Tuesday 6 January 2015

Bookish Musings - End of Year Book Survey 2014

Bookish Musings is a feature here at Beautiful Bookish Butterflies that allows one of us to share our thoughts and opinions, talk and discuss things happening in the book and blogging community or share a personal book related issue we have. Today, Stacie and Amanda are completing the End of Year Survey hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner/Broke and the Bookish. Amanda was pretty desperate to recap 2014 with Jamies End of Year Book Survey and convinced Stacie to do it with her, so lets see what their year was like.

2014 Reading Statistics

Number of Books Read:

Amanda: 174
Stacie: 125

Number of Reread Books:

Amanda: Two - Dash and Lily and Let It Snow, because, you know, Christmas.
Stacie: Sadly I didn't get around to rereading any books like I wanted.

Genre You Read The Most Of:

Amanda: Young Adult Fantasy (Paranormal, Urban and High)
Stacie: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy

Best in Books

Best Book You Read in 2014:

Amanda: Damn, picking one book is really mighty difficult, but I'm going with Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.
Stacie: The best book I've read this year will be a 3 way tie between Dangerous Boys, Dangerous Girls and Throne of Glass. I know Amanda picked Dangerous Girls but that just shows you how great it is right? :P
Amanda: Trust us, we know what we're talking about!

Book You Were Excited About/Expected To Love But Didn't:

Amanda: I suppose any of my DNF's of 2014 would do, but I was disappointed by The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa most I think, especially after I enjoyed her Iron Fey series and the love Blood of Eden receives, alas, I shall continue..
Stacie: I think the book I was most disappointed by, after waiting years and years to read it, (I used to see it in the book store as a teenager) would have to be Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie. I know a lot of people loved this book, but I think the years I spent waiting to read it had made my expectations way too high.

Most Surprising Book You Read (Positive/Negative):

Amanda: I definitely didn't expect to enjoy Dare Me by Meg Abbott, let alone feel intensely connected to it.. It was most definitely my most surprising read of the year. Cheerleaders? School Queen Bee's? Lies, secrets and bitchiness? Woah.
Stacie: For me, the most surprising book this year would have to be Conquest by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard. I won it on Goodreads and completely forgot about it till it turned up at my door. It was a bit hard to get in to at first but I ended up really loving it.

Book You 'Pushed' The Most People To Read (And They Did):

Amanda: Without a doubt, Skulduggery Pleasant. I got Stacie and Cait to read it and Charnell to take it out.
Stacie: Hmm that would have to be Vampire Academy, I only got Amanda to start the series but I talked about it to anyone who would listen.

Best series you started/Best Sequel/Best Series Ender:

Amanda: Oooo, this is good. Best Series is difficult because I started a lot of series, so if I go with series that aren't finished yet, it'd have to be between The Lunar Chronicles, The Unknown Assassin, Angelfall, and Faith. Best Sequel would more than likely be The Mission by Allen Zadoff or Spiders by Tom Hoyle because these guys know how to write a sequel. Best Series Ender would by a tie between The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan and United We Spy by Ally Carter for sure.
Stacie: This year I started around 52 new series (I counted) so me picking a best one is hard, however I have narrowed it down to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky, Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore and The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I didn't however finish a lot of series but out of what I did the ending to Shatter Me series and Under The Never Sky win hands down.

Favourite New Author:

Amanda: Author as in one? HA! Derek Landy, Allen Zadoff, Tom Hoyle, Rick Riordan, Abigail Haas, Kristin Cashore, Marissa Meyer, Kasie West, A.J. Pine, S.J. Panjonas.. yeah, I should probably stop right about now, we'd be here all day.
Stacie: Can't pick just one, mine would be Abigail Haas, Sarah J. Maas, Morgan Matson, E. Lockhart, Sarah Ockler and Allen Zadoff.

Best Book From a Out of Comfort Zone/Don't Usually Read:

Amanda: I'd probably have to choose Face Time by S.J. Pajonas because I don't tend to read very many Adult books and not only was Face Time a wonderful change, but it was a damn fine book that made my favourites too. It's a win win.
Stacie: I wouldn't say that anything is out of my comfort zone as I'll pretty much read anything, however I'd say Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff, which was recommended by Amanda. I don't really read thriller/mystery books so I was pleasantly surprised just how much I liked it.
Amanda: If that doesn't prove how good my recommendations are, what will people?
Stacie: No seriously, she's not just being modest, she knows how to pick books.

Most Action Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Read:

Amanda: Action Packed definitely goes to either The Unknown Assassin Series or Spiders because they didn't stop. Thrilling has to be Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Boys, duh. Unputdownable.. Most likely any Rick Riordan book - I read most, if not all of them each in one night and when I did put down them, it wasn't because I wanted to.
Stacie: Funny enough I would have to agree with Amanda's choices for the most action packed (not Spiders) and most thrilling. For most unputdownable read though I would have to pick The Winner's Curse, These Broken Stars or Throne of Glass.

Book You Read That You're Likely to Reread:

Amanda: I don't reread books much, but I'd read My True Love Gave To Me next Christmas again because THE CUTE.
Stacie: Out of all the books I've read this year I would only not reread some of them, for arguments sake though I'll pick Dangerous Boys and Dangerous Girls, I would read them countless times.

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read:

Amanda: Asking the cover obsessed to choose a cover. WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO MEAN?! Okay okay, probably Tom Hoyles books, Thirteen and Spiders. I absolutely adore these two covers and yes, there's a lot of other book covers that I find cute or eye-catching, but I love how these two are so vibrant and so clean and simple, the designs will never go out of date, they're not cliche or overused and they tell you a lot about the story as a whole. That and the text idea is really cool, the page edges are the same colour as the covers AND, the page edges are designs on them too. The whole physical look of these books is amazing and I love them so.

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)Zom-B Underground (Zom-B, #2)
Stacie: Like Amanda, covers are a big deal to me, though you should never judge a book by a cover the fact of the matter is people do, if the book doesn't look appealing it could be over looked. I have read a lot of books this year that may or may not made their way on to my radar just for the pretty cover, but if I had to pick I would say the Zom-B series by Darren Shan, the covers are just so grisly and spooky and bold.

Most Memorable Character:

Amanda: That's a hard question, it takes a lot for characters to stay with me.. Probably Skulduggery Pleasant.
Stacie: I thought this would be hard but it wasn't. I would have to say Oliver from Dangerous Boys or Chaol from Throne of Glass.

Most Beautifully Written Book:

Amanda: I liked the writing in We Were Liars quite a lot, and the teen' feel in Love and Other Unknown Variables too.
Stacie: Far From You by Tess Sharpe, really wasn't what I thought it was going to be and was such a sad story.

Most Life Changing/Thought Provoking Read:

Amanda: Possibly an odd choice, but either Belzhar or Tin Lily. Both hit me in the feels and were pretty personal.
Stacie: Hmm I would say Tease by Amanda Maciel and The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu. They were both about kids who had been bullied and though I didn't like Tease, both the books could have changed the way others think.

Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2014 to Read:

Amanda: Can I say everything? Lunar Chronicles is up there, along with Skulduggery and Rick Riordan reads definitely.
Stacie: If I had to pick I would say The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. It came out in 2010 and it was a pretty good book, I'm just sad I waited so long.

Favourite Quote/Passage From Book:

"You're all equipped for the world, for adulthood, in a way that most people aren't," - "So many people don't even know what hits them when they grow up. They feel clobbered over the head the minute the first thing goes wrong and they spend the rest of their lives trying to avoid pain at all costs. But you all know that avoiding pain is impossible. And I think having that knowledge, plus the experiences you've lived through, make you definitely not fragile. They make you brave." - Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

"Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don't know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn't you. That isn't you at all." - This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Shortest and Longest Books You Read (Not Including Novellas):

Amanda: Longest was House of Hades at 608 pages. Shortest was See Through Me at 188 pages.
Stacie: Longest would be The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan at 557 and shortest was Zom-B Baby by Darren Shan at 160 pages.

Book That Shocked You The Most:

Amanda: Dangerous Girls. There is no more shocking young adult read.
Stacie: Yet again I have to agree with Amanda's choice, that ending was just immense. If I didn't see the twist coming I would have picked We Were Liars instead.

OTP of the Year:

Amanda: You're kidding me right? ONE?! Since you're making me choose.. Caymen/Xander from Distance Between Us.
Stacie: Could there really be any other than Celaena and Chaol? Nope, didn't think so.

Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship:

Amanda: TOO MANY. Zack and Howard? Aria and Roar? Cammie, Bex, Macey and Liz? TAKE THEM ALL.
Stacie: Isaiah and Noah from Crash into You or Adrian and  Jill from Silver Shadows.

Favourite Book From A Previously Read Author:

Amanda: That would have to be Ally Carter and All Fall Down. All the awards.
Stacie: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini without a doubt. I read a few books by previous authors this year but none as good as this one.

Best Book Read Solely By Recommendation/Peer Pressure:

Amanda: Because I've already mentioned Rick Riordan and Lunar Chronicles, lets go with Under the Never Sky. Charnell shouted her love for this series from the rooftops and when I saw my library had them, I snapped, read and loved.
Stacie: Skulduggery Pleasant and The Lightning Thief thanks to Amanda constantly going on about them. Though I may not have liked them as much as she did, they were still really fun books and I'm glad I started the series.
Amanda: I'm starting to see a trend here.. I am so not sorry.
Stacie: I didn't think you would be, I'm not, haha.

Newest Fictional Crush:

Amanda: YOU CANNOT MAKE ME CHOOSE. THIS IS TORTURE. Leo from Heroes of Olympus. Or Noah from All Fall Down.
Stacie: Honestly I haven't been able to crush properly on anyone since reading Throne of Glass and falling in love with Chaol.

Best Debut:

Amanda: Difficult, but I'm choosing Love and Other Unknown Variables because my feels, they broke me.
Stacie: I would have to say Far From You by Tess Sharpe. I didn't actually read a lot of debut books but I think regardless, this would still win.

Best World Building/Vivid Setting:

Amanda: I have a soft spot for Skulduggery Pleasant, but also Iron Fey because Nevernever is just beautiful.
Stacie: Red Rising by Pierce Brown or Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnins, brilliant, just brilliant.

Book That Made You Smile/Was Fun to Read:

Amanda: Lots, but Have a Little Faith, Keep the Faith and Flirty Dancing are perfect.
Stacie: There has been a few but I think Geek Girl and The Distance Between Us had me smiling or chuckling the most.

Book That Made You Cry/Nearly Cry:

Amanda: I'm a weeper. What If had me sniffling, We Were Liars had me sobbing, LaOUV had me leaking, TGoYaM had me watering with joy and adorableness, I just cry at everything, I don't have time to talk about them all, but these for sure.
Stacie: Before I had my little girl I would cry or get teary eyes at just about ever book with a sad or happy moment, when she was born that changed and very rarely cried at a book. This year though there has been many that had the ability to make me cry or nearly cry, none come close to Crown of Midnight. That many feels in one book should be illegal.

Hidden Gem:

Amanda: This is SO the question for me. Thirteen and Spiders. Skulduggery and Spooks. Faith and Flirty Dancing. LaOUV and Face Time. Seriously, just check out anything I've rated 4 stars and over that you've not heard of.
Stacie: Hidden gem to me is a book that not too many people know about, so in this instance it would be Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye. It has only 243 ratings on goodreads, of which only 21 are below a 3. It is no way perfect, but it was still such a good story that I'm thankful I read it.

Book That Crushed Your Soul:

Amanda: See Book That Made You Cry. As I say, I cry at everything. My soul crumbles with it.
Stacie: Yet again Crown of Midnight

Most Unique Book:

Amanda: I'm tempted to say Belzhar because of it's subject matter and magical realism. Plus it needs more love.
Stacie: I think due to the fact that the main character is a skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant has to be one of the most unique book's I've ever read.

Book That Made You Most Mad:

Stacie: I wouldn't say that any book made me mad. I was very disappointed with a handful of books and how their characters treated others or allowed themselves to be treated, but I didn't get angry with them haha..

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

New Favourite Book Blog Discovered in 2014:

Amanda: You can't make me a choose. That's cruel. I found Stacie and Charnell in 2014.. and Cait at Paper Fury.. Look, I can't choose a favourite, but Charnell and Cait, you better check those ladies out, utterly fantastic.
Stacie: Two of them is without a doubt Amanda and Charnell, they were always very supportive and motivating and I don't think I would still be doing it now if it wasn't for them. But other beautiful bloggers you should know about would be Cait at Paper Fury, Ebony at Daring Damsels, Em at Backlist Books and Kay at It's a Book Life.

Favourite Review You Wrote:

Amanda: I'd have to choose my review for Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly. I had way too much fun with that review. If we're talking review that was most popular, that'd be my review of Dying of the Light by Derek Landy.
Stacie: Honestly? I'm not sure on that one. I had fun writing a review for a any book that I really enjoyed haha.

Best Discussion/Non Review Post:

Amanda: My favourite is probably anything concerning my Series Relationship which has somehow turned into a bit of an ongoing feature, but everyone else's favourite, apart from my Blogaversary was Patience is Power and I've Got the Power relating to waiting for sequels or companion novels, or in fact, most or near enough anything.
Stacie: I'm not known (at least I wasn't) for writing a lot of discussion posts, so it would be hard to pick one. However the one with the most page views is the one where I talk about why I like to buy books from charity shops, so lets go with that :P

Best Event You Participated In:

Amanda: Am I vain if I say my Summer Surge Read-a-thon? I really enjoyed that.
Stacie: No Amanda, you aren't vain. I was going to say the read-a-thon too ;)

Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2014:

Amanda: Ooo, probably reached my first year anniversary of blogging. That's quite an accomplishment.
Stacie: Hands down it's when Darren Shan promoted my review of Birth of a Killer on his Facebook/Twitter and put a link to it on his website. If you know me it's not hard to understand why I picked that one.

Most Popular Post (Comments or Views):

Amanda: Well, my blogaversary post wins both of them, but if not that, Comments is Book Covers I'd Frame As Art and Views is Patience is Power and I've Got the Power. I'm pretty impressed with those, they aren't my favourites..
Stacie: As I said above, Darren Shan promoted my review so the post with the most views is Birth of a Killer :)

Post You Wish Got a Little More Love:

Amanda: It sounds cheesy as hell, but I'm not too bothered. The deeper things like Kathleen Hale's Law Breaking and my Disection of an article thrashing YA took time and passion, but the fact that they reached people is good enough for me.
Stacie: I wouldn't say there are any post's I wish got more love in all honesty, I appreciate any comments/pageviews I get and if certain posts or reviews have got next to no love than that's okay with me.

Best Bookish Discovery:

Amanda: Rekindling my love for libraries after 10 years last year was probably the best discovery.
Stacie: Hmm that's a hard one, I don't think I really discovered anything new this year.

What Goals/Challenge Did You Set for 2014 and Did You Complete Them:

Amanda: I completed four of my five challenges, my Goodreads, New To Me Authors, TBR and NetGalley Challenges, but failed my Lucky 14 Challenge, but that doesn't bother me too much, because that was my 'fun' challenge. I've chosen my challenges for this year , actual challenging things this time, so look out for that this week too.
Stacie: I completed my Goodreads Challenge, and a few others on there but not the ones around the blogging community that I had set myself, I will however take part in some this year and hopefully complete them :)

Looking Ahead to 2015

Book You Didn't Read in 2014 that is 2015 Top Priority:

Amanda: I have many I could choose for this, but I'm choosing Touch of Power/Scent of Magic and Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder because she was not only my original list of New To Me Authors, but also a Top Ten Tuesday and I still failed. I swear Maria, I will try your work this year, just, remind me, okay?
Stacie: You ready for the list? Chaos Walking series, Splintered series, The Darkest Minds series and All Our Yesterdays.
Amanda: I second Stacie with All Our Yesterdays, I can see a buddy read coming..
Stacie: It's a good thing I got it for Christmas then, right? :P

Book You're Most Anticipating (Non Debut):

Amanda: Winter? The Fill-In Boyfriend? The Traitor? All Fall Down? YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE.
Stacie: Saint Anything, more than anything else. I'm a big Sarah Dessen fan and I can not wait to read her new book.

Debut You're Most Anticpating:

Stacie: Red Queen and My Heart and Other Black Holes, really looking forward to both these books. (Update.. I've read My Heart and Other Black Holes and it was as good as I hoped)

Series Ender/Sequel You're Most Anticipating:

Amanda: Once again, Winter? The Traitor? Oh, and Faith #3, The Legion #3, Dead Girls Detective Agency #3..
Stacie: The Ruby Circle. I'm looking forward to following on with a lot of series but saying goodbye to the Bloodlines series is all I can think about.

One Thing You Hope to Accomplish in Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2015:

Amanda: Interesting question.. I think I'd like to learn to maintain a balance between work, rest and play. Last year, almost all my spare time (other than reading time) was spent blogging and I think a step back will do me well.
Stacie: I want to be able to schedule a lot more, take notes while reading, be consistent and stick to what I plan. Most of all though I just want to be able to have fun with it :)

A 2015 Released You've Read and Recommend:

Amanda: All Fall Down. Without a doubt, this book is a must read for Carter fans. DO NOT MISS IT.
Let us not forget All The Bright Places too, this book deserves the love it's been getting. TRUST ME.
Stacie: My Heart and Other Black Holes. I wish I could put The Sin Eaters Daughter here too but it wasn't as wowing as I thought it would be.

If you've done Jamie's Survey, link us up!


  1. I REALLY need to grab a copy of Dangerous Girls because soooo many people have raved about it!

    I love both of the quotes that you two selected for the favorite quote section. I haven't read Belzhar but I really, really enjoyed This Song Will Save Your Life and remember that quote. It was a lovely book!

    @Stacie - I see that the Throne of Glass series has crushed your feels. WELCOME.

    Looks like both of you read some awesome books and posted a lot of great stuff in 2014! Well done and I'm looking forward to reading more in 2015! :)

    1. Dangerous Girls is definitely worth the time and effort, it's one of our favourites! Wish you the best for 2015 too Terri :)

    2. LMAO I just read Heir of Fire too, so yeah my feelings are crushed. :(

  2. OMG I am so excited about All Fall Down! It looks absolutely amazing and I'm glad that you loved it, Amanda xD

    Yes Dangerous Girls should win ALL the awards or something. Seriously, that book is freaking mind blowing.

    Crown of Midnight got me pretty emotional as well! It was one crazy roller coaster ride, eh?

    I also LOVE the quotes you two picked out. I love them both equally :D

    Awesome responses, girls! <33

    1. I definitely thought it was much darker and very different to her other series, hopefully you enjoy it too! I do think our quotes were definitely well in sync with each other, meaningful and deep too. Thanks Mel!<3

    2. Yes it was haha. It's a brilliant series but god damn the feels are intense.

  3. Thank you, Amanda, for mentioning FACE TIME. I'm so glad you loved it and it stuck with you enough to list it here :)

    1. It was a wonderful read, I cannot wait for the next installment! :)

  4. I really love the book covers that you picked as being your favorite. I would totally pick those too! I need to get my book challenges together that I am going to participate in this year. I plan to do that tomorrow.. yep tomorrow. Or maybe the next day!

    End of Year Survey

    1. Good luck with your challenges this year Angela! I really do love Hoyles book covers!<3

  5. Some of the ones you picked also made it to my survey this year. But the others? I think I just added half a dozen books the my ever growing TBR pile.

    All Fall Down/My Heart, those sound like promising 2015 releases. Little disheartening to head that Sineaters wasn't as wowing as hoped.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

    1. So sorry hunny! I'm always adding books to peoples TBR's, it's so bad! All Fall Down was a definite fantastic read, cannot wait for my review :)


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