End of Year Survey

It’s 2018! That means I can finally, definitively publish all of my yearend content that I couldn’t bring myself to put up early. And to kick things off, I’m going to start with the End of the Year Survey created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. Be sure to check out the survey home here to see all the posts created by other bloggers!

2017 Reading Stats

Number of books you read

167

Number of rereads

I didn’t realize, but I reread seven books this year. The first four Harry Potter books, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, and A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh. All excellent rereads!

Genre you read the most

Romance was by far my most-read genre in 2017, with a skew towards historical romance, though I read a fair number of contemporaries this year, too. I also read a lot of fantasy, especially YA fantasy. No surprise since those are my two favorite genres!

Best in Books

Best book you read in 2017

I, of course, have a whole post (two, actually) planned to detail exactly what my favorite books were of 2017, because it’s impossible to pick just one. So keep an eye out for that (spoiler alert: a lot of them are mentioned throughout this post! Can you guess which ones will make the official list?).

I will say, though, that the one book I read this year that I think everyone else needs to read is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. It’s such an important book and I really can’t recommend it enough.

Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

Um, I might have a full list of my most disappointing reads of 2017…the most recent book I’ve read that made it on that list was The Sea King by C.L. Wilson.

I really enjoyed the first book in the Weathermages of Mistral series and was looking forward to the sequel. It got off to a slow start and had some issues that I was willing to overlook, but then the heroine was sexually assaulted in what was otherwise a rather lighthearted book, and the trauma from it was magically healed by the hero.

I didn’t think this scene was at all necessary or appropriate to the story, but if it had to be included, it should at least be done right. It undermines the experience that women go through when they’re sexually assaulted to have the heroine’s trauma magically healed almost instantaneously, and I am not ok with that. So yeah, I was very, very disappointed in this book on a number of levels.

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

Oh hey, I also have a list of some of my most surprising reads of 2017. The first one I read in 2017 that made the list was A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. I love epic fantasy and I love romance, but I’ve never read a book that so thoroughly intertwines the two genres like this one did, so I was shocked to see it. Unsurprisingly, I wound up loving it and cannot wait for the final book to come out tomorrow! I’m also now on the hunt for more similar books, so definitely leave any recommendations you can think of in the comments.

Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell are two I probably push the most! My blog is still new enough that I can’t necessarily say people have read them because of me, but there’s still time.

Best series you started in 2017? Best sequel of 2017? Best series ender of 2017?

For best series I started, I’m going to go with Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I was really impressed with the world created with this series and I was on the edge of my seat through the whole trilogy, and I’m so excited for Iron Gold to come out this month. Honorable mention to A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which I just read and really enjoyed. I’m planning to read the second two books in the All Souls trilogy in early 2018.

For best sequel, it’s kind of hard for me to separate out individual books when I binged the entire series, so if I exclude binge reads, then I think the best option is Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. I wasn’t expecting to like this book much because I didn’t think it was necessary to the series, but I wound up enjoying it a lot. It was fun to get to know a new cast of characters and see some old favorites return, and I really enjoyed learning more about the Southern Continent.

For best series ender, I’m going to go with Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. I got really lucky that I only read the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before duology shortly before the final book came out, so I didn’t have to wait for it. It was just such a delightful book and a good continuation of the series, and I loved seeing more of Lara Jean and her family. And it was wrapped up perfectly, though I would still love to learn more about Lara Jean and her adventures at college. I’m just so attached to the characters in this series, but I thought it was an excellent conclusion.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Santino Hassell, Jenny Han, Amanda Bouchet, Pierce Brown, and Laura Hillenbrand are some of my favorite authors I discovered in 2017. I actually did a full post about this, so if you want to learn more about why I chose them, check it out here.

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

I love romance, but I rarely read paranormal romances, so I wasn’t overly enthused when my book club picked Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. But I wound up loving Mercy and the world she lives in and all of the side characters to her story and I binged almost the entire nine-book series. I just really liked how the stories of each book wove together and how much character growth there was from book to book. Plus they’re just a really fun series! It’s definitely something I never would have picked up on my own, but I love it.

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

Since I read the entire trilogy in less than a week, I’m going to go with the entire Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. It took a little bit to get into the first book, but once I did, there was no stopping. I seriously never knew what was going to happen next or who was going to die, and half the time what I thought I knew turned out to be false. It was a very action-packed and unputdownable experience and I loved every minute of it.

Book you read in 2017 that you are most likely to reread next year?

I’m actually thinking I might reread the entire Throne of Glass series in anticipation of the release of the final book next fall since this world has expanded so dramatically and I don’t think I’ll fully appreciate the final book without a reread. If I do, then I’ll wind up rereading Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas in 2018. I also want to reread the ACOTAR trilogy now that it’s been completed, so ACOWAR might be on my 2018 reread list.

I’m also kind of thinking of going back and rereading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because they were just such impactful books for me in 2017 and I think they could both use a reread.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

Ooooo, this might merit its own post! I’ll behave (mostly) and limit my answers to three.

I think the Bloomsbury editions of Harry Potter with cover illustrations by Jonny Duddle are my favorite of all the Harry Potter covers and just among some of my favorite covers in general. I really like the style of the drawings and the use of color. They’re all just completely stunning, and paired with the gold titles and the colorful spines, I’m completely in love with these editions.

I said in my post about the 8 Books I Read for the Cover that the cover of The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a work of art that I’d love to hang on my wall. I love the colors they used and how everything comes in towards the title, which really stands out with the use of white space. Plus the concept of using thread to create artwork like this is something I haven’t seen before but that I really love. Everything about this cover is excellent.

And while the cover of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is a neat graphic and I like the color choice and the font they used for the title, what makes it one of my favorite covers is the fact that it GLOWS IN THE DARK.

Most memorable character of 2017?

There are a number that I could pick for this question, but I think I’m going to answer with Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology. The whole crew from this series is amazing and I love their relationships with each other, but I personally think Kaz with his cane and his gloves and his ruthlessness is the most memorable.

Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Honestly, I’m not much of one to pay attention to the writing style of a book unless it’s something really distinct and noticeable or something really bad. For me, it’s more about how much I enjoy the story than about the writing technique. So this is the kind of question I really don’t have an answer for.

Most thought-provoking / life-changing book of 2017?

Definitely Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I’ve spoken numerous times on my blog about my love for this book and I highly recommend that EVERYONE (that’s right, everyone) read this book. It just really gets you to think critically about all of the media that you consume in your life and highlights how important gender equality is.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Probably The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I majored in English in college and heard about Margaret Atwood pretty much from day one. She’s an incredibly beloved author, and The Handmaid’s Tale is probably her most iconic work. So I’ve been meaning to read this book for at least seven years, but even with the release of the TV show, I still didn’t read it. And even though I met Margaret Atwood and got my book signed, I STILL DIDN’T READ IT. It wasn’t until Banned Books Week that I finally made myself pick it up, and while I’m shocked and horrified that I waited soooo long, I’m glad I finally read it!

Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2017?

I’m actually not really big on passages or quotes, so I haven’t pulled any in 2017 that I could use for this question. BUT I recently read The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, and that was a very quotable book. One of my favorites is:

“What happens next is you’re more likely to be a victim of sexual assault,” he says, and I feel Alex tense beside me. “Girls, one in three of you.” He points right at me, Alex, Sara, Branley, and Lila. “There are five right here, so let’s be generous and say it’s just one. Which one of you will it be?”
From the left a boy yells, “Please say it’s Branley,” followed by a chorus of laughter.
“Let me guess, she’s the hot one, right?” Nolan says, smiling along with them. “Guess what—one of you is the one who’s going to do it.”
That shuts it down, fast.

Shortest and longest book you read in 2017?

At 27 pages, the first issue of Lumberjanes is the shortest thing that appears on my Goodreads list, followed by the essay We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at 52 pages. Once we head into novella territory, the shortest is Roller Girl by Vanessa North with 154 pages.

The longest book I read was A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas at 705 pages.

Book that shocked you the most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Probably Golden Son by Pierce Brown, the second book in the Red Rising trilogy. THAT CLIFFHANGER!! Thank god I didn’t read this books as they were being published. The wait for Morning Star must have been torture.

OTP (One True Pairing) of the year

Feyre and Rhys for sure. Their relationship wasn’t as central to A Court of Wings and Ruin as it was in A Court of Mist and Fury, but that doesn’t matter. I love those two together so, so much. I desperately need to reread ACOMAF, honestly.

Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year

This was actually a little hard for me to answer because nothing jumped to mind right away, but I’m going to answer Ari and Janco from the Poison Study series. I read the final two books in the second trilogy this year and remembered how much I love this world. Obviously Yelena and Valek are my favorites, but Ari and Janco are hilarious and bring a lot of levity to the story in addition to being an important part of saving Ixia and Sitia.

Favorite book you read in 2017 from an author you’ve read previously

The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. I liked the Grisha trilogy when I read it last year, but I wasn’t obsessed with it and was in no rush to read the Six of Crows duology until I kept hearing about them left and right. I am now officially obsessed with Leigh Bardugo and consider her an auto buy author. I seriously cannot wait for King of Scars!

Best book you read in 2017 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon! This book was literally everywhere before it came out, and pretty much everyone was raving about it, so of course I had to read it! I thought it was a super cute book and I really enjoyed it, and I’m excited to see what Menon comes out with next.

If you’re interested in more books that I read because of the hype, check out my BookTube Made Me Read It post!

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

I’m not really one for having a crush on the characters in the books I read, so I just don’t have a good answer to this question. Sorry!

Best 2017 debut you read?

I’m sure I’m not alone in selecting this answer, but The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is probably the best 2017 debut I read this year. It’s such an important book and it’s so well-written and engaging, you really can’t tell it’s a debut novel. I’m very excited to see what else Thomas will treat us with in the future.

Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty immediately springs to mind as the perfect fit for this question. I just finished reading it, which is part of why I’m so quick to answer with this book, but I actually think it’s the perfect answer. The world created in this book is just so unique and amazing and incredibly vivid, and I loved everything about it.

Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?

Probably To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. It’s such a ridiculous premise, but it’s SO FUN. I loved reading about Lara Jean’s adventures when being confronted by all the boys who received her letters admitting that she had a crush on them (especially Lucas) and learning more about her relationship with her family and falling in love alongside her. The whole thing was just beyond adorable and I challenge you not to enjoy yourself while reading this book and its sequels.

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2017?

Oh man, I’m sure a book has made me cry in the past year, but I just can’t think of any! The most recent one where I came close, though, was probably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When Cedric died and then Harry’s parents came back out of the wand and saved him from Voldemort? How can you not tear up during those scenes?

Hidden gem of the year?

Wow, I struggled to come up with an answer for this one because I feel like a lot of the books I read and loved are already fairly well known.

I think the Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder would be a great fantasy hidden gem. There’s an original trilogy and a sequel trilogy, and I just read the final two books of the sequel trilogy this year. I love these books and don’t think they get nearly enough love, so I think they definitely qualify as hidden gems.

Another trilogy I finished this year that I think is a hidden gem in the historical romance genre is the Knickerbocker Club trilogy by Joanna Shupe. Most historical romance is set in England, but this trilogy is unique in that it’s set in Gilded Age New York, which is a lot of fun to read. I especially enjoy it since I live in New York, but I think that’s just an added bonus.

Book that crushed your soul?

Probably The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. That book totally gutted me. The whole thing was amazing, but then that ending?! Obviously I can’t spoil it, but that ending definitely crushed my soul.

Most unique book you read in 2017?

I mean, I think I read a lot of pretty unique books in 2017, so it’s pretty much impossible to pick a single one. I’ve never read anything like The Color Purple by Alice Walker and still can’t believe how much I loved it considering how horrible Celie’s life was when the book started, so that’s definitely on this list. It’s really an amazing read.

Some others that come to mind are A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness for its unique use of history throughout the story, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty for being such a unique fantasy world, A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet for its unique blend of romance and fantasy, and An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole for telling such a unique story within the historical romance genre.

Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Probably Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. That ending! How am I supposed to wait for the final book?! Ugh, I hate cliffhangers and surprise endings when the next book isn’t already published. Why do I do this to myself?

Your Blogging / Bookish Life

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

So I actually only discovered BookTube last year and progressed to book blogs this year, so any blog I follow can really be mentioned here and I feel bad for not listing all of them! But some of my favorites are Cait’s at Paper Fury, Jenica’s at Firewhiskey Reader, and Olivia’s at Purely Olivia. I definitely recommend checking them out!

Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

I actually only wrote a few full reviews in 2017 (Graceling, Wrong to Need You, and A Hope Divided), and I’d like to do more of them in 2018! I know they’re not always that interesting to readers if they’re not already interested in the book being reviewed, but I like the challenge of critically analyzing books and articulating my thoughts. Plus it’s a chance to go a bit more in-depth than I do during my monthly wrap ups.

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

My favorite discussion post that I wrote for my blog this year is about book buying and physical TBRs. I think a lot of my interest in analyzing my purchasing habits stems from Kimberly Clark’s antihaul videos for beauty products. That series (and her channel in general), has just gotten me to start thinking a lot more critically about what I buy, and I naturally had to extend that to my obsession for books.

Of course, books are a bit complicated because I also want to support the authors writing these books, and books are very socially acceptable to accumulate more than you need. And I’m always concerned when I bring up analyzing book buying habits that my stance might seem very judgmental, when in fact it’s really not meant to be and I totally support doing whatever works for you. But I think there’s very much a culture of just buying and hoarding all the books that I don’t want to be a part of, at least not without making a conscious decision to do so.

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

SO MANY! I wasn’t blogging yet, but I attended BookCon for the first time this past summer, which was a lot of fun. I only got a few books signed (The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo), but the panels were amazing and I had a lot of fun walking through the show floor and seeing all of the books on display. And of course, I grabbed way too many free books that I shouldn’t have. And I got my very first arc (Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai)!

Another event that I had a blast at was the launch party for Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. I was a little disappointed there wasn’t much of a Q&A at the event, but the party itself was very impressive. They had a hair braiding station and a nail station where they put on decals inspired by the books, plus there were a bunch of baked goods inspired by Lara Jean’s love of baking. The whole thing was very dedicated to bringing the books to life and it was amazing.

If you’re interested in some of the events and signings I’ve gone to since launching my blog, you can see the full recaps I wrote here. For the ones I didn’t write up full posts for, you can check out my mini recaps on my Instagram.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Starting my blog! I toyed around with the idea of starting a blog for several months earlier this year before I decided to take the plunge and go for it, and I’m really glad I did. It’s been a great way to meet other people who also love books, as well as a fun creative outlet that I didn’t know I needed.

If you’re interested in learning more about why I decided to start my blog and what I’m hoping to accomplish, be sure to check out my Book Blog Newbie Tag post!

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

The most challenging part about blogging was finally taking the plunge and setting it up! I think I’ve found my rhythm as far as my style and what I want to write about, but I’m still figuring out how to balance social media and interacting with other blogs with my own reading and writing, so that’s something I still find challenging. I suspect it will come with time, but it’s something I’m aware of and want to keep working on.

Another challenge in my reading life this past year (or at least the past four or five months) is not buying all the books! Seriously, discovering Book Outlet was so dangerous. I just want to buy all of the books I’ve heard of! But I’m trying to be better about only buying books that I’m planning to read soon, so holding off has been really difficult.

Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

I actually have a tie for the most visited post on my blog: Books I’m Thankful For and Best New to You Authors, both prompts for the Monthly Recommendations Goodreads group that I’m a part of.

Post you wished got a little more love?

Oh man, it’s so hard to narrow it down! I’m still really excited about my post discussing why people own books. It was one of my first posts for my blog and I was really excited to write it since I’d never thought before about why I keep the books that I do, and it’s kind of spawned me unhauling a ton of books. But I also just like hearing the different thought processes behind other people’s decisions to keep books because it’s so unique to each person and it’s just a really fun discussion.

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

Definitely Goodreads! I actually wrote a whole post about how Goodreads has changed my reading habits, so there was really no other choice for this question. In addition to being an amazing resource for keeping track of the books I’ve read and the books I want to read, it’s really encouraged me to start reading more and to be sure and pick up books by more diverse authors. I’m just really mad that I didn’t join Goodreads years ago!

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

I didn’t really have any definitive goals, just vague things that I kind of wanted to accomplish. I did, however, complete the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! If you’re interested in learning more about my experience with the challenge, check out my recap here.

Looking Ahead

One book you didn’t get to in 2017 but will be your number one priority in 2018?

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo! I genuinely have no idea why I haven’t read this book yet. I’m remedying that asap!

Book you are most anticipating for 2018 (non-debut)?

Oh my. Well, I’ve harped a bit on my blog about how excited I am for Down by Contact by Santino Hassell, and I’m also super excited for Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. Those are the first two that come to mind!

2018 debut you are most anticipating?

You know, I’m actually terrible about keeping debuts on my radar, and I only tend to read debut books after I’ve heard other people recommend them. So I don’t have a good answer to this question!

Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2018?

Definitely the final book in the Throne of Glass series! It’s been pushed back twice now, and I have everything crossed that it will come out on schedule this fall. The cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms was brutal and I just need to conclude this series and know everyone is ok!

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2018?

In my reading life, I’d like to get my physical TBR down to a place where I can read everything on my TBR within three months. I don’t have a specific number in mind, but I’m thinking something like 10 to 15 books would be ideal.

As for my blogging, my goal right now is to just keep building up my content and connecting more with other book lovers! I have a few bigger things in mind that I’m not quite ready to share just yet, but keep an eye out on my blog to learn more about them.

A 2018 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone (if applicable)

I’m fortunate enough to have a couple of 2018 releases on my shelves (I hope the giddiness and excitement about advanced copies never goes away!), but I actually have held off on reading them because I didn’t want them in my 2017 reading statistics and yearend posts. But of the ones I have, I’m most excited for A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole!

3 thoughts on “End of Year Survey

  1. First of all, thank you for the shout out! I agree that one of the best things about making my blog this year was connecting with people who also love reading and you’ve been such a big part of that for me!
    Second, omg, Feyre + Rhys forever. I now want to re-read ACOMAF again because it’s just such a masterpiece for me. I haven’t been re-reading as frequently lately, but ACOMAF is one that I’ve read twice since it came out and can see myself re-reading for years to come.
    I am SO EXCITED for the conclusion to the Throne of Glass series and I really just need it in my hands right now. I’m still upset about the cliffhanger from Empire of Storms and just, Sarah really can’t do this to me. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure! <3<3<3
      I haven't reread ACOMAF yet because I've been trying to avoid a Harry Potter situation where I reread the first few books a zillion times and then never read the later books, so now that ACOWAR is out, I REALLY need to go back and reread the entire trilogy.
      And I think the cliffhanger in Empire of Storms is part of why I was mad about Tower of Dawn coming out. I think it wound up being a great addition to the series, but I need the finally book now! I will be so devastated if it gets pushed back again.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Book News: January 5, 2018 | Dani's Bookshelf

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