Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 End of Year Book Survey

The 2011 End of Year Book Survey was started over at The Perpetual Page Turner. If you want to read more from other readers, hop on over and take a look through the linky list.

 On Books Read...

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

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

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. Because this is the second in the series and I loved the first, I was expecting so much more. I feel like this installment accomplished absolutely nothing and in the process just really irritated me. I don't even know if I want to continue the series, it was that dissappointing to me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. First because I couldn't seem to get the false impression that this was about werewolves out of my head (which it most definitely was not). And secondly, because I had only read a few online reviews on Goodreads and they were all negative. This was one of my top favourites in 2011 and am so glad it wasn't what I thought it was!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I think that's a tie between Divergent by Veronica Roth and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Meyer. Every time I saw someone even mention that they might want to read one of these books I had to encourage them. If you haven't read them, you need to!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

I don't think it would be fair to list a "best series" because I haven't finished any of the series I started yet. Divergent, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Dragon Diaries, and Firelight would have to be my favourites though.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Lots of new favourites this year! Tara Altebrando, Stephanie Perkins, Deborah Cooke, Jennifer Donnelly, Veronica Roth, Gabrielle Zevin, Rhiannon Paille, Lena Coakley, Thalia Chaltas, Rachel Cohen & David Levithan, and more.

I certainly had a thing going for women writers in YA this year.

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

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This was way way out of my comfort zone. I don't usually do strait up romances. This looked so incredibly "swoony and crush-y" to me. I would have never picked it up if not for all the great reviews. And you know what? It was all those things. But it was also one of favourite books in 2011. So I must have to give more of these books a better chance now, right?

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Across the Universe by Beth Revis. After getting the chance to read it early in the year, my next most anticipated book was Crossed by Ally Condie. I have it but still haven't had the chance to read it, which is making me sad :(

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

Wither by Lauren DeStephano.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

So difficult to choose for this one! Anya from All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin, London from Forgotten by Cat Patrick, Clarity from Clarity by Kim Harrington, Alaska and Miles from Looking for Alaska by John Green. All unique characters that you couldn't find anywhere else. All characters that to me were pretty unforgettable.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. The writing was sophisticated and yet gritty. Gorgeously written prose and scenes that made me want to read them aloud to others sitting close by. It got a 4.5/5 from me. If not for part of the ending it would be just so perfect.

Honourable mention goes to All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin. Another sophisticated yet highly accessible book for teens. Marvellous writing!

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

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas. I was never obsessed quite so much with poetry and novels in verse until I read this book. I can also contribute my new appreciation to contemporary young adult literature to this one. It has impacted my reading in so many ways. It also has me wanting to write my own YA novel in verse because if I could write half as well as Thalia Chaltas, I'd feel much accomplished.

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

This is a tie between City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. City of Bones because this one was recommended to me years ago and I also feel like everyone has read this already. Hex Hall because it was on my TBR list for a long time and it was so much fun I wish I had picked it up sooner.

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

There was a quote I kept from Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas. But...I've lost it. Sorry guys :(

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

Divergent by Veronica Roth or Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Don't make me choose!

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!

Every scene in Divergent by Veronica Roth. I could not stop talking about this book! I especially loved the scenes at the beginning where we learn about the factions.

Another one was the poetry/rap in Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly as well as the historical scenes in this book. For months after, every time someone would mention royalty or cruelty I would end up talking about this.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?

Oh I can't decide, you are all so wonderful! I do have to give a mention and a huge thank you to Kathy over at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Kathy has done so much for the blogging world, especially in terms of hosting giveaway hops. So many readers have found me this way and I've found so many blogs myself this way as well. But seriously, there are so many great blogs I've discovered this year, so I'm cheating and saying all of you! You can go to my blogger profile to see all the blogs I follow. The ones I go to most have buttons on my sidebar.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

Flame of Surrender (The Ferryman and the Flame #1) by Rhiannon Paille. My favourite high fantasy book of the year! I worked really hard on this review and loved the way it turned out.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

For "Best" I'm going with "most fun". That was my Which Faction Are You? discussion/response. I loved going through this in my head, taking the test to see what it said and then seeing what your responses were as well.

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

Sex in YA over at Reading Teen was a fascinating read because it covered so many of the issues and so many points of view, yet Andye kept to her opinion. It was really well written and I recommend you go over there and check it out.

The post about OCD in fiction (and especially relating to her review of Lisa McMann's Cryer's Cross) that Ashley from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing was also very thought provoking to me. This was a completely different take on the book that I got and I could totally see why this book should be more controversial than it is for all the reasons she stated. As a reader who just wanted to get a good story this was very thought provoking to me. I wonder how much we should take with a grain of salt, how much credit we should give to the author's own experience, and how much we should question when looking to our own reading experiences.

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

A seminar with Kenneth Oppel about the research behind his book Half Brother (This was so amazing!) and a double Q&A/signing with Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver. You can read about the Kenneth Oppel event here and the Dystopian Tour with Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver here.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

I loved participating in Banned Books Week with hundreds of bloggers and authors all reading banned books and talking about censorship and other related issues in our blogs and vlogs.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

All the way back in April, Maggie Stiefvater played an April Fools joke on her readers (on Facebook). I was doing an April Fool's theme week, blogging about one book per day, caught wind of this and blogged about it. This little post is the most viewed on my blog with over 1000 unique visiters checking it out and still continues to be my most popular (nongiveaway) post each month!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Any blog tour or interview. I always want to know that people are reading these and getting something out of them. I love to share new author discoveries with everyone and would love more comments, even just a thank you for sharing. But I know people are reading them even so.

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

Best Website discovery: The new releases guide over at Teens Read Too is the most exhaustive and useful release guide I've seen to date. You can find tons of book releases listed months in advance and they are all listed in order by release date. I now use it to see which books I want to read in future months and potentially request them from the publishers for review or just add them to my list for library holds or purchases.

Best book store discovery: The Book Depository! I no longer have to fill my online cart with a certain amount before getting free shipping. I can use it give away books on the blog internationally. And I can get new hardcovers much cheaper than almost anywhere else. I can't believe I didn't discover The Book Depository sooner. I use it almost exclusively now and can tame down my monthly purchases significantly because I don't feel guilty about wasting money on shipping costs.

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

I completed four reading challenges/goals this year. My Goodreads goal which was to read 104 books, my indie reading goal which was to read about 40 indie books, my Debut Author Challenge which was to read at least 12 young adult/middle grade debut authors, and the summer Award Winning Reads Challenge which was to read at least 3 Newberry or Prinz winners/honours (at least one from each category). I only missed one goal which was to read four YA historical fiction books. I read 2.

Looking Ahead...

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

Both Delirium and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver are on the top of that list.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

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

For reading, I want to slow down and stop getting distracted by shiny things. The prospect of a new book often distracts from enjoying the ones I already have. For blogging, I want to be able to look back at the end of the year and see quality posts and know that my love of reading really shone through. To that end, my biggest blogging goal is more reviews!

This post was part of my New Year's Signature Collection event.
Watch out for lists, reviews of January releases, author interviews, and more during the month of January



  1. Divergent and Anna are two of my favourites as well (although I read Anna at the end of 2010, I did re-read it in 2011 and promote it everywhere) <3

    I read Cassie Clare's books for the first time this year too. For so long I never really read anything besides contemporary and sometimes historical, but in the past couple of years I've been reading paranormal and urban fantasy and enjoying some of it. I never read anything about demons at all, but I've sort of branched out, and I really enjoyed them! I read Hex Hall and Demonglass too, and thought they were really good.

  2. i still haven't read divergent i'm a bit afraid it will be too sad for me ( i'm really emotional) but i would like to discover hex hall (really, i nearly had one book but someone took it just before me ç_ç)

    all the best

    oh 2011 is also the year i discovered deborah cooke ( in interview and review no book yet)

  3. I am right there with you on giving recs to Anna and Divergent. Those were the two best books I read this year.

  4. I missed this post until now! I'm so excited that I'm your fav high fantasy read of the year. (I might have been the only high fantasy read but I'll take it!) Just to let you know, I'm coming to Toronto for Polaris July 6th to 8th and hopefully we can meet!

    1. Oh. That is awesome. I will have to see about going to that! I'm sure my husband would LOVE to too (he is a huge Star Trek fan). Well, I think I read more than one high fantasy :) Not that many though. I really can't wait until you publish the next one.