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 :)

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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!)

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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.

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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!

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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!).

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015. I’ve narrowed it down to the best books I’ve read this year that were released in 2015 (I read some good ones that are at least a year old!).

Each one is linked to my review (the first three are in order).

  1. Every Word – Ellie Marney
  2. The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud
  3. The Wondrous and the Wicked – Page Morgan
  4. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertali
  5. Nimona – Noelle Stevenson
  6. Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra
  7. The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath / The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl – Ishbelle Bee
  8. Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy
  9. Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs
  10. Alice Takes Back Wonderland – David D. Hammons

BONUS
Here are another five books that I rated 5 interrobangs that weren’t released in 2015 (and that don’t include any re-reads!):

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor (review coming soon!)
  2. The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence
  3. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen – Susin Nielsen
  4. Soulless – Gail Carriger
  5. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

What were your top ten books this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015. I’ve read a lot of great books so far this year, so it was hard to pick 10, but here we go (as always, it’s not in any particular order). Most are linked to my reviews, but the Ellie Marney ones link to Goodreads.

1) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertali
2) Nimona – Noelle Stevenson
3) The Lovely and the Lost – Page Morgan
4) The Wondrous and the Wicked – Page Morgan
5) Every Word – Ellie Marney
6) Every Move – Ellie Marney
7) Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra
8) The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches – Alan Bradley
9) The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen – Susin Nielsen
10) The Little Prince – Antoine de St-Euxpéry

What are some of your favourite books that you’ve read in 2015 (so far)?

A Bookish Alphabet

If there’s one thing I like, it’s answering questionnaire-type things, especially when it has to do with books!

I stole this from The Hidden Staircase who in turn was inspired by Just My Humble Books. Go check out their posts and thanks for the great idea, ladies!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I’ve read all of A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 in total), plus the “extra books” (The Beatrice LettersHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and The Unauthorized Autobiography – which is hilarious, if a little nonsensical, by the way) AND the first three books of All The Wrong Questions (just waiting for book four to be released this fall), AND his YA novel, Why We Broke Up.

I also think I have one of his adult books on my shelf (haven’t read it yet), and I’d like to read his latest, We Are Pirates.

B. Best Sequel Ever

That’s like asking parents of multiple children which kid they like the most. I could write an entire post about the sequels (and series) I love.

C. Currently Reading

It’s on hold right now, but I’m re-reading A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray). I’m also reading I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley), two manuscripts for work, and I’ve just started When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid).

D. Drink of Choice While Reading

I don’t often drink while reading, but tea is my go-to drink.

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E. E-Reader or Physical Books

Physical books!! I’ve recently been using a Kindle (it’s actually my dad’s but he doesn’t use it, so I “stole” it) for all my NetGalley ARCs, but I do miss the feel of a physical book (even if the Kindle IS lighter than a 300+ page novel).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School

James from Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway). He’s a big music nerd and is genuinely sweet (plus at the start of the book, he was working at an ice cream store, so I would just eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. And then at the end of the book, he was working at a music store, so then I would buy CDs ALL THE TIME!).

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I picked up The Beautiful and the Cursed (Page Morgan) on a whim because I liked that there was a character named Grayson (my current work-in-progress main character is named Grayson). SO GLAD I READ IT, IT WAS AMAZING, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRILOGIES NOW.

H. Hidden Gem Book

Middle Grade: The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever read them – they’re excellent for (younger) Harry Potter fans.

Young Adult: People are all about Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles for some reason (I read the first one and thought it was awful), but her first YA series – Intertwined – was fantastic.

Adult: My sister, Ro, has a knack for finding excellent books that no one else has heard of. If I had had a rating system when I started talking about books on this blog, these would have gotten five interrobang hearts: Mathilda SavitchGods Behaving BadlyJohannes Cabal: The NecromancerProspero Lost.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life

I chose three big moments:

-my oldest sister (Vanessa) handing me Ella Enchanted for the first time when I was 8. It remains one of my favourite books of all time and it got me interested in the idea of re-tellings and fractured fairy tales.

-my other sister (Roanna) starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me around the same time and eventually just handing it over so I could finish it myself.

-reading The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray) at 17 and realizing that books don’t always have to have happy endings.

J. Just Finished

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (Ishbelle Bee) and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley). Both reviews will be up this Friday!

K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

Satire type things and/or stuff by Chuck Palahniuk (sorry if any of you are fans). I read Invisible Monsters in high school (because Panic! at the Disco‘s song “Time to Dance” is based on it), and while I appreciated how well the song retold the story, I didn’t actually enjoy the book.

L. Longest Book You’ve Read

That I’ve finished? Probably Inheritance (Christopher Paolini) – 860 pages. It took me several months because I was bored to tears by it (and was also in my last year of university). I was just so unimpressed with that entire series.

Long books I haven’t finished: in third year university, I started both Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens – 880 pages) and Ulysses (James Joyce – 1056 pages), but didn’t finish either of them because my professor spoiled the ending of Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses was daunting, plus I had 5 other books to read that week (yay for being an English major!)

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of

This happens on a constant basis, but after crying my way through the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time functioning for about an hour after finishing it.

N. Number of Bookcases You Own

Three – two of them are double stacked (the third is too short and stout otherwise it would be too), plus there are four individual shelves on my walls that are packed with books.

O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times

There are so many, but I’m going to go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) because I was just talking about it on the weekend and it made me want to re-read the series.

P. Preferred Place to Read

My room (i.e. my bed), or the living room.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels

Just last week, I talked about my top ten favourite book quotes, but I’m really tied between the first two:

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” – Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoken by Dumbledore)

R. Reading Regret

I regret buying all of the Cassandra Clare books in hardcover. Yes, they are gorgeous, but they take up SO MUCH ROOM and, as I’ve grown out of her, I cringe at the thought of how much I spent on them (thankfully, I bought them all at Costco, so at least my parents saved some money).

S. Series You Started and Need to Finish

I’m steadily working my way through Alan Bradley‘s Flavia de Luce series, and I’ve only read The Fellowship of the Ring (many years ago), so I should probably read the rest of those at some point.

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books

  1. Ella Enchanted
  2. Audrey, Wait!
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

U. Unapologetic Fangirl For

Harry Potter!!!!!!! #always

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W. Worst Bookish Habit

Buying books because they’re pretty/look interesting and then not reading them for several years.

V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other

Calvin – Martine Leavitt

I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and this book will either be the greatest thing to happen to me or the worst. Either way, I’m intrigued!

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)

I chose my biggest bookshelf because the selection is much more varied: The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory).

Y. Your Latest Book Purchase

I haven’t bought a book in a while (one of the perks of working in publishing!!), but the last book I picked up was Vanessa and Her Sister (Priya Parmar).

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Every Word – Ellie Marney (which I haven’t written a review for yet because it doesn’t come out until September!).

Fiction Friday Round-Up – April 10th, 2015

Over the past week-and-a-bit, I’ve read a classic, two ARCs, and a second book in a series! Click the links for full reviews!

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll: “This is a book that speaks to the nonsensical part of me, the part that prefers to fantasize my way into a story rather than, you know, do actual work.”
  • Spelled (ARC) – Betsy Schow: “I love fractured/retellings of fairy tales so I was pretty stoked when my request for this was approved.”
  • The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley: “Flavia continues to be precocious and clever, and I sort of want to be her. Or I’d at least like to understand chemistry the way she does.”
  • The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters (ARC) – M.J. Beaufrand: “I liked the fact that they were in a punk band. These are my people (well, these are the people I wish were my people), and I’ve always loved stories where one or more characters are in a band.”

BONUS:

Last week was Good Friday and I only posted one review (but it was SUCH a good book!):

  • The Wondrous and the Wicked – Page Morgan: “I don’t want to spoil anything about this book, but I’m just going to put this out there: it was one of the best endings to a trilogy I’ve read in a long time…”

Until next week, happy reading!

The Wondrous and the Wicked – Page Morgan

The Wondrous and the Wicked – Page Morgan

21473811Since the Waverlys arrived in Paris, the streets have grown more fearsome by the day. As Ingrid learns to master her lectrux gift, she must watch Axia’s power grow strong enough to extend beyond her Underneath hive. By all indications, the fallen angel’s Harvest is near-and the timing couldn’t be worse.

Targeted by vengeful gargoyles, Gabby has been exiled to London for her own protection. Meanwhile, the gargoyle castes are in disarray, divided between those who want Luc to lead them and those who resent him and his fondness for humans. The Alliance is crumbling from the inside as well, its members turning against one another, and possibly against the Waverlys, too.

Axia has promised that the world will burn. And now, unable to trust the Alliance, separated from Luc, Gabby, and her twin, Grayson, Ingrid is left to face the demon uprising alone.

I don’t want to spoil anything about this book, but I’m just going to put this out there: it was one of the best endings to a trilogy I’ve read in a long time (with the exception being Ellie Marney’s Every Move, which was amazing).

As with the previous books, the setting is gorgeous and atmospheric. Morgan has a beautiful command of language, and at times, it’s impossible to tear your eyes away from the page, especially toward the end.

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I think I even had that furrowed brow look because I was reading so intensely.

But, while her descriptions are lovely, characters are where Morgan really shines. I’ve complained before about having multiple POVs can detract from a book’s general awesomeness, but in this trilogy, I pretty much love all the characters so I didn’t mind being jolted back and forth between their different experiences.

All of the characters continued to grow and mature, and you learned a lot more about them along the way, especially Grayson who played a bigger role in this book compared to the first two.

As I mentioned before, this was one of those rare series where I was actually (briefly) torn between the two guys in the love triangle. Like Ingrid, I liked Vander, but I loved Luc. Vander is a genuinely good guy; he’s smart and brave and obviously cares about Ingrid (and the rest of the Alliance). But Luc…I can’t even describe him. Sure, he’s occasionally brooding, but he’s a gargoyle, so it can be forgiven (he spends half his life literally trapped in stone, you’d be brooding too).

I also enjoyed the way Marco’s character developed. He’s much more likeable and there was even a chapter where I was genuinely worried about him. Speaking of developing characters, Nolan’s cousin Rory was around a bit more, and not only did he continue to be fabulous, but his implied relationship with another character (who I won’t name because that spoils everything) was the cutest thing.

And Gabby continues to be a badass heroine; her weapon skills save their lives a couple of times and, even though she seems to make a stupid bargain when Nolan’s in trouble, you can see that she’s genuinely trying to be helpful.

The last 30 pages were basically an emotional rollercoaster. I cried, and then smiled, and then cried again because it was the most gorgeous ending I could have asked for. You know how sometimes when you finish a really good book, you can’t function normally for a little while afterwards because you’re processing your feelings? That was me.

Actually, this is a more accurate representation of me post-reading:

Troy-Community-Emotions

There’s a major death (I won’t tell you who) that cut straight through me. I honestly couldn’t – wouldn’t – believe that this character had died until a funeral scene a few chapters later. This death affected me so much, I feel like crying again (or maybe it’s just because I’m really hungry). I appreciate when authors take that step, risking characters’ lives in order to achieve a poignant ending. Sometimes it doesn’t work and readers are upset at a needless waste; other times, it’s the catalyst that makes a perfect resolution possible. In this case, it was definitely the latter.

I could spend the next five hours waxing on about how amazing this series is, but if you like your romance with a gothic twist, I highly recommend picking these up. The Dispossesed trilogy has rightfully earned a place on my favourite books shelf.

Rating:
5 interrobangs