Thursday, January 1

2014 end of year book survey

2014 End Of Year Book Survey
The Perpetual Page-Turner has become one of my favorite blogs about books and reading this year, so I couldn't resist Jamie's End of Year Book Survey after finally meeting my Goodreads reading challenge goal for the year (45 books) on December 31st!


Number Of Books You Read: 45

Number of Re-Reads: I don't count those toward my total but I reread Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, Frances Temple's The Ramsay Scallop, Jordan Sonnenblick's Girls, Drums, and Dangerous Pie, Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls and S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a reread that I do count because I'd totally forgotten the plot!

Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

best-YA-books-20141. Best Book You Read In 2014?

I loved Outlander - the combination of time travel, romance, and historical fiction was pretty much perfect for me.  Claire is such an amazing main character - she is fiesty, independent, SMART, and loyal, and I just love her to pieces.  And I think I fell in love with Jamie right along with her - he is definitely my favorite fictional crush from 2014.

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

I really expected Amy Poehler's Yes, Please to live up to the precedent set by Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling, but for me, it didn't.  The tone just seemed off to me - not as funny as Tina's book, not as best-friendy as Mindy's, maybe just a little bit too abrasive.

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

Gone Girl - I didn't enjoy it, but man, did it keep me reading to see what would happen, and each of the twists was a major shock to me.  It was already very critically successful by the time I read it and I was surprised it was so graphic and just flat-out dark.  I felt like I needed a shower after reading it.

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

As an English teacher, pushing books is my job!  My book talks on Legend and Cinder were both successful and a few of my girls gave The Scorpio Races a try when I used it in a lesson on figurative language.  I also convinced one of my coworkers to read A Year of Biblical Womanhood and I think I got several of my college bible study ladies into it as well.

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

I'm really loving the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, which are YA science fiction fairy tale retellings with cyborgs and sattelites and human-wolf hybrids - Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress have all been fantastic and I can't wait to read Fairest and Winter.  The best sequel was The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, which actually centered around my least favorite character from The Raven Boys and totally made it work.  My favorite series ender was Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi.  I loved how noble and mature both main characters were in the end.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Sally Green - I read her first book, Half Bad, after reading a recommendation on io9 - I trust Charlie Jane's opinion when it comes to good reads.  Her take on a magical world divided between good and evil witches - and, to make comparisons to two of my other favorite YA fantasy series, basically what would happen if Voldemort had a son or Jace Wayland had been raised by the Inquisitor instead of sent to live with the Lightwoods - was really creative.  Half Bad was my favorite debut of 2014 and I look forward to reading Half Wild when it is released in March!

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

Since I stick mainly to YA, fantasy, and female main characters/narrators, The Art of Racing in the Rain was totally different for me - it's definitely an adult novel because of some of the conflict, the main human character is a male Formula One racecar driver, and the narrator is a dog.

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

Wild. I felt like I was right there hiking the Pacific Coast Trail with Cheryl Strayed.

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

Probably the Lunar Chronicles books so that I can remember the plot when Fairest comes out!

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

I think Bossypants has a great cover - Tina Fey with man arms definitely made me giggle the first time I saw it.  The Year of Biblical Womanhood's cover is definitely quirky - Rachel Held Evans with her head covered sitting on the roof of a colorful house.  Cinder's cover art was definitely what drew me to read The Lunar Chronicles.  But I think my favorite has to be The Fault In Our Stars - that cover has become iconic and my students like to doodle it, Instagram it, and wear it on t-shirts, so it reminds me not just of the book and how wonderful John Green is, but of how great middle schoolers are.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

How do I choose in a year that has included Claire and Jamie Fraser, Aziraphale, Crowley, Maxim De Winter, Captain Thorne, the Monkey King, and the very real person of Cheryl Strayed.  I think the most memorable will be Enzo from The Art of Racing in the Rain - the dog who has learned as much as he can about the human world, deeply loves his human family, and longs to return as a man after his inevitable death.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

 Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane was absolutely haunting.

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

Wild.  I have to be able to root for at least one character to enjoy a book, and Cheryl Strayed was not very likable at first - and it was almost worse knowing she was a real person. However, by the time I was finished the book I had nothing but respect for her and for the way she chose to dramatically take back her life after falling into a downward spiral.

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

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  I am pretty sure that literally every other fantasy geek in the world has already read it, because it's even older than I thought it was when I picked it up (it was published in 1991).

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.  Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.  Her raven boys.” The Dream Thieves

16.Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: Bluebonnet Bride by Colleen Coble (99 pages)
Longest: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (947 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Definitely Gone Girl - I had totally bought Amy's original story so when the truth started to reveal itself my mind was blown.

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

I am so ready for Gansey and Blue from The Raven Cycle to be in love... Maggie Stiefvater is such a tease with the psychic flash-forwards Blue sometimes has.  I don't see any way a relationship between those two could end well (I mean, literally, Gansey will probably die if Blue kisses him) but I don't care, I ship it.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Jamie Fraser taking in a French street urchin/pickpocket and re-naming him Fergus in Dragonfly in Amber.  You can't help but love Fergus.

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

The Dream Thieves basically proves that Maggie Stiefvater can do no wrong and had the same fantastic worldbuilding that started in The Raven Boys; the sense of being inside a dream or caught in a magic spell.  Somehow it was completely plausible while reading that Ronan could pluck a baby raven named Chainsaw from a dream or that a rich boy could fill a Virginia field with sports cars - and the truth about his mother truly broke my heart.

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

Legend, Prodigu, and Champion by Marie Lu were recommended by our school librarian, who knew I'd loved The Hunger Games and Divergent.  She and I believe that the Legend series has stronger characters and a much more satisfying ending.

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

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? made me want to be Mindy Kaling's best friend.

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

The Fault In Our Stars definitely turned on the tears - at least I was expecting it.

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

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - I completely understand why it's my mom's favorite book now - while reading, I could picture everything about Manderley, from the flowers in the vases to the letters in the cubbies of Rebecca's desk.  Manderley is practically a character in the book.

25. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I wouldn't have picked up Everneath by Brodi Ashton if not for a student recommendation, and I got really sucked into the story.  It actually reminded me a lot of Carrie Jones' Need series.

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

I'm actually feeling pretty frustrated, on behalf of the characters, after reading Dragonfly in Amber - I'm going to have to read the third book to find out what happens!


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

My Life as a Teacup - Kristin is so adorable and geeky.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

I really worked hard on my review of The Nesting Place for BookLook Bloggers, and I look forward to doing more long-form reviews about a variety of genres.

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

I loved the Geek Girl tag!

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

This was the year of falling in love with John and Hank Green and their YouTube channel - I know I was late to the party on this one but now I don't miss a Tuesday or Friday!  I've really gotten into the blogs The Mary Sue, which covers the intersection of feminism and geek culture, and Racebending.  I think that following both of those sites makes me a more aware English teacher and writer.

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

I reached my goal of reading 45 books this year - barely.  I read a short memoir recommended by my students (A Child Called It) and scrambled to finish Dragonfly in Amber on New Year's Eve.

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

I have to read the next Raven Cycle book, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, ASAP!

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

Cassandra Clare's Lady Midnight will be the first Dark Artifices book and I'm sure I'll be along for the ride.

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen sounds pretty awesome - characters with magical powers plus a caste system, and apparently very strong writing.

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

Fairest and Winter by Marie Lu.

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

Create a real haven for my geeky side - this may or may not mean starting a separate blog.

Here it is, the full lineup of books I read in 2014:
A Year of Biblical Womanhood
Legend (Legend, #1)
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)
Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Champion (Legend, #3)
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)
Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1)
Words in the Dust
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
The Fault in Our Stars
Wild Life
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Nashville Sweetheart
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful
Bluebonnet Bride (Butterfly Palace, #1.5)
Moon Over Manifest
Profiles #4: Freedom Heroines
Gone Girl
Good Omens
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Surviving Sharks and Other Dangerous Creatures
The White Darkness
If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
Everneath (Everneath, #1)
Outlander (Outlander #1)
When You Reach Me
Dark Places
Girl, Stolen
American Born Chinese
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Picture the Dead
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
All the Lovely Bad Ones
Yes Please
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
Love at Mistletoe Inn: A December Wedding Story (A Year of Weddings Novella 2, #1)
Say What You Will
A Plague of Unicorns
Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)
A Child Called "It"

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait for Lady Midnight either! As much as I may try to dislike Clare's books, I still can't avoid buying her books as soon as they come out!