End of Year Book Survey

Last year, Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner posted a survey of all the books she read during the year just kind of for herself. A lot of other bloggers decided to join in so she decided to host it as an end of the year survey this year. I had fun thinking up my answers for these questions.

  1. Best book you read In 2011?
    Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  2. Most disappointing book/book you wish you loved more than you did?
    I wish I would’ve loved The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney more than I did. I hope that I’ll like the second book more so that I can give the series more of a chance.
  3. Most surprising book (in a good way) of 2011?
    The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. I wasn’t expecting to like it very much, but I really did enjoy it a lot.
  4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
    Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
    Heist Society by Ally Carter
  6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
    Stephanie Perkins. I absolutely loved Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door.
    Ally Carter. I really enjoyed Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals.
    Kendare Blake. Anna Dressed in Blood was awesome!
  7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
    Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
    City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
  11. Most memorable character in 2011?
    Atticus Finch
  12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
    Crossed by Ally Condie. I love her poetic writing style.
  13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2011 to finally read?
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2011?
    This is from East of Eden: “But the Hebrew word, the word timshel–‘Thou mayest’–that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’–it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
  16. Book that you read in 2011 that would be most likely to reread in 2012?
    Everneath by Brodi Ashton. In fact, I plan to reread it first thing in 2012 so I can count it toward the 2012 DAC and because it’s just that awesome! (My review will be posted on January 3.)
  17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?
    The ending of City of Fallen Angels and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. She has a way of leaving you in high anxiety at the end of her books.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

  1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
    Alternate Readality. I love Jenny’s insights and views on things. She gets me thinking all the time.
  2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?
    I think the most thought out review I posted was either the one for To Kill a Mockingbird or East of Eden. My favorite that I wrote, however, is Everneath and unfortunately, it hasn’t been posted yet. Only a couple more days, though.
  3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
    My post about Combating Reading Slumps was by far the most intriguing and well participated in post.
  4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
    I LOVE Twilight and I am NOT ASHAMED” at Alison Can Read. I really appreciated this discussion because it’s something I needed to read. I started to give into all the negativity surrounding Twilight and it bothered me because I do really love the books. This helped me realize that it’s okay if I love them even if others don’t.
  5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
    I was very fortunate this year to attend a lot of author signings. My favorite signing was for Markus Zusak. He was just so personable and took time with each and every person at the event. He stayed until 1:00 am signing books.
  6. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
    Did you know that if you have Amazon prime and pre-order books, most books will be delivered to you on release day? I didn’t! I was so excited when I found that out with Lola and the Boy Next Door.
  7. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
    I signed up for one challenge this year. The 2011 DAC. I failed miserably. I only read two books out of the twelve I signed up to read. Hopefully, next year I’ll do better. I also had a goal to read 25 books this year. (I know that’s low, but I’m a slow reader and school takes up a lot of my time.) I didn’t quite reach my goal but I gave it my best shot!

Looking Ahead …

  1. One book you didn’t get to in 2011 but will be your first priority in 2012?
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I started it in 2011, but I didn’t finish it so after I finish my reread of Everneath, I’ll finish The Book Thief.
  2. Book you are most anticipating for 2012?
    There’s a tie between Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.
  3. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2012?
    I like my reviews, but I feel like they could have more sustenance. I intend to do some research on this and see if I can figure out a better way to do it.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins (Blog, Twitter)
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Hardcover
Buy on Amazon • Add to Goodreads • Add to Shelfari
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion ... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Summary from Dust Jacket

There are a few very minor spoilers in this review, but I don’t think it’ll ruin the book for you.

I was so excited to read Lola and the Boy Next Door because I loved Anna and the French Kiss so much. And, even though I love Anna more, Lola didn’t disappoint me. It was such a fun story!

I loved Lola’s parents (all three of them). You could tell that they really loved her and wanted what was best for her. I also loved that they weren’t absent like most parents are in YA stories. It made for some interesting dynamics.

I loved Cricket from the get go. He was such a great guy. He was so nice and so devoted to Lola that I almost thought he was too good for her. But, in the end, I changed my mind and realized that they were perfect for each other.

I had a hard time with Lola a little bit. Most YA characters act older than they are, but I felt like Lola acted her age–seventeen. And, because of that, she seemed a little immature, whiny, and selfish at times. But, she grew on me and I realized she was just confused and didn’t know what she wanted like most teenagers her age. By the end of the book, I really liked her.

I loved reading about all of her awesome outfits. I kept thinking how would it be to dress like her? It would be so fun, but I don’t think I could deal with the insults like she did. I’m too self-conscious. I’m glad she was able to find herself because she struggled with who she was amidst all her crazy outfits.

I especially loved seeing Anna and Étienne from Anna and the French Kiss. It was so much fun to see them from a different perspective and to see that they were still together. Seeing them also reminded me of how much I loved Anna and the French Kiss. I may have to reread it soon.

I’m looking forward to reading more books by Stephanie Perkins and I can’t wait for Isla and the Happily Ever After, the third companion novel. It’ll be fun to see if they all end up in Paris for the reason I think they all would end up there and to see if all three couples come together as friends.

Content Warning

There are a couple of instances of the F-word. Also, this story is a bit edgier than Anna and the French Kiss, but I still loved it.

four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2011

Time to list my favorite books I read in 2011. (I’ve chosen to list only those books I read for the first time in 2011. Each listing links to my review.) Here are my top ten:

  1. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  2. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  3. Everneath by Brodi Ashton (full review to come January 3)
  4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  5. The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
  6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
  9. Crossed by Ally Condie
  10. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Honorable Mention

  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I’m currently in the middle of this book and I know it would make my list had I finished it in time for this list.

Meme Rules

For meme rules, click here.

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

This year, I decided to sign up for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. I thought it would be fun to participate.

My Secret Santa was Steph from Steph the Bookworm. I was so excited when I received my gift. Honestly, I had forgotten about it because I didn’t get an email about who my Santee was and thought that for whatever reason I may not have qualified. When my gift came, I started to panic and tracked down my Santee just in time to get something sent to them.

When I received my package, I didn’t realize it was for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. So, I went right ahead and opened it. It wasn’t until I read the thoughtful card from Steph that I realized why I had received this anonymous package with awesome books in it. I wish I had realized so I could open it on Christmas. But, I’m still excited even though I opened it early.

My cat Dax decided she wanted to be in the picture with my gifts. I thought I should oblige so she didn’t take it out on my books. As you can see, Steph gave me five books, a cat bookmark, and a lovely card. The three books in the top of the picture were on my wishlist and the two in the bottom were books she added because she saw that I love historical fiction and romance. Really sweet of her, isn’t it? Thank you so much, Steph! I really appreciate the gift and the thought that went into it.

I’m excited to participate in the holiday swap next year. And, I can’t wait to see what my Santee thought of her gift.