2011 Annual End of Year Book Survey

Hi everyone! Today I am taking part in the 2011 End of Year Book Survey, hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. As you may know, I’ve only been blogging since May 2011, so this survey will reflect that. This post is really a reflection back on 2011 and about looking forward to 2012. (I’m getting completely corny in my last few days of 2011.)

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 

I cannot pick this one, you guys. I’ll have to give a few: 

Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King.

(I tend to like contemporaries that make me cry a bit, you can tell :D)

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

The Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles–I was SO hyped up to read them and then pfft. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins lacked the magic of Anna for me. I know I’m not alone in saying this. Divergent, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Forget You by Jennifer Echols were also hugely disappointing to me.

3. Most Surprising (In A Good Way!) Book Of 2011?

Probably Flat-out Love by Jessica Park–for the same reasons as Jamie actually. Self pubbed and I honestly didn’t expect to love it. I signed up for a blog tour because Ashley really loved it.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Anna and the French Kiss. Hands down. I swear everyone at my lunch table knew it off by heart before I forced them all to read it. And then I lended out my ARC of Lola… I want them both back! I need to re-read Anna for the holidays. Special treat :)

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

The Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins is superawesome and I’m so happy I read those both this year. I cannot wait for Spellbound in March 2012.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

JOHN GREEN. ’nuff said.

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

Erm.. any of the books I read with extremely dark subject matter–Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess and Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott come to mind.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

I read all 500 pages of Divergent in like two hours. I think that’s a good answer.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Probably City of Fallen Angels. I was dying to see what Cassie would do with another three books.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

How the HELL am I supposed to pick this one? I… I can’t. Let’s be real here. Go see my Fave Covers of 2011 post for the covers I ADORED.

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

SO.SO. Many. Too many. I’ll list them here and if you know who I’m talking about, points to you! Anya Balanchine, Taylor & Griggs (yeah, I put them together), Noah Shaw, Etienne freaking St. Clair, Will Herondale, Ridley Duchannes, Adam & Mia, Alaska Young, Charlie, Clara & Tucker, Sophie & Archer, Will & Kate, Ruby, Anna (x2), and Rory Deveaux.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

Hands down, Jellicoe Road. I cried for hours after I read that book. I’m just lucky no one was awake to hear me. Anyway, I never cry at books. This was pretty damn good.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

This one is hard, I can’t really think of what I wanted to read in 2010 I only got around to this year–I’m going to go with the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead, which I saw in 2010 and wrote off as just another vampire book.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

Can’t think! I can’t pinpoint a specific one, but I’ll just go with the entirety of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That book is one of the most quotable I’ve ever read, dangit!

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

I’m going to re-read Anna and the French Kiss. I already planned it. See above.

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!

I talked about Anna for days upon days. My lunch table nearly exiled me. I was all (spoilers are crossed) Anna and St. Clair slept together but not actually just in the same bed and they need to get together and have the sexytimes because I CANNOT anymore I just CANNOT and he got her a Canadian flag haha I’m Canadian and I want a boy who’s American/French/British too so I can be like Anna and if they invented machines that could transform you into fictional characters I would BE Anna and omg he’s drunk and AAAHHH his mum got cancer and omg his dad’s an asshole and I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

DOES THE ENTIRE CONCEPT OF BOOK BLOGGING COUNT?

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010? 

Probably my recent review of The Night Circus, and my mini-review of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I was just honest in them.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

…I don’t really have discussions on my blog. I have bad habits of not replying to comments when I should and that combined with a small readership does not discussion fodder make!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog? 

Ooh, there are a bunch. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but

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

It makes me sad to say: practically nothing. Nada. Canada doesn’t really get a lot of love from authors and all that. Of course I’m dying to go to BEA–probably not this year, though Armchair BEA’s an option :’( But I really did enjoy doing In My Mailbox and Waiting on Wednesday this year.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

Making a book blog. Hands down.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog?

Weirdly, the two most popular posts this year were my cover reveal of Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins and my review of Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel. I don’t even know why they get so many hits! They just do.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I kinda wish my reviews would get a little more love, you guys :)

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

EVERYTHING about blogging. But since I’ve already mentioned that: The Book Depository for low prices and free shipping which is amazing, rediscovering Goodreads to keep track of what I read, when I read it, and going back to one of my favorite used bookstores which always leaves me with awesomeness.

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

YES! I read 161 books–so far–out of the 160 I set for myself this year. That number may not be entirely accurate because I only started intensely keeping track in May, but whatever. I’ll be participating in way more challenges this year now that I’m aware of them all :D

Looking Ahead… 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

Erm… let’s just go with a book I have for review that I need to get to as soon as possible :) Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner by Dalya Moon.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Currently? The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. I’m so excited to get my signed! copy of TFiOS and I can’t wait to have my finished copy of the latter and find out what happens, that will, as Jamie put it,

Give to me Stephanie Perkins. Make my brain explode!

Check out this post for my most anticipated reads of 2012!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

Reading — Complete all my challenges, and possibly read more classics.

Blogging — Generally increasing stats: subscribers, page views, etc. Working on my Klout too and building relationships with publishers.

Hope you enjoyed my recap of 2011! Can’t wait for another amazing year of blogging. If you’ve been a reader of reutreads for a while, thanks so much. For everything. 

Some Bookish News: Why Bloggers Matter

Hey everyone! I have absolutely nothing to do today. There was supposed to be a plan but that kind of fell apart because my dad won’t drive me anywhere and since I have no school today (parent teacher interviews are awesome), and I’ve seen some really cool book related things in the past couple of days, well… why not do a Bookish News post?

1) Chapters Indigo’s 21 Books to Read Before You’re 21

Chapters is the biggest bookstore chain in Canada, as you may know, and they’re also really awesome. I really like their CEO and their whole company dynamic. Yeah, people. Chains can be good sometimes.

Anyway, Chapters has really good taste, you know? And this list they did is quite accurate, I believe. There are 21 books on the list, obviously, and of those I’ve read 10, own 3 that I haven’t read, and 6 that I have. I’ve heard awesome things about all the rest, and they’re all on my to-read list.

2) Why Bloggers Matter (As if we didn’t already know.)

You might have heard about Myra McEntire’s Hourglass being optioned by Fox. You know, like for a movie. Which is already cool enough to me, considering I was there when Hourglass was just an elusive ARC. 

But I betcha didn’t know all about how bloggers were the main driving force behind Fox’s decision! Way cool, no?

3) Nerdfighters Make John Green Do Things

This isn’t really anything new. Nerdfighters have been making John Green do stuff for years. Continue reading

Some Bookish News: Scandal, Sexytimes, Contests, and Movie News!

Wow, that is a really, really good title for a post, isn’t it? It really just hooks you in. You know, you’ve got the promise of scandal and all that, then some sexytimes…

It’s just a really good title, okay?!

1) Scandal. 

I don’t know how many of you know what went down with Lauren Myracle and the National Book Awards. Let me break it down, kay?

Basically, there are five nominees for the National Book Award in the Young Persons category–I think that’s what the category’s called. Lauren Myracle was originally on this list for her book, Shine. Turns out, the book they really meant to put on the list was Chime by Franny Billingsly. Similar? Yes. Similar enough to warrant that kind of confusion… no.

The thing is, Lauren Myracle did not know this. She was really just on top of the world about her nomination. Then someone e-mailed her:

Then, a couple hours later, I got this e-mail from an editor at the School Library Journal, who asked, “What’s this Shine/Chime business?” And I didn’t know. But she wrote back, “Do some Googling. I’m so sorry.” And I started Googling, and what was written from the National Book Foundation was that they’d added a sixth book to the list—Chime, by Franny Billingsly—that there was an error in communication, but they’d decided that there were going to be six nominees this year.

Read an interview with Lauren Myracle for Vanity Fair about the latest events here.

Read a blog post by Libba Bray entitled “This Week in Clusterfuck, brought to you by the National Book Foundation” here.

The National Book Awards committee said they would keep both books on the list, resulting in six nominees. Still not the best possible outcome. But wait for it… later on, the NBA, “to preserve the integrity of the award”, asked Lauren Myracle to drop out of the finalists.

So she did.

Isn’t it awful, though? The only upside is that the NBA (to save face) donated $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, an organzation who’s main goal is to raise awareness and promote human dignity for everyone. Kind of tongue in cheek. The reason the choice of this charity is significant is because Shine deals with a hate crime against gays, and Matthew Shepard was tortured and murdered because of his sexual orientation. You can read more about Matthew Shepard’s story here. Be warned; it’s not easy to read.

It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears. 

… I have the utmost respect for Lauren Myracle for peacefully withdrawing from the competition. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long, long time, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon. To me, one of the most outrageous things is that Lauren felt embarrassed to have thought she could have won. Lauren, you deserved it.

2) Sexytimes

Pretty much the only thing I have to talk about for the sexytimes is this wonderful post Melina from Reading Vacation wrote on Sexytimes in YA. Along with examples from popular YA, Melina says this:

What about insta-love? I am not a fan. Who actually falls in love with someone that quickly? WHO? I know who. A character who is lonely, is obsessive, has low self-esteem, or maybe is on the rebound. Whatever the reason, I know perfectly well that relationships should not move to the level of sexy times at lightning fast speed. This is not a race y’all!

And:

But what happens with this same level of sexy times when the relationship is abusive, one of the characters is too forceful, or if there are drugs involved? I will still consider it appropriate to read. But, I am also smart enough to realize that this is not a good situation. I know that this is the sort of relationship and the type of sexy times I never want to be involved in.

And:

The girls I admire are the ones who are strong and look out for themselves. These are the girls who recognize a jerk when they see one. They don’t get too overly gushy about the hot new boy at school on the day they meet him. These girls take their time. They know what they want. I do not want to be the weak girl I read about who lets herself be taken advantage of. That is not sexy at all. It is maddening.

And:

The relationship between Anna and St. Clair in Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a great example of this sweet and innocent sexiness. These two take their time falling in love and the biggest sexy thing they do is kiss. It’s the “other” things they do that I most enjoyed. A knowing glance and a well-timed touch are all it takes to turn up the heat for Anna and St. Clair. Sarah Dessen’s book, Along for the Ride,has this same feel-good flirty sexiness that I hope I experience someday. And yes, I do believe that this sort of sexy times exists in real life.

3) Contests

This one is the shortest point yet: Simon and Schuster Canada is having an epic contest to win ALL of Jodi Picoult’s books. ALL ‘O DEM.

4) Movie News

I. Marlene King is working on the script for the film adaptation of City of Bones! SQUEE!! I am so excited. (I. Marlene King is the genius behind Pretty Little Liars–on TV.) She defs knows her stuff about romance, mystery, and suspense. I am sooo looking forward to the movie even more now. You know, I don’t really like the casting, but now I AM ON BOARD.

For the announcement, go here.

For an interview with I. Marlene talking about her favorite scenes and all that, go here.

Have an awesome bookish week!

Let’s Talk About… The New Hunger Games Teaser!

If you live under a rock and haven’t heard of The Hunger Games… well, sorry to have to break this to you, but you live under a rock.

Basically THG is a trilogy of dystopian novels that started this whole YA dystopia trend (heard of books like Divergent, Delirium, Matched, and Wither? Yeah.) It’s also being made into a series of four movies, with the first one filming right this very second. The Hunger Games, the first movie, is due from Lionsgate on March 23, 2012!

The first teaser trailer was shown Sunday night at the VMAs. (If you don’t know what the VMAs are… you’ve got a problem.)

And since I am a huge Hunger Games fan, I am offering you my commentary on the above video!

(Really, the trailer can be summed up in two words–Katniss runs. But I know that’s not what you want.)

The trailer is what I assume to be a scene from the actual Hunger Games themselves–in the arena. Katniss is running to get away from someone/something, and there’s explosions and whatnot. It actually doesn’t start off with action. There’s some really cool score and just some footage of Katniss walking through a forest in trepidation. Then I’m assuming there’s a noise, and she whips around.

Then a voiceover of Gale starts, and this is one of my favourite parts. The lines are so good… and I know that’s a weird thing to say but it’s true. I got chills when I heard “They just want a good show, that’s all they want.” The underlying social commentary is perfect.

As the voiceover continues, the music starts to speed up and Katniss starts running faster, being chased. Intercut with this are flashes of something gold against a black background. More running, and then a falling and flaming tree falls right in front of Katniss. Soon she’s surrounded by flames. She pulls out her bow and arrow and takes aim (We can hear Gale saying, “Show them how good you are.”) She shoots and the arrow flies out of frame and into an animated background, where it hits the circular golden object being shown from earlier on. It spins and then thuds, and it’s…

Katniss’s mockingjay pin.

Which then bursts into flame.

CHILLS, EVERYONE, CHILLS!!!!

P.S. Does anyone else think that “May the odds be ever in your favor” is the perfect tagline?

P.P.S. Also that short four note tune at the end is Rue’s whistle!

News: Drew Barrymore To Produce Heist Society Movie, Shauna Cross To Write Screen Play

So according to these articles from Hollywood Reporter and Next Movie, Drew Barrymore has just signed on to produce the film adaptation of the Heist Society books by Ally Carter! And Shauna Cross, who wrote the book Whip It or Derby Girl–depending on when you read it–which was adapted into a movie directed by Drew, is going to adapt the books into a screenplay!

Reasons Why I’m Excited About This:

  1. Heist Society is going to be a movie.
  2. This means I get to see Hale. On the big screen. Preferably in 3D or IMAX. Or both.
  3. I love Drew Barrymore.
  4. I love Shauna Cross.
  5. Whip It the movie was–to quote Next Movie–like, awesome.
This is going to be totally awesome. Spectacular. I’ll keep you posted on more movie updates!
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