It’s time! I have a love of surveys, forms, and questionnaires, so combining that with books is nearly the best thing ever.
1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
Okay, here’s the deal. I originally wrote a list of books, divided by genre. But then I started to think about how I actually do have a straightforward answer to this question.
Tiger Lily, destroyer of emotions, breaker of hearts. I read this book five months ago and I’m still not over it.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
A couple: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne, Gilt by Katherine Longshore
These were books I thought were right up my alley–paranormal and boarding schools in one, the Tudors, love, sex and betrayal in the other? But something just didn’t work for me. There are a bunch of others like these, but these are most prominent in my mind.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Probably Tiger Lily again. (You’re going to be seeing it a LOT, by the way.) I came in not even knowing really what it was about, I left with a broken heart. Is that a good thing? Probably not in most cases, but I wouldn’t unread it for anything, if that makes sense.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
I have really good powers of recommendation when it comes to my friends. When they ask me about books I can usually tell if they’ll like it or not, which led to one of my friends accusing me of having powers of prophecy. I suppose they’re easy to please, book wise, but there have been a few exceptions. When I read Jellicoe Road last year I started recommending it to everyone, saying it’ll break your heart and you’ll cry. Well, the people I recommended it to were like, yeah, it was really good.
WHAT? One does not simply read Jellicoe Road and say “it was really good.”
So I mostly stay clear of recommending books I read and loved to people IRL and wait for them to ask me for recommendations. Sometimes I’ll even give them a book I didn’t like if I know they’ll like it. A bit sad, yes, but that’s the way it goes.
5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I am so happy I discovered the Croak series by Gina Damico. My favorite new paranormal! Humor, romance, suspense, cliffhangers… love it. Here are my reviews of Croak and Scorch. The conclusion to the trilogy, Rogue, will be coming out fall 2013.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
I didn’t necessarily discover Jennifer Echols this year, but I did finally connect with one of her books. Forget You was completely not my thing (I DNF’d it) but I loved Such a Rush so much I can’t even. There are a lot of contemporary authors (other genres, but contemporary most noticeably) I’ll be keeping an eye on, such as this list I’ve put together. Books I’ve read are regular, their next book is bolded.
- Trish Doller: Something Like Normal, Where The Stars Still Shine
- Miranda Kenneally: Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, Things I Can’t Forget
- Jessi Kirby: Moonglass, In Honor, Golden
- Jess Rothenberg: The Catastrophic History of You & Me, Baby
- Huntley Fitzpatrick: My Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True
- Rae Carson: The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers (still haven’t read, actually), The Bitter Kingdom
- Lauren DeStefano: Wither, Fever, Sever
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
HAHA aside from the er, adult fiction? Probably (regular) adult fiction and plays. They were all for school, naturally, but I am still very glad I read them.
Adult fiction: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
I was not expecting to love this so much, but I did. It’s a quiet little story about books and first love and self-discovery.
Plays: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and All My Sons by Arthur Miller
Pygmalion was for Grade 9, All My Sons for Grade 10. They are both brilliant, but I liked All My Sons more, because I saw so much of myself in it, because it tugged on my heartstrings quite a bit and the ideas and dilemmas touched on are incredible and vast. I wish I hadn’t gotten the ending spoiled for myself but still, incredible. I’ll be looking into reading Arthur Miller’s other works because the man is a genius. All of the awards.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. An incredible book with just.. I don’t even know how to describe it. I read it on a road trip and normally I have zero-patience with books in the car, not because I don’t want to read but because I get distracted. But I was completely hooked. Jazz is one of my favorite characters of the year, definitely, and one I identified most with.
9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Two sections for this one:
Books I’ll be re-reading because they’re part of a series with the conclusion coming out in 2013:
Scorch and Croak by Gina Damico, The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.
Books I’ll re-read because I loved them so much:
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, Before I Die by Jenny Downham, Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, In Honor by Jessi Kirby, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen.
SO MANY. I LOVE RE-READING.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
I, er, made a whole post about this?
11. Most memorable character in 2012?
So many, again. I had written a whole list but I’m actually just going to include characters I met in 2012 as opposed to ones I became reacquainted with.
Boys: basically every character from Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa, but especially Ed Elric, Selim Bradley, and Hohenheim. Peter Pan from Tiger Lily. Jazz Dent from I Hunt Killers. Daniel from The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. Day from Legend. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars. Driggs from Croak.
Girls: Lex from Croak. Sydney Sage from Bloodlines. Evanjalin from Finnikin of the Rock. Tiger Lily.
So I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m a straight teenage girl, eh?
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
There are a few: Wither and Fever, and Tiger Lily, for their lyricality and beauty, but The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta for their simplicity and honesty.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Anything that came out in 2011 that I put off because I didn’t think I would like it, but good reviews convinced me I should take a second look at.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
You must be kidding me?
I re-read The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart this year but I still thought this was noteworthy because she captures so much with so few and so simple words.
“I still think about him every day.
When I see him, my heart jumps up in my chest.
I long for him to talk to me, and whenever he even says hello, I feel a thousand times worse than I did before.
I wish he was dead.
I wish he still liked me.”
I also tried to stay away from spoilers so I didn’t pick the quote I really wanted to, but this one is from Black Heart by Holly Black.
“Girls like her, my grandfather once warned me, girls like her turn into women with eyes like bullet holes and mouths made of knives. They are always restless. They are always hungry. They are bad news. They will drink you down like a shot of whisky. Falling in love with them is like falling down a flight of stairs. What no one told me, with all those warnings, is that even after you’ve fallen, even after you know how painful it is, you’d still get in line to do it again.”
If it was legal, I would copy and paste the whole of Tiger Lily in here, as well as force you to read it. Heck, if I had unlimited cash flow, I would buy everyone a copy. YOU GET HEARTBREAK! YOU GET FIRST LOVE AND ANGST! But I can’t, and nearly everything I wanted to put was very spoilery so I went with this because I couldn’t just not have a quote from it here!
“Sometimes I can’t see myself when I’m with you. I can only just see you.”
Then there were the humourous quotes. This is from Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake.
“He almost killed my friends. Fuck that guy.”
These are from Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, respectively, both by Megan McCafferty.
“Then a lightning bolt shot straight through my skivvies. Sha-ZAM!”
“What is it about him that makes you, like, totally lose your shit?”
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith.
“Near his foot was a map of Gettysburg, and he looked down at the ridges and grooves running across the land. It wasn’t just the nation that the war had divided; it was families as well. Everyone had been fighting for what they thought was right, no matter who was on the opposite side of the line, whether it was your father or your brother or your son. It was about issues and causes and ideas, and what more could you ask of a person, Peter thought, than to risk all that they were for all they believed they could be?”
This is from Fever by Lauren DeStefano.
“He kissed back, all the pages spread out around us like riddles waiting to be solved. Let them wait. Let my genes unravel, my hinges come loose. If my fate rests in the hands of a madman, let death come and bring its worse. I’ll take the ruined craters of laboratories, the dead trees, this city with ashes in the oxygen, if it means freedom. I’d sooner die here than live a hundred years with wires in my veins.”
And this last one is from Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, last because it applies to my whole entire freaking life.
“Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?”
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Shortest–okay, so there are a few that I wasn’t sure about because they were plays, novellas, etc., so I’ll go with Flyaway by Helen Landalf at 176 pages.
Longest–Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate at 736 pages, but it’s an omnibus, so the next one would be The Diviners by Libba Bray.
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!
The endings of a lot of books: The Evolution of Mara Dyer because I was left all WHAT? NO. And Scorch, because I was nearly catatonic when I finished. And Tiger Lily, because I cried for, like, ever. Also, that f—ing twist in The Fault in Our Stars. I was going to kill someone.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Favorite? Do you mean because it made me happy or because it caused me so much pain?? Every single relationship in Tiger Lily, be it between Tiger Lily and Peter, the Lost Boys and Peter, Tiger Lily and Tik Tok…
I also loved the flirtationship between Theo and Anya in Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin, the angst in Akiva and Karou’s starcrossed-love in Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, and the beautiful relationship between Riddle and Emily’s mother in I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Let’s go with I Hunt Killers, because I had read Boy Toy by Barry Lyga and I really liked it, but I Hunt Killers amazed me. I also ended up liking the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead a lot more than Vampire Academy.
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Yeesh… um, none? This is embarrassing but I guess I have trust issues or something? I take all recommendations with a grain of salt, so I can’t really claim that I’ve read anything solely because someone recommended it. I’m trying to remedy this, though, and I plan to make Going In Blind a thing in 2013.
Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?
So many! I loved reading Meg’s posts at Coffee and Wizards for her discussion posts and fun gif-filled Top Five Fridays, Pretty Little Liars recaps, Weekly Distractions, and other YA goodness at Forever Young Adult, music recs from Novel Sounds, Harmony, who’s blog (Radiant Reads) is absolutely FULL of her personality, and Stephanie at Poetry to Prose for her well-written and insightful reviews.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?
My review of Tiger Lily. Because I loved writing it, I still re-read it and am proud of it, and it inspired other people to read the book.
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I don’t really have discussions here. There was a lot of stuff going on in January, as you’ll recall, and I posted about that a bit and got some interesting feedback.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
There was so much! I don’t have specific links but I read some great posts this year, recently about New Adult and sex in YA. Stacked usually is my go-to for this.
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Authors don’t really come to Canada a lot, and when they do it’s rare that I can go. It’s a little disappointing because really, probably about 90% of Canada’s population lives within 100km of the border; so wherever you are in the north of the US, you can make it to Canada! But there are complications between publishers and stuff. One day I’ll be rich and I’ll be jetting off to BEA and ALA and SCWBI left and right, just you wait.
But oh, here’s a picture of me and my friend Lila with Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. It was pretty cool, I guess. ;)
I’m the tannest one in the picture.
6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
I just loved growing my blog; making new contacts with Canadian publishers, making new friends is always fun, etc. No one real big thing.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
One of the posts from way back when in January in the great S-Storm of Goodreads 2012. I’d rather not bring it back again.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Reviews! All of them!
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I’ve been subscribing to Goodreads Quote of the Day which has been really nice. Not really bookish but writing wise, I loved finding these amazing writing tumblrs, like Twelve Odd Months, ao-oa, Connotative Words, Inky Wings, and Tyler Knott.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
PFFFTTT NO. Well, let’s get a bit more specific. I signed up for the Debut Author Challenge, Sophomore Reading Challenge, and Standalone Reading Challenge. And I gave up on them.
Goodreads Reading Challenge, however? I excelled at! I initially put 150 down, I think, and then went to 175, to 200, to 215. Goodreads doesn’t count re-reads, unfortunately, and I did a lot of those, so I’m planning to fill out the last two spots with some digital shorts I’ve read.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Crown of Embers by Rae Carson! I have some review books to get through and then she’s all mine.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
Well, I made a list with 13 of them.
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
Manifesto coming soon! You’ll get the whole shebang!
Well, this post has been fun and took me almost a month to put together! I have loved this past year of blogging and am looking forward to another great one. You’ll see in the next few days a little more self-reflection and all that :)