Hosted by Jamie at the Perpetual Pageturner
Hello Readers! We are excited to once again participate in Jamie’s annual survey, to highlight and summarize our year in books. This is Jamie’s 6th year hosting this event, and we appreciate the effort and energy that she puts into the bookish annual review!
Number Of Books You Read:
Lyn: I actually went 6 books over my goal and hit 81 for the year. I am so happy with myself!
Pixie: 66 (whomp whomp… )
Number of Re-Reads:
Lyn: 1 – The Hobbit
Pixie: Several. 5 I know of off hand because I read a couple from a series re-read at one point. Haha. (I looovvee re-reads)
Genre You Read The Most From:
Lyn: Oddly enough, Contemporary won this year, even though it is a genre that I don’t consider my favorite, but I do consider it easy to read, so if I need to inflate my numbers, or if I fall behind, then I’ll reach for the contemps.
Kara: Fantasy, I believe. I’d have to count to know for sure and I’m not going to spend an hour on that this year like I did last year. But I read a lot of middle grade and young adult fantasy. There’s a good sprinkling of thrillers and science fiction in there too.
Pixie: Fantasy. I was on a huge fantasy kick for a majority of 2015. Now I seem to be in the mood for mostly historical or contemp. I get in moods. Haha.
1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2015 release vs. backlist)
Kara: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley – It was just the most inventive and memorable novel I read this year. It broke my heart into pieces. Weirdly enough, I only rated it 4 stars at the time, but I’m going to have to revisit it at some point to see if I still feel the same.
Lyn: Uprooted by Naomi Novik – it was so close between this one and The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, but Uprooted just won by a hair. I thought I knew where this book was going, and what was going to happen, but Novik just laughed at all of those check lists, threw them out the window, and gave the world an epic, beautiful story that curled my toes, made me hold my breath, and brought me just a bit of magic.
Pixie: This was really hard when I finally thought about it… but I’ll say The Burning Sky. If it makes you feel better though, I was struggling in my decision between that or A Court of Thorns and Roses. 😛 (side note: I won’t have awesome book cover pics like the other cool ladies here, sorry! I’m rushing through my answers last minute, but thanks Lyn for asking me to participate!! Love this survey!)
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Kara: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – Such an easy pick for me. I really wanted to love this one and expected to, but I had no connection to the characters whatsoever.
Lyn: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis – Stitching Snow might be my favorite Snow White retelling, and I went into this one expecting to fully love it, but it just never came together as well as Snow. It broke my heart a little.
Pixie: Ugh.. An Ember in the Ashes (ended up being way over hyped, I think..)
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Kara: Shutter by Courtney Alameda. – I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did!
Lyn: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz – After everyone tore it apart, not only did I end up finishing it, but I really appreciated it for the meta approach to writing a novel about loss, war, and community. It was a tough read, and it wasn’t my favorite, I’m not going to deny that, but I am a bit shocked that I didn’t hate it, since it was so graphic and sexually charged.
Pixie: I would probably have to say The Cage and not really in a bad way. But it gets pretty ridiculous and you are just ridiculously entertained. I really enjoyed that one and can’t way to find out what happens!
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Kara: Well, I don’t know if they did or not, but I don’t feel Ink and Bone got nearly enough buzz, so that is the one that I push. It was FABULOUS. Read it!
Lyn: Chime by Franny Billingsley – this one was an old one, but new to me this year. I have pushed this novel and send it out to my bookish “penpals”, and bought a digital copy for my mother. I have given everyone I know a copy of this novel.
Pixie: Haha, again leading back to The Burning Sky. When I finished reading that one, I found any and every person I knew/associated with and asked if they’d read it. If they hadn’t, I made sure they had my recommendation. I actually found myself pushing a few books this year, but I’d say that was the main title again.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Lyn: Best Series Starter goes to Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I am going to agree with Kara and pick The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon for the best sequel. And finally, Best Series Ender – Of Dreams of Rust by Sarah Fine.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Kara: Kirsty Eager. She’s not new, but she’s new for me. I recently read Saltwater Vampires, and man, I LOVED THAT BOOK.
Lyn: I was so happy to say hello and add Becky Albertalli to my auto-buy authors after I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Pixie: She’s apparently been around quite some time, quietly or just away from my radar anyway, but Naomi Novik is new to me at least and sure to be climbing the favorites’ list easily–especially since she is in the fantasy genre, and Uprooted was AMAZING. I’ve already bought a few other books of hers and look forward to reading them soon.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Kara: Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta – I typically avoid adult thriller unless the premise REALLY interests me. This one did, and I’m glad I read it. It was riveting.
Lyn: My True Love Gave To Me – I typically avoid short stories, since I feel that they are teasers for longer books, but, Laini Taylor! I did find some other wonderful stories, and it was well worth the investment.
Pixie: The first book I read of 2015 was Gone Girl. Adult Thriller/Suspense/Mystery… whatever you’d call that. I love movies like that. Books, typically I don’t get into so much. But I LOVED it.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Kara: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Not a flawless book by any means, but it was action-packed and SO riveting!
Lyn: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows. It was such a nice, campy, highly charged novel!
9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Kara: Probably none, unfortunately. Unless it is a FAVORITE, favorite book, I usually don’t reread. There just isn’t time with so many books I want to get through!
Lyn: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, if I am to be honest! the movie is coming out, and I will reread it before the movie hits.
Pixie: Only one? Lol… Seriously, I love re-reading. If I have the time. Most likely one of the favorites like Uprooted or A Court of Thorns and Roses if I do. I don’t plan on much re-reading this year though at this time.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Kara: MASSIVELY EASY. The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee. The book is even more gorgeous in person. It’s also gorgeous inside.
Lyn: I have a major cover crush on Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. It looks even better in the hardback edition.
Pixie: Cover fetish with The Grisha series covers… <3 <3 They are among some of my all-time favorite covers ever and I can put them down here since I read them in 2015. Haha.
11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Kara: I can’t pick just one, so I am going with the entire cast of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
Lyn: Winter and Scarlet from Winter by Marissa Meyer. A mentally unstable main heroine? It is about time. And I am pretty sure Scarlet is my spirit animal.
Pixie: Um… Rhys from A Court of Thorns and Roses. Rawr. LOL.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Kara: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman- Beautiful in its appearance, formatting, and prose, this is one book I had to pick for this category.
Lyn: This is an older one, but once again, Chime by Franny Billingsley. The prose is just great. I love this book.
Pixie: Slightly older title, but I read it just before the end of the year. Beautifully inspiring: I Am Malala.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Kara: When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez – This book dealt with depression and suicide in a realistic and relatable way, so I think it’s something you should read if you are wanting to understand more about how people dealing with mental illness get to that point.
Lyn: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. It was like a therapy session and a reason to chuckle all at one time. I broke down during Mikey’s therapy session, and there were some words in there that I needed to hear.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Kara: A Night to Remember by Walter Lord – I mean, what was I waiting for? This was absolutely fabulous!
Lyn: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. It seems to get overlooked because it is MG, but it is a fabulous story!
Pixie: Cinder/Scarlet/Cress! Why’d I wait?? I don’t know.. I’m messed up. LOL.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
Kara: “You only get one life. Well, two lives. The second one starts the moment you realize you only have one.”
― Karina Halle,
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
Lyn: Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer (I best this makes a LOT of lists this year) Shortest: Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Kara: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. THAT ENDING THO.
Lyn: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. It never stopped beating at you.
Pixie: OMG… Gone Girl. UGH.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Kara: Kaz and Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Also Rhysand and Feyre From A Court of Thorns and Roses. Um, and duh, Thorne and Cress from Winter by Marissa Meyer. You expect me to pick just one? HOW DARE YOU.
Lyn: Oy. I suck at this. I am going to have to say The Dragon and Agnieszka from Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Titus and Iolanthe from The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, and Simon and Blue from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli .
Pixie: Rhysand and Feyre. Adrian and Sydney. *swoon*
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Kara: Meg and Kate from The Wrong Side of Right. I LOVED the stepmom and stepdaughter relationship. For once it was portrayed in a lovely, positive way, and I loved the bond between these two women!
Lyn: Kasia and Agnieszka from Uprooted. Hooray for a strong, pro-female relationship that works through the issues!
Pixie: Lyn took my answer so see above to hers. 😀
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Kara: Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings – I haven’t gotten a chance to shout this book out yet, but it was definitely one of my favorites of 2015. I loved The Descendants, and this was Kaui’s first young adult novel, and I loved it. The relationships and characters were developed spectacularly as usual.
Lyn: All the Rage by Courtney Summers. I like that painful little punch she can give you, and it is always worth it. She writes with such intensity and honesty that I always have to get her novels.
Pixie: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz. Anytime I see a title with this author’s name, it goes one my auto-buy list now.
21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Kara: There weren’t any this year. I gotta be honest–I rarely do this. I read what I want to read, because I am extremely picky and know what I will like. Also, I am a HUGE mood reader right now. I stopped reading on a schedule, and I pick depending on what sounds good to me at that time, so a book someone picked out for me is just not going to work.
Lyn: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I honestly had no interest in this novel until everyone kept singing the praises of the book. When I found it on sale, I figured I needed to get it. It has been one of the best books I have read based only on recommendations.
Pixie: Unfortunately I fell to the hype of An Ember in the Ashes and wasted some time and frustrations on that…
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Kara: Again, I don’t do book boyfriends. I’m 35. I ship ships, and I’m becoming a major shipper lately, but I ship them together, not with me.
Lyn: I am going to cheat and put Mark Watney here from The Martian by Andy Weir, since he was an end of the year 2014 pick and missed the 2014 line up. And that is BOOK Watney, not idiot Movie Watney.
Pixie: I’m not the “book boyfriend” type exactly unless the character really is old enough but it’s extremely awkward and weird reading YA and swooning or whatever over characters that might be described as teens if you get my drift. I’m 31, geesh. I ship. Totally. I might get swoony over a character if I’m reading a more adult-driven book or the characters are grown, but it’s rare. Haha. 😛 I will say I love Rhys (A Court of Thorns and Roses). 😀
23. Best 2015 debut you read
Kara: Magonia again.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Kara: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine. FANTASTIC world-building.
Lyn: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Her characters and her world building are just top notch.
Pixie: The Grisha trilogy– Lyn said it: Leigh Bardugo knows how to build them worlds and characters!
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Kara: Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald – I JUST finished this one and I buzzed through it in a day. It was SUCH a blast. It took me back to the days of nostalgia when I used to consume Nancy Drew mysteries in huge chunks.
Lyn: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I fell for this book, HARD. I loved all of the gaming references, and the 80s themed hook.
Pixie: Cinder/Scarlet/Cress… I read through these in just a few days’ time when I had them. Couldn’t stop reading!
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
Kara: I haven’t cried over a book in a long time. I’ve come close, but thanks to antidepressants, my emotions are on a more even keel now.
Lyn: And thanks to my anti-anxiety/hormone pills, I cry quite a bit now. And that book that made me cry would have to be The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
Pixie: I cry easy with a lot of books. I get attached easy to characters if I really love it, and if something emotional happens, I will shed tears. If something bad happens–buckets. Lol. Lies We Tell Ourselves shred me. And I also cried at the end of The Ruby Circle just because it was the last book of the Bloodlines series and I had a mini-attack saying good-bye to all the characters after so many years.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Kara: The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee – There were actually a fair amount of books this year that would qualify for this category, but I feel this one deserves a mention as it’s middle grade, it’s adorable, and it was not talked about NEARLY enough.
Lyn: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow. That book was overlooked, and it had so much to offer. The wit balanced out the seriousness so well, and I found that it was a nice, secret little sleeper of 2015.
Pixie: The Fixer. Just fun and entertaining really. I thought it was great and deserved a bit more attention than it got.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Kara: The closest a book came to doing this was The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. OH. MY. GOD.
Lyn: All the Rage by Courtney Summers. Trust me, the rage was had.
Pixie: Heir of Fire. ffffcccckkkkkklkjslkks *headslam*
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Kara: The Fold by Peter Clines – Such an odd, exciting book until the twisty end that I didn’t care for. Still loved it up until that point though.
Lyn: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. That book was crazy, in a good way! The story was interesting, and the formatting worked with the story. I loved it. It set the novel apart.
Pixie: A History of Glitter and Blood.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Kara: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller – I hate to say this, but I pretty much hated this book. I LOVED Where the Stars Still Shine, but this was a complete disappointment. I expected so much that I was literally ANGRY when I finished this. It was so sloppy.
Lyn: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. I really hate to read about abusive people who never get called out on it. There was an awesome point that was lost in a sea of male slut shaming and girl-on-girl hate.
Pixie: I’m with Kara on this one. Hated that book. Also again, severely disappointed and angry at An Ember in the Ashes (this one appears everywhere on my dislikes’ lists).
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
Kara: Now is when you are going to get mad at me. 2015 was crazy hectic for me, and I had very little time to read blogs. My health was yuck, our financial situation was yuck, I had a new house and a new cat on top of a dog and a cat already to take care of. I just sucked at time management. I’m going to try to do better this year though.
Lyn: Crap, I really hope I don’t leave out anyone, but here are the three that jump right to my mind:
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Kara: This group review Lyn, Pixie, and I did for The Devil You Know. We all hated it.
Pixie: I agree with Kara here again. Lol. That was just a really fun one, too. I was glad we were all in agreement, and the discussions/read-a-longs are so fun!
Lyn: Jessie and I wrote a review for The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett where we ended up changing each other’s rating by the end of the review. It was kinda neat to exchange ideas and take a new angle on the story.
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
Kara: This discussion I wrote about mood reading. I am kinda bad at writing discussion posts, and I really had the motivation to write this one and it came out pretty great. 😀
Lyn: The satire post snarking people who troll others who hate their favorite book. It was very therapeutic.
Pixie: I think the LLAP post Lyn and I shared after Leonard Nimoy’s passing will forever be one of my favorites.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Kara: Awww man. I didn’t get to do any of these this year. But next year, I am doing ALA Annual with Lyn. I can’t wait! Although I did have a great time with Story Sprites this year! So glad we have a challenge of our own now!
Lyn: I got to see Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor. This is one of the best books years that I have seen in a long, LONG time.
Pixie: This was kind of a crummy year. I didn’t do anything… :/
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
Kara: NO IDEA. The whole thing, really. I love blogging with Lyn so much. It’s amazing being able to share this with your BFF. And adding Maryam has jut been a breath of fresh air. I feel rejuvenated again. It’s great!
Lyn: Adding Pixie and Maryam was awesome. Creating Story Sprites was great as well!
Pixie: Any moment of relaxation, even if small ones. Lol. Brainstorming with the girls on Story Sprites. Reading some really excellent books and finding some new favorite authors. Having Maryam on board. 🙂
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Kara: Reading in general. My attention span has been terrifically awful this year, and my motivation to read has been not great as a result. So, as basic as that sounds, that was it for me.
Lyn: The personal drama I feel at the moment. But I am working towards letting that go. There are going to be crappy people, and it really shouldn’t bring down your own experience. Also, the migraine situation doesn’t help at all.
Pixie: Time. Motivation/energy. Health. Hopeful to make it all somewhat better though. 🙂
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Kara: Oddly enough, this review for First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. Why, I don’t know.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Kara: I wish Story Sprites as a challenge in general got more love. I still have faith that it will pick up interest this year though.
Lyn: Ditto. I wish that Story Sprites would get a few more hits. FREE BOOK, Y’ALL! And I want to see more people in the Trick or Treat drawing next year.
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Kara: ?!? I use the same ones as usual.
Lyn: Book Outlet. Imma get Jessie back for this.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Kara: I didn’t have any reading challenges this year, but I did want to try and read more middle grade books, and I did pretty great at that. This desire continues on into 2016 because I am having so much fun with it!
Lyn: I completed a few of the Story Sprite paths, and I completed my yearly goal, plus some.
Pixie: I’m horrible with most challenges even though I try really hard. I completed the GR challenge by stressing myself to the max at the very last minute. Blegh. I didn’t keep up too well with this last Story Sprite challenge, but I’m going for it all this time. My biggest goal every year is always this classics challenge I set for myself some years back, and I’ve yet to even come close to completing it. Maybe I should give that one up. LOL.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Kara: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. I am just waiting for the right mood!
Lyn: Valiant by Sarah McGuire. I have wanted to read that one forever, and there it sits, unread!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Kara: A Court of Mist and Fury and Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine. Also, Crooked Kingdom!
3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Kara: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
Lyn: Here is my TTT.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Kara: See #2 of this section.
Lyn: Yeah, I have to admit it is A Court of Mist and Fury.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
Kara: Read more books! Stick to my challenges and do well! Write more discussion posts! Be more active in the community! OOOPS. It said “one thing.”
Lyn: Read more books that I buy. I want to make some progress in my TBR pile. I also want to let go of old grudges and take things as they are.
Pixie: Tackle more of the unread books already on my bookshelves and not buy an abundance of books (which keeps me from reading those collecting dust). Read more. Stress less (if that’s possible??).
6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Kara: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. I wouldn’t say I recommend it to everyone, but this book was really sweet and swoony, and I do recommend it!
Lyn: I have only read one 2016 book. I have fallen behind. Sorry, everyone.
Pixie: I’ve only read two 2016 books– middle grade historical fiction. I wouldn’t exactly recommend them to everyone, but they weren’t terrible. 🙂