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2013 End of the Year Book Survey

2013 End of Year Book Survey

Happy New Year’s Eve!

So much has happened in 2013! I’ve read tons of books (although I didn’t reach my goal of 80), moved to South Carolina, began work at a new school, went to Europe, celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary (!!), among so many other things! Thank you to all the BookTasty friends out there who helped make 2013 a wonderful year! Since this is a book blog, we’re going to take some time to reminisce on the books I read in 2o13 with the annual End of the Year Book Survey!

Relating to Books!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Apparently, 2013 was the year of fantasy for me because my 5 favorite books were ALL fantasy! In 2013 I loved:The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

  • Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
  • The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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

I really thought I’d adore The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater so much more than I did. It took me forever to finish it because I just couldn’t get into it. I should have just put it down and not finished it, but I felt so bad because I loved The Raven Boys (book 1).

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

I had seen Icefall by Matthew Kirby sitting on the shelves in my Media Center for a LONG time. I always looked at it and then put it back down, never thinking it sounded really interesting. Well, I finally read it because it is on the 2013-2014 SC Junior Book Award List and lo and behold I REALLY LIKED IT!

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I definitely recommended The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson to the most people this year!

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Hands down Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series! I love fact that it is a mash-up of fantasy, steampunk, and mystery genres! Seriously, these books are so refreshing and fun, they’re my favorite!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossI really enjoyed “meeting” three new debut authors this year. Elizabeth Ross (Belle Epoque), Rachel Hartman (Seraphina), and Alex Lidell (The Cadet of Tildor) are all authors whose future work will definitely be on my radar!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don’t know if it was the best “out of my comfort zone” book or if I’m listing it because it was the only one I read that was out of my comfort zone…but I’m listing If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This was a 100% pure CRYING book. I generally do not do crying books. I didn’t love it, but it was out of my comfort zone.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I seriously could not put down Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys! I was absolutely riveted from the start!

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Honestly? I don’t know…it’s rare that I re-read books (unless it is Pride & Prejudice which I have read three times).

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

Most definitely the covers for Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. Aren’t these covers just breathtaking?! I want to wear the gowns!

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Is it cheating if I choose three? They kind of come together in a pack so I’m including them as one: Ronan, Gansey, and Adam…The Raven Boys! Although I wasn’t a fan of The Dream Thieves, I really liked book one, The Raven Boys. These three boys together are all pretty awesome in their own ways, but they also have magic among them!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys was just so moving I have to give it this title. The subject matter and Sepetys writing wove together to create a haunting story full of beauty, pain and hope.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

This is a tough question. As much as I hate to say it (ducks from internet wrath about to come at me) Paper Towns by John Green just may have been the book that impacted me the most. Although this story was entertaining, it was not in any way a favorite of mine. I didn’t hate it, but it did leave me thinking a lot about relationships, selfishness, and pain. I think that Margo Roth Spiegelman may be one of my least favorite characters ever written, but she did make me think about things, so she has that going for her.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

With the movie releasing this past November, my Husband and I listened to the audiobook of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and neither of us could believe that it had taken us that long to actually read it!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Lions of Little Rock

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.

Longest: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare with 570 pages

Shortest: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter with 192 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!

Definitely The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson! I was dying to talk to my friend Mandi about a certain someone and specific scenes, but she hasn’t made it past book one yet! Get reading Mandi!! We have lots to discuss!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Okay so we all know romantic is the type of relationship I’m going with here. The smouldering relationship between Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversIolanthe Seabourne and Prince Titus VII, in The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, was by far one of my favorites of 2013! I can’t wait for the other books in this trilogy! Another favorite was the romance between Ismae Rienne and Gavriel Duval in Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers! And let’s not forget Elise and Hector from The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I used to read a lot of Philippa Gregory novels in college, but hadn’t been excited about any of her recent titles until I saw Changeling, her foray into YA, at my school Book Fair! I bought it and read it in like a week. I had forgotten how quick and enthralling her books are!

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I’m pretty sure Delirium by Lauren Oliver had been recommended to me by about fifteen students in less than a week’s time. I figured it was time to read it! I liked books one and two but was disappointed in book three.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

No questions asked, I was completely in love with fantasy in 2013!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Okay, definitely Prince Titus VII from The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas! He reminds me a a little of Will Herondale with his cocky swagger!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I didn’t read as many debuts as I wanted to this year, but I think my favorites was definitely The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell, and Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. I can’t pick just one!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Oh most definitely the most vivid world was found in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School books, Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I want to live in this fantasy steampunk world she has created! I want to play with all the cool gadgets and wear all the pretty Victorian gowns. Also I want a mechanimal named Bumbersnoot!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Probably Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card because my Husband and I listened to it together and now we have all these hilarious (to us) inside jokes from the book that come up frequently!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

So this is a short list because I strive to keep my distance from books that want to make me cry. If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys were the two I allowed into my reading list this year. This is all we shall ever say of the crying…let’s never speak of this again.

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I think Icefall by Matthew Kirby got overlooked whenever it was released. How could have not known about such a gem of a book until now?!

Relating to the Book Blogging Life

(optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

Okay, so for sure Jessica B. from Books a True Story! She and I met on Twitter and we decided to create a new monthly meme called Reading Queue! It has been really fun and helpful to organize my reading plans and Jessica has been super friendly and sweet!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

Oh I think the books I loved the best get the best reviews…so let’s go with my review for Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger! I was definitely fangirling, but I believe I had a right to be!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I had a lot of fun with my Escapism or Emotion? post over the summer. I loved hearing form people with differing opinions on why they read. It was enlightening to consider a reader’s reasons for reading and remembering that we all have out own preferences when reading.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?YALL Fest2013

GUYS! In November I went to YALL Fest in Charleston, SC for the first time ever! AND. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

Seriously, I have been a bad book blogger the past two months, but I will post a highlight post from YALL Fest. I had such a good time mingling with “my people” and showing love to some impressive books and authors!

5. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Definitely starting Reading Queue with Jessica B.! You should check it out and participate with us!

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

My most popular post of 2013 with a whopping 82 views (haha) was my April New Releases post which posted on March 26, 2013.

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Definitely my regular reviews. I know it’s been a while since I posted one, but they just don’t get as much love as weekly memes do, which makes me a little sad.

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

Okay, so in regards to my regular Goodreads Reading Goal for 2013, I have failed miserably! haha Seriously, though my goal was to read 80 books this past year and I only made it to 53 books for 2013. Oh well…53 is still a lot of books!

I did do a fab job with my 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge coming in at 35 audiobooks finished in 2013! This was 5 more audiobooks than 2012! WHOOT!

However, I didn’t succeed at my 2013 Debut Author Challenge. I only manged to read 6 of the 12 I had planned on finishing. Oh well! Of the 6 I did read, I discovered some awesome authors who I will definitely be seeking out in the future!

Regarding Looking Ahead to 2014

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?United we Spy by Ally Carter

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for sure! Also United We Spy by Ally Carter!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Oh Lord! I haven’t even begun to think about my most anticipated releases for 2014.

  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Bajaj3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I think Alienated by Melissa Landers sounds like it could be a really fun read as does Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj!

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?The One by Kiera Cass

The One by Kiera Cass! I really just love this fun series and can’t wait to see how Cass wraps it all up.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I did a really good job with keeping my blogging schedule organized during the first 3/4s of 2013.  I want to start 2014 organized and continue it through the end of the year. I already bought my 2014 blog planner, so I’m off to a good start!

May 2014 be filled with love, joy and really good reads!

 

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2012 End of the Year Book Survey

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Hi there! Isn’t in insane to think that 2012 is already over?!
Now, to be honest, I’m not too sad to see this year go because we had some majorly difficult family stuff to deal with. What is exciting is that all of that is over and 2013 is full of hope and newness!
But before we completely welcome 2013, let’s take a little look at what happened at BookTasty this past year!
Also this end of the year survey was created by The Perpetual Page Turner
!

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

This is easy for me. This year The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater just completely blew me away. Her writing is lyrical The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvaterand gorgeous and is MILES ahead of other authors.

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

Everyone else LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor and it was “meh”. I didn’t hate it but I also just did not love it. I felt really bad about not loving it but then I thought “oh well! I don’t have to love every book I read”. I am still trying to be okay with it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

I don’t know why I expected to not be too impressed with Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I guess I thought “Oh just another sci-fi novel”, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It really is a fun read and it reminded me a lot about my beloved Firefly. Plus it’s a fairy tale mixed with sci-fi! You can read my review of Cinder here.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

Being a media specialist, I recommend a lot of books to my students so we’ll cross those off the list (too many to count!). As far as recommending books to friends and family I’d definitely have to say The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It is such a fabulous dystopian and a good “if you liked The Hunger Games, try this!” I even gave a copy as a Christmas gift!

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I guess I’d have to say The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. It’s the first book in The Shades of London series. The other books haven’t been released yet so I don’t know if it counts, but it’s one that I am really excited to continue reading.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Okay so I participated in the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge which introduced me to new authors and I absolutely adored The Boy Project by Kami KinardVeera Hirandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl). I also enjoyed Kami Kinard (The Boy Project). Although Jay Asher isn’t a new author 2012 was the first time I read one of his books (Thirteen Reasons Why). I will definitely be reading anything else these authors publish in the future!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Jennifer Echols’ Such a Rush was WAY out of my comfort zone! It was a little too edgy for me. It took me a while to connect with Leah, the main character and there was a little more sex-type scenes than I am normally comfortable with. It wasn’t erotica or anything, but more than I prefer in my books…which is why it was a little out of my comfort zone. I really did enjoy this story though despite it being different from my normal read.

Also, Tempest by Julie Cross was out of my comfort zone. I’m not usually one for male main characters and this took me a while to get connected to Jackson, but once I did I was hooked!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Insurgent by Veronica Roth were two audiobooks that had me actually wanting to do chores around the house and wish my drives to and from work were longer just so I could continue listening to them! Both were just amazing stories (for different reasons) that I couldn’t leave even for a little bit! I had to know what was going to happen next!

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

This is a tough one for me because I don’t usually tend to re-read my books. If I had to pick one though it’d most likely be Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince because I know I’ll want to get a refresher before I read the final book in the series, Clockwork Princess (which is expected to be published in 2013!!). Oh I’m getting excited already!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

May B by Caroline Rose StarrI really loved the cover of Caroline Rose Starr’s May B. It is just so simple and reminds me of a cool retro poster design (I LOVE retro posters!). The vintage font and the small color palette are all so perfect!

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. Ruby is one of my favorite characters ever. She is annoying and self-centered and lovable and hilarious! She is a mess but she reminds me that we’re all messes sometimes! I also love Puck Connolly from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races. She is brave, vulnerable, unsure and yet also strong all at the same time. She was so fun to read about because she is all of those different traits all at the same time.
As far as book boyfriends go I wish Cricket Bell from Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door was a real person and I was Lola and he lived next door. Le sigh….

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

Oh most definitely The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Both were mesmerizing, a little haunting and absolutely gorgeous.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why was super important to me. As a middle school educator I work with a lot of kids every day. Kids who are easy to love and kids who are not so easy to love. Some of the ones that are harder to love are annoying or mean etc… but this book helped me remember the power of not only words but also time. Some of those kids just don’t have anyone giving them time. So even though my student who visits me every single day to catch me up on the latest events in the manga series she’s reading (and talks about it for like 20 minutes) I stop what I’m doing and listen even though I may have other things to do. I may be the only one giving my time to her and that may make a major difference in her life. You never know.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

So Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet was published in 1987 and I remember kids in my class at school reading and loving it, but somehow I just missed it. I never read it until this year. I don’t know what prompted me to read it other than guilt. I thought, man if I’m going to be a good librarian I need to have read Hatchet because it’s a classic. Well, I read it and I now know why it’s a classic and why it won the Newberry Honor Award!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

I’m sure there are tons that I loved when I first read them but I’m not the type of person who keeps track of good or meaningful quotes. So I have a few that I can remember but not many.

“I can’t forget things, or ignore them-bad things that happen,” I said. “I’m a lay-it-all-out person, a dwell-on-it person, an obsess-about-it person. If I hold things in and try to forget or pretend, I become a madman and have panic attacks. I have to talk.” -Ruby Oliver in Real Live Boyfriends: Yes Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren’t Complicated, I Wouldn’t Be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart (This just reminds me of myself and why I love Ruby Oliver)

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.” -Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Such a momentous truth for all educators to remember.)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?

LongestCity of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare at 535 pages! I listened by audiobook so that is actually 16 hours and 59 minutes on audiobook!

ShortestA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park at 128 pages! It was a fast but deeply moving read!

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!

Every scene in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins with Cricket and Lola! Also that scene in The Scorpio Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsRaces by Maggie Stiefvater where Puck tells Sean that she will not be his weakness and he softly answers, “It’s already to late for that.” SWOON! Or any scene with Will Herondale and Tessa Gray from Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Prince…Le sigh…

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I love the way that Douglas Healy sees hope and potential in Terrence, Gecko and Arjay when the rest of the world has given up in Gordon Korman’s The Juvie Three. It’s just really uplifting to see him sacrifice so much for these boys that he doesn’t even really know.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

Okay so I know I keep talking about The Scorpio Races but I really, really loved that book! I’d read Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series which I enjoyed, but they are no match for The Scorpio Races.

Also, A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine was quite possibly my favorite of all the books I’ve read by her. I loved the mix of fairy tale and murder mystery genres.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Okay, so my friend Stephanie recommended The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I honestly don’t know if I would have read it without her prompting although I’d heard good things about it. Well, Stephanie is incredibly well read and I respect her bookish opinion so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did because although I didn’t LOVE The Night Circus as much as she did it was a beautiful and mysterious story that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

Okay I’m cheating. I looked through all the book blogs I follow and I don’t know when I discovered them, but I do know that this year I began following What Kate Wore a blog dedicated to the fashion and all around awesomeness of HRH Kate the Duchess of Cambridge. I know it’s not a book blog, but I don’t care!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

This is too hard for me to decide so I’ll go with my favorite title of a review I wrote in 2012. I love my title for my review of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: A Healthy Fear of Mayonnaise. You’ll have to read the review to find out why I love this!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I wouldn’t really say it was a discussion exactly, but it was affirming to hear that others thought I made the healthiest decision. In April I posted about why I was choosing to end my participation in a weekly In My Mailbox type meme. It was titled Obsessive Behavior and Non Protests and it explains my thoughts on my own blogging behavior. Once I made that decision I felt so free and much healthier. It was incredibly helpful to hear from other bloggers with similar struggles and to get their encouragement.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Hmmm…I honestly have no clue…I’ll have to think about that one and maybe (maybe) revisit this answer.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Well, I haven’t posted on this but I did have the opportunity to have bestselling author Sharon Draper visit my Media Center in November! The visit was a little last-minute surprise and my students loved it. She spoke to about one hundred students for almost two hours and it was definitely a moment my students will always remember!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

2012 was the year my blog achieved 100 followers! I was so humbled and thankful so I threw a 100 Follower Giveaway to thank those awesome blog followers!

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

The most popular post at BookTasty this year was Top Ten Tuesday: Introducing the 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Books. Over the course of 2012 it received 929 views, which I think is pretty darn cool!!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I’d love to say that I wish ALL of my posts got a little more love, but I really would have liked it if my Book Trailer of the Week posts got more views. I love book trailers and think they’re invaluable tools for schools to use. I started this weekly post to share short and well done book trailers with other educators, but I average such little views that I’m wondering if I should continue to post or not. Something to think about…

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

I had known about my local independent book seller, Bright Light Books, for years as my husband traded his textbooks for store credit with them while he was in seminary. However, I didn’t know that I could order new books from them! I thought it was only used books, but they helped me with a large and last-minute order for an event I was hosting at school. I love them and they have fabulous customer service.

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

I participated in the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren. The challenge expected that I read a new book from 12 debut authors, which I did! I loved having the chance to discover some new authors whose future titles will definitely be on my To Read List!

This year I also participated in the 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge because I love audiobooks! My goal was to listening to and reviewing at least 24 audiobooks and I exceeded that goal by listening to 30 audiobooks. Yaaay!

Now, I also set a goal with the GoodReads 2012 Reading Challenge. I had originally wanted to read 100 books in 2012, but by September it became incredibly clear that wasn’t going to happen. So I changed my goal to 80 books (yeah I don’t know if that’s cheating or not…oh well!) which seemed more manageable. In the end I was 6 books short of that goal, but I think 73 books in one year isn’t that bad at all!

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreKristin Cashore’s Bitterblue has been sitting on my shelf since it was released in May. It just sits there all pretty and blue and calls to me, but I just haven’t had the time to get to it. Plus it’s also such a huge book I know it’s a massive time commitment, but I really want to read it right away in 2013.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Well how about that?! Wouldn’t you know that I actually posted about this question a few weeks ago. Check it out :)

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Oh my goal is to get my posts on a schedule. I want to be able to have them scheduled a few weeks in advance so I’m not scurrying to write posts when things get busy. I am on my way to the store to buy a little calendar to help with this later today.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve! See you in 2013!

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End of the Year Book Survey 2011

The End of the Year Book Survey was created by Jaime at The Perpetual Page-Turner.  This is its second year, and my first year participating.  Boy, it took a lot of work, but it was fun to look back at my first year as a book blogger.  If you’re interested in participating, click on the image above and sign up!

Best Book You Read In 2011? 

I’m definitely picking two.  My favorite Young Adult title this year was Divergent by Veronica Roth (loving this dystopian romance trend!).  My favorite regular adult fiction (saying adult fiction sounds kinda dirty but I have to make the differentiation), was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.Divergent by Veronia Roth

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

I was pretty excited to read Vixen by Jillian Larkin because I love the “Roaring ’20s” (I’ve been a flapper for Halloween more than 3 times).  I was so disappointed though.  The writing just wasn’t that great and although I thought the story was fun I felt like I was reading a cheap romance novel.  Oh well!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

I rarely read books with guy main characters because I prefer/relate to female characters (since I’m one).  But in an effort to be better adept at recommending “boy books” to my male students I read Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar and loved it!  Scott was a male main character/narrator who I completely identified with and I was very surprised by and impressed with the book!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I think I have two for this one.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins most definitely.  My students hadn’t really heard much about it and we added it to the 8th grade summer reading list.  I’ve been asking those that didn’t do their summer reading, “Have you read The Hunger Games yet?” And they’ll respond with something like, “No but my friend/sister/brother has and they love it!”.  So I encourage them to read it as well! Also, I tell other adults about how they really need to read this series; it helps when there is a movie on its way.

Also, I think City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is the other title I’ve recommended most this year.  I have tons of girl students who have read the Twilight series and maybe the Vampire Academy series or the Vampire Kisses series, but they don’t know what to read next.  So I tell them how cool Clary and the Shadow Hunters are and how there are all sorts of supernatural creatures in this series, not just vampires.    They check it out and get hooked; my job is complete!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I know the books have been out for a while, but I didn’t start reading them until this year; I love The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter!  I’ve only read two of these books so far, but they’re my escape to normal life (they’re spies but somehow I think this is normal) after reading too much supernatural or dystopian fiction.  This series is just so light and fun they leave me wishing I was a part of Cammie’s group of friends.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Well, Stephanie Perkins isn’t really a new author, but I hadn’t really known who she was before reading Anna and the French Kiss. Lola and the Boy Next Door is in my TBR stack!   I also adore Veronica Roth and Divergent was awesome.  I can’t wait to read more of her writing in the future!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher really wierded me out at first.I think it was because I couldn’t categorize its genre.  It’s a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, and dystopian fiction.  My mind was boggled and somewhere I found myself absolutely loving it.  I guess the librarian in my likes to classify and when I have trouble doing so it makes me uncomfortable.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

When I started the Clockwork Angel audiobook by Cassandra Clare I was completely enthralled and listened to it whenever it was socially acceptable to.  I even did dishes every day for like two weeks just so I could have an excuse to listen to it! (If you know me, you’ll know that I despise washing dishes!).  I was happy and my husband was happy (that he didn’t have to do the dishes!).

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.   Oh I have been waiting for more Will and Tessa (and Jem even though he’s not my favorite) since I finished Clockwork Angel in March.  I know it wasn’t a super long time to wait, but when one loves Will Herondale you require his presence more frequently.   :)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The cover for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater gets me every time.  The icy blue of the trees and branches surrounding the title does make me feel that wintry chill.  It’s just so lovely.  But I also adore the cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George.  Period costumes are an automatic win for me. And I love how the girl’s gown is rustling as she walks (runs?).  So pretty!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeShiver by Maggie Stiefvater

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart is hilarious.  She’s so neurotic, loveable, sarcastic, funny, way overdramatic, smart, but also very self un-aware.  I love how complex her character is; I feel sorry for her and at the same time have no sympathy for her!  It takes great writing to get at all the character’s complexities.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Matched by Ally Condie.   How can a book with such a focus on words not be beautifully written?  Cassia and Ky cherish poetry and the written word so Condie takes this plot line and weaves it into the narration.  I mean for real: “So in the middle of all the noise, I point to the sky. I hope he understands what I mean, because I mean so many things: My heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him. And I know he understands as he looks straight at me, deep into my eyes. His lips move silently, and I know what he says: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know. Tears well up but I blink them away. Because if there is one moment in my life that I want to see clearly, this is it.” (from Matched by Ally Condie) So well done!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

This question is hard to answer.  All the books I’ve read leave an impact on me.  I guess I’d have to say The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I was so struck by the many different female relationships/friendships were displayed in this novel.  I also adore Stockett’s comment in the authors note about how just trying to understand each others stories is what causes change.  I love this because we’ll never fully understand every person’s personal experience in life, but its they trying to listen and understand that makes all the difference.  I think this is incredibly important.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

I waited years to read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  A student recommended it to in 2007 so I tried to start it but had trouble getting into the story, so I stopped.  But I realized I needed to read it if I was going to be a decent Media Specialist, so read it I did.  I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as good as everyone made it out to be. Oh well, I finally read it!

Matched by Ally Condie15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

“And I’ll tell her that I don’t want my life to be samples and scraps. A taste of everything but a meal of nothing.” -Cassia in Matched by Ally Condie.  I love the desire for more life expressed in this quote.  I want my life to be better than a “meal of nothing”.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

Maybe Rumors (Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen.  There is so much going on in this series that I’d have to reread at least the previous book before I started the next! I read this one in July and don’t remember much about it at all!

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!

The scene in The Help  by Kathryn Stockett where Minnie is surprised by an axe wielding Johnny Foote!  I laughed and laughed so hard and I wanted to know where my friends were (in their reading) so we could talk and laugh about it!  I think I told my husband all about it even though he had no idea what I was talking about since he hadn’t read the book.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

This was my first year involved with book blogging but Heidi at the YA Bibliophile, has been so friendly and helpful! Like me, she is a middle school Media Specialist who love YA fiction—I feel like we’re very similar.   She was even my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

I think review I wrote on both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. It was me too excited to even try to hide my fan girl tendencies. It was a review full of gushing, but I loved it because I had fun writing it.


3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

I’m still a relatively new and small blog so I haven’t really had any discussions.  Maybe in 2012?!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Almost everyone had thoughts on the “Darkness Too Visible” editorial in the Wall Street Journal.  I didn’t share my opinion too much, but I was very intrigued to read everyone else’s thoughts.  It is an interesting topic and reading other opinions helped me think about both sides to the argument in ways I hadn’t before.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Well, I haven’t done too much of this, but my school did pay for me to attend the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference this year and I had so much fun!  FAME is full of school librarians (from all grade levels) learning more about our profession and sharing ideas and tips.  But there are also authors! (My personal favorite part!)  I got to meet Kiersten White, Roland Smith, Gordon Korman, James Preller, Jennifer Allison and more!  They were all so friendly and nice and even signed books for my students.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

I think the best moment of blogging for me this year was having authors like Roland Smith and David Lubar re posted my reviews of their books on Twitter or Facebook.  Such an honor to know they visited my little blog to begin with and liked what they saw enough to share with others.  Incredibly humbling!

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

My most viewed post was the book review I wrote for The Luxe by Anna Godbersen with 193 views.  It actually has double the amount of views any of my other posts have!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I really had fun posting about my top ten all time favorite teen fiction crushes. I mean, who doesn’t have some series love for boys in books?!  I guess not as many people as I had thought! haha

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

NetGalley all the way!  I kept wondering how book bloggers keep getting their hands on all of these ARCs!  Finally I got the courage to ask someone and Heidi and YA Bibliophile showed me the way of Net Galley!  It is a book blogger’s dream to request advanced copies and have the publisher just give them to you! Very cool!

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

Other than reading all fifteen Florida Sunshine State titles, nope.  Next year though! I’ll be participating in the Debut Authors Challenge 2012, hosted by The Story Siren.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson has been on my list for a while now and is one of my main priorities on 2012.  Also Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George are must reads in early 2012.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Tris and Four! Also, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.  If Tessa doesn’t end up with Will, I’ll still love Cassandra Clare, but my head might esplode!! (yes, esplode!)


3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I’d like to get more readership and maybe even do a giveaway sometime this year.  The thought of a giveaway scares me; it suspect they are more work than they look!