My Year in Books: Annual End of Year Book Survey 2016

Whoah, can you believe it’s time for another End of Year Survey again?! (Hosted by the incredible Jamie from Perpetual Pageturner). It’s that time of year again, to look at my year in books, yay! 2015 has FLOWN by and I’m getting a bit of an early start on this survey, because I know from the previous years how long it takes to fill out the whole survey. And I need it done, because I’m leaving for my a skiing trip this friday *schedules posts like crazy*

Happy Holidays everyone! Now, let’s look back at everything I read in 2015!

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 100 (as of 20 December, who knows how many more I’ll read now my exams are -temporarily- over with) and this means, that YES, I FINALLY made my Goodreads reading challenge of 100 books this year! *bows*

Number of Re-Reads: 6, I reread the Lux series (I just can’t resist Daemon Black’s charms) and Fangirl.

Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy, with Paranormal coming in second right at its heels.

Best in booksBest Book You Read In 2015?

Best Books of 2015

I started both these series in 2015 (and ironically enough I’ve only read the first book in both series) and both were extremely epic. Stormdancer is one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read. The concept of this story is just mind-numbing. It combines so many elements: Japanese myths, steampunk, high fantasy, dystopia, and a strong female character. It might seem a bit too much, but surprisingly it just worked. Everything about this book surprised me (in a REALLY good way), it was absolutely perfect and I loved it. A Court of Thorns and Roses, do I even have to give you a reason? Sarah J. Maas is a master with words, she’s one of my favorite authors EVER, and this Beauty and the Beast retelling was everything and more. It was sexy, exhilarating, and beautifully written. Last but not least, Graceling. Gosh, Graceling, this book had been on my wishlist for a really long time already. Lucky for me, my Secret Sister (aka Chantelle from Oh the Stories You’ll Know) loves this book and gifted it to me (as well as Falconer, which was a close runner up here). And this book was BEAUTIFUL. The romance is STUNNING, probably the best I’ve ever read. I’m just in love with every single aspect of this book.

So there you go! Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and Graceling by Kristin Cashore are my favorite reads of 2015. Look at me, cheating already, naming 3 books, haha. This bodes well for the next dozen of questions, lol.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Memory Key by Liana Liu ended up being a major disappointment, which is never fun… but for me it just fell short in about every way that it counted. This book had a kickass premise, so incredibly promising, I mean at the heart of this book is a disease that many people are affected by nowadays and possible solutions )or not) are explored in this book. But the aspect that intrigued me most, the memory part, was mostly absent. Instead the focus seemed to be on the protagonist’s ‘boy troubles’ and the issues with her BFF. So disappointing.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. As I mentioned above, lots of genres come together in this book and I wouldn’t have thought this would actually work, but surprisingly it was 100% perfect. It made for an incredibly interesting and unique read.

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Most Recommended

This probably won’t come as a very big suprise, since I’ve been promoting this book ever since I managed to get my hands on a shiny ARC of Air Awakens (and I joined the streetteam). I wasn’t completely sure about Air Awakens at first, which mainly had to do with the fact that it was self-published. Most of the time self-published books just didn’t end up working out for me, for various reasons, but Air Awakens is a BIG exception. I LOVED IT. Library apprentice, hot prince, elemental magic, and a seriously awesome fantasy world? What’s not to love. I have recommended this book to anyone who would listen to me, and will continue to do so, because this series is awesome (beware: it will probably break your heart once or twice).

Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Series begin, sequel, ender

I’d actually like to name MANY more titles here, because there were LOTS of new series I started and quite a few of them were exeptionally great. Air Awakens by Elise Kova, The Falconer by Elizabeth May, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout, and Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson *Takes a deep breath*

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer was a bit of a no-brainer, LOVED that book. There are a few close runner-ups though: Fire Falling by Elise Kova, World After by Susan Ee, A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard, and Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer Armentrout.

I haven’t finished many series this year…shame on me. But I did finish the Splintered trilogy and it was EPIC. Of course, later on Untamed was announced (which just released), so I don’t know if this still counts as a series ender. Who cares, I’m a rule breaker (as you can see from ALL the titles I mentioned above… I’m not good at just naming one title).

Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Hello Jay Kristoff and Elise Kova! Why you ask? Just read Stormdancer and Air Awakens and you’ll know the answer to that question *evil grin*

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Graphic Novels

Do graphic novels count? I started reading graphic novels this year, and it was the best decicion ever! The one I started with was Saga, something completely out of my comfort zone (genre-wise as well). I had to get into this a bit, but once I did I was hooked. And as you can see from my image above, it all wen’t a little bit out of control after that. I finished volume 1 to 5 from Saga (it was glorious) and volume 1 and 2 from The Wicked + The Divine, the others I only got to the first volumes. Like I said, a bit out of control maybe, but so worth it.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Falconer by Elizabeth May! Without a doubt! The main character, Aileanna, was fierce and unstoppable. Invents new weapons and transportation vehicles. And pretty much takes badass to the next level of the next level killing faeries left and right. Thilling? Check. Action packed? Check. Unputdownable? CHECK. It is absolutely epic. If you haven’t read this yet, you really should reconsider.

Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I love Jennifer Armentrout’s writing style, something about it just seems to beg “reread me Iris, please reread me” with all of her books. I’ve reread the Lux series twice already, as well as her Dark Elements series. I’ll reread ANY of her books ANYTIME (they’re that good).

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

A Darkness Strange and Lovely

Hello there lovely! EPIC dress, the handgloves, the hat, the hair, the belt, the EVERYTHING.It has this whole steampunk vibe that I love so very much. You can’t tell me you didn’t notice those brilliant colors of the dress. The two shades of purple. I love everything about this cover (all the covers in this series are pretty damn beautiful by the way).

Most memorable character of 2015?

Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses. He’s a fey and a total diamond in the rough. A bit rough at times, but he tries, and there’s this complexity to him that’s incridibly intriguing. And then I haven’t even mentioned the sizzling chemistry with Feyre: dayum.

Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Such BEAUTIFUL prose. The imagery, the descriptions, it was all so amazingly well-written. And then that awesome world-building, it just sucks you right in.

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Scarlet Letter. I had to read both for my American literature class this year. I know these are books most have read in high school, but I hadn’t read them before, and thought both were beautiful reads (opposed to Moby Dick *cough* stupid whale terminology *cough*).

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Should have read before

This is a total walk of shame… I should have read ALL of these books a very long time ago. Especially considering that all four of those books were absolutely amazing. So yeah, can’t believe I was so silly to have waited until 2015 to finally pick them up (it could have been 2016 though, yay for small mercies).

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

-Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest Book: 36 pages – Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson

Longest Book: 800 pages – Consequenses: Opal & Origin

Book That Shocked You The Most

Most definitely Fire Falling. *Glares at Elise Kova* that cliffhanger was one of the nastiest cliffhangers I’ve ever experienced in a book. It was the worst.

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

I am going to have to cheat again, because I HAVE to name more than one! Though I’ll try to be reasonable and give you my top 3 OTPs of the year (sounds like a good compromise).

1. Katsa & Po from Graceling

They were my favorite couple. There was just something so refressing about Po’s cheerfulness and his talkative personality. Togther they were just so freaking awesome together.

2. Daemon & Katy from Lux

These books are SO GOOD. Their relationship is basically what every girl dreams of (besides him being an asshole when they met, obviously). Love conquering all, and Daemon is just EVERYTHING.

3. Feyre & Tamlin from ACOTAR

So freaking sexy. So yeah, that pretty much explains it, haha. Their chemistry just sizzles from the pages *fawns self*

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Without a doubt: Yukiko and Buruu. Best characters EVER. I loved reading about their friendship (or rather how they grew to trust each other and became friends) and how their friendship grew throughout the story.

Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Author Read Previously

Cheating again… I do this every year. BUT let’s be honest, asking a booknerd to pick just one title is a something that’s just not possible. So, these are my fave books from authors I’d read previously: ACORTAR by Sarah J. Maas (no brainer, since she’s one of my favorite autors EVER), White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout (her writing style is the BEST), and Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley (these books are awesome, absolutely freaking awesome, sometimes I’m just in the mood for these kind of reads and the Rock Chick books are the aboslute best).

Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This is one of those books that EVERYONE seems to love, and I’ve been recommened it more times than I can count. So I caved, and read the whole book in one sitting. Whoah, what a pageturner! It was such an original book, and absolutely brilliantly written. It was awesome.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I have too many fictional crushes, I can’t keep up with them anymore (that’s when you realize you truly have a problem). Tamlin from ACOTAR, Po from Graceling, Roth from White Hot Kiss, Wolf from Scarlet, and Kieran from the Falconer. See?! I totally have a problem, haha. Asking to choose just one of them would be WILDLY unfair, so I’m just hoarding them all.

Best 2015 debut you read?

air

Air Awakens by Elise Kova was a wonderful surprise, and I cannot recommend this one enough to all those fantasy lovers out there.

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Ensnared by A.G. Howard. The world-building of this EPIC series keeps surprising me again and again. Her wonderland is slightly disturbing, totally mysterious, and completely mad. What’s not to love?!

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The whole Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley. These books had me laughing non-stop. They’re heartfelt stories, but filled with so much humor. At some points I was simultaneously crying and laughing at once. Sometimes you just need a read like that, and these books managed to make me smile (or laugh out loud) when I was feeling like crap.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. This book really packs a punch and pulls at your heartstrings. It left me pondering and reflecting about my own life (and aren’t those the best kind of books).

Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Again, Air Awakens by Elise Kova. Like I said before, this book was a wonderful surprise, and I just love the story.

Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Falconer by Elizabeth May. That ending was so freaking hard, and most-definitely shattered my soul into a million teeny-tiny pieces. I need that second book pronto! It just released, but it being December, I’m broke from buying presents for friends and family (story of my life).

Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Either Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, or Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Both stories were so incredibly original and unique in their own way. Loved them!

Blogging-bookish life

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I’m going to name two here! Dani Reviews Things by Dani and Books and Ladders by Jamie. I love the passion these girls have for blogging (and they’ve become REALLY good friends, so be sure to check out their blogs!)

Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

If I’m really honest, I’ve been slacking with reviews this year. Which mostly has to do with the fact that I write a lot for university, and when I have a day off I don’t always feel like writing reviews (I know, I know, I need to work on this). But my favorite review to write is probably my review of ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas, or Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I’m going to name my top three discussion posts here. I love writing discussion posts (even though inspiration for them is often lacking) and these three got a lot of traffic:

1. The Label ‘YA’ does not Equal ‘Books for Teenagers’

2. Don’t ever Apologize for Liking a Book

3. Graphic Novels – the Start of an Addiction

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

Best Events 2015

I got to meet Leigh Bardugo! This event was my favorite, it had cake, an interview, and signing. Duly notice the cake part (which was beautiful, too bad it had to be cut in pieces haha). And I got to meet Veronica Roth! This was just a signing, so basically in and out, nothing really happening besides that, but it was tons of fun (even though I babbled like a star-struck fool when she signed my book, lol).

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Joining Elise Kova’s streetteam! I made new friends through my decision to join the streetteam, girls I talk EVERY day with. I had no idea that when I signed up for this I would make friends for life. Definitely one of the best (blogging related) decisions I made all year.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Combining university with blogging… I actually just wrote a post about this. I’ve struggled with this throughout the entire year, which sucks. I’m hoping to change this in 2016, find a balance between the two. Or maybe build up a HUGE buffer, scheduling posts about a month ahead or something… Something’s gotta change, I just haven’t found a solution that works for me yet.

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

My Blogaversary posts (with three BIG giveaways) did really reallt well, and second came my post The Label ‘YA’ does not Equal ‘Books for Teenagers’. I think this is something we all hear sometimes, and I just had to rant a bit, the passionate comments I got were absolutely awesome.

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I think my reviews overall. A lot of time goes into writing reviews (since it is a main feature of my blog), but they get relatively few traffic and that sucks.

looking ahead

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Need to Read in 2016

*Hides in a corner* I know, I know, it is a terrible crime I haven’t read these books. Worst part is that I own all these books (besides Winter) but they arrived when I had exams and then the next pair of exams arrived and then suddenly it was December already and I hadn’t read them yet… I packed Queen of Shadows and Six of Crows for my skiing trip, so I’ll probably finish them during that week (does that make up for it a bit?). I hereby promise I’ll read all four of these in January.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (aka: THE BONE SEASON #3)!! I am SO looking forward to this book. November 2016 is WAY too far away, but I need this book so damn badly. I love this series, and I NEED MORE.

2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye! Read the blurb and tell me, DOESN’T this book sound BADASS?!

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Power by Jennifer Armentrout (Titan #2). Told you I’m addicted to her books, lol.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Finally find my balance between university and blogging. I need to stop feeling so bad about moments where I’m absent, I know that, but my blog is defenitely suffering from my inability to combine the two succesfully. I have this motto: Study before everything else. Which is understandable, but maybe a bit unhealthy as well. So I need to find balance!

And there we go! My year in books! What was your favorite book of 2015?

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12 Comments

  1. 21/12/2015 / 15:24

    Yeay, congratulations on reaching 100 books :D!
    A court of thorns and roses was the best and I also love Graceling (although I think Fire is even better) I’m planning to pick up Stormdancer again next year.
    Air Awakens has one of the best self-published covers.
    I totally agree about The orphan queen (such a fun book) and Scarlet (favorite installment in the series)
    The falconer is so so good, but what a horrible cliff-hanger huh? I must pick up the sequel soon :D
    It’s a good thing you finally fell for Daughter of smoke and bone. The sequels are also really good.
    Meeting Leigh Bardugo was simply the best. *pets signed books* You will be blown away by Six of crows :)

    • Iris
      Author
      22/12/2015 / 16:41

      I’m really excited to read the next books in the Graceling trilogy! I was especially excited when I was told that in the third book the story of the first and second book kinda come together (and I just love Po, he’s awesome). So those books are some I NEED to read in 2016 as well (hopefully very very early in 2016).
      The cliffhanger in the Falconer was TERRIBLE, I know the sequel is out, and as soon as I can spare the money I’m getting it for myself. It’s a priority, haha.

  2. 21/12/2015 / 18:17

    Thanks for the shoutout lovely! I am so glad we met this year and I can’t wait to continue being friends FOREVER. You are stuck with me now! Also, I can’t comment on THE CROWN’S GAME because I haven’t read it yet, but Evelyn is wonderful and I know some people who have said it’s ah-mazing so I am sure you will enjoy it!

    • Iris
      Author
      22/12/2015 / 16:42

      You’re so stuck with me now as well! (I think, no I know, I like being stuck with you, haha). I’m hoping to get The Crown’s Game from Harper tomorrow (fingers crossed it’s in the package of ARCs that arrive tomorrow).

    • Iris
      Author
      22/12/2015 / 16:45

      It took me HOURS as well, which is why I spread it over a few days, it’s just too much to answer all at once. Nimona was great huh? I got my copy as a gift when I just started out reading graphic novels, fell in love right away. It’s just SUCH a good story!

  3. 22/12/2015 / 18:23

    BEST IN BOOKS
    – YESSSS to ACOTAR and Graceling!!! And I need to read Stormdancer because of you.
    – Air Awakens – naturally. I almost talk about it TOO much.
    – I have read none of those series, but I will soon start the Lunar Chronicles. I promise!
    – Yay for graphic novels! I still need to read most of those though…
    – I brought The Falconer to South Africa. Let’s just hope I get more time to read… >_<
    – Also need to read Armentrout…
    – Oooooh pretty cover, and another author I haven’t read yet…
    – TAMLIN MY LOVE.
    – Oh FFS. Another series I need to read. Oh well, that’s why I’m doing the A Series A Month challenge in 2016…
    – I haven’t read either of those thought-provoking books…
    – Good quote choice! I might have to steal it! HEHEHEHE.
    – I dare you to read Atlas Shrugged. It’s 1006 pages.
    – You’re making me mad at Elise again.
    – I think I’m going to go with Feyre and Tamlin out of your three!
    – What book are Yukiko and Buruu from? I’m guessing Stormdancer…
    – My TBR keeps on growing…
    – I’m adding The Beginning of Everything now too…

    BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE
    – I LOOOOVE YOUUUUUUU
    – I’m going to go through and share all of your review posts on Twitter now…

    LOOKING AHEAD
    – You’re making me feel guilty…
    – Together, we’ll find balance in our blogging. I’m here for you!!!

    • Iris
      Author
      11/01/2016 / 18:20

      Yukiko and Buruu are indeed from Stormdancer! You’ll have to read it and meet them (You’ll fall in love with them both)! I love you too Dani, let’s kick blogging’s ass in 2016 <3

  4. 22/12/2015 / 22:24

    So many great books mentioned! I’m so glad you’ve loved the books I’ve sent you. I agree: Po is just AMAZING! Stormdancer is a great book – I love that series. I can’t wait to read the last book. I think I remember you talking to Asti about it on Twitter not long before I found out I was your SS. (I actually bought Stormdancer for Asti, haha.)

    OMG, OMG, OMG… I got a shout out! Thank you! Haha.

    • Iris
      Author
      11/01/2016 / 18:22

      Yes I did talk to Asti about it on Twitter! You bought Stormdancer for Asti?! (that makes you even more awesomesauce, I read Stormdancer because she recommended it haha). And OF COURSE you got a shoutout, you’re awesome *hugs*

  5. 29/12/2015 / 01:44

    I read Graceling so long ago but I remember really enjoying it! I’m so pumped to see ACOTAR on your list because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it! I actually won a copy a while back so I may have to read that one next year because I’ve had it on my shelf for a while now. Good luck with your reading next year! :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    • Iris
      Author
      11/01/2016 / 18:30

      ACOTAR is the best! READ IT! Haha. You good luck with your reading in 2016 as well!

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