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text 2015-01-02 02:15
2014 End of Year Book Survey
This survey is the idea of Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner.
Wanna participate? Check her post out here!

Number of Books Read: 159
Number of Rereads: 59
Genre You Read the Most Of: Mystery (37) and Picture Books (37)
Best Book I Read in 2014: What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
Book I Was Most Let Down By: Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park
Most Surprising (In a Bad Way): Full Blooded (Jessica McClain, #1) by Amanda Carlson
Book I Recommended Most: The Forests of Silence (Deltora Quest, #1) by Emily Rodda
Best Series: Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda
Best SequelDragon's Nest (Dragons of Deltora, #1) by Emily Rodda
Best Series Finale: Changes for Kirsten: A Winter Story (American Girl: Kirsten, #6) by Janet Beeler Shaw
Favorite New Author: Tony Abbott, for his The Secrets of Droon series. I'm not far into it, so there's always the possibility that it'll lose my interest or I'll eventually decide that Abbott's writing isn't for me after all, but of all the new authors I read this year, he's the only one whose book pleasantly surprised me and whose other books I expect to eventually read. Runner up here would be Kobi Yamada, whose book I loved but didn't inspire me to seek out more of his work.
Best Book Outside My Comfort Zone: Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fiztmaurice
Most "Unputdownable" Book of the Year: Moonlight Secrets (Fear Street Nights, #1) by R.L. Stine
Favorite CoverShadow Breakers (Shadow Runners, #1) by Daniel Blythe
Most Memorable Character: Jasmine of Deltora Quest, Deltora Shadowlands, and Dragons of Deltora. She's an abrasive, stubborn action heroine survivalist, and she's freakin' awesome. You'll find no Faux Action Girl or Chickification here. As far as kidlit fantasy goes, Jasmine (and the series she comes from) stands above the rest.
Most Beautifully Written Book: The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett*
Most Thought-Provoking Book: What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
Book I Can't Believe I Didn't Read Sooner: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (The Secrets of Droon, #1) by Tony Abbott
Favorite Quote: This passage from The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) by Lemony Snicket, which I used in my one and only Quotable Thursday post of 2014.
Longest Book: The Book of Cthulhu II at 426 pages
Book That Shocked Me the Most: The Book of Cthulhu II
OPT of the Year: Spike and Drusilla of Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids all in a Row by Christopher Golden
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year: Kirsten Larson and Singing Bird of Kirsten Learns a Lesson (American Girls: Kirsten, #2) by Janet Beeler Shaw
Favorite Book by an Author I've Read Before: The Castle Crime (A to Z Mysteries Super Edition, #6) by Ron Roy
Best Book Found Via Recommendation: Thanks, Grimlock for Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row by Christopher Golden
Newest Fictional Crush: Nope!
Best 2014 Debut: You think I'm up to date on debuts? Noooope!
Best Worldbuilding: Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda
A Book That Made Me Smile: The Third Wish (Fairy Realm, #3) by Emily Rodda
A Book That Made Me Cry: Nothing this year!
Hidden Gem of the Year: Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery by Kathleen Ernst
Book That Crushed My Soul: 
What soul?
Most Unique Book: The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (It's a "picture book" with no pictures, FFS!)
Book That Angered Me the Most: Full Blooded (Jessica McClain, #1) by Amanda Carlson
New Favorite Blog: ...you expect me to pick?
Favorite Review: How about my American Horror Story: Coven review? (Spoiler alert!)
Best Event: #BookBlogWriMo, hosted by Book Bumblings during November 2014
Best Blogging Moment: Successfully completing #BookBlogWriMo after months of stagnation was pretty great!
Most Popular Post This Year: How about a top ten instead?
Post I Wish Got a Little More Love: Is all of them a valid answer? It's obviously my fault for not being more social myself, but...
Best Bookish Discovery: Readgeek
Pushed Back to #1 Priority of 2015: Spirits of Christmas
Most Anticipated Book of 2015: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1) by Rick Riordan
Most Anticipated Debut of 2051: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Most Anticipated Sequel of 2015: The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6) by George R.R. Martin (I have no doubt that this isn't actually going to be coming out in 2015, but I do think it'd be hilarious if he managed to shock everyone by revealing it is! Not that I'm caught up with this series anyway...)
One Thing I Want to Accomplish in 2015: Honestly, I'd like to finish a first draft of one of my own projects this year. I'm hoping to do that during NaNo '15, but... procrastination and I are very good friends. Or worst enemies. However you want to look at it.
2015 Release I've Read and Can Recommend: Aw, you think I'm caught up with my ARCs? How cute!

*This is kind of a joke entry. The Girl and the Bicycle is a wordless picture book that manages to tell a really sweet, charming story with illustrations alone.
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review 2014-10-25 00:20
That house is SO haunted...
The Haunted - Michaelbrent Collings

...other houses consult it on how to get rid of the living.


So here's what happened: I could not put this book down. It's everything I want in a haunted house story: fast-paced, tense, a little confusing, but with all the loose ends tied up by the last page. I bought this after stumbling upon the brilliant little gem Darkbound, and it's secured Michaelbrent Collings' place as my favorite living horror writer.

The Haunted reads like an ode to Shirley Jackson's Hill House, with a hint of The Shining, minus the misogyny and with a better scrapbook. It is, in short, the haunted house I've been waiting for all my life.

This product is guaranteed to be 100% animal-cruelty free. Not recommended for women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, first time mothers, young husbands, or new home-buyers. Consult your doctor if you have problems blinking, breathing, or entering your attic without a priest.

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review 2014-10-04 16:04
I laughed, I cried. Mostly I cried. Like, a lot.
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is an improbable story, but it doesn't feel like one when you're reading it. It feels exactly right.


Maybe it resonates so strongly because of my life as a sick child and then a sick adult who lost most of her sick friends in childhood. Our lives were more predictable because we didn't have cancer, which is unpredictable pretty much all the time, but we were still surprised sometimes. We loved each other and sometimes we fell in love and once in a while the person who died was the one who wasn't supposed to.


What I'm getting at is that it's really weird being a kid and having a mental list of which friends are supposed to die first. Green captures that feeling, all of those feelings, better than anyone I've read who wasn't somehow one of us. I was sure that he had lost a child or a sibling to cancer, right up the point in the acknowledgements where he says he didn't. It's that good.


So it's also that bad. I felt Hazel's pain and joy and fear so completely it was frightening, even as I was jealous of her strength. Hazel is a beautiful creature, as is Augustus, and their love is a privilege to witness. 


Bonus points to Green for making up a book for them to bond over rather than using an existing one and turning it into a half-assed lit class. That was a real stroke of genius and made their world all the more real for being wholly fictional.

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