December 30, 2013

2013 End-of-the-Year Book Survey

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist) - See more at:
1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist) - See more at:
1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist) - See more at:

I read a pathetic number of books this year — grad school pretty much took over my life when September rolled around — so I'm not doing the entire end-of-the-year bookish survey that Jamie at The Perpetual Page-turner hosts each year (my responses would probably get really repetitive). But I did want to give a bit of a summary of my reading this year, so I've answered some of the questions!

1.) Best book you read in 2013? (if you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

YA — The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron for pure entertainment value and The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna for thought-provoking goodness

Adult — The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton for excellent historical atmosphere and an unsettling main character

Non-fiction — Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan for a horrifying but unputdownable true story

2.) Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. This one got so many glowing reviews and while it wasn't a bad read, I expected more from it than I actually got. It used some common tropes of the genre and the writing was not as amazing as I thought it would be. I think I'll still continue on with the series but I'll know better now what to expect. (To be fair to the book, I was trying to read it during my first term in my Master's program and I didn't really have the time or energy to devote to reading for pleasure, unfortunately, so it was very slow going.)

3.) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron — this one was labelled as "steampunk", and I haven't yet read any steampunk books that I'm wild about. But really this one was way more Gothic than steampunk and I ended up enjoying it more than I anticipated.

4.) Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Hmmm...well, hands-down the series I recommended most was the Hunger Games (especially Catching Fire, of course) but I didn't read those this year. So I guess I'll go with Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness.

5.) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth and Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness.

6.) Most memorable character in 2013?

Dolly from The Secret Keeper — she was pretty darn twisted — and Matthew from The Lost Girl for sheer swagger. Minka from The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult for her perseverance. Also, winning the award for Most Irritating Fictional Sibling of the Year: Bird from Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull. I could not stand that girl.

7.) Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to someone about it? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and, if non-fiction counts, then Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments by Gina Perry.

8.) Favourite relationship from a book you read in 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc.)?

Romance: Samuel and Gretchen from Sweetly by Jackson Pearce, Gwen and Gideon from Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier, Eva and Sean from The Lost Girl

Friendship-with-a-spark: Vivien and Jimmy from The Secret Keeper

Stepdad-stepdaughter relationship: Frank and Rinn from The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

9.) Favourite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously?

Probably either Insurgent, Emerald Green, or The Secret Keeper.

10.) Best book you read in 2013 that you read based SOLELY on the recommendation of somebody else?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I put this one on my Christmas wishlist last year at least in part because of the reviews/ratings I'd seen by bloggers I follow.

11.) Genre you read most from in 2013?

Probably fantasy/paranormal YA, although there was also a healthy dose of dystopian reads.

12.) Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

This choice might seem a bit strange, but...Matthew from The Lost Girl. Yes, he's sort of a villain, but he just had so much personality and sass.


13.) Most vivid world/imagery you read in a book in 2013?

The WWII setting in The Secret Keeper, the Gothic feel of The Dark Unwinding, and the bizarre, fantastical world of Summer and Bird. Also, the creepy atmosphere in Laura Bickle's The Hallowed Ones. 

14.) Book that was the most fun to read in 2013? 

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell — this book is hilarious.

Looking Ahead...

1.) One book you didn't get to in 2013 but will be your number 1 priority in 2014?

Um, there are a ton of these, can't single out just one...

- A Fault in Our Stars by John Green (no, I have not read it yet; yes, I am aware of its awe-inspiring amazingness; hopefully I will get to it next year, especially since the movie's coming out)
- Reached by Ally Condie (yeah, I know I'm way behind on dystopian series)
- Allegiant by Veronica Roth (ditto)
- Nightspell by Leah Cypess (sooner or later it will get read, I swear)
- A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (a new Jaclyn Moriarty and I haven't read it yet?! I know, I know...)
- Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy fans, is this spin-off series equally good? Let me know!)

2.) Book you are most anticipating for 2014 (non-debut)?

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess looks and sounds awesome — I really enjoyed her book Mistwood. Also, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski has been generating a lot of buzz already, hopefully it lives up to all the hype!

3.) 2014 debut you are most anticipating?

Well, I'm on the Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge train just like everyone else. But aside from that one... I'm definitely looking forward to The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno. Dissociative identity disorder in a YA mystery? Sign me up.

What books were your favourites of 2013, and which are you looking forward to reading next year? And if you'd like to do this survey, you can link up your post at Jamie's blog here!


  1. You have a lot of books on your list that I've never heard of, but sound really interesting. I'm going to have to check out The Hallowed Ones especially. That sounds awesome.

  2. I loved The Lost Girl too! I was really expecting it to be your ordinary YA scifi romance book but it really gave me so much to think about! I adored Sean. I also need to read Emerald Green and I hope Gideon can patch things up. I was really angry at him in Sapphire Blue.


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