2016 Highlights + Wrap-Up

2016 was … a year, that’s for sure. There were some good things, and some very (very) bad things. However, we can’t forget all of the amazing things that DID actually happen, and that we accomplished in 2016. So we’re going to go through, month by month, and tell you 1 highlight, along with our favourite book we read that month. Let’s get started!

JANUARY

Ah. The beginning of 2016. The start of a new, fresh year. And let’s just say, we had a good month! (For both the reading and school category, and lots and lots of editing!). We didn’t attend any book signings or anything, but it was a good month for reviews and blogging! Our favourite post of the month was definitely…

Why We Love YA and MG

And our favourite reads were:

WOLF BY WOLF (Sarena) & THE HUNGER GAMES (Sasha – reread)

FEBRUARY

Ah. The month of love and valentines and … all that good stuff. Again, no book signings, but we did do some fun Valentines Day-themed events at our school library for the volunteer group we were a part of last year, as well as loooots of reading!

Favourite post of the month: [ARC Review] REIGN OF SHADOWS by Sophie Jordan

Favourite reads of the month: WOLF BY WOLF (Sasha) & SALT TO THE SEA (Sarena)

MARCH

March was a month full of business, tests, etc. We did attend (and participate in!) our school’s French talent show, and toward the end of the month we went to the Penguin Teen on Tour signing. We even had a dinner with the authors. (It was, in one word, amazing.)

 blogger pic      author photo

Favourite post of the month: [ARC Review] THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh

Favourite reads of the month: Sarena did not have a favourite; Sasha’s fave was HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (reread) 

APRIL 

This was the month of our uni club’s first-ever magazine launch (what an accomplishment!). We also had final exams and read some PRETTY AMAZING books. Like The Crown’s Game, Salt to the Sea, Lady Midnight… Some of the best of the year! It was also the month of receiving awards (we got some for being volunteers at our school library!) and participating in Twitter pitch contests like #kidpit and one of our all-time FAVES, #DVPit!

Favourite post of the month:[Review] LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare

Favourite reads of the month: SALT TO THE SEA (Sasha) & REBEL OF THE SANDS (Sarena)

MAY

This was the month we went hardcore on our Editing Services (check them out if you haven’t already! We also just started an editing course today so, yay–more editing!) and, toward the end of the month, we started yet another massive revision of our novel. The most fun part of the month was definitely attending the Raincoast Books Fall Preview Event in Toronto and receiving a lot of amazing ARCs like Labyrinth Lost, When the Moon was Ours, We Are Still Tornadoes, and more.

twd crit servicesFINAL

Favourite post of the month: Anything from our Editing 101 series! It was a week full of editing tips, leading up to the grand reveal of our critique services!

Favourite reads of the month: THE RAVEN KING (Sasha) & THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER (Sarena) 

JUNE 

Summer, summer, summer. It was in full swing! We attended our cousin’s wedding and a book signing, which was hosted by Indigo and titled ‘Indigo Teen Trivia Night.’ We saw authors Teresa Toten (Beware That Girl), E.K. Johnston (Star Wars: Ahsoka, A Thousand Nights), and Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms, A Book of Spirits and Thieves). 

Favourite post of the month: Books We Accidently DNF’d

Favourite reads of the month: A COURT OF MIST AND FURY (Sasha) & ZENITH (Sarena)

JULY 

The beginning weekend (trip to Ohio) and ending weekend (pool + picnic w/ friends, meeting a cousin from England, hanging out with her and our other cousins via mini golf/laser tag/dinner at an Italian restaurant, and finally a sleepover after going to the midnight release of the Cursed Child!) were HECKA FUN. Seriously. Highlights of our summer.

Favourite post of the month: Why We Need Diverse Main Characters

Favourite reads of the month: IVORY AND BONE (Sasha) & P.S I STILL LOVE YOU (Sarena)

August

The final month before school! Ahh! We got our G2 drivers licences, attended some bookish events like Indigo Book Preview, HarperCollins Canada’s Frenzy Presents event, and an awesome book signing (where we met authors like Roshani Chokshi, Ryan Graudin, Leah Bobet, and Lindsay Smith!). We also found out we were becoming #PitchWars 2016 mentees (a total shock–and an experience we’re grateful for!), and read some amazing books. Also, can’t forget about the Olympics! Or the way Pokemon Go took over our lives…

Favourite post of the month: GIF Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Favourite reads of the month: MORE HAPPY THAN NOT (Sasha) & A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT (Sarena)

September

Back-to-school season! And, let’s be real, the best part of the first day of school was … promptly leaving it after class, going to the nearest Indigo, and buying a copy of Empire of Storms. Which ended up being really good but also … I have some slight issues with this book/series. SLIGHT. (I still do love them.) Anyway, this isn’t a review, and sadly I haven’t even posted by EoS review yet, but I did co-host a readalong for the book, which made my reading experience all the more special. (Surprisingly enough, though, I didn’t love it nearly as much as I loved A Court of Mist and Fury, which is a SJ Maas novel that just CAN’T BE TOPPED. Yet.)

Favourite post of the month: Blog Tour & ARC Review: LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Cordova

Favourite reads of the month: EMPIRE OF STORMS (Sasha) & LABYRINTH LOST (Sarena)

October

This was when our reading when promptly down the drain… and when school started taking over our lives. Hey, at least we were able to organize a surprise birthday party for our mom, and have an awesome Halloween (even if was just sitting at home, watching Monster House, aka the best movie EVER!) And, of course, can’t forget about all the book signings we attended! Marie Lu! Kendare Blake! Lauren Oliver! And sooo many more.

Favourite post of the month: We only posted our September Wrap-Up. Oops.

Favourite reads of the month: Sasha only read 1 book… Sarena’s fave was THREE DARK CROWNS

November

Another non-reading month. (I did read two unpubbed manuscripts, if that counts for anything!). No NaNo this year, sadly! This month was … a rollercoaster of emotions. It was our 20th birthday, which was fun and special, and the month of the #PitchWars agent showcase, which, again, was a SERIES OF ROLLERCOASTER-Y EMOTIONS. And … everything else that happened in November. Which was a lot. To sum things up: let’s just say post-elections, anxiety was high and we’ve learned to be as empathetic people as possible. It’s time to stand up for what’s right, and what we believe in. Write diverse novels, work toward publication, and get marginalized voices HEARD. After the 2016 U.S. election, that’s more important than ever, and even as Canadians, we’re working hard to promote and read as many diverse books as possible. (And on a lighter note: We attended a dual launch for E.K. Johnston’s Star Wars: Ahsoka and Sarah Raughley’s Fate of Flames!)

Favourite post of the month: Most Anticipated Diverse Reads of 2017

Favourite reads of the month: Sasha read nothing; Sarena’s fave was THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR

December

Finally, the last month of 2016. There were many exams, some stress thrown in there, along with the high of holiday shopping. Then there’s eating lots of turkey and stuffing ALL THE FOODS in your face, as well as meeting with family. (That’s our favourite part.) All in all, it was really fun, and we got a lot of amazing things (including LOTS of books!) for Christmas, so we might just post a December Book Haul, seeing as there were … *quite* a few! Oh, and let’s not forget the week Sasha got sick … (ugh) or how we FINALLY got our friend to watch Elf for the first time. (Yeah, she’d never seen Elf. We fixed that, don’t worry.)

Favourite post of the month: 2016 End-of-Year Book Survey!

Favourite reads of the month:  THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN (Sasha) & MAGNUS CHASE 2 (Sarena) 


And that’s all! We all hope you had a safe and restful beginning to your new year, and for great things to come. Wishing all the best success and bookish things in 2017,

-S&S

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