Saturday, January 10, 2015

Best of 2014

Better late than never, right? A big thank you to Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner for doing this again!  She also did all the pretty designing things too :)


Number Of Books You Read: 151 (including picture books, but not rereads)
Number of Re-Reads:  28
Genre You Read The Most From: Unsurprisingly, I read twice as much fantasy as any other genres (which were surprisingly pretty evenly split between the other genres).  Fantasy comes in at 39, and my highest subgenre was (also unsurprisingly) High Fantasy.  My audience was split at probably close to half YA, and then the other half was split between adult, children, and MG.


Best Book You Read In 2014?

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Science Fiction: 
The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant
Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

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

Hands down this goes to Diane Setterfield's Bellman & Black. I have been anxiously awaiting another book from her since I read her debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale - which remains one of my favourite books ever, EIGHT YEARS ago. And you the worst of it? The book didn't make me made me sad! I just felt so bad because there was so much pressure on her after her debut novel had so much success...and then she didn't write for 8 years and this book seriously tanked. And it made me feel bad that I disliked it so much :(

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

Good Way:  Tyger Tyger by Kerstin Hamilton - I totally did not see that book having nearly as much substance as I did, and it flipped around some instalove tropes on me (which I LOVED and otherwise I don't think I would have shaped the main couple) and totally took me by surprise.

Bad Way:  Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - WHY JANE. JUST WHY.

Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014?

The best series I read was hands down (well ok only hands down because the only series that gave it a run for it's money I'm putting in the second part of this question) was Mira Grant's Newsflesh Trilogy. I have been craving a reread of it like every month since I read it, and until this trilogy I thought that even if I loved books as an adult, I wouldn't need them like I do the big books I grew up with (a la anything by Tamora Pierce or Robin McKinley).


On the flip side, Froi of the Exiles may be the most perfect, amazing second book I've ever come across. It is seriously SO. GOOD. Finnikin of the Rock is totally up my alley - I mean high fantasy is my thing, but it didn't really stand apart from the crowd for me. But when this book came along? Oh yeah. I fell, and I fell HARD.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Unsurprisingly, I honestly can't choose between above authors Mira Grant and Melina Marchetta.

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

I'm really not much of a contemporary reader, but Daria Snadowsky's Anatomy of a Boyfriend was just one of the funniest most honest things I've ever read. And I really, really wish I'd found it when I first started getting serious with my boyfriend - it would have reassured me that all the awkwardness a lot sooner than I got comfortable with it on my own.  Dom is seriously like a twin to my 18 year-old self.

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

Guys, I have completely refused to read The Vampire Academy series forever. Mostly because the covers feature what appears to be an Angelina Jolie look alike. And because the title says vampire.  I WAS WRONG. I bow down to the collective wisdom of everyone who has repeatedly told me I was wrong!  I had a freaking meltdown when I had to wait to get that fourth book, so the award to this question definitely goes to Shadow Kiss.

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

Well I've answered this one already - The Newsflesh Trilogy.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

Man, the covers this year were just top notch. The Night Circus and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender came really close, but this took the cake for me:


Most memorable character of 2014?

Aaaand once again I need to remind myself that Celaena Sardothien is not the answer to everything.  I'd have to go with Saphronia from Etiquette & Espionage because she's brilliant and manipulative and a little selfish (and we all know I love these things in my heroines)

Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, although The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton is definitely a close second.  Also Daughter of Smoke and Bone which I've only just now remembered I even read last year! I read it in like February so it feels forever ago.

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

Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I didn't even have to consider any other books for this question. I read this book almost 2 months ago, and I rarely go a full week without thinking about it.  I can't really say the same of any other book unless I'm getting a craving for a reread. And I don't think I'll ever be up to a reread of this - as much as it's constantly in my thoughts, a reread would completely wreck me. 

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

...The Vampire Academy series. I feel dumb.

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

- Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

I may admire Kami's spunk and tenacity, and wish I had Angela's hardness, but I'm Holly through and through.  Especially in this last book, a lot of what Holly said/did/felt just really resonated with me.

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Kushiel's Scion comes out on top with a whopping 944 pages, and Little Miss Shy wins the shortest at 14 pages.

Book That Shocked You The Most

Going Bovine. I thought I had the ending pegged right from the start, and I just totally didn't see it going that way!

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

Adam/Ronan from Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle.  Because I can't pick Celaena/Chaol every year haha (and I NEED Adam/Ronan to happen!)

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Harbour Lights by compoundbreadd

Definitely Rowan/Celaena from Heir of Fire.  There's some serious chemistry there, and they clearly belong together. But when I say that, I mean as like...soul besties.

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

Heir of Fire/The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas. She only made this list once this year!! I'm so proud of myself - I showed restraint! Oh wait I just did Heir of Fire. Twice! I only mentioned it twice!

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

The Vampire Academy series...because of like everyone ever. Although a shout out to Shannon who was FREAKING AWESOME and therefore got me to read a book I hadn't even heard of yet (The Kiss of Deception which I LOVED even though I haven't mentioned it on the blog really) and a book I hadn't been able to get to yet (Blue Lily, Lily Blue) by actually giving them to me to read hahahaha.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Nikolai Lantsov/Sturmhond because HELLO Prince/Pirate Captain?! Loveable rogue? It's like he was written for me. I never shipped him with Alina, but I'd take him quite happily!

Best 2014 debut you read?

 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I seriously loved the setting of this probably most about the book, which is not something I usually care a whole lot about. Even weirder? It wasn't a fantasy setting!  But seriously, the descriptions in this book were just so beautiful and so vivid!  Daughter of Smoke and Bone is definitely a very close second though. The descriptions of the chimaera are what really stood out for me in that book, hence The Night Circus winning this question.

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

Etiquette & Espionage is just entirely made of fun! Steampunk assassin/spy-in-training boarding school?! YES.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Ummm...I cry about like every book. I'm entirely overly emotional about reading: I cry because it's over, I cry because someone died, I cry because the ending was so good, I cry because I'm scared, I cry because I loved it so much....I mean need I go on?

Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. This man just does not get the word of mouth that he deserves. I only discovered him last year because I randomly picked up a book of his at the library, and his dystopias are the scariest most realistic settings I've ever read.

Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Going Bovine. Not even a question. From the start I knew there were two ways the book could go, and I would have been sad but ok with either of those endings. I did NOT see that third option that Libba Bray chose that combines both option A and B in the most intense way ever. I was a wreck (who am I kidding I'm still a wreck! That book completely shocked me out of nowhere. Like being hit by a lightning bolt).

Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Going Bovine. Like...I can't even explain this book. Or really choose a genre for it. It's weird (in a wonderful but completely genre-defying way)

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

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.  Ok, technically I still haven't finished it, but some of you have seen my status updates on it, and can understand my frustration. Between this and Mansfield Park (and The Scarlet Pimpernel which I didn't hate but had expected to love) it was not a good year for classics.

  Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

This year I moved away from writing traditional reviews for the most part.  And it all started with my somewhat review, but mostly discussion of a standout character/book Gabrielle Zevin's Birthright trilogy.  I'll link all three below, because well...why not?

Best discussion post you had on your blog?

Monday Musings: LGBT in Books - I get spectacularly ranty on this one so it was a lot of fun.  Speaking of fun...RrraaAAWWrrrr (Or: Why Zombies?) may have been my most fun (and scarring. Don't look up animal zombies on google image. It's horrifying.)

Best non-bookish post you had on your blog?

I only had two, so I'll just put both shall I?

K-Dramas 101 - For real guys, I need more K-drama buddies in my life. So if any of you like them (or want to try them) I would love to have a K-drama watching buddy right now!
I'm drunk and watching North and South, so let's talk about SHIPS!!! - Oh the ships, the many, many ships. And the wine.  I need some of that...

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Yet Another Ode to Tamora Pierce: Keladry of Mindelan - Kel really doesn't get the love Alanna and Daine do, and I think that's a damn shame. I was still surprised that I didn't get many hits on the post or any comments, but I KNOW there are other Kel lovers out there. Somewhere. (...they're probably just all on Tumblr lol)


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

I'd hoped to read all of Jane Austen's books by the end of 2014, but I still have to finish Emma and read Northanger Abbey. So really I only read one Jane Austen book last year haha (but hey, I need to savor the rest of them. You only get to read these the first time once, right?)

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

A Court of Thorns and Roses (Beauty and the Beast retelling?! SARAH J. MAAS?? Could this speak to me any more? Also THAT COVER. *Swoons*)  

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

Sequel: The next Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, obviously.
Ending: The last book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

And that's it folks!  Phew that was long.  Any recommendations for the new year? Do a year wrap up post? Leave me a link below and I'll check it out!


  1. That is a seriously thorough survey! Way to go with reading almost 180 books! That is so awesome - how do you do that and still keep up with life, lol! I'm digging all the love for The Night Circus - also in my top ten in 2014. Also I loved both of your non-bookish posts this year!

  2. Oh the Going Bovine book, you keep making me want to read it more and more. Don't feel bad, I still haven't posted the review of my top book of 2014. I was going to do this year in review thing, but I thought it was getting a little late, but you know, after reteading these questions I still really want to do it. I joined this thing called Blogging Without Obligation. I think it gives me permission to do this. Lol. I think the Blue Lily, Lily Blue cover was second on my list. The Night Circus is another certainty on from my tbr because of you. However, you will never get me to read The Vampire Diaries. I will stick with Anne Rice and M.R. Graham. Great list. I enjoyed reading it.

  3. I have 5 Goodreads tabs open after reading your survey here with 'OKAY I GUESS I NEED TO START THAT SERIES' as the basis of that lol sooo many books. Considering my book buying ban, I suppose I might have to start using my local library *gasp* I haven't been there for ages! I bet my card has expired, the horror!

    Sorry. That was a tangent.

    Go you for reading so many books! I have no idea how you do it, do you have a time machine? Maybe I need a time machine, or a time turner or whatever it is from Harry Potter...which might just prove I need to re-read those books again because I can't remember.

    I am going to stop typing because this comment just gets worse and worse (as do my typing skills).

  4. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJanuary 11, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    I need to read more Libba Bray (only read The Diviner, and
    yesssss (Lair of Dreams out this year!) and I WILL read the Night Circus by the
    end of 2015.
    Haha, man you really hated Mansfield Park.;)

    Oh God, I hate the Vampire Academy cover ( I don't mind the other as much). All through it I kept imagining Rose as
    Angelina Jolie, and just no. But seeeeeeeeeee, it's good. Okay, I read it
    when I was going through my vampire phase (ack) but out of all the ones I've
    read, nothing compared to VA The only other series I've loved as much is Julie
    Kagawa's Blood of Eden.

    Blue Lily, Lily Blue, you gorgeous cover ,you. When I
    finally get it (still haven't bought it yet, yikes) I'm going to have to buy
    that version, the UK version is reversed (what was the point?) and more purple
    and pink and noooooooooooooo. >:(

    But but, Celaena Sardothien can be the answer to everything.

    Rowan/Celaena, THAT "I claim you, too, Aelin
    Galathynius" scene. The most perfect thing, ever, it even had me
    thinking about jumping ship for a while...mwuahahaha.

    The only book I'm recommending this year is All the Bright
    Places because THIS BOOK.

  5. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJanuary 11, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Okay, that came out weird. :/

  6. I know right? And I even deleted some questions! If it makes you feel any better, at least 30 of those books were probably picture books haha. And it helps that I have 25 hours a week at a job where I don't do anything. I can't wait to see what Erin Morgenstern comes up with next! And thank you :)

  7. I make no promises - it's definitely a weird book. I know a lot of people really didn't like it (but hopefully you'll fall in the former category rather than the latter).

    That's exactly how I felt about doing this post! I saw a few people put this up last week, so I figured...well hell I have half of this written as it is, so why not? Which was your favourite cover? This year definitely was a good year for covers (of course I didn't really pay attention to them before this year, so there's that).

    Yeah, I really fought reading The Vampire Academy series, because outside of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, I've not had a lot of luck with vampires. Some authors I'll read just because I love the authors - Robin McKinley is my hero and Sunshine was quite good, and I thought Scott Westerfield's treatment of vampires as a sort of parasite was REALLY interesting. I tried Anne Rice....and I just couldn't do it. I'm just not a vampire person!

  8. Bahahaha! After that book haul on your blog holy cow! But yeah, I'm too broke for books so I am a faithful library venturer. It's kind of nice because what's available limits your choices so it's not completely overwhelming, because my reaction to libraries is usually like OMG FREE BOOKS I NEED TO CHECK THEM ALL OUT RIGHT NOW. (I consistently check out WAY. TOO. MANY. BOOKS. The security guard doesn't even make me show him the books because he takes one look at the size of my bag and decides it's not worth the trouble haha)

    It is very helpful that a good 30 books were picture books, and I don't really do anything at work which leaves much paid reading time (...which sounds way awesome when put that way than it actually feels).

    I love entertaining comments hahhaha (also, it is in fact a time turner, so you're saved from unnecessary rereading. Personally I find rereading necessary, but I know most people don't)

  9. YES! I think? you'll like The Night Circus? It's a little slow paced, so we'll see. And yes. I really, really hated Mansfield Park lol

    I think the covers of what must be Sydney? in the other series totally look like Rose from Doctor Who, so I consistently picture Rose the character wrong. I'll have to give Blood of Eden a go, although if I recall she wrote a fae series I didn't totally love (but I didn't totally hate it either, so it's worth a shot)

    Yeah what's up with that? It looks like our paperbacks are going to look like that. The US hardcover is definitely where it's at.

    She was my answer to EVERYTHING last year hahaha. I, too, considered for a half a second jumping ship. But I really want her to have an awesome friend, and since OTHER AWESOME FRIEND WHO I LOVED is no longer a thing (*sobs*), Rowan is a good fit. Also...Chaolena. I am so fickle when it comes to ships that I'm also stubbornly trying to say THIS SHIP FOREVER, even though this past book wasn't much of that for me.

    See, I want to add it....BUT IT'S SAD. And sad books....make me have weeks long meltdowns hahaha. But I will try. Just maybe it will take me a couple years...

  10. My top cover was Unhinged by A.G. Howard, but that was only because her new book Ensnared wasn't officially out yet. The first YA,vamp story I tried was Twilight and jt didn'go to well, I have had other books that have challenged my three chapters before dnfing rule, but that was the first. I have tried a couple of orher YA vampire dominated Paranormals, but bleh. I will stick to the adult ones.

  11. I enjoyed reading your answers! I agree re: Bellman & Black; loved The Thirteenth Tale but I was waiting for Bellman & Black to bring up the tension but never did =/

    Sorry to hear about Mansfield Park; it's definitely different than Jane Austen's other titles, but I have a soft spot for it xD

    Btw, I changed domain urls a few weeks ago; you can find me at now! :)

  12. I'm posting my 2014 wrap-up post this week, so you've got me beat by a lot!

    I agree with you about Bellman and Black. The Thirteenth Tale was such a fantastic book but her second book just didn't work as well. I guess we can just keep re-reading The Thirteenth Tale and hope for a better story the third time around!

  13. Exactly! I got to the end of the book and I was like....wait...was something supposed to have happened?

    I think I could have forgiven it everything if Jane had made an effort to sell me on their romance at the end. The way she treated Edmund falling in love with Fanny ENRAGED me. I have never felt so cheated - WHERE'S MY LOVE CONFESSION JANE? My equation of Jane Austen + Book = Swoons has been destroyed.

    Congrats on the switch over! It looks like it went pretty smoothly!

  14. Oh good I feel much better! It seems that a lot of people do their wrap ups in January, which I didn't know so yay!

    I am seriously due for a reread of The Thirteenth Tale. I think it's been a solid 5 or 6 years since I last read it! And here's hoping it doesn't take another 8 years for her next book to come out (and here's hoping she writes another book at all!)

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