Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book Haul (70) and What Are You Reading?


For review:
Stars and Swipes: Postcards of Awkward Americana by Wilhelm Staehle
Hugs and Misses: 30 Postcards of Awkward Romance by Wilhelm Staehle
Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Save Me by Jenny Elliott
An Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army Greg Rauch
Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLahlan
A List Of Things That Didn't Kill Me by Jason Schmidt
New Money by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Independently Wealthy by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Bought:
The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Heartless by Gail Carriger
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Mortal Heat by Robin LaFevers
Winterspell by Claire LeGrand
My True Love Gave to Me (U.S. and U.K. editions)
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Signed:
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Changeless by Gail Carriger
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Just One Year by Gayle Forman
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire LeGrand
Winger by Andrew Smith
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

What I read:
Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact by A.J. Hartley
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothufss
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Sekret by Lindsay Smith
Amulet, Vol. 4: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi
Tales From a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renee Russell
Something Real by Heather Demetrios
The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Cherry the Cake Fairy by Daisy Meadows
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Seraphina: The Audition by Rachel Hartman
Currently reading:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Truth and Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness
What I plan to read:
The Start Of Me and You by Emery Lord
Legend by Marie Lu
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#WednesdayYA January Selection

It's a new year, and that means a whole new year of #WednesdayYA!  If you don't know what #WednesdayYA, Misty of The Book Rat and I realized that when we looked at our lists of books we own but haven't read, we have a lot in common.  Now, each month of the year, we pick one book and read it together.  We wrapped up 2014 with a liveshow on Misty's channel.

Since we didn't do a book in December, Misty and I wanted to get the ball roll for January by just picking something.  Here's what we decided on:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9275658-legend?from_search=true
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
  
(Summary from GoodReads)


So if you've read this book or want to join the chat, we'll be discussing it on January 28th at 8:30 p.m. EST.  Since you guys seemed to like the Liveshow format, we'll be doing a Liveshow on my YouTube channel--you can find the link in the sidebar.

Happy January and happy reading! We can't wait to discuss Legend with you later this month.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 End of Year Book Survey



 For the fifth year in a row, the fabulous Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner has made an end of year survey.  Thanks, Jamie!  I always love answering these questions, so here are my responses for 2014.  I was hoping to get this up sooner, but I really didn't have a chance to blog while I was visiting my parents over the holidays, and that's okay.  I believe that Jamie created all of the graphics that go with this survey.  Now let's get to it!

  
Number Of Books You Read: 115
Number of Re-Reads: 4 
Genre You Read The Most From: YA fantasy and YA contemporary


1. Best Book You Read In 2014? 

It just so happens that on the 1st, I shared my favorites, but let me recap: Pointe by Brandy Colbert was a great debut, Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson was a ridiculously fun middle grade, and The Sky Is Everywhere was beautifully written.  There’s also a lot of high fantasy on my list.



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

I wish I could say that this was Panic by Lauren Oliver, but since I wasn’t a big fan of Delirium, I didn’t have high expectations. I thought I would love If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. The premise is important and fascinating, but I wasn’t a fan of how it was written and executed.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Ultimately Noggin by John Corey Whaley.  This book is about a kid whose head gets frozen and transplanted onto someone else’s body a few years later.  I thought this might read a little bit more like science fiction, but it felt very much like a contemporary to me, which I liked!  Travis’s struggles were incredibly relatable.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

As soon as I read Pointe by Brandy Colbert I tried to convince all the YA lovers I know to get a copy. Otherwise anytime I saw someone thinking about The Girl of Fire and Thorns I encouraged them.  Plus, I loved Magic Marks the Spot so much that I gave it to two people as a Christmas gift.

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

In terms of 2014 releases, The Winner’s Curse is a great series starter, but I also loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  My favorite sequel that I read was Froi ofthe Exiles by Melina Marchetta, and my favorite series ender would be a tie between Quintana of Charyn and The Bitter Kingdom.  There were definitely some sequels and series enders that came out this year that I’m hoping to read in 2015.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

I have two answers for this one! My favorite new author is Rae Carson—I can’t wait to read more by her, but my favorite graphic novelist is Kazu Kibuishi.  I am loving what I’ve read of the Amulet series so far!

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

Definitely Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn.  I’m not a big reader of adult thrillers.  The characters in this one were such sociopaths that I wound up deciding I would never reread it. 

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

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.  I had to know what was going on with those characters.  I wound up not being a huge fan of the ending, but it was nice to have something that made me turn the pages so quickly.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Absolutely The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss.  I really enjoyed this one when I first read it, but there’s so here to dissect, discuss, and analyze, both on its own and in the context of the whole series.


10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

The cover of Seraphina is absolutely stunning—just look at that detail!  I’m also a really big fan of the Unspoken hardcover, even though I didn’t love the book itself.  The covers for The Assassin’s Blade and The Crown of Embers are also much prettier in person than online.






11. Most memorable character of 2014?

The gargoyle from Magic Marks the Spot!  He had some great lines.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson is jaw droppingly, achingly beautiful.  So much love.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

This is a tough one, and I have to pick two again.  El Deafo really got me thinking about what it might be like to grow up deaf and how that would change the way other people treat you.  Me Before You by JoJo Moyes got me thinking about how I might try to deal with if I was in a wheelchair and what I might want from my life.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  I’m so, so pleased I’ve finally read both of these.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
 
Pick just one?!?! LOLOLOLOL.

Anywhoodle.

“I knew I would never travel through space or fly a plane, but sitting there with the girl I loved—there was no question about me loving her—and two of my oldest friends, the whole universe spinning around me, reminded me of how big this world was and how small we are.  In a hundred years, no one would know us, but this moment for us would last as long as we did.  This.  Right now, with traces of Alice coloring my view of the sky, would never be in a history book or a movie, but for as long as I could push air in and out of my chest, I would remember this moment that could never be measured.”
--Julie Murphy, Side Effects May Vary


Do they even make food that doesn’t have corn in it in Iowa?
--Andrew Smith, Grasshopper Jungle


“Life's a freaking mess. In fact, I'm going to tell Sarah we need to start a new philosophical movement: messessentialism instead of existentialism: For those who revel in the essential mess that is life. Because Gram's right, there's not one truth ever, just a bunch of stories, all going on at once, in our heads, in our hearts, all getting in the way of each other. It's all a beautiful calamitous mess. It's like the day Mr. James took us into the woods and cried triumphantly, "That's it! That's it!" to the dizzying cacophony of soloing instruments trying to make music together. That is it.”
--Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this yeaer that was the shortest and longest.

I didn’t technically read all of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin in 2014, but since I finished we’re going to say that one counts.

Meanwhile, the shortest is a tie between the three Babymouse books I read and Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute.  I believe they are all exactly 96 pages.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)


Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn because HOLY SHIT THAT ENDING.  I had a pretty similar reaction when I read Vicious, but moreso with Complicit.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Elisa and Hector from the Fire and Thorns series, and if Elisa gets tired of Hector I’ll take him off her hands.  However, I also shipped a few couples in The Lumatere Chronicles, but if I say anything more things will start to get spoilery.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Lennie’s relationship with her grandmother in The Sky is Everywhere is filled with so much emotion. It’s absolutely stunning.  Francesca’s relationship with her family in Saving Francesca is wonderful as well.  I love how much her family cares about each other.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. I am turning into a major fangirl and I am totally okay with it.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas—Racquel from The Book Barbies is a huge fan and convinced me to read it.
 


22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Hector from the Fire and Thorns series. Yes, yes, and more yes.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Pointe by Brandy Colbert! It’s wonderfully written and deals well with tough issues.  Also I feel like we’ve reached the point in this survey where I talk about most of the same books repeatedly. I’m cool with it.

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

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood had a stunning autumnal setting.  I could also feel the desert sands whipping me in the face as I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

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

Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson.  I mean, a middle grade where a girl runs away from finishing school to become a pirate, snarky gargoyle included.  What more could I ask for? I’m really excited to pick up the sequel to this one!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

I wept during Quintana of Charyn and a tear or two definitely fell out towards the end of The Bitter KingdomMe Before You and The Assassin’s Blade both brought me close to tears, but neither one did it entirely.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I think Pointe and Complicit both deserve more love.  For a slightly older release, MagicMarks the Spot definitely deserves more love.
 
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Perhaps The Program by Suzanne Young. It’s a good book but not an uplifting read, if that makes sense.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

I mean probably Chopsticks but that feels like too obvious of an answer.  I did also love Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee—it reads like an early reader, but the format is reminiscent of a picture book or graphic novel.  In terms of a novel, I think One Day and OneAmazing Morning On Orange Street would be my choice.

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

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I closed the book and immediately thought to myself, “Those characters were such sociopaths that I will never reread this book again.” Thus far I’ve stuck to my word.



1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

For this one I’ve got to go with Andi’s ABCs because I also love my accessories, books, and clothes.  I love how Andi ties fashion into her bookish blog posts.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

Probably my review of The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Definitely my Reading Imbalance and My Struggles with my TBR Post.  I really enjoyed writing this one as well!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Seeing Robin LaFevers was awesome because she gave a great talk and I got to hang out with Ksenia from Macmillan and several cool bloggers afterwards.  Then again, Gail Carriger was fascinating and I loved meeting Andrew Smith and Stephanie Perkins. It’s so hard to choose!  I did a full recap of the events I attended in 2014 here.
I also have to say that starting up #WednesdayYA with Misty was a ton of fun and I enjoyed doing our liveshow.  You guys are always welcome to read books and chat with us!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?


 Probably just simply moving to D.C. and getting to hang out with so man other cool people.  Then again, I’ll also be participating in a blog tour soon that I’m really looking forward to.

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


Looking at views, my review of Me Since You was apparently pretty popular. Who knew?! My Reading Imbalances and My Struggle with My TBR post got some love, too.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I would love it if my recap of events I attended in2014 got more love, but I realize it hasn’t been up very long.

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

It was fantastic to move to D.C. and see that there was a Facebook group established where YA bloggers, authors, and librarians could talk all things bookish. It’s how I’ve learned about a lot of author signings in the area.  Otherwise I’ve loved spending time in Indies like Politics & Prose, Kramerbooks, and OneMore Page Books.

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

Yes! I managed to read 115 books when my original goal was 100. I also read a middle grade a month, and adult non-fiction book, and a few juvenile non-fiction titles. Woohoo!



1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

I have three answers: The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi, When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. I’m hoping to even read The Chance You Won’t Return in January!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

In terms of authors I’ve read previously, I can’t wait for Fairest by Marissa Meyer, A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab and The Devil You Know by Trish Doller. In terms of new to me authors, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

As of right now, that would be I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above.  I’m also curious about We All Looked Up as it’s gotten some hype so far.  But don’t worry—I bet I’ll find more debuts to get pumped about as the year goes on.



 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman and Winter by Marissa Meyer.  By late this year I’ll probably be foaming at the mouth for more Throne of Glass books, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

I hope to continue reading and recommending diverse books.  I don’t have a specific number in mind—I just want to stay aware of my reading habits.  I’d also like to write more in my spare time—it’d be great to find a routine where I find the perfect balance, between reading, blogging, and writing just for me.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I’ve only read two—I Was Here and The Winner’s Crime—and I definitely recommend that everyone read The Winner’s Crime as soon as it releases. I cannot wait to get my hands on book three of this series.

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