December 16, 2011

Books & Blogging 2012

This is my first time participating in the End of Year Book Survey, though I must say that if I had been blogging and if I had known about it, I certainly would have done it last year too. 2011 was a big year for me - I started this blog, made a lot of new book blogger buddies (ooh, a tongue twister in the making!), found some new and new-to-me authors and read a whole bunch of pretty awesome books. So it seems only fitting to participate in the end of year book survey, hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner, to cap it all off.

1. Best Book You Read in 2011

Dystopian: Divergent by Veronica Roth. Hands down. Until now, I find myself still in awe of it.
Contemporary: Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. So much gushing over this!
Fantasy: Eon by Alison Goodman. It's such a well-written series!
Historical Romance: The Love by Numbers (1, 2, 3) series by Sarah MacLean. So much romance <3

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

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski. It's not that I didn't like it; I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

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

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, if only because I didn't know what it was going to end up being about. It was a very pleasant surprise though!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011? 

Divergent by Veronica Roth & Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield

5. Best series you discovered in 2011? 

The Hunger Games (1, 2, 3) by Suzanne Collins. I know I'm late on the game, but I do love this series!
Eon/Eona by Alison Goodman. Such a brilliant story and I love the Asian mythology behind it.
The Heroes of Olympus (1, 2) by Rick Riordan. I love Riordan; this series is my new favorite from him.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Veronica Roth, Michelle Madow, Cheryl Rainfield, Leigh Fallon

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

The only book that I read that was out of my comfort zone was Lethal Remedy by Richard L. Mabry, and I actually liked it enough to think about purchasing the rest of the books in his Prescription for Trouble series.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011? 

Divergent by Veronica Roth. Sheesh, this book is going to be the answer to a lot of these questions.

Other choices: Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield, Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Eon/Eona by Alison Goodman

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I have been waiting for ages for this book. But I haven't read it yet because I don't want it to end!

Other choices: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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

My pick: Divergent by Veronica Roth. (I told you guys that this was going to come up a few more times.)

Other choices: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Remembrance by Michelle Madow, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Girls: Tris from Divergent & Lola from Lola & The Boy Next Door

Boy: Cricket from Lola & The Boy Next Door

Some of my other favorite characters of this year are Katniss (The Hunger Games), Puck and Sean (The Scorpio Races.

12. Most beautifully written book in 2011? 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I've been a fan of Maggie's writing style since I first picked up Shiver, and she does an incredible job with this book.

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

Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield. This book, in my opinion, has a powerful underlying message - and for some reason, it is the message that has lingered with me the longest and most effectively after I read it.

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

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I know, I know, I know. I'm behind on the hype!

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

You can always check out my Words from Books posts to find this one out.
But of everything that I've read this year, here's one of my favorites:

"Books are your friends," Dad used to tell me. "They allow you to hope and to dream, but they also help to strengthen your talent. Never forget that." I read because I love to." - from Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield

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

Divergent by Veronica Roth, to refresh my memory on everything that happened before Insurgent is out.

Other choices: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, for the same reason.

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! 

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

The Reading Gals is my newest favorite book blog to visit, because Magan and Estelle have similar preferences to me when it comes to books and they write such great reviews. They're also two of the nicest people I've ever met/interacted with on Twitter.

Other favorites this year are by two of my book blogger friends (thanks to Twitter): Katelyn's Blog by Katelyn (because she's so enthusiastic and her positive attitude is infectious) and Between the Pages by Daisy (because she' my Twitter buddy and just purely awesome).

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?

I personally love the reviews I wrote for Divergent and Carrier of the Mark. But my absolute favorite is the review I wrote for Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is up on Goodreads and goes up on the blog soon.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

The best discussion is on this TGIF post, where I talked about writing reviews and gave my own advice. I love the responses from people who read it! 

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

I love this post on Jamie's blog (The Perpetual Page-Turner) about getting blog followers versus getting readers. It was such a brilliant topic for discussion, and I thought she wrote about her opinion on the matter really well. Plus, it was interesting to see how people responded!

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

This year was epic for me in terms of events since I got to attend a few in the City. If I had to choose just one, it was the This is Teen event at the Scholastic Store in Soho featuring Meg Cabot, Maggie Stiefvater and Libba Bray.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011

The best moments of my book blogging life are getting to know other book bloggers and forming new friendships. I have to give a shout out to my friends Katelyn and Daisy, who are two of the people I talk to a lot on Twitter and who I consider friends.

It's also pretty cool when authors I love reply to me on Twitter! I love how easy it is to connect with them, and I appreciate the fact that they replied to me!

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

I checked this recently and found out that it was my post for Small Blogs, Big Giveaways, 4th edition. I totally understand why it's this post - it's one heck of a giveaway! Thanks to Nat at Reading Romances for letting me be a part of it.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Show some more love for these reviews? I thought these books were AMAZING.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

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

Book Depository, because it's freakin' awesome.

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

I only had one reading challenge, from my Goodreads account, and that was to read 105 books this year. I actually went far past that number if you check my sidebar. At the moment, I'm at about 115 books, I think.

Looking Ahead... 

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

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, if I don't get around to reading it while I'm on vacation for the holidays.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

I'm waiting on a bunch of books for 2012, but the two books that I am extremely excited for are Insurgent by Veronica Roth and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

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

For reading: I would love to finish a total of 150 books next year, if that's at all possible (and considering how I'm doing right now, it looks like it might be).

For blogging: I'd like to improve on the writing style I use for my reviews, as well as figuring out new features to add on the blog.

For the book blogging community: I want to further develop my friendships and working relationships with my fellow book bloggers, authors, publishers and publicists.

Thank you for coming up with this survey Jamie! It's such a pleasure to be able to look back at the year that was and see all that's happened, remember what I've loved and not-really-loved and to look forward at the year to come. {Have you done the End of Year Book Survey? If not, click here.}


  1. Laura @ The Traveling OwlFebruary 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    What great answers to the survey.

    As you saw, I loved Divergent just as much! I haven't read Lola yet, but did just read Anna (I know, late to the party...) and loved it. Can't wait to read Insurgent and Isla, too.

    Laura @ <a href=">The Traveling Owl</a>

  2. 1) You are amazing
    2) I love you
    3) You are made of awesomesauce
    4) I love you some more
    5) Your level of coolness is out of this world
    6) I think you are like the biggest sweetheart EVER
    7) I am so glad we have become blogging friends
    8) I have a day off tomorrow
    9) Number 8 may not make any sense until number 10
    10) That means I get to comment on some of your favorite reviews! Yay!!!
    Seriously, I tell you time and time again I think you are so great but it somehow is still not enough! Thank you so much for all your kind words and all the support you give me and my blog on a daily basis! I think you have one heck of a blog and your reviews are amazing (I read them! I really do and I am trying so hard to be a better commenter. Now that school is out, I will be much better at it!) Keep up the amazing work!
    <3 <3 <3

  3. Alexa, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the shout out. :) It has been so much fun getting to know you and chatting via twitter or commenting on each other's blogs. I really adore you and I can't wait to get to know you better in 2012.

  4. Great survey...lots of things to think about. Well if I already didn't think I needed to read Divergent, I think I should. I thought your choice of discussion...followers v readers was an awesome pick. And I totally feel you when about posts you wish got more love.

  5. Awww! (that's the second time you've made me aww today!) Thanks hon! You are so sweet!! And you know what? I have both Divergent and Hunted on my shelf waiting for me :D Considering your answers, I'm in for a treat :) And YES to the Love By Numbers series! Such amazing historical romance! And I really need to start The Heroes of Olympus, I LOVED the Percy Jackson series!

  6. Good luck with your goals for 2012! I hope you find another book that you loved as much as Divergent for the new year :)

  7. Yes to reading all those books you need to read! I'm really excited for you, as I loved all these books that you need to start reading ;)

  8. You definitely should read Divergent! It's the book that got me most excited this year and I recommend it to everyone I know!

  9. I have really enjoyed getting to know you and Estelle! You're both such awesomely talented people and your reviews are insanely good. I'm so happy that we're Twitter/blog friends and hope that continues! <3

  10. I think you're just as awesome Katelyn! I appreciate every single comment you leave on my reviews/posts and I'm so happy we're blogging friends! I think we were definitely meant to become friends because we have so much in common! Here's to many, many more years of being friends! <3

  11. I hope you read Lola soon! It's just as cute, quirky and fun as Anna. It's quite possible that I love Lola & Cricket more than Anna & St. Clair. Or well, maybe not...


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