This is by far the most fun I’ve ever had writing a blog post! Big thanks to Jamie, a book blogger over at Perpetual Page Turner, for hosting this end of year book survey. All the pretty graphics are hers; you should really check out Jamie’s site and subscribe!
Number Of Books You Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
Two–See You Later by Christopher Pike and It by Stephen King.
Genre You Read The Most From:
Fantasy and science fiction.
1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
Adult: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This book is sheer perfection. I went in thinking it was basically a love story. I had no idea how dark it was. This isn’t a story about love, it’s a story about obsession and revenge, and it is stunningly cruel. It’s also so beautifully written I didn’t want it to end. Not only the best book I read in 2015, but one of my top five favorites of all time.
MG: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. After falling in love with this writer’s poetry in last year’s Brown Girl Dreaming, I resolved to read more from her this year. That included three middle grade novels, and it wasn’t easy choosing just one for this category. All of the main characters in those novels touched my heart, but Lonnie Collins Motion stole it.
YA: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. I’d heard so many great things about this book; as soon as my classes wrapped up for the semester, I downloaded a copy and settled in for a day of reading. Which turned into an evening, which turned into night. It’s that good.
I love dark and gritty YA, but it’s important to acknowledge that there are plenty of teens out there who don’t drink, do drugs, party, rebel against their parents, fuel toxic relationships, or have sex. And those teens have worthwhile stories too.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This 2014 debut won multiple awards and seemed to be on everyone’s best books of the year list; I was really excited to read it. But there was too much about it that was unrealistic, and it seemed like everyone was selfish, unkind, and over-the-top awful.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. The ending was surprising but not in a good way.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I didn’t, but next year I’ll be better about talking up my favorites (hopefully through more reviews!).
5. Best series you started in 2015?
I didn’t start any new series in 2015.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
In addition to the books I read this year, I was assigned over 90 short stories to read for my science fiction and horror genre classes. By far, my favorite new authors I discovered in 2015 were from those classes, and I have their full-length novels on my list for 2016.
One is Theodore Sturgeon, whose short story “The Man Who Lost the Sea” was one of only a handful of science fiction stories I didn’t struggle with in some way; it’s just mesmerizing. The other is Conrad Aiken, whose story of a child beginning to suffer from mental illness, called “Silent Snow, Secret Snow,” deeply affected me.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Alpha by Jacinda Wilder. The first erotica novel I’ve read, and honestly probably the last, but it wasn’t terrible.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. The first Gothic novel–written in 1764–is full of hilariously stereotypical characters and is shamelessly over the top, but it’s pure action and totally unputdownable.
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Wuthering Heights. And the year after that.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. The book is gorgeous too.
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck kept a daily journal while writing his great American novel, and it’s a fascinating read. He suffered badly from imposter syndrome, wracked with self-doubt and even, at times, self-loathing. Yet he kept writing, every day, and his discipline and tenacity are incredibly inspiring. I learned about the journal from this Brain Pickings’ article, and clicking on that article honestly changed my life.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Seriously! And I hadn’t seen the movies either, because I wanted to read the book first. Shameful, I know, but I’m all caught up now.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
For this question, I randomly picked a book and went from there. Here’s my favorite passage from Jacqueline Woodson’s Hush:
If the soul is memory, mine has left me. There’s tomorrow and the day after, and when I get there, there isn’t a yesterday anymore.
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Shortest: On the Whole: a story of mothering and disability by Ona Gritz. Longest: It by Stephen King.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most:
Pamela by Samuel Richardson. Because oh my goodness, can you say Stockholm syndrome?
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar):
Paige and Max in The Start of Me and You. Their relationship basically begins with an argument over the merits of various Jane Austen characters, I mean come on. They’re perfect for each other.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
Ms. Marcus and Lonnie Collins Motion, in Locomotion. Lonnie is an eleven-year-old foster child who lost his parents in a house fire and is tragically separated from his little sister Lily. Ms. Marcus, his school teacher, inspires Lonnie to express his feelings through poetry.
However, I also adored the bond between Evelina and her guardian, the Reverend Arthur Villars, in Frances Burney’s Evelina. Do I get a runner-up?
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’d previously read two of Gaiman’s books, sure I would love them, but both left me cold. Still, I just knew there was a Neil Gaiman book for me, and I happily found it in Stardust.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
The Start of Me and You. (Peer pressure!)
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Detective Guillermo Villanueva, from Carrie Ann Lahain’s Death Times Three.
23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Scar of the Downers by Scott Keen.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Lord of the Rings, of course!
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. I read this one to my 8-year-old, and it was absolutely delightful.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Death Times Three by Carrie Ann Lahain. Carrie’s a friend of mine, and I’m so proud to know her. Everything she writes is fantastic.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
You already know the answer.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Locomotion, based on the fact that it’s written in verse.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, because of the monster that is Victor Frankenstein.
*I left a lot of these questions blank because I realize they’re meant for book blogs and not author blogs. 🙂
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
My review of Scott Keen’s Scar of the Downers (posted above).
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding time. Always.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Nope. My Goodreads Challenge was set at 52 books–one per week, and there’s just no way I’m making that goal. But it’s fine, because when I set the number I didn’t know I’d be in school full time. I’m happy with the
45 51 books I read. (Updated on January 1, 2016.)
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry.
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
Read MORE. Especially more YA and more nonfiction.