2013 End of Year Survey

I wasn’t going to do ANOTHER end of year post. But then Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner posted her latest end of year survey and then Nicole (my real life friend) at The Book Bandit also posted a riff on that survey and then I decided it would be fun to play along.

(All questions and pretty images were created by Jamie so obviously if you too use them she should be credited and linked too!)

Without further ado here is my 2013 End of Year Survey:

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)

Okay so the short version is check out my 13 for 2013 list. My favorite is hard to pick but right this second I’d be okay going on the record with In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin which got me through maybe the hardest time ever this year.

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

There were a lot of disappointments but the the one that stings the most is definitely The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney. I had such hopes! Oh and can we talk again about Stephen in The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson?

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

Probably Pivot Point by Kasie West. I went into this one with no expectations only to end up really, really impressed and it’s a solid favorite now. This one was even more surprising because I almost wrote it off without giving it a try.

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

I’d say easily Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein followed closely by The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton and The Archived by Victoria Schwab.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Can a duet count as a series? If so: The Archived by Victoria Schwab. If not, Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Alethea Kontis or Tessa Gratton. I read them both for the first time this year and wow!

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

Hmm. I don’t have a lot that isn’t comfort zone because if I don’t like something I don’t stick with it. But perhaps The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I don’t read a lot of alien books (and I like even fewer) but this one was fantastic!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

See my answer to number 7. Also: Proxy by Alex London. Literally never knew where it was headed.

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

I . . . I don’t actually re-read books. *hides* There just isn’t enough time.

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

Paper Valentine by Brenna YovanoffNever Fade by Alexandra BrackenGolden Girl by Sarah Zettel

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Hmmm. I’d say any or all of the characters from Never Fade by Alex Bracken followed closely by the casts of Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff and the cast of Vicious by V. E. Schwab.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Tough one and could have many answers but let’s say The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee.

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

I mean you probably know already if you read regularly but In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin. I won’t say it saved my life but it was exactly what I needed while I waded through the scary week before Mom’s surgery. I love Anya and her trilogy.

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

Ha. I read so few backlist titles this year that it’s hard to answer this question. Like I literally might have read a whopping three non-debut/2013 pub books. Is that even possible? Of  that huge pool I would say Geography Club by Brent Hartinger which has really become an iconic part of the YA landscape. And I even interviewed Brent about the series!

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

From In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin:

“We are where we are.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Much like Jamie I used goodreads to check this.

Longest: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken at 512 pages.

Shortest (not counting picture books I read obvs): Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde at 127 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!

Um practically all of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey! So many twists! I can’t say too much but also Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst.

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

June and Day from Champion. They make each other better. Friends: Maddie and Verity in Code Name Verity. Is there are better friendship anywhere?! *sobs*

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

Pivot Point by Kasie West. I wasn’t even going to read it but then Andi started raving about it and I gave it a second look.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Probably YA Fantasy. It’s always YA fantasy!

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

I feel weird saying Victor from Vicious but he’s my new favorite sociopath. And of course Beast from Dark Triumph. In terms of a crush that isn’t terrifying: Finn from All Our Yesterdays.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Oh man. So many choices. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell or Pivot Point by Kasie West.

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

The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton or How to Love by Katie Cotugno.

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

Vicious by V. E. Schwab and All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell, or one that I’m saving for my 2014 posts The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I loved watching them come together.

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

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. “Kiss me, Hardy! Kiss me quick!” *sobs uncontrollably*

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

In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin is the conclusion to a series but it came one the scene pretty quietly. Also wish The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni got more play.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?

I made a lot of new blogging friends this year! Kayla at The Thousand Lives, Andi at Andi’s ABCs and Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner (she doesn’t know we’re friends yet, shhh). And of course friends I already had like Nicole at the Book Bandit and Cecelia at The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia continued to be awesome.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?

Also tough because I liked a lot of my posts this year BUT let’s pick two I haven’t mentioned yet: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black and The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Not a lot of discussions happen here but I liked when blogging buddies came and commented on any of my posts. Anyone Could be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl also generated a small discussion.

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

I enjoyed Liz Burns’ review of The Infinite Moment of Us. It was interesting seeing her very different take on the book.

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

Oh god. I’m so spoiled so there are a lot but can we talk again about how I’m twitter friends with RACHEL HARTMAN AND ELIZABETH WEIN? I mean, what?!?!

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

Oddly I think it might be one of my non-book posts: Anyone Could be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

None specifically. But I do wish more people commented here. I like talking to people :)

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

Playing around with Bookcrossing has been fun.

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

I met my Goodreads goal of 175 books!

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

I  want to prioritize back list titles in my house in general because I have too many (shocking I know). But right out the gate priorities include Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood, The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding, and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein.

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

All the books! One that I get more and more excited about is The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’m not sure! But you know I’ll find something soon.

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

The One by Kiera Cass and the second Seraphina book from Rachel Hartman. Oh and Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers if it is still coming out next year. Dates change and all that.

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

Back list, back list, back list. I’m a little embarrassed that almost all the books I read this year were published this year. I want to clean out my shelves reading some older titles and be more well-rounded. I have committee work coming up with YALSA that might help with that too. Basically the name of the game is reading what I already have, managing my to read shelves (yeah . . . shelves . . . sigh) and try to not acquire a bazillion books. The key is deciding the difference between things I WILL read in the near future and things I MIGHT read. Which is hard.

Otherwise I’d just like to continue blogging regularly and having fun!

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 11: New Year’s Eve!

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Which book character would you like to spend NYE with?

After giving the matter some thought, I’ve decided I would like to spend New Year’s Eve with Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins because you just know they will be throwing an amazing party somewhere.

Lola and the Boy Next Door cover

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

13 for 2013

I read a lot of good books this year so coming up with a top 10 13 list was exceedingly difficult.

My 13 Most Favorite books from 2013 (in no particular order):

The Lost Sun by Tessa GrattonNever Fade by Alexandra BrackenHero by Alethea KontisVicious by V. E. SchwabThe Archived by Victoria SchwabThe 5th Wave by Rick YanceyEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton: I’m not even sure how I heard about this one but I’m so glad I did. Gratton’s writing totally blew me away.
  2. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken: Although this was definitely a book 2 in every sense, I really enjoyed this second installment in Bracken’s dystopian series. It kept me on my toes and it brake my heart and then put it back together.
  3. Hero by Alethea Kontis: This series was a big part of my year. I really enjoyed the first book Enchanted as well but since this one came out in 2013 it only made sense for it to make the list.
  4. Vicious by V. E. Schwab
    The Archived by Victoria Schwab: So yes. I have two books by the same author because when I had to make a choice between the two I found it was impossible. I might as well have tried to pick my favorite eye. They’re both so excellent.
  5. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I don’t read a lot of alien books. Especially ones I like. But wow this one was great. It really deserves all of the hype.
  6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: This book is so awesome. It reminds me a lot of Stargirl but it’s so clever and unique all on its own that I don’t want you to think it doesn’t stand on its own. Because it does.
  7. Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel: A blend of fairy lore with Depression era settings, this is one of my favorite books and one of my favorite trilogies. I can’t wait to see how it all ends in the final book!
  8. Pivot Point by Kasie West: I almost didn’t read this book. Then Andi started raving about it and I had a chance to get an ARC. I’m so happy I gave this one a chance. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite time travel/alternate reality titles to recommend.
  9. The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni: A spooky, historical murder mystery this book was refreshing in how decidedly NOT supernatural all of it was.
  10. Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers: It’s hard to say because I liked so many of these books so very much but this might be my favorite book of the year. (Don’t tell the others.) This was one of my first reads in 2013 but it’s also one that I still think about constantly. LaFevers is a great author and this book really demonstrates her masterful grasp of writing historical fantasy.
  11. Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff: Another early-in-the-year read that has kept me thinking. I didn’t know what to expect from this story with a ghost, a serial killer and a girl trying to make her way. But in the end I loved it. This book sealed Yovanoff as an auto-read author.
  12. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: This is another book I read early on that has stayed with me. I love reading about WWII and I adored this book. Wein is a genius with the intricate plotting and pacing here. Interviewing her on the blog (and meeting her at BEA) were two highlights for my blogger self this year.
  13. In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin: I love this series so it was bittersweet to read the final installment. This is one of my last reads of the year but also one of the best. I didn’t know what to expect from this conclusion to a favorite series but Zevin did not disappoint.

Dust Girl by Sarah ZettelPivot Point by Kasie WestThe Caged Graves by Dianne K. SalerniDark Triumph by Robin LaFeversPaper Valentine by Brenna YovanoffCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinIn the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

You can also find my list on Pinterest.

Honorable Mentions (the books that didn’t make my main list but were very enjoyable all the same):

The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat BeyerPerfect Scoundrels by Ally CarterBorn of Illusion by Teri BrownFangirl by Rainbow RowellAcross a Star-Swept Sea by Diana PeterfreundThe Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

  • The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer: I still haven’t seen a lot of people talking about this one but it was a lot of fun and a great blend of fantasy and travel.
  • Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter: Is there ever a time when Ally Carter’s books aren’t fantastic? Another great installment in one of my favorite series.
  • Born of Illusion by Teri Brown: A supernatural/historical set in 1920s New York? Why yes it is as fun as it sounds.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Obviously Rowell already made my list so it seemed unfair to give her books two spots.
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund: Another great post-apocalyptic retelling. This time with 100% more spying.
  • The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee: It’s strange to say but this book is both incredibly sad and incredibly hopeful. Not for the faint of heart but a very satisfying book all the same.

Buzzworthy Titles (the ones everyone else is talking about):

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackThe Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: Honestly, when I finished this book I wasn’t even sure that I liked it. It’s icky and scary and I’m not sure any of the characters are redeemable. But Black is so good at what she does  that it doesn’t even matter. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot since I finished it.
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: I went into this book thinking I wanted more Blue and Gansey than I would get. But then, it turns out, Ronan is quite charming when you get past the death glares and everything.
  • The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: I really enjoyed Schneider’s voice and her riff on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I waffle sometimes about whether I loved it or just really liked it but even after a few months I am still pondering it.

You can also see my list on Pinterest if you’re into that sort of thing.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 10: Look Back – Did you meet any goals set for yourself?

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

I didn’t set a lot of goals for myself this year personally or as a blogger. It’s not my thing. All I have really wanted (beyond the usual good job, good health, etc.) is to build a community for myself–something I’ve been actively working on for the last few years because 2009 and 2010 were two of the worst years and some of the loneliest times–and I never wanted to feel like that again. Happily that is a goal I am slowly meeting.

I’m starting 2014 with a few more traditional goals which I’ll mention in my January 1st post for this challenge.

But returning to 2013 I’m actually really proud of  the work I did as a blogger this year.

There were a lot of cool things that happened like my interview with Gabrielle Zevin appearing in the paperback editions of All These Things I’ve Done and Because it is My Blood. I also got to meet a slew of my favorite authors in person at events and BEA which was fantastic and a bit humbling because some of them also knew who I was (still one of the coolest feelings ever). And, thanks to Twitter, I even am sort-of-but-probably-not-really friends with a few of my favorite authors which is another nice feeling.

I decided this year to go big or go home for author interviews. I reached out to authors I wouldn’t usually bother to approach because of an expected rejection. I even asked on Twitter sometimes. And, you know what? Most of the authors said yes. And it was awesome.

I also decided back when this year was starting that I wanted to blog more and maybe about non-book things sometimes. Those goals fell off a bit in the last couple of months because of everything else BUT overall I did meet my goal and I think it really shows in the quality of work I’m putting out with every post.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 9: Look Back – Favorite Reads/Reviews/Posts of the last year

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Ah, an end of year favorites post.

For books, I usually try to narrow it down to 10 or so. You can read that list tomorrow here: http://wp.me/p6kfM-39e

Until then, I will tease you with my Pinterest board for my favorites: http://www.pinterest.com/missemmaprint/13-for-2013/

I also also tell you some of my favorites were In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin, The Archived (and/or Vicious) by Victoria Schwab, Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel, Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers, and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Although it has been a horrible year on every level personally, it has been a pretty fantastic year for the blog and I’m proud of a lot of my posts:

In terms of “other” posts my favorite booklist is definitely my 10 Best and Worst Summer Vacations and maybe my Spooky Reads.

This year I was also proud of myself for being able to share more about what I was going through with my mom in the past few months–not because it was good blogging but because it was good for me personally and somehow talking about it here made it easier to talk about it to my friends.

Then, finally, I think my favorite post of the entire year is probably my response to an article about Manic Pixie Dream Girls. My post “Anyone Could be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl” is one that I like to think it well-written and compelling and it’s about a lot of things that are close to my heart. And I got to say nice things about my mom. I’m just very, very proud of it.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 8: Pictures for Books!

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Today we have a very fun one: Pic of of things that represent books, ie bread for Peeta/The Hunger Games, Owl for Harry Potter, etc. Be creative, try to make us guess!

chocolate

Given the meaning this series has for me personally, there was only ever one choice for this post. Can you guess what it is from the picture above?

It’s a series where Cacao is very, very important.

Still not sure?

Here are the covers:

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle ZevinBecause It Is My Blood by Gabrielle ZevinIn the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

It’s the Birthright series by Gabrielle Zevin.

Click the images above for my reviews (book 3’s is pending).

You can also read my interview with Gabrielle about Book One and also my interview with her about Book Two.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 7: Favorite Book Family/Friends

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

It’s hard to choose because there are so many great friendship books and so many great families. However, . . .

Pivot Point by Kasie WestA Little Wanting Song coverGraffiti Moon cover

Once a Witch coverSuite Scarlett coverScarlett Fever coverThe Piper's Son cover

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversChampion by Marie LuProdigy by Marie LuLegend cover

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 6: Favorite Bookish Quotes

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

I collect quotes and I track a lot of them on goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/list/75857-emma)

Not a lot of them are book related except in that they come out of books but I’m going to share two favorites anyway:

“We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful.” from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

“We are where we are.” from In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 5: Favorite Holiday Read

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

There is only one correct answer for a holiday read:

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

I’m not a big re-reader (in that I almost never re-read) but so great is my love for this book that every year Nicole and I take a whole day to do things Dash and Lily did (or totally would have done) in the book. It might be because of the New York setting but this one is very, very close to my heart.

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.

Winter Break Book Blogger Challenge 4: Book Wishlist

My blogger/twitter friends Andi and Amanda are hosting a blogger challenge this winter and I’m participating so for the next few days you can admire their lovely challenge graphic and follow along with my posts:

Today I get to share my wishlist since I have been a good blogger. Since I am spoiled and already have a lot of lovely books I’m going to go ahead and share some 2014 releases I really want:

  1. The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton
  2. Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel
  3. The One by Kiera Cass
  4. Split Second by Kasie West
  5. The Storied Life of A. J. Firky by Gabrielle Zevin

Want to follow along with the challenge? All of my entries can be found linked on this post.