Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner posted her fourth annual book survey, and I love a good survey! Although I haven’t posted about books as much as I’d hoped in the last year–like, at all–I did read a lot. And, my reading becomes kind of my essential reading (meaning, books I believe I’ll *really* like) because I have no time. So, here goes for 2013!
I am reading fervently so I can squeeze in some books before I blog for the YA Superlatives Blogfest (wish me luck!):
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Best in Books 2013
1. The best book I read in 2013 – My ultimate fave? The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Winger by Andrew Smith
2. Book I was excited about but didn’t love - The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen or Just One Day by Gayle Forman
**HUGE disclaimer–I liked the books, just didn’t love them. I think there’s a lot of hype that deservedly surrounds these authors and with JOD in particular I think I was just not in the right mindset. I don’t know…sorry!
3. Most surprising in 2013 – Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
I was pretty lukewarm about the first book but LOVED this second in the series!
Can I add that I’m surprised that last year all I did was rave about The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves is nowhere on this End of Year Book Survey. I don’t know what that means because I did love it.
4. Book I’ve recommended the most in 2013 - The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
5. Best series I discovered in 2013 – I am hardcore trying to avoid series if I can help it. My *new* discovery is probably the All Our Yesterdays duology by Cristin Terrill. I thought I was burnt out on dystopian, but I would say that this is sci-fi dystopian and the time travel element is what’s making it fresh for me!
6. Favorite new authors I discovered in 2013 – Rainbow Rowell. I still need to read Attachments, which is poised on a bookshelf ready when I’m ready, but she’s definitely an auto-buy author for me!
7. Best book out of my comfort zone or was a new genre for me – Oh man, I totally stuck to my comfort zones this year (see #21). I feel like I *should* branch out more but I don’t have time for it—sometimes I just need the comfort of something I know I’ll enjoy. (Enter: recommendations from Katy, Rachel, Jessica and Dahlia.)
I was uncomfortable with the topics in Unteachable by Leah Raeder and although I believe it’s classified as YA it most definitely isn’t something I could recommend to a student or put in my classroom. (It’s insanely upper-YA but more realistically NA contemporary erotic romance? There is a mature content disclaimer on Goodreads and I see it is on NA shelves more than YA shelves.) So, that was outside my comfort zone not only because of the romantic situations, but also the teacher-student relationship angle. Really amazing writing, though!
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book - Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Not totally because of the writing or plot, but just because I read it super quickly and had to know the resolution for these characters that I’ve grown to love!
9. Book I’m most likely to re-read – I’ve already reread a couple of times: The Sea of Tranquility
10. Favorite cover – Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, Winger by Andrew Smith
11. Most memorable character(s) – Nastya & Josh in The Sea of Tranquility, Will from Nobody But Us, Callie from Where the Stars Still Shine
12. Most beautifully written – I have read AMAZING books this year. The most powerful voice for me has been in…
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Winger by Andrew Smith
13. Book that had the greatest impact on me – I think Winger by Andrew Smith. The voice of this male 14-year-old is just wonderful and I think (although I was not a 14-year-old prodigy) his struggle to make true friends, his self-deprecating ways, etc. resonated with me. Plus, Joey.
14. Book(s) I can’t believe I waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read - The Great Gatsby! I need to read more classics.
15. Favorite Passage – I can’t even pretend to have a favorite line. I’ll find one and add it later. I highlight EVERYTHING–particularly in those books mentioned in #12 above. I’m going to have to start to blog my quotables. I highlight so many great things, and then don’t do anything with them!
16. Shortest & Longest book I read -
Allegiant by Veronica Roth - 526 pages
One Week Girlfriend (Drew + Fable #1) by Monica Murphy – 155 pages
17. Scene that had me reeling (WTF Moment, Epic Revelation, Steamy Kiss, etc.) -
Allegiant and Winger. Those two, in addition to How to Love and Unteachable had me shooting off emails to my bookish friends with what did you think?, WTF, and/or “help me understand!”-like comments.
18. Favorite Relationship – The triad in The Sea of Tranquility. I love to read about strong friendships, particularly between guys and girls with guys, and this trio was fun and intriguing and I wanted to be friends with these beautifully flawed people.
19. Favorite book from an author I read previously – Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone or Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. Both sophomore books from each author and both missed the sophomore slump by a long shot! Oh, Dare You To by Katie McGarry would fit here, as well.
20. Best book read based on a recommendation from someone else - How to Love by Katie Cotugno. I don’t care for stories that include a teen pregnancy and Rachel and Katy were all over telling me to read it and I’m so glad!
21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013? YA Contemporary Romance. Like, a lot.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? Josh in The Sea of Tranquility, Ryan in Dare You To. (But really, there’s only room in my heart for Four from the Divergent series.) <3
23. Best 2013 debut you read? Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook. So, so good!
24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013? Relic by Renee Collins. Magical relics in the wild West? YES. I wanted to go to there!
25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013? Winger by Andrew Smith is highly entertaining. Laugh out loud funny (or in my case, try to stifle laughter because you’re reading in bed while your spouse is trying to sleep, but failing miserably kind of funny).
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013? Allegiant** by Veronica Roth, Winger** by Andrew Smith, The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler, Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
**True crying occurred.
27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out? Golden by Jessi Kirby, Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook – even I probably don’t give them enough love, including on this survey!
Book Blogging/Reading Life
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
The YA Superlatives in December is a favorite blogfest for a year-in-review. Click here for info (and participate in a week!) and check out my favorite day from last year here.
My favorite author signings/book events this year included the YA Highway event, and then of course Wordstock in Portland. I met so many great authors between those two events (including Veronica Roth, Stephanie Perkins, and Maggie Stiefvater)–I can’t get over how much I enjoy meeting or listening to authors and hearing them talk about their writing and books!
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I’ve made a more concerted effort to buy from indie book sellers if I’m not buying for my Kindle. I buy from Powells or Third Place Books as often as possible. But, I know I could do better. I need to get IN the stores around Tacoma/Puyallup.
I’ve made my internship and love of books more known to my students. I know that’s weird to say as an English teacher (that I share my love of books more now than ever with my students) but it would take too long to explain here. This bulletin board in my classroom has spurred many great conversations:
1. One book I didn’t get to but will be a priority in 2014? Ahhhh, so many…
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
I think I need to read some staples, like:
The Book Thief and Code Name Verity in terms of modern rave review-inducing novels
The Spectacular Now
Perks of Being a Wallflower
2. Book I’m most anticipating in 2014? Again, so many…
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
The Raven Cycle #3 by Maggie Stiefvater (I think she’s on a pretty consistent fall release schedule?)
Panic by Lauren Oliver
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
#Scandal by Sarah Ockler
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
3. 2014 debut that I am most anticipating?
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel