Wednesday, 1 January 2014

End of the Year

So, after cruising through a number of blogs this past week or so, I saw this wrap up survey from The Perpetual Page-Turner and thought I'd give it a go!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

I did my Top 10 list a while back, so part of me feels like cheating and just calling that my answer. But I might as well use this as an opportunity to highlight my runaway favourite that I read after I'd made my list.

So let me gush over Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor. I did a review a few days ago and ugh. Just. You guys. Taylor's writing is so magical. So vivid. So atmospheric. Her worldbulding is just sublime and her characters so varied and interesting.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Easily, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I was so prepared to be blown away by this book. Everyone loves it and talks it up. And maybe the hype was part of the problem? Maybe my expectations were too high. 

Because, let's be honest, it's a fine book. I liked it well enough, but it never grabbed me the way everyone insisted it would. Wade was just not a compelling character. He felt more like a plot device than an actual fleshed out character. Which is a shame, because he was surrounded by infinitely more intriguing characters.

I wrote a lengthier review over on Goodreads if you want to check it out.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Part of me wants to put Lips Touch here again, but I feel like that's cheating. So I'll go with Written in Red by Anne Bishop.

This was a surprise because I didn't think I was going to like it at first. But after 50 pages, I was so in. I found myself thinking about the characters even when I'd put the book down. It has some of the best supernatural creature mythology I've seen to date. It was a great read and I can't wait for the sequel!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Part of me thinks this might actually be Fangirl, because I basically frantically texted a bunch of people as I was reading it demanding they do the same. But I read that at the end of December. So I'll go with Rainbow Rowell's other release this year, Eleanor & Park

Ugh, you guys, get this book in your life immediately. It's just so good.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
I'm going to have to with the Lunar Chronicles, because Cinder was such a delight and I absolutely cannot wait to start reading Scarlet.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Hands down, Rainbow Rowell. I'm pretty much in for anything she writes now. I want to get my hands on a copy of Attachments.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Hm. This questions was unexpectedly more difficult than I thought. I tend to know what I like or what I might have the potential to like. So I guess I don't venture outside my comfort zone often.

But I guess The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley fits this. It was recommended to me by a colleague earlier this year as one of her favourite books of all time. And it's older fantasy (first published in 1982) and I have tried to read older sci-fi/fantasy before and just not had a good time of it.

Still, I picked this up and gave it a shot. And I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor. I cannot wait until APRIL for the third book! AHHH.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I. Don't actually reread books very often. I suppose I should probably start doing that. If I had to pick on it'd probably be The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, just because I already occasionally wander back over to it and reread the ending bits to torture myself.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?



The fonts!

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Cath from Fangirl probably steals the show for this one. I just relate to her on so many levels it's kind of embarrassing.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
There's just something about Laini Taylor's writing that. Ugh. Is so lovely. That and Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles was gorgeous as well.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
This has got to be Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

... I just. Words fail. I have never struggled with an eating disorder myself, but wow, it wasn't hard to imagine what it might be like with this book. 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Probably Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Admittedly, this was only a 2012 release, but I kept picking it up and putting it back down until I finally caved in October.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

"In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the one's you can't Google.)"  -Fangirl

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction -- 136 pages
Longest: Blackout (Newsflesh #3) by Mira Grant -- 659 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Hm. I had to think about this one a bit. But it was probably actually the entirety of Blackout by Mira Grant. I have a few friends reading this series and only one had actually finished it before me. And AH. That whole book is basically one giant spoiler.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I feel like there's no way to not give this to Eleanor and Park. Because seriously. Seriously.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I'm going to go with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I read Shiver in 2012 and was pretty meh about the whole experience. That's what kept me from picking up The Raven Boys in the first place. But wow, I'm sure glad I got over that.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Probably Written in Red again. Wendy Darling on Goodreads loved it and we tend to have similar tastes, so that's why I went looking for it.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

YA, unsurprisingly. Probably sci-fi/fantasy if I were to break it down further.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

I have the most ridiculous crush on Patroclus from The Song of Achilles. Like, SOS, send help, you are too darling. I just want to wrap you and your idiot boyfriend up and cuddle you forever and keep you safe from the Trojans.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I... don't know that any book I read fits this category? I have a few debuts, but they were published in 2012. So we'll go with those instead.

And those will be Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Broken record alert. But this goes to Laini Taylor again. And I'll say Lips Touch again, if only because I just finished that one.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Redshirts by John Scalzi. Oh. My. Goodness. This book was just so hilarious and so much fun. There can be no other choice.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Full disclosure. I am a crier. I can turn on a Hallmark movie ten minutes to the end and have no idea what's going on and still tear up. So. I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't take much.

That said, I didn't read a lot of really sad books this year. But R.J. Palacio's Wonder did make me tear up a few times. Just because ugh, the way kids treat each other sometimes.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I'm pretty new to the whole book blogging thing, so I really don't know much about the hype other than what I've been exposed to very briefly in the month of December.

And for the most part, I don't think I have any overlooked books on my list? I tend to read books because I've heard of them through one channel or another. And the ones that I picked up on a whim weren't all that noteworthy.

Now, overhyped books on the other hand... Well. That's probably a whole other blog post.

You can see all 43 books I read in 2013 here.

What did you think? Agree? Disagree? Books that I'm completely missing out on by having not read? Let me know!