Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 End of Year Survey

Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner is doing another end of year survey this year! I'm excited to do this, because for the past two years I've watched others participate in it but I didn't have a blog until this year. But now that I have one, I'm able to participate this year! Yay! I just love answering surveys, don't you? :)

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)
This is a really, really hard question! So, yes I will break it down by genre! :)

Best Fantasy: It would have to be Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (This is a really awesome MG book, you all NEED to try it!) or Wednesday's in the Tower by Jessica Day George (A really good sequel to Tuesday's at the Castle.)

Best Thriller: United We Spy by Ally Carter (*sobs* The GG series is now over. It was really, really good.)

Best Contemporary: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller (Loved this book!)

Best Paranormal: Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger (I really enjoyed this book! I wasn't sure I would, but I did!)

Best Fairytale Retelling: Ever After High by Shannon Hale (I loved this book a lot more than I was expecting too!)

Best Graphic Novel: Play Ball by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, and Jackie Lewis. (This was an unexpected hit for me! I thought I'd like it, but I ended up loving it!)

Best New Manga Series: Strobe Edge Vol. 1 by Io Sakisaka (I'm really enjoying this series and I'm excited for more volumes next year!)

Best Volume of a Manga: Kimi Ni Todoke Vol. 17 by Karuho Shiina (I had to pick this one because of a certain scene that anyone who has read this book will remember. A scene that we waited 17 volumes for. (;)

Okay, I may have listed a little too many books...

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Frogged by Vivian Van Velde (It was enjoyable enough. I just expected to love it. It was just okay, and I was hoping for more.)

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger (I didn't really pay any attention to this book when it released, then I read her MG book, and loved that one. I figured since the library had her YA one, I might as well try it. I'm glad I did! It's a really good book.)

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (Here, I'll recommend it again. To YOU reading this. It is  really good! If you like MG Fantasy, read it! Go. Put it on hold at the library. I'll wait. Did you? Good. (:)

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
I have two for this question. For the first one, the Keeper series by Shannon Messenger. For the second one, The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce. Technically I discovered that one years ago, but was younger and for some reason never continued the series. So I'm going with I discovered it this year. I still need to read the last one, though. I'm kinda scared to finish it, because that means it'll be over. :(

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Shannon Messenger. You all knew I was going to say that, didn't you? :)

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I don't remember reading any books that were out of my comfort zone this year. No new genres either. That's kind of sad, isn't it?

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
I'm going to say Exile by Shannon Messenger. (The sequel to Keeper of the Lost Cities and yes, I mentioned that book again.)

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Hmmm, that's a tough one. I re-read books pretty often, so any of them are up for that. Most likely though, Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. That was actually a re-read for me this year, but since I first read it when I was about ten and remembered next to nothing about it, I count this year as my first time reading it. I actually read it about a month ago again. So, to answer this question (FINALLY! I'm sure you're all thinking.) Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

 A tie between:

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
At first I couldn't think of a answer for this question, but then I thought of Madeline Hatter from Ever After High! A very fun, memorable character in a book. I would love to read a book all about her!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White (If you haven't read this book yet, I definitely recommend it!)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
I'm not answering this question in the way I think I'm supposed to, but I'm allowed to answer this anyway I like, right? The book that had the most impact on me this year was probably Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. I was in a really bad reading slump, I mean I wasn't finishing ANY books. That book pulled me out of it and made me want to find good books again.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (I waited that long to read a Tamora Pierce book? Really?)

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

This is from Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

I also have a favorite quote from United We Spy, but I was afraid it might be a little too spoilery.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Longest book: Exile by Shannon Messenger at 576 pages.
Shortest book: Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger at 128 pages.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? Be careful of spoilers!
United We Spy by Ally Carter. (When I finished it, I wanted to talk to someone very badly about it!)

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I think I'm going to have to break this down into family, friendship, and romantic. Because it's to hard to compare all of them!

Family: I LOVE the family relationship in the Casson Family books by Hilary McKay! These books were released before 2013, but I just got around to reading past the first book this year. I love the relationship between the family members in these books! If you're looking for a book where the family plays a major role in the story I would definitely recommend these books to you!

Friendship: United We Spy by Ally Carter. The friendship between the Gallagher Girls (Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macey.) in the GG series is one of the best female friendships I've ever read in books. It shows that girls can be friends without being catty and mean to each other. That's something that I don't see as much of in YA as I would like.

Romantic: This is a tie (By now you should all know I have a hard time with narrowing things down.) between Vane and Audra in Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger, and Maddie and Logan from The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller. I'm not going to type anything else about these couples because I think you should all read the books yourself to understand why I picked them. :)

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Oh, this is hard! Okay, if I can only pick one. United We Spy by Ally Carter. Last book in the GG series and I was not disappointed. Love it.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Graphic Novels count, right? Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell. I went to the library one day and the librarian told me I needed to try it because it was really fun! I really liked it! I had never heard of it before she told me about it.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I think it's pretty much a tie between Contemporary YA and MG Fantasy. Pretty much what it usually is for me! Oh, and Manga. Lots of Manga.  :)

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

Logan from The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller, and Vane from Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

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

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

The Casson Family books that I read this year (I haven't read all of them yet.) and Applewhites at Wit's End by Stephanie S. Tolan.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

United We Spy by Ally Carter.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
This is a tough question! I think Let the Sky Fall got overlooked when it released. Also, The Summer I Became a Nerd.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
I discovered A LOT of new blogs this year! Enough that I would have to do a new post to list them all. I'm only going to list a few here, but just know that I discovered way more than just these.

Read Books and Live Green
Blue Sky Bookshelf
Shae Has Left the Room
Secrets and Sharing Soda
Litup Review

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

That's actually a really hard question for me to answer. Hmm, I guess I have a few, Keeper of the Lost Cities because it was my first review on my blog,  United We Spy because it was nice to get my feelings about that book out, and Ever After High because it was actually one of the easiest reviews to write that I've written.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I have not had many discussions on my blog (That's something I want to work on next year.), but my favorite was probably What Do YOU Think? Favorite Books When You Were Younger, because I had A LOT of fun writing that post and it was nice to hear peoples responses on it! I love hearing about what books people read when they were younger! :)

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I feel bad that I don't remember one. I know I read a lot of great ones, but my memory is horrible. :(

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I didn't get to go to any bookish events this year. :( But I have to admit participating in Top Ten Tuesday this year has been a lot of fun! I've gotten to know a lot more about you all through that! Oh, and I saw someone else mention #RBWL! That was a lot of fun. :)

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Getting to meet so many amazing bloggers online! You all are wonderful people! :)

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most viewed post was a TTT, Top Ten Books I'm Dying to Read in 2014.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Any of my reviews, I guess. They don't get very many comments, but I guess people don't feel the need to comment on reviews? As much as memes and discussions? And another post that I wished got more love was my This is What MY Happy Looks Like! post that I did after reading This is What Happy Looks Like, the post is not that well done, though. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the amount of love my other posts got! It's really a great feeling when someone comments on a post, even if you only get one, it's nice to know that at least one person read your post! :)

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Tea Time with Epic Reads! I love watching it every week! And learning about new books because of it. :)

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
My only goal was to read at least twelve books and twelve Graphic Novels this year, and I did! :) (I know that doesn't sound like many, but I'm proud of it!)

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
I don't usually set goals like this, but I would like to finish the Casson Family series next year! And I would really like to finally read a Jane Austen book next year!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Just take your pick from this list:  :)

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten! Honestly though, I'm looking forward to a lot. :)

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Moonkind by Sarah Prineas, it's the last book in the Winterling trilogy.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Just to have fun! :) Though, I would love to get into a better routine with my blog, too.

That was fun! Though, I probably wrote a little too much! Thank you Jamie for making this! Did you do the end of year survey? Tell me! I would love to read yours! If you haven't are you going to? Tell me! I think you've realized by now that I love to talk. ;)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas! today! I hope you have a wonderful day with your families, opening presents, and remembering the reason for this holiday! Have fun, eat a candy cane, and enjoy the day!

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Marvelous Musical Friday 7

This weeks pick for Marvelous Musical Friday is actually another Christmas song! I had to pick another Christmas song! I mean, it's the last Friday before this Christmas! Which, by the way isn't that hard to believe? Wow. Well, on to the song now!

Winter Wonderland by Andy Williams

Winter Wonderland is my mom's favorite Christmas song, though I like it a lot too! What about you all? Do you like it? :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dumbest Idea Ever

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

This Wednesday I'm Waiting on: The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley

Jimmy Gownley's graphic novel memoir about the "dumb" idea that changed his life forever!

What if the dumbest idea ever turned your life upside down?

At thirteen, Jimmy was popular, at the top of his class, and the leading scorer on his basketball team. But all that changed when chicken pox forced him to miss the championship game. Things went from bad to worse when he got pneumonia and missed even more school. Before Jimmy knew it, his grades were sinking and nothing seemed to be going right.

How did Jimmy turn things around, get back on top at school, and land a date with the cutest girl in class?

Renowned comics creator Jimmy Gownley shares his adventures as he grows from an eager-to-please boy into a teenage comic book artist. This is the real-life story of how the DUMBEST idea ever became the BEST thing that ever happened to him. 

-summary and cover via Goodreads

I LOVE this authors Amelia Rules! Graphic Novel series! I'm very excited to have a new book by him and it's really neat that it's a memoir.  I want February to get here now!

This Book Will Be Released February 25th 2014 by Graphix

Monday, December 16, 2013

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog

I actually didn't read very many books by authors I hadn't read before this year. And if I did, I didn't write the books down. But the ones I did read books by this year are all really good, and I totally recommend them all! :)

There is no reason for the space themed image above. I just wanted
to make one and figured, why not for this post? :)
Top Ten Eight New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

What are your Top Ten New-To-Me Authors?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Graphic Novels, Manga, and Picture Books

Thursday you got a YA and MG Gift Guide, today I have a Graphic Novel, Manga, and Picture Book Gift Guide! I think weather you've been a fan of them before or you've never read a GN/Manga/Picture Book all of these are good picks. I hope you find something on this list for someone in your life (Or yourself!). :)

Graphic Novels:

For the Reader Who is a Baseball Fan...

For the Reader of Any Age Who Loves to Laugh...

For the Reader Who Wants an Adventure...
 Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff


For the Reader Who Wants a Book That Gets Rid of All Gender Stereotypes...

For the Reader Who Loves a Sweet Love Story (But Where the Friends Are Important Too)...

For the Romance Fan Who Wants the "Girl in Love With Guy Who is Already Taken" Thing, But Wants It Done Well...

Picture Books

For Someone Who Wants a Book About Crayons That Have Had Enough...

For the Germaphobe in Your Life... 

For a Wonderful Christmas Book...

For a Book About an Awesome Librarian...

For a Unique Book (That's a Lot of Fun.)...

Have you read any of these books before? Would you recommend them? Did you get any gift ideas from this post? What would you add to this gift list?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Marvelous Musical Friday: Christmas Edition

I decided to do something a little different for this weeks Marvelous Musical Friday! This week I'm going to list a few of my favorite Christmas songs to get you in the Holiday spirit! I'm going to assume you've probably heard most of these already, but I just really wanted to do a post like this for Christmas!

Carol of the Bells/Sing We Now of Christmas by Barlowgirl

They have the most beautiful voices, don't they?

Hot Chocolate from The Polar Express

I could easily just list the whole soundtrack for that movie, it's just that good! If you've never heard the music, what are you waiting for? All of the songs are great! :)

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Perry Como

This is one of my favorite "old" Christmas songs, it makes me feel good listening to it!

Light of Christmas by Owl City and Tobymac

This is a new Veggie Tales song this year and yes, I love it! It's a fun song for Christmas!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas from the Phineas and Ferb Christmas episode

Yes, I love Phineas and Ferb! And this song is one of my favorites from the episode. I recommend the whole holiday soundtrack, though.

Shake Up Christmas by Train

My mom and I both love this song!

Candy Cane Lane by Point of Grace

This song makes me smile!

Bonus Christmas songs I Love: The whole Polar Express soundtrack, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra, Any version of Winter Wonderland, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Barlowgirl, The whole Phineas and Ferb Christmas soundtrack, Where are You Christmas by Faith Hill, Christmas This Year by Tobymac fea. Leigh Nash, Any version of Away in the Manger, I Need a Silent Night and Grown-Up Christmas list by Amy Grant, Any version of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and Jingle Bell Rock by FFH.

Honestly, I could just keep listing Christmas music! I listen to a lot of it. I hope you find a new song on this list to listen to this year!

Do you love any of these songs? If you do, which ones? If you didn't, do you now? Let me know! 

Merry Christmas! :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide:Young Adult and Middle Grade Books

I decided it would be fun (and hopefully helpful to one of you!) to make a Holiday Gift Guide this year! :) Now I know I'm making this a bit late, but I'm pretty sure that at least one of you procrastinate like me with buying presents! Today I'm listing a few YA and MG books that I think would make great presents for people! About half of these were released this year with the other half having been released in the past few years! I hope you find something from this list for someone on your gift list! (Or maybe you'll find a book for yourself!(;) I think Saturday, I'll list a few Manga, Graphic Novel, and Picture Book picks! Okay, here we go!

Edit: Here is my GN, Manga, and Picture Book Guide!

YA Books

For Readers Who Like Spy Books and Thrillers...

For Fairytale Fans Who Want Their Happily Ever Afters in the Future...

For Paranormal Fans Who Want Something Different...

For Readers Who Like Their Love Interests a Little Geeky...

For Readers Who Want a Quick Romance (like 24 hours quick)...

MG Books

For a Fantasy Fan Who Wants a Really Addicting Series...

For the Reader Who Just Wants a Fun Adventure...

For the Historical Fan Who Would Like a Quick Novel in Verse...

For the Girl (Or Boy) Who Loves Horses...

For the Reader Who Wants a Feel Good Book...

For the Fairytale Fan...

For a Fishing Fan Who Has Yet to Be Introduced to Novels in Verse...

Hope you enjoyed this post! Did you find any books on this list for someone? Were you already buying books on this list? What books are you buying people for the holidays? Tell me! Maybe I'll get some gift ideas! :)