December 12, 2012

Books & Blogging 2012

I still don't think that it's fully registering in my brain that 2012 is about to come to an end. I still feel like the whole year just flew by, filled with experiences both amazing and disappointing, friends old and new and fun things all over the place. It's also been a wonderful blogging/reading year, and I'm happy to share the highlights with you all in this post!

1. Best book you read in 2012?

Fantasy: Seraphina (Rachel Hartman)
Contemporary: Second Chance Summer (Morgan Matson)
Dystopian: Pure (Julianna Baggott)
Sci-fi/Paranormal: The Raven Boys (Maggie Stiefvater)
Non-fiction: Paris, My Sweet (Amy Thomas)
Middle Grade: The Wishing Spell (Chris Colfer)
New Adult: Easy (Tammara Webber)
Start to a Series: Incarnate (Jodi Meadows)
Second Book in a Series: Insurgent (Veronica Roth)
End to a Series: Inheritance (Christopher Paolini)
Fairytale Retelling: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
Writing Inspiration: Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't?

There are two books that immediately come to mind for this category. I'm not sure if it was just off timing, or maybe it was just not my cup of tea.

Wentworth Hall (Abby Grahame)
The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers (Lynn Weingarten)

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?

Jellicoe Road (Melina Marchetta) - I wasn't sure what to expect from it, plus all the "YAY! I LOVE HER!" comments from my fellow bloggers lent to my high expectations, which can be scary. (I'm happy to report that I loved it though!)

4. Book you recmomended to people most in 2012?

I think I've been telling a lot of people that they need to read Insurgent or, if they haven't started the series yet, Divergent. I am in love with the dystopian world she's created, and clearly, Four has won my heart.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal: Marissa Meyer
Contemporary: Morgan Matson
So many bloggers love her: Melina Marchetta
Writing inspiration: Sarah J. Maas
Awesome Twitter presence: Rebecca Serle

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

Lowcountry Punch (Boo Walker)

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Inheritance has got to be my answer, mostly because I'm not over the fact that I read the WHOLE THING in less than a day.

9. Book you read in 2012 that you are more likely to reread next year?

Asunder (Jodi Meadows) & Scarlet (Marissa Meyer), since I've only read the ARCs and would definitely want to read the finished versions. But if we're referring to a book that's already out, I would definitely reread My Life Next Door (Huntley Fitzpatrick).

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

For Darkness Shows the Stars (Diana Peterfreund)
Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
The Lonely Hearts Club (Elizabeth Eulberg)

11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Dossam, from Incarnate
Chaol, from Throne of Glass
Jase, from My Life Next Door

Penny, from The Lonely Hearts Club
Cinder, from Cinder
Seraphina, from Seraphina

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

The Lover's Dictionary (David Levithan)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

Throne of Glass had a story that made me fall in love with fantasy all over again. Not only did it alter my reading habits, but it also inspired me to write again. If you don't know how this book ended up published, you might want to check out this post. (And to see this totally touching video of Sarah talking about receiving "the call" from her agent, click here!)

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?

"It's just that I don't want to be somebody's crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don't want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too. I want them to be able to do whatever they want around me." (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
"breathtaking, adj. Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word." (The Lover's Dictionary)
"He held on to me like I was a rock, the only thing keeping him from drifting out with the tide of dark memories. It was the first time I realized he needed me too." (Incarnate)

"I can't believe you're here," she says, her voice soft. "I can't believe you found me."

"You found me first," he says, and when he leans to kiss her, it's slow and sweet and she knows that this will be the one she always remembers. Because while the other two kisses felt like endings, this one is unquestionably a beginning."
(The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
"We're all right, you know," he says quietly. "You and me. Okay?" My chest aches, and I nod. "Nothing else is all right." His whisper tickles my cheek. "But we are." (Insurgent)

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2012?

Shortest: Vengeance (Michelle Madow) at 66 pages
Longest: Inheritance at 860 pages

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

One of my favorite romantic moments happened in Second Chance Summer, which is also a book that made me cry like a baby while I read it. But if we're talking about a book that made me go WTF, we're going to have to mention New Girl (Paige Harbison).

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2012?

Romance: Jase & Samantha from My Life Next Door
Friendship: Penny & company in The Lonely Hearts Club
Family: Taylor & her family in Second Chance Summer

19. Favorite book you read in 2012 from an author you read previously?

Inheritance, because the way this series ended was amazing. I am sad that it's over, but I think that he ended it spectacularly.

20. Best book you read that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?

Easy, as recommendedy by Ginger & Olivia

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012?

I love Novel Sounds, one of the most creative and well-executed blogs in the universe, and just so happens to be run by my friend Elena, who is one of my favorite people. I also love Hello, Chelly, run by my extremely creative friend Rachel who has an awesome knack for succinct but satisfying reviews.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012?

I think it's a tie between the one I wrote for Seraphina and the one I wrote for Jellicoe Road.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I don't think I've actually posted a real discussion post, but people certainly from From Here to There and Back to Asia very interesting.

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

I think that just about every single discussion post that I've read on The Perpetual Page-Turner (run by Jamie) is AMAZING. She talks about all sorts of things - from reading in the car, or finding time to read, or blogger confessions, and even musing about how audiobooks can help you stay fit. This girl is a master at creating discussion posts, and that definitely inspires me to do better in that area in the future.

5. Best event that you participated in?

Event: BEA (Book Expo America) was an amazing event to be a part of. I am so glad I was able to experience it for the first time this year! It was a treat to just walk around and soak up all the awesome bookish things that were going on around me! A close second to this was the National Book Festival in Washington DC.

Author Signing: David Levithan rocked his signing at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. I loved listening to him read some of his own work, and he was certainly one of the nicest authors I've ever had the fortune to meet.

Special Event: Hands down, this spot belongs to the one-night-only JK Rowling event held at the Lincoln Center. It's freaking JK Rowling, so I don't think this one requires an explanation.

Virtual Event: It was so much fun to host Travel Tales, along with Elena, Magan & Estelle. A close second to this would be the Throne of Glass celebration Elena & I threw for Sarah J. Maas!
Writing Event: #NaNoWriMoBattle (hosted by Susan Dennard & Sarah J. Maas) was is the coolest. It was definitely one of the biggest reasons that I was able to win NaNoWriMo this year!

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

My favorite moment(s) of book blogging in 2012 was being given the opportunity to meet many of my book blogging friends in real life! It started with Estelle early in the year, with a dinner at Schnipper's. Then, I met Shanella at a Books of Wonder event, and Magan when she came to NY to visit. Then, during BEA, I got to meet two of my blogging favorites Tara & Anna, and hang out with my awkward twin Katelyn. At the Melina Marchetta event at Books of Wonder, I met Sash and Rachel. And most recently, I got to meet Jamie when I went down for the National Book Festival, and Elena when she came to New York for the J.K. Rowling event. I also got to meet my friend Amanda recently when we ate at Tea & Sympathy!

7. Most popular post this year on your blog?

By views: From Here to There (A Travel Tales Post)
By comments: Travel Tales + Birthday Giveaway

8. Post you wished got a little more love?

I'm pretty happy with the amount of people who come and read my posts and leave awesome comments, but I would have loved it if more people would fangirl with me over my favorite boy bands in my review of Reunited.

9. Best bookish discovery?

I love, love, love Epic Reads. The girls who are in charge of the Twitter and the weekly Tea Time sessions are pretty darn awesome. And I think they've really fostered a great sense of community among readers!

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

Based on my answers from last year's survey...

I have managed to read 150 books this year, which is pretty awesome.
I have also found a review writing style that suits me AND have tried several new things on the blog.
I have made so many new book friends than ever before!

In terms of reading challenges...

2012 Debut Author Challenge: The goal was 25 books, and I've read 30 books!
Reading Romances Challenge 2012: The goal was 15 books, and I've  read 15 books!

Close, but not quite:
2012 YA Mythology Challenge: The goal was 10 books, and I've read 5 books!
2012 Award-winning Reads Challenge: The goal was 12 books, and I've read 4 books!
2012 YA Saves Reading Challenge: The goal was 10 books, and I've read 6 books!
2012 Netgalley Reading Challenge: The goal was 30 books, and I've read 26 books!

1. One book you didn't get to in 2012 but will be your number 1 priority in 2013?

Delirium (Lauren Oliver), since I haven't read it yet, though I've been meaning to! Plus, my friend Cass has made me promise to get started on it.

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2013?

By an author I've never read: Just One Day (Gayle Forman)
By an author I've read before: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins)
An end to a series: Untitled (Divergent #3) (Veronica Roth)
Read the ARC, but need my own finished copy: Asunder & Scarlet

3. One thing Things you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2013?

Read 200 books. I actually managed to read 159 books already this year!
Read at least one classic. I'm eyeing Persuasion (Jane Austen) or Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy).
Borrow more; buy less. With the wedding and lack of storage, it's time to use the library more!
Add discussion posts. I sense a lack of discussion on my blog.
Meet more blogging friends. Because clearly, this is the best part of blogging.

(As always, a big hug of gratitude for Jamie for hosting this awesome survey! If you want to check out everyone else's answers, or link up to your own, here's the post.)


  1. Yay! Like I just said to you, you did a great job of including a bunch of different books in your survey. After reading as many books as we have this year, it's so tough to just stick to a few.

    I am so glad that we met up this year, and became friends. You are such a sweet, smart girl and I feel incredibly lucky to know you. Here's to more book events and more really good/reallybadfor you meals ;)


  2. Do yourself a favor and read Persuasion! It is my favorite book of all time!

  3. I can hardly believe 2013 is just around the corner. I enjoyed reading your answers! The Raven Boys and Throne of Glass would make my top books of the year too. :)

  4. I read "The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers" last year, but it was a huge letdown for me as well. I'm so jealous that you had the chance to be in the same room as J.K. Rowling! I wish I would have been more involved in the book community when I lived back east. Utah has some cool things but not nearly as many as there.

  5. I adore every bit of this post from top to bottom. And I adore you! SO HAPPY TO HAVE MET YOU IN 2012! That was super deserving of all those all caps. <3

  6. pssst you were not late in the game to TFIOS cos it came out this year! :) this whole post makes me SO HAPPY. I am so so lucky to have met you this year and talk about bookish things and eat dinner and EVERYTHING. thank you so much for all your kind words and ahhhh I am totally blushing over here. I love that we did events together, online AND offline! I hope we do even more! ALSO YES to Melina Marchetta and David Levithan! you are one of the sweetest & genuinely good-hearted people I know. I love youuuuu x

  7. I love your survey! I'm definitely with your friend on reading Delirium next year. I read it for the first time a monthish ago and it was probably one of my favorite books of the year.

  8. Awesome list, Alexa! A lot of the books you mentioned I've either read or are on my reading list. And I totally agree about Second Chance Summer ... that book made me BAWL and all I wanted to do when I finished was hug someone special (you should know who!) and talk to someone about it. I do plan to read My Life Next Door in the next week -- I can't wait! Oh, and you had so many amazing events this year! I hope 2013 is just as good to you! :)

  9. This should be the post in which I realize how much I love that you love My Life Next Door (and Samantha & Jace!) as much as I do! Plus the book itself is gorgeous, and idk if you've been blessed with speaking to Huntley Fitzpatrick, but she is NOTHING short of amazing.

    And, I'm so glad you realize you must read Delirium! :-D Hehe! You've been to so many awesome bookish events! Jealous! I have to say your blog is one of my fave discoveries in (the later half of) 2012! Xoxo!

  10. I love your survey answers! I agree with so many of the books and characters you mentioned. I thought you did a great job of including a variety of books (whereas mine mentioned Tiger Lily like ten times lol). Thank you for mentioning as one of your favorite new blogs from this past year. That means a lot :) I really admire your blog and your writing. I know we both say this often but I am glad we got to meet up this year and become friends. Here's to more years of friendship and book events!!

  11. There's lots of things I want to do in 2013 blogging-wise and discussions and reading at least one classic are on my list! WE CAN DO THIS. *fist pump* Woah, 860 pages? Talk about a long book! Yay for Travel Tales! It's how I rediscovered your blog! ♥

    LOVE this survey and hopeufully mine will be up in a few days :)

  12. You put so much time and thought into your answers and that made reading this post an absolute joy! That's awesome you met so much bloggers this year. :) My very best friend is a girl I originally met online back in 2000 on a Harry Potter message board. We finally met in person (for the first time) in 2008 and I love her to death. Naturally I would love for her to live closer, but it just goes to show the incredible people you can meet online.

    This was the first year I set a reading goal and I wanted to start off small (52 books). Much to my surprise, I easily passed that and I think 100 books is well within my range for next year. 200're a champ.

    I'd love to read more classics next year as well. There are several I've been eying for a while now. Hopefully 2013 will be the year I finally get around to reading them!

  13. I loved Serephina, The Raven Boys, and Easy as well! Jellicoe Road is such an amazing book. I'm happy it lived up to your expectations.

  14. Um, you are so right. Of your favorite books I've only read (and absolutely loved) Insurgent and Cinder, but the rest are either on my shelf or on my TBR list! And I CAN'T WAIT for Divergent #3 and Scarlet! Oh, and TFiOS was a 2012 release so you're not late on that one haha.


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