5th Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2014 Edition!
I can’t quite believe it is the last day of 2014 and 2015 is almost upon us! 2014 has been a fabulous year for me, especially in the book blogging world. Mid-2014 I started a lifestyle type blog but I didn’t find what worked for me until the end of August when I was introduced to NetGalley by a fellow blogger. Once I started reading ARCs and sharing my reviews, my blog followers and views were off the charts (by my newbie standards anyway)! 2015 will be the first full year that I will be book blogging and I’m excited to embark on a wonderful year by improving the quality and consistency of my blog and posts. As it is always a tradition to look back and reflect upon the year as it comes to a close, what better way to do that then to participate in Jamie’s end of year book survey?
Number Of Books You Read:
Genre You Read The Most From:
Romance, Romantic Comedy, Chic-Lit, Women’s Literature
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
I would have to say the best book I read in 2014 was The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. I read it as part of a book club with my Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter and loved it so much that I decided I had to write a review and tell anyone that would listen that it was a great book and they had to read it. It was the book that started my venture into book blogging. Without that book, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I’m generally a very happy person and only like to share the good things about the books I’ve read. However, there was one book that I was looking forward to reading this year that fell a bit short of my expectations. Pear Shaped by Stella Newman: Cute cover, great book description, and surprisingly fantastic rave reviews. I didn’t get into the story and I had quite a few issues with the main character. Check out my review if you’re interested in my (nice) rant.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
I’ll have to go back to the one I selected as the best book of the year The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. It wasn’t the type of book I would’ve ever picked up on my own — I’m more of a Chic-Lit gal — but I was pleasantly surprised by a good story and a great read.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
I’m a big advocate for believing in what you sell, so I’m not one to promote something that I don’t approve of or love. I don’t think I could choose just one book, though my proudest moment was when one of my best friends told me that she reads my reviews when she’s selecting her next book to read. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve made a difference and helped someone select a book that they enjoyed reading.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
The best series I finished reading this year was Divergent by Veronica Roth. I was extremely disappointed in the author when I read the final installation of the series, but it didn’t change that I absolutely loved the story of Tris and Four.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
I’m going to cheat on this one and name all quite a few. These are the authors that once I read one of their books I wanted to read everything they’ve written and anything that they write in the future. Once you fall in love with someone’s writing style, you don’t even need to read the back cover to know that you want to read their next book. The authors that I added to my go-to list this year are, in no particular order…. Jenny Hale, Carla Caruso, Amy Lynch, Jennifer Gilby Roberts, Nick Spalding, Susan O’Brien, Rich Amooi, Catherine Ferguson, Elizabeth Bass, Sue Watson, Lisa Doyle, Olivia Miles, Lucie Simone, Cindy Arora, Ella Harper, Ayesha Patel, & Rachel Lacey.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Again, I’ll go back to The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. It was completely out of my normal genre and I absolutely loved it. Of course, it didn’t quite convert me because I’m a Chic-Lit lover at heart, but it did encourage me to give some books a chance that sounded a bit more serious and less of a comedy.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
This is an easy one. The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. It was the third book in the Fox and O’Hare series.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
There are so many books on my TBR between the ARCs waiting on my kindle app, the free books I’ve downloaded from Amazon and the ones I’ve purchased from Amazon that I don’t plan on re-reading any of the novels I read this year in 2015. Hmm, actually, I might re-read Insurgent by Veronica Roth a few days before the movie comes out in March. That will most likely be the only book I re-read next year.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
Again, another easy one. I LOVED the cover of Petit Four written by Lucie Simone, Cindy Arora, Sue Watson and Joel Zlotnik. I loved the cover and the book was just as delectable!
11. Most memorable character of 2014?
The most memorable character of all of the books I read in 2014 would have to be Tris from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. She’s written as an incredibly strong and confident individual that truly comes into her own strength when she makes the decision to choose a dangerous life in Dauntless over a simply, yet selfless life in Abnegation. I know I wasn’t the only one and although I didn’t agree with the author’s decision in the end of the third book, it doesn’t change the fact that Tris was by far one of the greatest heroines in print that I read this year.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Fiona Valpy’s writing is exquisite and that showed in spades in her novel The French for Christmas. In my opinion, it was a romance with a bit of a twist, in other words, not your average romantic comedy. It was thought-provoking, beautifully written and made me really hungry (but in the best way)! I will hopefully read a few of her other novels next year.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Another one for The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck for a few reasons. The novel deals with sensitive issues in society and was truly thought-provoking. It also was life changing for me because it was the book that got me hooked on book blogging and reviews.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
I can’t believe I didn’t finish reading the Divergent series until this year (I read the first one towards the end of 2013). The second book, Insurgent was written in 2012 and the third book Allegiant was written in 2013.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
This year I mostly read ARCs through NetGalley, so I’ve gotten into the habit of not quoting the books I read to review.
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
The shortest (novella) I read this year was Wedding Hells by Jennifer Gilby Roberts at 21 pages. The longest book was Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
A Little Love by Amanda Prowse. I was honestly shocked at the secret Pru has been hiding all these years. Despite the small details throughout the book that hint at what her secret is, I was seriously surprised and it made the whole book fall into place.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
I’ll be honest, I had to look up what this meant. One True Pairing. I absolutely love this term! An example for anyone reading that isn’t familiar, it’s the one true pairing or relationship that was totally meant for each other, like Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World. My favorite OTP of the year would hands down got to Tris and Four from Divergent.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
My favorite non-romantic relationship of the year would have to be Tamsin and Sam from Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by one of my new favorite authors Sue Watson. Having an older sister I always love to see the dynamics of two sisters play out in a novel, especially when one is in need of help, love and support. It’s one of the most frustrating yet rewarding relationships anyone can be lucky enough to have in their own life.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Petit Four was my favorite book I read this year that was written (in part) by Sue Watson. I’d read two novels earlier in the year that she’d written – Love, Lies & Lemon Cake and Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas Cake – and I fell in love with her writing style. Petit Four is a collection of four short stories written by Sue Watson, Lucie Simone, Cindy Arora and Joel Zlotnik. Although I’d read books by Sue Watson I was excited to be introduced to a few new authors too!
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Going to go back to The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. It was a recommended book for a book club group and it was great!
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Hmm… all of them! There’s too many to list. One of the best parts of reading Romance/Chic-Lit novels is that there is a never ending supply of fabulously gorgeous and intelligent men to lust after!
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
There were quite a few 2014 debuts that I loved: Unleashed by Rachel Lacey, Milked by Lisa Doyle, Murder on the Hill by Kennedy Chase, Five Minutes Late by Rich Amooi, Priya in Heels by Ayesha Patel, and Pieces of You by Ella Harper.
24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Goodness, almost every single book I read this year put a big smile on my face and was fun to read. I’d have to say it’s a tie between Sue Watson’s two novels I read this year Love, Lies & Lemon Cake and Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas Cake. Her writing is witty, funny and downright hilarious. Plus, there’s always a gorgeous man and cake thrown into the mix, and who doesn’t smile about that?
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth made me cry for an embarrassingly long time.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
There were too many hidden gems since I was introduced to so many fabulous authors this year. Perhaps I’ll again mention The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck because it was what started me on book blogging.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth. That ending really got to me, hence the embarrassing tears.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
Milked by Lisa Doyle. It had an interesting perspective and it was a truly great story.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Still stewing about that ending!
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?
My absolute favorite book blog I discovered this year is Stories Unfolded written by Danielle. She is one of my favorite fellow book bloggers and to top things off, I found out about NetGalley from reading her blog, so I owe her many thanks!
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
I don’t think I could fairly only pick one!
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I’m not entirely sure what this one is asking. I mostly post weekly events that are book related and reviews as I finish reading books. Every so often I post an acceptance for a blog award and I try to post a ‘Quote of the Day‘ daily.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Other than the blog awards I participate in, my review for the online promotional book tour for Petit Four got the most attention and views over any other post on my blog this year.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
Realizing that I have friends that read my reviews before purchasing their next book. Although she doesn’t post comments on my blog, one of my closest friends checks out my reviews when looking for her next novel to read. To me, knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life – or at the very least their reading list- is the most rewarding part of book blogging.
6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
The main page of my blog got the most traffic (with 552 views out of a little over 2,200 total views) and my About page got the most comments (mainly that’s where fellow bloggers post that they’ve nominated me for blog awards).
7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Honestly, I’m happy with any and all attention that my blog has gotten this year. Since it’s still relatively new to me, I am still learning and growing with the wonderful book blogging community and I plan to make 2015 the best year ever!
8. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
NetGalley was the best book related site that I discovered this year. It is where I have obtained almost all of the ARCs that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing. It’s given me the opportunity to read a free copy of a novel before it’s officially been published and as a result, I’ve ‘met’ some truly wonderful authors through social media. There’s no way to explain the happy rush that goes through me when an author likes, favorites, retweets or shares my tweets, posts and reviews to their readers and followers. It’s one of my favorite parts about book blogging to know that they noticed.
9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I didn’t discover Goodreads until later in the year, so my goal was a bit skewed. For 2014 I only made a goal of how many books I wanted to read. For 2015 I have quite a few reading challenges that I will be participating in!
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Oh goodness, there’s too many to list! Keep your eyes open for my weekly posts.
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Oh, same answer for this one… you’ll have to wait to find out!
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Right now I’m looking forward to reading For Keeps (Love to the Rescue book #2) by Rachel Lacey, out January 27, 2015
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
I hope to improve the quality and consistency of my content. My number one thing I’d like to focus on is featuring more authors with Interview posts.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I haven’t read any of the 2015 releases that I have ARCs waiting for me yet! One of my other reading goals is to catch up on the books I’ve been approved to read through NetGalley before I continue to request any more.
Thank you to anyone that took the time to read this!
I know it’s a super long post compared to what I usually share but I enjoyed taking time to reflect on my accomplishments from this year and looking forward to what I want to accomplish as we begin another fabulous year!
My daughter forwarded this to me today. I am overwhelmed and grateful beyond words. I wish you so much success with your blog and in your life. You are paying it forward in this world and I hope that I do the same. My little novel was a labor of love and has been successful beyond my imaginings. It is readers and bloggers like you who have spread the word and made it possible for me to write for a living and to pursue a college degree. My deepest gratitude and love…
Arielle Joy says
I can’t tell you how excited I was to see your comment on this post! I’m excited that it made it’s way to you and that you were able to read it. Your novel was truly an inspiration to me last year and I wanted to make sure people knew that. <3