Happy new year! 2016 is finally over and I decided to wrap up the year by doing the End of Year Survey that was created and hosted by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner. I did 2015 edition of the End of Year Survey last year and it was a lot of fun so here I am again, a year later! Check out Jamie’s post for links to other bloggers’ responses!
Number of books I read
Genre I read the most from: Contemporary
1. Best book I read in 2016
My favourite book of the year was Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.
2. Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more but didn’t
Heartless was one of my most anticipated books of this year because I absolutely love The Lunar Chronicles. Unfortunately, I found it to be extremely underwhelming. The romance was lacklustre and I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. Another book that I found disappointing was Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. I love supporting Aussie authors but I found the majority of this novel to be boring and confusing.
3. Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book I read
I knew I was going to love The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten but this book absolutely blew my mind.
It’s about a group of kids with OCD and the mental illness representation in this novel was extremely well done. It was very accurately portrayed and I connected with all of the characters, especially the main character, Adam. It was definitely a great surprise and I’m really excited to read Teresa Toten’s new novel, Beware That Girl. It’s already out in the States but will be released in Australia early 2017.
4. Book I pushed the most people to read (and they did)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is my favourite book of all time and definitely the one I pushed the most (and by push, I mean I bought it for them and forced them to read it). But I definitely also pushed I’ll Meet You There and The Weight of Feathers a lot this year because they are absolutely amazing.
5. Best series I started in 2016? Best sequel of 2016? Best series ender of 2016?
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Shadowhunter Chronicles and I was extremely excited to read Lady Midnight and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Corruption by Jessica Shirvington and Crooked Kingdom could both be used as answers to best sequel and best series ender because they’re both second books in duologies. I loved them both a lot and thought they were extremely good sequels and series finales.
6. Favourite new author I discovered in 2016
I was seriously impressed with all of the Heather Demetrios books that I read this year. I hadn’t read anything by her until this year but I enjoyed all of them. What I love most about her is that she’s great at writing not only contemporary novels like I’ll Meet You There and Something Real, but I also highly enjoyed her fantasy novel, Exquisite Captive.
7. Best book from a genre I don’t typically read/was out of my comfort zone
I don’t really read a lot of mystery or thriller type books but I really enjoyed Replica by Lauren Oliver.
I don’t really read a lot of thrillers because my heart can’t handle the suspense and tension and it’s just not very enjoyable to me, but I really liked some of the sci-fi elements in Replica and that kept me in the story. I also really enjoyed the characters in the book and I’m pretty excited to see what happens next in the sequel, Helix.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year
Crooked Kingdom pretty much just wins every prize.
The novel was just so fast-paced and full of action that I sped through it in just two sittings. I absolutely devoured the book and wasn’t able to put it down because the plot was amazing and the character interactions were PURE GOLD (just like the cover). I’m so upset that there isn’t going to be another book in this series because the characters in this duology are so precious and are some of my favourite characters of all time!
9. Book I read in 2016 that I’m most likely to reread next year
Soppy by Philippa Rice is the number one book that I would reread next year. It’s a really short book of comics that I reread at least 3 times on the day that I got it. And I’ll definitely be rereading it for a long time to come. It’s absolutely adorable and relatable. I would also reread Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen, which is another book of comics. I’m so excited for the second book, Big Mushy Happy Lump, to come out in March!
10. Favourite cover of a book I read in 2016
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is STUNNING.
Every part of this book is absolutely stunning. It’s one of the most beautifully packaged books that I bought this year. Not only is the cover gold and beautiful, it also has a shiny spine that looks extremely beautiful on my shelf. The endpapers are also gold and gorgeous. And on top of that, the naked hardcover is stunning too. The spine on the naked cover is soooo pretty. I would marry this book if I could. Not even joking.
11. Most memorable character of 2016
Oh man. Don’t make me choose!
But if I had to, it would probably have to be Kaz Brekkar from Crooked Kingdom. He’s just the most tortured and complicated fictional being but I love him so much. Ughhhh I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. I also absolutely love the other characters in this duology. I love Inej. I love Nina. I love Matthias. I love Jesper and I love Wylan. I even love Kuwei. My brain does not understand why there aren’t going to be more books in this series.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016
It was hard to choose but the most beautifully written book for me this year was The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore.
It’s a magical realism book and one reason why I love magical realism so much is because the writing in these books are usually really whimsical and beautiful. The Weight of Feathers was definitely no exception to that rule. Anna-Marie McLemore has such a great talent with storytelling. I also really loved the writing in her recent release, When the Moon Was Ours.
13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016
I didn’t read any books that I would consider to be really life-changing but I also find WWII historical fiction novels to be extremely thought-provoking because they’re so emotional and I learn so much about WWII and history from them.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys was a standout historical fiction novel for me in 2016. It was beautifully written and I connected with all of the characters and their stories. It was a stunning book.
14. Book I can’t believe I waited until 2016 to finally read
Yeah I know, I know. I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life. But I finally read all three of these books this year! I’ve only read the first books of The Hunger Games and Mistborn but I’m hoping to be able to finish off the rest of the series next year because the books have been sitting on my shelf for too long!
15. Favourite passage/quote from a book I read in 2016
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
– Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
16. Shortest and longest book I read in 2016
17. Book that shocked me the most
I can’t say that there was one book that shook me to the core but I thought the plot twists in Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin were pretty shocking.
I was completely unprepared for some of the things that happened in this book. There were betrayals, deaths and just endless amazing plot points. I have no words for how much I love this sequel and duology in general and I will never get over some of the things that happened in this book. If you haven’t read this duology yet, I highly recommend it because it’s unique and captivating.
18. OTP of the year (I will go down with this ship!)
This ship. THIS SHIP.
I have so many favourite ships from this year but Maggie and Quentin from the Disruption duology by Jessica Shirvington is one that has stuck in my mind for the whole year. It was slightly slow burn and had a lot of great tension. I will totally go down with this ship and I wish this duology had more books because I need more Maggie and Quentin!
19. Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year
I have so many favourite friendships from the books that I read this year, but I loved the sibling relationship between Alice and Joey in The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard.
In this book, Alice has some speech difficulties because of an incident that occurred when she was 12. Her younger brother Joey takes care of her and protects her and I just loved their relationship. He acts like her older brother because of her disability so it always warms my heart when I remember that he’s actually younger.
20. Favourite book I read in 2016 from an author I’ve read previously
21. Best book I read in 2016 that I read based solely on a recommendation
I honestly don’t really remember which books I read based on recommendation because a lot of books that I pick up, I’ve usually seen on Twitter or on someone else’s blog.
But one book that was highly recommended to me this year was Starflight by Melissa Landers. My coblogger, Aila, couldn’t stop talking about it and I bought it quite early in the year. I didn’t manage to get to reading it until December but I really really loved it and can’t wait for the sequel to come out!
22. Newest fictional crush from a book I read in 2016
I have a lot of fictional crushes so it was hard to just narrow it down to one but I chose Clark from The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.
Clark is an author and he’s super bookish and nerdy. I love that about him so much. He’s also just an all-around nice guy and it’s impossible not to fall in love with him. Plus, Morgan Matson just writes the most lovable and swoon-worthy guys in her contemporary novels. I’ve enjoyed all of her male love interests but Clark is probably my favourite of them all.
23. Best 2016 debut that I read
I read so many wonderful debut novels this year and it’s hard to choose just one but my favourite was probably The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.
Sally is an Aussie author and I love supporting our local authors. I’ve also been following her for about 7 or 8 years because she used to write fanfiction. I followed her fanfiction pretty closely back then and I was really excited to see that she has finally come out with her debut novel. It’s a wonderfully heartwarming and romantic chick lit novel and I highly recommend it!
24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting I read this year
There really isn’t any part of Crooked Kingdom that I don’t love (well… apart from that one thing that happened. You all know what I’m talking about!)
I’m just so impressed with the Grisha world and the setting of Ketterdam that Leigh Bardugo created. I can see it so vividly in my mind and I really love that it’s got 17th or 18th century Dutch influences. That aspect of the setting really came across to me and I wish I didn’t have to let go of this duology. Needless to say, this is a duology that I’ll be rereading over and over!
25. Book that put a smile on my face/was the most fun to read
I don’t really read a lot of funny books because I don’t always connect with the humour. But I found My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows to be hilarious! The tone of the book was perfect and I really enjoyed the retelling of Lady Jane Grey. I also really enjoyed reading Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen and it definitely put a smile on my face because it was so incredibly relatable!
26. Book that made me cry or nearly cry in 2016
I cry pretty easily when it comes to books. In fact, I’d probably call myself a chronic book crier haha.
The book that probably made me ugly cry the most was The Memory Book by Lara Avery. That novel had me in tears for about the last third of it. Another book that had me ugly crying was Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. I was bawling through the last 50 or so pages and I cried while writing my review.
27. Hidden gem of the year
I don’t know if it’s a hidden gem but I definitely think that I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios is underrated. More people need to read it because I think it’s the perfect contemporary novel. It’s got a great balance of themes and a romance that will break and warm your heart! Another hidden gem is Soppy by Philippa Rice. I enjoyed this short comic series so much! It was the most heartwarming book and just left me in a really good mood.
28. Book that crushed your soul
29. Most unique book that I read in 2016
This one definitely has to go to Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
Having already read Illuminae last year, the format of this book wasn’t the most unique and mindblowing thing ever but it’s still probably the most unique book (formatting-wise) that I read in 2016. The creativity of the book and all the work that goes into it is amazing. I especially loved all the illustrations by Marie Lu and thought they added a lot to the story. Even though Gemina wasn’t really that mindblowing for me, I’m still excited for the final book of the trilogy!
30. Book that made me the most mad
The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson made me want to tear out my hair in frustration. Pretty much from the very first page.
I wasn’t a fan of this book at all, even though it had an interesting concept that involved cults. I just found the main character to be very annoying and I thought her actions were really unrealistic. I didn’t like a lot of the plot points and found that I had to suspend my disbelief. There was also insta-love and overall, it was just too much for me to handle.
1. Favourite book blog I discovered in 2016
I don’t know if I ‘discovered’ it in 2016 because it could have been late 2015. But I really, really love Nick and Nereyda’s posts over at Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist. The two of them are reading and blogging queens! And they also do a lot of great bullet journalling posts!
2. Favourite review that I wrote in 2016
I’ve written a lot of reviews this year but my favourite was probably my review of When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore.
3. Best discussion/non-review post I had on my blog
I don’t really do discussion posts or many non-review posts on this blog. But I really enjoyed the recommendations series that I started (and never continued) called ‘Winning with Jenna’. I did two posts: Australian YA contemporary and whimsical, magical books.
4. Best event that I participated in
Omg I went to so many bookish events this year and I couldn’t possibly just choose one! I particularly loved the two Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan events that I went to in Melbourne and Sydney. They had such great events and I loved the readings that they did! Plus, I got to hang out with Aentee @ Read at Midnight and Reg @ She Latitude when I was in Melbourne.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life
Definitely when I got to meet a lot of my closest blogging friends! I met Aentee in March when I went to Melbourne for a conference. Then I met my coblogger, Aila @ One Way or an Author, when I was at a conference in Florida. She hung out with me for the entire day and it was awesome! I also met my other coblogger, Jeann @ Happy Indulgence, when she came to Sydney for Sydney Writer’s Festival (and again when she came to host a panel at Kinokuniya). When I went to Toronto in November, I got to hang out with Jesse @ Books at Dawn and Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts. Plus I got to attend lots of events with Sydney-based bloggers and get to know them further!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or my reading life this year
I’ve been in a massive commenting slump for the entire year and I found it really hard to keep up with replying to comments. I also blog-hopped significantly less this year than I did last year, which saddens me greatly because I want to be a really active member of the community. Hopefully I can do better in 2017.
7. Most popular post this year on my blog
The post that got the most views this year was my review of Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs. However, that review was posted last year in September… so if we’re talking about the most viewed post that was posted in 2016, it would have to be my review of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.
8. Post I wish got a little more love
There isn’t really one that jumps out at me. I mostly just post book reviews on this blog and people will read what they’re interested in right?
9. Best bookish discovery
I joined bookstagram this year and I feel like I’ve discovered a whole new world! The bookstagram community is great and really supportive and I’m glad that decided to join (and that I’ve finally started posting regularly!)
10. Did I complete any reading challenges or goals that I had set for yourself?
I also joined the Aussie YA Bloggers and Readers Book Club challenge. I completed all of the challenges and you can find a full list of them on my 2016 Reading Challenges Page.
1. One book I didn’t get to in 2016 but will be my #1 priority read in 2017
I am super excited to read both of these books. I preordered both Scythe by Neal Shusterman and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (and friends) but didn’t get around to reading them even though they were highly anticipated. They arrived at my house when I was in Canada and by the time I got back, I had to focus on reading my Goodreads goal. These books were a little bit too chunky for me to want to pick up but I’ll be reading them ASAP in 2017.
2. Book I am most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)
I haven’t really had a chance to look at the 2017 releases list because the end of the year has been pretty busy for me. But the one book that I’m super excited for is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I really, really enjoyed Lady Midnight this year and I can’t wait to see what the sequel brings.
Other books that I’m excited for are Book 6 of Throne of Glass, Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer, and History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.
3. 2017 debut I am most anticipating
Again, I haven’t really had a chance to look at what is releasing in 2017 but these are two that I’ve heard quite a bit about.
I’m super excited to get my hands on Caraval. It sounds like something that I’d really enjoy. I ordered the January Fairyloot and it sounds like Caraval will be the book of that box. I’ve also heard some good things about The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich. It has an interesting synopsis and I’m keen to see what it’s about.
4. Series ending/a sequel I am most anticipating in 2017
5. One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging life in 2017
I definitely want to step up my game when it comes to replying to comments and commenting back. I’ve been really slacking off this year and I hope to get back to where I was in 2015 when I replied to comments really promptly and blog hopped a lot! I also want to meet more bloggers in real life and forge more friendships.
6. A 2017 release I’ve already read and recommend to everyone
I’ve only read a handful of 2017 releases but here are two that I really enjoyed and recommend.
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan is a book that is written in free verse. It’s written from two different perspectives and explores themes like racism, immigration and abuse. By Your Side by Kasie West is a cute YA contemporary romance with some darker themes of anxiety and foster care.
And that’s the end of my End of Year Survey! I hope you enjoyed reading it and please let me know what your favourite books of 2016 were!