End-of-the-Year Survey – 2015

I enjoy filling out surveys, and I (obviously) love books, so this end-of-the-year survey hosted by Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) is right up my alley! Read on for my answers :)



Number Of Books You Read: 111 + about 10 manuscripts during my internship (Jan-April)
Number of Re-Reads: 18
Genre You Read The Most From: probably urban fantasy (YA is NOT a category!)


1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
It’s a cross between Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertali) and Every Word (Ellie Marney).

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Bane Chronicles. I mean, I wasn’t really surprised because I haven’t liked the last four Cassandra Clare books I’ve read, but Magnus was always my favourite character.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid) – it got a lot of buzz when it was chosen as one of the finalists for Canada Reads, and that in itself was surprising (in a good way!).

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I’m going to say Every Breath a) because I recommend it on pretty much a monthly basis (technically I read it in 2014, but it was literally the last book I read – I finished it on December 31!) and b) my sister read it and become just as obsessed!

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series started: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)
Best sequel: Every Word (Ellie Marney)
Best series ender: The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan)

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Susin Nielsen. I read literally all her books (including one that’s not even published yet!) this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Unbearable Lightness – Portia de Rossi

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Every Move (Ellie Marney). I could not move while reading it.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Cinder (Marissa Meyer) because I haven’t picked up the rest of the series yet, and I’ll probably have to re-read it before I continue.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath – Ishbelle Bee

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Book Thief (Markus Zusack) is gorgeous, but it was a re-read. “New” book that was beautifully written: Magonia (Maria Dahvana Headley)

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Soulless – Gail Carriger. It has so many things I love in it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I have seen the aftermath of death, the incredible mechanism of the body laid bare, and I know now that each person is a kind of miracle. A spark nestles like a bird inside our chests, so deep that we can’t find where it lives, but it is everything. It’s what makes us dream and think and feel and laugh and sing. And it is a mystery, and it is mundane, and, above all, it is fragile. Any moment could be our last. – Rachel Watts, Every Word

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
The shortest (not including picture books or comics) was The Little Prince with 98 pages and the longest was the Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy (Tallulah Darling) with 1080 pages total (it was all one ebook, so if I was counting individual books, it would be Outlander with 850 pages).

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud. THAT ENDING. I NEED THE NEXT ONE LIKE NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Wattscroft forever!!! Ellie Marney is in charge of writing all the kissing scenes forever.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Flavia and Dogger from Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket!)

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
My sister told me repeatedly to read a Gail Carriger novel and I’m SO GLAD I read Soulless (and the sequel, Changeless!).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Technically he’s from the end of 2014, but who doesn’t love James Mycroft??

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I flat out sobbed at the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan).

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Not published in 2015, but I really enjoyed Knightly and Son – Rohan Gavin

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
In terms of being sad, I’d say Why We Broke Up, but if you’re talking about one that beat me down until I finished it, I’d say Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Anne & Henry – Dawn Ius. I had such high hopes for it because it had such a great concept, but the characters infuriated me.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
This year was the first year I really paid attention to book blogs and really worked on my own reviews. Some of my favourite blogs include: Pop! Goes the Reader, The Broke and the Bookish, A Reader of FictionsSnuggly Oranges, Cuddlebuggery, and, of course Perpetual Page Turner, plus a whole lot more! I also have to shout out to all the blogs I follow/who follow me here :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Probably my Simon vs review or my extensive review for Every Breath/Every Word.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
The post with the most comments was my Top Ten Books of 2015 from a few weeks ago.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I helped out at OLA which was a really interesting experience, but I also got to meet Alan Bradley at Random House which was really cool (he’s such an adorable old man!).

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
Interning at Tundra was definitely a highlight and I got to work on their blog, which was lots of fun!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding time to write the reviews in between writing for Mind the Gap/idobi!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Every Word blog tour (most views on one particular day); overall, it was my Blurryface track-by-track review (in terms of views) and top 10 books of 2015 (in terms of comments).

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I’m quite proud of my UK in YA TTT!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Apart from all the blogs I mentioned earlier, I’ve also really enjoyed Book Riot and the read-iculously cheap Book Outlet.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set 100 books as my Goodreads challenge and surpassed that goal!


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) is going to be the first book I read in 2016.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
I don’t even know if it will come out in 2016, but I’m salivating for the next Lockwood and Co (Jonathan Stroud) book.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Love That Split The World – Emily Henry. It’s been getting a lot of hype and it was the first book to come to mind.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I’m really hoping that Every Move will be published in North America next year so I can complete my collection!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I’m setting a goal for 120 books, plus one of my resolutions is to read more classics. And my sister and I (and possibly our nine year old niece) are going to do a full Harry Potter re-read which is really exciting.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
The two 2016 books I’ve read so far have been The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner) and Vikki VanSickle’s If I Had a Gryphon (illustrated by Cale Atkinson), both of which I recommend (and will have reviews up in the next couple of months!).

Fiction Friday Round-Up – February 27th, 2015

I’ve done something different this week!

Instead of smooshing together every book I’ve read over the past week and a half into one very long post, I’ve created this master list/round-up.

  • The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare (with Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan): “Basically, it felt like I was reading fanfiction. Mediocre fanfiction that you find on some sketchy site because you miss the characters so much that you’re willing to read anything, as long as they’re doing something again.”
  • Going Rogue – Robin Benway: “…there may have been some plot holes and I was a smidge confused about the mystery at first, plus the characters haven’t changed much since my initial impression of them, but it was a very quick, fun read.”
  • The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “For one, I totally related to The Little Prince: grown-ups are strange.”
  • Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom – Susin Nielsen: “This has a bit of The Parent Trap-feel to it, but it wasn’t the old “get Mom and Dad back together” trope. The fact that Violet thinks GEORGE CLOONEY is the perfect option is hilarious and amazing and I totally believe she met him.”

Thanks for reading! Don’t know how many books I’ll get through this upcoming week, but maybe I’ll make this a regular thing? (Sidenote: apologies to anyone who receives email notifications when I post stuff…I didn’t mean to takeover your inboxes!).

The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare

The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare (with Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan)
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

I know when I read City of Heavenly Fire in August, I said it was probably the last Cassandra Clare book I’ll read. I lied. But this is ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT the last Cassandra Clare book I’ll ever read. For realz, this time.

I like Magnus Bane – he’s always been my favourite character in CC’s multiple series (even after I stopped actually enjoying the books and only read them for the sake of knowing what happened next and apparently because I’m a glutton for punishment), so I was sort of excited to read this.

If you haven’t read it yet and you’re hoping to learn something new or interesting, don’t bother. Literally nothing happens.

The stories are “fun” anecdotes, but they barely tell you anything you don’t already know. To be fair, I’ve forgotten most of the minor characters from The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices, so sometimes it felt like I was being introduced to new characters. Maybe if you’ve read them recently/have a better memory than me, some of these stories will hold deeper meanings for you. But I’m not re-reading all nine of them anytime soon, so I guess I’ll never know (I’ll just Wikipedia them).

There were stories about the vampires and I was all “woo, ‘sup Camille”, who I vaguely remember as being pretty badass. And there was a weird one about Marie Antoinette that was trying to be funny but was just sort of “lol, what?” because I didn’t understand the point of it (also super annoyed that we never do find out why Magnus was banned from entering Peru).

And then there was the one story with Will and Tessa and Jem-as-a-Silent-Brother shows up and I was reminded of how much I hated the epilogue in The Clockwork Princess, which made me mad all over again (now that I think about it, it was sort of similar to the trainwreck that was the last two minutes of the How I Met Your Mother series finale). It was a story that was clearly just written for the sake of getting the three of them into a room together again. (P.S. Will’s son already sounds like a combination of his father and Jace, which is not at all surprising because CC really likes lead male characters who are tortured-yet-sensitive).

Basically, it felt like I was reading fanfiction. Mediocre fanfiction that you find on some sketchy site because you miss the characters so much that you’re willing to read anything, as long as they’re doing something again. The stories with Alec – while cute – reminded me of the Harry/Ginny fanfiction I used to read while waiting for Harry Potter to finish (once I read the last book, I stopped reading fanfiction because, as far as I was concerned, the series was done and I didn’t need anything else unless it was coming from JKR herself).

I get wanting to revisit characters, I do. You connect with a character and you feel sad when you no longer have new stories about them. I’m a writer, I understand wanting to write more about these people/creatures/things that have been living in your head. But I also feel like revisiting characters requires you to actually write a story where stuff happens otherwise, if there’s no plot, what’s the point?

I don’t think these stories were edited. Sure, they were originally put out as epubs (I think you had to pay for them, which is why I waited for the physical book?) so I don’t know if they had to go through the whole editorial process first (probably just copyediting). But if they did, then her editor was clearly all “quantity over quality i.e. do whatever the frick-frack you want, Cassie, you’ll make us money from now until the end of time”…and didn’t worry too much about content.

Because literally nothing happened.

This review has more plot than The Bane Chronicles, and I’m just repeating the same idea using slightly different words.

Not unlike the majority of The Bane Chronicles.

Yes, sometimes there were funny moments. Yes, sometimes there were sweet or cute moments. Yes, Magnus is still my favourite character (granted, I barely remember half the characters, and I hate the other half, so is that really a compliment?).


City of Heavenly Fire – Cassandra Clare [ALL THE SPOILERS]

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are completely oblivious to YA series), you’ll know that the latest Cassandra Clare book – City of Heavenly Fire – came out in May.

“Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?”

WARNING: SO MANY SPOILERS AHEAD (and also a fair bit of ranting)

First of all, I’ve had a lot of issues with the last 3-4 books (including the last book in The Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Princess, but don’t even get me started on that ending). So I assumed, going in, that I was going to grumble a lot but ultimately wanted to find out what happened.

I knew, right away, that Clare is not the type of writer to give you an unhappy ending. No es posible. She may throw in a few unexpected deaths, but no matter how many times Jace came perilously close to sacrificing himself (through his own foolishness, most of the time), there was no way he was going to kick the bucket…especially when you consider this tome was over 700 pages and no one would be able to deal with Clary mourning his loss for 3/4 of it.

Here are things I did not like:

-the Emma Carstairs plotline. NO ONE CARES. Maybe hardcore fans do, but the rest of us? Not so much. Those scenes didn’t really add much to the overall storyline and it was basically a plug for the next series, The Dark Artifices (book one comes out next year, but I sure as heck won’t be reading it). If Clare was smart, she could have suckered the readers into a) reading Emma’s POV on her website or b) buying a companion book with Emma (and other peoples’) perspectives if they needed more information. That way, those of us who didn’t particularly like this new character and had already decided that this would be the last Clare book we’d read wouldn’t have to suffer through her boring parts (by the time I hit 400 pages, I started skimming Emma’s parts).

-the werewolves. I was never especially fond of the werewolves to begin with, but HOLY SMOKES, having stuff happen to Maia meant it had to be relayed through six different channels before it got back to Clary…which meant I read the SAME STORY (Jordan’s death and the destruction of the Praetor) SIX TIMES to the point that I actually stopped caring. Maia’s parts were skimmed as well.

-what is it with Clare’s protagonists and their absurd wish to take their relationships to the next level while the world falls to pieces around them? I get that maybe it’s a “welp, we’re all doomed anyway, so screw it”, but Tessa and Will (in The Infernal Devices) have sex in a jail cell (or some other cell? I don’t remember), then Clary and Jace are all “let’s do this” on the edge of a mysterious lake in a DEMON REALM. By the way, I’m so proud of Jace for remembering to bring a condom to the demon world (of all the things to pack – they can’t find non-glass bottles for Simon to keep a supply of blood, but CONDOMS are a priority?!), because nothing turns a girl on quite like being in the same realm as her evil brother who is TRYING TO DESTROY THE WORLD.

-speaking of Jace and Clary: they are THE MOST OBNOXIOUS couple in the series. Every few pages, Clary had to wax on about how much she loves Jace: “Jace laughed, the laugh that Clary first fell in love with.” “She’s never get over how beautiful he was with those cheekbones and those gold eyes.” “When Jace sneezed, it was the sound of fairies alighting on petals.” (I made that last one up, but variations of the first two appeared ad nauseum). I’ve only spent the past FIVE books reading about how much she loves him, I don’t really need to be told again. Also, can I just point out that they’re 16 and have only known each other for 6 months?

-Simon’s “sacrifice”. He should have just died. Maybe I’m biased because I’ve never really liked Simon (he was such a pansy until he turned into a vampire) so I was sort of hoping he’d die. But it would also have been a lot more poignant – he was never supposed to be part of their world but was dragged in because of his friendship with Clary and for him to be a casualty – I’d have cried, even though I didn’t love the character. (sidenote: I have a hard time buying Simon and Isabelle’s relationship. I knew they’d end up together, but it honestly doesn’t read like Simon’s over Clary and I always assumed Clary and Isabelle didn’t really like each other, but now apparently they’re BFFs?).

-what the frack was with the “I’m Jonathon, not Sebastian” thing? If you’re going to kill the bad guy, JUST KILL HIM. Offering him redemption, while it shows a more compassionate side, also weakens that critical moment in the worst way possible.

-stylistically, Clare made a lot of comparisons to cats and it was really stupid: “he prowled like a cat” “she yawned like a cat” “his eyes were slit like a cat’s”…there are other words you could use. Or don’t use similes, whatever.

Things I liked:

-Magnus and Alec got back together. They were my favourite couple (Magnus is hands-down my favourite character, but don’t talk to me about the movie because no. Just…no.). I had been excited to read The Bane Chronicles (which comes out in November) but then there was a very obvious plug for it and, instead of making me excited, it turned me off. I’ll probably change my mind come November, but I’m not going to rush out to buy it.

I think that was the only part I liked. The plot itself was good (not great). There was definitely a Harry Potter moment (“Give me Clary and Jace and I will spare the rest of you”….thanks Volde- I mean, Sebastian) which was striking (in that it ripped off the Battle of Hogwarts).

At the end of the day, (and I hate to say this), I think I’m old for this nonsense. City of Bones came out  when I was 17…it’s been 7 years and, sadly, I grew out of the series. Maybe if this last book had come out when I was 17, I’d have loved it. But at this point…it’s just so predictable, but not in a good way.

Despite this very long post, I didn’t hate it. At least, I didn’t hate it any more than I thought I would, if that makes sense. I went in with very low expectations and she basically met them.

I had just hoped she would blow me away.


Apparently it’s “I read YA” week on the interwebs. I didn’t know this was a thing otherwise I would have properly prepared myself (for one, I might have put more thought into this blog post, or maybe read a YA book this week, even though as I keep saying – if only to convince myself – I’m “taking a break” from young adult fiction).

i read ya

But this was too good an opportunity to pass up. Even though I said Writing Wednesday would be every other week (and technically this should be a Fiction Friday post, but I already have a half-finished post lined up for that).

Why do I read YA? Honestly – I don’t know. I guess it was just the category of books I started reading as a pre-teen and never really “grew out of”. It has just as much death and romance, sex and violence as so-called “adult” books (though less graphic for the most part…); just as much depth and symbolism and emotions – except the characters happen to be younger. But trying to explain what I like about YA is like trying to explain why I’m a pop-punk fan. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about YA that draws me to it, but the pull is strong enough that I’ve made it my life goal to publish a YA series of my own (sidenote: in a perfect world, I would also be in a pop-punk band, but that might be asking for a little too much).

So, to celebrate “I read YA” week, here are a few authors (who fall into categories that I just made up):


Libba Bray can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve read just about everything these she’s produced and her Gemma Doyle ranks among some of the best YA books I’ve ever read.


Melissa Marr technically belongs in the “ONES I LOVE” category, but I think she may have just released something. Either way, her Wicked Lovely series is very high up on my list of favourites.

Robin Benway‘s Audrey, Wait! is one of my absolute favourite novels. I haven’t read her two spy books yet, but I’m desperate to.

Ann BrasharesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was probably the first YA book I read (I was 12. I also didn’t know there was such a thing as “YA”). I’ve read almost everything she’s produced, even if I didn’t love it, but I haven’t gotten around to picking up her most recent book.


Lauren Kate‘s Fallen series (not to be confused with Thomas Sniegoski’s Fallen series which, incidentally, is decent) was wonderful and I devoured the last book…but then Teardrop came out and I wondered if maybe I had outgrown her. We’ll see if I read the sequel.

Likewise, Gena Showalter‘s Intertwined trilogy was so good I almost stopped breathing when I read the last page (is she EVER going to write a fourth volume?!), but Alice in Zombieland left me breathless in a bad way (like I’d been punched in the stomach).


Cassandra Clare. Oh, Cassandra Clare, remember how much I loved the first Mortal Instruments trilogy? And then you wrote a second trilogy. And a Victorian trilogy that I probably would have loved even more except the characters were so boringly familiar. I keep promising myself that when City of Heavenly Fire comes out, it will be the last C.Clare book I read…but we all know she’s planning another series that I may or may not end up reading.

Well, this post has gone on long enough and I’ve really only touched half a bookshelf (plus I haven’t even mentioned THE AUTHORS I GAVE UP ON which includes Alyson Noel and Melissa De La Cruz. Or THE I DON’T KNOW IF THESE ARE YA OR MIDDLE-GRADE BUT THEY’RE AWESOME, home of Eoin Colfer and Justin Somper). So I’ll just leave this here as my contribution to this week because #IreadYA and I’m proud of it.