Book Discussions

My 2014 Reading Wrap Up!

Hey guys! First and foremost, I want to apologize for the rather large break I’ve taken from the blog. I’m still dealing with this (in my opinion, way too long) reading slump I’ve been in. But I really want to get back into the groove of things, reading wise and blog wise. So I’d thought I’d start off with a reading wrap up for the 2014 year! If you ignore the current reading slump, 2014 was a fantastic reading year for me. I read a total of 60 books, and I liked most of what I read. If you’d like to know what books I read in 2014, you can head over to my 2014 reading challenges page and see the list at the bottom of the page.

Speaking of reading challenges, I only really had two for the year. The first of which was my Goodreads reading challenge. Originally, I wanted to read a total of 50 books during the year. Not quite half way into the year, I was reading at a really fast pace and thought I should raise that. I had raised it to 75, but I didn’t read anything during the month of June and I decided to take that down to 60 books. I’m glad to say that I achieved that goal!

The second goal I had was to complete the A to Z challenge. Sadly, I did not complete this challenge. I read 18 out of the 26 books for this challenge. Although I did not complete the challenge, I’m very happy with the progress that I did make and I am excited to attempt the challenge again! Those were the only two challenges I particpated in. So to finish this wrap up I’m going to complete a survey (actually, I’m only doing part of it). Many thanks to The Perpetual Page Turner for creating this survey!

1. Best book of 2014?

I think I’m going to have to go with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for this one! I read three of Rainbow’s books this year, and loved every single one. But like I’ve mentioned before, I think the book of hers that you love the most definitely depends on which characters and story you can relate to the most. I definitely related to Cath in Fangirl the most.

2. A book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t?

I think the book I was most disappointed in this year was definitely The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I’d heard really amazing things about this book, and it just fell really flat for me. I had to shove myself through the book because I found the majority of it boring. Then, toward the end the main character did something that I just really, really did not like.

3. Most surprising (in a good or bad way) you read in 2014?

I’m going to have to go with Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I was not expecting to like this book. I remember seeing these books around when they first came out and being really put off by both the cover and the title. But I’m so glad that I picked it up! I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to continue on with the series!

4. The book you “pushed” most people to read (and they did) in 2014?

There is a tie for this one, between Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Divergent by Veronica Roth. I made three people read Fangirl, and two read Divergent. The reason I say they tie is because the two people I got to read Divergent, I got to read the whole series. (:

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel you read in 2014? Best series ender you read in 2014?

I think the best series I started in 2014 was definitely The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I read Cinder and cannot wait to continue on with the series! As for a sequel, I think I’m going to have to pick Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Onyx was a great continuation to the Lux series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series! And finally, the best end to a series I read. For this I’m going to choose Where She Went by Gayle Forman. This is the end of the If I Stay duology, and it was a fantastic conclusion. It answered all of the questions I had after If I Stay and wrapped the story up perfectly.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Rainbow Rowell, hands down. She is now one of my favorite, if not my favorite author. I need to get my hands on Landline! And I absolutely cannot wait until Carry On comes out!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

As much as I love fantasy, I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t read very much of it. I find it really intimidating because I’m afraid I’m going to be completely lost going into a world I know nothing about. I’ll also be honest and say this is a completely irrational fear, because that has never happened. But hey, my brain doesn’t always work correctly. Anyway, for this I will have to pick Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. It was a fantastic first book to a fantasy series and I really want to read Rebel Spring soon!

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I think I’ll have to choose Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I read these two books in a span of like, three days. They’re fantastic and such quick reads!

9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to reread next year?

I definitely want to reread Divergent and possibly Insurgent  by Veronica Roth. I want to reread Divergent, because I loved it so much. I don’t have as much of a pull toward rereading Insurgent I didn’t like Insurgent as much as Divergent.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. The cover just makes so much sense to me.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

There are two that come to mind. The first of which is Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (can you tell how much I love this book yet?). I absolutely loved Cath from start to finish. I could relate to her so much and her character development was beautiful. The second is Cinder from Cinder by Marissa Meyer. She was such an interesting and refreshing twist on Cinderella, I fell in love with her from the beginning.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

This was a pretty hard one for me. But I think I’m going to have to go with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Zusak’s writing is just so moving, his storytelling is fantastic, and I can’t wait to read more from him.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2014?

I think the book that affected me most in 2014 was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I think Burned by Ellen Hopkins is probably a close second, because it was very thought provoking for me.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2014 to finally read?

Probably Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was a beautiful book, and one that was quite popular with my friends in high school. I can’t imagine why I waited so long to read it.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?

I have a few actually. Bare with me. (:

“I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” Allegiant by Veronica Roth

“I held you in my hands, Wanderer, and you were beautiful.” -The Host by Stephenie Meyer

“Part of me knows one more day won’t do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But anothe rpart of me believes differently. We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.” Just One Day by Gayle Forman

“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.” Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and midly socially retarded, I’m a complete disaster.” –Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, “This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”

“It sets a dangerous precedent.”

“For avoiding pain?”

“For avoiding life.” Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2014?

The longest book I read in 2014 was a reread and it was The Host by Stephenie Meyer and it is 864 pages long (one of my favorite books ever). The shortest book I read in 2014 was Red at Night by Katie McGarry which is 84 pages long. Red at Night is a short story, and it is fantastic.

17. Book that shocked you the most?

This will have to be a tie between Burned by Ellen Hopkins and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, because the endings really shocked me.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!).

But there’s so many.. D: Only one,r eally? Okay…

I think for this I will have to pick Levi and Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. (Okay. I’ll stop picking it. And mentioning it. Maybe. Probably not.)

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year.

This book was a reread for me. But to this day, it’s one of my favorite and most unusual relationships ever. Wanda and Jamie from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. They just love each other (in a non-romantic way, of course) so much. The relationship between Melanie and Wanda is probably a close second.

20. Favorite book you read in 2014 from an author you’ve read previously.

I didn’t really read much from past authors this year that wasn’t a reread. So for this I think I’ll have to pick Holes by Louis Sachar. Louis wrote one of my favorite childhood books, Sideways Stories from Wayside School. He definitely didn’t disappoint me with Holes, it was fantastic book!

21. Best book you read in 2014 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (this is better, right?). My friends Day and Heidi recommended it to me and actually shoved their copy into my hands to make sure I would read it. No regrets here, another fantastic Rainbow book!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Levi from Fangirl, Magnus from Falling Kingdoms, Kai from Cinder, Four from Divergent, Cy from Control, Dmitri from Vampire Academy, Lincoln from Attachments… I think that’s it. Probably not though.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

I didn’t actually read any. The closest I have to this is Control by Lydia Kang, but it was actually released in December of 2013 (I’m pretty sure).

24. Best world building/most vivid setting you read this year?

This one was hard to choose. I really, really loved Morgan Rhode’s world building in Falling Kingdoms.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer was so much fun to read. But I think Obsidian and Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout probably put smiles on my face the most.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014?

I cried a lot in both Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (sorry, not sorry).

27. Hidden gem of the year?

My Daylight Monsters by Sarah Dalton. I found this novella while persuing the kindle store one day, and was gifted it from my amazon wishlist by a friend. It was a super quick read and I loved it so much more than I expected to. The sequel, Mary Hades, which was given to me by the author, was also fantastic.

28. Book that crushed your soul?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak in an emotional sort of way. As in, I’m crying because the world is so unfair and I cry in 90% of the WWII books I read/movies I watch. But The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold in the why did I waste my time reading this? sense.

29. Most unique book you read in 2014?

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion! His take on zombies was so interesting and I cannot wait for the sequel.

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? 

I think I’m going to have to tie this between The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Both books were pretty large disappointments and that made me mad. The main characters in both of these books made me very angry, around the last 50 to 100 pages of their books. (Granted I was pretty bored through the first 3/4ths of both of these books.)

I’m really happy with my reading year and I’m hoping that next year will be just as fantastic as this year was! Did you complete all of your reading challenges and/or resolutions for 2014? And how many books did you read over the course of 2014?

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