Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 Book Recap Survey // A Lot of Flailing

Hello to you and a very merry Christmas! I'm sure that it was summer five minutes ago so I'm not coping well with the fact that in two days, 2014 will be gone forever. It's been a great year in many ways, and as we all know the best way to look back is by looking back at books! 

2014 End Of Year Book Survey

This is a linkup hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner, the existence of which I found via Cait @ Paper Fury. It contains many delicious questions which I shall address hencewith! 


Number of books you read:
50. 50/50 for my Goodreads challenge.

Number of re-reads: 
Approximately 8:
~ Harry Potter numbers 2-7 (I read them last Christmas holidays, so the first one was technically still in 2013 and therefore does not count).
~ Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin. I love that book.
~ The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I read it years ago but reread it as a prequel to LotR, at  a friend's insistence.
~ I also read Anne of Green Gables numbers 1-3, which I'd had read to me when I was younger, but that doesn't really count does it?

Genre you read the most from:
Classics, which, according to the beautiful pie chart I made but am unable to upload (curse, you internet), made up 28.3% of my reading. 


1. Best book you read in 2014?

That, you know, is a horrible question. I can't. And I won't.

12 books. One for each month, right?? 
Mentions must also go to: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald and Georgia Nicolson books 4-6 (the ones I read this year). Also bear in mind that by A Game of Thrones I also mean A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow, and by Anne of Green Gables I also mean Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island, and by The Lord of the Rings I also mean The Hobbit(Totally not cheating.)
Oh, and Harry Potter of course, but those were rereads. They'd blow everything else out of the water.

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
This book wasn't bad, but I had such high hopes after How I Live Now (one of my favourite books of ever) and it really failed to meet them. Full review here.

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

Good surprise:

This book was totally and not at all what I was expecting. But I loved it! Review here.

Bad surprise:

I almost put this as my answer to Q2 because I was really excited about it. I feel terrible for saying this, but what surprised me most was how bad the writing was. It seemed like Paolini had no editor and no concept of the beauty of sparse adverbs. Review here.

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2014?
I'm not sure, but I just read this post from Marian @ Ivory Clouds who says she wants to read Anne of Green Gables and Department 19 based on my recommendation ... others have said the same thing about Anne, too. Tell me: are there any books I've made you want to read?

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel of 2014? Best series ender of 2014?

Best series is without a doubt:
I am 100% head over heels in love with this series. I'm reading the third one right now. Its scope is spectacular; stunning plot; very well written; superb characters; a breadth of imagination that is close to unrivalled in everything I've read.
Best sequel goes to The Dream Thieves, which was beautiful and nerve-racking and fantastic. Review here. I must also mention Department 19: Zero Hour; I was going to give it joint place for this question, but I'm going to talk about it further down.
Best series ender. Wow. OK. Skulduggery. Words. Words ... no words. Review here.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Hmm. Does this mean a new author as in one who made their debut in 2014? I did not read anyone under that category. But new to me this year  who I will no doubt read many more books from (and who, ironically, are all well-established and in two out of three cases long dead):
~ Charles Dickens
~ George Eliot
~ George RR Martin

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I don't typically read guides to grammar (you could say: I've never read one before and I doubt I will do again), but this was highly enjoyable! Review here.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

~heavy breathing~ I am a little obsessed with this series and this fourth book was the most high-powered pageturner yet. Wow, wow, wow. Review coming soon. Also Skulduggery book 9. I'm trying not to answer every question with Skulduggery Pleasant though.
9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
Frankly? None. I reread a lot, but never the same book twice in two years.

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

My gorgeous leatherbound Barnes and Noble edition of Sense and Sensibility // I love the graphic of Picture Me Gone // I love the retro kitsch of this 1970s edition of LotR

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Skulduggery. Obviously. And Anne Shirley. They're pretty much my two favourite characters, male and female.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2014?

Without a doubt. This memoir showed me Mao's China when I'd had no idea of it before and affected me very deeply. I think this should be mandatory reading for everyone. Full review here.
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

How did a self-proclaimed fantasy fan go so long without this book? How did I not see the gaping Lord of the Rings shaped hole in my life? I absolutely loved it. That is all. 
 15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?

The only rub was, Blue was another troubling thing. She was like Gansey in that she wanted him to explain himself. What do you want, Adam? What do you need, Adam? Want and need were words that got eaten smaller and smaller: freedom, autonomy, a perennial bank balance, a stainless-steel condo in a dustless city, a silky black car, to make out with Blue, eight hours of sleep, a mobile phone, a bed, to kiss Blue just once, a blister-less heel, bacon for breakfast, to hold Blue's hand, one hour of sleep, toilet paper, deodorant, a soda, a minute to close his eyes.
        What do you want, Adam?
        To feel awake when my eyes are open.

~ The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2014?

A baby 90-page novella.
Counting the three books as one, this was over 1000 pages.
17. Book that shocked you the most? (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light left me absolutely reeling. So did all the A Song of Ice and Fire books I read, and Department 19: Zero Hour. I did not see any of those plot twists coming! (Apart from the ending of A Game of Thrones but only because of a spoiler from my English teacher. Thanks, Miss B.)

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

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year

[source -- I do not own this fanart and did not draw it]
"I'm trying not to answer every question with Skulduggery Pleasant" -- hmm clearly not. Skulduggery and Valkyrie (mainly Skulduggery. Let's not lie here. He is my absolute fave). Honourable mentions must go also to Jamie and Matt from Department 19; Anne and Diana from Anne of Green Gables; and the Raven Boys.
20. Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you've read previously?

Previously read: Georgia Nicolson books 1-3 by Louise Rennison; Pride and Prejudice and Emma by Jane Austen; The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater; Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein; Skulduggery Pleasant books 1-8 by Derek Landy; Deparment 19 books 1-3 by Will Hill.

21. Best book you read in 2014 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure:

I read this solely because Kirthi Rao said I had to (and fangirled, often, in all caps, about it).
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series, and Valentin Rusmanov from Department 19. These two are polar opposites.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I didn't. My TBR list is so long that by the time I get to things they're rarely debuts anymore!

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

The scope of GRRM's world is absolutely stunning. He's created a heap of countries, all with their own customs and cultures. The maps at the beginning of the books are amazing. The depth of religion and tradition seems so real. I am bowled over. 
25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?

Always make me laugh out loud. These are numbers 4-6, the 3 I read this year.
26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014?

I sobbed. And I do not sob. Ever. (I talked about this here, and mentioned that before this I'd only cried at one book in my life.)
27. Hidden gem of the year?

I adored this book. I seriously did. It was beautiful and compelling. Review here.
28. Book that crushed your soul?


29. Most unique book you read in 2014?

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Less mad than just hopelessly confused by my feelings. And stressed. And paranoid. And overwhelmed. And exhausted.
And I love them.


1. One book you didn’t get to in 2014 but will be your number 1 priority in 2015?

How've I not got round to this yet?? I'm about to start it this very night (and yes, I know it's still 2014. Shoot me).

Also on the priority list:
2. Book you are most anticipating for 2015 (non-debut)? // 3. 2015 debut you are most anticipating?
I'm not sure ... I literally never have any idea what books are coming out. Especially debuts.

4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2015?
Department 19 book 5!!! It's called Darkest Night, and it's coming out in June. I'm excited already.

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2015?
I am going to participate in the Goodreads challenge again, and once again I will set my goal as 50 books (the exact number I read in 2014).

6. A 2015 release you’ve already read & recommend to everyone:
Nope. I'm not loved enough to be sent ARCs. (Hint to publishers: send me ARCs!) Though actually I'm not sure if I'd want to. It would be reading to a deadline all the time. And what if they weren't good??

So, that is that! A very long post. A lot of questions. If you soldiered through it, I salute you.

Now, let's play a fun round of you-answer-the-questions-I-give-you-in-the-comments, shall we?

1. Best books you read in 2014?
2. Favourite cover?
3. Most memorable character?
4. How many rereads?
5. Most beautifully written?
6. Most thought-provoking/life-changing?
7. 2015 release you're most excited for?

And if you've participated in this link-up, or any kind of 2014-book-wrap-up, do tell! And link me up! For now, a very Happy New Year. I'm off to read Blue Lily, Lily Blue!

Emily x


  1. To answer those questions in the comments...

    1. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME. Umm... The Lunar Chronicles, The Heist Society Series, The Fault in Our Stars, and I'll Give You the Sun.
    2. Definitely the Heist Society series.
    3. Jude, from I'll Give You the Sun. I read this book a couple days ago, and I still can't forget Jude's character (when she's 16).
    4. Uhh... like 0-2? I hardly reread stuff.
    5. Inland by Kat Rosenfield. Beautiful stuff.
    6. The Fault in Our Stars. Made me think a lot.
    7. Fairest by Marissa Meyer!! Eep!!

    1. 1. Ooh, I'll Give You the Sun. I've heard v. good things about Jandy Nelson (Nielson?). What's she called again?
      2. Ally Carter? I really liked the Gallagher Girls series but I've not read Heist Society.
      3. You intrigue me!
      4. Personally I quite like a reread but I know some people don't.
      5. I'll look it up.
      6. Me too!
      7. I should read some Marissa Meyer! Everyone loves her so much ...

  2. Ah The Shadow of the Wind is the book I'll be starting 2015 off with. :) In regards to your questions…

    1. Okay quite a few, to be honest. The Mistborn trilogy (have you read it? As a fantasy fan, I think you'd adore the series), A Game of Thrones (for all the reasons you mentioned), Deathless, Northanger Abbey, The Handmaid's Tale, A Room With a View, We Are All Complete Beside Ourselves, The Goldfinch, Burial Rites, Life After Life & How to be a Heroine (you'd LOVE this one).
    2. The Miniaturist's cover is gorrrrgeous.
    3. Kelsier from Mistborn… or Agnes from Burial Rites.
    4. Um, I think it was 6. :)
    5. Deathless! Or Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Or The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The prose in all of these was so beautiful and mellifluous and *sighs*
    6. How to be a Heroine or The Marriage Plot. :)
    7. Can I cheat here? The Mime Order! (Okay, so I've already read it, but I'm really excited to see what other fans think of the ending). Also I think there's a new Kazuo Ishiguro book out in 2015… :)

  3. It's a really good read!

    1. MISTBORN! After a combination of your and July's reviews I want to read this really, really badly. A Game of Thrones. What a book. WHAT A SERIES. Apart from that one I've not read any of those books, but of course I want to read Northanger Abbey cause, Jane Austen, and I'm also desperate for some Donna Tartt in my life after seeing your blog! I will look up How to be a Heroine :)
    2. I just looked it up and so it does! I'm a bit obsessed with dollshouses not gonna lie.
    4. A good number!
    5. Ooh, Laini Taylor. Need to get that series read.
    6. What is The Marriage Plot?
    7. I will look that up also! I've not read any Ishiguro yet but Never Let Me Go is high up my list ...

  4. I have loved digging through the link-up thing for this survey, reading everyone's responses. And yours is the second post I've read today recommending The Shadow of the Wind! So I guess that's def going on my TBR list. Happy New Year!

    (Also, my apologies if this comment posts twice, for some reason I was having difficulties with the comment widget.)

    1. It's a great book! Thanks, you too :)

      It didn't, no worries! I am no stranger to comment-widget-difficulties. Just internet difficulty in general! It's 2015 (scary) and yet the internet still does not answer my every whim. I'm not OK with this.

  5. I'm hoping to get to Throne of Glass in 2015, too. I feel like everyone's read it but me... and I'm worried I'm going to hit some spoilers if I don't read it soon!

    You must read Daughter of Smoke & Bone! It's pretty amazing. The second two books in the series kind of dominated my survey this year.

    And I love that cover of Sense and Sensibility! So pretty.

    1. I feel like that too! I fortunately have avoided spoilers until now but I guess I should get to it as soon as possible and take away the risk!

      I'm so excited! It sounds sooo good.

      I know, it's gorgeous. It's the best when there's a book you love and you own it AND the edition you own has a pretty cover <3 <3

  6. Sense and Sensibility is so pretty! That cover is just so beautiful! :o
    Hehe, thanks for mentioning my blog. Skuldugery has also been added to the list. It's everywhere I look on this blog :L
    Okay zee questions...
    1. Millenium Trilogy. W.O.W. (though definitely aimed for adult - some scary things in there)
    2. Favourite Cover..... hmmm..... well besides the Sense and Sensibility (I think I'm in love), I think Fangirl was lovely.
    3. Lisbeth Salander (Millenium / The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo )
    4. Zero
    5. Most beautifully written would have to be The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Not finished though yet.
    6. Millenium
    7. Erm... I don't really follow any trend and am not sure what will be coming out. I just read reviews on blogs and be like "ooh that looks good!"

    Happy New Year! ^_^

    1. I know! <3 I have the same editions of Pride & Prejudice (which is blue) and Persuasion (which is pink). I like to see them lined up on my shelf, looking shiny!
      You are v. welcome. SKULDUGGERY! What? What, I'm not obsessed!! ~manic laughter~

      1. Hmm, maybe I should give it a go. I never thought of them as "my kind of books" but I will have to investigate further ...
      2. I do like the cover of Fangirl, I love the illustrations :3
      3. Intriguing O.o
      4. This seems to be a trend
      5. I WANT TO READ THAT!! After Ruby's posts I really need some Donna Tartt!
      6. Even more intriguing O.o o.O
      7. Same! I only know about series I'm following, which currently (after the end of Skulduggery ~shaky breath~) is only one, Department 19. I do not know how people find out about debuts!

      Thanks, you too! :D

  7. Annnnnneee. I am absolutely so chuffed to see Anne make your list so many times!! I KNEW I WASN'T ALONE IN FEELING THIS WAY. I also love how many classics made your list for 2014! I STILL need to get to The Raven Boys, but I wholeheartedly agree that you MUST get to ToG, AatFK, and DoSaB this year - those series are all-time faves!! Here's to a great year of reading in 2015! :D

    1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Well, they are all preeeetty good! I'm trying to slyly infiltrate the YA blogosphere with classics (sshh, don't tell anyone). RAVEN BOYS! YOU MUST! I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue this week. ~does the fangirl melt~ I'm v excited for those three books/series ... I am sure I will love them!

      Hear, hear! :D

  8. You sure read a lot! Seriously, fifty books is quite an accomplishment.
    I actually haven't read a lot of the books you posted about *shudders in embarrassment* and I know I probably should.... One of the few I read that you read was Eragon. I've actually read this twice, once when I was a wee young thing and I loved it, and once when I was maybe 13 (so three-ish years ago) and I hated it. I felt as if the author tried to put too many unrelated things into one book. So not my favorite either.
    Now for your questions!

    1. Best books you read in 2014?
    Ehhh you can't ask me that! There's too many. Divergent by Veronica Roth, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

    2. Favourite cover?
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    3. Most memorable character?
    Kelsier or Vin from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

    4. How many rereads?

    5. Most beautifully written?
    Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

    6. Most thought-provoking/life-changing?
    Prodigal God by Timothy Keller or This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl

    7. 2015 release you're most excited for?
    I Was Here by Gayle Forman

    You NEED to read Mistborn. It's probably my favorite book. Also, if you want to you could read The Knife of Never Letting Go (first book in Chaos Walking series) which is also one of my favorites.
    How long did this post take you to write?? It's so long and you included so many pictures!!
    Happy 2015 Em!
    - July, http://julyaemmance.blogspot.com/

    1. Thanks! Though when I compare it to most of the people filling out this survey I'm like "oh. 50 books. I'm pathetic". But then book bloggers are not your average citizens! I'm getting this feeling from a lot of bloggers - they loved Eragon when they were younger. Sometimes it's best not to reread favourite childhood books, eg I'm reading The Cry of the Icemark at the moment which I absolutely adored at 9 or so, but now I'm just cringing with every adverb. Which is sad. (Though to be fair, writing for children does not justify bad writing, just because they're less likely to notice it.)

      1. MISTBORN! Between you and Ruby (Feed Me Books Now) I am absolutely desperate for this series. Also Wolves of Mercy Falls. As this post makes very clear I'm a bit obsessed with the Raven Cycle so I need more Maggie Stiefvater in my life! I have Shiver and Linger, actually, bought secondhand, as well as Lament. I am excited.

      2. I do love that cover.

      3. I NEED NOW

      4. Wow that's quite a lot! I do love rereading :3

      5. Interesting, I've not read that one.

      6. Never actually read any Keller though I know I should. I've heard of This Star Won't Go Out, it's on my sort of not-urgent-TBR-ish-list.

      7. Not read those books either. Worth it?

      I KNOW!!! Gllllaaahhh favourite book really? Amazing! I've read one Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls) which I really liked. I know a lot of people love Chaos Walking. I'll probably have to give it a go.

      A while! Haha, it wasn't not too long I hope! Yes I did, I do like unnecessary pictures as you may know ^_^

      Happy New Year! :D

  9. 1. Best books you read in 2014?
    Shiver, Linger, and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
    2. Favourite cover?
    Shiver's cover probably.
    3. Most memorable character?
    4. How many rereads?
    About 5 for Shiver (I REALLY liked the book incase you hadn't noticed)
    5. Most beautifully written?
    6. Most thought-provoking/life-changing?
    I bet you can guess what I'm going to say........Shiver
    7. 2015 release you're most excited for?
    Well, there's no more books in the Shiver series so...

    In all seriousness I really like your blog. New follower!


    1. 1. MAGGIE! Yes yes yes. I have Shiver and Linger and am very excited to read them. Have you read The Raven Boys?
      2. It is beautiful I agree.
      3. Really want to read!
      4. Yes I see, haha! I'm so excited for it, you're hyping me up!
      5. SHIVERRRR I'm practically fangirling myself here from this comment!!
      7. Haha well Raven Cycle #4 is coming out so you can read the first three books and get excited for that instead!

      Thanks so much! Sorry for this horribly late reply, I have been without internet for 1 month but it is finally back and I am able to reply to comments again.


Thanks for commenting! :)