This is the first year I’m participating in The Perpetual Page-Turner‘s End of Year Book Survey. Jamie is something of a goddess in the blogging world (I remember the first time I saw her I just stared in awkward silence. Guys, bloggers are real people! Who knew?!), and what started off as a fun recap on her blog has turned into an excellent way for other bloggers to catch up with each other and what happened to them/the blog that year.
So without further ado, here are some of my reflections on my 2014 book life! Note: This includes all books read in 2014 – it doesn’t have to be published in 2014.
Number Of Books You Read: 67
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary YA & Fantasy
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
This is way too hard. Thank goodness I made a Top Five Books of 2014 post! What pops into my head is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, but you could ask me this same question in an hour and I’d say something else. So many great discoveries this year!
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I was excited about Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, as well as The Secret Place by Tana French. I thought I’d love Lola as much as Anna but that wasn’t the case; and Secret as much as The Likeness. Though I didn’t love them like I thought I would, I still very much enjoyed the books!
3. Most Surprising (in a good way or bad way) Book You Read in 2014?
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch surprised me in a good way. Sometimes high fantasy YA can be just as cumbersome as high fantasy adult — and with loads of hype surrounding it, I was wary. I can be pretty picky about the fantasy I read. And sometimes those physically and mentally and emotionally strong female protagonists all blend together and become way too Mary Sue. But Meira stood out for me in this magical world. I can’t wait for the next book! Such a wonderful concept.
I was also surprised by my disinterest in the first half of Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. Come on, more Jamie and Claire, right? I should love it! But I didn’t. Stupid, stupid France. The rest of the book was great, though!
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (and they did) in 2014?
Recently, Anna and the French Kiss. Earlier this year (and pretty much always) it was Between Shades of Gray and Fangirl. Between wasn’t read in 2014, though. It’s just the book I’m always recommending to YA readers. Same with Night Circus — always recommending, even though I didn’t read in 2014. There was also Letters From Skye that I would recommend to historical fiction/war fiction readers, and they always buy it, but I wouldn’t say I pushed it on them. It was more of an excited suggestion!
5. Best Series You Started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Best series started: Outlander, hands down.
Best sequel: Possibly The Lovely and the Lost by Page Morgan.
Best series ender: This is TOO HARD. The Caller by Juliet Marillier? Deliverance by CJ Redwine? Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins? The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness? Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor?
2014, the year all of Laura’s favorite series ended.
6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2014?
ACK another hard one. Right now, let’s go with Gayle Forman.
7. Best Book from a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
I read mostly within the genres I enjoy. Though I typically don’t read books with much (explicit) sex in it, Outlander was tipping the borderline. That’ll just have to be my answer.
8. Most Action-packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?
Action-packed: Geek Girl by Holly Smale (ARC), in a strange, non-action way. Every chapter ended with a witty cliffhanger, making me turn the pages fast. Review to come in January!
Thrilling: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. So fascinating!
Unputdownable: Anna and the French Kiss. I just…I couldn’t. I also read the book while on a mini-vacation with friends, and only got three hours of sleep that night because I simply couldn’t stop reading!
Note: This is the only time I’ll ever use the non-word “unputdownable.” *shudders*
9. Book You Read in 2014 That You are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?
So glad this was asked! One of my resolutions for 2015 is to participate in a 2015 re-read challenge. Anna and Fangirl are definitely on the re-read list.
10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2014?
The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston, hands down.
11. Most Memorable Character of 2014?
The men of the books! James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser (Outlander). Matt Finch (Open Road Summer by Emery Lord). Etiénne St. Clair (Anna). Willem (Just One Day by Gayle Forman). Levi (Fangirl). I know that was more than one, but seriously, how can I narrow these down?
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2014?
Oooooh. That’s hard. Maybe…Blythewood by Carol Goodman.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2014?
If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I really don’t know what I would’ve chosen if I were in Mia’s situation.
14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2014 to Finally Read?
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Seriously, why did I wait?
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2014?
To belong to someone – I didn’t know it, but now that I think about it, it seems like it’s all I’ve ever wanted. To really be somebody’s, and to have them be mine. —To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2014?
Longest: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Shortest: One of the children’s picture books, most likely Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams
17. Book That Shocked You the Most
Oh, that’s hard! Possibly Dreams of Gods and Monsters, only because I had no idea what direction Taylor was going.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
JAMIE AND CLAIRE.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year
The friendship and sisterhood between Lara Jean and her sisters in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s so nice (and refreshing) to see realistic, friendly, companionable relationships between girls in YA books.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 from an Author You’ve Read Previously
This was a year of series completions and new author discoveries. Because of that, I wouldn’t say this book was a favorite, but it fits with “author you’ve read previously.” The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness would have to be the book.
21. Best Book You Read in 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Jackaby by William Ritter (thanks, Hannah!).
22. Newest Fictional Crush from a Book You Read in 2014?
Matt Finch (Open Road Summer) and Jamie Fraser. Actually, everyone mentioned in #11 fits here, too.
23. Best 2014 Debut You Read?
I really enjoyed A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. So unique! I’m feeling all the warm fuzzies just thinking about it right now.
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, of course, for world-building. Most vivid setting belongs to Outlander. Gabaldon just goes to town describing the landscape.
25. Book that Put a Smile on Your Face/was the Most FUN to Read?
A Little Something Different and Geek Girl take the cake on this! Both made me smile and laugh out loud.
26. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2014?
The Major’s Daughter by JP Francis made me cry, and as well as If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.
27. Hidden Gem of The Year?
Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston, a picture book with vivid artwork and stunning writing.
28. Book that Crushed Your Soul?
Possibly Just One Day by Gayle Forman. How is it one can have such a wonderful, rebellious day in Paris, and wake up the next morning in a confused panic and not know what happened? The whole journey Allyson went through made my heart ache.
29. Most Unique Book You Read in 2014?
If not A Little Something Different, then Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohen, only because the concept is so fun. Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg is a great parody, as well.
30. Book that Made You the Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Panic by Lauren Oliver because it didn’t seem at all like any of her other books. It didn’t sound like her. The concept wasn’t what I was expecting. I was disappointed — and frowned a lot while I was reading.
1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2014?
Lindsey’s Bring My Books and Morgan’s co-blog Gone With the Words, but I’m probably biased because we text each other every single day now.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
Maybe one that’s not published yet, like I Was Here by Gayle Forman because of all the meaty content, or Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins because it was so fun. Usually when I write reviews they follow the same standard format and I do my best to stick to them. When I really enjoy the book, the format blurs, and the review may come across as sloppy — but it’s my fangirling showing through.
3. Best Discussion/Non-review Post You had on Your Blog?
The guest blog post with Lindsey for our Jane Eyre appreciation! Check out her post here, and my post there!
4. Best Event that You Participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Meeting Victoria Schwab (and other authors) at Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA! Second would be #TBTBSanta. That book swap was so much fun!
5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2014?
Becoming a literary agent! What a silly question 😉
7. Most Popular Post This Year on Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
According to the stats, my most popular post of 2014 was “Plowing Through the Piles,” with the most views. Not surprised. It has pictures of my bookshelf, features a TBR jar, and exposes my insane Excel spreadsheet, haha. “Nonfiction Selections for the Bookish Fan” was also big, thanks to Ortberg’s retweet.
8. Post You Wished Got a Little More Love?
I was expecting more love on my Outlander review, only because I posted it in the middle of the first half of the TV show season.
9. Best Bookish Discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Not so much a discovery as an achieved goal — I visited Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, CO!
10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals that You had Set for Yourself at the Beginning of This Year?
I sure did! I set a goal to read 50 books again this year, and I surpassed that. I also unexpectedly read more ARCs than ever this year and set up a monthly update “Advance Excitement at a Glance” that I was able to keep up with as well.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To in 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
Dream Boy by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg and White Space by Ilsa Bick only because I’d purchased them with a friend with the intention we’d read those books together. Obviously we haven’t gotten around to it!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2015 (non-debut)?
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman. Gotta know what happens to Gretchen and Daniel in their flight from Hitler!
3. 2015 Debut You are Most Anticipating?
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, mostly out of curiosity. I mean, look at that cover!
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You are Most Anticipating in 2015?
There are so many, but what pops to my head right now is Maureen Johnson’s The Shadow Cabinet!
5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do in Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2015?
Reading: Find the nice balance between reading manuscripts, reading ARCs, and reading published books. I’ve stumbled around this fall and I think the new year will give me a chance at solid footing.
Blogging: Re-reading more and sticking to my resolutions. I gotta stick to those resolutions!
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
It’s already released in the UK, but I highly recommend Geek Girl by Holly Smale. It’ll be a debut here in the US and I’m beyond excited for it. Fully plan to push it into people’s hands.
That was exhaustive and fun! What books were highlighted in your End of Year survey?