Judith’s 2015 End of Year Survey

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How is it nearly 2016? What did I even do this year? Anyway, the fact that another year is nearly over means that it’s time, again, for Jamie‘s annual end of year book survey! This is my fourth time filling out this survey (check out 2012, 2013 and 2014) and, as always, it’s one of my favorite posts to write of the entire year. So let’s do this!

2015 reading stats

Number Of Books You Read: 52
Number of Re-Reads: 7 (the entire Throne of Glass series, the first two Grisha books and Black Iris twice)
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy? Contemporary? I could look it up but effort

best in books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
Everything Marchetta. Also, Queen of Shadows, obviously.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I initially thought I really liked this, until I realized I actually just really wanted to like it.

3. Most Surprising (in a Good Way or Bad Way) Book You Read?
I was very pleased by how much I loved the His Fair Assassin books. I was worried they would be bland but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I joined the “let me tell you about our goddess and savior Melina Marchetta” squad. I’m never leaving.

5. Best Series You Started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
I answer Lumatere to all of these questions. But, sigh, if I have to switch things up a bit, the best series starter is Six of Crows, the best sequel is Queen of Shadows and the best series ender is Mortal Heart.

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2015?
Melina Marchetta (cue surprised gasps from absolutely no one). I’m not even slightly kidding when I say I’ve never read anything like her books.

7. Best Book from a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
I’ve read a lot of Shakespeare plays this year and I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. I know, I never would have expected this to happen either, but I took a Shakespeare class that was amazing.

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?
Queen of Shadows, probably. So much happens in this book and I just love it so much.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
All the Marchetta. And Queen of Shadows. And probably Black Iris, which I’ve already read three times this year.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2015?
All Leigh Bardugo books that I read. Both the Grisha series and Six of Crows have my favorite covers of all time.

2015covers

11. Most Memorable Character of 2015?
I’m going to have to say Nikolai Lantsov, because I finished my Grisha reread a few weeks ago and I just can’t stop thinking about him. I love him the most of all.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2015?
Black Iris Black Iris Black Iris Leah Raeder is a word artist okay bye

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, which I could relate to so much it hurt.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2015 to Finally Read?
All the Marchetta, and most specifically Jellicoe Road, because that was the book I’d heard most about.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
Ha. Are you ready for this?

From Queen of Shadows:

“Fire-breathing bitch-queen.”

“I find that a very male thing to assume.”

From Lumatere (though honestly, all Lumatere quotes are my favorite):

“Do you know who tells me my worth, Phaedra of Alonso?”
The princess pointed a hard finger to her own chest.
“Me. I determine my own worth. If I had to rely on others, I’d have lain down and died waiting.”

“That’s the different between the king’s son and the queen’s daughters. The king’s first priority was the survival of his wife and children. But the queen’s? Survival of the people. Because the people were Lumatere.”

“If your people mean no offense, they should not speak their thoughts out loud in front of their children, Tesadora. Because it will be their children who come to slaughter us one day, all because of the careless words passed down by their elders who meant no harm.”

“Because today, I think I’m leaning on the side of wonder.”

From Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son:

“The depression belongs to all of us. I think of the family down the road whose mother was having a baby and they went around the neighborhood saying, “We’re pregnant.” I want to go around the neighborhood saying, “We’re depressed.” If my mum can’t get out of bed in the morning, all of us feel the same. Her silence has become ours, and it’s eating us alive.”

“She looks at Tom. “And if I get a little chemically imbalanced in the head, like we all know I tend to get sometimes, and I don’t want my parents or brother knowing, Will’s like, “We’ll deal with it.” He’s never said, “Snap out of it,” and he’s never said, “I don’t get it,” and he’s never said, “I’ll fix it up.” He just says, “You’re not up to going back to uni to finish your Honors this year? Big deal. There’s next year. We’ll deal with it.” She nods. “That’s what he does well.””

From Black Iris:

“Girls love each other like animals. There is something ferocious and unself-conscious about it. We don’t guard ourselves like we do with boys. No one trains us to shield our hearts from each other. With girls, it’s total vulnerability from the beginning. Our skin is bare and soft. We love with claws and teeth and the blood is just proof of how much. It’s feral. And it’s relentless.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
The shortest book was Waiting for Godot with 109 pages; the longest Queen of Shadows with 648.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
None of the books I read really shocked me, but there was a particular storyline in Looking for Alibrandi that just went so dark so quickly that I was a bit stunned. I didn’t see that coming at all.

18. OTP of the Year
Froi and Quintana, forever and always. Also, Aelin and Rowan, Manon and Asterin, Tom and Tara, Laney and Blythe, Taylor and Jonah, and fucking Bellamy and Clarke.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Ha. All of them? The Sebastian gang. The Jellicoe gang. Everyone from Lumatere (but specifically Froi, Gargarin, Arjuro and Lirah; Isaboe and Tesadora; Froi and Perri; and, who am I kidding, everyone else). Aelin and Lysandra and Aelin and Aedion from Queen of Shadows. Lara Jean and her sisters. The friend groups from I’ll Meet You There and 99 Days. I just love friendships and families.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Queen of Shadows, because this series is just consistently brilliant, and Six of Crows, which was very different from the Grisha trilogy but also really good.

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based Solely On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Ellis made me read Saving Francesca, and it’s the best recommendation anyone has ever given me.

22. Newest Fictional Crush from a Book You Read in 2015?
Still Nikolai. This totally counts because I hadn’t read Ruin and Rising, okay. I’m also very much in love with Froi and possibly Tom Mackee. Oh, and Lucian of the Monts. Also Santangelo. All the Marchetta.

23. Best 2015 Debut You Read?
Probably Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which I thoroughly enjoyed and in fact want to reread right now.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I love love loved the setting in Jellicoe Road. I had a hard time picturing it at first but then I became obsessed with it. More than that, though, I’m obviously going to have to say Lumatere, because I could write books on how much I love this world.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most Fun To Read?
Either Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, both of which were absolutely adorable.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
All of them. I wish I was kidding. I probably cried the most over Saving Francesca because of relatability reasons.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I haven’t really read any books that were under the radar (except maybe Black Iris which PLEASE READ IT, IT IS GLORIOUS) but I do want to talk about underappreciated authors. In case you are one of the two people who might not realize where this is going because my brilliantly written introduction distracted you: yes, this is about Melina Marchetta. Again. Before Ellis told me to read Saving Francesca, I’d only really heard about Jellicoe Road, and while I loved that book a lot, I feel like the rest of Marchetta’s novels are very underappreciated. So let me tell you why you need to hurry up and read all the Marchetta: Looking for Alibrandi has an incredibly funny and slightly dramatic protagonist and deals with migration splendidly; Saving Francesca mixes hilarious high school shenanigans with the tough subject of depression and does so in an amazing way; The Piper’s Son deals with being lost and finding your way home again; Jellicoe Road is the darkest and most heartbreaking of her novels and does a good job at mixing two equally dramatic storylines together, but it’s also full of boarding school shenanigans; and the Lumatere Chronicles are about all of the above, and they are also very much about boys bowing down to women and it is glorious. All of these books have the best friendships and families and romantic relationships that I’ve ever read. All the characters truly belong together, but Marchetta doesn’t write them in a cliché way. It’s so, so impressive and please, please read these books.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I’m going to switch things up and say Queen of Shadows, which ruined my life forever.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
I’m going with both of Katie Cotugno’s books. What I love about Cotugno is that she is refreshingly honest and realistic in her writing. The characters in both How to Love and 99 Days are not specifically good or bad; they are realistic human beings who make mistakes (and again, and again) and Cotugno shows that it’s okay to do that.. She portrays life in the most realistic of ways and I’m very much in awe of her writing.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
Dangerous Girls, for sure. To be honest, I even started to enjoy this book a little less because of how angry it made me.

your blogging/bookish life

1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2015?
I wish I had a good answer for this question, but I’ve been a terrible blogger this year. I’ve definitely made a lot of new bookish friends on Twitter though, so shout out to all of you who were so kind to me this year!

2. Favorite Review that You Wrote in 2015?
I love my nearly 3000 word spoilery shouting about Queen of Shadows, because it’s such a mess but portrays my feelings about the book very accurately. I’m also pretty pleased with how my reviews of Black Iris and Jellicoe Road turned out, because that’s one of those books that’s almost impossible to review. And I love my ramblings about Quintana of Charyn, in which I mention the word “love” exactly 78 times.

3. Best Discussion/Non-Review Post You Had on Your Blog?
I GOT TO INTERVIEW SARAH J. MAAS KTHXBYE. Though my favorite posts on our blog in general this year were Ellis’s Where My Girls At reflection posts (part 1 and part 2), because they were so well-written and so important.

4. Best Event that You Participated in (Author Signings, Festivals, Virtual Events, Memes, etc.)?
The Leigh Bardugo signing, for sure! I’ve had such an incredible time, Leigh was absolutely hilarious and she even recognized me! (A recap post will be up one day in the probably far future.)

5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2015?
When I went to stay at Ellis’s house with Gaby and Gillian and basically had the best time ever. I also got to see Amber again this year, which was amazing. Plus, I celebrated my third blogoversary, which I’m pretty proud of. Even if I haven’t blogged that much at all the past couple of months but who cares.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog?
I just went to check and holy shit. My Queen of Shadows blog tour post got 1,164 views! That’s mental. When it comes to comments, my Fairest blog tour post and the Top Ten Favorite Quotes post I did with my cobloggers got 30 comments each!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I don’t really think I have any of these? My posts haven’t been getting many views or comments at all this year and honestly, I don’t really care about that. I also haven’t been good at commenting, even though I do read a lot of blogs, so it’s all good.

9. Best Bookish Discovery (Book Related Sites, Book Stores, etc.)?
I got really into Bookstagram this year. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve also started selling my prints on Society6, though I haven’t gotten much further than adding about three of them. Still, I enjoy making prints and will definitely do more.

10.  Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges This Year?
Ha. Well. I would say yes but I failed miserably at the challenges I set myself, which is fine. The Coblogger Competition Challenge was the only really important one anyway, and I didn’t do too badly at that one. I read The Piper’s Son (which Ellis even let me borrow) and I’ll Meet You There and How to Love (which were lovingly forced on me by Ellice). I did fail to read Hopeless (another rec from Ellice), but I do have it on my bookshelf. Finally, I started both A Mad, Wicked Folly and The Raven Boys (recommended by Ellis), but I put both of them down and just kind of forgot about them. Oops. Will definitely continue those in 2016!

looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
The Raven Boys. I PROMISE.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (Non-Debut)?
The fifth Throne of Glass book, which is going to kill me dead. Also, When We Collided by Emery Lord and The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, and probably lots more, but I’m a bit out of it when it comes to upcoming releases.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
*is horribly out of the loop and doesn’t know about any debuts yet please recommend them to me*

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
Let’s switch things up and say Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I’m curious to see how this story will continue.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I do really want to get back into the swing of things when it comes to blogging, but I doubt I will ever be as dedicated as I once was. Rather, I would love to find a way to keep blogging in a more relaxing way, kind of for myself mostly. I don’t know if I one day want to become a very active blogger again, but for now, I’m just too busy with university, the magazine I’m running, my parttime job, etc. I’m also feeling a lot better mentally and am often putting social things before blogging. I might write a post about this one day. Oh, but I do want to read more and keep in touch with all my lovely blogger friends.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I haven’t read any 2016 books yet. In fact, I haven’t even read most of the books on my 2015 TBR, and I find it very relaxing.

Judith is a 21 year old book blogger and reviewer, English student, part time magazine editor, compulsive book buyer, aspiring writer, proud book pusher, founder of Paper Riot and co-founder of the Recaptains. She is kind of addicted to Twitter. More?

8 Responses to “Judith’s 2015 End of Year Survey”

  1. Dahlia Adler says:

    OH YOU WANT SOME RECS FOR DEBUTS DO YOU

    (I love IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo and SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin and THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie so much)

  2. Krystianna says:

    Considering you mentioned Marchetta so many times, I definitely want to check her out now! Her books sound pretty good and I may have just gotten the push I needed to read her books now. :b I hope you have a lovely year of reading in 2016!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. Maraia says:

    So much (well-deserved) Melina Marchetta love! Your reviews of her books are my favorite, because they always capture my own thoughts so accurately (and much more coherently, haha).
    I was also happy to see Simon vs. make it into your survey. I’m ready for a re-read as well. :)

  4. Alexa S. says:

    HI JUDITH, ILY AND ALL OUR WHATSAPP CONVERSATIONS <3 I love that you're a big Melina Marchetta fan now, particularly after reading The Lumatere Chronicles (because that series is BRILLIANT). And I adore the way we were able to discuss all the Sarah J. Maas books! <3

  5. Jeanna says:

    That’s huge: you got to interview Sarah J. Maas! That’s fantastic and I definitely need to read Queen of Shadows! I’m glad you had such a fabulous year. Happy reading!

    http://thebucketlist-gn.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-end-of-2015-survey.html

  6. Laura says:

    Oh gosh, Shakespeare plays are wonderful. Before diving into them for class or fun, people are always nervous about them. Something about the lofty language. But then you get the hang of it, and it’s funny and tragic and all sorts of great. So glad you enjoyed them!

    This post should be titled: JUDITH RECAPS ALL THE MARCHETTA AND QUEEN OF SHADOWS FEELS OF 2015.

    I’m going to plug my author’s book TIMEKEEPER, the first in a fantasy trilogy, coming out fall 2016 ;) Tara Sim is a gem and I love being her agent.

  7. So… I guess you kind of like Melina Marchetta? Haha. Anyway, blogging in a more “relaxing” way for your own sanity sounds like a really reasonable goal. You are allowed to have a real life and a blog at the same time! Hope your 2016 is awesome ^__^

  8. YOU BETTER GET TO THE RAVEN BOYS SOON-ish, seriously you’re gonna love this series 100% sure so get to it. And YAY for relaxing blogging, this is something I totally can relate since it’s terrible for me to balance blogging with reading + life + studies but I definitely had a turning point this year where I just stopped blogging for a while and really thought about why I was doing this (spoiler: it was just for me) and things got much more chill and easy for me after that, good luck on your patch. Happy 2016!

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