2014 End of Year Book Survey

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I’ve been debating about how to commemorate my 2014 reading, and finally decided to do Jamie’s (The Perpetual Page-Turner) survey again. I love Jamie’s survey for giving me direction, though I’ll probably skip a few questions, because they’re going to take me too long. For some reason, though, I just can’t manage the best of the year stuff on my own, so praise goodness for Jamie. Make sure you check out the original post Jamie did if you want to participate or see her answers.

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Number of Books Read: 277

Number of Re-Reads: 9

Genre I Read Most: Fantasy

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1. Best Book Read in 2014?

I’m going to cheat obviously, and it still hurt so much to choose so few:

Pre-2014: Scarlet/Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen; Days of Blood & Starlight/Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor; The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

2014: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally; Endsinger by Jay Kristoff

2. Book I Was Excited About & Thought I Would Love But Didn’t?

The biggest disappointment of the year for me was most definitely Ruin & Rising. Since I loved the first two books, I expected something mind-blowing and original, but I found it incredibly predictable and anticlimactic.

3. Most Surprising Book of 2014?

In a bad way: Changeless by Gail Carriger, which I haven’t reviewed on the blog now. I adored Soulless and then the ending of this book totally fucked with my enjoyment of the rest of the series. It could have been so amazing and then THAT.

In a good way: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I tried to read it once as a teen and loathed it. Debby (Snuggly Oranges) talked me into giving it another chance, and I love it now. It actually IS like The Catcher in the Rye, one of my least favorite books, but it’s so good. How even.

I’m also going to add, because I think this is interesting, but not precisely the same my black sheepy books.

Book I Hated That Everyone Else Loved: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. Hindsight is 20/20, but at the time I had no idea it would prove such a horrible experience for me. I did like her Statistical Probability book, but this one not at all.

Book I Loved That Everyone Else Wasn’t as Impressed By: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn. Based on GR friend reviews, this one got a lot of 2-3 star responses, but I fucking loved it right from the start. It’s silly and melodramatic in the perfect way for me, and it hit me at just the right time.

5. Best Series Started in 2014? Best sequel? Best series ender?

I’m about to cheat some more. DEAL WITH IT. I’ll skip any already listed as best books of the year. I’m also going to skip the rereads for this one so I don’t have to mention The Art of Wishing, because I’m already cheating a lot, and oh hey did I just mention them accidentally ooooops.

Series Starter: Written in Red by Anne Bishop; Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman; A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas; Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Sequel/Middle of a Series: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs; Burn Bright by Bethany Frenette; The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Series Ender: by Susan Dennard; Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins; The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar; Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan; I’m not a hundred percent sure it’s the last book in the series, but Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle was also fucking amazing.

6. Book I Pushed People to Read in 2014 (That They Actually Read)?

Not a 2014 release, but I know I’ve forced Gina Damico’s Croak trilogy onto even more people. I REGRET NOTHING. Obviously I pushed 2014 releases too, but it generally takes a while to get people to follow through.

I’m also still pushing Golden Boy as much as I can.

I don’t really know. If I pushed something on you, LET ME KNOW.

7. Best Book from a Genre Outside My Comfort Zone?

Well, I hadn’t read romance novels (aside from a couple of NAs) for years, and I read and loved Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare.

8. Most Unputdownable Book of the Year?

My reading style heavily involves putting books down, so actually I think audiobooks often end up being those books for me, because I come up with excuses to just keep listening. This year, I had a lot of trouble quitting Written in Red and its sequel Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop.

9. Book Read in 2014 I’m Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?

A Court of Thorn and Roses, since I read it so early that I will inevitably not remember a single thing by the time the sequel comes out.

10. Favorite Book Cover for a Book I Read in 2014?

Cheating again. Click on the cover for a link to my review.

The Cabinet of Curiosities
Endsinger - Jay Kristoff
Jane Austen Cover to Cover - Margaret C. Sullivan
In a Handful of Dust - Mindy McGinnis
Beware the Wild – Natalie C. Parker
Through the Woods - Emily Carroll

11. Most Memorable Character of 2014?

ONE? Off the top of my head, here’s more than one, even though I’m sticking with 2014 publications:

Most Memorable Badass: Devi from Rachael Bach’s Paradox trilogy, for being the female version of Jayne from Firefly.

Most Memorable Character Arc: Celaena Sardothien from Heir of Fire. Celaena’s a new person in so many ways in Heir of Fire, and it’s fucking painful and wondrous.

Most Memorable Love Interest: Oliver from The Fourth Wish. Oliver’s a bisexual genie, and he’s also very much not the usual YA love interest, which makes him rather memorable.

Most Memorable Bitch: By the way, I mean this as a compliment. Isabel Culpeper from Stiefvater’s Sinner doesn’t like people at all and she’s generally not a nice person, and I adore her for it. She’s actually tied with Angela from The Lynburn Legacy, who is also my favorite.

Most Memorable Doofus: There’s no forgetting Percy Jackson. And, let’s be real, he’s a doofus, which is just part of his charm.

Most Memorable Banterer: Kami from The Lynburn Legacy. She’s so witty and snarky and bantery. Forever love.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2014?

Ahhhhh, this is hard too. Obviously all the Laini Taylor and Maggie Stiefvater (TRC and Sinner). Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen is also completely gorgeous. I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but that’s some of it.

13. Most Thought-Provoking and/or Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Thought-provoking: I’m going to go with Noggin by John Corey Whaley. It’s this really neat mix of a science fiction premise in a contemporary. It’s really a character study of what it would be like to have your brain on someone else’s body, and to be the same age while everyone else has kept aging. Very cool.

Life-changing: Argh, I always have trouble with this one, because, much as books inform and improve my life, individual ones don’t tend to CHANGE it, at least in any way I am able to directly observe. Perhaps Virgin by Radhika Sanghani for being way more honest than most fiction is. It helped me feel both better and worse about life, so that’s something for sure.

14. Book I Can’t Believe I Waited Until 2014 to Read?

That has to be The Raven Cycle and Stephanie Perkins‘ novels. Those were two of the big gaps in my YA reading. FILLED THEM. MWAHAHAHA.

15. Favorite Passage from a Book in 2014?

Any scene involving Zuze. Samples here, here, and here. Fairly certain that there is not a single Zuzana scene that is not more than one hundred percent perfection. LAINI TAYLOR DEFIES MATH OKAY.

16. Shortest & Longest Books?

Shortest: not counting the three novellas I read, that was the anthology One Death, Nine Stories at just 160 pages.

Longest: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, weighing in at 1087 oversize pages.

17. Book That Shocked You the Most?

Probably Heir of Fire. Sarah J. Maas is very good at doing plot things I don’t expect her to and going to ever darker places. Plus, HOF is a departure from the previous books in the most perfect way.

18. OTP of the Year?

PYNCH.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year?

The father-daughter feels of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet. That was a bit of a cheat, since I have so many P&P feels, but whatever.

20. Favorite Book in 2014 from an Author I’ve Read Before?

So that I’m not repeating the ones I’ve already mentioned, I’m going to add a caveat that it’s a favorite book from an author I’ve read before but wasn’t impressed by. For Real by Alison Cherry is a sophomore novel I took a chance on that turned out to be really great.

21. Best Book That I Read Based SOLELY on Someone Else/Peer Pressure?

Poison by Bridget Zinn wasn’t really on my radar because of the mixed reviews and the pig. Debby convinced me to give it a chance and I LOVED it. She also forced The Bone Season on me, which I read in 2014, though the review went up in 2015.

22. Newest Fictional Crush?

Rusty from The Lynburn Legacy if I can only have one. Or all the guys from A Court of Thorn and Roses, since I love my reverse harems.

23. Best 2014 Debut?

SO MANY. Love Letters to the Dead, Prisoner of Night and Fog, The Girl with All the Gifts, Rites of Passage, Virgin, One Man Guy…and others.

24. Best World-Building? Best Setting?

Words of Radiance, because Sanderson is so freaking boss at this.

25. Book That Put a Smile on My Face?

Poison, Ask Again Later, and One Man Guy were the best fluffy reads of the year. Smiles and laughs and SO MUCH BANTER.

26. Book That Made Me Cry?

GODDAMMIT, KRISTOFF. YOU GOT ME. *shakes fist at Endsinger, then hugs it and sobs*

27. Hidden Gem of the Year?

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. Maybe this is a really big deal in the graphic novel community, but certainly I’d not heard anything from anyone I know. My expectations were non-existent and then the book was fucking awesome.

28. Book That Crushed My Soul?

Hmmmmm. It’s very hard to crush my soul. That’s probably Endsinger again, but I don’t want Jay to go getting a bigger head than he already has (he’s a literary giant, after all).

Elizabeth May’s The Falconer was also pretty soul-crushy because HOW YOU GONNA CLIFFHANGER ME LIKE THAT, MAY?

29. Most Unique Book Read in 2014?

Hands down that’s Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsay Lane, even though it wasn’t one of my favorite books of the year. It is absolutely nothing like anything else I’ve read. So.

Also Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, which is one of the most ridiculous books ever and not a Christina book at all, except for the weird part where it was.

30. Book That Made Me the Angriest?

In a bad way: Soman Chainani’s A World Without Princes. I really should have seen it coming, but I was so hoping this fairy tale would go in an amazing, feminist, LGBT+ direction. Maybe it still will, which hope will get me reading the next book in spite of myself, but this one for damn sure did not.

In a good way: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley, which I didn’t have any expectations of and which blew me away. It made me angrier than anything in the best way possible.

There’s a lot of survey left, but I am EXHAUSTED, so I think that’s good enough. Thanks for sticking with me through this if you did.

5 responses to “2014 End of Year Book Survey”

  1. Meg says:

    YES THE DREAM THIEVES MAKES YOUR BEST OF. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPYYYYYYYYYYYY (also Lainie and A.C. Gaughen, obvs)(you have excellent taste)(but you know how i am about Maggie)

    AND THEN EVERY BREATH IS ON YOUR BEST SERIES LIST ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME

    Thank you for making me read both the Croak books and Golden Boy. You’re a horrible person and they emotionally wrecked me but as you know I like that.

    ALSO HONORABLE MENTION FOR TELLING ME ABOUT FORTUNE’S PAWN BECAUSE HELLO NEW FAV AUTHOR.

    “the female version of Jayne from Firefly.” *weeps over the perfection*

    YES ISABEL LOVE YOU ISABEL YOU’RE THE BEST.

    PYNCHPYNCHPYNCHPYNCH

    RUSTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

    ENDSINGER HURTS SO DAMN MUCH

    KIARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN

    (i love how this comment has entirely devolved into me shouting nonsense) (no one is surprised)

  2. Svetlana says:

    I think I’ll never be able to write such a huge post, but I love reading them so much and discover new books!
    I’ve read the first two books in the Raven Cycle and Stephanie Perkins‘ books this year too and loved them!
    Thanks so your post I’m going to read Golden Boy about which I never heard before. I’m also excited to continue with The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the Throne of Glass series!
    Svetlana recently posted…“Scarlet” by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  3. 277 books!! I’m SO jealous! I wish I could read that fast… it would make my GIANT TBR pile so much happier. I’m reading The Raven Cycle right now… and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on my list for books I can’t believe I waited till 2015 to read it 🙂
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- 2015 Anticipated DebutsMy Profile

  4. I still can’t believe you read 277 books this year. I wish I could be you. Or at least have your brain so I could focus better. Whenever I see your stats I just think of all the books I am missing out on because I cannot read faster! BLERG. Still though, that is an awesome stat.

    I really, REALLY want to read the Anne Bishop book but I keep forgetting about it. And it keeps getting recommended to me. Fail.

    I fucking love the Cabinet of Curiosities cover to pieces. The detail is just adorable and I love the colors. It’s one of my favorite covers ever.

    Debby also bought me a copy of Poison so now I have to read it too!
    Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted…Book Review: Gone GirlMy Profile

  5. 1. Scarlet/Lady Thief, Days of blood & starlight and The dream thieves, I agree with all these choices.
    2. Ugh, I still can’t get over the fact how disappointing Ruin and Rising was.
    5. Prisoner of night and fog really surprised me. I’m reading A court of thorns and roses now, so good. I will be reading Hollow city soon, so it’s good to see it on your list.
    11. Queen Celaena.
    12. I can’t wait to read Beastkeeper.
    14. I also can’t believe I waited so long with The raven boys. But at the same time, I could read the two sequels without waiting for the publication.
    15. I love Zuzana.
    16. All the love to Heir of fire and it’s perfection 🙂
    21. Poison! Yes. And it’s great she also forced you to read The bone season. While I wasn’t blown away by it, I absolutely fell in love with The mime order.
    22. I would like to have all the guys from ACOTAR too.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…MIM #5. Disney – Pinocchio.My Profile

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