Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My 2015 Reading Goals!

It's New Year's Eve!

To celebrate the coming arrival of 2015, I've given myself some reading challenges for throughout the new year. I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself - if I don't complete these challenges then I don't, and that's fine - but sometimes challenges can be the push that we need to make us read out of our comfort zone, or to make us read at all!

Goal No.1 - Complete 10 Series

Whether I've already started them or I start and finish them in 2o15, I want to try and complete 10 series in 2015 because I read a lot of standalones in 2014. That isn't a bad thing - I love me a good standalone - but I've been missing series lately, and I'm hoping I might discover some amazing ones with this challenge.

Possible candidates for this challenge:
  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  2. Dust Lands Trilogy by Moira Young
  3. Healer Trilogy by Maria V. Snyder
  4. Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
  5. Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong
  6. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  7. Eon Duology by Alison Goodman
  8. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  9. Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy
  10. Parasitology Trilogy by Mira Grant
  11. Tudor Witch Trilogy by Victoria Lamb
  12. Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
  13. Vivian Apple Duology by Katie Coyle
  14. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  15. The Blood Books by Tanya Huff
Goal No.2 - The Retelling Challenge

Throughout 2015 I'm going to take part in the Retelling Challenge, hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. You can find my introduction post here!

Here's a list of retellings I'd like to try and get under my belt:
  1. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  2. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  3. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  4. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
  5. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters
  6. The Meat Tree by Gwyneth Lewis
  7. White Ravens by Owen Sheers
  8. The Prince's Pen by Horatio Clare
  9. The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson
  10. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  11. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
Goal No. 3 - Read 5 Classics

I don't think I read any classics in 2014, which is pretty shocking.

Possible candidates for this challenge:
  1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
  2. Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  3. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  4. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Goal No. 4 - Read At Least 3 2015 Debuts

I also didn't read a single debut novel in 2014 - in fact, other than Cress and My True Love Gave to Me, I'm not even sure if I read any books that were published in 2014. As I've mentioned before, I'm not very good at staying on top of the trends!

Possible candidates for this challenge:
  1. The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
  2. The Well by Catherine Chanter
  3. The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester
Goal No. 5 - Read More Short Story Collections

I read My True Love Gave to Me this month, and it made me realise both how much I enjoy short story collections and how few of them I've read. I own a few, and there are a few I'd like to own, so I'm going to try and read some more in 2015!

Possible candidates for this challenge:
  1. Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories by Various
  2. Love Hurts by Various
  3. Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris
  4. The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  5. Don't Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier
  6. His Last Fire by Alix Nathan
  7. Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link
  8. Across the Wall by Garth Nix
Goal No. 6 - Read More Poetry Collections

I managed to read more poetry this year than I thought I would, so I'd like to read some more in 2015!

Possible candidates for this challenge:
  1. Faery Tales by Carol Ann Duffy
  2. The Shape of a Forest by Jemma L. King
Goal No. 7 - Read More Non-Fiction

I only read two pieces of non-fiction in 2014, so I'd like to read some more in the coming year.

Possible candidates for this challenge:
  1. The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo
  2. This Book is Gay by James Dawson
  3. The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe
  4. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
  5. Witches: A Tale of Scandal, Sorcery and Seduction by Tracy Borman
Goal No. 8 - Reread Harry Potter

Every year I tell myself I'm going to reread the Harry Potter series, and each year I manage not to. In 2015 I really want to make myself reread them - I miss Hogwarts!

What are your reading plans for 2015?

Friday, 26 December 2014

Anticipated 2015 Reads! | Top 10 of 2014

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Today's theme for Top 10 of 2014 is 'Top 10 books I'm looking forward to in 2015'. I'm not very good at keeping up with the latest trends, or at least I'm not very good at reading them, so I found this list a little tricky to put together at first because there are already so many books on my TBR that have been around long before 2015. But a bit of snooping later and I had my list of 10!

Fairest by Marissa Meyer: The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series, so it's only natural that Fairest is on my list. I'm really looking forward to reading Levana's story - I have faith that Meyer has written her an amazing backstory.

Winter by Marissa Meyer: I'm so desperate for this book it's unreal. Like I said I love The Lunar Chronicles and I'm so excited for the release of Winter, I really want to know how this fantastic series is going to come to an end! Oh well, it's only 11 months away...

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker: I love witchy books, and I really like the premise of this story. Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy of it following its release!

Love Hurts, edited by Malorie Blackman: I'm on a mission to collect short story collections, because I just don't read enough of them, and to be honest I'm all over anything with Malorie Blackman's name on it. I adore her Noughts & Crosses series, it's still one of my favourites, so I trust her whole-heartedly to bring me a short story collection of star-crossed lovers.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan: I'm a cheating a little with this book. It's the sequel to Little Beach Street Bakery, which I haven't actually read yet! I've recently started reading Colgan's books and they're really fun and sweet. Last month I picked up a copy of Little Beach Street Bakery for just £1.99 and it has great ratings on Goodreads, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it enough to pick up a copy of Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery next year!

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland: My list wouldn't be complete without some historical fiction, and I'm guilty of some fun historical romance every now and then. Plus any piece of historical fiction involving a female playwright rather than a male one already has my vote!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab: This book just sounds cool. I still haven't read any Schwab, though I do own a copy of Vicious now, so I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this.

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan: SFF featuring dinosaurs? Um, yes please! Considering I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was little I don't think I've ever actually read a book with any dinosaurs in it that weren't fossils, so I'm really eager to get my hands on this.

The Well by Catherine Chanter: This book is Chanter's debut novel, set to be released in May, and it just sounds really interesting. I have something of a weak spot for novels featuring protagonists who have been released from prison. It probably stems down to my eternal love for Sirius Black.

The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester: This is another 2015 debut, and with its gorgeous cover and inclusion of the suffragette movement it just had to be on this list.

Which books made your list?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Best Couples of 2014 | Top Ten of 2014

While looking through the list of books I've read this year I realised that I haven't actually read all that many books which are romance orientated. Obviously a book doesn't have to be romance orientated to include a great couple, but I haven't come across many of those this year either. I've read a lot of great books this year, but not a lot of couples made my heart melt.

But there were a few that I loved, and a few that I liked, so I've managed to put together a list of ten! Quite a few of these are two couples from various series I've enjoyed most this year.

Couples I Love

Cinder and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: I had to use Scarlet for these two because I read Cinder in December 2013, and I didn't want to cheat! While I like Scarlet and Wolf they're probably my least favourite of the couples in The Lunar Chronicles purely because they were very instalovey, and I'm not a fan of instalove. Cinder and Kai I adore. I love their chemistry and the way that I can never quite predict what one of them is going to say to the other. Add to that that this is a retelling in which Cinderella has two prosthetic limbs and Prince Charming is Chinese and I'm a very happy bunny!

Sybella and Beast from Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers: So far Dark Triumph is my favourite book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. I loved Sybella as a protagonist, she's raw and vulnerable and hard as nails, and I've loved Beast since meeting him in Grave Mercy. Put the two of them together and I love them even more. Plus it was nice to see a character being described as conventionally unattractive. Sybella never claims that he's handsome in any way but she still loves him, and that's something we need to see more of in fiction. Though I imagine it'll be a few years before anyone dares to publish a book with a conventionally unattractive woman in the starring role...

Natalie and Flynn from Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: This was probably my favourite story in the collection - reviewed here! - and now I desperately want a whole novel dedicated to Natalie, though I'm sure the possibility of that happening is highly unlikely.

Dona and Jean-Benoit from Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier: These two were just so much fun to read about. I loved this book!

Lilian and Henry from Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan: These two are basically the reason that parts of Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams broke my heart in two. I'm still sad about it!

Couples I Like

Mia and Adam from If I Stay by Gayle Forman: I ended up enjoying If I Stay a lot more than I thought I would - look out for my review in January! - and I liked Mia and Adam's relationship. It feels like one of the more realistic relationships I've come across in contemporary YA.

Bod and Elizabeth from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Okay, so I know Elizabeth's dead and Bod is a child for the majority of the book, but at the very end of the story, when Bod is a teenager, there's a hint of something a little more there and I really liked Elizabeth.

Cress and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: Cinder and Kai are still my favourite, but these two were absolutely adorable. I want more of them in Winter, please!

North and Marigold from It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: This time around I used the American cover just to spice things up a little. I hadn't read any Perkins before this and now I'd quite like to check her novels out. I really enjoyed this story, and thought North and Marigold were way cooler than I was as a teenager.

Ismae and Gavriel from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: I don't like these two quite as much as I like Sybella and Beast, but they're still a lot of fun; their growing fondness for each other was a lot of fun to read throughout Grave Mercy.

Who made your list?

Review | My True Love Gave to Me | Twelve Days of Christmas!

ed. by Stephanie Perkins

My Overall Rating: 

A collection of joyful festive stories that will keep you warm during the cold winter months On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays. Includes: Ally Carter; Holly Black; Laini Taylor; Rainbow Rowell; Matt de la Pena; David Levithan; Stephanie Perkins;  Kiersten White; Kelly Link;  Jenny Han; Gayle Forman; Myra McEntire.


I was going to post one of my normal reviews today and talk about the book as a whole, but after reading Shannon's review over at It Starts at Midnight I just had to look at each story individually purely because I felt quite differently to Shannon about quite a few stories. That's the beauty of anthologies - there's something for everyone!

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: As can be expected from a Rowell story, this was a lot of fun and a really easy read. Rowell has the kind of writing style that makes it easy to slip into the lives of any of her characters, but while I enjoyed this story it wasn't my favourite; I loved the relationship between the two characters and I loved the idea behind the plot, but Noel annoyed me just a little bit. There's just something about a guy who complains about losing a girl he likes, despite overtly kissing other girls in front of her, that annoys me. I get none of those kisses were supposed to be serious and the story was supposed to be more about Mags seizing the moment, but as a girl who's been through a similar situation I felt sorry for her and Noel made me a teensy bit mad because of it.

My Rating: 

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: I've never read any Kelly Link before, and I LOVED this story. When I looked her up I discovered that short stories are her speciality, so now I'd love to read some of her collections. I have a weakness for magical realism, and this story had plenty of that. I did find parts of it a little confusing and it might have been nice to have some things explained to me a little more clearly, but I'm pretty sure I understood everything and, for a short story, Link certainly managed to flesh out a lot. Definitely one of my favourites in the anthology.

My Rating: 

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña: I don't know if I've ever read a story with a Mexican protagonist, and for that I'm both really mad at myself and really pleased that I can now say I have. Like Midnights, I enjoyed this story; it was cute, and I really liked the setting of two people alone in an apartment block over Christmas. It wasn't one of my favourites, though. I liked Shy - he felt like a very raw, honest character - but I couldn't quite connect to Haley. Still an enjoyable read, though!

My Rating: 

Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han: This story is the main reason I decided to review each individual story, because while Shannon didn't like it as much as the others, I absolutely loved this one! In fact I think this one might be my favourite out of the twelve. I never knew how much I wanted a story about a girl raised by Santa until now, and I loved that the protagonist of this story is another POC. I haven't read any Jenny Han before, her novels don't really sound like my kind of thing although I have heard great things about To All the Boys I've Loved Before, but honestly I'd love to see an entire novel about Natalie!

My Rating: 

It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: Yet another author I haven't read before now. I really enjoyed Perkins' writing style, and North is my kind of guy. I have a soft spot for the kinds of guys that can move furniture on their own, hence my love for Beast from His Fair Assassin and Shadow from American Gods. I loved the chemistry between Marigold and North - this one's another favourite!

My Rating: 

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: Not too long ago I was thinking how I want to read something David Levithan has written on his own. The only thing I'd read of his before now is Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (reviewed here), another Christmassy read, which he wrote alongside Rachel Cohn. This one wasn't one of my favourites. I didn't really connect to either of the characters, but it was great to see a homosexual relationship in the anthology!

My Rating: 

Krampuslauf by Holly Black: Before now the only thing I'd read of Holly Black's was The Coldest Girl in Cold Town (reviewed here) and I didn't like it all that much. Sadly I wasn't the biggest fan of Krampuslauf either. My problem with Holly Black is that I love her premises, but I always come away from her stories a little disappointed and I don't know why. I guess there's just something about her style that means she and I don't jam, which is a shame because I really wanted to like this one more than I did.

My Rating: 

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: I'm pleased to say that Forman is at least one author I have read before! I read If I Stay not too long ago and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to her story. This story was fun, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as some of the others.

My Rating: 

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: This story was cute. It wasn't spectacular, but I did like that it surprised me; I thought the characters were all going to be very predictable, but some of them were a pleasant surprise. It wasn't one of my favourites, but it was fun.

My Rating

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: I didn't like this one. The main character and I just didn't get along, and what with her narrating the entire story it meant I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other stories.

My Rating:

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: Wow, me and this story really didn't click. I think this one was my least favourite of the collection, but I'd still like to check out some Ally Carter's other work because Heist Society sounds like a lot of fun!

My Rating: 

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I hadn't read any Laini Taylor before, and people weren't lying when they said her writing style is beautiful. I didn't love this story as much as some of the others in the collection, but for the way it was written alone - and for how different it was to the other stories - it deserves an extra point.

My Rating:

If you've read My True Love Gave to Me I'd love to know which stories were your favourite!

That's the last post of my Twelve Days of Christmas - have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday | Santa Baby, Slip a Story Under the Tree | Twelve Days of Christmas!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find out everything you need to know about joining in here!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

This week's theme is 'Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing This Year'. I had to narrow it down to ten, because books are mainly what I ask for every birthday and Christmas - in fact I'm pretty sure my family and friends are sick of me asking for them by now.

I've decided to split my list into two mini lists; one of them being historical fiction and the other being science fiction. Why? Well because historical fiction is probably my favourite genre, and science fiction is the genre I've really started to learn more about and appreciate this year.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten!

Historical Fiction

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers: I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy of the third and final book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy! I fell in love with this trilogy after reading Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph earlier this year, and I can't wait to see how LaFevers wraps this story up. I've put it on my Christmas list (in fact most of these books are on my Christmas list) so I'm hoping my parents will be kind enough to put a copy of this book beneath the tree for me!

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau: Who doesn't want to read some historical crime with a nun for a protagonist? I've heard great things about this series, and I'm really eager to read some female-led historical crime.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Frankly it's appalling that I haven't read this book yet. It's been on my TBR for far too long and I need to read it, because I've heard nothing but amazing things about it.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine: A retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses set in the '20s? Yes please!

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier: As any regular reader of my blog will know, I've fallen in love with Daphne du Maurier's work this year and I'd really like to read this. I'd love to see how she writes time travel!

Science Fiction

Valour's Choice by Tanya Huff: Tanya Huff's one of my favourite authors, but so far I've only read her fantasy fiction. I love her Blood Books and now I'd really like to give some of her science fiction a try. I love the premise of Valour's Choice, and I'm a big fan of all the female-led sci-fi I've been seeing lately.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I've heard a lot of people describing this as 'Twilight with aliens'. While I no longer like Twilight, though I won't deny that I did like those books when I was a teenager, I do want to see what this series is all about for the pure and simple reason that it sounds fun. Not every book we read needs to be an amazing, groundbreaking piece of literature. Sometimes I like reading books that have been written purely for the sake of bringing enjoyment to the reader, and this sounds like one such book. Not only that, but I've actually been hearing mainly positive things about it.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: I'm not the biggest fan of Jane Austen. At some point I want to reread Persuasion, the very book that made me dislike her in the first place back when I was around 18, to see if I can appreciate Austen more now that I'm older, but before that I'd like to give For Darkness Shows the Stars a try, because it is a sci-fi retelling of Persuasion. There's a chance that reading this might actually make me more eager to reread the book that inspired it, so I'm hoping to find it under my tree on Christmas day!

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: Honestly one of the main reasons I want to read this book is because it has such a gorgeous cover, but it's also another a book I've heard nothing but great things about. Even if the idea of being stranded in space gives me the heebie jeebies.

Alienated by Melissa Landers: Like Obsidian, this sounds like another fun bit of sci-fi. I'm slowly getting into the genre, so I'm not quite into epic sci-fi just yet. I love sci-fi that combines people from outer space with people from earth, so this is right up my street!

Which books made your top ten?

Best Book Covers of 2014 | Top 10 of 2014

It's the second day of Top 10 of 2014, a book blogging event hosted by Two Chicks on Books and various lovely co-hosts to celebrate the last week of the year in bookish style!

Today's event is 'Best Book Covers of 2014', and the books we share must be books released this year. I'm not very good at staying on top of trends and the latest releases (which almost begs the question why I signed up for this event at all...) but thankfully I don't have to have read the books I mention, which is probably just as well. There are a lot of terrible books out there with gorgeous covers and vice versa.

So, on with my top 10!

YA Covers

Talon by Julie Kagawa: I've been drooling over this cover since I first saw it. It's so simple but it's still so rich; it looks so glossy and just plain gorgeous. There's no mistaking what this book is about.

Cress by Marissa Meyer: I love all the covers for The Lunar Chronicles, though I think Cinder is still my personal favourite. I can't wait to see the cover for Winter!

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige: Such a fun cover, I love it!

Alienated by Melissa Landers: This is another fun one. While I don't think it's particularly pretty, because I'm not that fond of people on book covers, I do think it's a good cover for its story.

Half Bad by Sally Green: When I first saw this cover I had to look at it a few times before I realised the blood makes a face. I'm a little dumb.

Adult Books

Symbiont by Mira Grant: Such a cool cover. The cover for Parasite, the first book in this series, is brilliant too.

Miss Carter's War by Sheila Hancock: I don't know what it is about this cover I like so much. I really like the colour pallette used, and I like that we can't see the cover model's face - as I said before I'm not that keen on book covers with people on, but this is a very classy cover.

Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre: I love this cover. If I had to pick an absolute favourite from all the covers here it'd be this one. I love the contrasts between the Renaissance art and the pop art-esque typography; it reminds me of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: This cover's just beautiful. It looks so warm and cosy.

The Bees by Laline Paull: This cover's so bright it just draws the eye, but the main reason this cover made my top ten is because I love the detail on the cover beneath the dust jacket, too. When publishers put effort into the appearance of the books they sell it makes me so happy, and this is a great example of a well produced book.

Which covers made your top ten?

Monday, 22 December 2014

Review | Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan | Twelve Days of Christmas!

by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

My Rating: 

"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

This year is the first year I've managed to read festive books during the festive season, the proof being in that I first read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares during Easter 2013 - oops! Although in my defence I didn't realise it was going to be a Christmassy book until I started reading. Obviously I didn't notice the snow on the cover. I'm dumb.

I sped through this book in a day and enjoyed it. It was fun, sweet and an easy read which was just what I needed at the time; not only was I in a horrid reading slump, but I was also in the middle of writing my dissertation and I desperately needed something cheerful to stop me from pulling my hair out!

I loved the premise - it's such a fun idea! - and I enjoyed the chemistry that grew between Dash and Lily throughout the book even though, for the most part, they were writing to each other rather than talking to each other in person.

It didn't wow me, which is why I gave it 3 stars rather than 4 or 5, but I still enjoyed it and I recommend checking it out if you're in the mood for something fun and cute this festive season!

Best Books of 2014 | Top 10 of 2014

Today is the first day of Top 10 of 2014, hosted by Two Chicks on Books! I wasn't sure whether I was going to take part initially, but in the end I thought: why the hell not? I love events like these because they always introduce me to new blogs and bloggers that I've been unaware of before, and it's a lot of fun seeing which books other people talk about.

The first category is Best Books I've Read in 2014. I've been a little naughty in that, through Top Ten Tuesday, I've actually already listed my top ten, but I'm still going to do it again and leave a link to my Top Ten Tuesday post here.

So, in the order I read them, my Top 10 Books of 2014 are:

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (reviewed here!)
  2. Cress by Marissa Meyer (reviewed here!)
  3. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
  4. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (reviewed here!)
  5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  6. Feed by Mira Grant (reviewed here!)
  7. The Undressed by Jemma L. King
  8. Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
  9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (reviewed here!)
  10. Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop by Jenny Colgan (reviewed here!)
Which books made your list?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

2014 End of Year Book Survey | Twelve Days of Christmas!

2014 became the year that I really became a blogger. I still have a long way to go on this blogging adventure, but I've updated my blog regularly throughout the year - something I always struggled with before - and I've found so many wonderful blogs (and bloggers!) that have made the whole experience a lot of fun.

So to celebrate my first proper year as a blogger, I'm going to take part in The Perpetual Page-Turner's end of year book survey!

2014 Reading Stats

Number of Books You Read: 53 so far!

Number of Rereads: 2

Genre You Read the Most From: Historical fiction. I think.

Best In Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2014?

Feed by Mira Grant. So much love for that book. (Reviewed here!)

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

The Giver by Lois Lowry was a huge disappointment for me. (Reviewed here!)

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

Grave Mercy was a very pleasant surprise. I thought it was going to be just okay, but I actually really enjoyed it!

4. Book you "pushed" the most people to read (and they did) in 2014?

I've basically been telling everyone to read Feed since I finished it, and I've managed to get one of my friends to at least start it - although that could be because I bought her the trilogy for her birthday...

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel of 2014? Best series ender of 2014? 

For the sake of mentioning three different series, I'd have to say that the His Fair Assassin trilogy was the best series I started, Cress was the best sequel, and Blackout was the best series ender. Even though I haven't actually finished reading it yet...

(And shout out to the Rosie Hopkins series for helping me out of my reading slump and cheering me up!)

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?

 Daphne du Maurier. She isn't a new author by any means, but I read her for the first time this year and fell absolutely in love with her. I wrote a post about my favourite new authors of 2014 here if you'd like to check it out.

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

I don't tend to read a lot of poetry (even though I should!) but one of the best books I read this year was The Undressed by Jemma L. King, and I want to read more of King's work in future.

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

Feed. Loved it. It was amazing. Read it. (I should warn you now that Feed is probably going to be mentioned a lot.)

9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to reread in 2015?

Probably Cress! I loved it, and Winter isn't coming out until November.

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

I love the covers for The Lunar Chronicles.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Georgia Mason, star of Feed and my baby.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Stunning book.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2014?

Again, Feed. I really, really loved this book.

14. Book you can't believe you waited until 2014 to finally read?

Honestly I'm pretty ashamed that it took me until 2014 to cross Rebecca off my TBR.

15. Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?

"This is the truth: We are a nation accustomed to being afraid. If I’m being honest, not just with you but with myself, it’s not just the nation, and it’s not just something we’ve grown used to. It’s the world, and it’s an addiction. People crave fear. Fear justifies everything. Fear makes it okay to have surrendered freedom after freedom, until our every move is tracked and recorded in a dozen databases the average man will never have access to. Fear creates, defines, and shapes our world, and without it, most of us would have no idea what to do with ourselves. Our ancestors dreamed of a world without boundaries, while we dream new boundaries to put around our homes, our children, and ourselves. We limit our potential day after day in the name of a safety that we refuse to ever achieve. We took a world that was huge with possibility, and we made it as small as we could." - Feed by Mira Grant

16. Shortest and Longest Book you read in 2014?

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the shortest, and American Gods by Neil Gaiman was the longest.

17. Book that shocked you the most?

That would have to be Feed.

18. OTP of the year

Cinder and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles, Lilian and Henry from the Rosie Hopkins books, and Sybella and Beast in Dark Triumph. Sorry, I couldn't choose only one.

19. Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year?

I will forever love the bromance between Cinder and Thorne.

20. Favourite book you read in 2014 from an author you've read previously?

That would have to be The Graveyard Book. I ended up reading a lot of Gaiman this year, having previously read Neverwhere and Smoke and Mirrors, and even though I adored American Gods, which was the first book I read this year, I think I love The Graveyard Book just a little more. I don't know what it is about this book, it's just enchanting.

21. Best book you read in 2014 based solely on recommendations

Uh... I honestly don't know.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

I have to admit I'm sort of attracted to Skinner Sweet from American Vampire, but I also love Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles and Beast from His Fair Assassin.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

I haven't read any because I'm a terrible person book blogger. I'm hoping to cross Half Bad and Red Rising off my TBR before the end of the year, though!

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

I know I keep mentioning it, but I loved how Mira Grant imagined the future in the Newsflesh trilogy. Everything felt so well thought out; it's the most realistic zombie story I've come across.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?

Cress, I think. I smiled a lot.

26. Book that made you cry/nearly cry in 2014? 

Glitches, Feed, Deadline, The Graveyard Book and Christmas at Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop all made me cry because I'm a huge cry baby and I get very emotional about characters I love.

27. Hidden gem of the year?

I think I have to say The Undressed again. So far I'm the only person who's rated it on Goodreads and it's such a great poetry collection that needs a lot more love!

28. Book that crushed your soul?

Feed. It's just going to keep popping up.

29. Most unique book you read in 2014?

I really enjoyed my reread of Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories. It's such a bizarre little collection.

30. Book that made you the most mad?

The Withered Root by Rhys Davies. I just really hated it.

Your Blogging/Bookish life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014?

This is the first year I've properly blogged, so pretty much all the blogs I've followed have been my new favourites. But I will say some special shout outs to Mallory, Chrissi, Leah, Shannon, Mel, Rinn, Deanna and Cecily who all have great blogs and are also lovely people.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014?

I really enjoyed writing my review of Rainbow Rowell's Attachments.

3. Best discussion/non-review post on your blog?

I've loved writing my Classics & Contemporaries posts, so much so that instead of limiting myself to a specific number like I was originally going to I'm just going to keep making them as and when I feel like making them!

I've also really enjoyed writing my Stories & Songs posts.

4. Best event that you participated in?

I think that'd have to be Sci-Fi November, hosted by Rinn Reads and Oh, The Books - it was a lot of fun! But this year I've also really enjoyed taking part in blog hops like Top Ten Tuesday and What's Up Wednesday.

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

For me the fact that I have been posting regularly has been a real success for me, because it's something I could never do when I tried to get into blogging in the past.

6. Most popular post this year on your blog?

I honestly don't know. Probably one of my Top Ten Tuesday or What's Up Wednesday posts!

7. Post you wished got a little more love?

Any of my Classics & Contemporaries posts. :)

8. Best bookish discovery?

This year I discovered that I do actually like sci-fi!

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you set for yourself at the start of the year?

I'm two books away from completing this year's Goodreads challenge!

Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn't get to in 2014 that will be your top priority in 2015?

Lamentation by C. J. Sansom - I can't wait for the paperback release!

2. Non-debut you are most anticipating in 2015?

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán

3. 2015 debut you are most anticipating?

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

4. Series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2015?

Winter by Marissa Meyer. I'm so excited!

5. One thing you hope to accomplish/do in your reading/blogging life in 2015?

I'd love to see if I can complete ten series in 2015!

6. A 2015 release you've already read and recommend to everyone

I haven't read any - I'm not special enough. ;)