2015 is over and now it’s time to wrap up my reading and blogging year! I saw the End of Year Book Survey on Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner‘s blog and I thought it’d be a neat way of reflecting on my year and looking ahead to 2016. There’s a link up on Jamie’s page of other bloggers who have filled out the survey, so head over there to check out some other blogs!
Number of books I read:
Number of rereads: 1 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
Genre I read the most from: Contemporary
1. Best book I read in 2015
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr tops the list!
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson come in second and third. I have a full top ten books of the year post if you want to see more.
2. Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more but didn’t
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is a 2016 release that I read an eARC of. I love all things Sherlock-inspired so I was really excited for this novel. Unfortunately, I was a little bit let down.
I also didn’t enjoy I Was Here by Gayle Forman. I’ve loved all of her other books but this one was kinda average and didn’t do it for me.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book I read
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella definitely was a wonderful surprise for me.
This is a book about a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe anxiety. I wasn’t expecting this novel to be funny but it was exactly that. There were so many hilarious scenes and I loved Audrey and her family. The book starts off with a bang and the rest of it followed in the same manner. I could not get enough of it!
4. Book I “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr has appeared in almost every Top Ten Tuesday or tag post that I have done on this blog. My love for it has pushed some people to read it (thanks Aentee) or at least put it on their TBR.
Another one is Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. CW @ Read Think Ponder read it after reading my review (sadly, she didn’t like it) but I saw in the comments of her review that lots of people bought the book due to my recommendation.
5. Best series I started in 2015? Best sequel of 2015? Best series ender of 2015?
I think I can answer all of these with The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Winter was just the most fantastic finale!
6. Favourite new author I discovered in 2015?
Huntley Fitzpatrick! I’ve given all of her books 4.5-5 stars.
What I Thought Was True
My Life Next Door
The Boy Most Likely To
Patrick Ness is an honorable mention. I really loved his Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls but wasn’t in love with The Rest of Us Just Live Here (though I still enjoyed it).
7. Best book from a genre I don’t typically read/was out of my comfort zone
I don’t typically read a lot of paranormal fantasy books but I read and loved nearly all of Maggie Stiefvater’s books. My favourite book of hers is Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in The Raven Cycle.
I also really liked The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. It was a wonderful paranormal novel and I want a sequel really badly!
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year
9. Book I read in 2015 that I am most likely to reread in 2016
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
It was fast-paced and magical. The characters are fantastic and I could read about them over and over again. It also has a really great romance and I could read about Simon and Baz over and over again.
I wanted to reread this as soon as I had finished it so I’ll definitely pick this one up again.
10. Favourite cover of a book I read in 2015
I loved all of the hardback covers of these books! The shimmer of the covers of All the Light We Cannot See and Blue Lily, Lily Blue are beautiful. I love the intricate illustrations on the Everything Everything and A Darker Shade of Magic (US) covers. And the cover of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown has the most amazing texture!
11. Most memorable character of 2015
I had a hard time choosing since I loved so many characters this year. But I choose Nina from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
12. Most beautifully written book in 2015
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson are my favourite novels of all time because of their spectacular writing. But The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton also deserves a mention!
13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015
I don’t want to put down All the Light We Cannot See again, so I’ve gone with A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
This was a beast of a book (720 pages) and there wasn’t a single page in the book that didn’t affect me deeply. It was the most heart-shattering and emotional book I’ve ever read and I had the craziest book hangover after I finished reading it. It was a really dark but cathartic read and I’m so glad that I gave it a chance.
14. Book I can’t believe I waited until 2015 to finally read
I finally read The Lightning Thief and the rest of the Percy Jackson and the Olympian books by Rick Riordan in December!
I cannot believe I waited this long to read it since this was everybody’s childhood (to be fair, I didn’t find out about this series until last year). But I am now completely in love with Percy and Rick Riordan! I’ll be marathoning The Heroes of Olympus series soon and I also have Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and Greek Heroes!
15. Favourite passage/quote from a book I read in 2015
I have so many favourite quotes from books I read this year (I have a whole Top Ten Tuesday post with my favourite quotes). For this question, I had to choose a quote from my favourite book!
“But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?” – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
16. Shortest and longest book I read in 2015
17. Book that shocked me the most
There were character deaths in both Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness that really shocked me.
I think I’m still slowly recovering…
… nah, there’s no recovering from what happened. I’ll never get over it.
18. OTP of the year
Simon and Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is my OTP of the year! I will go down with this ship!
Some honorable mentions: I loved Kaz & Inej, and Nina & Matthias from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I loved all four pairs of characters from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I loved Will, Tessa & Jem from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. And Celaena & Rowan from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.
19. Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year
I loved Will and Jem in The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Favourite bromance EVER. Todd and Manchee were adorable together in The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I also loved George’s relationship with everyone in My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
20. Favourite book I read in 2015 from an author I’ve read previously
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen was one of the first YA authors that I read when I was a teenager. 7 or 8 years ago I read everything she had released up to that point in time. I absolutely loved her writing and I’m so happy to be reading Sarah’s books again! Saint Anything was the most beautiful story about family and self-development. I enjoyed all of the characters and their stories. It definitely did not disappoint!
21. Best book I read in 2015 that I read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure
I picked up A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara after seeing Max (WellDoneBooks on Youtube) do a rave review of the book. And it turned out to be a great decision.
I read The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness after months and months of intense, non-stop peer pressure from Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Aentee @ Read at Midnight.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book I read in 2015
William Herondale, of course ❤
23. Best 2015 debut I read
I enjoyed Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli so, so much! It was adorable, sweet, funny and everything I want from a contemporary novel. It also has some wonderful messages about diversity and LGBTQ+ issues.
I am so excited that Becky is writing a companion novel to Simon vs and that we’ll get to read more about Simon and Blue. Also happy to hear that they won’t be broken up 😀
24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting I read in 2015
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I love the Grisha world in Leigh’s books so much. While I thought the Grisha trilogy was kind of weak when it came to plot development, pace and characterisation, I can’t deny that it had a great world. I was so happy to have a whole new duology set in the same world. Six of Crows took the world to a whole new level and the setting was so vivid. I enjoyed all the places that the book took us to!
25. Book that put a smile on my face/was the most fun to read
26. Book that made me cry or nearly cry in 2015
I am a book crier. I cry all the time. This list is never ending so I’ll just include 10.
27. Hidden gem of the year
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
I loved this book more than words can explain. In early 2015, I read a whole pile of books about depression and teen suicide and this novel tops the list for me. It explored grief, depression and suicide wonderfully. While some of the other novels with the same theme were emotional tear-jerkers, a lot of them either misrepresented depression or didn’t explore it enough. This book had everything!
28. Book that crushed my soul
Pretty much every book that I mentioned in Question 26. But particularly Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I remember having to take the next day off work because my heart was shattered from the feels.
29. Most unique book I read in 2015
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I don’t think there can be any other answer. The formatting of this book is just so unique and I’ve never read anything like it!
I was lucky enough to attend the book launch in Sydney and meet Amie and Jay. They were super lovely and I even though I didn’t totally love Illuminae, I can’t wait to read Gemina!
30. Book that made me the most mad
Sway by Kat Spears
I don’t think a book has ever made me as angry as I was after reading this book. I found it very offensive towards everybody and everything and I just could not get past it. I didn’t see any character development. There was insta-love. The protagonist is a douche. The love interest forgives all his douchey-ness even though she dumps some other guy who was less of a douche. I just can’t.
1. New favourite blog I discovered in 2015
I only started book blogging in June of 2015 so pretty much every blog I’ve discovered is my new favourite.
2. Favourite review I wrote in 2015
I love writing reviews and I love most of the reviews that I have posted. I don’t think I can choose one so I’ll go with my most recent review (that isn’t a sequel), The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
3. Best discussion/non-review post I had on my blog
I haven’t actually posted any discussions on this blog (yes, I know). So my favourite non-review post was a Top Ten Tuesday post on dinner dates that I want to be granted.
4. Best event I participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc)
I was so lucky to be able to meet Holly Black and Cassandra Clare and have my books signed by them in August. They were so lovely and it was an absolute honour to meet them (except Cassie was running a poll of everybody’s favourite characters so that she could figure out which unpopular character to kill off. Beware, guys). I also got to meet Sarah J. Maas in November and omg, she’s so funny!
I also really loved participating in Top Ten Tuesday every week. I haven’t missed a Top Ten Tuesday since I started!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015
The best moment was definitely being chosen as a co-blogger for Happy Indulgence! I love chatting with Jeann and Aila every single day. They’re so much fun to be around and we have hilarious inside jokes 😉 They’re also super talented and Aila draws us adorable things all the time!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging in 2015
I’ve been a bit lazy with replying to comments and blog-hopping lately. I used to reply instantaneously but now I end up replying to everything a day or two later. Hopefully I can change my habits and start fresh in 2016!
7. Most popular post on my blog in 2015
My most viewed post on my blog is my review of Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs.
8. Post I wished got a little more love
I don’t really have a single post that I think is unloved… but sometimes I do wish that my reviews of Aussie YA books or indie books on this blog were better received. They’re some of my least viewed posts but I love promoting Aussie books and self-published books.
9. Best bookish discovery (book-related sites, book stores, etc)
I am so happy to have discovered HelloHappyCo on Etsy at the very beginning of this year! I have bought so many magnetic bookmarks from them, including the Six of Crows and The Infernal Devices bookmarks I showed above. I’m also happy to have discovered RedBubble. I buy so many mugs and fandom tote bags from them!
10. Did I complete any reading challenges or goals that I set for myself at the beginning of 2015?
1. One book I didn’t get to in 2015 but will be my number one priority in 2016
Let’s be real. I have lots of books I didn’t read in 2015 that I’d like to read in 2016 (AKA my whole TBR). But I’ll choose Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
This was the first Rainbow Rowell book I ever bought and it’s now the only one that I haven’t read. I started reading it when I first bought it but then real life happened and I had to put it down after about 40 pages. And I have yet to pick it back up.
2. Book I am most anticipating for 2016 (non-debut)
I did a Top Ten Tuesday post earlier this week featuring all the non-debut early-2016 releases that I’m highly anticipating.
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is one of my most anticipated releases of 2016. I cannot wait to start another Shadowhunters trilogy! I am also highly anticipating Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, the sequel to Six of Crows. That one doesn’t come out until later in 2016 but I am already dying from the wait. I NEED!
3. 2016 Debut I am most anticipating
I absolutely cannot choose just one but I did a Top Ten Tuesday post on my anticipated 2016 debuts a few weeks back.
4. Series ending/a sequel I am most anticipating in 2016
Right now I am most excited for the last book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy by Sara Raasch, Frost Like Night.
Snow Like Ashes is one of my favourite YA books and I was really excited for the release of Ice Like Fire. Unfortunately, that sequel fell a bit flat for me and had second book syndrome. But I know Frost Like Fire will be really, really epic!
5. One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging life in 2016
I am hoping to be better at commenting and replying to comments in 2016. I have seriously been slacking off in the last few weeks.
I also want to experiment more with graphics. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to graphics. I just use the same ones over and over, with some small modifications. In 2016, I want to spend more time on them and play around with different things. I tried to do a different header for this post and it didn’t take me that long to make so hopefully I can play around a bit more. I still want to stick with the simple and minimalist theme I have right now though, so I don’t want to go overboard.
6. A 2016 release that I’ve already read and recommend to everyone
I have a whole pile of 2016 releases waiting to be read but the only one I’ve read so far is A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.
Which I wasn’t the biggest fan of. However, it’s got some pretty good reviews and ratings on Goodreads, so I’d encourage you to check it out anyway if you like detective stories or Sherlock Holmes. My expectations were probably just too high. I’m a pretty hard person to please when it comes to retellings of Sherlock Holmes.
I hope you enjoyed this wrap up of my reading and blogging year for 2015. Happy new year!