Wednesday, December 26, 2012

End of 2012 Bookish Survey

As always, the 2012 End of Year Book Survey is created and hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner.

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

Every time I think of this question the first three answers that pop into my head are The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  My top 12 of the year will be posted tomorrow, so you can find out more of my favorites then.

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

While I read a lot of exceptional books this year, there were also a lot that just flopped.  Four that especially stand out to me are Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt, If I Lie by Corrine Jackson, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor.   

Forbidden sounded so interesting, but I really disliked the direction that Suzuma took with the characters’ stories and the overall plot.

I thought Uses for Boys would be very different than it is, but as it turns out it’s quite a depressing book and the main character is hard to stomach. You’ll see what I mean when I post my official review.

If I Lie is a decent book and Jackson is a good writer, but I didn’t like Quinn, the main character.  I don't plan on reviewing this one as it's already gotten so much buzz.

I also really, really, really wanted to adore Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor, and while the writing is gorgeous, I found that it was inadequate as the first book of a series.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.  Although this one was recommended to me many times and I’d read A Monster Calls in 2011, I didn’t realize that this one would be so incredibly fast-paced or gut-wrenching.  Now I know that I should purchase Kleenex in bulk before reading anything by Patrick Ness.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

Hands down Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, but Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a close second.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

Oh wow, so many!  Clearly Chaos Walking should be on this list, as well as The Origami Yoda books by Tom Angleberger and Rick Yancey’s Isle ofBlood series.  Both of these series have male protagonists that are enjoyable to read about.  The Origami Yoda books are perfectly if you love humor and Yancey’s novels are ideal for young readers who want to dabble in horror.

 I'm also going to mention The Seven Kingdoms series by Kristin Cashore.  I'm reading Graceling for a readalong and will finish it in early 2013, so it obviously doesn't count towards my 2012 total.  However, I'm loving it so much that I wanted to mention it here as well.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

These authors are all new to me and relatively new in general, but my favorites are Morgan Matson, Trish Doller, and Victoria Schwab.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Habibi by Craig Thompson.  While graphic novels are not new to me, the scale of this one makes it an incredibly daunting read.  50 Shades of Grey was out of my comfort zone as well, but I strongly disliked it.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

The first two Chaos Walking books by Patrick Ness, without a doubt. 
 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I could see myself rereading The Statistical Probability of Love at FirstSight when I need a pick me up.  Often I’ll listen to books the second time around instead of reading them, and I always read the print version of any book before listening to it, so when it comes to audiobooks, I tend to pick ones I’ve heard are well done.  I’ll probably listen to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater in 2013 and reread them that way.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

I’m sorry, but I have to pick three for this one: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.  The art on all three of these covers is beautiful, but in each case it also suits the book quite nicely.

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
Callie Vee from The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, of course!  How can you not love the fire and spunk of this vivacious eleven year old? 
 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Victoria Schwab’s writing in The Near Witch is lyrical and lovely.  I also enjoyed Lani Taylor’s writing in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but got distracted from that about halfway through when the plot took a turn for the ridiculous.  Full review of that one to come.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
Um, hardest question of the survey anyone? The Fault In Our Stars and The Knife of Never Letting Go both made me cry, and I stayed up until 2 a.m. crammed into my bathroom to finish Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.
However, I have to pick Something Like Normal by Trish Doller.  I think YA literature needs more protagonists who are has amazingly and heartbreakingly real as Travis.  Trish Doller, I tip my hat off to you. 
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Seriously, how did I put off reading this for so long?  
 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
My favorites were from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, and there are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.  These are both so beautiful that I'm not even going to bother explaining why I love them.
“I'm in love with you," he said quietly.

"Augustus," I said.

"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Shortest: Probably Yummy: The Last Days of aSouthside Shorty by G. Neri. I read this graphic novel for a class and while I can see it having a major impact on some audiences, it was not especially memorable for me.
Longest: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, which was worth every minute I spent reading it and every page I turned.
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!
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.  I seriously googled spoilers for this book once I’d finished it just to ensure I’d understood the ending correctly.
Also the second half of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I spent this part of the book thinking, “Whaaaat is this???” and generally being displeased with Lani Taylor.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
The relationship between Callie Vee and her grandfather in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  Callie’s grandfather was so sweet and enabled her in ways that few other people could have.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the RevelsThere by Catherynne M. Valente.  I am not exaggerating when I say that this book was absolutely everything it should have been and needed to be as a sequel. I simply adored it.
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else
The Sea of Tranquilitiy by Katja Millay, thanks to Allison at The Allure of Books.  This book is available for Kindle and on NetGalley, and let me tell you that you need to get your hands on it right now.  While Millay’s novel is something of a slow burner, the characters are astoundingly well-done, and the plot is exceptional. JUST GO READ IT NOW, OKAY?!
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 
Elizziebooks.  Liz and I have a lot of shared interests (tea, Doctor Who, etc.) and I really enjoy her videos.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
It’s no secret that I can be a harsh critic, and I tend to think of my somewhat negative reviews as being better because I know what I disliked about a book.  Sometimes when I read a really great book, I’ll adore it but having a hard time figuring out just what made it so great.  When I know what I disliked, however, I can write an eloquent rant about my reasons.  That said, I’d say my review of Purity by Jackson Pearce is quite good. 
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Definitely my post On Integrity.  Nicole of WORD for Teens basically wrote an entire post in response.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
2012 was a particularly excellent year for discussions, and it’d be unfair to pick just one, so I’ll just go ahead and tell you that Good Books and Good Wine, Stacked Books, and WORD for Teens are all great blogs to read if you love discussion posts.
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Definitely ALA Annual!  It’s hard to pick one specific moment from all of that, but the Printz ceremony and reception were enjoyable because I got to chat with so many authors and bloggers.
 6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
Going to ALA and finding out that a bunch of bloggers and publicists actually knew that my blog existed!
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Going by pageviews, my first While You Wait post and review of The Knife of Never Letting Go got a lot of love.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My review of Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, mainly because I wanted to know that someone else disliked this book for the same reasons I did.  Also my discussion post on rereading called To Reread or Not to Reread. I was particularly proud of it but it didn’t get as much attention as I’d hoped.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
The bookstore Prairie Lights in Iowa City.  It’s an independent store with a good-sized inventory and helpful staff.
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
My main goal this year was to read 100 books, and thus far I’ve read 109 books this year.  Mission accomplished! 
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  With the sequel coming out it’s time to finally read this one.
 2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I made a whole list of them a few weeks ago, so I’m going to do the lazy person thing and just link it up.
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
My reading goal for 2013 is once again going to be 100 books. It was a good goal this year, and I think I can do it again.
Even though I’ve been reviewing steadily, my need-to-review shelf on GoodReads has always had over 20 books on it.  I would like to reduce that to a more manageable number.
I’m also hoping to post more discussion posts and keep creating While You Wait posts.  I’m ultimately hoping to have a wider variety of more thoughtful content on the blog.  Wish me luck!


  1. I've always been very curious about Second Chance Summer so I've just made a trip to the bookstore to get it-- having high hopes :D

    Same here, I'll keep The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight for rainy days, it's such a simple love story that puts a smile back on my face :)

    Anyway, have a happy reading year 2013!

    My End Of Year Survey

  2. Just read the Temple Wars Novel on Ganesha! The story is well told through a parallel protagonist Tarun who helps Ganesha retrieve his objects from the spirit world. It's a page-turner that will have you wanting more. You guys should check it out! Temple Wars



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