Last Year in Books: 2016 End of Year Survey #2016Books #BookBlogging

I took a blogging break over Christmas and all the way through to the end of January so I never got the chance to do any of the yearly round-up posts that I really enjoy doing. But what with my new ‘blog what you enjoy’ mantra I’m going to post a few now – lateness be damned!

This End of Year Survey was started by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner who also created the graphics. Many thanks to her!

stats

Number Of Books You Read: 69 – 1 short of my target.
Number of Re-Reads: 1 – A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fantasy/Horror –  22 books

best-in-books

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

For the second year running my favourite book has been one I read right at the beginning of the year. This time it was Sanctuary Bay – an impressive dark and mysterious YA novel.

sanctuarybay

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

fellside I was disappointed with this one 😦

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

madwoman I didn’t expect to love it so much!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

jacksparks I loved it and knew a lot of people who would too!

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series started – The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

Best Sequel – I didn’t actually read many sequels but Glass Sword was great.

Best Series Ender – I didn’t read any. Fail!

 6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2016?

Definitely Jason Arnott (The Last Days of Jack Sparks)

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

The madwoman Upstairs – I don’t often read general adult fiction, especially not ones about classic literature (The Bronte’s) like this one.

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

The Last Days of Jack Sparks

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

sanctuarybay

Probably none because I never find the time but I’d love to re-read Sanctuary Bay again as I read it at the start of the year and have already forgotten lots about it despite thinking it was amazing at the time!

 

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2016?

merciless2 The real life gold hardback cover is purrrrty. And badass.

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Probably Jack Sparks again. He was such a loveable, despicable idiot.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

songof

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Ooh this one was hard to choose. Tbh I didn’t read that many ‘serious’ books last year. I almost went for The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes but I think I’ll choose The Hummingbird’s Cage for its interesting look at the afterlife  and having hope.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

The Song of Achilles.

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.” ― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

 

Shortest: The Book of Kringle – 32 pgs

Longest: The Crow Girl – 794 pgs

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Hmm this one has stumped me…maybe The Crow Girl just for the sheer dark, grimness of it.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

My favourite romance had to be Achilles and Patroclus in The Song of Achilles.

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I really loved the dynamic between Jack Sparks and his editor/agent in The Last Days of Jack Sparks. 

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

foreshadowing

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

summer16.7

 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Sturmhond/Nikolai from The Grisha trilogy

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

It’s a tie between The Song of Achilles and The Madwoman Upstairs. Neither of which were YA. I’m surprised with myself!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Definitely The Grisha Trilogy

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Jack Sparks

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

I definitely cried at The Song of Achilles, more than once. I can’t think of any others.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

a9 This was a heart-warming little gem.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Erm I wouldn’t be that dramatic but The Enchanted was depressing and beautiful all at once.

theenchanted

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

I think The Enchanted again. It was like nothing I’ve ever read before.

 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

stealingsnow

Stealing Snow made me mad because it started off well then very quickly nose-dived!

 

blogging-bookish-life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2016?

I discovered lots of new blogs but I don’t want to single any out!

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2016?

I liked my slightly ranting review of Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

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

I really enjoyed the discussion about why books aren’t promoted to teens enough.

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

I didn’t go many last year, apart from events we hosted at work. My favourite of those was Mike Carey’s visit with the director and producer of The Girl with all the Gifts.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Probably just getting nice comments from authors/publishers, and the huge success that was Horror October. It’ getting bigger every year.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Just keeping going in general. With a busy work and social schedule it’s really hard work sometimes, but worth it.

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

By far the Flash Fiction Battle posts during Horror October. I’ve never had such high stats!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I guess a lot of reviews and also promo posts/blog tours that take a while to write but don’t end up being very popular. I think it’s fair to say that this is a bone on contention with a lot of bloggers.

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

Hmm…I think just a lot of he vintage I’ve found which come with so much history. I find it really interesting and I’m going to incorporate that on my blog more this year. My vintage bookshop is here.

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

Hmm I didn’t really set many goals last year. I was one book away from reaching my Goodreads total.

looking-ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Ha! Lots. But my first port of call is The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

marshking

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

wintersong It sounds so good!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

The only series ending I needed to read was the final Grisha book and I finished it last week. Loved it!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Quality not quantity!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books of 2015 #TTT

icon4-ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Books Read This Year

It’s time for everybody’s favourite TTT of the year; our favourite reads of 2015… how to choose!

I actually found it quite easy this year, although I really wanted to do a top 13. The most difficult part was putting them in order. I’ve changed them around so many times, but my top 3 was always cemented!

So here goes, in descending order, naturally!

~10~

An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman

new3

“The Naremore family move into a grand old house in the countryside which was previously owned by a famous children’s author whose popular series of books were about a haunted boarding school. It turns out that these books were a lot less fictitious than anyone would have believed.

An English Ghost Story was exactly what I was looking for! It was a book which started with promise. I was absorbed from the beginning even before anything spooky happened and then it built up its suspense and creepiness in a masterful, almost majestic way.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: October 2014 // Read: October 2015

~9~

Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes

behindclosed

 

“Behind Closed Doors is another compelling, page-turning read from Police Analyst Elizabeth Haynes.

This is the third book I’ve read by Haynes and I’ve found them all to be edge-of-your-seat thrilling and interesting in the most excellent dark and gritty way. Behind Closed Doors was no exception.

Haynes is masterful at navigating the multi-layer plot about a girl who was abducted on a family holiday and has returned after 10 years, posing more questions than there are answers.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Jan 2015 // Read: October 2015

~8~

Frozen Charlotte ~ Alex Bell

frozencharlotte

“This book actually gave me nightmares (well, it gave me one – it was pretty awesome).

For starters, creepy-ass miniture porcelain dolls with their hands outstretched like they died reaching for you. Dolls that are everywhere, even in the walls. Dolls that whisper. Dolls with needles… But more about them later…I’m getting ahead of myself.

And it wasn’t just the creep-factor that was good about this book, I literally could not put it down. I was sneakily reading it at work and stayed up wayyy past my bed time to finish it off!”

 

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Jan 2015 // Read: Jan 2015

~7~

Vengeance Road ~ Erin Bowman

vengeanceroad

 

“Vengeance Road is a fast-paced, action-packed, tale of adventure and revenge in the shape of a good old-fashioned Western.

Plucky protagonist Kate thought her father was hung for the sake of it, but when she makes her way to Abe’s ranch, someone her father instructed her to seek out should anything happen to him, she discovers that she didn’t know him as well as she thought.

Hurrah for this is basically what I want to say! It’s not often you come across new and exciting strands of YA, and Vengeance Road was definitely that. Bowman weaves a thrilling, old fashioned yarn of an adventure and makes it look all shiny and new.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Sept 2015 //  Read: Sept 2015

~6~

The Kiss of Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

kissofdeath

“I will read anything this man writes. FACT.

Marcus Sedgwick takes folklore and fairy tales and turns them into Gothic beauty. My Swordhand is Singing was the first Sedgwick book I ever read, and it remains my favourite. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick up the sequel.

The Kiss of Death is a story centred around Marko whose father is missing. Last known to have headed to Venice to see a patient- for he is a doctor- Marko heads off in search of him, against his mother’s best wishes.

The Kiss of Death is a lyrical, beautifully written book, such as I have come to expect from Sedgwick. I was so happy to be reunited with Peter, and hear more of his tragic, heroic, story.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Sept 2008 // Read: Oct 2015

~5~

Red Queen ~ Victoria Aveyard

redqueen

“OMG THIS BOOK!

In Victoria Aveyard’s take on a dystopian future, there are two classes. The Redbloods, the lowly commoners who do all the physical and menial jobs, and are conscripted to fight in the war, and the Silverbloods, the ruling class, who all have different powers such as the ability to manipulate fire, water or metal – much like the X-MEN (which I LOVE).

I’d gone through a whole array of feelings about this book before I even picked it up. Firstly, from the cover alone I was so taken with it I couldn’t wait to read it. Then I started seeing it described as The Hunger Games meets The Selection via X-men, and my mind was blown. BLOWN.

But then, the hype just went a bit mad. It was all over the blogosphere and while I tired to avoid most of the reviews, I started to doubt my first thoughts and wondered if this was just another Hunger Games wannabe; all hype and no substance….

Thankfully, I was wrong. Red Queen, whilst having some flaws, ended up completely surpassing my expectations. And it made me want to throw it across the room (yet another downside to the e-book!), in the best possible way.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Feb 2015 // Read: Jan 2015

~4~

Winter ~ Marissa Meyer

wintermeyer

“OMG I cannot tell you how happy I felt reading this, and having all the amazing characters from the previous books finally brought together to defeat the evil Queen Levana! Insert fangirl squeal here.

Winter was everything I hoped for and more. Cinder kicked-ass, Scarlet was sassy and hilarious, Cress was adorably cute and Princess Winter…oh how I love her crazy ways.

And don’t even get me started on the guys. I mean, how are supposed to choose between Prince Kai, Captain Thorne and Wolf..? I just can’t even!”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Nov 2015 // Read: Nov 2015

~3~

Darkest part of the Forest ~ Holly Black

ng2

 

“YES! This is what I’ve been waiting for by Holly Black.

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a fairy book with bite. It reads like a deliciously dark classic fairy tale, but it’s thoroughly modern too.

In the small town of Fairfold, humans go about their days like any average community, but there’s just one difference, faeries also exist. On the whole, faeries have come to be accepted and their magic is seen as harmless. However, many people in Fairfold continue to abide by certain rules and superstitions in order to make them immune to their magic, making you raise an eyebrow as to whether they are as harmless as everyone thinks they are.

I was blown away by how Holly Black built this world of fae but made it so modern. I loved that Hazel was a Knight. I loved that the kids of Fairfold seemed so normal despite living amongst faeries. I mean, they get wasted  and dance around (and on top) of the the horned boy’s coffin… so much to love.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: Jan 2015 // Read: Jan 2015

~2~

The Quality of Silence ~ Rosamund Lupton

quality

“The Quality of Silence is an assault on your senses. You can feel the snow, smell the petrol, and see harsh landscape of Alaska so vividly, it’ll have you grabbing for your fur-lined coat, such is the magic of Lupton’s writing.

Yasmin, who loves her husband yet feels estranged from him, came to Alaska to try to make their marriage work one last time. After hearing the news [of his death] she refuses to believe [it]. She will believe it only when she sees it, but the police refuse to help, and have stopped the search, adamant that no one could have survived.

And so Yasmin and Ruby, set off on the most dangerous road trip imaginable, to find Daddy, to find the husband, to keep hope alive.

This book BLEW ME AWAY. I know people say that all the time, but woah…it was just amazing.

I loved the setting, the characters – especially Ruby – who is AMAZING, and the slow, mysterious reveal of what happened to Ruby’s dad…it was all amazing.”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: July 2015 // Read: April 2015

~1~

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe ~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz

ARI

“Oh this book, you guys.

I fell in love with it instantly and read it in two sittings. The story is set in El Paso, Texas, and narrated by Ari. Ari’s a loner and more troubled than he even lets himself acknowledge. He’s clever and funny, but he’s angry too. He’s angry that his dad won’t talk about the war that has affected him so badly. He’s a angry that his brother is in prison and that his family won’t tell him why. In fact they pretend he doesn’t exist at all.

Ari meets Dante, who offers to teach him how to swim. On paper they are complete opposites. Dante is effervescent and loved by everyone who meets him. He finds it easy to open up to people and talk about his feelings; everything Ari isn’t, and can’t do.

The two become inseparable during one summer, and together they try to make sense of the world.

I’m reluctant to say much more plot-wise but just know this: Aristotle and Dante is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching coming-of-age story that I know will stay with me for a long time. I’ll definitely be reading this again in the future.

I love the setting, I loved the relationship between Ari and his mum, and obviously the relationship between Ari and Dante…I just can’t even… have ALL THE UNICORNS. I need to get my hands on Alire Sáenz’s other books STAT!”

Full Review // Goodreads // Purchase

Released: April 2014 // Read: March 2015

Just missed out:

 

Rebel Belle ~ Rachel Hawkins

The Heir ~ Kiera Cass

Golden Boy ~ Abigail Tarttelin

So there you have it, my favourite reads from 2015. I’m actually surprised that most of them are 2015 releases, as I felt like I was so behind with reading new releases this year! I’m impressed with myself LOL. 

Can’t wait to see what made everyone else’s lists, even though I know it’ll kill me TBR-list-wise. Oh well. BRING IT ON!