I know the year is over halfway at this point, but I saw this older post on Books for a Delicate Eternity where she did this survey, which is apparently hosted by Chami and Ely from A Book so Fathomless (a blog I’ve never heard of, but I might have to check it out if they do fun surveys like this!). I like doing surveys like this, so it was sad that I didn’t get to one this past summer – so why not do it now, while it’s still summer and relatively close to the halfway point!
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2014
I read two books this year that got five stars (Everything Leads to You and Perks of Being a Wallflower), but when I think about which book I’m most excited to reread already, I have to go with Smart Girls Get What They Want. I loved the friendships in it, the fact that the main character’s name was Genevieve (even though she went by Gigi), and how funny and entertaining it was. It’s the type of book I can imagine myself rereading in a couple of days, mostly curled up in one place with a huge smile on my face.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2014
The two sequels I’ve read this year that got 4.5 stars were the quite different Split Second and Lady Thief – the former about paranormal teens trying to deal with mysteries and “regular” people and the latter a historical retelling of Robin Hood with a female protagonist who dressed as a boy in Robin’s crew in the first book. The former was funny and cute (not the fluffiest, but still pretty fluffy) and the latter was dark and hit you in the feels at least a couple of times. They were both so interesting and entertaining and left me anxiously awaiting more from the authors.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
This was just released this past week, so it’s not surprising that I haven’t read it yet, but I’m very excited for the last book in the Prep School Confidential series, Deadly Little Sins. I’ve already read a good review for it and I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in the series, so I’m really excited to see how it’s all going to end.
4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
I’ve been waiting for it for so long and the wait is nearly over: Isla and the Happily Ever After is coming out this month! It’s the final book in the Anna-Lola-Isla universe. I loved Lola and Cricket, so I can’t wait to see their cameos in this book because they just have to show up, right? And, of course, I’m interested to see the latest relationship – if it overtakes Lola and Cricket as my favorite couple then you won’t hear any complaints for me, because that means I really like them!
5. Biggest Disappointment
I heard so many good things about the friendship and the romance in Open Road Summer, and I decided to give it a shot even though some people talked about how much slut shaming there was in it, but it ended up being too much for me. There was just so much girl hate, and the fact that the friendship between the protagonist and her best friend was so close and dynamic, it made it even worse that almost all other girls even mentioned in the book were treated as sluts and attention-seeking bitches, and those are terms I do not like at all, so treating them that way really pissed me off. I might be interested to see more stuff from the author in the future, but only if she learns how to get rid of the slut-shaming and girl hate.
6. Biggest Surprise
Right before The Art Of Lainey came out, I started hearing a lot of positive buzz, so I decided to take a chance on it and was so happy that I did – it was funny and had great friendships and an adorable romance. The protagonist was practically the opposite of me personality-wise, but I loved her so much and still felt a connection with her, regardless of our similarities or lack thereof.
7. Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)
Since I mentioned it earlier without talking about it, I’ll use Everything Leads to You for this one. I was going to read another book from Nina LaCour earlier this year or last year and had even checked out the book, but I just wasn’t interested in it enough and decided not to bother. When I heard about her latest book, however, I just had to check it out, and I was shocked when it ended up being one of my few 5 star ratings. Right now I just plan on reading her first book and not her second one, which is the book I had checked out, but if I love her first book just as much, I think I’m going to have to change that.
8. Newest Fictional Crush
I just finished it this week and posted my review of it yesterday, but I loved it so much that I had to publicize it some more: Since You’ve Been Gone was great and the love interest was definitely part of that. Frank Porter was the typical class president who got along with everyone, but he earned a lot of depth over the course of the story. I loved his friendship with Emily and I was definitely rooting for them, even though he was in a long-term relationship – in order for me to get over something like that, I have to really like the guy – and the context has to be right as well, but that’s not what this point is about.
9. Newest Favorite Character
Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have used Since You’ve Been Gone already – oh well, I’m using it again! The protagonist, Emily, reminded me so much of myself, so it was great seeing her triumph and learn how to be confident and love herself without worrying about what other people think all the time. And, ironically, the Genevieve from Smart Girls Get What They Want reminds me of myself a lot as well, along with her two best friends – they’re definitely new favorites as well.
10. Book That Made You Cry
Maybe it was because it was really late at night and I really needed some sleep at that point, but I was definitely tearing up quite a bit while reading Love Letters to the Dead last month. There were plenty of sad moments and points where your heart just ached for the main character and her broken family and her gone-far-too-soon sister.
11. Book That Made You Happy
Hmm, don’t want to use Smart Gets Get What They Want again, so I’m going to go with the whole Princess Diaries series, which I read last month. There were times I kind of wanted to give Mia a good shake to see if that would put some sense in her head, but for the most part I was just enjoying myself, whether Mia was trying to make me smile and laugh or simply didn’t realize how funny she could be. There were some darker moments in it (and when I say “darker,” I might a bit grey, so not that dark), but it was mostly a fun and happy series.
12. Favorite Book to Film Adaptation You Saw This Year
Well, it wasn’t that great, but I think I’ll always think back fondly on my viewing of Vampire Academy – simply because I had so much fun writing down every snarky thought that came to mind as I watched it! It wasn’t a great adaptation at all, and wasn’t the greatest movie either, but I had fond watching it anyway, even though I’m not sure I’ll ever want to watch it again.
Plus, I don’t go out to the movies much (I didn’t even see this movie in the theaters – I got it from the library once it was out on DVD), so I didn’t really have a lot of other options for this anyway.
13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year
It’s sad when one of your favorite reviews is a fairly negative review, but I’m pretty proud of my Open Road Summer review anyway. I did my best to keep from being too negative and mean about it and instead focused on constructive criticism (or what I hope is constructive!) by pointing out that having so much girl hate diminishes the great friendship at the center of the book.
14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year
I haven’t bought a lot of books this year, but one of the main reasons I bought the hardcover of Since You’ve Been Gone without reading it first is because I wanted that cover – namely, the great colors, both on the outside and the inside flaps, as well as a picture that’s on the other side of the dust jacket! It was just so different and fun (well, I suppose the cover itself isn’t that different – two white girls in great clothes, but I do like it anyway!) and I had to have it before it went to paperback and become less interesting (so, please don’t redesign it into something I like even more).
15. What Books Do You Need to Read By the End of the Year
I already read the first five chapters or so of We Were Liars earlier this year, but I just wasn’t interested in it enough and I had to return it soon anyway, so I decided to just give up on it and wait for a time when I really wanted to read it. I’ve heard so much about it and I think the hype and some mixed reviews have gotten to my head too much, so I just need some time – but at the same time I want to know what happened in it that made some people feel so many different, heightened feels while and after reading it.