Happy New Year everyone! Here’s hoping you all have an amazing 2017. To celebrate the new year and look back at my reading journey throughout 2016 I decided to take part in the End of Year Survey created and hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner.
Last year I saw a couple of bloggers on WordPress taking part in this. It looked like such a fun way to look back over the year but as I’d already posted an end of year review for 2015 I didn’t see the point in doing another one. Still I remember the survey and now we’ve reached the end of 2016 I’ve taken the opportunity to take part in it myself.
Number of Books I Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
Nine. Quite a few I think but there were some books I read before starting my blog that I wanted to review so obviously I needed to re-read them.
Genre I Read the Most from:
Fantasy. Probably no surprise there.
Best Book I Read in 2016?
After reading Six of Crows to say I was excited for the second, and final, book in the duology is an understatement. I had so many expectations for Crooked Kingdom and when I finally got around to it the book not only met but exceeded them.
Book I was Excited about and Thought I was going to Love more but didn’t?
I had high hopes for this book because the blurb made it sound epic. However what I thought would be a battle to the death was more a game of who could decorate Russia the better; add in the love triangle and insta-love tropes and The Crown’s Game was just a disappointment to me.
Most Surprising Book I Read (in a Good Way or Bad Way)?
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry and When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Check out my review for The Love That Split the World here, and my review for When the Moon Was Ours here.
Honestly I can’t pick between the two. I went into both these books with no expectations. I picked them up on a whim, I’m still not sure what led me to either of them in the first place, and came out the other end in love with the story, the characters, the writing, basically everything.
Book I “Pushed” the Most People to Read (and they did)?
I’m not sure if there’s any one book I can say I pushed people towards, I recommend a load of books but whether people decide to read them because of my recommendations is another thing all together. I know I recommended the Shades of Magic series to pretty much everyone throughout 2016 though.
Best Series I Started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
Favourite New Author I Discovered in 2016?
It seems really strange to think that I only picked up both the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series’ in 2016. I feel like given how much I love both series and how many books she’s released so far that I’ve been reading her work a lot longer than that.
Best Book from a Genre I Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of my Comfort Zone?
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but of the books I have read from that genre all of them are five-star, favourite reads of mine so it’s no surprise The Song of Achilles was the same. I read this book back in August and even now I’m still not over how it ended, although I knew it was coming.
Most Action-packed/Thrilling/Un-put-down-able Book of the Year?
Alongside both Crooked Kingdom and Blood for Blood, which I have mentioned previously in this post, Gemina was an incredible, fast-paced and addictive read. For most of Gemina I was glued to my book, turning the pages faster and faster trying to find out what happened next and reach some kind of happy conclusion for Nik, Hanna and Ella.
Book I Read in 2016 that I am Most Likely to Re-read Next Year?
While I could say pretty much any YA contemporary book I read and loved this year (when it comes to re-reads I tend to pick up YA contemporaries I’ve loved more than any other genre) the most likely one is P.S. I Like You. Kasie West has quickly become one of my favourite YA contemporary authors and P.S. I Like You, as well as being the first book by her I picked up, remains my favourite.
Favourite Cover of a Book I Read in 2016?
I am a huge cover whore. The majority of books I read are picked up because of how pretty the cover is, but my favourites from this year (because I couldn’t pick just one) are the covers from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.
Most Memorable Character of 2016?
Again I can’t choose just one so I’m going to pick all of the Raven Boys and Blue from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. They’re all different, but incredibly written and heartbreaking in some cases, characters who are drawn together in their quest to find Glendower but who seem more like family than simply friends.
Most Beautifully Written Book I Read in 2016?
I feel like for this I could say any magical realism book I picked up this year, and there are a few, but there was something about When the Moon Was Ours that stayed with me longer than all the rest. It was beautifully written, lyrical and poetic, and it made me believe in magic again.
Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book I Read in 2016?
This book was a really hard one for me to read because of the subject matter but in the end it was a fantastic book. The characters were real, heartbreaking so, and although the subject matter did make me uncomfortable at times it was well-written and expertly handled throughout the story.
The Book I Can’t Believe I Waited Until 2016 to Finally Read?
Actually I’d say the whole of the Chaos Walking series for this question. It was an addictive trilogy, one I’d been told amazing things about so many times before I picked it up but after reading I still found it’d beat all my expectations.
On the other hand waiting until now meant I didn’t have to deal with any cliffhangers, or desperate waits for the next book to be released.
Favourite Passage/Quote from a Book I Read in 2016?
“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us. You think every soldier who picked up a cutter gun was a bad person? No. She was just doing what the soldier next to her was doing, who was doing what the soldier next to her was doing, and so on and so on. And I bet most of them – not all, but most – who made it through the war spent a long time after trying to understand what they’d done. Wondering how they ever could have done it in the first place. Wondering when killing became so comfortable.”
– The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Shortest and Longest Books I Read in 2016?
The Book that Shocked me the Most
Before I picked up this book I’d heard about the twist at the end, honestly it’s hard not to, and as I was reading I thought I’d guessed what the twist was. Turned out I was wrong, really wrong, I was completely gobsmacked when the real twist was revealed and think I read the rest of the book with my mouth hanging open in shock.
OTP OF THE YEAR (I will go down with this Ship!)
Jesper and Wylan
Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
I don’t tend to have many OTPs when it comes to books but I made an exception for these two. As much as I loved all the Six of Crows couples Jesper and Wylan were my favourites; their relationship was sweet, kind of hilarious in places, and I loved the way they supported one another throughout.
Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year
Kell and Rhys
Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Despite some ups and downs between them, especially in A Darker Shade of Magic, Rhys and Kell are practically brothers. There’s a lot of hidden feelings, inadequacies and darkness between the two of them in A Gathering of Shadows but I loved their interactions with one another.
Favourite Book I Read in 2016 from an Author I’ve Read Previously
I loved Alexandra Bracken’s Darkest Minds series so when I saw she had a new book I was always going to check it out, and the fact that it was a time travel book only added to my curiosity. Passenger turned out to be amazing, even better than The Darkest Minds series in my opinion, it’s one of my all-time favourite time travel books and one of my favourite reads from this year as well.
Best Book I Read in 2016 that I Read Based Solely on a Recommendation from Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?
I’d always been meaning to read Kasie West’s books, she’d been on my to-read list for ages though so who knows when I would have got around to picking one up. Then I saw an amazing review for P.S. I Like You on Jill’s blog, which you can check out here, and knew I had to pick this book up and get started immediately. I did, and loved it just as much as I’d hoped.
Newest Fictional Crush from a Book I Read in 2016?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
Granted this is more because of the movie than the book but Newt is just so adorable. He’s kind, sweet, sort of awkward, he cares so much about all the creatures in his case and he’s Hufflepuff as well, which is also my Hogwarts house according to Pottermore.
Best 2016 Debut I Read?
It’s impossible to pick between these two. The Girl from Everywhere is another favourite time travel book of mine, with an amazing concept behind the travel that I just fell in love with. The Star-Touched Queen was in the running for my favourite book of the year until Crooked Kingdom came along, there was nothing about it I didn’t love.
Best World Building/Most Vivid Setting I Read this Year?
As a lover of fantasy books more than any others a unique world is something that I love reading more than anything else, and both The Star-Touched Queen and Labyrinth Lost had that in spades. The Star-Touched Queen reminded me of The Night Circus, pure magic and wonder everywhere you looked and Labyrinth Lost was described as Wonderland with Greek mythology influences so I was bound to love it from the start.
Book that Put a Smile on my Face/Was the Most Fun to Read?
It was only after I received this book in one of my Owl Crate subscription boxes that I started seeing all the reviews for it on WordPress, and all those reviews highlighted one thing; the humour. My Lady Jane was hilarious, surprising considering the way the real Jane Grey’s story ended, I only wish the humour had continued in the second half like it did in the first.
Book that made me Cry or Nearly Cry in 2016?
Despite knowing how the story would end for Achilles and Patroclus I was still unprepared for it when it actually happened, and I was devastated. It took me a while to move on from this book, and even now I still wouldn’t say I’m completely over it. The Song of Achilles ripped out my heart, tore it to pieces and laughed at my pain.
Hidden Gem of the Year?
As far as magical realism books go this is one of the more obscure ones which doesn’t seem to have a lot of recognition, which is a shame. I can’t say A Fierce and Subtle Poison is my favourite that I’ve read from the genre but it’s still a wonderful book and it deserves a lot more recognition than it currently has.
Book that Crushed your Soul?
It shouldn’t come as any surprise but my answer for this one is The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller again.
Most Unique Book I Read in 2016?
Everything from the concept, what happens to the children who travel and have adventures in fantasy worlds when they come back home again, to the characters, there was so much diversity in this book, to the world building, the descriptions of all the worlds the children had visited felt real even though we didn’t see them with our own eyes, was incredibly well done.
Book that made me the Most Mad (Doesn’t Necessarily Mean I didn’t Like it)?
I had high hopes for this book, I love fairytale retellings and I hadn’t seen many about Rapunzel before so I was excited to get my hands on Reign of Shadows. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. The plot was weak, the characters were flat, and the world-building pretty much non-existent. In fact, between this book and Stealing Snow I’m not sure which is my worst read of 2016.
New Favourite Book Blog I Discovered in 2016?
I’d say pretty much every person I’ve spoke to on WordPress, every person I follow, has a fantastic blog I’m pleased I discovered.
Some of the people who I talk to a fair bit, be you more recent or older followers, and who I am happy I had the opportunity to meet through WordPress though are; Stephanie, Jill, Donna, Lauren, Anna, Marie, Lilly, Kate, Sammie, Melissa, Niraja, Azia, Reg, Fadwa, and Gretchen. These are only a small fraction of the people who I admire, there are so many other bloggers out there who publish amazing posts and who I am so glad I started following.
Favourite Review that I Wrote in 2016?
Honestly I don’t really have a favourite. I have reviews for favourite books I’ve read this year but I’ve talked about that more than enough in previous section. In terms of views my most popular review was for A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas so we’ll go with that one for my favourite as well.
Best Discussion/Non-review Post I had on my blog?
Now this one I do have a favourite for. It would have to be when I reached my one year blogiversary and post my answers to the Q&A session I had. I split it into two parts, you can check out part one here and part two here, because I had a fair few questions to answer and it was so much fun answering everything you all asked me. I only hope people enjoyed reading my answers too.
Best Event that I Participated in (Author Signings, Festivals, Virtual Events, Memes, etc.)?
Definitely definitely going to YALC in London in July. I’d never been to a convention like this before but it was an amazing experience and probably one of the best weekends of my life. I met some amazing authors and some amazing people as well, I got plenty of books signed and even got a few eagerly anticipated ARCs to get started on. It was a wonderful weekend and I’m looking forwards to going back again this year.
Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2016?
Reaching my one year blogiversary in November. For a while I wasn’t sure it would happen, before this one I had three other blogs that eventually fizzled out, but I kept going and seeing the notification come up on WordPress telling me I’d been blogging for one year was so rewarding.
Most Challenging Thing about Blogging or your Reading Life this Year?
Time management more than anything else. Every blogger probably suffers from this at one point or another, and I’ve managed to get a system in place for the most part, but blogging takes up a lot more time than I ever thought it would. When I first started way back when it was definitely a challenge keeping on top of everything.
Most Popular Post this Year on your Blog (Whether it be by Comments or Views)?
In terms of views, because I’m not sure how to find out what post got the most comments without trawling through a year’s worth of blog posts, it’s the Anonymous Bookaholics tag which got 331 views, more than double what my next most popular post got.
Post I Wished got a Little more Love?
There’s no one particular post but in general I’ve noticed the reviews I write tend to get the least views/likes/comments when compared to the book tags and weekly features I post.
Best Bookish Discovery (Book Related Sites, Book Stores, etc.)?
Fairy Loot subscription boxes. I was already subscribed to Owl Crate before I started blogging and I loved getting my boxes each month, filled with bookish goodies and a new release in hardcover, but the shipping was expensive and it always took ages to arrive from the US. Then around June I discovered Fairy Loot, a fantasy focused subscription box based in the UK, and it was a match made in heaven so to speak. I’ve yet to be disappointed with one of their boxes and now I’m eagerly awaiting the January one being sent out to me.
Did I Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals that I had set for myself at the Beginning of this Year?
One Book I Didn’t get to in 2016 but will be my Number 1 Priority in 2017?
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
It’s not a 2016 release but it is a book I meant to get around to last year, and even worse this was originally a book I didn’t get around to in 2015 and planned to pick up last year according to one of my Top Ten Tuesday lists. To say I need to make it a priority in 2017 feels like an understatement.
The Book I am Most Anticipating for 2017 (Non-debut)?
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
After the way A Gathering of Shadows ended (an ending I read back in February 2016 mind you) I have been desperate to get my hands on this book. I need to know how everything ends for Lila, Kell and Rhys and the fact that I’ve been waiting for a year already is too much.
Not long to go until February now but it still feels like too long to wait.
2017 Debut I am Most Anticipating?
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book from NetGalley and I am planning to start it next, but ever since I first saw this book on Goodreads I have heard nothing but amazing things about Caraval. Everyone who has read it so far has loved it and hopefully it will be the same for me as well.
Series Ending/A Sequel I am Most Anticipating in 2017?
Series ending: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Sequel: The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
One Thing I Hope to Accomplish or do in your Reading/Blogging Life in 2017?
In terms of reading it will be to surpass my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set myself a target of 100 books so I think I’ll be able to manage that easily, depending on how well I do in the first few months I may think of increasing it to 125 or even 150.
In terms of blogging it will be to reach my two year blogiversary. I hit one year in November and for me it was such an incredible achievement so here’s hoping I can reach two years as well.
A 2017 Release I’ve already Read and Recommend to Everyone:
Both of these books were incredible, beyond incredible in fact. Frostblood jumps right into the action, it’s fast-paced and addictive but despite this the character development and world building don’t fall in the wayside. Gilded Cage had a slower start but by the end I was hooked, and given the way it ended I desperately need the second book in the series to carry on the story.
This was an extremely long post so congratulations if you made it all the way to the end. I had a lot of fun filling in this survey, and it was certainly interesting looking back over my year both in terms of blogging and in terms of the books I read.
Have you taken part in the 2016 End of Year Survey? if you did let me know and I’ll be sure to check out your post if I haven’t already.
Have you read any of the books on my list? If so what did you think of them, would any make your list for favourite read from 2016? Let me know.