January 6, 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2012

This year I actually get to participate in Jaime's of Perpetual Page-Turner End off Year Survey and I'm super excited! I'm a bit late, but at least it's not too far into the new year yet. I don't want you to be here all day, though, so let's begin!
1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
Categories? Yes, let's.
Most Underrated: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Best Contemp: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Best Debut: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Best Sequel: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (and for the record, I've yet to read Insurgent)
Best My-Enjoyment-Really-Took-Me-By-Surprise: actually, it's a tie between Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. I've never liked historical anything or fantasy so I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed both of these!
Best Published Pre-2012: Adult – Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion; YA – Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins; MG - ...I can't decide so here's my top 3: The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi, The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann, and The Girl Who CircumnavigatedFairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Since Variant was one of my surprise favorites at the beginning of the year (I always get around to things way late :P) I was super excited for Feedback by Robison Wells, but I was really let down.
TheSpindlers by Lauren Oliver is another I can put under this category. I didn't hate it or anything, it just didn't quite wow me the way I thought it would.
Then there's Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it until all the super reviews started coming out about it, but then it was just so...weird. Definitely not what I was expecting.
There's really quite a lot in this category, but I can't very well list them all.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Off the top of my head, I'm going to go with Illuminate by Aimee Agresti. I hadn't even really been planning on reading it before a few good reviews popped up because it was paranormal, but I ended up really loving it. Definitely the best romance in a paranormal I've ever read.
Chained by Lynne Kelly is another one too. I never would have thought a book about a boy and his elephant could ever be so emotional and touching.

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Probably the anything with Percy Jackson. I just love those books and they can reach such a wide audience. Plus, it's Percy, duh.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
HexHall by Rachel Hawkins and the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty . I'd never heard of JD before blogging so I'm really glad I was introduced to it. As for Hex Hall, I'd seen it around a few times, but the paranormal aspect threw me off. All the buzz of the third book's release finally convinced me to give it a try, though and I ended up loving it.

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Now, there will be no throwing of rotten fruit because I already feel remorse...
John Green. And no, I did not start with TFioS. I want to read them chronologically, but I'm also buying them before I read them, so I've gotten through Looking for Alaska, An Abunndance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and Let It Snow (yes, I'm counting it.) I would have read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but to be honest, I haven't bought myself a book in AGES. (yes, it took me a few days to get this done :P)

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Never in a million years would I of picked this book up had I not been basically forced to.
Shortly before it came out, I got an email telling me I was chosen to be an Ambuzzador by Random Buzzers. I was jumping with excitement until I scrolled down and saw what it was for. Then, all I felt was dread. I DID NOT want to read this book (I've never been a fan of fantasy), but I also didn't want to let the program down since I was one of the chosen few.
So, it arrived and I shoved it on my TBR pile and tried to ignore the waves of guilt that flowed from it. I did a pretty good job for about 2 months, but then the program was coming to a close and I knew it was time.
And then I promptly fell in love. Well, it was a little slow going at first, but I was definitely in love by the end. I'm really glad this book was forced into my hands or I never would have read it and that would be a shame.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
I managed to narrow it down to three:
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis – This book was just so whack that I never knew what was going to come next and therefore HAD to know.
AMillion Suns by Beth Revis – The same can be said of AtU, but I actually stayed up until 6 in the morning finishing AMS, so...
Monument14 by Emmy Laybourne – This one had me on the edge of my seat nearly the entire way through. The tension was much higher than I'd anticipated.

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Normally this wouldn't even happen because I've never reread before. But since I've made a resolution this year I'm hoping it'll stick :]
Lookingfor Alaska by John Green
I have a feeling this is a book that I'll see a different way every time I read it depending on what's going on with my life.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
Really, it's the whole package on this one. The art inside is great and the jacket is covered in little roaches (which yes, is also great if you were wondering.)

And as an honorable mention we have: the German Monstrumologist cover
The US covers are fine, there's noting wrong with them, but when I saw this cover on Goodreads I just kind of fell in love. Yes, I tend to like a lot of morbid or creepy covers :P

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
Lola and Cricket. They're a package deal ;]

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (linked above already).
Honorable mentions include: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (also linked above), Lost Voices by Sarah Porter, and Tiger Lily (and linked above as well) by Jodi Lynn Anderson

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
Looking for Alaska.
My grandma passed away shortly before I read this and it really had an impact on me. It helped me finally feel everything that had just been dammed up inside me. That's why I know the next time I read it I'll probably view it differently.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
All the John Green books are the easy answer, so I'll go for the harder one.
Cheating a little more, I could say Fullmetal Alchemist and all manga in general. I'd always wrinkled my nose a little at anime and manga, but this year I discovered I had a secret passion for both :]
And now, for an actual book:The Search for WondLa (linked above)
I remember seeing this on the shelf at Walmart ages ago. I picked it up and thought it sounded good, wrote the name down, and promptly forgot about it. I rediscovered it at the end of 2011 and finally got my hands on it in the new year. Guy, this book. Is. Awesome.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
"Which all goes to show tat it is hard to hide how you feel, when mirrors are out there everywhere, just waiting to pounce."
- Anne Nesbet, The Cabinet of Earths

 16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Longest (and also awesomest) The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan at 586 pages.
Shortest (discounting novellas) Bird by Rita Murphy at 160 pages.

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne (linked above). If you wanted to put it mildly – I didn't see that coming. To be a little more specific – That. Ending. Was. Whack. If you've read it, you know what I mean.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Oooh. Tough one.
Tie between Finn and Cate of Born Wicked and Lola and Cricket.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Not counting sequels or companions (I'm looking at you, Lola) I'd say it's a tie between Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker and The Unwanteds (linked above) by Lisa McMann
Unbreak My Heart surprised me because it was so short. I didn't really expect so much emotion could be packed into such a small book. And The Unwanteds is still one of my favorite middle grades I've read to date.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
I never would have picked this one up because 1) it's humongous and 2) it seemed to fit all the typical paranormal cliches. When I said I was kind of thinking about it on Twitter a few people practically bullied me into picking it up :P I'm glad, though :]

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 
I did discover a lot of awesome blogs and same goes for the people who run them, but I'm going to have to go with Read. Write. Ramble. You can really see their personalities shine through in their reviews because they don't hold back. Lots of CAPS and exclamat!on points :P
Plus, Rachel is one of the best and most enthusiastic commenters on the entire planet. I can't even count how many times her comments have brightened my day and made me want to keep going when I was thinking about quitting.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 
It's a three-way tie between Lola, Nevermore, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated (All linked above at one point or another.) I feel like these are the reviews that have the most me in them. Sometimes I try to make my reviews serious ad professional, but I always end up liking the ones with more of my personality most.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I don't really do discussions on my blog since I've never come up with a worthwhile topic, but my favorite non-review post would probably be my Broke? Here's some tips for free books post.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I can't really remember any in particular, but I like most every discussion type post Harmony does at Radiant Reads.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Well it wasn't really an event per say, but in December I got the chance to go to a dinner with some local bloggers and one awesome Harper rep. It was really fun and I felt honored to even be invited.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
Hrm. It doesn't feel like anything particularly spectacular happened this year, but I did reach my 1 year milestone back in June 2012, so that was big :]

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Going solely by page views and not counting giveaways, that would be my review for Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley. I find this rather odd and a little sad because it's not a great review by any standards and I didn't even really like the book.
Comments-wise, my most commented (at 20) is my Armchair BEA introduction post.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Considering how depressing it was to go back and see how few comments I've gotten over the past year, I'd love to say everything :P
If I was choosing I'd have to go with my Broke? post (linked above) and Have Your Cake and Read it Too posts because they're the ones I'm most proud of.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I don't know if this counts, but I'm going with it anyway:
Reading in the bath. See, I've always been terrified of dropping my books in the water and I don't really like just sitting there doing nothing, so baths hadn't been a thing since I grew out of them and into the shower. But guys, baths are great. You just sit in your scented bubble bath and read uninterrupted. It's good to get away from all the distractions and just have a book sometimes. And no, there have been no book casualties to date. I make damn sure of that :P

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I read well over the 125 book goal I'd set myself (ending number was 156 or something) and read a fair amount of books for each challenge I'd signed up for as well. I kept shelves on goodreads and tagged the reviews, but I don't have a comprehensive list. Maybe next year I'll be a little more organized :P
As for my blog itself, I'd say I did so-so. I posted much more in 2012 and had a fairly regular schedule for a while, but I didn't establish my blog and be a part of the community in the ways that I'd hoped. This year I resolve to give my blog a lot more breathing room so maybe there'll actually be some personality around here and help make it stand out.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
The Fault in Our Stars. There's a story here, I promise.
I've been wanting to read John's books chronologically since I found him in February 2012 (yes, I think I may, in fact, have been living under a rock). I'm a little particular about strange things, though, and this happens to be one of them. I wanted to own the books before I read them. So, I methodically worked my way through buying and reading LfA, Katherines, and Paper Towns (TfioS was actually the first one I purchased. Yes, I'm strange like that.) Then somewhere along the lines Life happened and I never really got the chance to buy myself new books again (I need them all in hardcover, you see) so Will and Will remained unbought and unread.
But that all changes today, my friends!
Literally, as of the day I'm writing this I'm a proud owner of Will and Will thanks to my awesome mother-in-law. We celebrated my husband's family Christmas today and I about jumped off the couch when I unwrapped Will. Now, I'll finally be able to call myself a true John Green fangirl ;]

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
There are tons of debuts and even more sequels I'm super excited for, but this honor goes to Michael Grant's Light, the last book in the Gone series. I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to see how this series ends!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
I actually made an entire resolution post about this which you can read here, if you so wish :]


  1. Dude, I don't understand why Tiger Lily didn't get more attention! It's so good and I want ALL THE PEOPLE to read it.
    Also, oh hey, I'm reading the third Percy Jackson book right now and WHY DID I NOT READ THIS SERIES YEARS AGO SOMETHING MUST BE DEEPLY WRONG WITH ME. I am totally obsessed with the series now.
    Excuse me while I fangirl John Green! *flails* Eeeep, I'm so happy you loved Looking for Alaska! I can't wait for you to read TFiOS.
    THANK YOU for picking us as your favorite blog you discovered. :)

  2. Dude, I don't understand why Tiger Lily didn't get more attention! It's so good and I want ALL THE PEOPLE to read it.
    Also, oh hey, I'm reading the third Percy Jackson book right now and WHY DID I NOT READ THIS SERIES YEARS AGO SOMETHING MUST BE DEEPLY WRONG WITH ME. I am totally obsessed with the series now.
    Excuse me while I fangirl John Green! *flails* Eeeep, I'm so happy you loved Looking for Alaska! I can't wait for you to read TFiOS.
    THANK YOU for picking us as your favorite blog you discovered. :)


I adore all the comments you write. They totally make my day :]