End of the Year Survey: 2017

This End of the Year survey was created by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Number Of Books You Read: 134
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre You Read The Most From: Mystery/Suspense

best-YA-books-20141. Best Book You Read In 2017?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2017 release vs. backlist)

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton, Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, Making Faces by Amy Harmon and Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg. I gave all these books 4.5 stars and I can’t pick between them.

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

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I thought this looked adorable and had so much potential, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype.

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

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Didn’t think it would be my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.

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

I can’t think of a book that I really pushed on people this year. I recommended Sharon Bolton to just about everyone, but I’m not sure if anyone actually read anything of hers because of me. 

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Started: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Sequel: The Secret by Katerina Diamond

Ender: The Song of David by Amy Harmon

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Sharon Bolton, Amy Harmon, and Elizabeth Eulberg

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

I’m going to go with The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue again. I don’t read a lot of Historical Fiction these days or LGBT+ books.

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

I read a lot of thrilling and unputdownable books this year, but I think the most action-packed/fast paced would be Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton bc I just got it for Christmas and am itching to read it again.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. She always has the best covers.

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

David Drucker from What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Nothing really stands out, but probably anything by Amy Harmon.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

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Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. My first book by Eulberg and I discovered a new favorite author.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

From Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren:

I try to ignore the pressure to be coupled up, but it’s everywhere…There’s my own biological clock, quietly yet persistently ticking away…But of course there’s that niggling voice suggesting I not care about any of it, that maybe I should give in and buy the cats instead. The problem is that I don’t like them. I may be a terrible married person someday, but I know for sure I would be an even worse cat lady.

“Evie?”

“Sorry…I was just trying to figure out whether I could still be a crazy cat lady without the actual animals.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: Winging It by Cate Cameron

Longest: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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

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

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

Lark and Tiras from The Bird and the Sword, Evie and Carter from Dating You/Hating You, and Lacey and Josebury from the Lacey Flint series.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

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Declan and Rev from Letters to the Lost

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (AKA Sharon Bolton). It wasn’t really a personal recommendation, but I saw a review on The Misstery. Many books I’ve read and loved this year came from Annie.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

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I loved Matt from Always You by Denise Grover Swank.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

Ragdoll from Daniel Cole

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

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. Did not like the book, but she really knows how to set a scene!

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

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

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The DS Imogen Grey series by Katerina Diamond. More people need to read this!!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Making Faces by Amy Harmon.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

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

The Lying Game

book-blogging1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

I can never answer this question. There’s been so many.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

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There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. Sometimes the worst books make for the most fun reviews.

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

Convince me to buy a Kindle (I think it’s also the only discussion post I wrote)

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

I went to three author events: Linda Castillo, Karin Slaughter, and Lisa Scottoline.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Linda Castillo remembered my name at her book signing from previous book signings. Also, I’m counting this as blogging life, I finally got to meet Brandie from Running on Words and Wine!

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

Going through long periods of time where I had no patience for romance or contemporary novels. Also, personal life issues put reading on hold a lot of the time.

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

Most viewed of the year was the review for Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo that I wrote a couple years ago, but the most viewed from 2017 content was the review for Fallen Heir by Erin Watt.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

All of them 🙂

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

Not really a discovery, but I finally bit the bullet and got a Kindle Paperwhite.

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

I did the Good Reads Challenge and surpassed my goal of 100 books.

looking-ahead-books-20151. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

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Maybe not number 1 priority, but I still need to read Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

There’s not really one on my radar right now.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi – the continuation of the Shatter Me series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Be more consistent on writing reviews for non-ARCs.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

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The Wife Between Us

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Review: Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3) by Denise Grover Swank

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Matt Osborne had always planned to get married and have a family. But at thirty-four, he’s no closer to his goal, so he’s decided to embrace his role as the remaining member of the Bachelor Brotherhood. He’s only loved one woman-his college sweetheart-but she never shared his dream of a family, preferring to focus on her career and maybe get married someday. With neither budged on their decisions, they agreed it was best to part ways. Now nearly twelve years later, Matt is stunned when Anna shows up at his nephew’s soccer practice-with her five-year-old son in tow.

Single mother Anna Field has returned home to care for her widowed and ill father. She never thought she’d run into Matt during the six months she’s there, but now he’s the coach of her son’s soccer team. She’d move Toby to a different team, but his new best friend happens to be Matt’s nephew, Ethan. As Anna and Matt spend more time together, the realize that their attraction-and love-are still there, just waiting for a spark to reignite. And once it’s lit, Matt has no plans to let her go again.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Always You will be available November 28, 2017.

I read the first book in this series, Only You, not too long ago and really enjoyed it. It was my first Denise Grover Swank book and her writing is a mix of romance, humor, and family and I knew I had to read more from her.

Always You follows the last man standing from the Bachelor Brotherhood, an agreement Matt and his two best friends made to give up on relationships after they all had terrible breakups. His two friends have found love and Matt has resigned himself to being single. He’s always wanted a family and is happy to have his 5 year old nephew, Ethan, living with him while his sister attends medical school out of state. He’s coaching Ethan’s soccer team when he finds out Ethan’s new best friend is the son of his old college girlfriend, Anna. The girlfriend who turned down his marriage proposal twelve years ago because she didn’t want to get married or have kids.

As you can imagine, Ethan and Anna reconcile. It took me a little while to get on board with their romance. I love a good Second Chance Romance story, but I felt like things happened just a little too easily. Matt had spent more than a decade being bitter about how Anna left and he completely thaws after just a couple of interactions. Now, I am all for forgiveness. And I can really appreciate that he realizes Anna wasn’t the only one to blame in their breakup, but it didn’t feel realistic for them to just pick up where they left off like they did. That said, I did eventually get on board and I liked them together. I also really liked the new family unit they made up with Ethan and Anna’s son, Toby. They were all so cute together and Matt was so, so sweet with the boys. I wasn’t sure about having Ethan and Toby be such a big part of the story at the beginning (I’m not a kid person, sorry), but they eventually won me over, as well.

One thing that really bugged me, though, was Anna’s issues with her ex-husband, Phillip. There were a lot of legal issues that needed to be worked out and for most of the book she was just resigned to not doing anything about it. She was a pretty strong, smart, and independent character in so many aspects, but she was such a doormat when it came to Phillip and I just didn’t understand it. She does eventually seek some help (with a fun cameo from one of the author’s previous series), though.

Overall, I enjoyed Always You. Matt is definitely one of the sweetest male leads I have read and I wish he was real. While it did take me a little bit to get into the romance and to like the kids, I did eventually get on board with all of it. There were several humorous parts, including a scene in Chuck E. Cheese that made me laugh out loud. I definitely plan on reading more books from Denise Grover Swank.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2017

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff. Read September 5-7. 3 Stars. 

This book was light and cute and I enjoyed it. It will definitely get you into the holiday mood. Full review to come closer to release date.

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With a Twist (Bad Habits #1) by Staci Hart. Read September 7-9. 2 Stars. 

I’m kind of surprised that I decided to finish this one, to be honest. The characters were ok and I did want to see West and Lily get together, but most of it was pretty boring. It wasn’t that graphic compared to most books in this genre, but the characters were just constantly talking about sex and anatomy and it was sometimes kind of crude. There were a couple of nice moments between West and Lily and it was kind of interesting that Lily was a ballerina, but those are the only good things I can really say about it. I’m sure that people who are big fans of New Adult romance would enjoy this a lot more than I did.

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A Family for Christmas (Willow Park #3) by Noelle Adams. Read September 9-10. 3 Stars. 

A cute, quick read featuring a marriage of convenience. I read the first book in this series a while ago and liked it and have had this one on my e-reader for awhile and decided to give it a try. I didn’t like it quite as much as I did the first one, but it was cute and I liked the relationship between Lydia and Gabe. What I really like about this series is that the characters are Christians, but it’s not Christian Fiction. It has all the elements (including the love scenes) you would get in regular mainstream Romance, but the characters stand apart a bit from the norm. I like this bit of diversity that you don’t often see in mainstream fiction.

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13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough. Read September 9-11. 3.5 Stars.

I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for this. Look for my review on October 2nd. 

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Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3) by Denise Grover Swank. Read September 12-16. 3.5 Stars.

I enjoyed this. Matt is definitely one of the sweetest male leads I have read and I wish he was real. While it did take me a little bit to get into the romance and to like the kids, I did eventually get on board with all of it. There were several humorous parts, including a scene in Chuck E. Cheese that made me laugh out loud. Full review to come closer to release date.

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Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio #1) by Lisa Scottoline. Read September 16-18. 3.5 Stars. 

I really needed a good mystery and Accused delivered for me. I thought it was just a tiny bit drawn out, though, and did not find the conclusion surprising. I was really frustrated with a lot of Mary’s behavior for most of the book, but she was much better by the end. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.

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Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz. Read September 23-25. 3 Stars.

I love a good holiday romance and I love Pride and Prejudice re-tellings, so Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe looked like it would be perfect for me. While it was a fun read, it ended up falling short of my (pretty high) expectations. Full review to come.

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Killing Kate by Alex Lake. Read September 25-27. 3.5 Stars

Short chapters just make books so much more readable and I must say that they served this book really well. Even though the pace was actually pretty slow, the short chapters kept the suspense up and made it so much easier to say “just one more chapter” long after I should’ve stopped reading. As for the story itself…it was ok. It was kind of a different angle of a serial killer book and I liked that. Kate was not a very likable character. I preferred the chapters from her ex-boyfriend’s POV, Phil. A little over half way through I guessed who the serial killer was and what the slight “twist” with it was. It wasn’t too long after that that everything was revealed, but then it just drug on and on and on. I was not at all satisfied with the ending. However, the fact that I found it addicting for a while is bumping my rating up the extra half star.