Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review Survey

Well friends. It's been 10 months since I blogged last. Sigh. But during that time, I moved back across the country, started a new job as an elementary school librarian, and tried not to get disheartened by the state of America. I also did read quite a bit. So I'm pumped to share my year in review with you. As with the last couple years, I'm using Perpetual Page Turner's survey. Jamie is so incredible and amazing and she inspires me to keep blogging (even when I take an accidental 10 month vacation.)

Number Of Books You Read: 132
Number of Re-Reads: 14
Genre You Read The Most From: Not entirely sure, but going to assume YA Fantasy

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)
 Oh man, I read so many good books this year! But possibly Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War or Anne-Marie McLemore's The Weight of Feathers or Brian K. Vaughn's Paper Girls.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 All-American Boys or The Porcupine of Truth. Like Porcupine made me legitimately angry, whereas Boys just let me down.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 

 I feel like I read quite a few books with "twists" but none of them really surprised me. I think my love for The Chocolate War surprised me the most, although that's just me not knowing myself. 

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

 I didn't really "push" very many books this year. Possibly Dumplin' or Saga or Doll Bones.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

 Started: Paper Girls or Saga although I also really enjoyed Not Your Sidekick and The School for Good and Evil.
Sequel: A Gathering of Shadows or Marked in Flesh
Ender: The Raven King

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

 Anne-Marie McLemore or Stephanie Kuehn or Stacey Lee

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

 Under a Painted Sky because I don't read much historical fiction and I really enjoyed that one.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

 Queen of Shadows or The Raven Cycle

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

 Well, I already have reread Anne Bishop's The Others series twice this year, but I bet that will happen again next year. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

 Probably A Gathering of Shadows

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

 I think about Apollo from Trials of Apollo a lot and also Mark Watney from The Martian a lot.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

 The Weight of Feathers!! I was so into the writing that I literally missed my bus stop one morning.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

 While I read a lot of books that were intended to be thought-provoking or life-changing, I don't actually feel like any of them were. Maybe The Others series, but that was technically a re-read.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

 The Chocolate War! or The Martian even though it only came out in 2011.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

I did not keep track this year :(

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

 Longest: Winter at 832p
Shortest: The Fantastic Mr. Fox at 96p

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Probably Empire of Storms although I wasn't actually surprised.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
 MEG + SIMON = 5EVA (The Others series)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

 The Paper Girls crew (Paper Girls) or Alvin and his family (Alvin Ho)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

 Probably Dream Theives (Maggie Stiefvater) or Last Night I Sang to the Monster (Benjamin Alire Saenz)

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

 Probably The Raven Boys or Saga

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

 Marko from Saga or Ronan from The Raven Boys

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

 The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Hellig (also may have been only debut?? Whoops!)

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 The worlds of Saga, Sugar Skulls, or The Abyss Surrounds Us

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

 Alvin Ho!! I always laugh out loud at Alvin's misadventures, and he makes me feel so much better about my own anxiety.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

 All the Rage, Marked in Flesh, and Last Night I Sang to the Monster -- straight up balling with all three of them.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

 Either Not Your Sidekick or The Abyss Surrounds Us. Super underrated in blog community/real world, but both very deserving of praise.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

 Probably Last Night I Sang to the Monster

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

 Probably Snow Crash content wise, but A + E 4ever or The Cursed Child format wise (I hated both of those though so make of that what you will).

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Cursed Child -- talk about not knowing your source material!!

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016? 

 I was super behind on blogging/blogs this year.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

 I didn't write a single review. Sigh.

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.)?

 ALA Midwinter!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

ALA Midwinter!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Making time! As in that totally didn't happen. I will be better in 2017!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?


8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?


9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

There have been so many awesome bookish shops on Etsy!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I think the only ones I completed were my rereading goals (5 books) and my series finish goal (caught up to/finished 9 of the ones I had)

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

 I have too many. I can't choose.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

 Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop. I'm obsessed with this series!!

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 Not sure! I have no idea what's even coming out.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

 A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

 Actually keep up with blogging!

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

So there's my survey for 2016. A little sparse in some areas. But hopefully it will all come together. Let me know if any of your favorites were in my favorites!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yet Another Book Review Round-Up

Hello Lovelies!!

Once again, the semester has eaten my blog. I have read 17 books this year and haven't blogged about a single one. Sigh. So here's a quick review of what I've been reading lately.

While this was an entertaining short story, it wasn't particularly thrilling or in depth. I finished it in about half an hour, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had a little more room to develop. I might be interested in reading Ridley's full length novels in the future.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Although this was mostly just marketed as an Oregon Trail historical fiction novel, there was so much more to this book. It has two non-white main characters: Chinese Samantha and Black Annamae. Both girls go undercover as boys while on the run for murder (and in Annamae's case as an escaped slave). The two of them join a group of cowboys heading the same direction. They have to learn how to survive the wilderness as well as the mess of their lives.

Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev and Glenn Dallas

Micah is off-grid. Vee helps power the grid with her band and her voice. Cyrene is a city where people in their prime can live life as big as they want to. Micah tries his best to keep the darker side of the city moving, he's hunting for the darkest parts. But when he's at the club where Vee sings, he just wants to see her again. Vee sees Micah across the crowded club, and all she wants is to see him again. When she can't she tries a new drug, Applejack, but that's a mistake. I really enjoyed this book. Lisa Mantchev continues to surprise me in new and different ways. Mantchev's writing is thrilling and beautiful to read.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have nothing in common except their hatred of each other. And the fact that they're both traveling performance families. The Palomas are mermaids, or at least with the assistance of flashy, handsewn tales they are. And the Corbeaus are birds, with the help of huge and gorgeous handcrafted wings. But when Lace and Cluck meet, they don't know that they're member of rival families. This is the story of how two people can hate each other so much even as they're learning to love. This is the first book of 2016, I really loved. It's beautifully written and such a fantastic work of magical realism. I highly recommend it. 

(I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley. This IN NO WAY affected my review.)

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter is the fantastic conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles. Winter is keeping track of Scarlet. Especially after Jacin explains who Scarlet is. The rest of the team is coming for Scarlet. They just have to make a plan. And as with all plans, nothing goes according to the way they imagine it. This was an incredible series ender. Everything I wanted from such a magnificent series.

The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton

This is the story of two misfits. Both deemed unworthy because of the color of their skin and their socio-economic status. It's the story of Junior Brown and Buddy Clark. And Mr. Pool who built a solar system in a hidden janitorial closet. Hamilton tackles mental health, homelessness, loneliness, and family drama. 

The Contender by Robert Lipsyte

This story started out really strong for me. Alfred Brooks decides he wants to learn to fight after his friends are involved in a robbery gone awry. Brooks trains with a local trainer at a local gym. However, eventually drugs and alcohol become a part of the story. That's where my interest dropped off. It seemed an unnecessary addition to an already interesting story. 

Issues 14-26 are collected in this set about Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman.  The issues which have a narrative thread are pretty decent, but the single issues seem lackluster at best. And the art for this series does not thrill me. It's a "traditional" comic style which basically just means super twisted poses for women. I mean look at Catwoman on the cover! 

A Separate Peace by John Knowles 

Gene's roommate Phineas is a suave athlete. Gene just wants to excel at school. However, Gene's paranoia about what Phineas wants leads to a disaster. This is the story of friendship and not-quite-enemies. I rather enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. It's got some interesting points about the human condition but it doesn't overwhelm me. 

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows is the fourth in the Throne of Glass series. This is a series which continues to blow me away with each subsequent book. The plot gets more intricate. The stakes get higher. My ships are more or less sunken, but I just want to read more. I want to know what happens next! I fall more in love with the characters each book. If you haven't yet started this series, I cannot recommend it enough. 

Alright there's 10 reviews. Here's to the other 8 tomorrow! Hope you lovelies have had a great month and some days into 2016! Let me know what you've been reading in the comments!!