My reading life 2015

Got the idea to do Jamie’s 2015 End of the Year Reading Survey from my best friend Brittany. If you fill this out, let me know, I would love to read it!

 

reading-stats-2015-1024x278

Number Of Books You Read: 42
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From:

best-YA-books-20141. Best Book You Read In 2015?
•Stand alone: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
•Book in a Series: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I hate to say that I really did not enjoy this book. Not the story but the way the story was told. I didn’t like that the author kept butting in and saying things like “we’ll see what happens..”. That bothered me so much.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
•The Girl on the Train
surprising because I did not expect that ending

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
•Mistborn
by Brandon Sanderson
I push everyone I know to read this book and I only know of 2 so far that have. I’m hoping everyone will just read it so they can fall in love with it already.

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
•Started: The
Rithmatist
•Sequel: Queen of Shadows
•Ender: Library of Souls

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015
Sabaa Tahir

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Tampa
by Alissa Nutting
I think this is just considered Fiction which is a genre I always read. I chose this for “was out of your comfort zone” which is putting it mildly. I wouldn’t say it’s a “best book” but it was interesting.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
•Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)
by Sarah J. Maas

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
•All the Light We Cannot See —
I loved this book so much and I feel like it’s one that I will be re-reading for years to come.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
alloyoflaw

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Helene from An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.
Talk about a character with a lot of depth.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
•Tie between All the Light We Cannot See and The Snow Child.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
All the Light We Cannot See
This book. THIS BOOK.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
•The Rithmatist

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

“What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond, perhaps: enter at your own risk. We need to find out what fiction is, what it means, to us, an experience that is going to be unlike anyone else’s experience of the story.”
Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

“I sometimes imagine I would like my ashes to be scattered in a library. But then the librarians would just have to come in early the next morning to sweep them up again, before the people got there.”
Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

“In my old age, I see that life itself is often more fantastic and terrible than the stories we believed as children, and that perhaps there is no harm in finding magic among the trees.”
Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
•Life of Fred Apples
by Stanley F. Schmidt at 124 pages.
•Queen of Shadows 
by Sara J. Maas at 648 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
•Tampa
by Alissa Nutting
By shocked I mean “wtf, omg, this is messed up, why did I decide to read this?”

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
•Adam and Ronan! pynch forever *begs for it to be canon*

•Gansey and Blue

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
•Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak. Yes these are real people and yes their friendship is perfect. Soupsnakes. If they decided to steer their relationship into romantice waters I would be on board that ship also.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
•Saga, Volumes 1-4

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
•Dorian from Heir of Fire by Sara J Maas.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
An Ember In the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
•Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law and also The Rithmatist. His world building is the best, hands down. These two books take place in two different worlds with two different magic systems and they are both amazing.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling This book had me in tears from laughter almost the entire time.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
•I will preface this by saying…I cry over everything. EVERYTHING. If it’s sad, I’m crying. If it’s funny, I’m crying. If it’s sweet, I’m crying. So I will list a few that brought tears to my eyes for sad moments because I think that’s what this question wants…
All the Light We Cannot See – I am shocked it did not take all of my tears.
Queen of Shadows- my heart could not handle the Dorian chapters.
Everything, Everthing – more tears
The Snow Child-
Everything was beautiful. Everything was sad. Everything was happy and hopeful.
Why Not Me?-
My tears are endless. I cried reading a book that is labeled “Humor”. In my defense, some chapters got real. I can’t help myself.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
•The Snow Child I seriously cannot believe I just heard about this gem in 2015. So beautiful

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Soul crushing because it made me realize how unorginazed and untidy I am. x______x

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
•Trigger Warning
by Neil Gaiman

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin. Addison was such a special snowflake. Get that shit out of here. I want my $11 back. Nothing makes me more angry than wasting money.

 

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
Priceiswong. I can definitely relate to her feelings towards our mutual books

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
•uhhhhh I have really sucked at keeping up with this blog like I had planned. The reviews on this blog are few to choose from so I would have to go with my review of Paper Towns because I really let all my hate out.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
•cough….crickets…..
like I said….this blog has been neglected.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
•When I went on a road trip to Nashville with my best friend Brittany to meet Sara J. Maas at her book signing tour for A Court of Thorns and Roses. Nothing beats singing the entire Les Miserables soundtrack at the top of your lungs, good food, listening to one of your favorite authors discuss her books, meeting one of your favorite authors and having her sign your book all with your best friend at your side.

 

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
•…………………………more crickets…………………………

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
•Most challenging thing about blogging is actually finding the time to blog. I started homeschooling my daughter this year and working part time so that took up most of my time. Maybe this year will be better?

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
•I am pretty sure it was my review of Paper Towns.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
• not even going to answer this one…

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
•The Overdrive app that lets me check out books on my iPad and Kindle from my library. *Angels sing*

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
•I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge by reading 42/40 books!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
•A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston. I made sure to make this my January book club pick so that I could go ahead and read it. I’ve actually already finished it 🙂

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
•The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
•I am not sure I am anticipating any 2016 debuts. It may be slipping my mind at this moment.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Throne of Glass, #5. I am anticipating it but I don’t know if I’m emotionally ready.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
•I really want to keep up with reviewing books and posting on this blog.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
• none

This was a lot of fun to fill out! It really got me thinking about each book I read last year…I don’t think I have missed any but I am sure I will find one that I should have added.

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

(null)(such a pretty silvery, reflective spine)

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart                                                  Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Blurb:
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I’m not going to lie about how the book ends, I’m just not going to talk about the plot, at all. What I will talk about is the very peculiar writing style the author took with this book and it’s characters. It’s a narrative and the writing is somewhat choppy (kind of how the blurb is written), it did not bother me because I felt that it fit the main character and her circumstance. The way it is written actually helps to move the story along very quickly, no muss, no fuss. I have read several people talk about how they couldn’t make it through the book because of the way it was written but once I looked past it and determined that it was *meant* to sound that way, I was able to very much enjoy this book. Plus there are moments in this book where it is beautifully written…

“I lie there and wait, and remind myself over and over that it doesn’t last forever. That there will be another day and after that, yet another day. One of those days, I’ll get up and eat breakfast and feel okay.

This book is about a very rich family, The Sinclairs and their summers spent on a private island.  I will say the only likeable characters are the “Liars”, the rest of the family is greedy, fake, and racist but these flaws are factors that drive the story and make it what it is. There are some short stories, sort of like fairy tales, thrown in the mix that all relate to the family/story line and those were so enjoyable for me. It really helped to give a different perspective on the Sinclairs without revealing everything but at the same time telling you so much about the family.

Once upon a time there was a book about 3 cousins and one family friend, The Liars. The summers were theirs and they were young and free. They spend their summers at Beechwood Island which is a place for family, fun, adventure, young love, greed, accidents, lies, and mystery.

I like to think that I’m good at figuring out mysteries early on (just call me Sherlock) but I found myself not really trying to figure this one out. I was but I wasn’t. I wanted answers but I was so busy enjoying the story and turning the pages that I never got the chance to really theorize about what was going to be the end result. Needless to say when I turned the page last night and started the new chapter, I was sucker punched. I thought “this makes sense” but then denial had me all “this doesn’t make sense, it can’t be true”.

throw-that-book-out-the-window-o^exactly what happened last night

This book deceives you into thinking that it’s a lighthearted read about young teenagers, it is not. I will just say that. Do with that what you will.

This was a very quick read, read it in 2 days and I only sat down to read it thrice. Although it is very short & quick, it still manages to deliver a full story and develop it’s characters (as much as they can be in 225 pages), which I’m happy about because I hate nothing more than flat characters you can’t feel for. Cadence/Cady, the narrator, was not afraid to bring the realness with herself. She was honest with herself about herself and I really liked that about her.
wewere
This book seems to have it’s lovers and it’s haters but I definitely think this is worth giving it a chance.  It delivers a good mystery in a quick enjoyable read.

I’m kind of all over the place with this review but it’s just very hard to write about without revealing anything. There is a lot more to say about this book but I just can’t so I will leave you with words to live by:

1. Do not accept an evil you can change.
2. Be a little kinder than you have to.
3. Always do what you’re afraid to do.
4. Never eat anything bigger than your ass.

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

PaperTowns2009_6A Paper Towns-John Green
RATING: 2 / 5 STARS

Blurb: Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew… Who is the real Margo?

This book was picked by one of my book clubs and I voted for it because I have read two books by John Green and in the spirit of TFIOS, I thought this book would be something I would love. Apparently, I had forgotten about my feelings towards Looking For Alaska but don’t fret, a few chapters in this book and I remembered exactly how I felt about LFA because I felt as if I were reading LFA all. over. again.  This book introduces you to Quentin who is a lot like Miles (Looking For Alaska) and is obsessed with his friend Margo aka Alaska just like Miles was obsessed with Alaska. Margo is this super cool, super deep, intellectual, narcissistic, too good for anybody but not quite good enough, quirky, badass, “everybody is in awe of me but nobody gets me”, kind of girl. UGH. She pretty much ignores Quentin his entire life and then she selfishly decides to swoop back into his life and make him go with her on this crazy revenge scheme she has planned which includes vandalism, breaking, entering, and removing someone’s bodily hair (I say she made him because who in this book could deny MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN?!). After their night of revenge, she decides to disappear and leave everyone around her worried about her well-being, did she commit suicide or is this just another one of her runaway escapades? Nobody seems to be too worried because this is just how MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN is, give me a break. Also, have I mentioned that throughout the entire book she is referred to as MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN? give. me. a. break.

Quentin obsesses over trying to find her because he is so sure that she wants to be found, this obsession actually causes an argument with his friends because unlike Quentin, his friends can see how unhealthy it is.  She leaves him all of these little clues, in a poetry book (give me a break. At this point, I’m just going to need the whole damn Kit-Kat bar), in the door jamb, in an abandoned asbestos infested minimall, etc. The poor dumb sucker is running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to piece them all together only to come to the ending of it all…which….agh! angered me so much. UNGRATEFUL is all I can say.

This is pretty much what the book Looking For Margo is about, a bratty, “misunderstood”, ungrateful, girl and her puppy love obsessed next door neighbor. I’ve read these characters before with just a different plot when I read Paper Alaska. For some reason that I may never understand, John Green likes to write the same girl over and over again. This girl may have resonated with several people who read one of his books but he should have left her as that…a character in ONE of his books. I am convinced now that John Green does not truly understand teenagers for never in my life have I ever encountered a teenager that acts the way that he writes them (AMERICAN boys never say they are going “stag” when hanging out with the guys). Just no.  The two stars are because I feel like John Green isn’t a terrible writer, he can tell a good story it’s just a shame that his stories are so similar. Unless he decides to write a book that is not Young Adult or that has an obviously different type of storyline, I may consider reading it but as Margo Roth Spiegelman would say….

John Green, our book relationship – it sleeps with the fishes.