Being a book blogger is hard. At the start of this year, I almost gave it up. I really struggle to read that sentence back. March approached and I had read 3 books. One was a novella. So two books. Two. The Witch's Tears and The Song Rising were the two books I'd managed to read, up until April. I managed to type up reviews for those two, but let me just point out, I have since re-read both those books and feel my reviews didn't do them any justice because something is just missing from them.
So picture this, in February I'd contacted an author because I thought the premise of his new book sounded amazing. He put me into contact with his publisher and when April came around, a proof of this book fell into my lap. It wasn't a particularly short book and I was so deep into a reading slump, the size of the book left me with my head in my hands. It's only around 500 pages, but when you're in a slump, 5 pages seems to be too many. I reluctantly started reading but from page one, I knew there was something special about this book. This book was After the Fire.
It took me four weeks to put together a review that seemed even slightly good enough to share with the world, on how magnificent this book truly was. I spent hours on it; tweaking words, rewriting sentences, re-reading parts of the book. I wanted it to be perfect. I was excited. I was passionate. I was enthusiastic. I wanted to stand on rooftops and declare my love for this book. (Sadly, I did not do that - maybe next year).
The emotions I was feeling, I thought I'd lost. For them to be surfacing again was the most incredible feeling in the world. I drove my followers completely bonkers with talk of this book. My family have read it, my friends have read it, so many followers have read it - and can I just point out, not a single person I've recommended it to has had a bad word to say about it. Then it got picked as one of the Zoella Book Club reads and there was me again, ranting and raving about the book. Then I met Will at YALC, which was incredible. Do you know how amazing it is to meet someone whose words were so powerful that they ignited a spark in you that you'd almost given up on? I look at where I am now and I can not believe I almost gave up book blogging - I genuinely don't think I could cope without it now.
Books shape you from such a young age. They can mold you, they can give you a voice, they can be a friend in the darkest times and most importantly, they can change you. I think of all the opportunities and friendships that have stemmed from my love of this book, and it just goes to show how powerful words can be. When you feel so intensely about something, any anxieties and fears seem to diminish. Me early in the year? I couldn't leave my house because my anxiety was so crippling. Me a few months later? I went to a venue with thousands of people to talk to someone I'd never met before, about a book that changed me.
I'm not saying the sole reason for my continued motivation and drive was this one book and I'm not saying a book is capable of curing anxiety, but it certainly was the catalyst. And gave me experiences I would never have able to have without having a reason to do them. Read any of my other reviews on my blog - and then read my one of After the Fire. It still makes me emotional reading it now. So Will, if you're reading this, thank you. This blog probably wouldn't still be here if not for Moonbeam and her real life heroism. Tomorrow marks a new year, and a new book from pressure ;).
So here's to a wonderful year of achievements and success on my blog that I never dreamed were possible. Let's hope 2018 has similar thinking.

What books have changed you? Is there a book that has given you a reason to do anything? Let me know in the comments below.

No comments