2015 End of Year Book Survey

2015-end-of-year-book-survey-1024x984

This survey is created by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

reading-stats-2015-1024x278

Number Of Books You Read: 123 (as of 12/27/15 – this will probably go up a book or two by year end)
Number of Re-Reads: 24 (not counted in the above answer)
Genre You Read The Most From: YA

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

I don’t think I can pick one book, but I have narrowed it down to my three favorite (which were also the ones I got for Christmas):

  1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  2. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (This book will be referenced a lot from here on out, BTW)

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

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway, Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud, and The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

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

18798983

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – in a Good way!

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

The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West. I’ve had a few different people tell me they read it because I kept talking about it.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started – Six of Crows (Six of Crows) by Leigh Bardugo

Sequel – First Frost (Waverly Family) by Sarah Addison Allen

Ender – Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Allison Leotta – The Anna Curtis series

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

23734628

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – I don’t read a lot of books that have LGBT romance.

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

Six of Crows!

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

Big Little Lies

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

17234658

The book only got 2 stars from me, but I adore the cover of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows. He’s everything.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

21853633

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

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

This year I read for pure enjoyment purposes. I can’t say I read anything that was life-changing.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Missing You by Harlan Coben. Not necessarily that book, but the author. I have never read him before and I know I’ll definitely be reading more of him.

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

I don’t keep track of quotes. It’s not my thing.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest – Ten Rules for a Call Girl by Allison Leotta

Longest – Winter by Marissa Meyer

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

You know, there were several books that had some small twists or surprises, but there is not anything that stands out to me as being really shocking.

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

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

Cinder & Kai from Winter

Kaz & Inej from Six of Crows

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

The Six of Crows gang as a whole, Cinder & Thorne

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

Six of Crows – previously read The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

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

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – because ALL THE HYPE

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

Kaz Brekker. Obviously.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

22571781

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

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

The Wrath and the Dawn

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

22429350

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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

While it definitely wasn’t the sob fest that was Me Before You, After You by Jojo Moyes had me a little teary at the beginning.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

25206843

Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London was pretty cute.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I didn’t read a lot of heavy hitting reads this year. I’m not actually upset by this.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

You by Caroline Kepnes. This book was just Messed Up.

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

24638201

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle because it was RIDICULOUS!

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I’m not entirely sure if it was this year or last year, but I’m pretty sure it was this year that I discovered Brandie is a Book Junkie. We don’t share the same tastes in everything, but we both love Suspense novels and if she gives a Suspense a favorable rating, it’s automatically going on my TBR. She is also the reason I read my first Harlan Coben book this year. And we also figured out that we live in the same county, which is pretty cool!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

19486412

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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

If My Life were Like Chick Lit…The Wedding Date and All the Ways in which I am not a Proper Book Nerd/Blogger.

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

IMG_1297

I went to a book signing/talk by Linda Castillo (of the Kate Burkholder series).

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

I had my first publisher provided giveaway – for a copy of Black-Eyed Susans.

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

I’ve had several book slumps throughout the year and that bled over into not having anything to post on the blog. I’ve also had lots of Low-Blog-Self-Esteem moments where I kind of hate everything about my blog/blogging.

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

My review of The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne has the most views of the year. I don’t have any idea how to search by comments or likes.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I don’t really know. I wish every post got more likes/comments/views. But what can you do?

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

Many new blogs

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

For the Good Reads Reading Challenge I wanted to read 115 books and I surpassed it.

looking-ahead-books-2015

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

23341894

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. I bought it when it was on sale, but haven’t read it yet. It’s first up after I get some library books and ARCs out of the way.

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

17378527

The Raven King!!!! How many times has this been pushed back?!?

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I can’t think of anything at the moment. I’m not super attuned to those yet, I guess.

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

The Raven King, obviously, and Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

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

Request less ARCs unless it’s a book that I know I REALLY want to read. I hate DNF-ing ARCs, but I also hate forcing myself to finish books I don’t like and then try to write coherent reviews about them.

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

So far I’ve only read one and a half 2016 books and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them to everyone.

 

Advertisements

Review: The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins

Synopsis from Good Reads:

One of Sarah’s daughters died. But can she be sure which one?

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity–that she, in fact, is Lydia–their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, they are forced to confront what really happened on that fateful day.

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

I read lots of reviews that talked about how this book is supposed to be super creepy and I was looking forward to it, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype of it for me. There were a couple of chapters towards the end that were suitably creepy and I just wish more of the book would have been more like that.

Sarah and Angus are the bereaved parents of twins, one of which died about a year before in an accident. To try and get away from their money woes and their London home with too many memories, they decide to move to a Scottish island which Angus has recently inherited. Before they move, however, Sarah begins to have doubts about which twin is still alive when Kirstie starts insisting that she’s really Lydia.

After moving to the island Kirstie continues to insist she’s Lydia and after conducting her own investigation and tests, Sarah believes that her surviving child is in fact Lydia. This discovery doesn’t help the family tension, though, as Lydia repeatedly claims that Kirstie is still there and she often tries to communicate with Lydia. Sarah begins to wonder, yet again, if they have mixed up the twins.

One thing that I thought of right away when Sarah was trying to figure out the identity of her surviving daughter was the episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse mixes up his twins and they figure out which one is which by their footprints. Easy, right? The idea of finger prints is later brought up in the novel, but it’s ruled out because the girls were never finger printed. Does London not fingerprint/footprint babies when they’re born? I thought that happened to all babies? Is it just an American thing?

The story is told mainly through Sarah’s 1st person POV, with several chapters coming from Angus’ 3rd person POV. Where I don’t usually like the switch from 1st person to 3rd person, it fits well with the narrative style here. It also helped move the story along by getting Angus’ POV as we get more clues to the truth from him than we do from Sarah.

Both Sarah and Angus were pretty unlikable. They are both halfway committed to make their failing marriage work, but there is really no love between them anymore. While they still care for each other, they definitely don’t love each other and their apathy towards each other was disheartening to read. There are lies and secrets between them and it’s not until the final chapters that we can really understand the extent of Angus’ anger.

While they are staying together for Kirstie/Lydia, they are really not very good parents. They both add to the deterioration of her mental state/self identity and Sarah largely ignores much of what her daughter says instead of trying to deal with any of it head on. Kirstie/Lydia does really get crazier and creepier as the story goes on and I wish there was more time spent interacting with her.

Overall, I enjoyed The Ice Twins. It wasn’t as creepy as I was hoping for, but it was a good character-driven novel, which I like. While the desolate island helped set the tone for the story, the descriptions often got a little too cumbersome for me and I found myself skimming. I would recommend this book to fans of character-driven and psychological suspense novels.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

3 stars

SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS

There are a couple things that I want to mention, but they are spoilers and if you haven’t read the book DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!

While a lot of this book was pretty unique, Angus was sometimes a clichéd character. I guessed in the very first chapter that he was having/have had an affair with Imogen, Sarah’s best friend. Also, as I mentioned above, the use of Sarah’s 1st person POV and Angus’ 3rd person POV is important. The final chapter is told in 1st person POV and it isn’t until halfway through that it’s revealed to be Angus and not Sarah. While I thought this was a fun twist of narrative style, I suspected the shift right away.