Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 End of the Year Book Survey!

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? 
Is this a trick question? Really? ONE BOOK? Yup...I'm going to just cheat! ;) 

Australian Contemporary: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
YA Contemporary: Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard 
Urban Fantasy: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews & Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. 
YA Fantasy: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Dystopian/Futuristic: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Paranormal Fantasy: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Post-Apocalyptic: Angelfall by Susan Ee
Adult Romance: Tempt Me at Twilight by Julie Klepas & Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I hate to say it, but...Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. Cashore is my favorite author EVER. Fire is a novel I love practically more than Harry Potter itself and Graceling too is a book I just keep re-reading, so when I heard Bitterblue was releasing this year, I was BEYOND excited. I pre-ordered the novel and it now just gathers dust in my attic because I was so disappointed by it. It had the potential to be great, but Cashore's flawless execution was just...off. I still love her though and would probably kill to meet her... I also follow her blog religiously and she watches Indian movies! AND her favorite Indian actor is MY favorite Indian actor! :D It doesn't seem like much, but when you have similarities with your favorite author, it's a BIG DEAL. 
3. Most Surprising (in a GOOD way!) Book of 2012? 
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, hands down. I wasn't even planning to pick this one up, but the cover was so beautiful, so I figured I'd give it a go and...next thing you know, I was in tears. Seriously, this book was amazing! I can't watch Peter Pan the same way again, but in the best possible way. SO much love for this book!
 4. Book You Recommended to People Most in 2012?
Hmm...I'd say Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley because it was SO GOOD, Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard because it took my breath away and made me FEEL, and EVERYTHING written by Melina Marchetta because she is a Goddess. I kid you not. 
 5. Best Series You Discovered in 2012?
Uhh...The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning because BARRONS is so freaking hot amazing, The Kate Daniels Series because Kate & Curran are perfect for each other, The Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane because TERRIBLE is so, so, SO perfect, Sloppy Firsts because MARCUS FLUTIE and of course, all the new series that started this year and are bound to be amazing. (Such as, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, which I can already tell you, has a great follow-up novel since Through the Ever Night is AWESOME. Also, this list includes awesome-sauce-icle books like The Diviners, Unspoken, Sevenwaters, Angelfall, Seraphina, Ruby Oliver, Something Strange and Deadly and yes, I know I am TOTALLY cheating!) 
 6. Favorite New Authors You Discovered in 2012?
Melina Marchetta - I wound up reading ALL her books this year and loving them ALL. Gosh, can this woman write! I can't think of one book of hers that hasn't received a 5 Star Rating from me... Yup, she's just THAT good. 
Juliet Marillier - I wound up receiving an ARC of Shadowfell, but before that, I'd never even heard of Marillier. Needless to say, I've read three of her books by now and intend to read all of them next year because I just LOVE her fantasy books. Yet another author who is both skilled in creating realistic characters and slow-burn romances. 
Megan Whalen Turner - Yet another fantasy author I just discovered this year, read all her books, and fell in LOVE. I can't recommend Turner's The Queen's Thief  Series enough. Although the first book isn't all that mind-blowing, I promise you, the next two novels are phenomenal and took my breath away with their brilliance and depth. Turner's novels have made their way into my heart, so I'm so glad I discovered her and plowed through her first novel to finally read some her truly brilliant works. 

Hannah Harrington - I first read Saving June by her and I loved it. It's one of my all-time favorite road-trip/contemporary romances, but Harrington blew me away, once again, with her sophomore novel, Speechless. While I didn't enjoy Speechless as much as I did Saving June, it was still an INCREDIBLE novel. I can't recommend Harrington enough...she writes unlikable protagonists who are SO realistic and makes you love them by the end of her books. I can't wait for her third novel now!
7. Best Book That Was Out of Your Comfort Zone Or Was a New Genre For You?
I'd have to say Split by Swati Avasthi. It was a tough book to read, simply because the subject matter dealt with domestic violence, but it was such a beautiful, touching, and heart-wrenching read. I loved it and really can't recommend it enough. Even now, months after having read it, I have no words to describe its sheer brilliance. 
 8. Most Thrilling Book in 2012?
Umm...I really don't read that many page-turners. I'm one of those crazy people who likes slow-burning novels, but I guess I'd say Angelfall by Susan Ee, Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, or Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. 
 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
EVERYTHING! (Kidding!) I'm definitely planning to re-read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater since I need to read it again before the sequel releases. I'm also planning to re-read The Diviners by Libba Bray since it was WAY too much fun, Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard because I have so much love for that book, and likely The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna because I'm just going to hope she writes a sequel or companion novel. I've already re-read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner this year, so I can assure you that they get ever better upon re-read and yes, John Green still made me sob the second time I read the novel I lost my John Green Virginity to. I also desperately want to re-read Heart's Blood and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. I can't fully wrap my mind around their truly amazing qualities yet. 
10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2012?
Not surprisingly, two of my favorite covers this year were Australian Covers. Since they're not available in the US, however, I'll cheat and post them and then cheat again and post my two favorite US Covers! ;) 

I think the reason I love these covers as much as I do is because they're all so beautiful, eye-catching, and still manage to stay relevant to the novel. Queen of the Night is so ethereally beautiful, like the book itself, and the Aussie Cover for The Piper's Son is a breathtaking image that captures the bittersweet tone of the novel perfectly, all while making you want to never look away from it. North of Beautiful is pretty in its simplicity and the outline of a compass, which is ideal for the story, and Tiger Lily, of course, needs no explanation. I doubt I've seen a more beautiful font or contrast of color on a cover in a very long time. Also, in case you had a doubt, yes, these are all four more favorites from this year. I am such a cheater... ;)
11. Most Memorable Character in 2012? 
....I'm supposed to CHOOSE? Well...I guess Evie from The Diviners because she's so different, kick-ass, and unique, but I also LOVED Jessica Darling from Sloppy Firsts, Francesca from Saving Francesca, and Amelia from Good Oil. OH, and Seraphina from Seraphina. ALSO, Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest because she is one of the strongest and most inspirational characters I've come across. 
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2012?
EASY! Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. If you're not inhaling the words and swooning over the beauty of the prose in this novel, I don't know what's wrong with you. It's BEAUTIFUL! Also, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm telling you, this novel has the most underlined passages EVER. It's just...gorgeous. As is The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan which is simply stunning in its prose. 
13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2012? 
Since we're all pretending I haven't been cheating all this time, I'm just going to go ahead and cheat again! ;) 
Aussie Contemporary: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. I know this isn't Marchetta's best work, but it had the greatest impact on me for sure. Somehow, I could relate to Frankie so well and her blooming friendships, changing relationships with her family, and just struggles while growing were so beautifully written that I actually did sob my eyes out when I read this...I can't explain why, but it spoke to me somehow. 
Sci-Fi/Dystopian: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna. I couldn't get this book out of my head. It was moving, touching, and beautiful beyond belief. A definite must-read. I can't even go on to talk about it because it was such a deeply emotional read. LOVE. 
Fantasy: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. I discovered Marillier this year and have never been so happy. DotF is exquisitely written and it's one of my favorites, mostly because of its compelling heroine, Sorcha. I can't even put into words my love and admiration for her, not to mention what an inspiration she is. Also, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is AMAZING. I cried in this one too, so you can tell it affected me a LOT. Seraphina is one of my favorite characters EVER! :)

YA Contemporary: Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard spoke VOLUMES to me. Bria's journey was a breathtaking one, full of self-discovery, slow-burn romance, and realistic hurdles that all truly struck a cord within me. I also have to mention Gayle Forman's If I Stay and Where She Went which made me think and reflect and shed tears and, of course, Sloppy Firsts which is practically a diary of my own life, not Jessica Darling's. 
 14. Book You Can't Believe You Waited UNTIL 2012 to Finally Read? 
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen: I feel like Sarah Dessen is an author everyone had read back in middle school...except me. I was never into contemporary, but after loving The Truth About Forever, I decided to give this one a shot and...it's my favorite Sarah Dessen novel yet. Sure, I've only read three of them, but I've re-read this one quite a few times already and can't get enough of it. I seriously can't believe it took me this long to pick it up! 
 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
When I first read this question, all I could think was, "I don't know." Well, then I went through my favorite quotes on GoodReads and all my favorite books, and now I can't pick just one or two...I need to pick ten. I did my best though, so, without further ado, the most breath-takingly beautiful quotes I've read this year:

"Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we're only what we've done and what we are going to do." ~ Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson 

"He would have told her - he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart. You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping. You are - you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath." ~Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," he said fiercely.” ~ Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

“But she stepped forward and placed a finger to his lips and there it was before him. The greatest prayer to the gods he could muster with a heart so broken. Don't let me outlive this woman. Don't let me exist one moment without her.” ~Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

“And through all the misery, she said that some of us in this lifetime experience a moment of beauty beyond reckoning. I asked her what that was, and she said, "If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll know it when you see it. You'll understand why the gods have made you suffer. Because that moment's reward will make your knees weak and everything you've suffered in life will pale in comparison.” ~Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

“'Our bodies aren't strangers,' he said, his voice ragged. 'Our spirits aren't strangers.' He held her face in his hands. 'Tell me what part of me is stranger to you and I'll destroy that part of me.'
And she wept to hear his words.” ~Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Longest: The Diviners by Libba Bray. I'd be surprised if there was anything longer than this out there! ;) 
Shortest: A Straight Line to My Heart by Bill Condon. Yes, this was short, but it also packed so much punch into it and was incredible, so I loved it! 
 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.) 
Unspoken's ending, without a doubt. Luckily, I did talk about it with Rachel and Sam, otherwise I might have gone crazy. I also felt the need to desperately talk to someone about Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz because it was SO surprisingly brilliant that I wanted to dissect its incredible-ness. It took me completely by surprise as it's so unknown, but so, SO good. 
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Friendship: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Gosh, this whole book is devoted to one of the most heart-warming friendships I've read and it made me sob, but it is SO perfect and wonderful and GOOD. 
Romance: ...TOO MANY! I'd probably go with Kate & Curran since these two had so many cute swoon-worthy moments, as did Aria and Perry. I re-read Bria and Rowan's slow-burn romance in Wanderlove all the time though and the relationship between Gen and Attolia in The King of Attolia is so complex in its beauty. Not to mention ALL the romances in Juliet Marillier's novels, Poppy and Harry's romance in Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas, and the romance between J.D. and Payton in Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James. If you want my full list, just check out my GoodReads Shelf HERE. I'm telling you, there are WAY too many good ones! :)
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
The Diviners by Libba Bray and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. It surprises me how many new authors I've tried this year since really, most of the books I read this past were all new or I read the first novel and the sequel both this year itself, like with Blood Red Road by Moira Young, but Bray's and Brennan's work I'm familiar with and their novels this year definitely did not disappoint. 
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier is another fantasy favorite, recommended to me by Leanne and I adored it. Excellent! I also read I've Got Your Number on recommendation from my friend Inge, who is a Sophie Kinsella fan, and I fell in love with it completely! Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier was recommended to me by Heidi, who, by the way, is solely responsible for my huge TBR-Pile. I know I read House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier and The Kate Daniels Series on her recommendation too. Maja was also responsible for that recommendation, along with The Scorpio Races which I just LOVED. Devyani, another friend of mine from GoodReads, recommended Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James to me, which wound up being my favorite Julie James novel and it's a romance I know I'll re-read many, many times in my life. 

Looking Ahead…

 1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis. I actually traded a book for an ARC of this one and I'm really looking forward to picking it up next year, along with The Griffin Mage Trilogy by Rachel Neumeier since I adored her newest novel, House of Shadows, immensely. 
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
Just One Day by Gayle Forman. If the world ends this month, I will be SO PISSED OFF because I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! It's GAYLE FORMAN! AAAHHH! 

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
Uhh...make more blogging friends, attend a book signing/author event, meet more bloggers in person, possibly attend BEA, start up some more new features and...stop writing so many black sheep reviews since I hate practically all the hyped-up novels you can think of. (Yes, I really did NOT like Cinder or The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer or Unearthly. I don't know what's wrong with me! :/ Also, I just realized the question said ONE thing and I cheated on that too...oh, dear!)

A huge thanks to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for putting together this survey! It made my life just about a million times easier since I'm terrible at ranking novels! (As you can see from all my cheating!) What are some of your favorite novels of the year?? 


  1. So basically. YES to everything! I like that you put Australian contemp (I should have done that! And you've read all of Marchetta's works?!) I was gonna put Bitterblue on my list but I decided to go with Easy. I gave Bitterblue a 4.5 but Easy got a 2...so yeah. Great survey girl! And first comment!

  2. I've seen graffiti moon at my library, so I might have to pick that up! Great post :)
    ~ Ruby @ http://feedmebooksnow.blogspot.co.uk

  3. Merry Christmas Keertana!! I hope you enjoy the presents your Secret Santa got for you :D.

    Yay for Wanderlove and The Raven Boys! They both my list! Oh and Cinder made it on there too lol. I still haven't gotten around to read The Piper's Son, but I will soon!

    Have a Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2013 :)

  4. Ohh! Awesome list :D Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3 Sigh. Best books. The Scorpio Races was just so perfect. <3 Also loved Seraphina so so much :D
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  5. It is ridiculously sad the number of books I haven't read that you've gushed about Keertana!! I seriously have to get my hands on ALL of these books. I remember picking up the first book of Megan Whale Turner's series, The Thief, but I don't think I continued on with the series. This will be remedied in 2013 for sure! I've only heard endless gushing about this series from multiple people, including you, so it MUST be good.

    Also, confession: I haven't read anything my Melina Marchetta yet. *hides face* It is absolutely going to happen sometime! I'll have to see if my library has any of her books. Which would you recommend that I try out first?

    I agree about Bitterblue, that was definitely underwhleming for me. I am a HUGE fan of Graceling and Fire, and was pretty disappointed by Bitterblue, which I just expected to be better than it was, although I did enjoy it. I was just expecting something a little better, especially because I basically stalked ALA Midwinter just to get my hands on an ARC of it.

    So many books I need to pick up! I have an e-copy of Angelfall, my sister read and loved it, and has been pushing it on me ever since. I think I may make it my first book of 2013, actually. =) I'm also super happy you enjoyed Under the Never Sky. I read that one right before 2012, and I am still in love with it. So fantastic! And I'm so excited to hear Through the Ever Night is even better. :D

    Fabulous list Keertana! You absolutely MUST go to an author signing or event of some sort, they are unbelievably fun. Meeting authors is like the coolest thing ever, although it's really difficult not to completely fangirl.

    I can't wait to read more of your reviews in 2013 Keertana! Your blog, by far, is my favorite that I've discovered this year, and I look forward to seeing more of your reviews and posts in the future. =)

  6. *winces at insanely long comment* Um, I think I need to learn how to tone down my excitement. That comment could be a post on its own. =P

  7. We don't always have the same taste in books (I loved those hyped up books you hated and DNF'd The Scorpio Races) but I have a decent idea of whether its my kind of book or not and if its one you loved and one I think I would like I always add it to my list and I was reminded that holy crap, I have added loads of books to my pile on your recommendation! I haven't read them all yet but I know many of the fantasy books might just end up on my favorites list...
    Loved this post!

  8. I just love tha you loved The Scorpio Races as much as you did, it's really unforgettable. I've started The Storyteller but could never quite force myself to keep reading, so I got stuck at pg. 100 or so. It's just so dark, dark, dark, much darker than, say, Sanctum. Hopefully I'll grow a backbone soon and pick it back up.
    And the quotes you chose are just wonderfu. The last one from Quintana ripped my heart to pieces. I just love them both.

  9. So glad to see you give lots of love to Saving Francesca! I know a lot of people don't really like it or don't bother even finishing it and that makes me sad.

    Also yay for mentioning the friendship in Code Name Verity - KISS ME QUICK!

    And you might go to BEA?!! Me too, maybe!! I'll be over in the USA at that time so yay, i hope we both go!

  10. p.s I dislike a lot of the hyped up, 5 star books this year too (and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer... I'm holding back on posting my review :/ )

  11. Okay this post just excited/frustrated me because it means I have to a ton of new books to my TBR. BUT I also agree with you about anything on this list that I've also read. I can't believe that you read THE QUEEN'S THIEF series this year too. I've just started aCoK and enjoying. And I'm feeling the same way that you are about JUST ONE DAY. LOVE these posts. If I find some time I'll do one too.

  12. Oh my gosh Keertana, I ADORE this post! So many of my favourites are included in this too. :) Saving Francesca is one of my all-time favourites, I loved Wanderlove, the Fever series (*fans self*), Heart's Blood, Speechless, The Piper's Son, North of Beautiful, Just Listen...

    Also, I'm reading Angelfall tomorrow and I'm SOOO excited (can't believe I haven't read it yet!) I expect to love it - no pressure on you, book.

    One day, I plan to pick up Daughter of the Forest again. I swear I will, since it was just a book at the wrong time sort of thing, and I do recall the utterly gorgeous writing. :)

    Lastly, the quotes you shared are spectacular. :) The writing in Tiger Lily especially made me swoon... some of the passages I just wanted to eat up.

    Sorry for the mini saga, btw ;)

  13. Clearly I need to read both the Fever and Kate Daniels series - I need more UF in my life and you ranked them so highly.
    I love those Shadow and Bone and Daughter of the Forest quotes! Both so romantic! <3
    And I need to get on reading more Melina Marchetta.
    Lots of great suggestions in your list here - definitely adding a bunch to my TBR list!

  14. I already loved your reading your reviews, Keertana, but I think I just fell in love a little more with your blog after seeing your survey. I can tell we're going to be good blogging buddies by seeing names like Megan Whalen Turner, Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman and titles like Wanderlove and Angelfall :)

  15. It's so great to see a lot of my favorites up in there! I completely agree, Melina Marchetta is a GODDESS. The wait for Quintana has been torture.

    I'm sad to hear about Bitterblue.. I loved Graceling and Fire as well but haven't had the chance to start on Bitterblue.

    I also loved Maggie's novel especially The Scorpio Races! The Raven Boys was pretty exciting too. You have some favorites that I haven't read yet like The Diviners and Karen Marie Moning's books. They're on my wishlist so hopefully I'd be able to have them on my shelf by next year. :) Btw, if you haven't read Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy, I highly recommend that you do!

  16. Awww, sad day that you didn't like Bitterblue. Cashore is one of my favorites as well and while I really liked Bitterblue, I kind of see why you didn't since it's definitely way different than Fire and Graceling. I think it was a miss for quite a few of her fans.

  17. Gosh, I don't know how I missed this post last month! December is CRAZY at my house is my only explanation, sorry!

    So first off I LOVE that you give Australian Contemp. it's OWN category! Right there with you on that (and on you choice of Saving Francesca:)

    Next, I love your comment about your John Green Virginity because that it just TOO funny. Everyone needs to lose their John Green Virginity like yesterday:)

    Totes agree on Days of Blood & Starlight and The Scorpio Races being the most beautifully written books! I'm totally stuck and having a hard time reviewing Days because the book is just so PERFECT.

    And your Quintana quotes gave me GOOSEBUMPS and made me want to go re-read my copy:)

    LOVE your year end review Keertana! So glad we met this year and became bloggy friends:)


I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.