End of the Year Book Survey – 2012

End of the Year Book Survey 2012

Jamie from Perpetual Pageturner created this end of the year book survey that looked like fun, so I thought I would follow suit!

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012?

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Touched by Corinne Jackson. I was very intrigued when I learned about the premise, because it reminded me so much of Chiron and his place in mythology and astrology. But the story was just so NOT what I wanted that I couldn’t even finish it. :(

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I’m not really that into dragons, and I initially started reading this book just because my sister had it and it would help me meet my Debut Author Challenge for 2012. But by the end of the prologue, I was so impressed that it consumed me! It turned out to be one of my favorite books this year.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Hmmm, this is a tough one.  I don’t do a lot of book recommendations. If we’re speaking technically, then probably The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds, because I chose it for book club when it was my turn. But if we’re going solely on individual recs, I guess probably Seraphina or Cinder.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Oh crap, just one? This year feels like the first year I’ve been fully immersed in YA reading, so I’m tempted to say ALL OF THEM. Let’s go with: The Lunar Chronicles series (Marissa Meyer),  Fire and Thorns (Rae Carson)… This is too hard! ALL of them!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Oh gosh. Marissa Meyer because her books make me feel like I’m watching an anime as I read them. Rachel Hartman because her words weave music and poetry and make me weep.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Good question. I’ll say Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It was a book club book, so I was kind of forced to read it, and I probably would never have chosen it on my own. I’m not that big into historical fiction (especially when it’s not YA), but this book was really good!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
I’d have to say False Memory by Dan Krokos because I read it in one sitting. Also, Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth because I read them back to back, very quickly.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Do I have time to re-read books next year? Have you seen my to-read list? IF I were to re-read a book next year, it would probably be The Raven Boys, because it was such a slow, rich build and I really enjoyed immersing myself into the story (especially Blue’s home).

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
Ha, let’s go with my top 5:

Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi

Wait, wait, there is one that stands out above the rest. I absolutely love it SO much. It reminds me a lot of some self portraits I did several years ago. Now, the book cover you see online looks like this:

Before I Go to Sleep, by S. J. Watson

But if you have the actual hardcover book, you’ll know that it is so much better than that. See the black part with the words on it? It’s the dust jacket that comes off. The image is actually ON THE BOOK, and it’s fantastic – front and back. Here is what it looks like:

Before I Go to Sleep - full cover art (hardcover)

Isn’t it gorgeous? Yeah, I know.

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Jeez, these are tough questions! I’m going to say Cinder, for sure, though. I mean, she’s a cyborg. The COOLEST cyborg ever. She is my cyborg inspiration; I mean, she has a compartment in her leg. And she gets even more cool body parts in Scarlet! Plus, she’s got an awesome personality.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Seraphina, without a doubt! Before I Go to Sleep was also quite lovely to read.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
I think it would have to be Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It made me empathize with women who had to bind their feet, and were stuck in such “worthless” positions in life. Also, all of the dynamics between women (family members, friends, etc.) made me think so much about my own life. Also, Wide Awake and Dreaming, because I was able to relate so well to Julie! It really made me feel less alone, reading about someone else’s experiences with narcolepsy that were so similar to my own.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I mean, it’s been out for YEARS, and I absolutely adore the movie, so I have no idea why I waited so long to read the book! I’m glad I finally did, though, because I loved it so much. :)

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
Here I go, quoting Rachel Hartman again. How about I just direct to the Teaser Tuesday post I did for Seraphina? Click here for heart-aching beauty! Oh, what the heck. I’ll re-post one of them here, too:

I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
You know, this would be much easier if Goodreads showed page count in its table view of my bookshelves. Alas, I had to do this the hard way…

  • Longest — The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (685 pages)
  • I also finished Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (860 pages) on January 2, so I don’t know if it really counts as being completely read in 2012.
  • Shortest — Dragon’s Oath by P. C. and Kristin Cast (145 pages)

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!
Uhmmm… SO MANY books! Definitely Insurgent, because there were several OMG moments that I wanted to discuss with my sister. Also Scarlet because SO MUCH HAPPENS in that book and Cinder gets even COOLER!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
I really enjoyed the relationship between Cinder and Iko in Cinder, and the relationship between Cinder and Thorne in Scarlet. Iko is just hilarious and adorable, and I like the annoyed-yet-playful banter dynamic Cinder and Thorne. As far as romantic relationships go, the slow-building romance between Seraphina and Kiggs is so lovely (also quite realistic in my opinion). So well done.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor. Of course, after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I pretty much wanted to devour everything else Laini Taylor has written. This book of 3 short stories was so awesome. I loved each story even more than the one previous!

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
I won’t cheat and choose another book club choice for this one. My sister recommended Shadow and Bone, and I absolutely loved it!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?
Well, considering I only started book blogging this year, I pretty much discovered ALL the book blogs this year. Two of my favorites are Reading in Winter and Cuddlebuggery. Reading in Winter is a favorite because Kristilyn always posts really interesting discussions, and sometimes she posts videos of her singing! Cuddlebuggery is a favorite because they post a lot of reviews for upcoming books, and the blog is generally entertaining.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
Uh. Well, I kinda suck at writing reviews, but if I had to choose the one I like the best it would probably be my review of Skylark. I kind of struggle with a good format for my reviews, but I like the way that one came out.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Not many, to be honest. My blog is kind of hidden and not well-known, so I don’t get much discussion to speak of. :(

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I can’t think of one in particular, but most of the discussions and reviews on Reading in Winter are great!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I go to a lot of book signings and events with my sister, and some are just better than others.

Me and my sister with Laini Taylor

(left to right) Me, Laini Taylor, and my sister

This year, my favorites have been:

  • Austin Teen Book Festival – There were so many authors there, that I ended up adding a lot more books to my to-read list. Also, meeting Dan Krokos and talking about WoW (we play/ed on the same server!) was pretty cool.
  • Melissa Marr – She is a never-ending fountain of interesting things to say! One of the best book signings I’ve ever been to.
  • Laini Taylor – Obviously, since she is my favorite author, I was ecstatic to attend her book signing. The discussion was really great, and she was so nice!
  • Ally Condie – I haven’t even read her books, but everything she said was entertaining and thought provoking. I really enjoyed attending her book signing.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
I think some of my favorite book blogging moments are when I tweet about a review I just posted, and the author not only retweets me, but thanks me for / comments about my review. Making connections with people feels good.

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

  • In terms of page views, my review of Scarlet has been the most popular by far.
  • As far as comments go, most people seemed excited about my Waiting on Wednesday post for The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Oh, probably most of my Teaser Tuesday posts. I love reading book teasers, because they’re intriguing, so I’d like to foster more discussion about these books via the teasers.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
It’s nothing new, but probably Half Price Books. This year I’ve made some ice pocket change selling books that I either didn’t like, didn’t want to keep, or decided I wasn’t going to read. In addition, it’s a great place to find cheap prices on books for book club.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Why, indeed I did! Initially I set my Goodreads goal for 24 books this year (2 per month), but when I hit that mark pretty early, I decided to bump it up to 50. Right now I’m at 70-something, which includes about a dozen companion short stories, so I’ve clearly met that goal. Yay!

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Kelley has
completed her goal of reading 50 books in 2012!

In addition, I also joined the Debut Author Challenge for 2012, and pledged to read 12 debut novels this year. I surpassed that goal by reading 13 (and attempted a 14th but couldn’t bring myself to finish reading it). The challenge is also, really, to review each of the debut novels. I only reviewed 8 of them, but I’m okay with that.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
There are always books I haven’t gotten to yet! Top priority is still to catch up on (and finally finish) the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I’m getting there! My goal is to finish reading the last 3 books by the end of 2013. Also, I REALLY want to read Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff and What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
So many! Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, the final Daughter of Smoke and Bone book, the final Divergent book, Requiem (the final Delirium book)! A lot. Of books.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
I just want to enjoy more books next year! I’d like to keep my momentum and read 4-5 books a month. I’d also like my book club to keep its momentum and continue meeting all through 2013! I’d also like to participate in at least 5 blog tours and/or cover reveals in 2013. I would also like to add a few author interviews to the blog, starting with (hopefully) Julie Flygare! Okay, that’s more than ONE thing but so what.

2 thoughts on “End of the Year Book Survey – 2012

  1. Wow, you certainly have an impressive round-up! I thought Seraphina by Rachel Hartman was a pleasant surprise because although I’m not specifically into dragons, I read a lot of fantasy. At first I thought it was going to be the usual cliche muddle, but it was certainly a pleasant surprise. And what a cliffhanger at the end! I’ve had to wait even longer than most people because I obtained an ARC of it, so I can’t wait for the sequel.

    • Yes, I felt the same way about Seraphina! I love fantasy but I’m not super into dragons, but that book really was a pleasant surprise. I’m dying for more. Have you read The Audition, the little mini prequel? I absolutely loved it. :D Pretty sure you can read it for free online, too!

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