End of Year Survey: 2014 Edition

EndofYearSurveyThe End of Year Survey was composed by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner Blog. All the images featured in this blog were created by me using PicMonkey.

ReadingStatsNumber of books you read? A whopping 125 books! I reached my 2014 reading goal! Go me!

Number of re-reads? Every year I try to re-read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. I re-read it for many reasons. One reason is simply because it’s my favorite book. Another is because it reminds me just how much I love reading. And still, I feel like every time I read it, I learn something new. But this year, I simply never got around to re-reading this classic. But that’s okay, because I read a number of really great books!

So, in short: 0 re-reads.

Genre you read the most from? Every year I strive to step outside of my reading comfort zone, and every year I fail miserably. This year was no different, I stuck to my reading comfort zone, and the genre I read most from contemporary/realistic YA fiction.

BestinBooksBest book you read in 2014: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart & Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love but didn’t: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Most surprising book you read in 2014: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington. This book was surprising because I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

Book you “pushed” the most people to read? I generally am not the one “pushing” people to read books, most of the time people are “pushing” me.

Book series your stared in 2014? Best sequel of 2014? Best series ender of 2014? Series started: The Selection by Kiera Cass. Best sequel: Never Fade by Alexadra Bracken. Best series ender: I’m terrible at finishing a series ūüė¶

Favorite new author you discovered in 2014? Emery Lord

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Forget Me by K.A. Harrington & TEN by Gretchen McNeil.

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Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to re-read in 2014? If I had to say any book, it would probably be E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales because of the hidden “Love” spelled out on the cover. Runner up would most definitely have to be Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – I love the cover, but I love the surprise behind the cover!

Most memorable character of 2014?  Chubs from Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken  because he is my most favorite character! EVER! He will always be the most memorable character.

Most beautifully written book read of 2014? The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Most thought-provoking/life changing book of 2014? Hands down, the most most thought-provoking read of 2014 for me was I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga.

Book you cannot believe you waited until 2014 to finally read? I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Seriously I think I had this book since it first hit shelves, and now that the trilogy has come to a close, I just read it this year. Can’t. Believe. It.

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Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014? “Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.” ¬†– from This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

“Even if your heart is broken and attacking you, you’re still not better off without it.” from Landline by Rainbow Rowell

“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what. The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home. And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.” from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Shortest/longest book you read in 2014?  Shortest: Faces of the Dead by Suzanne Weyn (208 pages) Longest: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (512 pages)

Book that shocked you the most? We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

OTP (one true pairing) of the year? Isla and Josh from Stephanie Perkin’s Isla & The Happily Ever After – most definitely!

Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year? Reagan and Dee’s relationship in Open Road Summer. Their¬†friendship is so honest and real!

Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve read previously? Isla & The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Best book in 2014 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else? This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (Thanks Emma/Miss Print for telling me I’d LOVE this book‚Ķyou were right! But you knew that already!)

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014? Prince Maxon from The Selection. Though, Aspen does get some swoon-worth bonus points.

Best 2014 debut you read? Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read? Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014? The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst.

Hidden Gem of the 2014? Roomies by Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr

Book that crushed your soul? Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m a fan, but this book just was not what I expected it to be, nor was it what I wanted it to be. So much so, that it crushed me.

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Most unique book you read in 2014? Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. Not only was the storyline really strong, how author Adi Alsaid executed it was truly unique. It felt like each part was a vignette, and each vignette a part of a greater story. Besides that, I really loved how Alsaid managed to link each of these vignettes. Really cool, and really unique.

Book that made you the most mad in 2014 (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry. To be honest, I really didn’t enjoy this book. And it made me so incredibly mad for a number of reasons. Reasons I won’t get into here, because that isn’t what this post is about.

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BookishLifeNew favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? Gone With The Words – I discovered this blog through TBTB’s Secret Santa Exchange – the person I gave to was Gone With The Words Blogger Morgan!

Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, etc.)? The Book Nerds Unite Giveaway that I participated in was pretty awesome! It felt really great to join forces with a bunch of other talented bloggers .  I felt like it really showed what a vast community we are.

YALLFest was a lot of fun! Not only did I get to hang out with one of my most closest friends Dee, but I had the chance to meet some really great authors and pick up some great books.

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Oh, and there was that time at BEA14 I got to hold the Holly Black sign at the front of the line!

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(Can you tell how excited I was?!?)

¬†Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014? I’m really proud of the holiday feature, the 12 Days of Christmas feature I put together this year. It was a lot of fun, it featured a number of really awesome bloggers, and I feel like it got a lot of attention!

Most popular post of this year on your blog? It’s Hop Time, posted in January 2014

Post you wish got a little more love? I wish all of my reviews got a little more love!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals? Yes! Every year I take the GoodReads reading challenge. This year was no different I set out to read 125 books, and I completed it!

LookingAheadOne book you didn’t get to in 2014, but will be a priority in 2015? The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (I know, I know ‚Ķ. Emma hangs her head in shame ūüė¶ )

Book you are most anticipating for 2015 (non-debut)?  Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray … CANNOT WAIT!

2015 debut you are most anticipating? Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff. I received this book (an ARC) from y TBTB Secret Santa, and since then I’ve been really excited about getting around to it!

Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2015? Even though it came out in 2014, I definitely didn’t get to it. But I certainly plan on reading it in 2015: In ¬†The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2015? I sincerely hope to be a better blogger, meaning I hope to not procrastinate and be on top of my blogging game! I also hope to not put as much pressure on myself Рreading and blogging wise.

Besides that, I’m going to try my hardest to comment more of other’s blog posts!

A 2015 release you already read & recommend to everyone? I sadly haven’t read any 2015 releases just yet ¬†ūüė¶

 

Monday Memories (#14)

Monday Memories is a super easy and super fun meme hosted byThe BookBandit and Miss Print. Participants are asked to post a picture of a book that holds a special place in their hearts, and talk briefly about why this book is so special. If you want to join in on the fun, link up and be sure to link back!

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Hello Readers!

For today’s Monday Memories Post I’m going to be talking about a book that too me by surprise. Let me set the scene for you. It was late in August 2013. I was at the airport, not so patiently waiting to board my flight to London. Staring out the windows wasn’t helping the time pass any quicker, so I pulled out my kindle and decided that reading would be the best way to pass the time. As always I didn’t know what to read, so I read a page or two of the books I had loaded on there.

But than I got to Aprilynne Pike’s Life After Theft. And I found myself reading more than the prescribed two pages. Within a few pages, I was hooked.

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I don’t know what I expected from Life After Theft when I first picked it up. But I can tell you this: I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! The characters are memorable, the plot was original, and the writing was smart. It was everything I wanted in a book. And the fact that it helped make the time spent in the airport pass quicker ‚Ķ well, that was just a bonus!

Another reason why Life After Theft is today’s Monday Memory is because it made such an impression, that after reading it, I quickly added all of the author’s other books to my TBR list. I haven’t read any of them yet, but I sincerely plan to.

Note:  Monday Memories, this weekly meme that Miss Print and I have been hosting for quite some time now will sadly be ending Monday, December 29th. After that date, this feature/meme will be inactive.

12 Days of Christmas: Day 12 With The BookBandit

Hello Readers!

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Merry Christmas ‚Ķ EVE! And welcome to the very last day of the 12 Days of Christmas. Even though I’m sad to see this feature come to an end, I’m so very happy to say it was a success. And not only do I have you, dear readers, to thank but I have all the wonderful bloggers who participated and made this feature what it was!

But I’ll get to the Thank You’s in a bit…

First, let me talk to you a little bit about the very last book that I think would make a great gift!

The Book:

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Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

The Reason:

There are many reasons why I would give Emery Lord’s debut Open Road Summer as a gift. For one thing it’s an exceptionally great book! Seriously, every person I know who has read this book has loved it. And I’m certain that anyone who reads it will also love it.

Besides the fact that it’s simply a great book, I really love the portrayal of Reagan and Lilah’s relationship. They are best friends. These two are there for each other through the best and worst of times. It’s the kind of friendship that readers can look up to, ¬†and see their own friendships reflected in.

And still, a big reason why I truly loved this book, and suspect many other readers loved it is because the music undertones. You see, Lilah is a country star. And because of that it feels that there is music threaded into every passage, on every page of this book.

The Extras:

There are a ton of bookish extras I could and would give alongside giving Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer. But because Lilah often reminded me of Taylor Swift, I would totally give a Taylor Swift CD alongside this book. Specifically, I’d give Speak Now. (From Amazon:¬†http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Now-Taylor-Swift/dp/B003WTE886/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1419452325&sr=8-4&keywords=taylor+swift)

Because a good majority of Open Road Summer takes place, well, on the road traveling across the U.S. I’d give a bright and colorful luggage set. (From IT Luggage:¬†http://www.itluggage.com/products/view/Almaty%20-%20Scallop%20Flower%20PC%20Spinner-19)

And still, to symbolize the relationship between Reagan and Lilah, I would give a best friends necklace. (From Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/193329163/compass-friendship-necklaces-nautical?ref=sr_gallery_42&ga_search_query=best+friend+necklace&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery)

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Speak Now CD by Taylor Swift

IT Scalloped Flower Luggage Set

Compass Best Friends Necklace

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So that’s it dear readers! The very last post in The BookBandit’s 12 Days of Christmas holiday feature!

Before this post officially comes to a close, I really want to say THANK YOU to each and every blogger who contribute and participated in this feature! Because of you guys, this feature was truly a success!

Andi from Andi’s ABCs

Lisa & Gaby from Bookish Broads

Emma from Miss Print 

Kayla from The Thousand Lives

Amanda from Of Spectacles and Books

Melissa from Bookmark Dragon

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books 

Morgan from Gone With The Words

12 Days of Christmas: Day 11 With Emma from Miss Print

Hello Readers!

It’s day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas! Do you know what that means? It means that, not only is christmas two days away, but that this holiday feature is coming to a close! But before it officially comes to a close, there are a couple more posts!

Today’s post is by Emma from Miss Print. Emma is no stranger to this blog! Nor is she a stranger to this feature. If you remember a few days ago she posted about one of her most favorite books Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. Today she’s here again to talk about another one of her favorites!

But before we find out exactly what book she’ll be talking about, I just want to say THANK YOU to Emma! She’s always so willing to help me out. I cannot tell how much I appreciate Emma! Seriously, you guys‚Ķif you haven’t checked out her blog, you need to!

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Thank you again to Nicole for having me back to talk about another favorite book I’d love to gift to all of my friends ūüôā

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is a great story about friends, sisters and family. It has humor and romance and is generally one of the best written and sweetest novels I read in 2014. In writing this post I also realized I have a lot in common with the main character, Lara Jean, who is a bit of a homebody and also loves to bake which makes it even closer to my heart.
While this book spans an entire year, it definitely feels like the perfect book to read around the holidays–especially since the story wraps up at Christmas.

Lara Jean is an accomplished baker and Christmas cookies are a big part of her family’s holiday traditions so I would give a set of seasonal cookie cutters with this book. I’d also add a cookie press which is used to make delicious and beautiful spritz cookies (which feels like an inherently Christmas-y thing to make because I remember a grown up friend making lots and lots of spritz cookies every December).

A lot of this story hinges on letters that Lara Jean wrote so I’d also include some stationary. Any set of note cards would do. Since Lara Jean also has a special hatbox in the story where she keeps her letters, I’d love to give a set in a pretty box that can later be used to save received letters or other special treasures.

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 10 With the BookBandit

Hello Readers!

And welcome to day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas holiday feature! I sincerely hope that all you readers have been enjoying all the posts so far! And I sincerely want to thank each and every blogger who has participated and made this holiday feature a success!

With that, it’s my turn to step up to the plate and talk about a book I’d give.¬†When I give a book as a gift I always think of two things: 1. the person I’m giving the book gift to and their personal reading tastes. And 2. how the book I want to give fits into their reading tastes.

Today I’m going to be talking about a book I feel would make – quite possibly – the best gift! It’s a book I feel could fit many reader’s tastes – from contemporary to fantasy.

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The Book:

 

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Splintered by A.G. Howard

There are many reasons why I would give this particular book as a gift. First of all, I honestly feel that this book can satisfy vast reading preferences and tastes. ¬†Another reason why I would give this book is because even though it is a retelling of Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, Splintered is an original, unique take of this fantastical story. ¬†Bottom line is, it’s just a great read, and I personally feel everyone should read it!

The Extras:

Alice in Wonderland Necklace: (From ModCloth:¬†http://www.modcloth.com/shop/necklaces/book-club-classic-necklace) With A.G. Howard’s Splintered, I’d very obviously give something that symbolizes, not only this book, but the original classic. And I feel that this necklace adequately symbolizes both.

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Vintage Tea Cup – (From Etsy:¬†https://www.etsy.com/listing/206856322/vintage-royal-sealy-teacup-footed-tea?ref=sc_2&plkey=f80e8769a3e476bd11b52e5c159c881dc775184b%3A206856322&ga_search_query=tea+cups&ga_vintage_rewrite=vintage+tea+cups&ga_original_query=2&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_view_type=gallery)Main character Alyssa’s mother refuses to eat or drink anything unless it’s served in a tea cup. Personally, I can agree with it ‚Ķ it would make eating and drinking more fun I think! So because of that I would give a vintage floral tea cup!

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Daisy Patch (From Amazon:¬†http://www.amazon.com/Daisy-Flower-Yellow-Center-Embroidered/dp/B00E84A2H0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419251120&sr=8-1&keywords=daisy+patch) Alyssa’s mother has added touches of Wonderland to their home. One of those touches were the daisy patches she added to the comfy chair. But little does Alyssa know that there are secrets and treasures buried deep behind those daisies. So because of that, I think it would be fun to give a daisy patch alongside Splintered.

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Monday Memories (#13)

Monday Memories is a super easy and super fun meme hosted byThe BookBandit and Miss Print. Participants are asked to post a picture of a book that holds a special place in their hearts, and talk briefly about why this book is so special. If you want to join in on the fun, link up and be sure to link back!

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Hello Readers!

For today’s Monday Memories post I’m going to be talking about a book that I read simply because the publisher sent it to be for review. Going into this book I didn’t know much about it. I didn’t know much about the plot, the characters, or even if this was the kind of book I would enjoy. But something about it intrigued me. And I knew I had to read it.

That book is …

The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

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The reason why I am talking about this book today, and why it is so special to me is because I learned so much from it. The Fire Horse Girl talks about a period in history that I honestly don’t think I learned about during my schooling. It talks about the Asian immigration into San Francisco’s Angel Island.

Beyond the history lesson I got out of the book, I found that the main character, Jade Moon, was a really strong leading lady. She’s the kind of character I honestly feel that readers can, not only relate to, but look up to.

To say the least this book left a lasting impression. And for that reason, and the reasons mentioned above, The Fire Horse Girl is today’s Monday Memory.

Want to join in on the Monday Memories fun? Make sure to link up (below) and link back!

Note: Monday Memories, this weekly meme that Miss Print and I have been hosting for quite some time now will sadly be ending Monday, December 29th. After that date, this feature/meme will be inactive.

12 Days of Christmas: Day 9 with Morgan from Gone With The Words

Hello Readers!

Happy Sunday and welcome to Day 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas feature here on the BookBandit Blog. Today’s guest post is from Morgan from Gone With The Words. True story — a few months ago I signed up for the Broke and Bookish’s Secret Santa and the person I was assigned was none other than Morgan. Seriously, it was so much fun to shop for Morgan, so because of that I knew that Morgan and I would be twitter friends. And I knew I had to see if she’d be willing to participate in this little feature. And luckily she was. A BIG THANK YOU to Morgan. For more info, check out Gone With the Words! So without further adieu, here’s Morgan’s awesome guest post!

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I love giving (and getting!) books as gifts. I find it really fun to choose the perfect book for the right person, keeping in mind their reading tastes, their hobbies, and just what about that book would appeal to them specifically. It’s like being a Book Fairy! In this instance, I chose Outlander.

Why Would I Give This Book:¬†Because I read the entire series in 6 months back in 2011. It‚Äôs that fantastic. It‚Äôs also a quick read despite its doorstop appearance. And Outlander itself is amazing for multiple reasons. There‚Äôs something for everyone, whether you‚Äôre looking for historical fiction with a twist, strong female characters, lush writing, lots of action, or sexy romance. Or all of the above! The characters and landscapes are vivid, the action is fierce and shocking, and while the story contains time travel it is wholly believable. Plus it‚Äôs set in Scotland, which lends this delicious Gaelic flavor to the story. The best part is if you end up loving Outlander, there are currently 7 sequels to read which adds up to one seriously epic series! Also‚Ķ Jamie Fraser ‚̧

What Would I Give With It? An Outlander Book Scents candle that embraces the heather of the Highlands so you can envelop yourself in all things Scottish while you read. Going along with that, a tin of ScottishBreakfast tea from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf  and a bag of Walker’s Shortbread Mini Festive Stars for the perfect cozy bookish snack. Don’t forget the beautiful Celtic Knot silver necklace from Etsy. The design resembles the infinity symbol wax seal on the cover of the 8th Outlander book- perfect for time travel! Lastly, Outlander Season 1 is airing on Starz now; Part 1 was absolutely incredible and Part 2 (which encompasses the second half of the book) begins in April. Get caught up with the book and the show before it comes back on air! The casting is pitch perfect, especially Claire and Jamie, and the gorgeous Scottish locations are to die for.

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