2013: End of Year Survey

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I know it’s pretty late to be posting this, but I really wanted to do a 2013 round-up and this one has been my favourite that’s been doing the rounds. Thanks to The Perpetual Pageturner for compiling this. You can click on the image above to visit them.

I’m only going to do the 2013 book section because I’m so behind on life right now.

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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)

On my TTT post I went for Graceling by Kristin Cashore as that’s the book I can’t stop thinking about and reaaaalllly want to read again. But it was so hard to choose. The best book I read that was actually published last year was probably Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – it’s a tie!

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


I’m torn between Poison by Sarah Pinborough and A Breath of Frost by Alyxander Harvey.

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

I guess it has to be The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness just because I’d heard people talk about it a lot but it still took me so long to pick up, and when I did I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT Epic!

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

Well I probably talked about The Selection by Kiera Cass the most, but not necessarily recommended it as such (and I first read it in 2012 so not sure it counts). I recommended Frost Hollow Hall and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a lot.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?


Sarah J. Maas

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

Hmm I didn’t really read one, which is bad. But I guess Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep was out of my comfort zone a little bit just because of the size of it.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Has to be The Knife Of Never Letting Go.

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

Let’s face it, it’s going to be The Selection (and The Elite) before The One comes out in May.

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


It has to be this one which I read before I started blogging. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, the whole book is so pretty.
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11. Most memorable character in 2013?

This is soooo hard! Either Katsa from Graceling, or Celaena from Throne of Glass, ooooh or Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go. MANCHEEEEEEE!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?


It was nowhere near my favourite book of the year, but The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice was written beautifully. As was Frost Hollow Hall.

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

Without a doubt The Knife of Never Letting Go.

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

Same again!

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


I read two books by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares) last year and they were both full of beautiful, perfect quotes. I think this was my favourite:

I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken – I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute – every single second – there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world – don’t you just feel we’re becoming more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces – they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it would mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe that.”
― Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest = The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly by John Fitzsimmonds at 105
Longest = The Host by Stephenie Meyer at 652 (reread) followed closely by Doctor Sleep

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!

Uhm SO MANY! But mainly The Knife of Never Letting Go and the ending of The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory!

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

Katsa & Po in Graceling (for romance) and Tod and Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go for everything else! ‘Ow, Tod’

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

Probably Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, and coming in a close 2nd, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes.

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

Has to be Graceling again. (Thanks Tanner)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

YA Fantasy. I never really used to read a lot of fantasy so I’m surprised just how many of my books this fell into that. I don’t think I can stop now.

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


Just one??? I need two because I’m greedy – Gavriel from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. Fiiiit.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Polaris Whisper by Kenneth Gregory

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

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman for sure.

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

Ooh this one is hard. Maybe Shooting Sean by Bateman because the Mystery Man books are just hilarious. Or The Elite by Kiera Cass, because I’m obsessed and can’t get enough, and the texts that my friend Di sent me whilst she was reading it were BRILLIANT!

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

I think The Knife of Never Letting Go was the only book that made me cry. Bitterblue, the last in the Graceling Trilogy may have too.


27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Probably Bitterblue again, because so many people say they haven’t read it yet. READ IT.

Saying Goodbye to Warsaw by Michael Cargill

18464101Like any girl who is loved by her family, Abigail Nussbaum loves to chase butterflies, enjoys lying on her back looking for shapes in the clouds, and happily teaches young children to make daisy chains.

In the eyes of certain people, however, Abigail has committed a heinous crime. The year is 1940; the place is Poland; Abigail happens to be Jewish.

Along with half a million other Jews, Abigail and her family are evicted from their home and forced to live in the bombed out ruins of Warsaw, the Polish capital.

Although a handful decide to fight back, is the uprising strong enough to save Abigail’s spirit?

Saying Goodbye to Warsaw is a surprisingly light read given the subject matter. It centers around the Nussbaum family of Abbie, her brother Leo, and her mother Chana who are imprisoned in a bombed-out ghetto in Warsaw in the midst of WW2.

Much of the book describes the squalor and poverty that has been thrust upon them, their fear of the German soldiers and the uncertainty of their future – however protagonist Abbie is a carefree, daydreamer who can see beauty and excitement in almost anything, giving the story a light-hearted, innocent tone.

I liked Abbie as the protagonist for that reason but I also felt like the main crux of story was being overlooked – the truth of their plight. Eventually we’re introduced to Alenka who is part of an underground resistance group which Leo has joined.

All of a sudden the innocent, light tone is replaced with a growing sense of impending doom and that’s the part of the story that shone for me. And I loved how much Abbie’s character changes throughout this book.

As for the things I didn’t enjoy – there were only a few. I found the start of the book quite slow and the writing didn’t flow easily for me but after a couple of chapters it seemed to improve. And I wished we’d met Alenka a lot sooner.

Saying Goodbye to Warsaw is a slow-burner but I thought the journey was totally worth it.

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Disclosure?: Yep, I received a copy from the author in exchange for an HONEST review. (THANKS)
Title: Saying Goodbye to Warsaw
Author: Michael Cargill
Details: Paperback, 170 pages
Publication Date: Published September 8th 2013 by Createspace
My Rating: 4/5
If you like this try: The Book Thief.

2014 Challenges & Goals

I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions but I’m definitely jumping on the bandwagon in setting some reading/blogging challenges for myself this year. It’s nice to have goals, right?

1. Goodreads Challenge/ Yearly Goal

I have set my yearly book reading goal this year at 70 books. My average always used to be around 60 but since I started blogging it’s increased a bit. As this will be my first full year of book blogging I thought I’d really try to challenge myself.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Lauren has read 1 book toward her goal of 70 books.
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2. TBR Pile Challenge.

I have a ridiculous amount of (print) books on my To-Be-Read pile. Like seriously. And obviously it’s constantly growing too so taking part in this challenge hosted by Bookish is a no-brainer. Click on the image below to visit them and find out more about the 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge or to sign up!


 

3. Rereads

One of the things I haven’t managed to do since starting up this blog is reread some of my favourite books and I really miss that. So I am challenging myself to reread at least 10. I’ll post more about this soon and might even do a poll so you guys can help me decide which ones I should reread (mainly because I know I’ll find it really hard to pick just 10).

4. Series

I am completely rubbish at sticking with series of books and I don’t want to commit too much by saying I will complete all the unfinished series I’ve been reading because I know that’s just never going to happen. But, I have singled out a few series that I’ve been enjoying and challenged myself to finish them by the end of the year. I CAN DO THIS!

WWW Wednesday (08/01/2014)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Here’s to my first WWW Wednesday of the year! Thanks as always to Miz B for hosting.

 

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Currently Reading: Saying Goodbye to Warsaw by Michael Cargill – Early days with this but no doubt it’s going to get heart-wrenching.

Recently Finished: The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey – I still haven’t got round to reviewing this, but it was a nice fluffy Christmas read.

Up Next: Between Arcs that I’m behind on reviewing (sorry guys!) and so many awesome books I got for Christmas & my birthday…it’s going to be harder than usual to choose. But I do really need to start The Corporeal Pull ASAP, it sounds great!

Leave a link to your post and I’ll do my best to come and visit!

Back to Normality!

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I need a massive push to get back to normality after the (happy) disruption that Christmas and New Year had on my blog. I never really meant to take so much time off but I couldn’t pull myself away from family, friends, the pub, or the TV so I barely got any reading done either.

I feel so far behind! There were loads of end-of-year things I meant to do, and I’m behind on my ARCs but I am going to spend this week really trying to catch up. I promise!

It was also my Birthday on Sunday which I was dreading but actually turned out pretty good. I should probably change my About Me page too as I’m not nearly 30 anymore. SOB.

Anyway, I just wanted to say Happy New Year to you all, and here’s to a great year of blogging and book ranting.

 
Currently Reading:

18464101
Like any girl who is loved by her family, Abigail Nussbaum loves to chase butterflies, enjoys lying on her back looking for shapes in the clouds, and happily teaches young children to make daisy chains.

In the eyes of certain people, however, Abigail has committed a heinous crime. The year is 1940; the place is Poland; Abigail happens to be Jewish.

Along with half a million other Jews, Abigail and her family are evicted from their home and forced to live in the bombed out ruins of Warsaw, the Polish capital.

Although a handful decide to fight back, is the uprising strong enough to save Abigail’s spirit?