Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner created this incredibly reflective end of year book survey back in 2010. I just started following Jamie’s blog, so I first came across this post on my friend Grace’s blog, Words Like Silver. I thought it looked like a lot of fun and a good way to look back on this year’s reading, so I decided to take part in the 2014 edition! Without further ado, here goes.
Number of Books You Read: 70
Number of Re-reads: 6
Genre You Read the Most From: Definitely Young Adult, I honestly couldn’t tell you a sub-genre (fantasy, maybe?)
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
Just One Day by Gayle Forman, although Laini Taylor’s books were close seconds.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Wow, there were actually quite a few of these. Of the 2014 releases I read, Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead definitely left me disappointed, especially after being one of my most-anticipated releases of the year. For earlier releases that I read this year, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Venom by Fiona Paul, A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, The Madman’s Daughter by Meagan Shepherd, and Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini were probably the biggest letdowns. Also, the second and third books in the Study series by Maria V. Snyder and Tahereh Mafi’s novella Fracture Me. And The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. And United We Spy by Ally Carter (although this one might be because it’d been awhile since I read the previous installment and it’s a middle grade series). I’m actually restraining myself from going on and on.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Ah, there are so many choices. I’m going to go with The Young Elites by Marie Lu because it was such an interesting plot-line that did not go the way I expected. I cannot wait for the sequel.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Um, honestly I don’t know. Either Vampire Academy or books that were required for school that I reminded/encouraged my friends to keep up with. 😉
5. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Laini Taylor for sure. Rick Yancey and Stephanie Perkins get honorable mentions.
6. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I have two for this one and both were required for my English class. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is a historical fiction novel set in the antebellum South, which is one of my least favorite historical settings to read about. The second book, Beloved by Toni Morrison, is a magical realism novel set mostly in the years following the Civil War in Ohio. I was surprised by how much I liked both of these novels, especially because the genre/setting/premise of each book were not ones I usually target or enjoy.
7. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Again, I have so many answers. Either Laini Taylor’s Smoke & Bone trilogy, Cassandra Clare’s shadowhunter series (either one), or Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. I simply cannot narrow it down from there.
8. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Probably one of the Vampire Academy books or Throne of Glass (which was a re-read this year). Or possibly one of the contemporaries I read this year; though I’m rarely in the mood for contemporary reads, my upcoming trip to Europe just might lead me to pull out Just One Day or Anna and the French Kiss.
9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
I am loathe to pick These Broken Stars because I didn’t like the book much. I’d rather pick my runner-ups, like The House of Hades, or Dreams of Gods & Monsters, or one of The Infernal Devices covers. THERE ARE SO MANY PRETTY/COOL/APPEALING COVERS THAT PULLED ME IN (Meagan Shepherd’s books, The Young Elites, etc.). But this one, despite the book content itself, takes the cake. You see how it pains me?
10. Most memorable character of 2014?
Um, Will Herondale. Will Herondale, Will Herondale, Will Herondale. (Sorry Adrian Ivashkov…)
11. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Definitely the whole Laini Taylor trilogy.. I don’t even know what it’s technically called. Her writing style is beyond amazing. I fell into a trance reading her books, in the best way possible. Also, Rick Yancey’s stream-of-conscious style writing in The 5th Wave was new and impressive to me this year.
12. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Just One Day by Gayle Forman. This coming-of-age story involving a one-night stand, exploring Europe, finding oneself, and adjusting to life as a college student gripped me and changed me inexplicably. The main character started out so much like me and I saw myself in her throughout the novel and I saw my ability to change in her. I love this book so much and it has stayed with me since I read it. [I also want to add that Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge and the epilogue of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare also provoked a lot of thought in me.]
13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
This one goes to Cassandra Clare’s books. I cannot believe I gave up on The Mortal Instruments early in 2013 after reading only the first book. I’m so happy I gave the series another shot this year, and even happier that I read The Infernal Devices trilogy.
14. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
How is this a question I’m supposed to have one answer to? I have so many, but one that stands out to me is:
“IN NIHIL AB NIHILO QUAM CITO RECIDIMUS.” From nothing into nothing how swiftly we return.
This passage comes from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, at a point when Nyx is standing at her mother’s grave with Ignifex.
15. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
I’m not precisely sure on either of these estimates. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith or The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (which was a re-read, so I’m not sure it counts) were probably my shortest of the year. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor or Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead were probably the longest.
16. Book That Shocked You The Most
There were a lot of shocking twists reading-wise in 2014. I think my biggest shock came early in January when I read Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead… If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I’m referring to.
17. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
UGH! So many. Sydrian (Sydney + Adrian from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead) or Tessa-Will-Jem (I can’t choose one pairing, let’s be real) from The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare.
18. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
WILL AND JEM FOR SURE FOREVER YES. I ship the friendship and brotherhood of Will and Jem way harder than I ship their romantic endeavors with Tessa. Their friendship was one of the best bookish things of 2014, along with the Clockwork Princess epilogue.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
There are probably a few others I would pick, but since I’ve already talked about them, I’ll say Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. This was a good finale to the Shatter Me trilogy, though I did wish for an epilogue or follow-up novella.
20. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or any of Cassandra Clare’s books based on recommendations from friends and the world. Laini Taylor’s trilogy based on Grace Smith’s travel post (and some other post she featured it in; I forget which one specifically). Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder based on Christine’s repeated recommendation over at polandbananasBOOKS. (I just realized that I listed books read based on recommendations rather than best books based on recommendations. Oops.)
21. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Again, Will Herondale. Adrian Ivashkov is a close second (though technically, I discovered him at the end of 2013).
23. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. Richelle Mead’s Moroi/Dhampir world in both her series is a close second. Rick Yancey’s post-apocalyptic alien Earth is also fantastic. GAH.
24. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read
The Vampire Academy books were highly entertaining. The Mortal Instruments series (and to a lesser extent, The Infernal Devices trilogy) had me literally laughing out loud EVERYWHERE: on a plane, in my uncle’s apartment, at the dining room table. And the last two installments of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, especially The House of Hades, were so nostalgic and wonderful to read.
25. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (a re-read for me). And probably a few others that I’m forgetting.
26. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Either My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron (I’m pretty sure I teared up but can’t recall for certain) or Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge.
27. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
At the time I read it, The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead. That ending, although foreshadowed and predictable, crushed me so hard. I was freaking out about the future of Sydrian. The ending of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor also gave me a huge scare. Overall though, the endings of Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare both ripped my heart to pieces, into a million shreds, and I was bawling (each time for different reasons).
28. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (in a very bad way). Although the latter half of the Study series by Maria V. Snyder angered me with how pointless it was and how long and unnecessarily it was dragged out, Starcrossed was an annoying “typical paranormal” YA book: Mary Sue protagonist, hot and brooding lead male character who generally treats Mary Sue horribly but then comes to her rescue in a crisis, predictable plot, absent parents, blah blah blah. Ugh, this book reminded me why I hate YA paranormal romance. The only thing I did enjoy was the Greek mythology woven in; Helen of Troy and the Greek-Trojan feud is one that isn’t often retold/featured in literature.
I’m going to skip the Blogging/Bookish Life part of the survey since it isn’t really relevant to me or my blog.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, which I started (albeit barely) this year but didn’t have a big enough block of time to finish in one sitting. Also, Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (the first book in a new paranormal fairytale-retelling series) and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (the first book in a new middle-grade series based on Norse mythology).
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This book has been on my Goodreads To-Read shelf forever. I’m so excited that it’ll be releasing early in 2015; the release date is currently scheduled for February 10th.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
The Ruby Circle will conclude Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series, a spinoff on the Vampire Academy series. For sequels, I’m most anticipating The Rose Society by Marie Lu, a follow-up to The Young Elites.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
For blogging, I hope to post on average at least once a week; definitely at least one post per month. This blog is personal and about whatever I want, so I have the luxury of being flexible with posts and my schedule. But I would like to keep it fairly consistent. I’d also like to try to report more hockey-related stuff on my blog. I don’t know if I will like writing about hockey, but I’m passionate about the sport and watch a ton of games. It’s something I’d like to experiment with this year.
For reading, I would just like to read as much as I can. This doesn’t mean I have to miss a hockey game or dinner with a friend or any social activity to read. It doesn’t mean I need to stay up late finishing a book on a school night. I just want to try to utilize my free time better this year, be more productive with it. Instead of spending free time that I don’t know what to with on social media, I want to read or do something beneficial. I don’t know if I will set a number goal for books this year; I really just want to focus on reading consistently (not crazily or absently) and reading as much as I can manage.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I haven’t read any 2015 releases yet! I will hopefully have some good recommendations soon. 🙂
WEEELLLLLLLLLLLLL, that’s it! That’s a wrap on this 2000-something word post that I stayed up ’til almost 4 am to finish. I will be posting my Top 14 Books of 2014 list soon, along with a couple other 2014 reflections, a Looking Ahead post or two, and a 2015 Aspirations post. If I don’t finish writing them before I go back to school, there may be a week or two delay due to the end of the semester and midterm exams coming up. I hope everyone reading this had a good 2014, a reflective New Year’s, and a positive outlook on 2015. Happy New Year!