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 and 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 Veera 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?
I 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?
Longest — City 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!
Shortest — A 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 Races 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!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Kristin 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!