End of Year Book Survey

End of Year Book Survey 2014In true book blogger fashion, December is THE month for Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey. It’s the time of year to start reflecting on all the books I’ve read and ALL the books I look forward to reading next year. This survey may be one of my favourite things to do in December. I always look forward to answering the questions, and even more to reading the book surveys around the blogosphere! My TBR pile always ends up out of control after reading the book surveys others fill out. So many books, and so little time to read all of them (although, lets be honest, there is no such thing as reading too many books).

On that note, do keep in mind that this list contains the books I have read throughout the year; my list is not limited to books published in 2014.

Reading StatsNumber Of Books You’ve Read: at the moment the count is 59 books. I expect the count to be 65 by New-Year though. Which, unfortunately, is 10 books less than I’d challenged myself to read at the beginning of the year. I was well on my way halfway the year, and then University started… and it seriously put the brake on the amount of reading I was used to. Alas, good results count for something as well, and my grades are rocking!

Number Of Re-Reads: I didn’t reread a whole lot this year. Though I did the Harry Potter series, and  Northanger Abbey (for university). So I guess the count is 8 books.

Genre You’ve Read The Most From: I’ve read quite a few Fantasy books this year! Varying from some great new fantasy series that I discovered, to the next instalments in my some of my favourite fantasy series (Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas for example, that book was epic and well worth the wait)!

Best in books1. Best Book You Read In 2014

This one is incredibly hard to answer. It is hard every year, but I’ve started some amazing new Fantasy series this year: like The Lunar Chronicles, Pivot Point, Lux, Scarlet, The Dark Elements, The Bone Season, and Splintered. Which makes it incredibly tough to answer this question. I’ve narrowed it down The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, and I had the hardest time choosing (I am sure mentioning all those series is cheating, but I had to at least mention them in order to show how I think they’re all pretty damn amazing).

In the End I am going with The Bone Season. I remember reading this book when I was really sick during the summer. It had been lying on my shelf for a while, and because I pretty much couldn’t do anything but lie down I picked it up and fell in love with the story. The story was incredibly beautiful and this surprised me a lot (and made me want to kick myself for not reading it earlier). I have an eArc of The Mime Order on my iPad right now, needless to say that this baby is first on my reading list right now.

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

Without a doubt After The End by Amy Plum. I was really excited about it, and thought the story sounded really promising. In the end, it all fell kinda flat and I didn’t really enjoy it all that much. For a story that seemed so promising it was a disappointment to find out that I didn’t like it all that much.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. This book was given to me as a present by a dear friend of mine. Initially, I thought it was going to be a story filled with clichés, and I was pleasantly surprised with the good storyline.  It ended up being an incredibly cute and fun read, that I’d enjoyed immensely.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

The Selection by Kiera Cass. It is normal for me to ‘push’ people to read books I loved, but this time it had to do with the Young Adult event that Kiera Cass would attend. I pushed tons of people to read her books, and in the end I got most of my friends to read it as well as my mom and sister (Team Maxon all the way).

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

The best series I started was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon! This book surprised me in the best way possible, it was an absolutely brilliant read and I can’t wait to get started on my eARC of The Mime Order. The best sequel was Unhinged by A.G. Howard. I tweeted a lot about this book (and the whole series for that matter), it’s one of my favourite retellings, dark and twisty and absolutely amazing. If you haven’t started this series yet and you love Alice in Wonderland: you need this book in your life! And for the best series ender, for me that was Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I read the entire series in a week, after my sister finally bullied me into reading it, I got obsessed in no time! I’ll be forever grateful she pushed me to read this series!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Bethany Crandell! I loved Summer On the Short Bus and Bethany is just awesome!

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

I think this would be We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I like to know what I’m getting into when I read a book, but with this book I had absolutely no idea. I didn’t really know what it was about, what to expect, just really mysterious. and I loved it.

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

Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas! I think everyone who read it (and loves this series) will agree with me. Rowan is EPIC. The story is EPIC. The book itself is just nothing but Epic! As big a book as this is, I read it in one sitting. Loved it!

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

 Definitely rereading the Throne of Glass series before the next instalment will be in stores, and I’ll most likely reread The Bone Season as well!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

 Snow Like Ashes! That cover is absolutely stunning and I just love the colors. Also, and I know I am really beginning to sound repetitive here: The Heir. Anyone else thinking that cover is incredibly badass?

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

 ROWAN! Rowan from Heir Of Fire! Rowan is EVERYTHING! He had so much depth, and was so incredibly easy to fall in love with. He is without a doubt my favorite and most memorable character of 2014. If you haven’t had the pleasure meeting him yet… get yourself a copy of the book (or preferably a copy of every book in this series when you’re at it) and enjoy!

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

 We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This book still holds me in its grip, even though I read it at the very beginning of 2014. It was just THAT good.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

 Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. This is one of the books that crept up on me, dug its claws in, and didn’t let go. With its stripped-down characters and mysterious narrator. Beautiful and sad.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

 Please don’t hit me… I actually have a few books on that list. The Bone Season by Shannon Hale, The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout, The Dark Elements series by Jennifer Armentrout, the Splintered series by A.G. Howard, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo *hides.* I just realized these were a lot of titles, I may be a bit stubborn and thick-headed. *pleads for your forgiveness*

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.” ― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

Shortest Book: Bitter Sweet Love (A Dark Elements novella) by Jennifer Armentrout -105 pages Longest Book: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini -849 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios. I had some issues with this book, but in the end I think it was one of the books that I was most excited about in the end. I loved the Jinni aspect, it was different and unique. The thing I think that shocked me was Malek. I hated him. And I know that is a strong word to use, but I did. He was horrible and I couldn’t stand him. He was the part of the book that I had most trouble with.

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

 Katy and Daemon! Definitely Katy and Daemon from the Lux series. They’re pretty damn perfect and I ship them HARD!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

 Celaena and Rowan from Heir Of Fire. I loved their friendship. It built slowly and it was so incredibly good (it also doesn’t hurt that I have a serious BIG crush on Rowan…). I loved how they slowly bonded and how mutual trust grew.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

 Looking at the books I’ve read this year… I have read books from all new authors (that is, if you don’t count series). I need to change this in 2015, because this realisation makes me sad.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

 The Secret History by Donna Tartt. This is a book that means a lot to one of my closest friends and it was her present to me for my 20th birthday this year. It is such a good read, and the best recommendation I’ve had this year, because I loved it. (Also worth mentioning is my sister Merel, who recommended me (read: pushed me hard) to read all the books by Jennifer Armentrout. I read the Lux series and The Dark Elements series, and loved both).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

 I HAVE to name three guys here (in my defence, it just says ‘newest fictional crush’ and no limit as to how many fictional crushes I can mention *smiles sweetly*). As mentioned before: Rowan from Heir Of Fire. Then: Raif from Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios (let’s mention that dance scene… that was incredibly hot!). And last but not least: Morpheus from Splintered *sighs.*

Update: My sister attacked me for not mentioning Roth from The Dark Elements series (while painting her nails, and that’s dangerous, cause I do NOT want my face to be smeared with nail polish). So, to keep her happy (and because I totally have to admit that I forgot to mention this sexy piece of meat) I update this post and include Roth as well! Forgive me Roth! (and dearest sister) .

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

 Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens AND (because once a cheater, always a cheater… #SorryNotSorry) Summer On the Shortbus by Bethany Crandell.

24. Best World-building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. This is a great retelling of the well-known Robin Hood tale and the story is told so vividly with great (absolutely GREAT) world-building.

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

 Summer On the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell. Bethany has so much humor and it shines through in every aspect of her book. The story is fun and carries a good message at the same time. I read this book in one sitting, and I smiled my way through it!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

 Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. This book made me cry, a lot. I seriously disliked the actions of most of the characters in this book, but it is a big part of what makes the book such a good read. The main-character just got to the point that she was so lost and couldn’t see through the mess that’d become her life anymore, that the any solution she saw was suicide. This book was incredibly intense… working towards that point of self-destruction and the final conclusion. I cried quite a lot.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

 Solitaire by Alice Oseman. I was so lucky to get my hands on an ARC at YALC this year, and lucky for me Alice Oseman was there and after chatting for a while she even signed it for me!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen. THAT ENDING SHATTERED ME and most definitely crushed my soul. I just want to yell and throw a fit, there were so many feelings coursing through my body after finishing this book. It was just perfect, and frustrating, and incredibly beautifully written.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

 This would probably be Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios. Which is odd, because I had some issues with this book, but the story really stuck with me. It was original and unique and the writing style was pretty damn good. So yeah, while I did have issues with some aspects *cough* Malek *Cough* this story did stuck. It was different and unique!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

 Exquisite Captive definitely! The thing making me mad being that damned Malek. I just dislike the dude so freaking much and he frustrated me till no end.

Blogging-bookish life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

 Snuggly Oranges! I really love her writing style, I enjoy reading her reviews, and know to go to her blog if I want some good advice when in need for a good new read.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

 That would be my review for The Bone Season. This book surprised me (in a very good way) and I loved writing about it.

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

 Yeah, that would be my post on the gloomy weather and how it affected my blogging habits. It was a good post, and it made me realise that I was not the only one affected. Plus, it was nice to realise that I didn’t need to feel bad about blogging a little less when I didn’t feel like it. Even more so, I fell a little more in love with the book blogging community!

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

 My week in Londen! That week included YALC (which was awesome!) and the Rainbow Rowell event (which was incredibly awesome as well!). That week had so much bookishness involved that it’s hard not to geek out all over again thinking back it.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

 Meeting blogging friends in real life! It’s great realising that the friendships you made online are just that in real life. It’s fun to be able to talk about your blog (and books!) with somebody, but even more fun to realise you can talk about all these other things as well.

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

My First Blogaversary post, with a little help from authors and publishing houses I was able to go overboard on the giveaway and it was so much fun to do. It got a lot of traffic and I got to give away lots of books (which is always extremely fun to do). I hope -and will do my best- to do the same thing in 2015!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I think that would be my review for The Bone Season. I was really excited about this book and I would’ve liked to discuss and chat about it a bit more with my fellow bloggers. Although, I think I could even go as far as to say just the reviews in general, because I put time and thought in them but they aren’t getting as much ‘response’ as I would like them to get.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Creative Whim! Especially her Ultimate Book Blogger plugin (as well as her Tweak Me theme). That plugin made blogging so much easier! It’s incredibly handy and pretty much the best discovery book and blogging related I made all year!

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

 I started two challenges at the beginning of this year. The 2014 Standalone challenge and the 2014 Series Challenge. The first I aced, I even read one book more than the pretty high goal I’d set for myself. The second pretty much flopped, I did start some new series, but the one I wanted to start … nah, didn’t go that well. I’m pretty happy with the overall result though!

looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To Read In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

 The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I have heard a lot about this book, lots of good things. The plan was to have read it by now, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet. I ordered the book a few weeks ago though, and it is on top of the list and I will start on it as soon as my exams are over! *Pinky Promise!*

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

 Ensnared (Spintered #3) by A.G. Howard! I need more Morpheus and more awesomeness. The ending in Unhinged was killing, absolutely killing, and I need to know what happens next. MUST READ THIS SOON!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and the list can go on and on (like the next instalment in the Throne of Glass series!). I have no doubt that 2015 will bring lots and lots of good new reads, and I look forward to reading them!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

 *sings* Throne of Glass *can’t carry a tune Did you even need to ask? I look forward to every book in that series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Read a little more than this year. Make more friends. And just be around more. I think this is a very fair goal, especially since chances are that I got used to university by then. I really think the main reason that I didn’t read as much has to do with the fact that I started University (it was a bit overwhelming).

 

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I haven’t finished it yet, but I am recommending it because even though I didn’t finish it yet I still love every word I have already read: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon.

[divider]

And that was it! This was my 2014 End Of Year Book Survey. It took me a few days to answer everything, because it is a LONG survey. I imagine it is even longer to read, but if you’ve got this far, I want to thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my reviews and my ramblings, because it means the world to me! It honestly does. I love reading and I love that I am able to write freely about all my geekish things. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, and I hope to see you next year, and continue all the bookish talks and discussions!

-free virtual hugs for everyone-

Thank you for a wonderful year, and I hope to see you again in 2015!

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20 Comments

  1. 10/12/2014 / 01:53

    I totally need to do one of these now. I loved this. I have to say that I love the graphics with the hearts. Very cute and stylish.

    • Iris
      Author
      12/12/2014 / 15:42

      Awww thank you Ali! And go do the survey as well! It’s fun :)

  2. 12/12/2014 / 12:11

    OMG I LOVE SURVEYS! I want to do this one so so badly. x) *dashes off to bookmark page*

    Oh Rowan was amazing. I wanted to hate him because I felt he was taking Celanea away from my precious ship of Chaol BUT ROWAN WAS AMAZING. I’m going to stick him in the “brotherly bondship” compartment, though. heh. I still ship Chaleana.

    I ‘m really looking forward to An Ember In The Ashes too! I’ve seen raving reviews of it and I’m sooo excited! ^_^

    • Iris
      Author
      12/12/2014 / 16:20

      You should do this survey! It is FUN! Lots of fun, and a great way to look back at all you’ve read in 2014.

      Rowan is probably wins the biggest-crush-of-the-year-award for me. I’ve read about lots of dreamy guys, but Rowan *sighs* He’s perfect and dreamy and awesome and badass and I-can-go-on-for-hours-but-I-won’t haha.

  3. 12/12/2014 / 15:22

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, I’m about to tear up seriously. THANK YOU. ♥

    I’m glad you loved The Bone Season so much and that you did manage to get a review copy of The Mime Order :) That series is just amazing.

    • Iris
      Author
      12/12/2014 / 16:34

      ;)

      The series IS amazing! I started The Mime Order and so far I am loving it VERY much! (and I seriously dislike that I have three exams to study for… because all I want to do is read)

  4. 15/12/2014 / 17:04

    I am working right now on my “best of 2014” posts. Going to go check out your Bone Season review and definitely stop by and chat about Mime Order when you’re done. I have a LOT to say about that book..
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • Iris
      Author
      21/12/2014 / 19:06

      I just finished The Mime Order! Like, finished it 10 minutes ago. I am going to write my review tonight and I would LOVE to chat about it with you!

  5. 16/12/2014 / 20:38

    Fantasy books are the best, it’s also my most-read genre this year (which wasn’t a surprise for me, haha) I had the same with After the end. I liked the idea, it started out fine, but it went downhill so fast. Heir of fire is AMAZING. I didn’t think I could love this series more than I already did, but then HOF happened and wow. Lady thief was heart-breaking! It completely destroyed me.

    • Iris
      Author
      21/12/2014 / 19:09

      Every time a new book comes out in the Throne of Glass series I end up falling more and more in love. It is just so incredibly well-written and I LOVE the characters.

  6. 16/12/2014 / 20:42

    I’ve also started to read The Lunar Chronicles, and I’m so glad I did! Amazing series :)

    • Iris
      Author
      21/12/2014 / 19:11

      I just started the second instalment in the Lunar Chronicles and I am still loving it very much! Let me know what you think so we can chat about it!

  7. 26/12/2014 / 22:06

    Your blog is so cute, I’m kind of obsessed with your layout.

    But yes, yes, yes!! Heir of Fire was EPIC! and Rowan was most definitely EPIC! I’ve been seeing a lot of things about The Bone Season, but like you I’m a little stubborn when it comes to picking up books. I’m going to go and read your review because I love how enthusiastic you are about it!!

    Tabitha @ Tabitha’s Book Blog

    • Iris
      Author
      19/01/2015 / 21:13

      Aww thank you!

      I hope you’ll pick up The Bone Season! I absolutely loved it (as you read in my review, and this post)

  8. 28/12/2014 / 05:30

    I read the Fine Art of Pretending this year as well, and it was definitely not what I’d been anticipating, either. And I agree with you about Zhang’s Falling into Place—such thoughtful, insightful (and wonderfully written) novel.

    Also loving all the shoutouts for Scarlet and Lady Thief in this post! :) Such a great series.

    • Iris
      Author
      19/01/2015 / 21:14

      2014 was a year filled with some wonderful reads! Let’s hope 2015 will be just as great (or even greater!)

  9. 28/12/2014 / 18:30

    This survey looks so fun (the first time I typed that it autocorrected to “surgery”. Ookkaaayyy). I was too late to participate this year since all my posts are scheduled until January, but I definitely want to try it next year. I’ve already read Red Queen and An Ember in the Ashes and LOVED them. Can’t wait for you to read them.

    • Iris
      Author
      19/01/2015 / 21:15

      You’ve read them already?! I am sooooo jealous. I can’t wait to read them! And the fact that you loved them, makes me want to read them even more!

  10. It’s so fun reading the answers to this survey, I’m discovering so many great books this way. I did a Harry Potter reread this year too, just in time for #Harryxmastoyou and my second trip to the Studio Tour. I absolutely loved Heir of Fire, such a brilliant sequel and it’s got me desperate to get my hands on book four. I was also really disappointed with After the End, even though I was so sure I was going to love it. We Were Liars was one of my favourite series of the year, even if it did make me cry whilst at work. Oh god, I hated Malek so much that it stopped me getting into the story and I ended up putting the book down. Great answers! :) I recently did my own survey, which can be found here if you want to check it out.

    • Iris
      Author
      19/01/2015 / 21:17

      Heir of Fire was brilliant! The whole series is brilliant if you ask me :) I need that fourth book desperately!

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