2015 End of Year Book Survey

 

 

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Number Of Books You Read: 103
Number of Audiobooks: 12
Number of Re-Reads: 4

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
Pieces of WhyPieces of Why by K.L. Going
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a beautiful and honest book. I picked this up on a whim at the library, and I’m so glad I did.

View all my reviews

 

 

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

The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a hard read, mostly because Rosie was completely terrible in the book, and I was so frustrated with her and her characterization. Everything is explained via psychology, but I still spent most of the book angry with her. For starters, the whole premise of the book is that Rosie is pregnant and shuts Don out because she doesn’t think he’ll make a good father because he acts the way he always does. HOWEVER, (view spoiler). Are you kidding me?

Two stars because I liked the friendship stuff with the guys and seeing some of the situations Don gets himself into. Also, the book was pretty easy to read (except when I was blinded by fury, obviously). I also liked the ending, which I thought was going to go one way but then went the other (though it worked out predictably enough).

Disappointing overall, but not terrible enough to warrant one star.

View all my reviews

 

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

Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars, rounding down

Really quick read with engaging characters, but, MAN, was that ending a cop out and also there are so many plot holes–oh, look, a truck just drove right through one.

View all my reviews

 

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
The Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that was intense in the feelings department. What a sad and lovely book. It reminded me a lot of The Untelling.

View all my reviews

 

 

5a. Best series you started in 2015?
Princeless Book 1: Save Yourself (Princeless, Vol. 1)Princeless Book 1: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yessssssssssss. This book is great. It reminds me a lot of Rapunzel’s Revenge except with a brown girl which kicks it up, like, 1000 notches. A+++. Fine holiday fun.

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5b. Best Sequel of 2015?

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right book at the right time. I enjoyed reading this so much. I would read another book about these characters, especially Kitty. LOVE KITTY.

THAT ENDING. I was planning to give this four stars and then that happened. So.

View all my reviews

 

5c. Best Series Ender of 2015?

Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters, #3)Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series.

It’s age-appropriate and matter of fact but also wise beyond its years–just like good children’s literature should be.

View all my reviews
 

6. Favorite new author audiobook narrator you discovered in 2015?

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes, #1)The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up because of Bronson Pinchot. Seriously.

The audio of this is A++++. Bronson Pinchot is everything. I give it a 5.

The story itself is a 2.5, so you know, rounding up.

I tried this in print and couldn’t get into it. Pinchot sold me on the audio right away. Even still, I found that the middle of this book dragged a bit, and I wanted the story to hurry up and be over already. It also suffers from being a little too clever for its own good, which is a shame.

That said, I would highly recommend Pinchot as a narrator for everything, ever.

View all my reviews

 

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

Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the BardShakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book would have to be the worst book ever written for me not to like it. It’s about the power of literature and teacher(s)/teaching to change lives, which is MY LIFE, so.

I really like that Bates (for the most part) privileges Newton’s voice over her own. It reminded me of The Freedom Writers (movie, not book since I haven’t read the book) that way.

I read this as part of the big library read, which I didn’t even know was a thing until I went to Overdrive to pick a book. More info here: http://biglibraryread.com/

View all my reviews

 

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

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)Winter by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The best part of this series is that everyone is so competent. Even Winter. They’re also constantly in danger, which is good since the stakes are so high. NO ONE IS SAFE. (That is not a spoiler.)

So, yeah, I dug it.

View all my reviews

 

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher CreativityThe Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life-changer. Will review on the blog.

View all my reviews

 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)Fairest by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Levana is nucking futs. Like, homegirl is a true psychopath.

Will review on the blog.

View all my reviews

 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Sonny's BluesSonny’s Blues by James Baldwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this story because Walter Dean Myers said it gave him permission to write stories about his own life and the people in his neighborhood.

All I can say about it is WOW. Just…wow. Baldwin is amazing and that ending. Oh man.

So yeah, I get why it was transformative for Myers and also I need to reread it and savor it. Amazing.

View all my reviews

 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher CreativityThe Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life-changer. Will review on the blog.

View all my reviews

 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2015 to FINALLY read? 

The Worst Witch (The Worst Witch, #1)The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute, cute, cute, cute, cute. Neville Longbottom is totally the Mildred of Harry Potter, so I’m pretty sure this is where Rowling got the idea. PRETTY SURE.

I read this because of the movie. So I feel I should point out that the movie is actually darker.

View all my reviews

 

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

From As If!: The Oral History of Clueless… by Jen Chaney

Donald Faison: That was my go-to when I wanted to be with a girl. I’d say, “Come over and let’s watch Clueless.” Absolutely. Clueless was the ultimate wingman. They love the movie. They didn’t give a shit about me being in the movie, they just loved the movie, period. I didn’t start getting girlfriends until Clueless came out. It worked well for me. It’s true. It’s because I kept it real. That’s exactly right. Because I was keepin’ it real.

 

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

 

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Saga, Volume 1Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars, rounding up

The artwork is gorgeous, and the characters and storyline are interesting. I just have to admit that this is not to my taste. Mostly because The Stalk CREEPED ME OUT, and I know there will be more of that type, and I just can’t get with it.

Definitely great for people who are into sci-fi/fantasy and weird creature things. Also, good storytelling, etc.

View all my reviews

 

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

Michael & Mia from Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries #11), obvs.

 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Big Ma & Miss Trotter from Gone Crazy in Alabama

 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal (Junie B. Jones, #10)Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal by Barbara Park
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Junie B. Jones is the GOAT, and I will not hear otherwise. My daughter (who is 16) and I laughed SO HARD at Junie B. and Grace creeping on Lucille’s nanna’s Cadillac and the girls’ behavior at the sleepover.

Oh, Barbara Park. You are sorely missed.

View all my reviews

 

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The best thing this novel has going for it is its voice, for real. I read this after I saw the movie, and I have Thoughts.

Will review on the blog.

View all my reviews

 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

N/A

 

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own PersonYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was awesome and funny!

I related to every single experience Shonda had (except running an empire and being proposed to).

View all my reviews

 

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

Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful story about a girl on a quest with a dragon. This book is a love letter to stories and gratitude, and I dug it.

See full-length review at The Englishist.

View all my reviews

 

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

AwkwardAwkward by Svetlana Chmakova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adorable! A really fast read and super cute and fun. Also? The reporter on the newspaper’s name is Akilah, so clearly she’s the best character in the book.

View all my reviews

 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Written in the StarsWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a really fast read — I read it in about two sittings.

My heart broke for Naila about a million times during this book. Man.

While that is true, I wanted a lot more character and relationship development out of this book.

View all my reviews

 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Diary of a Girl Next Door: BettyDiary of a Girl Next Door: Betty by Tania del Rio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was super cute and fun.

The only thing I had an issue with is that Betty somehow didn’t know Jughead (her next door neighbor and friend since at least elementary school) had a dog until she wanted to start a pet business. Yeah, that made no sense.

OTHER THAN THAT, everything was gravy. A bunch of cute little vignettes that all somehow connect to Betty trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. Love.

View all my reviews

 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The UntellingThe Untelling by Tayari Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read about a person who doesn’t think she deserves to be happy.

View all my reviews

 

 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Attolia is a badass. I love her.

I don’t know why this story is so engaging, but it is even though it contains some of my writing pet peeves. Great characters, some unexpected twists. A lot of heart, definitely.

View all my reviews

 

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

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked the science of this, but I didn’t buy the love story or particularly care about the characters.

Also, (view spoiler) infuriated me.

View all my reviews

 

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I discovered three new blogs, all delightful in their way: The Dirigible Plum | Brown Books & Green TeaPaper Fury

 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

Subtle Lessons in Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed

 

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

Alcoholism in YA Lit

 

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

Day-in-the-Life-Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

The best bloggish thing I did this year was quitting my blog because it made me de-stress about it and figure out how I want to use it going forward. Yes, I only quit for a couple of week, but still. In my mind and heart I was done for good. So. That was very good for me.

 

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

I over-complicate everything. It’s my way.

 

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

I switched hosts midway through, so based on current stats: Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder

 

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

It’s time for Battle of the Books! — mostly because my library is AWESOME.

 

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

Adding bookmarks on Overdrive. Seriously. It changed my whole using my phone for audiobooks life.

 

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

Yes! I successfully completed Diversity on the Shelf (47 books), and I read at least 15 adult novels. We don’t mention the ones that weren’t completed.

 

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

I don’t really pay attention to this.

 

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Or this.

 

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

A Tangle of Gold, Book 3 in The Colors of Madeleine. I’m so excited I don’t even care that the third cover doesn’t match the first two.

 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Actually have fun blogging. It can happen. Also, I think my layout is beautiful but I am not satisfied with it. So I hope to simplify it a little bit.

 

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone

I do not read ARCs.

 

 

Tell me about your bookish year or link to your survey answers in the comments. Bookish fun for everyone!

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4 comments

  1. Elisabeth

    I think it can be very healthy to take the occasional blogging break. Blogging really is something I have fun doing–mostly, I think, because of the community I’ve connected to online. Really loved reading your comments about the books you read this year. I reread Megan Whalen Turner’s series every 2-3 years, well, re-listen on audio. They’re tremendous on audio! 3rd book is by far my favorite, and yeah, Irene is awesome. I haven’t read Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake or Brief Wondrous Life. I’m saving both. Bender and Diaz are two of my favorite writers, and it makes me nervous to complete the entire works by my favorite authors and have nothing left to look forward to. So I hold out. That quote from Donald Faison had me laughing out loud–and definitely wanting to read that book. Thanks!!

    Like

  2. Pingback: 2015 End of Year Book Survey | the dirigible plum
  3. Pingback: Links I Loved Last Week: A Round-Up of Online Reading 1/3/16 | the dirigible plum
  4. Bina @ If you can read this

    Great reading year, congrats! 🙂 I adore the Princeless comics, too! And I recently read the first Gaither Sisters books, can’t wait to see what they get up to next. I really enjoyed the story of Saga #1, but the Stalk really was creepy and the breasts everywhere thing kinda bothered me. Like sure make her such a weird monstress character but the boobs gotta stay nice looking.

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