It’s that time of the year again where we said goodbye to the old and prepare ourselves for the new. For me, this means completing Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner‘s End of Year Book Survey and deciding whether or not I want to take on any Reading Challenges (and, spoiler alert: I don’t. I’ve even deleted my Reading Challenges page from the blog because I just don’t care).
If you’re curious to see what books impacted me last year, make sure to check out my End of Year Book Survey 2013 post. Oh, and I confess: I totally copied and pasted the formatting of this post from Kelley’s End of Year Book Survey because I’m that lazy. So maybe go check hers out if you get a chance too. ;)
2014 Reading Stats
- Number Of Books You Read: 45. Which is quite sad because my Goodreads goal was originally 50 and quite a few of the books that make up that number are novellas. Whoops.
- Number of Re-Reads: Four! I’m actually quite proud of this. Re-read the entire Chaos Walking trilogy and Cathy’s Book. Go me!
- Genre You Read The Most From: Either sci-fi or fantasy. I’m not
crazycool like other bloggers and make a spreadsheet of such things. ;)
Best In Books
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
I actually added four books to my “Favorites” shelf on Goodreads this year (Stormdancer, The Raven Boys, All Our Yesterdays, and Vicious), but I think the one that came out on top for me was Stormdancer. I fell hard for that book, and can’t believe I haven’t read the rest of the series yet. [Stormdancer review]
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Would Love More But Didn’t?
I am so sad to admit this one. The book I was definitely the most excited about this year, but was then ultimately disappointed by, was Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but didn’t love it’s sequel. I was relying on this last book to redeem the series and make me fall in love with it again. And while it wasn’t horrible, it definitely didn’t deliver like I wanted it to. Sadface. [Dreams of Gods and Monsters review]
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book you read in 2014?
If there’s one book that I ended up loving this year in a completely unexpected way, it’s The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I had been avoiding Maggie’s books after her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, which wasn’t my cup of tea (at all), and wasn’t convinced it was worth it to give her a second chance. Boy was I wrong. The Raven Boys is something else. [The Raven Boys review]
4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2014?
Usually Patrick Ness takes this spot, but he didn’t publish any new books in 2014. Instead, I’m giving this to Stormdancer. I can’t recall exactly who read this book after I pushed it on them, but I do know my fangirling over someone other than Patrick Ness was noted by my followers and some decided to give it a second chance.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
- Best series I started in 2014: Well, not to be overly repetitive, but I’m going to say the best series I started in 2014 is The Lotus War. My goal for 2015 is to read the rest of the series. Hopefully the sequels do not disappoint!
- Best sequel: I actually didn’t read many in-the-middle books this year (or that many books, in general), but even if I did I think Cress would get this title. It pretty much gave me everything I wanted from it.
- Best series ender: The best series ender for me is Ruin and Rising. While I understand the complaints provided by other bloggers, I felt that it ended in a satisfactory way for me. It’s the first series I’ve finished this past year that I actually found myself satisfied with the conclusion. [Ruin and Rising review]
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Hmm… I wonder who that could be? While I have a great appreciation for Cristin Terill and V.E. Schwab, both new-to-me authors in 2014 who produced favorites of mine, I’m going to have to give this one to Jay Kristoff. I actually felt like I had found my new Patrick Ness after finishing Stormdancer. Not that I need a new Patrick Ness. It’s just nice to have more than one author to push sometimes. ;)
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I very much like to stick to my YA fantasy/sci-fi comfort zone, but this year (thanks to the Bookish Games) I decided to try my first manga! I had no idea what to expect when reading Death Note, but I absolutely loved it. It was evil, smart, and left me wanting more. I’m actually quite disappointed in myself I haven’t read the next volume yet, especially as it’s been sitting on my shelf. Whoops. [Death Note review]
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I don’t know if I would say it was action-packed, but the one book that I didn’t want to put down this year was Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I really got sucked up into this twisted world with superpowers that Victoria created, and couldn’t want to see how it all ended. It didn’t disappoint.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Let’s be honest, I don’t think I’m going to actually re-read any book next year. I did well by re-reading the Chaos Walking trilogy in 2014, but I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to do it again. That being said, if there’s one book I’m likely to re-visit and flip through, it’s The Raven Boys. It’s hard not to feel that Maggie has sprinkled clues about what will happen in each book in the prior ones, and I love going back and spotting the hints she snuck in.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
It doesn’t take a lot to impress me when it comes to covers (I am such a cover whore). If I had to choose my favorite though, I’d go with Ruin and Rising. That whole series has such gorgeous covers. I want to marry them.
11. Most memorable character in 2014?
I have to admit, I was torn on this one. Buruu or Captain Carswell Thorne? In the end I went with Thorne from Marissa Meyer’s Cress, as I find that he has somehow made me fall even more in love with the latest book than I did previously.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Well, as much as I was disappointed by Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I still must confess that Laini Taylor has an absolutely beautiful way of writing.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
I didn’t read any life-changing books, but if I had to choose one that made me think I would go with Parasite by Mira Grant. It’s sort of one of those disturbing sci-fi books that freaks you out by how logical it all seems, and makes you wonder what it really means to be human. [Parasite review]
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
There’s no book that I really have waited forever to read. Most of the books I read this past year were those published within the past three years, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I guess if I had to choose one I’d say The Raven Boys? I can’t believe I fought off the hype monster for so long, especially since for once they were right! ;)
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
I don’t really highlight or pay attention to specific passages/quotes while reading, unfortunately. But I do have this vivid memory of reading a passage from Marissa Meyer’s Cress and just being in love with it. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but just in case: View Spoiler »the scene where Cress and Thorne are in the desert alone together trying to find humanity, and Cress just sort of loses her mind. She’s overly dramatic and wants Thorne to love her but whines about how he never would. And honestly, I just loved this because it reminds me of me! I’m often dramatic and say such silly things just to make my significant other confirm he loves me. I don’t know, but it made me appreciate Cress on a personal level. :P « Hide Spoiler
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
- Longest: Going by Goodreads, the longest book I read in 2014 is Dreams of Gods and Monsters with 613 pages. (Another reason I didn’t love it, unfortunately. Nobody has time to read such massive books! :P)
- Shortest: The shortest book I read according to Goodreads, goes to Warm Up by V.E. Schwab with 15 pages. It isn’t actually a book though, just a novella. Still, I’m counting it.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I’d say the book that shocked me the most was Half Bad by Sally Green. Why? It was just so disturbing violent at times! I think while reading YA you sort of come to expect that things won’t get too graphic, but this one didn’t shy away from going into the details when explaining the horrible life the MC has. [Half Bad review]
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
There’s two main competitors for this title (the other being Finn and Em from All Our Yesterdays), but for me this has to go to Mik and Zuzana from Night of Cakes and Puppets. I don’t think it’s possible to NOT love these two, and reading their initial encounter via this novella? Just perfection. I think it’s my favorite Laini Taylor writing to date. [Night of Cake and Puppets review]
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I didn’t even have to think for this one! My favorite non-romantic relationship of the year goes to Yukiko and Buruu from Stormdancer. Obviously Buruu is carrying this relationship, but Yukiko is pretty awesome herself. And I just love when books portray relationships between humans and animals (even if this one started off a bit rocky). So much love.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I have to give this one to The Raven Boys. Not only is it my favorite book from an author I’ve previously read, but it’s one in which an author pretty much did a 360 in my books! I went from avoiding Maggie Stiefvater to wanting more of her work. I’m not sure if I’m willing to try her other stuff yet (such as The Scorpio Races), but look forward to reading the rest of The Raven Cycle.
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I feel bad adding The Raven Boys so much to this list, but I think many of you will appreciate it’s inclusion. The Raven Boys is a book I fell in love with that I read SOLELY because of recommendations. You can actually thank Aditi and Sana for this, as I’m pretty sure I only read it after striking a deal with them that I would read The Raven Boys if they read Stormdancer.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
I’m giving this one to Finn from All Our Yesterdays! I’m usually not big on fictional crushes, but that boy definitely won me over. He is sort of everything I go for in a boy in real life – protective, caring, loyal, but also somewhat broken. [All Our Yesterdays review]
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I don’t think I read many books from authors that debuted in 2014. I know, I know. Bad blogger. Out of the two that I think I have (Half Bad and Red Rising), I’m going to give this one to Red Rising. I didn’t love this book, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what happens next. [Red Rising review]
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Without a doubt this has to go to The Diviners by Libba Bray. If you want to read a book where you can just tell the author did tons of research and worked hard to create a believable world (one that was once real, as it’s historical fiction), read this book. I loved learning about New York in the 1920s through this book. So good.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I’m going to have to give this to Laini Taylor’s Night of Cake and Puppets. It’s the most feel-good, smile-inducing novella I’ve ever read. If you’re looking for something that makes you remember what it’s like to fall in love again, with all the shyness and uncertainty it involves, with a dash of magic, read this! (Though you should probably read the other Daughter of Smoke and Bone books first.)
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Don’t tell me you’re surprised that a Patrick Ness book found it’s way on here. I re-read The Knife of Never Letting Go this year and even though I already knew what was going to happen, I cried again. Damn you Patrick Ness for messing with my feels! [The Knife of Never Letting Go re-read review]
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
If there’s one book I loved this year that I didn’t feel got enough attention, one that was sort of hidden away, it’d be In the Shadows by Jim Di Bartolo and Kiersten White. The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful, and I love how they worked together with the text to tell the story. [In the Shadows review]
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
One book that definitely crushed my soul this year was Hannah Moskowitz’s Teeth. It was just so hard reading the tragic lives of the characters in the story, and that ending just punched me with all the feels. I remember finishing that book and DMing Cayce right away because I needed someone to talk to who would understand what I was going through. Soul-crushing, indeed. [Teeth review]
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
I’d say one of the most unique books I read in 2014 was Half Bad. It’s the first book I’ve ever read that include second-person narration, and included a couple of lists and other fun things that made reading it different from other books.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
A book that made me mad? When Mr Dog Bites. It’s one of my few one-star ratings, and I just don’t know how to fully describe how wrongly it rubbed me. I may have just been oversensitive while reading it, but ugh. No thanks. [When Mr Dog Bites review]
Your Blogging/Bookish Life
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
Now this is a hard one to answer, primarily because I can’t remember when I discovered most of the blogs I love. One day they appear, and it just sort of feels like I’ve been following them forever. I’d say the two that stick out to me the most though are Cait @ Paper Fury (previously Notebook Sisters) who is absolutely amazing at encouraging discussion (even her reviews read like discussion posts!) and Jess @ My Reading Dress who writes such interesting and thoughtful discussion posts and includes the most gorgeous pictures of books in her posts. Lots of love to both these ladies!
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
I don’t know. I always feel like all my reviews are just so-so. O.o I guess I’d go with my Stormdancer review? You should read it, and then read the book. ;)
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I’m actually going to go with two non-book-related posts: My Past with Depression and My Present with Depression. There’s a certain sort of peace that comes with acknowledging your problems and sharing them with others, and receiving the love and support of the community you’re in. To each and every person who read and commented on those posts: thank you.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Gosh, is it bad nothing jumps out to me?? Honestly, I feel like I read so. many. discussion posts each week because of our weekly recap that it really becomes a blur. I’m going to take the easy way out here and follow Kelley’s suit by encouraging you to check out our weekly recaps.
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Is it bad to choose an event I helped hosted? :P I’m going to say Sci-Fi November 2014! It was a lot of work, but I was amazed by the quantity and quality of posts our participants pulled together, and was excited by the opportunity to run my first ever Twitter chat.
6. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
Seriously? I should think it’s no surprise that my best blogging moment of 2014 was starting Oh, the Books! with Kelley (and Leanne)! Having co-bloggers has been an absolute lifesaver, and I honestly feel like it’s only forged a stronger friendship between Kelley and myself. I love her constant acceptance and support, and it’s just nice knowing that she’ll always have my back. (Love you Kelley!)
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Haha, I’m going to cheat and copy Kelley’s response here.
- Most popular by views (blog-wide): Asti’s YA Sci-Fi Periodic Table – You have no idea how excited this makes me, just because it took a lot of work to put together. I think Tumblr and Twitter contributed a lot of views to this post as the graphic made it highly shareable, so thanks to everyone who retweeted/reblogged!
- Most popular by comments (blog-wide): Our Grand Opening post – Aww, how awesome is it that everyone took the time to congratulate us on our new blog? I’m definitely okay with this being our most popular post. (Though does that mean we’ve just gone downhill since? :O)
Note: The Bookish Games posts (as well as Kelley’s Game of Thrones rant) were excluded.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I can’t say any posts have received too little love. If anything, I’ve been slightly saddened this year by the difficulty Kelley and I have been having when it comes to getting enough Bookish Games participants, but I understand life happens. I’m hoping that we can still continue to get enough though, even if they’re smaller games, so we don’t have to cancel the feature altogether.
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?
Let’s not even talk about reading challenges. I met my Goodreads one, but only because I dropped my goal by ten books halfway through the year and then read a bunch of novellas in November. I’ve decided I’m not doing reading challenges next year. Goodbye Reading Challenge page!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
I’m going to say Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. I want to read the sequels for series I’ve already started. (I have this bad habit of just starting more each year and never finishing them. Fail.) Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Like you had to ask? The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, of course! I’m having withdrawal.
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I actually don’t pay much attention to what’s coming out (I already have too many published books to read), but I’m going to go with Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard purely because one of the Goodreads reviews says “Two words: New Darkling”. Yes please!
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Oh, oh, oh! Fairest by Marissa Meyer! I’m actually anticipating it even more than Winter just because I love me some villains and am really curious to see how Marissa Meyer is going to explain Queen Levana’s cruelty. I hope she does it in a way that makes you empathize with Queen Levana and understand on some level why she is the way she is. I just. can’t. wait.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
Have my blog become a source of positivity in my life, instead of stress and guilt. I feel like during 2014 I made the first initial steps towards this as I slowly started to accept that I can’t do everything I used to, but I still feel like I have a long way to go. I want to get back into the groove of blogging for myself, and as a result, a sneaky little project I’ve been working on will be announced tomorrow. I’m hoping that it will help put me in a more positive place in 2015, and that my blogging at Oh, the Books! will benefit as a result.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Hahaha. This question assumes I’m a blogger that gets ARCs. I don’t. I’ve always been a blogger who is happy with reading the books that are already published and just trusting everyone else to do the dirty work for me. Sorry ;)
Did you complete the end of year survey? share the link! If you didn’t, let me know what some of your answers would be below!