Ellis’s 2015 End of Year Survey Pt. II

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Here I am again, cutting it the closest with putting up the rest of this survey according to my let’s go with Roman views on time argument. (Quick opportunity for you to lose 30 minutes of your life and catch up on part 1.) This also might be the last post for a while. What can I say, Judith and I are trying to kick school’s ass as much as it’s currently kicking ours and Ellice is busy converting college students to the gospel of Start Reading YA 2KForever. But let’s just get on with the rest of Jamie‘s excellent questions.

YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE

1. New Favourite Book Blog You Discovered in 2015?

Not sure if I really “discovered” it in 2015 but that was the year I became a regular reader of Sana’s blog Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile, so if you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about, you should correct that immediately.

2. Favourite Review You Wrote in 2015?

I’m proudest of my The Demon King (Cinda Williams Chima) and The Young Elites (Marie Lu) reviews because I wrote both of these several months after I’d finished the books, based on very random notes and thoughts, and somehow still managed to convey my excitement for the books/series.

3. Best Discussion/Non-Review Post You Had on Your Blog?

Honestly? I love our tag posts, especially when all three of us find the time to participate. My personal favourites are The Halsey Book Tag (which I helped create nbd nbd) and the Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag which hasn’t influenced our friendships and comfort levels with each other at all.

4. Best Event that You Participated in?

Hands down when Judith and I went to the Leigh Bardugo event in October. There’s a recap of that in draft and the reason it’s still in there is 100% on me. But basically Judith and I were like those two muppet commentators (only less grouchy), sitting in the last row, having the greatest time. We were also at our social best and hung with a bunch of people who shared our misery of being the last in line for the signing because we decided cake and walking around the bookstore was more important while the smart people decided to line up and get their books signed.

OH AND LEIGH TOTALLY KNEW WHO JUDITH WAS BECAUSE SHE REMEMBERED SOME STORMHUND TWITTER FLAILING. HOW AMAZING IS THAT.

5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2015?

Meeting Judith irl. I remember putting that down as a goal in last year’s survey and TADA I SAW HER THREE TIMES THIS YEAR WOOHOOO OVERACHIEVING. I definitely plan to continue this tradition in 2016 (to infinity) (we have Matt Daddario flicks to watch).

Blogging/internetting-related, the coolest moment was 100% when Dahlia Adler mentioned me in her 5 Tips on Book Blogging, by an Author-Blogger post because it was entirely unexpected. (Both the love in the post as well as the love for that interview.) (I just realised this sounds terrible but I mean that in the best way.) (I also loved doing that interview a lot even though coming up with questions stressed me the fuck out. Judith knows.) Actual running downstairs with my laptop in hand which I then promptly shoved in my mom’s face the moment I saw her happened. She was like “….cool.” IT REALLY IS THOUGH, MOM.

6. Most Challenging Thing About Blogging or Your Reading Life This Year?

Having one, to be honest.

7. Most Popular Post on Your Blog This Year?

I have no idea but I want to thank everyone who’s commented on and/or shared the posts I wrote on queer girl rep in YA (part 1/part 2). I’m legitimately the worst and never commented back even though people were saying all kinds of smart and amazing stuff in the comments, but I really appreciate it so, so much and I love you all.

8. Post You Wished Got a Little More Love?

Again, no idea. But did you see that Ellice created a Thanksgiving Tag?

9. Best Bookish Discovery?

I’m going to clue you in on the two best wait-where-did-my-money-go initiatives that have come my way in 2015. The first is megmakesthings.com, the cover redesign site we’ve all been waiting for. And I say this as a person who tries to avoid hardcovers as much as possible because she’s deeply suspicious of the purpose and existence of dust jackets: Meg’s book wraps are totally worth buying the hardcovers for.

The other discovery is wordery.com an online seller that’s a) not owned by Amazon and b) actually means worldwide when it says it delivers worldwide FOR FREE. The only thing I’ve noticed so far (though I’ve only browsed the site a bit so this isn’t the most informed opinion) is that they usually sell the UK editions. There are some US copies too, though.

Bonus: Judith also started a society6 store where she sells the masterpieces she makes for Wallpaper Wednesdays.

10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges This Year?

WELL. I was going to. And for once in my life I was properly competitive about it too.

So let’s talk about the ones I’ve successfully completed. There was the Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 69 books, which earned me a “predictably immature” comment from my jelly frenemy Mel, but none of that matters because I made it to 115 books.

Somewhat in a grey zone, but one I’m still going to count as a win, is the Dive Into Diversity Challenge hosted by Rebecca from Reading Wishes and Estelle & Magan from Rather Be Reading. It’s not a total win because I didn’t get to four books that were on my list (The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz, The Fourth Wish by Lindsey Ribar, Far From You by Tess Sharpe) and I stopped logging the books after October because school took over, but I don’t feel abysmal about the number of diverse books I’ve read in 2015. However, this year I want to be more mindful of the own voices aspect of the books I read and I’m going to categorise the “diversity rating” in more specific terms than just LGBTQ+, POC, mental health, disability, and so on.

As for the challenges I’ve abandoned: that would be the Around the World Challenge hosted by Crini from All About Books because I realised after three months that I consistently forgot to note this down and then just decided to give up entirely. I’m not sure if we as a blog are doing challenges this year because we’re not that great at it or at frequently blogging in general, but I’m doing the Around the World Challenge on the downlow. The other one I’ve abandoned after barely trying is the 2015 Reading Challenge Pamphlet. It seemed fun at the time but then I lost interest. Life.

And now, the Coblogger Competition Challenge, which I was so pumped about and was TOTALLY GOING TO WIN: I managed to read three out of six (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios) which is honestly embarrassing considering how many days are in a year. At least I tied with Judith for first place, even though we’re all losers in this. But I’m absolutely reading Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan (Ellice even bought me this for my birthday I’m such a failure of a human being), Just One Day by Gayle Forman, and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (again, a gift from Judith and me being the  w o r s t  in return) this year.

So maybe we should resume/revive the Coblogger Competition Challenge in 2017 because I have RECS and that way everyone can catch up.

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To in 2015 That Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Bahahaha, so many. I’m going to say books 2-6 in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong because I’ve already read these by now so it makes me feel accomplished and like I have my life together.

As for the extended list: Far From You by Tess Sharpe (which I oh so confidently said I was still going to read before the end of 2014 in last year’s survey. Whoops.), Black Iris and Cam Girl by Leah Raeder, Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older, A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour, Vicious by V.E. Schwab (YES SANA I KNOW I’M SORRY OKAY), The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler, The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson, The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May (after I’ve reread The Falconer), and The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt (the one I’m possibly the most nervous about because childhood fave).

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2016? (Non-Debut)

TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL. Which I’m pretty sure was my answer last year I KNOW I KNOW BUT I HAVE BEEN BETRAYED OKAY. TITLE CHANGES DO NOT FOOL ME, MS. MARCHETTA (see: the Of Fire and Stars case). I’m also ever so patiently awaiting Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews (what’s with these covers though).

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

OF FIRE AND STARS BY AUDREY COULTHURST AND IF THIS IS NEWS TO YOU YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD BECAUSE YOU’VE FIGURED OUT HOW TO EVADE MY INCESSANT YELLING AND PROBABLY HAVE A MUCH CALMER AND MORE WELL ADJUSTED LIFE THAN I’M ACCUSTOMED TO AT THIS POINT. Not really a debut but I’m going to mention it anyway because I can: A Tyranny of Petticoats ed. by Jessica Spotwood.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

ABDJSSJCNCNCNDND The Midnight Star by Marie Lu. I feel like so much was resolved in The Rose Society that anything is possible at this point, which is my favourite place to be in when it comes to series. Oh, and The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey. The Girl at Midnight wasn’t the most mindblowing book I’ve read but I still expect its sequel to be a total gamechanger.

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish Or Do in Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2016?

Reading Newsflesh. I’M ALSO GOING TO CRASH MEG‘S PLACE AGAIN WHICH IS SORT OF BLOGGING-RELATED AND MY ACCOMPLISHMENT HERE WILL BE TO FOR ONCE NOT BE ANNOYING WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING/BEING IN PICTURES. But no promises.

Oh wait, I thought of a reading-related thing. I love dancing. I love watching movies about dancing. I love reading books about dancing. And I’ve been noticing lately that I just love books about sports in general. (Someone please give me a quarterback/cheerleader f/f romance I beg of you.) (Or a thousand.) (Seriously, Miranda when is one of your girls going to be a cheerleader I have NEEDS.) SO. I’m saving up all my sports-related fiction for one month (TBD) and then I’m going to read all of them (you’re shocked) and it’s probably going to be the greatest month of all time. So far I have: Tumbling by Caela Carter, Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, Pointe by Brandy Colbert, Bunheads by Sophie Flack, Game On by Michelle Smith, Right of First Refusal by Dahlia Adler (though I might read this the moment it releases), Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally, and any and all recommendations you can give me because clearly this is not enough to fill an entire month.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read and Recommended to Everyone?

Ha. None. But let me list real quick the things I recommend you put on your watchlist because it’s on mine: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie, Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate, The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson, The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar, The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry, Firsts by Elizabeth Laurie Flynn, The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, When We Collided by Emery Lord, and all the 2016 releases I’ve already mentioned in the previous questions.

BAM. Nailed it.

Ellis is a former language student who consistently uses too many words to express what she's trying to say. She's been described as adorably tragic, satan's mistress, and a scary blonde, all of which are accurate. Meg Cabot, Charmed reruns and America's Next Top Model taught her English. In addition to getting 3000% too invested in fictional worlds and their characters for her own good, she enjoys destroying her friends by liveblogging their favourite books and vice versa. Run-on sentences are likely to happen.

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