Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 End of Year Survey

Welcome to the 2018 End of Year Book Survey, hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner!  This is actually my fourth time taking part - check out my posts from 20152016, and 2017, if you dare.  Anyway, without further ado, let's get to the tag:

2018 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 353

Number of Re-Reads: 2, that I can remember

Genre You Read The Most From: YA and Fantasy - I can't say I'm surprised there.


1. Best Book You Read In 2018? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2018 release vs. backlist)



Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood - This is always such a difficult decision, but this year I'm focusing on my favorite 2018 YA Debut novel.  I couldn't have asked for anything better from this historical fiction about a barnstorming team.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't



The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton - I only read a 200 page sampler, but I doubt I'll ever complete it. I definitely preferred the premise of a fantasy King Lear retelling more than the execution.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?



The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire August - I didn't know just how much I needed this literary sci-fi time travel thriller.  I need to pick up more by this author soon.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?



The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - I mentioned this nonfiction book to just about everyone at the library!

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?



Opener - The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black - Holly Black never disappoints and this is a such an amazing first novel.  I'm dying to read the sequel.


Sequel - Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel #2) by Josiah Bancroft - Senlin Ascends was pretty great in it's own right, but book two is where the author really soars.


Ender - Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo - Oh my gosh, where do I start?  Both books in this duology were awesome.  I only wish we'll get to see more of these characters in the future.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?



N.K. Jemisin - I've read the first two Broken Earth books and I'm pretty sure she's a genius.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?



More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera - I'm so glad I finally decided to try this author this year.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/ unputdownable book of the year?



The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1) by Mackenzie Lee - I didn't want to stop and I didn't want it to end either.

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?



Heroine Complex (Heroine Complex #1) by Sarah Kuhn - I was really looking forward to this Sci-Fi Month read, but it wasn't for me (I DNF'd it at 25%).  However, I'm thinking about trying the audiobook edition soon.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?  I couldn't decide between the two below because they're both so amazing:



Scream All Night by Derek Milman - This was one of my favorite reads of 2018 and the cover is absolutely perfect for it!  I couldn't ask for anything better.


Amberlough (The Amberlough Dossier #1) by Lara Elena Donnelly - This novel is brilliantly executed John le Carre meets Cabaret LGBT+ fantasy spy thriller set in a Weimar Republic, Germany-esque world and the cover couldn't be better.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?





Locke Lamora & Jean Tannen from Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2) by Scott Lynch - I finally read book two in this series and Locke and Jean are some of my favorite characters of all time - I can't separate them!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?



The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin - I was incredibly impressed with book one in this series, but the sequel was even better.  If you haven't started this series yet, what are you waiting for?

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?



We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Short, sweet, and to the point.  This essay is a thought-provoking must read.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?





Both Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 1984 by George Orwell - I can finally say that I now understand why these are classics.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?



“Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own. You can't really know which ones you'll survive if you don't stay on the battlefield, bad times shooting at you like bullets. But if you're lucky, you'll have plenty of good times to shield you.” - More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?



Shortest - Singing in the Rain based on the song by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, illustrated by Tim Hopgood - 32 pages - I love the song and the movie and this picture book is just glorious.


Longest - .theMystery.doc by Matthew McIntosh - 1,669 pages - I saw this mixed media novel at the library and totally had to pick it up.  Basically, I ended up reading it for the bragging rights - and it's actually like reading a 300 page novel.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)



Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas - The ending of this really threw me for a loop - in the best way!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) (OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)



Dwight and Caroline from Warleggan (The Poldark Saga #4) by Winston Graham - The tv adaptation of this book series is one of my favorites and I've quickly gotten hooked on the original novels.  As much as I like Ross and Demelza, Dwight and Caroline are my favorite couple of the series.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year



The crew of the Wayfarer from The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - The fantastic characters make this story.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously



Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds - Before I read this the only thing I had read by this author previously was Miles Morales which was good, but this was a brilliant surprise. By the way, the audiobook production of this is excellent.

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:



Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson #6) by Darynda Jones - Last April a patron at the library recommended this urban fantasy romance series to me, now I've just finished book six and I haven't looked back.  It's a really funny and addicting, and the main character is a private detective and also the Grim Reaper.  I've listened to all of them on audiobook since Lorelei King does such a marvelous job of it.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Ummm, I don't think I have one... a new one anyway.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?



The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1) by Melissa Albert - I've read quite a few amazing debuts this year, but this one has really stuck with me.  If you haven't read it yet and you're a fan of Holly Black and Maggie Stiefvater, then you'll absolutely have to pick it up.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?



Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi - This easily could have qualified for several other categories in this survey, but I wanted to give out as much praise to as wide of a variety of books as possible this year!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?



Unbound (Magic Ex Libris #3) by Jim C. Hines - This whole series is just a ton of geeky fun and it was awesome to be back in Isaac's world again!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?



Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - This is hands down one of my favorite graphic novel series, and the end of this installment totally wrecked me.  I'm getting misty-eyed just typing this...

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?



Cadaver & Queen (Cadaver & Queen #1) by Alisa Kwitney - This YA alternate history retelling of Frankenstein set in 1903 is just plain cool.  I can't recommend it enough.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?



Nevermore (Cal Leandros #10) by Rob Thurman - This is the most recent installment of one of my all time favorite urban fantasy series.  Unfortunately this one ends on a massive cliffhanger and it appears as if Everwar, the next novel in the series, was cancelled by the publisher (it was initially due to be released about two years ago now).  Anyway, the series has always been fantastic and Nevermore is no exception so it's absolutely crushing to know that we'll never find out what happens to Cal, Niko, Goodfellow, and company.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?



Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett - The world and magic system of Foundryside is easily one of the most unique I've had the opportunity to read in quite some time - and it's also one of my favorite reads of the year.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?



Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tulcholke - I'd seen a lot of middling to negative reviews for this, but I honestly didn't expect it to be quite so irritating - the characters really got on my nerves.  At least the cover design is outstanding.



1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

Sorry to say that I have a hard time remembering when I've followed anyone.  Usually that all blends together...

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?


 

I always like talking about movies in some way - on that note I loved writing about the Upcoming Sci-Fi Movies I'm Looking Forward To, Sci-Fi Book Adaptations I Want To See, and Music from the Bahubali Series (which if you haven't watched this two movie epic action fantasy series set in ancient India, what are you waiting for?).

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?



The Hufflepuff birthday cake my best friend had made for me!

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



My favorite new-to-me virtual bookish event was FraterFest Read-A-Thon hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer which was all about reading as many mystery, thriller, fantasy, paranormal, horror, and supernatural books as possible.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

It was so cool getting to take part in Lisa @ Dear Geek Place's For the Love of SF: A Sci-Fi Month Roundtable - thanks, Lisa!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Mostly finding the time, as usual.

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

My most popular review is for Never, Never and Never Again by K.M. Breakey and my most popular weekly meme post is Top Ten Tuesday: Graphic Novels I Need To Read.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I wish my review of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert which has been one of my favorite reads of the year and my Top Ten Tuesday post featuring My Favorite LGBTQ Couples got a little more love and attention.

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

I went to The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus, Ohio for the first time ever this year - it covers 32 rooms and it's a city block long.  It's very much labyrinthine (plus a bit claustrophobic) and you'll need practically an entire day devoted to exploring all of the nooks and crannies.  If you're in the area, you'll definitely want to go in.

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


Yes, I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge and Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge.  I didn't quite manage to tick off all of the books on my #BeatTheBacklist 2018 challenge, but I came pretty close.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?



Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab - I don't know why I put this sequel off (probably for fear of what's going to happen to my favorite characters), but I need to jump in as soon as I can!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?



The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3) by Josiah Bancroft - Arm of the Sphinx, book two in this series, was my favorite sequel of the year and I'm dying for this to released on January 22nd!

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?





I can't decide between Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte and We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal!  They both sound so fantastic!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?



The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black - There are a lot of sequels and series enders coming up that I'm looking forward to, but this one is currently at the top of my list!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I'm hoping to complete Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge and Beat the Backlist 2019 - I'm going to get in a lot of great reading done in the coming year!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):



Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen - Release date: February 2nd, 2019 - I lucked out and received an ARC of this MG fantasy series opener from Book Publicity Services.  Anyway, I highly recommend it to fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.


Have you taken the 2018 End of Year Survey?  What books have you loved this year and what are you looking forward to in the coming year?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps commenting down below!

Music Monday: White Christmas & Marshmallow World


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

Happy New Years Eve Everyone!  For the rest of this month, I'm spotlighting some of my favorite Christmas songs - and this week I'm sharing "White Christmas" (Original 1942 Version) by Bing Crosby and "Marshmallow World" by Dean Martin.  In my opinion, you can never go wrong with either of these songs or these classic crooners.






Friday, December 28, 2018

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Merciless (The Merciless #1) by Danielle Vega + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current Winter Bookish Bingo reads (it will fulfill the pink square), The Merciless (The Merciless #1) by Danielle Vega.  I've been looking forward to this YA horror novel for a long time and I'm glad to finally be diving into this thriller.


Beginning:

I snag my thumb on the lunch tray's metal edge, and a crescent of blood appears beneath my cuticle.

56:

Last night, with Riley, Grace, and Alexis, I finally felt like I belonged.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Read of December


Favorite - Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2) by Scott Lynch - This series is just so awesome!


Least Favorite - A Mark Unwilling (The Reckoning #1) by Candace Wondrak - So much potential that it never quite lives up to.

What are you reading this weekend?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!