It’s that wonderful time of the year when Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner opens up her annual End of the Year Survey! It’s long, but I love coming out with plenty of great books that I’ve read over the year, as well as checking out other people’s.
(as of 12/30)
Number Of Books You Read: 145
Number of Re-Reads: 29
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary (with 50, it wins by a landslide)
1. Best Book You Read In 2015? [Contemporary, Paranormal, Foreign, Adult, and Backlist]
So difficult! But, if I had to divide things up, I suppose these would be the top books:
Contemporary: The Revenge Playbook & Wrong Side of Right (I just can’t decide between them! I loved the story of the latter, but the message of the former was amazing as well and I just can’t decide between them)
Mystery: Every Word (There are lots of great things about this sequel, but I’m focusing on the intriguing mystery so that I can praise this book among the best – but believe me, there are many things to love about this Sherlock retelling)
Paranormal: The Wrath and the Dawn (This is a beautiful paranormal book in general, but it also weaves a wonderfully diverse story that goes beyond the regular white-focused Medieval setting mostly seen in fantasy)
Adult: Royal Wedding (This was a great addition to the Princess Diaries series that took Mia into adult life; it was great to grow with her and see the ways she changed and yet still felt like the same person)
Backlist: The Piper’s Son (After reading and falling in love with Saving Francesca, I knew that I had to read the sequel, but I was also a little scared; I don’t know if I quite liked it as much as its companion, but it was still amazing and I need more from these characters!)
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
If you read this blog at all, you know that I love Huntley Fitzpatrick’s debut, My Life Next Door, and I was really excited when I heard that there would be a sequel coming out this year. Of course, I put a lot of pressure on this poor book, and that just wasn’t fair to it. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t live up to my huge expectations, mainly because I think I wanted an actual sequel to MLND rather than a companion, which is exactly what The Boy Most Likely To ended up being. Not its fault, just not what I had wanted, which even I didn’t know until I started reading it.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Besides articles read for class or generally interesting things I find online, I don’t have a lot of experience with nonfiction, so it was a bit scary to read The Secret History of Wonder Woman, about the history of Wonder Woman, its creator, and the people in his life. It took me a long time to read and there were definitely parts that kept me more interested than others, but ultimately, it did surprise me in a good way and I enjoyed myself for the most part. I’m not going to run out and read every nonfiction book that possibly sparks my interest, but I’m definitely going to keep more of an open mind after this wonderful surprise.
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I talk about Meg Cabot all the time, so I guess that works for this category? I’m not a big book pusher in general, so I don’t really have a specific book on my mind for an example, but I talk about Meg Cabot and her amazing books so much – I even made a Tumblr for her Mediator series that you should check out because shameless promotion – so I think she’s a safe bet. She’s amazing and should never stop writing.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
The Wrath and the Dawn was both an amazing debut and start of a duology
which should totally be longer I’m already saying that and the second book isn’t even out yet. It was one of those overly-hyped books that really seemed to be worth all that hype. It set up an intriguing story while still being a great story on its own. I also started the Every series this week, but its sequel, Every Word is definitely the best so far (although I still need to read the third and final book in the series). It really got me to support the romance as well as the great mysteries that Ellie Marney crafts. I don’t know if Royal Wedding in the Princess Diaries is the last book, but as of now, it is, and since I loved it, I figure it could go here. Mia has grown up, but she hasn’t truly changed, and it’s great to see how her personality has grown up along with her. I need more from this series!
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
I don’t know if I would call her a favorite new author, but I was definitely surprised (in a good way) with how much I loved S.J. Bolton’s Lacey Flint series. I read all four books over the course of the year, and each time I was definitely excited to see what would happen next. I’m not quite sure if I’m going to try her other books outside of the series quite yet, but I definitely want to read more in the series – so there had better be more books!
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
This year I read two nonfiction books – one a bit of a biography/general nonfiction book, the other a memoir. I don’t think I’m going to start reading nonfiction exclusively, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised by how much I could enjoy nonfiction books as long as they’re about topics I actually care about. I like both of them and gave each of them 4 stars, but I’ll go ahead and highlight Spinster, because I think it left more of a mark on me. It’s sad how women today can still feel so much pressure to marry and not turn into a spinster cat lady (but seriously, what’s wrong with cats?!), and it’s great to see one women’s journey toward having the perfect “spinster” life, whether she ends up getting married at some point in the future or not.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
All of the Cormoran Strike books have been like this, but Career of Evil was still the most thrilling book in the series. I had to know who was behind the murders that had come back to haunt Comoran, but I also had to see where his relationship with Robin, his assistant and the other POV in this book, was heading, with its winding and difficult path. That ending had me wanting to throw the book because I needed to know what would happen next – luckily, there will be a fourth book, and I basically need it now.
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I love rereading books, so this was kind of difficult to pick a book for; however, if I have to choose, I think I’d go with Wrong Side of Right, because I’m already excited to relive this story. It feels like it’s been a while since I read it and I’ve already forgotten some less important bits, so I want to relive all that and see if it still has the same magic as it did the first time around (it had better, world – you hear me, you owe me! I don’t know what for, but you owe me!).
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Just look at the cover – that’s really all I need to say on the matter of Made You Up.
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Etta is not me, but I connected to her in so many ways. Sometimes her voice in Not Otherwise Specified got on my nerves, but I think that’s because it was so realistic, and in real life, people can be annoying and over-the-top and silly and genuine. She’s so genuine, and its that element that I really connected with. I want to get back into Etta’s head just to find new, small ways that we’re connected.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
There were loads of beautifully-written books from the past year or so, but I’m going with books I haven’t highlighted already. I haven’t read anything outside of her Raven Cycle series, but if her other books are as beautifully written as Blue Lily, Lily Blue, then I really need to check them out.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
I didn’t always connect with the characters, especially Toni, but What We Left Behind had a lot of important and interesting things to say about identity and sexuality. I’ve never read a book packed full of so many LGBTQ characters, and that definitely needs to change.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
I can’t believe that I wanted so long to read so many of Meg Cabot’s earlier books, including her Queen of Babble books. I’ve loved her books for a while, but I had never bothered reading some of her adult books – mainly because I didn’t read adult books, but whatever, not a good enough excuse in my book.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
“You’re allowed to ask for help.”
“Why doesn’t anyone tell us that?”
“Because… maybe no one told them.”
– Made You Up
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Poisoned Apples (107) // Lair of Dreams (613)
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I was going to go with Exquisite Captive for this one, but then I just finished Perfect Couple the other night. It’s a contemporary romance that’s the middle of a trilogy about fluffy books revolving around senior superlatives, and yet it shocked me. I didn’t expect to connect with the main character so much, yet I did. You see, it was fluffy and melodramatic much of the time, but I connected with Harper so much. She wasn’t asexual, but she slowly developed from someone who wasn’t super-interested in romance and sex at the beginning, and that’s something that we just don’t get to see much. I’m going to write a discussion post about it at some point, so I won’t get into more, but it just surprised me with how much I connected with Harper, including her minor issues with stress.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
I can’t quite decide between the romances in The Wrath and the Dawn and the Every series. Basically they need to all kiss and cuddle and be adorable, and bad things just need to stop happening to them. Yet I will keep reading about them, because I need to and they’re amazing romances.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
There are many things to like about The Start of Me and You, but the wonderful friendship at the center of it all is the most beautiful thing about it. Even better, it’s a group of multiple girls, rather than just two, but no one feels left out and unwanted part of or most of the time. I need to reread this book to relive that beautiful friendship.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
There were loads of great books from great authors, but Six of Crows was a surprising delight. I enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series, but it wasn’t my favorite, mainly because the protagonist wasn’t always all that interesting to me, but all the main characters in her latest kept me intrigued and reading to the very end of this entertaining book. Definitely interested to see what will happen in the sequel.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I’d never been a big graphic novel reader, although I love comic strips (like the kind you see in the newspaper), and I heard loads of great things Saga, so I took a chance and tried it out. Well, color me impressed – loads of interesting character, intergalactic adventures, and plenty of diversity in spite of the fact that it’s fantasy, which many people use as an excuse to write about more white characters in white-based universes.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
I don’t know if I’d say it’s a new crush, but Evie O’Neill continued to blossom in Lair of Dreams, and like two particular guys, I am quite intrigued by her. I need more Evie in my life, no matter how narcissistic and imperfect she can be.
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
I read some great debuts that I’ve already talked about, so I’ll talk about a new one: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I didn’t love it quite as much as much of the blogosphere, but that just means that I only gave it about 4 stars rather than a bit higher. It had a quite adorable romance at its center (and one between two boys, which makes it quite necessary in literature), and Simon was pretty entertaining himself.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The world-building in both The Wrath and the Dawn and Six of Crows is quite impressive – and it’s no coincidence that they’re not the same old European medieval-type setting that so many fantasies rely on.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Anything Meg Cabot has written. Duh.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I’m the type of person that often cries at books, even with smaller sad moments, but nothing really stuck out for me this year. As I write this, I’m still reading Illuminae, which has a lot of sad moments and will probably stick in my mind because of them, so I’ll go with it, even though I’m not quite done with it.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I’ve heard some people talk about The Royal We, but not nearly enough, because it’s quite adorable. I’m a mild fan of Kate and William – I think they’re lovely people, from the little I know about them – but I was definitely intrigued by a story based on their own story. I want more from these authors together, and hopefully it’s be another interesting look in publicity versus real life.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
*shrugs* Isn’t this like the crying one? Because Illuminae is really crushing my soul right now. And there are still another 200 pages to go!
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Illuminae has plenty of interesting things, like messaging and transcripts and other interesting formats. Then there are some graphic novels. Basically, I’m out of books to come up with!
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
The Revenge Playbook – basically, rape culture is awful and down with the patriarchy.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
Cait at Paper Fury has plenty of interesting discussion posts, but she also talks about writing a lot, which is awesome. As an aspiring author myself, it’s great to hear about other people struggling with the amazing and difficult life that is being an author, aspiring or otherwise.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
I liked how I began writing my reviews differently with The Wrath and the Dawn and Made You Up. I want to continue writing interesting and unique kinds of reviews, even if it means less reviews because I’m lazy.
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
*shrugs* I don’t really participate in things, other than the typical Top Ten Tuesday. I liked it when I actually wrote posts that went along with other people, like some of my discussions based on the Dive into Diversity challenge.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
MEG CABOT FAVORITED AND RETWEETED THIS TWEET! MY LIFE IS COMPLETE!
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
According to my stats, Gonna Love Myself // No I Don’t Need Anyone Else got the most attention with 65 views. I hadn’t realized any of my posts got that much attention, so I’m definitely happy with that!
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
All of them?
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I think I started using this toward the end of last year, but whatever. I love using Canva for most of my graphics, both on the blog and for personal things. There are loads of templates that make it easier for people with less graphics experience, but there are also loads of options for people with a little more experience, like me.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
As of today, 12/30 (this could have already changed by today, just by one or two, but still)
0/10 – oops
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
The Dead House looks like an intriguing debut, and I’m sad that I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
REMEMBRANCE! I NEED MORE SUZE AND JESSE AND FATHER DOMINIC AND GENERAL MEDIATOR GOODNESS IN MY LIFE!
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
My Lady Jane and The Way to Game the Walk of Shame both look interesting for different reasons. My Lady Jane is a quasi-debut because it’s from three published authors, but it’s their first book written together, so I’m still counting it.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I need to know what happens after The Wrath and the Dawn with The Rose and the Dagger! And I need more of that romance, not to mention all of the amazing characters in general!
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I want to make sure that I can always motivate myself in positive ways, like creating new and pretty graphics, rather than feeling like I have to blog and such. However I motivate myself, as long as I don’t feel too much negative pressure, I hope to be happy with my work.
6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I haven’t read any 2016 books. I hope to get a few ARCs, but I don’t request too many because I don’t want too much pressure, so I have nothing for this right now. We’ll just all have to wait for 2016 to see what amazing books there are – or check out blogs where the bloggers have actually read 2016 books already.