Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a lovely holiday and have eaten your weight in cheese/pistachio nuts/chocolates/your outrageously fattening food of choice. I personally have eaten thrice my weight by opting for all three of the above.
I did the End of Year Book Survey last year, and really enjoyed it. This tag was created by The Perpetual Page Turner, and I find it a great way to review my year of reading!
Without further ado, let’s get started…
2017 READING STATS:
Number of books you read: 85
Number of re-reads: 3 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Rebecca)
Genre you read the most from: Contemporary, closely followed by horror/thriller
Best book you read in 2017?
ABSOLUTELY THE HATE U GIVE BY ANGIE THOMAS. A phenomenal book inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, with a hugely memorable narrative voice, characters I adored to pieces, and some powerful things to say we could all do with sitting down, shutting up, and listening to.
Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab was a big disappointment for me. I know this is a beloved book, but I found it kind of slow and boring, and I felt the world-building in particular was lacking. I wish I could have loved it as much as everyone else, but I just didn’t get the hype.
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Slade House by David Mitchell was a total mindf**k for such a tiny little book, and I loved how complex and creepy it ended up being. Definitely in my top 5 favourite books of the year.
Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?
The Hate U Give! And I will keep on pushing. Everyone should read this book.
Best series started in 2017:
The Diviners series by Libba Bray! I fell for these books so hard. I loved the 1920s New York setting, and the paranormal elements made them so creepy and compelling. Libba Bray has put so much research into these books, and every detail comes together to create something luxuriously rich and believable; I couldn’t help but be completely sucked in.
Best sequel of 2017:
That would have to be Lord of Shadows (despite the traumatic ending). I think the Dark Artifices series is some of Cassandra Clare’s best writing, although I will always hold The Mortal Instruments dearest in my heart.
Best series-ender of 2017:
Mafiosa, the final book in Catherine Doyle’s Blood for Blood trilogy ripped my heart to pieces and remade it again. This YA mafia romance trilogy is such an emotional rollercoaster full of danger, passion, and intrigue. I am 100% obsessed with it and will definitely be reading it again soon.
Favourite new author you discovered in 2017?
Tove Jansson (author of the Moomin books, a Finnish children’s series about cute troll-type creatures that live in a valley.) I loved the Moomin television show as a child, but I had never read any of the books until this year. There is something so lovely about them; they are quiet, quirky, and packed full of meaning and wisdom. I also picked up a collection of Tove Jansson’s short stories for adults this month (The Winter Book) and loved the stark poetry and subtle charm of her writing style. Can’t wait to read more of her work.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I read my first graphic novel this year – Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – and I loved it to pieces. I’ve never rooted for ‘villains’ so hard; these characters made me laugh on every page and rendered my heart all squishy.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs was one of the most addictive books I read this year. The premise of a girl who is killed over and over again but never dies drew me in, but all of the mystery and conspiracy and weird things going down in her town kept me reading and reading, desperate to know what it all meant. The word unputdownable was designed for books like this.
Book you read in 2017 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
I found quite a few new favourites this year, but I will almost certainly re-read Caraval next year in preparation for the sequel. I know opinions are split on this book, but I fall into the camp that adored it; it was so atmospheric and strange and dreamlike and I ate it up like the most decadent box of chocolates.
Favourite cover of a book you read in 2017?
The cover of The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell is so gorgeous, and I will treasure this book of short stories forever because it is SO aesthetically pleasing, both inside (with the word-pictures it paints) and out.
Most memorable character of 2017?
Eleanor Oliphant from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. This book probably ties with THUG as my favourite book of the year. I related to Eleanor in ways I can’t even explain, and found her narrative voice so authentic and distinctive.
Most beautifully written book read in 2017?
The Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle. Her writing is mesmerising and otherworldly. It took me completely away from myself.
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2017?
Esther the Wonder Pig. This is a memoir about two men and their pet micropig… who grew up to be not so micro after all. Not only was this book adorable, hilarious, and heartwarming, but it also got me thinking much more seriously about vegetarianism. This year I gave up pork, lamb, and beef, and in 2018 I will be going completely meat free. I have Esther to thank for my shift in world-view and I am very grateful 🙂
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?
Murder on the Orient Express. How have I only just read my first ever Agatha Christie novel?! Madness! This book was fabulous and I intend to read many more of her novels in 2018.
Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2017?
It’s not the most profound passage from the book, but this oddball line from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, for some reason, made me crack up laughing:
“If I’m ever unsure as to the correct course of action, I’ll think, “What would a ferret do?” or, “How would a salamander respond to this situation?” Invariably, I find the right answer.”
Shortest and longest book you read in 2017?
Shortest: The Invisible Child and The Fur Tree by Tove Jansson (80 pages)
Longest: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (720 pages)
Book that shocked you the most?
The Peppermint Pig by Nina Bawden. Whatthedamnhell was that ending?! Read my rant review if you want to know more…
OTP OF THE YEAR? (You will go down with this ship!)
I’ve not read many romance-centric books this year, but I do adore the pairing of Emma and Julian in the Dark Artifices series. Cassandra Clare is Queen of the Forbidden Romance and theirs is so agonisingly, heart-wrenchingly shippable.
Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year?
I loved the relationship between Peter and his fox Pax in Pax by Sara Pennypacker. This is the story of a boy who gets separated from his pet fox and sets off on a journey across the country to find him again. The connection between these characters was so pure, and melted my heart into a pile of gooey slush.
Favourite book you read in 2017 from an author you’ve read previously?
I loved The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, just as much as Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Everything about it turned my insides to warm and fuzzy, and I loved the cameos from Abby and Simon. I can’t wait for Becky’s next book, Leah on the Offbeat.
Best book you read in 2017 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?
I finally read Bone Gap by Laura Ruby this year after so many fellow bloggers recommending it to me. I’ve decided that I need more magical realism in my life because this book was so weird and disorientating and fabulous.
Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?
Luca from the Blood for Blood trilogy. He’s the underboss of a prominent mafia family, but he’s secretly desperate to leave his family’s way of life behind. And he’s all sexy and Italian and stuff. *fans self*
Best 2017 debut you read?
I would have to say The Hate U Give or Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – my two favourite books of the entire year, and both, unbelievably, debuts!
Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
The worldbuilding in the Diviners series is some of the most impressive worldbuilding I have ever encountered. I’ve never been so immersed in a setting.
Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?
Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter; I laughed so much whilst reading this book, and all of Esther’s antics left me with a big soppy smile on my face. If you’re interested, she has a Facebook page, and it is glorious. Warning: you will fall in love with her and may decide to give up bacon for the rest of your life like I did.
Also, shoutout to Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch which I read on my summer holiday. It was so light and fluffy and sweet, with a cute romance, and a lovely estranged father-daughter relationship. I also adored the setting (Florence, Italy). It was the perfect happy-making summer read.
Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2017?
The Peppermint Pig by Nina Bawden.
Me upon finishing this book:
Hidden gem of the year?
The Wrong Train by Jeremy de Quidt. This creepy book is about a boy who gets the wrong train in the middle of the night. He gets off at a station which isn’t a station in the middle of nowhere, where he meets a strange old man who proceeds to tell him a bunch of horrifying stories. Although this was YA horror, it was actually extremely unsettling. The weirdness of this book gives it a feeling of ‘wrongness’, and that feeling of wrongness makes you want to shut all your curtains and block out the night. In other words, it was my favourite kind of book and I ADORED it.
Book that crushed your soul?
To re-use an answer (again), The Peppermint Pig. I don’t understand why a parent would read this to their child. It’s devastating.
Most unique book you read in 2017?
Slade House, which I’ve also already mentioned, was creepy and confusing and I would describe the reading experience as akin to walking UP a staircase only to arrive on the ground floor. It was a head-twisting masterpiece and like nothing I’ve read before.
Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame. Ugh, the love interest in this book was toxic, and the main character was an idiot, and they were both selfish, and I just didn’t want them to succeed at all, y’know?
New favourite book blog you discovered in 2017?
I’ve been terrible at blog-hopping this year, but I have spent a LOT of time watching Booktube over the past 12 months. If you’re looking for recommendations, my favourites are Duvet Day Devours, Francina Simone, Peter Likes Books, and Hannah Tay.
Favourite review that you wrote in 2017?
I’m pointing you at my review of The Hate U Give, not because I think my review is anything special, but simply because I want EVERYONE to read this book!
Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I’m really proud of my ‘Self-care tips for book-bloggers’ post, and I was so happy with the response it received, as a lot of people seemed to relate to it. 🙂
Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) at London Film and Comic Con was so much fun this year. I saw lots of awesome author panels, bought 22 books, and even spotted Benedict Cumberbatch wandering around the building (so much fangirling!)
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?
Getting approved to read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert on Netgalley was SO FREAKING EXCITING! And it absolutely lived up to the hype.
Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Posting… you may have noticed I haven’t done a whole lot of that these past few months. My mental health has been up and down, and it has been so hard keeping up, but don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere – this blog and all of you guys mean too much to me, and I don’t want to let my anxiety win!
Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Apparently my most popular post was The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag… Because we all love throwing a bit of good ol’ fashioned shade!
Post you wished got a little more love?
Hmm, I don’t really have an answer for this one. I’ve learned to stop worrying so much about numbers, and it’s very freeing 🙂
Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
This year I started buying books from charity shops and it’s so worth it! I scan the shelves specifically for books on my TBR, and it’s so satisfying when you manage to find, for example, a hardback copy of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor for £1.50. BARGAINS ARE MY NEW FAVE.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Book you are most anticipating for 2018 (non-debut)?
2018 debut you are most anticipating?
Most definitely this:
Series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2018?
Squealy-excited about these:
One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2018?
I want to try and post more regularly in 2018, but not put pressure on myself to review every book. That will hopefully mean lots more book tags and other bookish content as those are the posts I enjoy writing the most. 🙂 I also want to do much better at keeping up with all of YOUR wonderful blogs. ❤
A 2018 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone:
Of course my answer to this one has to be The Hazel Wood. It has everything I want in a story… mystery, intrigue, weirdness, creepiness, and fairytale magic. Absolute perfection! I can’t wait to pick up a physical copy when it comes out in February, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it too. Review coming soon.
If you’ve done the End of Year Book Survey too, please link me to your posts down below as I’d love to see which books you loved and hated in 2017.
Much love to you all and a very Happy New Year; I hope your 2018 is a happyful one! ❤ xxx