The Need To Read

Lately I have felt a nearly insatiable need to read. It started at the end of last year. 2015 was winding down and, as I am sure many people do, I was reflecting upon my accomplishments for the year. I had made headway in the revisions of my novel, I had run my first (and most likely last) 5K, but most importantly I had survived my first full calendar year as a mom. I was proud of what I had done, but there was one gaping hole in my list:

What Books Had I Read in 2015?

I searched my mind for recent stories. I came up with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and countless other children’s stories I had read aloud to my son.

No good. I was looking for “me books.”

I thought some more. A couple of stories popped into my head like California, and Guy In Real Life, but then I realized I had listened to both of those books (and a bunch more–like the entire series of the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner) as audiobooks. This was a little bit better – it means I had fed my brain some stories, but what practice did my eyes have in seeing words? The ultimate answer frightened me: none.

Is Any Excuse Acceptable?

This has happened to me before. I once went over two years without reading a single story (not even a children’s book). It was one of the most heartbreaking times of my life. When I came out the other side, I promised I would never – if I had the power to – allow it to happen again. That time I had a pretty good excuse: I was legally blind, I couldn’t see the words even though I wanted to.

What was my excuse this time? I was tired. Pathetic, I know. But to those who understand the term I will say this: I was parent-tired. Wait. It’s more than that. I was first-time-new-parent-tired. To those who have never walked that walk, I’m sorry, there are no words that can describe it . To those who have, I am sure you get why I have forgiven myself!

Reading Forward

Beyond forgiving myself, I also began to understand why the craving to sit in my armchair in my front window cuddled up with a book and no one else in the house was suffocating me. I looked at my nightstand – there sat the two books I had bought myself last year (I only bought two books?! Still shocking.): New Yorked by Rob Hart, a local author I wanted to support, and Go Set A Watchmen by Harper Lee, my heroine for life. It was time I picked one up and figured out how to read as a mommy. To my utter astonishment, local loyalty won the day – I picked up New Yorked and gobbled it whole (my review), and purchased the next book in the series. Then I found The Magicians by Lev Grossman, fell quickly into book love and then, most surprisingly of all an ARC of Lily and the Octopus was mailed to me and I fell into deep, deep agonizing book obsession. As a reader, I could safely say I was back on the wagon, but one thing was still amiss.

Where are my YA Reads?

I write YA. I need to read YA.

I didn’t know where to begin. I had been out of the loop too long. I know there is no such thing as “catching up” in the world of missed reads, but there must be some signpost to at least direct me to books I needed, right?


No. I am not kidding. I found it. Enter FOREVER YOUNG ADULT to my rescue.

Their tagline: A site for YA readers who are a little less Y and a bit more A.
(image from their ABOUT page)

These wonderful people not only have the world’s best website for someone like me, they also have a BOOK CLUB! Here’s what they have listed for their upcoming reads:

March Selection: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

April Selection: THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen

May Selection: THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

June Selection: DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy

July Selection: CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

August Selection: SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli

The best part? I have not read any of these yet. So…


I’m ready!

April here I come. I basically ran to my bookstore to get this book. I have somehow missed out on reading any Sarah Dessen thus far in my life and I am looking forward to changing that!

My question: