This is the third year I’m participating in Jamie’s (@ The Perpetual Page-Turner) End of Year Book Survey. Last year it was so much fun to share my bookish life through Hermione gifs, I decided to share it through Pevensie gifs! I am looking forward to reading your 2016 book survey, too.
Note: This includes all books read in 2016 – they do not have to be published in 2016.
Number Of Books You Read: 52
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: contemporary
1. Best Book You Read in 2016
ARG! Goodness. The first that comes to mind is The Lie Tree. It had everything I could ever want from a novel: compelling, excellent voice, intelligent protagonist, unique circumstances, beautiful atmosphere. While it’s historical fiction with a touch of fantasy (magical realism?), it’s first and foremost a Gothic novel. And ya’ll know I love me some Gothic.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
It’s a tie between Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here and Summer Days and Summer Nights. Everyone raved about Epstein being the snarkier, more forward version of Fangirl and I was not into it whatsoever. And I so looked forward to Summer Days and Summer Nights and found I wasn’t interested in many of the short stories from some of my own favorite authors! Wah wah. (Also, yes, I realize in my review I typed “Claire” instead of “Clare” and that’s because I still think of her fanfic days and I can’t be arsed to correct it.)
3. Most Surprising (in a good way or bad way) Book You Read in 2016?
Re Jane definitely surprised me. I’m of the view no one should touch the precious Jane Eyre, but Patricia Park really knew how to modernize this classic and make it stand on its own. Toss in the beautiful way she incorporated Own Voices, and this was a treat and absolute pleasure to read.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (and they did) in 2016?
The Hating Game was pushed on me by my client Nina, and then I recommended it to Ginger, Lindsey, Morgan…next thing I know, it’s all over the place in the blogging community. I’m not saying Nina or I started it, but it was certainly a whirlwind!
5. Best Series You Started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
Series Started: The Queens of Renthia series with The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst OR Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Sequel: Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
Series Ender: Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins, though it was the only series ender I read this year
6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2016?
Emma Mills with her book First & Then captured my heart. I’m eager to dive into This Adventure Ends now.
7. Best Book from a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
Fever at Dawn was out of my comfort zone because it’s a translation. Sometimes the heart and emotion in the story, in the voice, can be lost in translation. This novel though? So good. I really enjoyed it.
8. Most Action-packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?
Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman, but that’s not a surprise at all! Her novels always leave my heart pounding.
9. Book You Read in 2016 That You are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?
Perhaps Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella because WHY NOT *heart eyes*
10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2016?
A tie between Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman and Traitor Angels. I love ships in bottles (both IRL and on covers), as they remind me of my grandfather, and the art department did a great job of making the bottle really stand out. As for Blankman’s book, please just look at that dripping-ink-that-looks-like-melted-chocolate. Balzer + Bray’s art department is fantastic.
11. Most Memorable Character of 2016?
Lou in Me Before You is one incredible young woman, inside and out.
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2016?
The language, voice, and artistry of The Star-Touched Queen left me longing for more!
13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2016?
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys should come to no surprise. Sepetys always makes me think and wonder, and her books do change my life.
14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2016 to Finally Read?
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ KINSELLA?!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2016?
“I saw a girl who races to help others but doesn’t help herself. And right now you need to help yourself. No one should walk up the aisle feeling inferior or in a different league or trying to be something they’re not.”
–I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2016?
17. Book That Shocked You the Most
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, only because I was happily surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I haven’t read any of her other books, and The Jane Austen Project has been pretty successful thus far. I was just genuinely shocked how much I adored it, and how much the reviews were right.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
I didn’t read a whole lot of shippy stuff this year! WHAT. So how about I go with a manuscript I read this year that I will go down with and you will all hear about in 2017? Matt and Tabby in Jared Reck’s The Short History of the Girl Next Door.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year
Ven and Daleina in The Queen of Blood, possibly. I can see where people would root for them to get together, but he’s at least 15 years her senior and he’s her Champion (intructor and defender of sorts). But their platonic dynamics were perfect!
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 from an Author You’ve Read Previously
The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller, hands down. I learned so much in that book, too!
21. Best Book You Read in 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure
Hands down, it was Walk on Earth a Stranger, and I’m glad I did. Everyone was raving over it, and over Carson’s previous books, plus there was the appeal of the Oregon Trail story, so of course I gave in. And loved it.
22. Newest Fictional Crush from a Book You Read in 2016?
See, I didn’t read many shippy books! Maybe Jonah in When We Collided. He’s such a sweetheart.
23. Best 2016 Debut You Read?
The Star-Touched Queen, of course! Such a beautiful, stunning book!
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst, easily. All of the trees, the spirits, the structure of the government and culture — so vivid! Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice would make a close second. I think I would need to read the following books to really sink into the world for that one.
25. Book that Put a Smile on Your Face/was the Most FUN to Read?
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella (will be published in February 2017, review to come!) and Arsenic for Tea (or Poison is Not Polite) by Robin Stevens. Kinsella because she always does, and Stevens because her mystery series is so well-crafted and charming!
26. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2016?
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Mara had me at near tears by the end. What a powerful read.
27. Hidden Gem of The Year?
Geek Girl: Picture Perfect by Holly Smale is the third in the Geek Girl series and it deserves all the attention in the US that it receives in the UK. I love this series! So fun and quirky and perfect chick lit for YA!
28. Book that Crushed Your Soul?
Me Before You probably. Tears for days.
29. Most Unique Book You Read in 2016?
Buddha in the Attic was told in collective perspective, rather than following one single person’s narrative. It followed countless Japanese women from Japan to America and the various lives they formed shortly before WWII. That form of storytelling is probably the most unique I’ve ever read.
30. Book that Made You the Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Rebel of the Sands, because I wanted to love it and I didn’t. Not at all. Far from it. I think I’m more disappointed in myself for not enjoying it than I am at the book.
1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2016?
This year I didn’t “discover” new book blogs, but I did meet several bloggers I interact with all the time on Twitter. We would hang out at BEA and see movies and get breakfast and dinner together. Collectively, I was closer to the blogging community that way — but I didn’t discover a new blog. If anything, I became much closer to Kelly @ Belle of the Literati. She is such a remarkable and fun person. I want to travel with her!
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?
My entire Kinsella series was fun to review. That One Time I Binged on Kinsella was fun to write, and I was eager to do a Part II was well.
3. Best Discussion/Non-review Post You had on Your Blog?
If We Were Having Coffee is a good post series I plan to continue doing in 2017. It’s a great way for me to let my bookish guard down and just TALK to you! I hope you enjoy them as much as I love writing them!
4. Best Event that You Participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
BEA! It was so much fun reuniting and meeting with so many people — editors, authors, bloggers — in a city near my home. While Book Expo is bound to be different in 2017 (and I’m curious to see how the changes work out), I look forward to this event because it feels like one massive reunion.
5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2016?
In my blogging life, I was thrilled to finally meet Stacey @ Pretty Books! I was in London for about a week in June and we went out for a delicious pizza dinner and shopping at Waterstones. I don’t know if she remembers this at all, but I first followed her on tumblr back when we were both finishing up university. She inspired me to create a book blog, and we’ve been following each other ever since! It was about time we met in person.
In my bookish life, my best moment by far was Jared Reck’s deal announcement!
7. Most Popular Post This Year on Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Jared’s deal announcement and my first If We Were Having Coffee post received the most not-book-review views and comments, and Salt to the Sea continuously receives the most views throughout 2016.
8. Post You Wished Got a Little More Love?
On Reading Epiphanies was fun to write, and I would’ve loved to discuss it more with other readers! Are there reading habits you’ve lost or picked up since blogging? Since beginning a new job? Since beginning a job in the book industry?
9. Best Bookish Discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals that You had Set for Yourself at the Beginning of This Year?
*laughs hysterically* Oh, boy. I was supposed to read 5 classics this year, and I only read 1. I was supposed to reread 5 books, but I only reread 2. While those were failures, I read 8 of 5 fantasy books, 17 of 12 already-purchased-but-unread books, 20 of 10 library books, and fewer ARCs (only 9 this year). So yes, I over-completed some, and severely undercompleted others, but I do think overall this was a good reading year!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To in 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
So many series enders, like Winner’s Kiss, and second novels like Outrun the Moon or Like a River Glorious.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?
Oh, there are so many! I think even my teen self would agree with my adult self: Sarah Dessen’s next book Once and For All.
3. 2017 Debut You are Most Anticipating?
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, which I’ve already started reading. I’m quite looking forward to finishing it!
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Series Ending: William Ritter’s final Jackaby book!
Series Sequel: Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor
5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2017?
Announce more book deals!
6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Jared Reck’s A Short History of the Girl Next Door, for obvious (agenting) reasons. As well as Tara Sim’s second in the Timekeeper trilogy (I can’t announce the title yet!). Then there’s Sophie Kinsella’s My Not So Perfect Life coming to stores in February I absolutely ADORED and had trouble maintaining a straight face while reading in public.
^ I love that scene