Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, book bloggers! I have spent the last few days reading, relaxing and slowly chipping away at this End of Year Book Survey that was created by the Perpetual Page Turner. It’s a long one, but it was also a great opportunity for me to reflect on what I read and enjoyed this year, as well as what I want to accomplish next year. Take a look!
Number Of Books You Read: 75 books! More than I have ever read in a single year before.
Number of Re-Reads: 12
Genre You Read The Most From: Probably YA contemporary and adult fiction.
1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
I definitely can’t pick a single book. But my five favorites are:
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
😦 I’m a big Libba Bray fan, and The Diviners seemed like a perfect blend between historical fiction, mystery and urban fantasy. I was saving it for a rainy day because I was so sure I was going to love it. But I disliked the main character so much that it ruined the book for me.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
I didn’t expect to enjoy It Ended Badly as much as I did! It’s a look into thirteen of the most terrible, violent, heart-wrenching and just bizarre breakups in world history. A great crash course if historical figures as well as to the timeless human emotions that come into play when two people go their separate ways.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
My boyfriend has much more of a science/math brain than I do, and its often very difficult to get him to read any fiction. BUT I did get him to read The Martain with me, and then he finished it in like 24 hours when I was still on chapter three. This is a great book to recommend to people who may not be as inclined to pick up a book for fun.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Undoubtedly, the best series I started in 2015 was The Lunar Chronicles. I’m so happy that the book blogging community pushed me to read these! The premise was not something that drew me in, so I never would have experienced this amazing series if not for all of YOU! THANK YOU!
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith! I am all about the Cormoran Strike mysteries! I am not that into mysteries generally, but we all know JKR knows how to tell an amazing story. But to be perfectly honest, my main interest in these stories is the Robin/Cormoran buildup. I’m calling it, the next book is when they get their shit together. I HOPE.
Best Series Ender:
Well, I only read one series ender, so that makes it a pretty easy decision. The Last Olympian was a fitting ending to the Percy Jackson series, and it also the highest-rated book on Goodreads I read this year (tied with Cress). The Titan’s Curse is still my favorite in the series though!
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Easy one! I discovered Jennifer Donnelly this year after reading These Shallow Graves. Her writing is atmospheric and she writes kick-ass, well rounded heroines. I can’t wait to check out more of her books next year!
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Wonder by RJ Palacio – I never read middle grade books, since I am not a middle grader. But I am very glad I made an exception for Wonder, which was such a beautiful and touching story.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I Am Pilgrim was incredibly action-packed, especially for book that was so long! It’s a well-written globe-trotting thriller that kept me gripped from the first paragraph. If you’re looking for an amazing plane book, I highly recommend it!
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I don’t do a ton of re-reading, especially books within a year of each other. But the one book I would be most inclined to revisit is Yes Please by Amy Poehler. First, because I LOVED it, second, because I listened to the audiobook and there are a ton of photos in the print version that I missed out on. And third, because I just re-watched all of Parks and Recreation and I read the chapter on that again!
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Only one? But I have a whole list! One in particular I really like is Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash:
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Arnold “Junior” Spirit from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian holds a special place in my heart. Junior has so much heart and is such a great character to root for.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides was beautiful from start to finish. It’s a sweeping, multi-generational epic about a Greek family that immigrates to Detroit. If you haven’t read it, you absolutely need to!
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed was really special. On the surface, it is a column of advice by the woman who wrote Wild, but her practice of ‘radical honestly’ sets it apart from other similar books. She writes about love, grief, and life in such a relatable and beautiful way. One of my favorite quotes from the book:
“I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
I have had Jane Eyre sitting and collecting dust on my bookshelf for half a decade, at least. I started it so many times before getting intimidated or bored or too busy. But this year I finally made it through, and I really, really loved it. This is also the book that filled me with the greatest sense of accomplishment when I finished it. Highly recommended!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
SO MANY! But my absolute favorite is from the book just above, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
According to Goodreads, my shortest book was We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (48 pages), and my longest book was I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (703 pages). IF I finish Winter this year, that would be my longest book! But it’s quite the tome, so I might not finish it until 2016 — so it’ll probably be my longest book of 2016.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
This book was about ONE MILLION TIMES MORE disturbing than I thought it would be. It made me feel physically sick but I also couldn’t put it down. The level of psychopathy and violence from the main character was so shocking and disturbing.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Cormoran and Robin from Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. I love the slow-burn romance that has been building up for these last three books, and I think it might be finally coming to fruition. JKR writes relationships so well and it has been great to watch both characters develop individually as well as together.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
Can I just say all the relationships in The Lunar Chronicles? I love Cinder and Iko’s relationship so much. They are a perfect balance to one another and I have loved to watch their relationship grow as the books progress.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
Jon Ronson is one of my favorite journalists and authors. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a really fascinating look into how social media has revitalized our culture of publicly degrading and shaming one another. It’s essential reading for anyone who uses the Internet (aka all of us).
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
DEFINITELY Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I honestly could NOT understand the hype around this series — a fairytale retelling with cyborgs? But after seeing it on alll of my favorite book blogs, I finally decided to pick it up and I fell instantly in love with the characters, setting and adventure. Love love love.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Prince Kai from The Lunar Chronicles. I’m not used to getting crushes of fictional characters, but OMG Kai was definitely an exception!
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
I was so impressed with The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis. It has such an interesting premise and vivid characters. Definitely one of the best YA novels I read this year!
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
These Shallow Graves had such a vivid and wonderful setting. Donnelly did a great job capturing the atmosphere of turn of the century New York.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Liane Moriarty is my go-to author for hilarious and thoughtful contemporary lit. What Alice Forgot is no exception, and is highly recommended to anyone in need of a laugh!
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I’m generally a pretty stoic reader, even though I will cry at every single TV show/movie/viral video/commercial that has a puppy or kitten in it.
Wonder by RJ Palacio was the book that made me tear up this year. It’s such a beautiful story, and its being taught in classrooms now, which I think is so appropriate and WONDERful (GET IT?) My favorite quote:
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I was really surprised that The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis didn’t get much publicity or fanfare. It’s published by Disney Hyperion, has a swoon-worthy broody male lead and definitely gave me John Green vibes. GO READ IT!
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Cress crushed my soul just a little bit. Cress’s story itself is so sad – she’s been so isolated and neglected her whole life. And when she is finally able to find her father, that moment is cut tragically short. Very well-written but such a bummer.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill was written in weird verse/letters. It was bad. But unique!
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
UM, I discovered ALL OF YOU! Seriously, I discovered so many amazing book blogs from getting involved in this community, and I am so glad I did. Can’t wait to see what comes next for all of us!
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
I was quite pleased with my It Ended Badly review!
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I didn’t do a lot of those honestly. One of my goals for next year is to be more creative in my blog posts, so hopefully I’ll have lots to pick from for this question next year!
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I didn’t really participate in a lot of things like that this year. Next year!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
I guess just starting. I was debating for a while whether or not to make a book blog, and it’s been a great experience so far. This is such a fun and accepting community, and it has already introduced me to a lot of tremendous new books!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding the time to blog. Finding the time to read is easy because of how long my commute is (two hours). It’s a lot harder to make time to sit down and write quality content.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My most popular post this year is, by far, The Emoji Book Tag. I wish I could tell you why, but people love emojis and people love books so…perfect combination!
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I try not to care about things like that, but if you really twisted my arm, I would say my review of It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History. It got a lot of love on GR, but its definitely not the type of post that necessarily appeals to the book blogging community. Even when I added GIFs!
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Ooh. Some of my favorite book-related websites are:
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Oh my god I don’t want to talk about it. I participated in eighteen reading challenges this year because I AM A FOOL.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
These three are on the very top of my to-read list in 2016. I bought The Luminaries at Powell’s, I received The Miniaturist from my TBTB Secret Santa, and I still have to procure The Wrath and The Dawn. It’s gonna be a good reading year!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Heartless by Marissa Meyer sounds pretty great! It’s her first non-Lunar Chronicles novel and it’s set inside the Alice in Wonderland universe. It’s coming out until November 8, 2016.
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I’m really excited for A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro! I actually just got an ARC of this and it’s up next on my TBR. I love anything Sherlockian, and this sounds like a very interesting take on the Holmes/Watson dynamic.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer is not a sequel or a series ender, technically, but a collection of short stories from The Lunar Chronicles universe. I haven’t read any of the novellas or short stories, but I’m excited to buy this collection and get the whole package as soon as I finish Winter!
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I want to generate more creative content for my blog – its easy to get stuck in the weekly feature, review, book tag infinite loop. Those posts are good, but I want to really make an effort to do some original features and posts.
6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Um, I’m still tying to catch up on my 2015 releases!! I do have some 2016 ARCs that I am going to start when I finish up Winter, so stay tuned for those!
OMG I FINISHED THE SURVEY! Wow, I can’t believe how long that took. I hope you enjoyed reading it! If you have filled one out too please let me know in the comments so I can read your answers as well!
Lastly, just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has ever taken the time to read, comment, follow, or like my little blog. This is really a labor of love for me, and to see it rewarded means a lot. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know all of you an I hope that we continue to get to know each other in 2016! Cheers!