Wednesday, December 30, 2015

End of the Year Survey!

Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner came up with this wonderful end of the year survey that looked like a lot of fun. I also added a few statistics of my own in this survey. I have been keeping track of all my books read this year with a handy little Excel spreadsheet. That information should be used for something, right? 

2015 Reading Stats

Number Of Books Read: I have read 239 books this year! This was an exceptional year for reading. I believe this is the most books I have read in a year in a very long time. 

Number of Re-Reads: 7
Genre You Read The Most From: Overwhelmingly, it was Contemporary
And it should come as no surprise that most of the books I read were Young Adult.
Number of DNF's: 15
Number of books rated five stars: 51
Number of books rated one or two stars: 42
Number of female authors read: 193
Number of male authors read: 43

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Yeah, this question isn't hard at all. I'm not even going to try to narrow this down because it's too cruel.

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

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
I had such high hopes for this one, but it was a major disappointment. 

3. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read?

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan and Black Iris by Leah Raeder
4. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

I could probably answer every single question with one series: Lunar Chronicles. But let me try to spread some love to other series I loved this year.

Best series I started - A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Best sequel - The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Best series ender - Winter by Marissa Meyer
5. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Courtney Summers and Marissa Meyer, without a doubt. I discovered many, many wonderful authors this year, but I would devour anything written by these two women. I did make it a point to read every single book that Courtney Summers has ever written this year and I loved every one.

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

The entire Lunar Chronicles series!
7. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don't reread many books, but if I had to choose one, it would be The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
I can't believe I didn't read this one until this year. It is just as good as the movie!

8. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia probably isn't the most beautiful book I read this year, but it is one of them. This is just my attempt to spread the love to a book I haven't mentioned yet in this post.
9. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

10. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

There were several, but my favorite was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This one is now one of my favorite classics!
1. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
12. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer (824 pages)
Shortest: Bob's Burgers Comic Books (32 pages)

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

Every single romance in The Lunar Chronicles series was amazing, but my favorite OTP was Cress and Thorne.
14. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Ollie and Moritz from Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
The friendship between these two boys wasn't perfect, but it was adorable and charming and I loved these characters.

15. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
16. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

First of all, I will read pretty much anything that Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight loves. It's eerie how we can have opinions that are so similar about so many books (both good and bad). If she loves it, I know I will. There have been many books that I added to my TBR based solely on her reviews.

I did read Alice and The Fly by James Rice solely because of a review written by Cait @ Paper Fury. I was supposed to be on a book buying ban, but I ended up buying this book immediately upon reading her review.
Worth it.

17. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles series . . . I freaking love him so much!

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

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This book was crazy cute and adorable. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading it!

19. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

There were several books that made me cry this year. These are my favorites.
20. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The one that I don't think received nearly enough love was Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen.
This book was incredibly beautiful and very powerful.

21. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I was devastated at the end of this one.

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

All The Rage by Courtney Summers
This book was incredibly powerful and emotional and so raw. I was furious with so many of the characters and how they treated Romy after her rape. The title is very appropriate.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I discovered so many wonderful blogs and bloggers this year! My favorites are Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight (I swear, we are book twinsies!!), Cait @ Paper Fury, Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

My review of Black Iris by Leah Raeder, mainly because it's one of my favorite books that I read this year.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I wrote a great discussion post on letting certain hangups around blogging go.

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

My book review of The Wild Oats Project by Robin Rinaldi (this one was a bit of a surprise)

5. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Any of my discussion posts!

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I have heard nothing but rave reviews about this one and I just purchased it! I will be starting it any day now.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Front Lines by Michael Grant
This is a new series by the author of one of my favorite series ever (Gone). It is a historical fiction book that reimagines WWII where women are eligible for the draft. I am practically salivating over this one.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

I am already hearing great things about this one.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

There are so many, but the one I am most looking forward to is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. The release date for this one just happens to be my birthday. Great present, huh?
5. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
This was such a powerful book!

And don't forget about my one year blogaversary giveaway! It is international. You can win any book that I have reviewed since starting the blog, as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. You still have three more days to enter!

I hope you enjoyed my survey! Tell me something about your books read this year! What was your favorite book? How many books did you read? What was your most read genre? Or answer any of these questions in the comments section! And if you did a tag yourself, feel free to leave the link so I can pay a visit.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Most Anticipated Releases of 2016

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They feature a different top ten list every week. This week's topic is top anticipated releases of 2016.

I purposefully did not put any sequels on this list. There are so many sequels on this list that I am sure I could devote a whole post for sequels alone.

1. Front Lines by Michael Grant - The author of the Gone series (best series ever!!) is coming out with a historical fiction novel - this is set during WWII, where women are subject to the draft for the Nazi Army. Hell yeah!! 
2. The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine - A retelling of Snow White!
3. The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry 
4. Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan - Love this cover!!
5. The Word for Yes by Claire Needell 
6. The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
7. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
8. Take The Fall by Emily Hainsworth
9. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
10. Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

What are a few of your most anticipated 2016 releases?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bout of Books Sign Up!

It's that time of year again! It's time again for Bout of Books! 
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.

I will also be hosting a Villain Mash-Up challenge and a giveaway on January 7, so stay tuned for that. 

Here are a few of the books that I will try to read during the week of January 4. 

I may read fewer books than this and I may end up reading a few more.

Will you be participating in Bout of Books??

Sunday, December 27, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is January 5, 2016. 

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This is not an easy book to review. This is not an easy book to love and yet I do. This book is one huge punch in the gut. It’s hard to imagine that this stuff happens all the time. There have been so many school shootings and I can imagine if the survivors wrote a memoir about what they went through, this would come pretty close.

This book takes place over the span of 53 minutes and I couldn’t look away from a single minute, though I wanted to. The shooter is holding most of the students hostage in an auditorium. The doors have been bolted shut and as one student puts it, “it’s the perfect shooting range.” They are trapped. We get multiple POVs of some of the people in the gym, along with some people who aren’t there. But the people who aren’t there are terrified about the friends or relatives who are stuck in there. 

There are many POV’s in this book and it did take me a bit to figure out who was who and who was related to whom. The shooter is revealed pretty early, but the whys are what drive everyone in this book. Everyone from the shooter’s sister to the shooter’s ex girlfriend to the shooter’s victim ask themselves one question: what could I have done?? 

I won’t lie. There is a lot of violence in this book. The author doesn’t shy away from describing the sound of the bullets, the fear and the helplessness that every student is feeling, the sight of the blood and the bodies. Like every other school shooting, people die. Some of the ones who died knew the shooter and some didn’t. I was ugly crying throughout the entire book and since I was on an airplane, I was struggling (somewhat unsuccessfully) to control my tears. 

This book is powerful and emotional and incredibly heartbreaking. It is also terrifying. These students are trying to talk the shooter down and trying to figure out what the motive is and they are also just trying to survive. I won’t give away too much about the ending, but I will say that we are left with the knowledge that this shooting in this small town has affected every single person. All the survivors can do is try to move on, but I know that is easier said than done. I can’t really think of a thing I would change about this book . . . except maybe that I wish things like this didn’t happen.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one! It will tear your heart out, but it is worth it.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

It's a Christmas edition of Stacking the Shelves!!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. This is where we talk about the books we have acquired over the week, whether they be physical or ebooks, borrowed, purchased or ARCs.

Today is a magnificent, huge edition of Stacking the Shelves because of Christmas!
I have received so many books over the last month!! I have a monthly book buying budget, but with the exception of Winter, I have not purchased any new books since September. Crazy, right?? So I had four months of book money saved up and I got more than a few Amazon gift cards as gifts. People know me, right?? And I got more than a little ARC happy. My TBR is officially out of control once again. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks to Edelweiss for these ARCs:
Thank you NetGalley for these ARCs:
These are ebooks that I purchased (some with my money and some with gift cards):

These are physical copies that I purchased for myself:
Yes, 95% of all my book purchases are ebooks. I had to buy a physical copy of The Book Thief because it is my favorite book ever (only had to go to two bookstores to find a non movie cover one!) and I purchased Illuminae because it is beautiful and it seems like the format is better with the physical copy than the Kindle version.

These books were gifted to me:
I am so happy to have the physical copy of The Princess Bride! The hardback edition is beautiful. I also received the movie, so I am pretty happy. The other book I received was The End of The Affair. That is a classic I have wanted to read, but it is not available on Kindle. Boo!

Funny conversation with my husband:

Me: "The Princess Bride is my favorite book ever. I am so glad I have the physical copy now!"

Husband: "I thought The Book Thief was your favorite book ever."

Me: "I can have more than one favorite book ever."

I am really surprised that my husband didn't know that. Duh.

And here is a bookish non-book item that my parents gave me:
And YES, it does smell like books!! It smells freaking amazing.  You can buy one for yourself here

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday season! 

What books have you acquired lately? Any exciting bookish gifts that you have received?

Don't forget: less than a week to enter my first blogaversary giveaway!