2017 End of the Year Book Survey

Each year, Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner hosts this end of the year book survey. I think it’s a fun survey to answer, so without further ado, here are my answers to her questions.

Best in Books

1. What is the best book you read in 2017?

Hands down, no competition, it was What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty. I adored that book and I’ll definitely pick up more books by her.

2. Which book were you excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

I was so excited for The Chemist. I mean, it was another book by Stephenie Meyer, but it only ended up being so so for me. I think it could’ve been the circumstances I read it in, though, so I’m going to give it another shot some time.

3. What book was the most surprising (in a good or bad way) that you read?

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson was so surprisingly awesome. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I feel like the author and I are kindred spirits.

4. Which book did you “push” the most on people to read?

I only just read Furiously Happy in November, but ever since I read it, I’ve been shouting its praises from the rooftops. Before November, it would’ve been Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris.

5. What is the best series you started in 2017? The best sequel you read in 2017? And, the best series ender you read in 2017?

I read and loved a duology this year so it can answer all three of these questions. I read Pivot Point and Split Second by Kasie West. They were awesome! I thought the concept and executions were great.

6. Who is a favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Oh my gosh! I discovered so many favorite new authors this year! I can’t pick just one. Lianne Moriarty, BA Paris, Kasie West, Rainbow Rowell, and Sarah Addison Allen are definitely on my list to read more of.

7. What was the best book from a genre you don’t typically read, or in other words, was out of your comfort zone?

Furiously Happy

8. What was the most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

This is a toss up between What Alice Forgot, Furiously Happy, and Behind Closed Doors all for different reasons, lol.

9. Which book did you read in 2017 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

Maybe The Chemist so I can give it another chance under different circumstances to see if I’ll like it any better than I did the first time around. But, I’ll probably wait a couple of years before I read it again.

10. What was your favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

11. Who was the most memorable character of 2017?

Rory, the stuffed raccoon, from Furiously Happy. He’s actually the raccoon on the cover. Well, Rory II is anyway. 😂

12. What was the most beautifully written book read in 2017?

What Alice Forgot

13. What was the most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2017?

Hands down, Furiously Happy was. I mean I changed my blog because of it. Sure, I changed my blog back because I ran out of things to say, but it affected me a lot.

14. Which book can’t you believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Anything by Rainbow Rowell. I read Attachments and Landline and loved them both and I need to read her other books stat, especially Fangirl, or so I’ve heard.

15. What is your favorite passage/quote from a book you read In 2017?

“I don’t have arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders) because fear of spiders is perfectly rational so I refuse to recognize it as a ‘disorder.'”

16.What was the shortest and longest books you read In 2017?

Shortest: 128 pgs–The Ice Cream Maker by Subir Chowdhury
Longest: 894 pgs–Dune by Frank Herbert (reread)

17. Which book shocked you the most?

Pivot Point probably shocked me the most because the author didn’t take the easy way out. I can’t say more without spoiling the story.

18. Who is your OTP (one true pairing) of the year?

Ceony Twill and Mg. Emery Thane from The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. A lot of people in my book club felt like their romance came out of nowhere but I was rooting for it the whole time.

19. Who was your favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?

Beth and Jennifer in Attachments. They remind me of my relationship with my work BFF Christina.

20. What is your favorite book you read in 2017 from an author you’ve read previously?

I don’t have any. The only “new” book I read from an author I’ve previously read before this year is The Chemist and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either.

21. What is the best book you read in 2017 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris. Thanks for the recommendation, Jenny. It. Was. Awesome!

22. Who is your newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

It’s a toss up between Mg. Emery Thane (The Paper Magician) and Lincoln O’Neill (Attachments).

23. What is the best 2017 debut you read?

I didn’t read any debuts this year.

24. What is the best world building/most vivid setting you read this year?

I’m going with a reread even though I try to stick with new reads for this survey. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows because I love how they brought the Tudor era to life. Plus, they add a touch of a magic and it makes for a fun, vivid read.

25. Which book put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?

Furiously Happy. I was either groaning or guffawing. I couldn’t read it quietly and I had to share passages with the husband almost constantly.

26. Which book made you cry or nearly cry in 2017?

I cried while reading a few books this year: Landline, What Alice Forgot, and Furiously Happy.

27. Which book do you consider a hidden gem of the year?

I don’t have any this year.

28. Which book crushed your soul?

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. It was way too graphic and the gardener seemed too “normal” instead of the psychopath he was. The multiple rapes seemed more like normal sexual encounters than the assaults they were and that didn’t sit well with me.

29. What was the most unique book you read In 2017?

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry. The writing style was very unique. I know for some it was a little off-putting, but I liked it. I thought it was very suspenseful and I wanted to keep reading it to find out what happened to the protagonist.

30. Which book made you the most mad?

I didn’t really have any books that made me mad this year unless you count The Butterfly Garden. But, that just made me cringe more than mad.

Looking Ahead

1. What one book didn’t you get to in 2017 but will be your first priority in 2018?

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I even reread City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls so I could finally read CoHF.

2. Which book are you most anticipating for 2018 (non-debut)?

Lost in Scotland by Julianne Donaldson IF she publishes it in 2018. I really, really, really hope she does.

3. Which 2018 debut are you most anticipating?

I haven’t kept up on all the debuts that are being published next year so I’m not sure. I’m definitely hoping to read some, though. I might even consider participating in the Debut Author Challenge.

4. Which series ending/sequel are you most anticipating in 2018?

I’m planning to read City of Heavenly Fire, The Immortal Throne by Bree Despain, and Endure by Sara B. Larson next year. I’ve been anticipating all of these for a very long time. I’ve just never gotten around to reading them.

5. What is one thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging live in 2018?

I’m secretly hoping to read to 50 books next year. I say secretly because my official goal is only 36 books.


Review: The Sugar Queen

Review: The Sugar QueenTitle: The Sugar Queen
Author(s): Sarah Addison Allen
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Romance
Pages: 278 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Add to Goodreads • Buy on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.... Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis--and two parts fairy godmother...

My Thoughts

My book club read The Sugar Queen for December. I didn’t know what it was about, but when I saw that all the chapters were named after sugary treats, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. To be perfectly frank, I was worried one of the characters was always going to be eating delectable goodies, making me crave them, and I don’t need that in my life. Fortunately, the story didn’t make me crave sugary goodies.

I actually ended up really liking the story. I loved the magical realism and how it was part of the characters’ everyday lives. It made me wish books would just appear out of thin air (as long as they’re books I want to read, lol).

I liked that the story followed two main characters instead of just one. There were a few side characters as well. To be honest, I didn’t really care about the side characters. Okay, mainly just Josey’s mother. But, I was thoroughly invested in both Josey’s and Chloe’s happiness.

This is the first novel I’ve read written by Sarah Addison Allen. Because I enjoyed it as much as I did, I’ll definitely give another one of hers a try. If you’ve read any others, which one(s) would you recommend?

Bout of Books 21 Signup

It’s time for Bout of Books again! What does that mean exactly? Here’s the official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.– From the Bout of Books team

I’m so excited! I love Bout of Books. It’s one of my favorite blogging events to participate in. I usually seem to get a lot of reading in, which is good because I really need to jump start my reading for 2018!

Are you participating this time around? I really hope so because it’s so much fun!

A Fresh Start

Hi there! 👋🏻 Welcome to my blog! If you’ve been following Jenni Elyse for a while, you may have noticed things are a bit sparse around here. Well, I have a tendency to update my blog a lot. It’s something I enjoy doing. But, I also have a tendency to work without a backup and I had an unfortunate accident. I lost all my data. All 10.5 years’ worth. I’d be more upset, but I’m using this setback to start fresh. 😊

I absolutely adored the direction I was going in prior to the accident, but I have a small confession. Talking about mental illness is really hard, especially when you’re in a good spot, and I ran out of things to say. I have no idea when inspiration will strike again, and instead of just letting my blog gather dust, I’ve decided to go back to what I know, which is mostly talking about books. Mostly. I’m actually going to blog just to blog, meaning I’ll blog about whatever I want. Hopefully, that works for you too.