End of Year Book Survey

The Perpetual Page Turner posted her third 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, I did read a lot. Reading for my internship with Entangled Publishing and “reading”/grading for school hinders my recreational reading a bit, but here goes!

I am currently cramming to squeeze in some books before I blog for the YA Superlatives Blogfest (wish me luck!):
Currently reading: Every Day by David Levithan
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Meant to Be by Lauren E. Morrill
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kennealy
Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Best in Books 2012
1. The best book I read in 2012The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you can believe it, I had not read any Maggie Stiefvater until The Raven Boys. I actually had the e-galley, but then purchased a copy in Portland because of the cover love (it’s beautiful and shimmery!). Also, David Levithan talked about editing it and how there’s a love triangle (SOLD!).  I’m a fan of contemporary, which this book isn’t… but it IS amazing great writing and a good mystery. Now, waiting for the other three books, this might kill me.

2. Book I was excited about but didn’t loveFathomless by Jackson Pearce, Being Friends with Boys by Terra McVoy
It’s not that I didn’t like those books, but they didn’t meet the expectations I had. I saw Jackson Pearce speak at Wordstock in Portland (more on this, later) and hearing her talk about a little mermaid retelling was entertaining and intriguing. The book wasn’t as strong as I had hoped.
I thought a book about being friends with boys would be awesome because I’ve had great guy friends in the past and have a brother, etc., but the book was a crushy-crush story. And ended abruptly. It is about music and the characters are interesting–I read it quickly and liked meeting the characters!

3. Most surprising in 2012Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
I had never read a verse novel and I actively avoid them, in fact. I am just not a fan of poetry. I downloaded this to my Kindle with an Amazon recommendation, not knowing it was a verse novel. It shattered my expectations; I thought characters would be under-developed and there would be less detail than I like and I was wrong. I loved it!

4. Book I’ve recommended the most in 2012The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I mean, John Green. Laughing and crying. Sadness and wonderfulness. Intelligent characters contemplating life and death. I have a number of friends outside Twitter who have read The Hunger Games books and Divergent books and what to know what else is good. I recommend John Green every time. One cannot miss with John Green.

5. Best series I discovered in 2012 – Assuming this question isn’t only about a new series in 2012, I really enjoyed discovering the Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty (there’s five, and like The Hunger Games you’d do well to be prepared to read them all in a row–you will not want to wait in between books). The first book, Sloppy Firsts, was published in 2001 and this is when I was in college, so the references to music/news/life and the general disposition and banter of the characters just felt like home to me. Home for the characters, for the record, is New Jersey. 🙂 My favorite new series is The Raven Cycle in terms of a series that started this year. I continued my reading of the Divergent trilogy with Insurgent in May, and can’t wait to wrap-up that series!

6. Favorite new authors I discovered in 2012 – Tamara Ireland Stone, Siobhan Vivian, Maggie Stiefvater
In terms of debut authors, I adored Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. My interactions with Stone on Twitter and meeting her at Wordstock affirmed that she’s a great author and person–she is gracious and had a fun multi-media presentation, and of course she has written a compelling story. I also read The List by Siobhan Vivian and devoured it. Vivian understands high school and writes with authentic teen voice. She and Stiefvater do an excellent job of elevating the writing with vocabulary and create great tone/mood.

7. Best book out of my comfort zone Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
See above (#3)!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable bookFalse Memory by Dan Krokos, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I *think* I read Before I Fall this year. Maybe last year. Either way, that’s a great one. More amazing high school girl voice and such an original concept. I read Time Between Us and Through to You (and a couple of manuscripts) that play with time travel or time bending but Before I Fall was the original to play with time for me. False Memory has something for everyone: fast-paced action, romance, mystery, etc. and it’s well written. I can’t wait for the second book and I know ARCs are already out there. I am religiously checking Net Galley! And yes, The Raven Boys gets another nod. Deal with it.

9. Book I’m most likely to re-readEasy by Tammar Webber (I DID re-read) and Time Between Us
Oh, my lordy! Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits) had mentioned this book on Twitter and I thought… I liked her book, I trust her judgement… and, wow! Easy is one of the books that tops New Adult book lists, for those who are interested and vested in that genre. Controversy about NA aside, I love a book that is set in college. The characters were complicated, and, there was some great romance and steaminess! Time Between Us is the book I’m most likely to re-read at this point.

10. Favorite coverMeant to BeThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Flat-Out Love

Ha, can you tell what’s catching my eye these days? Cool typefaces and color, obvi.

11. Most memorable character(s) – Hazel & Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars
Green is known for writing these elevated, seemingly hyper-intelligent characters. This never bothers me because they belong in the storyline, of course–they fit! And, Hazel and Augustus are dealing with huge life issues well before most people should have to, and their trials, their experiences and their senses of humor are just… wonderful. Transcendent? I think so.

12. Most beautifully writtenThe Fault in Our Stars
I don’t even feel like writing any more about this, you just need to read if you haven’t!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on meThe Fault in Our Stars
I don’t even feel like writing any more about this, you just need to read if you haven’t! 🙂 But seriously, the musings about leaving your mark on the world and wanting to be remembered–I think that everyone feels this way. Ugh, I just love everything TFiOS.

14. Book(s) I can’t believe I waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read – The Jessica Darling series! Seriously, Megan McCafferty herself commented that she’s so glad that readers are still discovering Jessica Darling ten years (!) later. 😉

15. Favorite Passage – I participated for a time in Memorable Monday, where I would share a quote I liked from a recent reading. Check out some of these great ones I posted!

16. Shortest & Longest book I read – Shortest = A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Beautifully illustrated and lovely writing from Ness!

17. Scene that had me reeling (WTF Moment, Epic Revelation, Steamy Kiss, etc.) – The Fault in Our Stars, Love Story & Such a Rush scenes, both by Jennifer Echols
Echols has a gift for swoon-worthy, steamy scenes and both these books that I read in 2012 did not disappoint. TFiOS had some moments, of course (and that’s all I can say about that).

18. Favorite Relationship – Anna & Bennett in Time Between Us, Jacqueline & Lucas in Easy, Samantha & Jase in My Life Next Door, Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie in the Jessica Darling series
I mean, I still remember Anna and Bennett’s names, and their likes, hobbies, adventures, etc. (I had to look up the names of the Easy couple and My Life Next Door couple). And, Bennett is just a favorite YA boy for me of all the YA boys. 🙂 Jacqueline and Lucas had the sexual chemistry but also a great relationship with deep issues to help reveal how much they care for each other. Samantha and Jase… oh, these two are just so sweet on each other. And sweet with each other. Jessica and Marcus? Well, Marcus. That is all. 😉
Echo and Noah from Pushing the Limits would have made this list if Noah hadn’t been all “my siren, my nymph,” etc. through the story. I just pretty sure boys in high school don’t even know what those words mean.

19. Favorite book from an author I read previouslyInsurgent by Veronica Roth
I didn’t enjoy it as much as Divergent but I adore Four (LOVE him) and the cliffhanger ending has me really wondering what’s next for Tris and Four and in their world.

20. Best book read based on a recommendation from someone elseTime Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Thank you, Jessica Love! I trust your judgement implicitly!

Book Blogging/Reading Life
1. New favorite book I discovered in 2012? Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
5. Best event I participated in? Wordstock! Check out my post about to greatness that was Wordstock 2012.
http://novelnovice.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/wordstock-chair1.jpg 9. Best bookish discovery (bookish site, book store, etc.)? Author talks, presentations, book shows, etc. in general! I saw John Green with my friend Katy, and saw Gayle Forman, Nina LaCour, and Stephanie Perkins for the YA or Bust Tour with Katy and another friend, Theresa. I adore hearing authors talk about the background of a book, their inspiration, and their writing processes. Every author and every book is a new adventure!

Looking Ahead
1. One book I didn’t get to but will be a priority in 2013? Ahhhh, so many…
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Live Through This by Mindi Scott
Tahereh Mafi series
Lauren Oliver Delirium series

2. Book I’m most anticipating in 2013? Again, so many…
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Second book in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Third book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
The Collector by Victoria Scott
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Pivot Point by Kasie West
False Sight by Dan Krokos
All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

3. One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging in 2013? I just hope to be a better blogger, in general. 🙂 I am now a National Board Certified teacher, so I won’t have that monkey on my back! I do update on Goodreads fairly often when I finish a book, even if just a star rating.



Filed under About me, Bookish, Review

7 responses to “End of Year Book Survey

  1. Tara

    You’ve given me a lot of book recommendations to work with here! Thanks! I am totally looking forward to the next book in the Divergent series as well. I actually liked Insurgent better (Weird, huh? Something about that one…), and yes, the ending was awesome and I have a love/hate relationship with the cliff hanger. Can’t wait for Veronica Roth to publish that 3rd book! I appreciate your reference to the books you really enjoyed or the ones that threw you for a loop! I will check them out! Happy to hear you’re doing well.

    • Hi Tara! I’m glad I’ve given you books to think about, and I LOVE that you liked Insurgent more than Divergent. 🙂 That’s what I love about books–they speak differently to everyone! Thanks for coming back to the site. 🙂

  2. Ohhhhhh “Love and Leftovers” I haven’t read it because it’s also really out of my comfort zone but I met the author at the Young Adult Carnival in NYC and I’ve had her book on my TBR since then….I should really get to it 😀
    Great overview and list, Kari!

    • I’m am intrigued by Tregay because she’s a graphic artist first, I believe, and this was her debut? I would loved to have met her! Also, it’s a quick read, and like you it was out of my comfort zone and I loved it. 🙂 Happy reading!

  3. Great choices for Best Covers! All three of those totally stand out. I loved TIME BETWEEN US too, and Tamara seems to gracious and kind online and over email. Oh, and can we PLEASE meet at Wordstock next year? Sounds like so much fun!

  4. You should definitely make If I Lie a priority…it is so good!

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