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One Year Blogoversary and Giveaway!

This post is very long, and you can always skip to the very bottom for the giveaway! :)

Hi everyone! The Book Belles started exactly one year ago from today, and I've made so many new friends and had such a great time blogging since then! :) I have so many people to thank for how far The Book Belles has come.

The Book Belles Start:

Back in October  2011, I was searching for a review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I stumbled across a 5 star review for it on The Book Barbies blog. I hadn't even known book blogs existed before that. I shortly after bought Unearthly an absolutely loved it! I thought it was so cool that there was a way to share your opinions of books with other book lovers. I also quickly found Goodreads, which I thought was one of the coolest ideas ever! I started considering starting my own blog, but with school and other things going on, I thought it would be great for the blog to have more than one blogger. I was in a book club and I talked to one of my close friends from it, Alex, and she loved the idea of building a blog together. We actually met at a Panera and spent forever trying to think of a name for the blog. She suggested The Book Belles, and we both loved the name. We created the blog after meeting a few more times.

Since then, Alex got pretty busy with school and was unable to keep blogging. However, I've got to meet and have three amazing different guest bloggers on The Book Belles: Isabele, Rebecca, and Andrea.

Amazing Blogger Friends:
Over the course of blogging, I've become friends with some amazing bloggers. They are:

Lili @ Lili's Reflections: I met Lili throughout the ARCycling program and I later found her blog. Her reviews are always so well written and precise, and I also tend to agree with her opinion on a lot of different books. Also, she created an amazing program, Books Change Lives, to help get books to children. I think that's one of the coolest ideas ever, and it's so amazing that she's doing that project. 

Maida @ Literary Love Affair: This girl is such an amazing person! We have very similar taste in books and her reviews about the books are always great and seem to sum up the book perfectly! Also, she leaves the sweetest comments ever. There's been a few books that she's loved that I've decided to check out, and I ended up also loving them. I can always count on her opinion of different books :) A book she wrote a glowing review for which I loved was Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. Also, after seeing her review for Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, I definitely want to start  it very soon!

Shreya @ Chocolate Coated Reviews: Shreya was my second ever friend on Goodreads. I friended Emma, a previous blogger at The Book Barbies as soon as I got my Goodreads account, and soon after, I friended Shreya. We ended up reading Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi at the same time, and I've also chatted with her a few times. Her reviews are great and I always love her GIF posts and how funny they are ;)

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Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf: I discovered her blog and after seeing she liked Taylor Swift and she was around my age, I started emailing back and forth with her for a little while. She's a super nice person and her blog's also great! I love reading her different reviews and her US vs. UK posts.

Mandy @ The Romance Bookie: One of the first signings I went to was for Gayle Foreman, Nina LaCour, and Stephanie Perkins. I went to the event with my mom and was so excited to meet all the authors, but I was definitely somewhat nervous about it (I'm somewhat shy). While there, my mom mentioned my blog and Mandy mentioned how she also had one. She's such a friendly person and gave me a few helpful tips on blogging. I've interviewed her on the blog, and she's a huge fan of Meg Cabot. Her signing recaps and reviews are always super interesting! 

Awesome Blogs

The Book Barbies: This blog was what inspired me to start The Book Belles in the first place, and I've loved every book I've picked up that was recommended by them.

Doodle's Book Blog: I love her video blogs and her My Next Book meme. Her reviews are always so heartfelt, too.

Nawanda Files: I only discovered Nawanda Files pretty recently, but the movie part of the blog is so interesting and creative to me. This where I go to find out any news about book turned movies.

Citrus Reads: This blog has such a cute design and all the reviews that Cassie writes are so well written!

Paperback Princess: I'm friends with Nicole on Goodreads, and the number of books she reads is so amazing. She also manages to post a review of a different book almost every day, which I find completely astounding :) Her reviews are all great!

Singing and Reading in The Rain: Eileen also posts great review, but one of my favorite things about her blog are Tuney Tuesdays. I think all the song reviews are such a unique idea! 

Katie's Book Blog: She was another blog that I discovered pretty early on and I just love visiting her blog for any new posts every day.

Maji Bookshelf: I love all the posts Juhina and Farah write and they always have such interesting questions for the authors they interview.

Read a Holicz: Lisseth has so many cool features on her blog. I love The Hot Seat feature, where she interviews so many great authors!

The Visitors:

I really appreciate anyone who has taken the time to comment, follow, or even visit my blog. Thank you so much to everyone <3

The Publishers

HarperTeen: I requested a few books from them, but the first few times they had run out of copies. My request finally went through, and instead or receiving the one book I expected, I received four additional books along with it. The publicists there are also so nice to request books from :)

Kensington Teen: I got my first every review ARC from them of Decked With Holly by Marni Bates. I was so incredibly excited when I got the email letting me know that the would send me a copy. They also included a copy of Otherkin along with it, which was another amazing book!

Merit Press: They are a new YA press, and all their books sounded amazing! I requested two of them to review, and they sent me two hardcover copies that arrived almost a month before their release. It was an amazing surprise :)

Walnut Springs Press: I love The Jane Austen Diaries series by Jenni James, and when Persuaded came out, I really wanted to read it. As soon as I went to purchase a copy of it on Amazon, it sold out as soon as I added the copy to my cart. I requested a copy from the publisher and the publicist also offered some more amazing books to review along with Persuaded. All the books sound so amazing :)

Tor Teen/ St. Martins Press: Both publishers have generously sent me copies of books I wanted to read and have yet to review. My reviews for them should be up sometime soon and thank you so much to them!

Harlequin Teen: I loved the idea for Hooked by Liz Fichera when I first found about it. I requested a copy from Harlequin Teen, and they sent me a copy that I ended up really enjoying! Their Harlequin Teen Panel is also awesome.

The Authors

Jessica Brody- I interviewed her on the blog, after attending her 52 Reasons to Hate My Father launch party. I met her again a few months later at the YA in the Sun event, and she remembered me! That was one of the coolest things ever :)

Tahereh Mafi- I met her at the first signing I ever attended and she is a super sweet person and her books are also awesome. 

Cynthia Hand- I have also been able to meet her twice and her books are so amazing! I wish Boundless would just get here already ;)


My Faves

Books in 2012:
Sci Fi: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Dystopian: Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Contemporary: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Steampunk: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Paranormal: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
2013 (read so far ;): Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Music:
One Direction- They are my favorite artist ever at this point. There songs are all so amazing! :)

Taylor Swift- She also had great music and two of my favorite songs by her are Mean and You Belong With Me. 

Ellie Goulding- I think she's a super talented singer and I especially love Lights and Starry Eyed by by her. 

Call Me Maybe- I love how catchy this song is!

Titanium- I also love this song and think it's really great.

TV Shows:

The X Factor- The season just ended, but I loved watching Emblem 3 and the other artists perform on there!

Teen Wolf- I enjoyed the first season of this a lot, but I thought the second season was definitely not as good.

Jane by Design- Jane by Design got canceled, but I loved the first season! I think the idea was great :)

My Bookshelf

I've never shown how my bookshelf looks as a whole, so here it is!

Giveaway

I'm having a follower appreciation giveaway and I've had such an amazing year blogging. Thank you to everyone for that! I know this post was super gigantic, but there was so much stuff I had to say :) For the giveaway, it's international. Also, I'll be having smaller US/CA giveaways at different times throughout this week. There will be two winners for this giveaway. One winner will receive a preorder of any 2013 Release of Your Choice while the other winner will receive Any Book Ever Reviewed of Your Choice on The Book Belles (there's 91 choices ;) There's also some extra entries for following some of my blogger friends. Here's the giveaway:

Some ideas for 2013's:
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)MILA 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)The Art of Wishing
Boundless (Unearthly, #3)SplinteredEverbound (Everneath, #2)Spirit (Elemental, #3)
Some ideas for books reviewed:
Anna and the French KissUnder the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)Smart Girls Get What They WantThe Friday Society

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)Meant to BeUnearthly (Unearthly, #1)Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

48 comments:

  1. My jaw hit the floor when I saw your bookshelf! WOW! Looks amazing! :)
    Congrats on your blogoversary :) I wish you many more :)
    Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  2. I also like Ellie Goulding, Titanium and Jane by Design. What I like most though is your shelf. Ohmygod, YOUR SHELF!!! I am totally identifying every book you have in there. That means I am staring at my computer screen for a while now. LOL! Congratulations! And thank you for the giveaway. :)

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    1. lol,that's so funny! (I totally do the same thing whenever I see a picture of someone else's bookshelf ;) Thank you so much! :)

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  3. Your bookshelf is amazing!
    Happy Blogoversary and thanks for the giveaway :)

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  4. OH MY GOSH I WANT YOUR BOOKSHELF!!! Okay, so I was reading this post, and I was enjoying it, and then I saw my name...and I totally freaked out! I even called my mom to come and see!! Thank you sooooo much for mentioning me, it's such an honor. And yeah, even though we live on opposite sides of the US, we still manage to be friends!! And promise I will send out your package really soon!!!

    Love you, love your blog, thanks for the awesome giveaway, and thanks for mentioning me!!!! *squeals*

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    1. Thank you! Your blog is so amazing and it's always so much fun to talk with you :)

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  5. Your shelves, Montana! <3 They're so awesome! I want to switch places with you! haha I have yet to truly establish connections with any publishers. It's hard a nerve-racking, but I hope to be able to do so one day, especially with HarperTeen since the goal is to eventually work there when I'm older. I also want to thank you for the shout out! You're one of my favorite bloggy friends as well haha. In fact, you were sort of my own version of "The Book Barbies!" Can't wait to see what else you have in store for us with the lovely blog! Merry almost Christmas.


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    1. Hi Lili! It also took me a few months before I started contacting publishers because I was also really nervous, and I hope everything goes great when you do start contacting them. ( HarperTeen is also one of the nicest publishers ;) That's so cool you want to work there, I want to be a publicist somewhere one day :) Merry Christmas and thank you so much!

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  6. Your bookshelf is gorgeous! I love the crown moulding. :)

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  7. Congrats on one year blogoversary . I like your bookshelf.

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  8. I really like your bookshelves!!! Happy Blogoversary :)

    I love Ellie Goulding too!

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    1. Thanks, her music is great! I love Starry Eyed, Anything Can Happen and Lights :)

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  9. MONTANA.!!!!!! You are just awesome, fantastic, amazing, fantabulous and everything else that means INCREDIBLE!! I adore you, and your blog, and your posts and your perfect taste in books! You are one of my closest blogger friends and I am so glad to have met you, over something as cool as books! And let's face it, ANYONE who loves Emblem3 as much I do is obviously the best person in the world! LOL ;p But no really, I love reading your fun comments on my blog and I love talking to you about the books we like or don't like, it's always fun and I definitely look forward to more of it in the future. *HUGS!! x infinity!!* :D

    And I LOVE your shelves too! I am redecorating my room so all my old furniture got thrown out, and all my books are currently in my closet or in drawers....so I am not so patiently waiting to get my own shelves! I guess I am completely jealous! lol ;p But, yours look awesome! I love how you have the different colours of pink....FUNKY! :D

    So, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO YOU!!! I hope you have a gazillion more in the future (cheers to that) and thank you for the sweetest most touching things you said about me! I am beyond words, really, thank you! :D LOVE YOU LIKE I LOVE CHOCOLATE CAKE (and everything sweet *wink*)!!!

    And before I forget, thank you for the awesomesauce giveaway! :p

    ~ Maida <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

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    1. Emblem3 is definitely amazing, and the youngest one is my favorite ;) Also, I hope your room looks amazing once it's redecorated. Thank you so much Maida!

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  10. Congrats on one year and thank you for the wonderful shout out! I'm so in love with your bookshelves!!

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  11. I had no idea that you were my age! Wow! You always seemed so mature! Well good for you! What an awesome accomplishment in this blog. I LOVE your bookshelf. I was like, "*swoon*". With your Mac in the foreground ;) haha That is such a cool story about the start of your blog! I love me some Panera Bread! This is an absolutely amazing giveaway, and I am so excited! *squee* Maybe it's just the Christmas getting to me, but I'm excited about this. I'm following some of the blogs you recommended and am actually genuinely interested in keeping up with them. Thanks for everything!

    Marie @ Marie's Bookworm Blog
    http://mariesbookwormblog.blogspot.com

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    1. Panera does have great bread. Also, that's so cool you're my age, I've never been told I seemed mature before, lol ;) Thank you so much and good luck for the giveaway!

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  12. I love the colors on the picture-such a happy place to read and write reviews :) Looks like you've had a great year, best wishes for many more!

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    1. Thank you, I hope you also have many more great years!

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  13. ohmhyghaaaaash! whew! really hard to choose!!! so many awesome books! Congratulations on your one year blogoversary! yay! woot woot! *cheeers

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    1. Thank you! There are some amazing books releasing this year :)

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  14. I LOVE your bookshelf!!! :o It looks so organized!
    And happy blogoversary! :) Here's to many more!

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    1. I tried to organize it by author's last name, but it did get all mixed up, so it's somewhat organized ;) Thank you so much!

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  15. Happy Blogoversary!! Amazing bookshelf as well. I'm so jealous! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  16. Love your bookshelf! I see Gallagher Girls on there! But that's so cool how you started out and I love your blog :) Happy Blogoversary to youuu!

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    1. The Gallagher Girls series is one of my favorite series, I'm so excited for the next book in it :) Thank you!

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  17. Oh my, the bookshelf... lucky you! :)
    Thanks and happy blogoversary! :)

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  18. AHHH!!! I'm so lucky to have met you Montana! Thank you so much for considering me a friend! You're awesome, kind, funny, and everything in between! HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY GURLIE!!! You and your blog deserve the love you've gotten! <3

    Shreya@CCReviews

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    1. P.S- Wait till tomorrow missy, I'll be mentioning you on my blog as well! hehehe >:D XD

      Shreya@CCReviews

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    2. Thank you so much Shreya! It's been great to know you and it's also cool out blogoversary's are around the same time :)

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  19. That's a lovely bookshelf :) I enjoyed reading your review of your first year of blogging - and congratulations on the blogoversary!

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    1. Thank you, I had so much fun this year :)

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  20. OKAY SO

    I saw this and I was like "TIME TO LEAVE A RANDY HUGE COMMENT!!!" but then I got distracted by *cough* Tetris. I blame Nikki for scarring me. SHE MADE ME TOTALLY ADDICTED.

    ANYWAY, thank you SOOOOOO much for the mention I appreciate it so much! *picks up Montana and twirls her around* I TOTES LOVE YOUR BLOG AND IT'S ON MY EMAIL *points* SEE?!?! AND UMMMM HELLO SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT?!?!?!

    BEST

    CONTEMPORARY

    EVER

    It was just so epically cute!!!

    And congrats again on your blogoversary! I hope to see you around for manymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymanymany more years, if not MORE! And congrats on getting 1000 followers! That's such a huge accomplishment and you totally deserve them <33

    *cue spazzy alligator* *Charlie Brown dances away*

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    1. I love Tetris too, it is very distracting ;) Also, Smart Girls Get What They Want is amazing, I loved Mike and Gigi together :) Thank you!

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  21. Your shelves!! What a beautiful collection!

    Happy blogoversary, and I hope you have many more.

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  22. Montana! Congratulations! You were an absolute pleasure to meet in April, and I REALLY hope we get to meet again!!

    Your shelves are gorgeous!!
    I might be emailing you in the next couple of months, because there might be an awesome event coming up, that would be awesome if we could meet up there! I'm just not sure yet what authors are going to be there, because the website has been down, but I'm guessing they are currently just working on it! I went to the event this year, in February, and got to meet Meg Cabot, Beth Revis, Marie Lu and this year's breathless panel, plus Marissa Meyer (Cinder) and a TON of other authors!!

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    1. Thank you so much! It was great to meet you, and that event sounds amazing :)

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  23. Your bookshelf is so amazing! Happy blogoversary and thank you for the giveaway.

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Hi! Thank you so much for commenting, I read each and every comment and love reading them :) Also, I'll comment back as soon as I can. Happy Reading!