2015 End of Year Book Survey

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This survey is created by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

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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

 

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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?  

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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)?

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Vendetta by Catherine Doyle because it was RIDICULOUS!

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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?

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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.)?

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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.

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

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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)?

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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.

 

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Most Disappointing Books of 2015 So Far

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Since tomorrow’s Top Ten Tuesday is going to be focused on the top ten books I’ve read in 2015 so far, I thought today I’d focus on the most disappointing books. These aren’t going to necessarily be the lowest rated books (though most of them are), but also ones that I was looking forward to and felt let down by.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. The cover is so intriguing. The reviews were glowing. This was probably my most anticipated read of the year and it was…blah. The pacing was slow, the characters were not well-developed, and I was just bored. The link leads to my spoiler filled review if you want more specifics, but this book was a big disappointment for me. The saving grace was the final action sequence and the ending was interesting enough that I MIGHT read the next book.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. Another pretty cover that got my hopes up. I honestly can’t remember much about this book other than I was really looking forward to it and found it pretty boring. And forgettable, apparently.

Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle. I’ve seen almost nothing but 4 or 5 star reviews on Vendetta and I just can’t understand it. This book was just absurd. It was unbelievable and over the top and the writing was kind of immature.

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. I really enjoyed the first book in this duology, but I found this one really underwhelming. I felt it tried to be too many things and because of that lacked focus. The pacing was choppy and the writing was uneven. I thought the whole thing felt like little kids trying to be grown-ups and it made a lot of the dialogue cringe-worthy to me.

Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. While the book got better as it went along, it was nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be. The main character was very unlikable and not in a fun “I love to hate her” kind of way. I’ve heard this referred to as “this year’s Gone Girl” and that is exactly why I hate book comparisons.

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The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister. Everything about this sounded like it would be the kind of book that’s perfect for me. But it wasn’t. I felt like I was supposed to be tricked along the way and shocked at the ending. However, I guessed the ending long before it was revealed and found much of the story leading up to it to be slow and drawn out. This was not the mind-bending surprise I was hoping for.

The Wrong Side of Right

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. Probably my most anticipated book after Red Queen and it ended up being just ok for me. I’ve seen pretty much nothing but perfect reviews on it, but a good deal of it really annoyed me. I pretty much hated the first quarter or so of it and then it slowly got better. The main character drove me nuts for much of the story, as well.

What about you? What books have you found most disappointing this year? Do you agree with any of my choices? Or did you love any of the ones that disappointed me?

Review: Vendetta (Blood for Blood #1) by Catherine Doyle

Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)

 

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

For Sophie, it feels like another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill, waitressing at her family’s diner and hanging out with her best friend Millie. But then someone moves into the long-abandoned mansion up the block–a family of five Italian brothers, each one hotter than the last. Unable to resist caramel-eyed Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him — and willfully ignoring the warning signs. Why are Nic’s knuckles cut and bruised? Why does he carry an engraved switchblade? And why does his arrogant and infuriating older brother, Luca, refuse to let her see him? As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. Suddenly, she’s torn between two warring dynasties: the one she’s related to and the one she’s now in love with. She’ll have to choose between loyalty and passione. When she does, blood will spill, hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, dishonor can be the difference between life and death.

I wasn’t going to review this book because I had few positive reactions about it, but after a couple of days I’m still annoyed by it, so I thought I’d just rant it out. My original “review” posted on Good Reads was just this, “2 Generous Stars. This book was ridiculous.

I’m just going to go the list route here.

-In the beginning of the book the writing seemed on the younger side of  the YA spectrum. I don’t really have a problem with that, but as the book went on the content became much older YA and the writing didn’t really change.

-Sophie’s best friend, Millie, had potential to be a funny, entertaining side character with her over-the-top theatrics, but she just came off spoiled and annoying. And I didn’t get the point of her being British. She didn’t really use any British specific phrases and I don’t think it was ever mentioned why her family moved to this little, boring town.

***EVERYTHING FROM HERE ON OUT CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Ok, a little more plot explanation. Sophie’s dad is in prison for  murder. He thought he was going to be attacked and ended up shooting an unarmed man. We will later find out that this unarmed man was a well-known mob boss. Sophie’s dad still goes to jail for awhile, though. Her uncle is acting all sketchy and leaves town to do “business” that Sophie isn’t real clear on.

When an Italian family with 5 sons move into a local gothic mansion, Sophie immediately falls for Nic. This is a good example on why “insta-love” doesn’t work. The boy who was so nice and courteous and gorgeous is a PSYCHOPATH. Seriously. And obviously Sophie will wind up with his older brother, Luca, who isn’t a great guy either, but he’s obviously not as crazy. I’m not sure I can stomach another installment of these characters to find out for sure, though.

So anyways, everyone tells Sophie to stay away from the boys, but they won’t tell her why so she doesn’t listen. She goes all puppy-love on Nic and things are good until he finds out who her father is. She thinks he’s just upset because her father killed a man by accident, but what she later finds out is that the man he killed is Nic’s father. Neither one of them particularly cares about that, though. Sophie becomes slightly concerned when Nic tells her his family are mob assassins and at 17 he’s already a “career assassin”, but they’re noble and only take out people who deserve it, so no big deal, right?

Sophie was not a well-developed character. She was whiney and naïve for most of the book, then she was knocking a mob enforcer unconscious and cursing at adolescent psychopaths. She was morally disgusted at the right times, but then all of a sudden she didn’t care because Nic’s eyes were so dreamy. She was hard to like.

So it turns out that there was a good reason everyone told Sophie to stay away from the brothers because they are out to kill her uncle who is a drug dealer and they are owed a “blood debt” because of their father being killed – and that’s where Sophie comes in! She’s kidnapped to lure in her uncle and we find out the new mob boss isn’t the boys’ uncle like we are led to believe, but the oldest son, who is Luca’s twin. Luca ends up letting Sophie go because he’s not really the douche Sophie thought he was, but instead of running to safety, she goes to the warehouse where they were going to take her anyways. A couple people are killed and her uncle shoots Luca and Nic shoots her uncle. They all live, though, to see another ill-advised sequel.

Overall, Vendetta had potential, but the uneven writing and characters and over the top plot made it sound more ridiculous than anything else.