7 May 2018

Celebrating 3 Years of Blogging!

I honestly don't know what to say. I've been staring at any empty post for about 2 hours and have had this drafted for a month because I wanted to "get ahead." And yet, here I am, not sure how to put into words what blogging means to me and how I am so grateful to have been able to do it for three full years.

Last year I didn't even celebrate my two years because I barely blogged. There was nothing to celebrate because I had to give up blogging, the one thing I truly loved to do, in order to complete my MA. I'm done that now, but working full time so blogging still takes a bit of a back seat.

So what's the issue? The issue is that in my first year of blogging I was able to do everything and more than I could even fathom. But I wasn't working full time, I wasn't in school, I was able to spend all my time blogging. Now I have to try to balance working, volunteering, prepping to try to do another degree program, and this, my pride and joy, my blog.

Blogging has given me something though - an outlet to be creative. And the understanding that anything I do in my "real" life, I want to be able to use what I do in my "online" life. So I've started looking into doing additional courses in digital marketing, graphic design, and so much more. I want to take what I've learned through this blog and transform it into a way for me to impact others.

But enough about me. Let's take a look back into the last year and find out what Books and Ladders has done!

How I Request ARCS + An Email Template & List of Canadian Publishers

Originally Posted: April 7, 2016
Description: I talk about what I (used) to do to request ARCs when I didn't have contacts at publishers that I wanted to request books from.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays (5): 5 Epic Fantasy Books You've Probably Never Heard Of

Originally Posted: March 2, 2017
Description: I talk about 5 fantasy books that don't get as much attention as the popular ones but should definitely be on your TBR. I honestly wish I had more time to continue SFFFridays. I really enjoyed those posts.

Event Recap: #FrenzyPresents + #Giveaway

Originally Posted: April 11, 2018
Description: Learn about the Spring 2018 books coming out from HarperCollins!

#Discussion: 2018 Canadian YA Releases + Another Year of We Can(ada) Read!

Originally Posted: December 29, 2017
Description: I discuss the 2018 Canadian YA releases plus give you more information about my annual feature, We Can(ada) Read, that takes place in September!

#BlogTour: THE SWEETHEART SHAM by Danielle Ellison // #GuestPost + #Giveaway

Originally Posted: December 4, 2017
Description: I posted as part of the blog tour for THE SWEETHEART SHAM by Danielle Ellison. She gave a guest post on her favourite fake relationships, which is my FAVOURITE trope.


Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

My Review (will be posted in a couple weeks!)

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.


Author: Emma Mills
Series: N/A
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co (BYR)
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review!

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.


Author: Julia Ember
Series: The Seafarer's Kiss #1
Publisher: Duet Books
Publication Date: May 4, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

My Review!

Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.


Author: Adrienne Kisner
Series: N/A
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review! (Will be published in June)

In Adrienne Kisner's Dear Rachel Maddow, a high school girl deals with school politics and life after her brother’s death by drafting emails to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in this funny and heartfelt YA debut.

Brynn Haper's life has one steadying force--Rachel Maddow.

She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project--and actually getting a response--Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick's death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she's stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out.

Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn's archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?


Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orïsha #1
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

My Review!

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. 

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. 

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.


  1. Big congrats on 3 years Jamie!!

  2. Huge congrats on three years, that's just an incredible accomplishment! Here's to many more! :)

  3. Happy Blogoversary!! 3 years is amazing, Jamie! You should be proud!

    It's hard to blog on a normal basis once you've got that pesky full time job. I've got that one and I blog whenever I have free time and energy. It helps that I don't do much of anything else. Lol! You'll find your right balance though and make it work so that you can still enjoy blogging!

  4. Congratulations! I'm so happy you are going to keep doing what makes you happy and gives you that creative outlet everyone needs.


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