the sweetest bunch of people ever, and I’m grateful to know every one of you. And it was so nice to meet one of you in person too–Ebony–I’m glad my craziness didn’t scare you off.
And ANOTHER huuuuuuge thank you to you Aussie Publishers! Thanks so much for letting me to review your books and help bring more publicity to them. You guys seriously rock. Hugs all around!
Oh god, where do I even begin??
Guess I’ll start with Mel. She’s okay. An average blogger. Somewhat fond of Percy Jackson.
Hahahaha! Okay, so now for the truth. Mel, guys- I swear she is supergirl. Seriously, I think of my fourteen (or fifteen year old now [; Mel, you’re growing up! LOL) self and in comparison I was so inadequate. The fact that you’re truly so confident in your passions and have turned it into this creative and intellectual melting pot is inspiring. I’m not just saying that, I know to many you’re an true inspiration for many and I definitely know that without you I wouldn’t be blogging. Thank you so much for letting me into your little corner of the internet and putting up with my haphazard posting schedules and casual disappearances into the void. I will never be able to express myself adequately when it comes to how much it means for me to be a part of this blog. You took a chance with me and that chance has resulted in so much personal happiness for me. You’re truly amazing and I love being a part of YA Midnight Reads. THANK YOU.
Celine! Girl. You’re actually one of the sweetest people ever, whenever I talk to you it’s guaranteed that you’ll leave me with a smile on my face. It’s an true honor to be able to be blogging with you at YA Midnight Reads. You post some truly hard hitting pieces and reviews that rock. I can’t wait to read more from you as you just are so eloquent in everything you do. I’m also very jealous of you…HOW DO YOU HAVE REVIEWS UP FOR 2015?!? Queen of blogging over here, Miss Celine of the Netherlands. No biggie. Haha. I’d just like to thank you for always being there for me and I can’t wait for us to become even closer in the coming year. Collaborating with you is truly fantastic.
Now I’d like to thank some (NOT all, listing all of you wonderful ladies would take forever. As much as I love you all, I’m already taking this sleep deprivation thing a bit too far) of the amazing blogging friends I’ve made because of YA Midnight Reads.
Faye, Rashika and Aimee 🙂 You three ladies are one of my biggest inspirations out there. Though my commenting is extremely sporadic lately, I still do manage to check the blog daily. Even if it’s on my glitchy phone. I also got to say, something I’ll always remember about blogging is being a part of that Potato Podcast. Thank you Faye for including me in that and for introducing me to that G chat. You’ve always made me feel so included and loved in the blogging community which is just amazing. Thank you Rashika for being my support during our time of addiction with the Kim Kardashian app [; Hahaha <33 You make me laugh like crazy girl. Thank you Aimee for always being so great to talk to about books, your posts always make me want to add in my two cents. Also your own blog design kills me- you have some crazy graphic skills girl.
Cait! Yes I’ve been awful at commenting on your blog (really I should just make a PSA about this) but I still consider your blog to be one of my top inspirations. Your posts are crazy good girl, they’re so down to earth and they have this amazing quality about them that just makes them so relatable. Not only do you create discussions, but you create discussions. I’m fairly certain that makes no sense, but what I’m trying to say is that you manage to bring together bloggers in your comments with your innate sense of personal connection like nobody else. Keep on fangirling and reviewing girl! I’ll definitely keep on checking up on your blog. Thank you so much for being one of my first blogging friends (:
Val ~~~~~~~ HAHAHA. You’re so funny and I always adore our comments and conversations with each other. I’m so glad that blogging at YA Midnight Reads has allowed me to get to know you on a deeper level. I can’t wait for us to become closer and for us to be less busy so we can actually talk to each other without having to deal with life~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you for being a star. Keep on shining and reviewing books.
Jess, hi. I hope you don’t find this a bit odd as we haven’t actually really talked much besides commenting on each other’s blogs. I personally just find you to be such an inspiration though, with your reviews and discussions being so thought provoking and eloquent. I also personally find myself identifying with you (LAW. UNIVERSITY. TAYLOR SWIFT. AHH) in a way that makes me feel as if though that we are twins. Yes, that must be it. Thank you for everything you do in the blogging world, and I hope to get to know you better.
Zoe (queen of compliments and my twin really), Megan (long comment team forever), Wendy (I’ve known you for quite some time and even now you continue to inspire me with your thoughtful words and such kindness to everybody), Kelly (how do you review so well and timely and comment???? give me your powers!), Mel (your monthly recaps and our shared love of fairytale retellings and historical fiction makes my life), Jeann (a reviewing and commenting powerhorse, so inspiring), Amir (I miss you a lot and always love talking to you, it’s something I find so easy and enjoyable) and YOU.
Alright, I swore this wouldn’t turn into an essay but now it is. Oooops. I suppose I’ll have to wrap it up quickly right now. Thank you so much for commenting and reading whatever I say on this blog. It honestly means soooooo much. I know it’s cliche to say, but reading your comments make me smile. Please feel free to talk to me whenever because I love you and want to know you guys better. There’s so many more people I’d like to thank, and honestly I would like to thank anybody reading these words right now or anybody who has ever posted a comment on here. It’s guaranteed that even in a small way you’ve made a difference in my life. THANK YOU!
*sniffles* What do you mean, I’m nearly crying after reading Mel’s and Larissa’s writings? I have no idea what you’re talking about. *wipes eyes*
Mel – I am so, so glad to be able to call myself your coblogger now. You’re the bestest friend anyone could wish for and I’m happy to have you in my life <3 I still remember a long time ago when I made my own little blog called The Book Shimmy. Back then I had no idea that you actually had to reach out to others and comment on their posts if you wanted to make friends (oh, the naïveté). But Mel somehow found me and left a comment and somehow, somewhere in between then and now we became friends. I really do think I can call Mel my very first blogging friend and I’m so glad to have met her. I can always talk to her, whether it’s to fangirl about the 100 or to plot world domination. Stay your Percabeth-loving, ice cream-eating, amazing self, Mel. I hope I get to buy your love with cookies and chocolate for a long time to come.
And of course, there is also Larissa. I am so glad to have met you through YA Midnight Reads! You are one of the sweetest persons I know and I know you’re always there to listen. I always admire your lengthy and in-depth and amazing reviews and your lengthy and in-depth and amazing comments. All hail Larissa, Queen of Long Comments. I’m happy you’re in my life and I hope that, like you said, we grow even closer next year. Stay awesome, girl.
Of course there are also so many others I have met through this blogging thing and I love all of you. I only have the space to name a few and you don’t get nearly the long thank-you you all deserve, but know that I appreciate and love you all <33
Ellis – I know you’ll always be there to flail about Laini Taylor, a.k.a. number one wording icon. You made me read Croak, for which I both love and hate you. (the PAIN, THE ETERNAL PAIN) (jk I love you). You’re truly amazing. Thank you <3
Lisa – Your blog has always been an inspiration for me and you are also amazing. Thank you for everything, fellow hater of bees!
Cait – Your blog, too, has been always been a major inspiration for me. Your blog is amazing and funny and you. Stay awesome, eater of books, owner of puppy, winner of NaNoWriMo.
Mel – You’re right up there with Larissa as Sweetest Person I Know. You’re always kind to others and ever passionate about fairytales. I hope your internship gets less stressful soon and I think you’re going to nail it. I believe in you!
Jeann – like Mel, you have been with me since pretty much the beginning. I’ve been awful at commenting lately but I have always appreciated your thoughtful comments <3
There are so many more I consider friends, inspirations or both. Some I have never even talked to, but they are an inspiriation to me. Others I have talked to, and I really hope it stays that way.
Amanda, Rashika, Aimee and Faye, Emily, Jaz, Giselle, Kara, Lyn and Bekka, Zoe, Siiri, Dre, Bieke, Nara, Jamie, Sam, Wendy and many, many more: thank you.
1. No cheating! All duplicate entries will be removed and you will be disqualified.
2. You must be 13 years or older to enter any of these giveaways
3. YA Midnight Reads is not responsible for lost items in the mail
GIVEAWAY 1: AUS/NZ ONLY
This first giveaway will have TWO winners. Each will receive 6 YA novels each which were kindly provided by the Aussie publishers. No, I’m not going to reveal the books that are included in these PRIZE PACKS, but here are a few clues to which some of the books you should expect…
- The one with 2014’s most beautiful cover (IMO)
- A book by the author who wrote one of the most well known angel series
- The Bell Jar…but not The Bell Jar…
- One of 2013’s most (admittedly) overhyped alien/post-apocalypse novels
- And MANY MORE
- (Plus some totally awesome swag from Melanie because she’s TOTALLY AWESOME like that)
I’d like to thank HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Hachette, Allen & Unwin and Bloomsbury for providing these books for giveaway! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST! MWAH <33
GIVEAWAY 2: INTERNATIONAL (SEE? I DIDN’T FORGET YOU GUYS!)
I am offering any one book up to $15 from The Book Depository for you international peeps. Aussies and Kiwis, you can enter this giveaway, too. >.<
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- Mel’s 2016 Resolutions (That Hopefully Will Last the Year) - January 7, 2016