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Magan: 2012 End of Year Book Survey

2012 book year in review, favorite books of 2012

The lovely Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner hosts the Annual End of Year Book Survey. Jamie asks the questions and we answer! Estelle and I are each doing separate posts so we can share whatever we’d like. Be on the lookout for Estelle’s answers later this week!

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want.)

These are in no particular order, but are some of my top rated favorites:

I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
How to Save a Life by Sarah Zarr
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Lauren Henderson’s Flirting in Italian was one of the most disappointing books I’ve read in a long while. I don’t ever like to discourage people from reading a book, but I felt like I needed to raise a warning flag with that one. The DisenchantmentsWhat’s Left of Me, and The Selection also didn’t live up to my expectations.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

The Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. So many people told me they loved these books and I was a little wary, but once I finally started reading them, I BLEW THROUGH THEM. (Actually, let me clarify. I’ve had the 4th book on hold for about a month at the library and apparently, the person who has it checked out is never going to return it.)

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

book cover for second chance summer by morgan matson

Oh, goodness. Either Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker, or My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick — all extremely amazing contemporaries. As far as sci-fi/fantasy/dystopians — most likely Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi or Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

Hmm. Let’s say I rediscovered Delirium by Lauren Oliver. You may remember that last year, this book was filed under my most disappointing reads of 2011. I reread it earlier this year to give it another chance and FELL IN LOVE. I was wrong, y’all. I was wrong.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Please allow me to slow clap Sara Zarr. I think she’s my main new-to-me author whose work I just wanted to devour. I was so, so thankful she had several books I could read after I discovered How to Save a Life. She’s the best!

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

Hands down This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. I thought, “Zombies?! Eww.” But I read it anyway because Courtney is amazing and she certainly didn’t let me down.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is ah-mazing. I couldn’t even put my thoughts into words to write a review for this one. Every time I tried, I failed. I did meet her this year and that was the icing on the cake! 

veronica rossi in austin at book people

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

I’m not a huge rereader, but I will probably be rereading Pandemonium, Shatter Me, and Insurgent (and basically any other prequel book) to make sure I remember the endings well enough to move onto the next book with no confusion. I discovered re-reading is a very beneficial tool when there’s tons of time between releases!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

Even though I didn’t love this book, the cover is still absolutely gorgeous: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour.

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

A from Every Day by David Levithan definitely left an imprint. Sid’s personality in What Happens Next was one of my favorites; I loved her snark and sass.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

book review for How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Oh, brother. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure choosing the right one(s). How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr left me stunned. I am not a person who writes down quotes when she reads, but I wanted to highlight the whole book.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

One Pink Line by Dina Silver was a book that made me so, so thankful for my life. It’s brought my mom and I even closer. Live Through This by Mindi Scott was also a really powerful read. There were moments I almost put it down because it was so intense, but dang. So good.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

Good gosh, that would have to be Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I was *gasping* for air when I finished the final pages of this book. I loved it so, so much!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

“. . .There are certain people who come into your life, and leave a mark. . . Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business. Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless.” — from Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

(Don’t you just want to read that book now? Yes? DO IT!)

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 

Longest: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, 528 pages
Shortest: Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, 198 pages

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Oh! That would most definitely be the ending of Pandemonium. Or the ending of Insurgent. Both of those were like, “WAIT! WHAT JUST HAPPENED? ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I had to find my phone and start texting friends.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Can we just talk about Cinder and Kai for a moment? How amazing are they?! And, um, Rose and Will in The Survival Kit were so perfectly paired. Ay yi yi. Loved them! In Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, I LOVED the relationship between Grams and Chloe.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously:

Speechless by Hannah Harrington. Hannah is such a powerful writer. I love that she can do something pretty bold with a character (like making them choose to stop speaking) and creatively write their story.

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

Mandee at VeganYANerds gifted me I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry when we did a book swap earlier this year. It’s an Aussie book and Mandee had highly recommended it. The storyline is fairly simple, but the writing is spot on. I want more of Pip’s work!

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 

I ADORE Lisa at Lisa is Busy Nerding. Lisa and I are newer friends and I’m oh-so-thankful to get to know this awesome lady! Melissa at Writer Grrl Reads is one of the sweetest, kindest ladies I think deserves way more attention. (It’s really hard for me to narrow this down. I follow TONS and TONS of blogs in Google Reader and I wish I could give a shout out to every one of you.)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 

My review for Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo was really difficult for me to write because the book exceeded my expectations. The writing was so amazing that I didn’t know how to do the book justice. I’m really happy with what I finally was able to put together though.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Hmm. By comment count, this probably doesn’t seem like much since there are only 5 comments, but I was so happy to know there were people who struggled alongside me with balancing life (jobs, husbands, etc.) with blogging. I wrote about my biggest challenge in 2012: balance.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Goodness. It’s hard to pinpoint just one of her discussions, but Kelly at Radiant Shadows does a fantastic job with discussions. Every week, I feel like she has something new and though-provoking to say!

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

This was the year that my mind exploded because of bookish awesomeness. I went to ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual, both fantastic events where I got to meet some INCREDIBLE people. TLA was in Houston, TX and I went to that event as well. I have gone to a handful of signings at Book People and Barnes and Noble in Austin that have left me wanting more one-on-one time with the authors because they all have such unique things to share about their books. Every one of those events and every single opportunity I had to meet an author, book friend, or publisher, I was left a little star struck. 2012 was absolutely amazing!

Ginger and me at TLA, Houston, TX

Veronica Roth and me with the signed copy of Insurgent! I don’t know how I didn’t pass out from excitement…

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

I’ve really been trying not to repeat the same book titles over and over, but if you’ve followed our blog or twitter throughout this year, you know my mad/crazy love for Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. I was involved in lots of tweets/discussions asking people what they thought of it and pleading with people to read it ASAP. I met Morgan at TLA right before its release and got an ARC of the book. About two months later, at ALA Annual, I was walking down an aisle and Morgan was walking toward me. Of course I recognized who SHE was, but I had NO idea she would know who I was. When she walked up by me and said, “Oh my goodness! Magan!” and hugged me, I almost fell on the floor.

Morgan Matson. Knew. Who. I. Was.

Let me state that this is not me getting a big head or anything. It’s simply due to the fact that Morgan was also @ mentioned in all the tweet discussions and probably saw my face popping up in her interactions feed more than she would ever want to.

This was hands down one of the most amazing moments of my LIFE. Also, Morgan is one of the sweetest/kindest people. Can we be BFFs in real life, please?

morgan matson at texas library association conference in houston, tx

^^I was very much blushing when I met Morgan at TLA.


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

One of the most popular posts that I’ve personally written was my Bookish Gift Suggestions for the Non-Reader (or New to YA Reader).

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Oh.. hmm. I wish every post had a little bit more love, but I just hope that we’ll continue to grow and interact with more people!:)

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

Yikes. I should probably say something like.. my credit card.. because I’ve purchased so many books this year, but I would have to say that conferences and signings have really just opened my eyes to the book-world in a whole new way.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

My reading goal was 115 books and I’m currently reading my 100th. I don’t think I’ll make that goal this year, but it’s okay. I read a lot of amazing things this year and am really looking forward to so, so much next year!


Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

After reading Jen and Carla’s End of Year Survey post, Carla convinced me Melina Marchetta’s Lumatere Chronicles series needs to be pushed to the top of my reading pile.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Honestly, I’m scared/nervous/excited for Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I cannot believe the series is almost over (and oh, will I mourn it), but I NEED TO KNOW where Lauren is taking us! How does Lena’s story end?!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

One thing I’ve realized this month is that it’s okay to not always be perfectly on schedule or to always have a review go live. Estelle and I planned to let December be a more relaxed month for us, to post when we want to or do themed-holiday posts. It’s been so incredibly fun to think outside the box. I want to allow myself to do that more in 2013. To have more freedom to actually post all the crazy ideas that are in my head.

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Looking back at Last Year: 2011 End of Year Survey

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I wanted to take a moment to say thank  you to each and every one of you that have stopped by our blog this year. Thank you to the friends who have shared books with me (whether that be a recommendation or dropping one in the mail for me to borrow). Thank you for your comments, your tweets, your goodreads comments, your emails, etc., etc.. All of it. I have made some amazing, supportive, incredible friends in this community throughout the last year and I’m so overwhelmed by that. Estelle and I are so honored that anyone would want to pick up a book because of us. We are so touched when you reach out and want to get to know us beyond the book reviews. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

2012 has been so incredible. I cannot wait to see what happens next year. So many thanks go to Estelle for being the kindest, hardest working blog partner and friend a girl could ask for. Thank you for every single post you’ve written and every word of mine you’ve edited. 

Here’s to 2013!

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