Saturday, January 31, 2015

I Like Romance And I'm PROUD Of It

So here's a messed up truth for you: I'm ashamed to tell people I read romance novels. It's something I don't like to admit because I know there is NOTHING to be ashamed and yet...

scenario #1. 

It was this situation that really inspired me to write this post. Let me set the scene for you: lunch at school. I had finished eating the sandwich/pizza I probably had and decided to take out my Kobo to read since socializing with my friends during lunch isn't something I like to do that much, strangely. But my friend asks me what I'm reading. It was Crash Into You by Katie McGarry which as you may know is a romance novel. So I start to blush and explain to her that it's a book called Crash Into You, that it is a romance but instead of just leaving it at that, I start running myself in circles wanting to make it seem less pathetic that I'm reading a romance novel, I guess. And then things get a little bit awkward. I launch into something about how it's romance but "obviously not erotica" and then ramble on about something else and TAKE IT FROM ME, it was just a straight nightmare. Really embarrassing. And only just the tip of the iceberg.

scenario #2.

It's interesting how clearly I remember this moment even though it happened back in like August and is seriously just a teeny little thing. Not something that you'd think would be ingrained in my mind forever. (Which speaking of, works in a really unusual way. Someone should write a thesis about how I manage to remember such unimportant details like this and not the fact that I have a midterm in a week which I probably should do better to remember so I can get started on it...) It was really just an innocent comment, definitely not something to get so annoyed by. But of course, this is me we're talking about, someone who tends to be EXTREMELY irrational with her emotions.

I was at Indigo with a friend and we were talking about books we'd recently read. All my friend had said was that she had just finished The Glass Castle and did I know what it was and that she ended up enjoying surprisingly AND that she thought I should read it because it was a really good book even though "it wasn't romance so I know you might not be interested in it".

And this bugged me SO MUCH at the time. If I'm being honest, it still does bug me a bit. For the same reason. There were so many things I wanted to say then, all of them horrible and mean and an overreaction. I wanted to scream YES IN FACT I DO KNOW WHAT THE GLASS CASTLE IS and I PROBABLY READ MORE BOOKS AND KNOW MORE ABOUT THEM THAN YOU and I DON'T JUST LIKE ROMANCE and I HATE THAT YOU THINK THAT and YOU DON'T KNOW ME. The need to be prideful is probably one of my worst traits, up there with my irrational emotional states. I don't like that I think these things and I tried my best to block things like this out but for the sake of honesty... The labeling of me as a solely romance-novel reader got to me again. And though I didn't say all those things out loud, I do still feel a LOT guilty for thinking them. Because it wasn't my friend's fault. I shouldn't be pissed at her. And honestly it was such a non-issue, it shouldn't even have stirred up any reaction. It was totally ME and my problem with the fact that people think I only read romance novels that caused me to get upset. Which is dumb. I know it's dumb.

I could continue for days with these types of stories but I think you get the idea. I'm ashamed that I like romance.

On this blog, that's not really a thing I try to hide. I DO love romance and contemporaries and I think I make that really clear here. But offline, with my friends and everyone else, it becomes something I try to hide. Something I avoid being labelled as. And why? Is it because I think they're going to be less understanding? No. Is it because I think they're going to make fun of me? No. Because my friends aren't like that/won't do that.

So what's with me? I mean, I do know that it's all my own mentality but there's something to be said about society's perception of romance as well. Just look at the fact that the term "chick lit" exists. And that it has a reputation of being low-par writing that serves the sole purpose of brainless entertainment. What's up with THAT? How come there's this idea that romance novels are bad? And not valuable pieces of literature?

In the end, I know that that doesn't excuse my mentality. But it's something that I like to ponder about. How the romance genre, at least to me, seems to be treated so differently in comparison to other genres. And you know, I'm not going to be ashamed to admit that I read romance any more and that I love it too. Because there's nothing to be ashamed about. And the people who make you/me feel like there is are judgmental assholes.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ROMANCE. And I need to quit feeling like there is. So the next time someone asks about the romance novel I'm reading, I'm going to tell them ALL about its awesomeness. No despite the fact it's a romance. Nothing of that sort. Just that it's plain AWESOME.

Unless it's actually bad then you know... you get my point!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bookish Radar (8): 2015 YA Debut Edition!

As a book blogger, my bookish radar is always on. I'm constantly hearing about titles of books and while some of them don't particularly interest me, others so do. These are the books that I currently have my eyes on. I WILL READ THEM IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO. Inspired by On the Smugglers' Radar @ The Book Smugglers and Waiting on Wednesday @ Breaking the Spine

The last Bookish Radar post I did, I featured four books from a specific genre and I liked that idea so much that I decided to do it again but this time, with four debut YA novels set to come out this year. I haven't been keeping up really closely with what's slated to be released this year but from the few that have made it to me either through Goodreads or Twitter or other blogs, I have a feeling that 2015 will be a fantastic year. Already, I'm seeing so many unique and original ideas and I can only imagine what else is out there that I haven't yet found. So here's to 2015 and the wonderful new authors about to make their debut!

Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott
Expected release date: June 19, 2015

Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.
Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.

Maybe it is sick for me to say this but I find teacher-student relationships incredibly interesting. I probably have Pretty Little Liars to thank for this, making Aria and Ezra look so cute at times that it almost makes me forget about how utterly strange and uncomfortable a teacher-student relationship in reality would be. But that reality is sorta exactly why I want to read this book? I am so interested to see how Alcott will explore this dynamic especially since the blurb hints at the fact that there might be someone else besides Charlie who likes Mr. Drummond? Which practically tells you that SOMETHING BIG is about to go down. So Even When You Lie to Me is definitely on my I'm-Watching-You list and I'm marking June 19 on my calendar to remind myself to go get it that day!

Released January 22, 2015

If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?

Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.

Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is plagued by traumatic memories of his war-torn past.
Kaya would do anything to feel physical pain, but a rare condition called CIP keeps her numb.
Ellen can’t remember who she was before she started doing drugs.
Kit lost his girlfriend in a car accident and now he just can’t shake his newfound fear of death.

When they trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it’s only an exercise.

But in the morning, they wake to find their burdens gone…and replaced with someone else’s.

As the reality of the ritual unfolds, this unlikely group of five embarks on a week of beautiful, terrifying experiences that all culminate in one perfect truth: In the end, your soul is stronger than your burdens.

Freaky Friday was probably one of my favourite movies when I was younger so I have to say that I do love a switcheroo. And judging from the synopsis, this book has a switcheroo that I will really be into. I love this idea of these five characters with their own personal and difficult burdens that they then sorta share with each other? And I think this idea will only be more interesting because of the vast array of characters in this book. I'm really intrigued to see how the story plays out and I have a feeling that I'll end up having a serious life-pondering moment afterwards. And I didn't know it was out already but now that I do know, I'm definitely making a trip to get a copy!

Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian
Expected release date: June 2, 2015

Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.

In reality, I don't like drama. As in I do like plays and musicals very much but don't have the talent or the guts to go up and perform myself. Maybe that shouldn't be an excuse as to why I don't join my school's stage production but anyway, I much prefer living through books or movies and in this case, through Rachel! I don't know anything about this book other than what's been said in the blurb and while admittedly that wouldn't be enough to pull me in typically because it sounds a little typical, who knows? Maybe I'll end up being surprised.

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Released Janaury 6, 2015

Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls. 

Gabe can't imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared.           

My mum and I make a habit of watching the figure skating season every year. It's not really something I'm interested in as much as it is hers but it's become a habit over time. It's just not winter if there's no skating programs on, you know? So that's part of my attraction to this book. The other part is that I saw Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canadian ice dance duo extraordinaires!) speak at a conference and their story about how they made it to where they are was so inspiring and really gave new light to the sport for me. So I'm interested in reading this book just to see how the skating aspect is dealt with and the idea of friendship and romance.

That concludes my Bookish Radar for this month. Tell me in the comments if a) you've read any of these books and what you thought if you did, b) if there are any 2015 debuts that you've read/heard about that you think I need to put on my TBR and c) what other books you've been eyeing recently! Chat with me!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Getting Back on Track

Nearly one month in 2015 and so far? It hasn't been looking good. I vent a lot on this blog about how bad I am at a blogger that it probably gets really annoying. Even I am starting to get annoyed by how many times I bring it up.

Like, okay we get it. Now please SHUT UP.

And I will shut up. I am shutting up. This post is not going to be another sob story about how I just can't get my shit together. This post is going to be about how despite the fact that I can't seem to get my shit together, I will push through and get back on track with this blog.

Because I love blogging, I really do and I've come to realize that my lack of blogging isn't due to a lack of passion for it. Every time I look at my Feedly and see those 100+ blog posts waiting for me to read, I feel a zip of excitement. And I feel excited when I really relate to a post and when a blogger makes me laugh and when I come up with a really interesting idea for a post. So the point is, I'm not done with blogging. I still love it. That's not the problem.

The problem is that I'm not doing anything. And I knew that. But I still didn't do anything. And now? I'm going to do something. I know that nothing is ever going to change if I just sit here and wait for inspiration to strike. Because it's not a lack of inspiration I have, it's a lack of action. It's sitting by passively knowing that the problem lies with myself and still deciding to wait and wait for a magical gust of I-will-make-you-a-better-blogger powder to just blow by me and make me a better blogger.

That's not going to happen. That's never going to happen. So I'm not going to sit by anymore and wait. I didn't start blogging by sitting by and waiting and I'm sure not going to let myself slip into this passivity any longer. I'm going to start blogging again and get back on track.

Which is really what this post is all about. Getting back on track. Which is hard to do especially when you've slipped so far from the road and have continued to do so for so long. You can never stop doing something for like ten months and then expect to pick it up again and be at the same stage you were before. That time you wasted will always be a ginormous step back. And it's going to take more time to get back to where you were and I acknowledge that. I acknowledge that it's going to be a hard road back to where I was just because I haven't been great with my blogging for so long. I'm no longer used to blogging more than once a week and sometimes even once every two weeks. I used to be so amazed by bloggers who blogged every day but now I can't even fathom blogging three or four days a week like I used to. But no matter how hard it might be, I am committed to this blog and I will make it happen.

I really want 2015 to be a year of change for me. I don't want to continue doing what I did in 2014. I'm going to start taking action again. And even if it only starts out to be a little planning here and two blog posts every ten days or so, I'm going to do it. And slowly, slowly hopefully I'll work my way back up.

So wish me luck you guys and make sure I keep to my promise!

Friday, January 16, 2015

December 2014 Wrap Up

So I know I said I would stop doing these in lieu of actual reviews but man is it hard to get back on the reviewing wagon when you've fallen so far behind. WILL WORK ON IT. But for now, here are the books I read in December. Which was a pretty good reading month! I managed to finish eight books.

Completed December 2, 2014
So after putting it off for nearly half a year, I finally got to Isla and the Happily Ever After. And honestly, I don't know what I was so scared about because Isla was everything I had hoped for and more. I loved that Stephanie Perkins explored a different type of relationship (though truthfully, the beginning of Josh and Isla's relationship was a little underdeveloped for me). I loved how Perkins' writing seemed to mature and I loved Kurt, Isla's best friend! He was really such a bright spot for me in this book, especially when Isla and Josh were being so overly melodramatic. That was really the only thing that I didn't like about the book but in comparison to everything else, it's a pretty small thing.

How to Be A Canadian by Will and Ian Ferguson
3 out of 5 stars
Completed December 7, 2014
It's always been funny to me to think about just how many Canadian stereotypes there are and things we do that other people don't. It makes us stand out from the crowd with our uniqueness! And this book was rather unique too. I enjoyed it a lot though there were some jokes that I didn't get at all which is why I find it a little weird how one person wrote in their review how you don't necessarily have to be Canadian to read it. Sure, you don't but you probably also won't get a lot of the references. But yeah, really funny overall. I think the capital of New Brunswick was my favourite because TRUTH.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
4 out of 5 stars
Completed December 14, 2014
Everything I could ever want from this book - a fun summery read that would get me excited about reading again - I got. And in many ways I thought it was even better than My Life Next Door. I really loved Gwen as a main character and Cass was fantastic. The setting was also really well written; I felt like I was transported to the island with all the characters and let me tell you, in the middle of winter, that is a pretty great thought! See my review for more!

Frostbite by Richelle Mead
4 out of 5 stars
Completed December 22, 2014
OH MY GOD. THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY SERIES IS SO GOOD. Another fabulous read for me! There was a good chunk of time since I read the first book but it was so easy to get back into the world of Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir who were as awesome as I remembered! I loved how much higher the stakes were in this book and the DIMITRI X ROSE SCENES WERE AMAZING. Though the Adrian and Rose scenes were pretty great too! The only thing was the ending was a bit rushed for me and the fight scene was strange to say the least. But oh my god, this was so good.

Completed December 22, 2014
This is a novella that I found on Richelle's site that takes place at the beginning of the first book when Dimitri first meets Rose as he goes to fetch her and Lissa to go back to the vampire academy but it's told from Dimitri's point of view. Honestly, it didn't really do much for me but it was also only three pages so it wasn't as if it was such a huge waste of time. And I mean, it was still interesting to be able to get into Dimtiri's head and there were some interesting bits but nothing particularly revelational. 

Completed December 24, 2014
I've already talked about this book so much that I don't think there's anything left for me to say that I haven't mentioned yet. John Branch did a wonderful job researching and writing an incredibly touching story with a great three-dimensional portrayal of Boogaard. It made me think a lot about the sports landscape and particularly the hockey one and whether fighting is worth all the consequences. But it also really got me thinking about all these athletes and how crazy dedicated they are to their sport. That's something I probably will never understand but it was an interesting thought. See more in my review!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
3 out of 5 stars
Completed December 26, 2014
If I Stay was just a ball of surprises for me. I was surprised at how short it was. I was surprised by the route the narration took. I was surprised by the flashbacks. I was surprised by what happened. I think if I were to sum up my reaction to this book in one word, it would be ...wait for it... surprised. But not in a bad way necessarily. I obviously didn't end up loving it but I did like it and I do think I will read Where She Went. There was just a disconnect on my part from the story overall so it didn't impact me the way it might have impacted others at all. Still thanks to Chloe for recommending this!

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
4 out of 5 stars
Completed December 28, 2014
This was another case of serious disconnect on my part that ended up dampening my overall enjoyment. It wasn't that Elise's story wasn't relateable because it was. It was that the message wasn't quite clear to me. It seemed there were a lot of things Sales wanted to say at the same time and as a result, none of them really rang clear in my ear. But as far as the story goes, it was original and a refreshing change. I loved watching Elise blossom as her DJing became better and I loved experiencing Start along with her. And the music! Leila Sales actually included a playlist at the back but honestly the entire time reading this book I could literally hear the songs mentioned play in my mind so clearly. A really good book and one that I'm happy to have read. All the praise has been well-deserved!


That's December in a nutshell! And I have got to figure out a system because in two weeks, I'll have to do another wrap-up AGAIN for January. Ugh, guys. So far, 2015 has not been looking bright for my blogging. WHY CAN'T I MAKE THIS WORK?? Anyway, enough of me screaming about my incompetence, what about you? What have you read lately?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The 2014 End of Year Survey Pt. 2

And now for part 2 of the End of Year Survey as hosted by Jamie from the Perpetual Page Turner which is all about my 2014 blogging/bookish life and looking ahead for 2015! Let's get started!


1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014?
2014 was THE year of book blog discovery. I just found myself so much more interactive in the community and because of that, a lot of really great blog discoveries were made. So I don't know if I can pick just one when there were literally a hundred new blogs I've added this year (to put my total at 277. Crazy!) - and all of them FABULOUS. But um if I had to pick according to how often I visit, then I think Daring Damsels, Flowers In My Books and My Reading Dress would probably be the top three in terms of blogs I discovered this year.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014?
Uhh.. maybe The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu. That was one review that I remember really getting into. And I do love writing all my reviews but that one was a special one. But in general I don't have a favourite review. I feel like all my reviews are pretty on par with each other - no one review is better than the other. They're all pretty scattered and rambly anyway. I would be more inclined to call them word vomit and random musings than actual reviews.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I really liked the 1989 Ask Anything Tag I did because I had so much freaking fun with it. I also loved my post on How Podcasts Have Changed My View On Audiobooks (planning on doing a post on some of my favourite podcasts soon-ish!). And that's it? There might be more but I didn't bother to go back any further - evidently, because those two posts were both pretty recent.

4. Best event that you participated in?
So I didn't do anything bookish IRL like attend festivals or signings (but I am planning on going to some this year!) but I did do the Love-a-Thon again this year, for the second time and just like the first time, it was FABULOUS. Katelyn and Alexa do such a great job of organizing it every single time, they have interesting prompts and it's really such a wonderful day of just interacting with bloggers and crazy blogging fun.

5. Best moment of your bookish/blogging life?
EVERY SINGLE ONE. I've honestly just enjoyed being a part of this community and every single moment I have is cherished. I love it all and I'm so excited to create new moments and have new experiences this year!

6. Most popular post this year on your blog?
I'm looking at my popular posts widget right now and according to that, What Bugs Me Most When I'm Reading was my most popular post of this year. I got really good response on that post which is funny because I didn't even remember what it was about when I clicked it.

7. Post you wished got a little more love?
Honestly I wouldn't complain if all my posts got a little bit more love... ;) But I did really want to see How Podcasts Have Changed My View On Audiobooks get a little more love because that was a post I thought was actually pretty well thought-out and organized in comparison to some of the posts on this blog.

8. Best bookish discovery?
Booktube, I guess. I've stopped watching as much since but there was a period of time during the summer where it took a good portion of my day. And not surprisingly because the videos are all so well made and some of the youtubers are insanely good at editing and just being on camera and all that adds up to really fun to watch. Plus, all the new book discoveries!

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Oh, uh... no? Or at least I don't think so. Yeah... I know this doesn't sound very good for this year considering how many more challenges I've signed up for but I swear, I've actually been pretty good with keeping up so far! At least for the Around the World challenge... I'm reading Just One Year so that's giving me a pretty decent start on that.


1. One book you didn't get to in 2014 but will be your number one priority in 2015?
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. I was going to read it last year but then never ended up getting to it and though I already know vaguely what happens, I still really want to read it to get in on the buzz.

2. Book you are most anticipating for in 2015?
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West because KASIE WEST. One of my many favourite contemporary authors.

3. 2015 debut you are most anticipating?
I have been so behind on what's coming up in the bookish world so I really don't know? I've added some 2015 debuts onto my TBR and have heard a bit about some but as far as anticipating... I don't really have strong feelings towards any of them. 

4. Series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2015?
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han which is the sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before or The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski which is the sequel to The Winner's Curse.

5. One thing you hope to accomplish in your reading/blogging life in 2015?
There are many: complete or at least, put in a good effort for all my challenges; comment more; attend a signing or book event; and just have fun! 

6. One 2015 release you've already read and recommend to everyone?
Haven't read an ARC in agess so honestly I couldn't tell you. I'm entirely clueless to all the 2015 releases so I'm relying on you guys to help me out and tell me which releases I should keep an eye out!


Now I am officially DONE the End of Year Survey! I think I deserve a pat on the back because that was a lot of hard work - a lot of fun too but also lots of work. Looking forward to doing next year's survey already!! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Epic Recs: January 2015

Well, I said I would read Chloe's recommendation for me last month and guess what? I DID IT. We both did it actually so December 2014 was officially a success! My review for If I Stay will ideally go up this month. I'm going to try to post it this month but we'll see. But anyway given the success of last month I am now really excited and pumped up for January and am going to try to keep the streak going because how sad would it be to break it after one book? Nope, not happening so this month, I am going to vow to finish Chloe's rec for me again. 

And by the way, that's Chloe from YA Booklover Blog. I feel like I should mention that. Also I feel like I should mention that this wonderful feature was started by Judith and Amber so head over to their blogs for more information and how to participate!

chloe's rec for me.

my rec for chloe.

It seems to me that recommending books gets harder and harder each time. It always feel a bit like russian roulette because you never know what's going to happen. One month, it could be a hit and the next, totally a flop. We haven't hit any flops yet but I DON'T WANT IT TO HAPPEN. So I really tried to think hard about a book that Chloe might like. I was tempted to go with a contemporary again but then wasn't sure about the standard of the contemporaries I've read recently so I went instead with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I was so grateful to have been recommended the series this year because it was so good so I'm only hoping that Chloe will like it as much as I did.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley was Chloe's pick for me this month and I'm really excited! I've heard amazing things about this book. I also love that it's set over 24 hours because that is probably one of my favourite things to see in a book. So I'm really looking forward to reading this book!


So tell me, have you read any of these books? Particularly Graffiti Moon? What did you think?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The 2014 End of Year Survey Pt. 1

I have officially been blogging on The Runaway Reader for ONE WHOLE YEAR. Which means I will finally allow myself to do the End of Year Survey as hosted by the ever wonderful Jamie! That's such a weird rule, I know, but the more pressing thing is, IT'S BEEN ONE FULL YEAR OF THE RUNAWAY READER. I can't even comprehend this. What. How. October 2013 doesn't seem all that far away.

It's been another great year of blogging and it's all because of YOU GUYS. I love that I'm able to gab endlessly about random shit and you guys will be there to listen to me. THANK YOU FOR STICKING WITH ME EVEN THOUGH I'M INSANE. I lovee youuuu to the moon and back and I'm so excited for 2015. I feel totally refreshed about blogging and I think I've finally worked out a system that does work so 2015, watch out because I'm going to kick some ass! But for now, let me take a moment to just look back at all the things that happened in 2014.

*All links lead to my reviews. I was too lazy to include Goodreads links for the ones I didn't review. Sorry.

Number of Books Read: Didn't reach my 100 books goal but I still read 73
Number of Re-Reads: 3 (The Truth About Forever and the first two Harry Potter books)
Most-Read Genre: I didn't even have to think about this. CONTEMPORARY YA, OBVIOUSLY. I am a huge contemporary girl through and through and try as I might to expand my boundaries, I know I'll always come back crawling to it.


1. Best book you read in 2014?
I can't do this, Jamie. YOU KNOW I CAN'T. So I'm going to take the easy way out and break it down by genre.
  • Adult fiction - I'm going with Me Before You by Jojo Moyes because it was the first book that popped to mind and that has got to count for something, right? But I'm not surprised because it was fantastic.
  • Contemporary - Hard category because there were so many great ones I read this year! This might be a little surprising but I'm going to go with The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith.

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn't?
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. It wasn't a book that I was initially interested in but after reading all these rave reviews, I went in pretty certain I would come out IN LOVE and then, the opposite happened...

3. Most surprising book you read in 2014?
I'd say Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut because it ended up being nothing like I would have expected. Not that the synopsis really told me much but talk about surprising! And what was also surprising was just how much I found myself enjoying the story.

4. Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did)?
I don't know if I really pushed any books on other people. I feel like 2014 was the year where everyone pushed books on ME. So... I shall leave this answer.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel? Best series ender?
The best series I started this year would probably have to be The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I am now totally caught up and just have so much love for it.

The best sequel I read was Fire With Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian which I loved SO MUCH. It was such an exciting sequel to Burn for Burn.

And the best series ender for me is undoubtedly Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I still have so many feelings about that book! And truthfully, I couldn't have imagined a better way to end it all.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?
I think... Kasie West. I loved On the Fence and enjoyed The Distance Between Us and now? I'm just about prepared to read any contemporary book she comes out with (and I'll probably pick up the Pivot Point series too).

I might even say Gayle Forman as well? I read my very first Gayle Forman book this year (Just One Day) and really enjoyed it, and then went on to really enjoy If I Stay as well. So I definitely think she's a contender for this category as well.

And maybe Huntley Fitzpatrick too? AHH. I don't know, there are just so many fantastic authors I discovered this year!!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
The one thing this year that I wish I had done that I didn't was jump out of my comfort zone in terms of books. I was snuggled up pretty tightly in my little contemporary comfort blanket this year and even when I did venture out of that, it wasn't anything really, really DIFFERENT you know? I'm going to pick Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut for this again because I think that's the one book that was truly way out of my comfort zone and way out of the genres I typically read.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Fire With Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian. By the halfway point, I was so invested that I started flipping pages like a madman. I could not read fast enough! 

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han because when P.S. I Still Love You comes out, I know I'll most likely want to marathon the two!

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?
I've always loved the cover of Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo and The Diviners by Libba Bray is GORGEOUS. To All the Boys I've Loved Before is also on my list because THAT GIRL and THAT ROOM. I want it. Attachments and Fangirl, both by Rainbow Rowell, are also favourites but was that a surprise to anyone because honestly Rainbow has some of the best covers. I also really liked Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and all the covers of the graphic novels I read this year.

And I acknowledge that I just listed off like ten books but seriously, all the covers were GORGEOUS.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
This is a tough category because I don't usually take note of the writing unless it's really unique. And so for that reason, I'm going to choose We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Even though I didn't LOVE the book and the writing sometimes threw me off, it was by far the most unique style I've come across this year and the times I wasn't totally scratching my head, it was actually rather beautiful and lyrical.

13. Most thought-provoking/ life-changing book of 2014?
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu. This book made me think SO much and in ways that I couldn't even find the words to explain. I'm not much of a thoughtful reader - more of the type that just scans everything without giving it too much of a second thought and not absorbing anything deeper than the basic story line - so I definitely take note of it when a book makes me think as much as The Truth About Alice did.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I just feel like I was SO late on that wagon.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?
Err... I have no clue? I never take notes of passages if I'm not reading on my Kobo and I hardly ever remember them. So here's a quote from Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson that I found on Goodreads just now that I rather like. Pretend I've been gushing about it the entire year and have it secretly written on my bedroom wall.

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2014?
Excluding novellas, Relish by Lucy Knisley and It by Alexa Chung were my shortest books at 192 pages. But if you want me to not count the graphic novels and the coffee table books designed to be short, then I suppose it'd be The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Matheiu which rings in at 199 pages.

The longest book I read this year was The Diviners by Libba Bray at 578 pages which is not a surprise because that thing is a BEAST.

17. Book that shocked you the most?
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater had a pretty shocking ending... but then I found out that what I THOUGHT had happened didn't actually happen so it wasn't shocking any more.

Honestly, I don't really know how to answer this question because a lot of times I'll skip to the end when I'm reading just because I want to know so badly what happens and while it may have shocked me then, by the time I actually get to it I already know what's going to happen and therefore totally forget my initial reaction.

(The only time I've ever truly been shocked was reading Dangerous Girls. And it wasn't because I didn't skip to the end - I definitely did - it was just that I totally misunderstood what was going on and scanned over that one KEY sentence. So I thought I knew what was going on but then I didn't and then I got to the part and I was like HOLY SHIT?? HOW DID I MISS THIS??)

18. OTP of the year?

But also Tiger Lily and Peter Pan from Tiger Lily? AND ROSE AND DIMITRI HOLY SMOKES. And Reeve and Lillia from Burn for Burn. AND KESTREL AND ARIN FROM THE WINNER'S CURSE.

Also I just realized that the majority of the couples I've listed here either don't get together or can't which is really, really sad. Authors, why must you do this to me??

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
Blue and NOAH. NOAH, MY BABY. Again, from The Raven Cycle. 

Also Josh and St. Clair. Their relationship was probably in Isla and the Happily Ever After for like two pages but I don't care, they're my faves. And Harry, Ron and Hermione because DUH. And from Small Damages (which was actually so good), the main character Kenzie and Estela, the cook. I LOVED THEM SO MUCH. And also Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door and the relationship he had with his family. It was beautiful.

20. Favourite book you read in 2014 by an author you've read previously?
The Diviners by Libba Bray. Prior to this year, I had read A Great and Terrible Beauty in 2012 and DNFed Beauty Queens also in 2012. But I don't think anything could have prepared me for the brilliance that was The Diviners. 

I might also say Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because I freaking loved that book.

21. Best book you read in 2014 based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater! I had zero interest in reading it even despite all the rave reviews until my friend was like "Read it! It's really good". So I did because I was at a library and didn't want to be all NO NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS, and now my life will never be the same. And I am forever indebted to her. 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Joshua Wasserstein from Isla and the Happily Ever After. Levi from Fangirl. JASON FROM MEANT TO BE. Frank from Since You've Been Gone because I JUST LOVE GINGERS, OKAY?

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller which is all 20th century London (or late 19th century?) and art history and feminism and just great historical fiction overall. Or The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu? I don't know, I love them both for different reasons. I can't decide! (But you've probably already noticed that by now...)

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I think I remarked in my review about how well-written everything was that I could picture the entire story in my mind, frame by frame as if I were watching a movie. Victoria Schwab really did such a great job creating the Archived world.

Jokes I lied. There is no review for The Archived as I noticed when I went to cross link my reviews. Oops.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill was CRAZY fun to read. I had such an awesome time reading that book and feeling like I was right there with Jason and Julia as they experienced London together. But you know, travelling plus cute romance always equals FUN so I can't say I'm surprised. That's always been a winning combination for me!

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014?
So I had a very clear answer for this but then flipped through the questions and realized that it would work better for number 28 so I'm going to push that book away and say How to Love by Katie Cotugno. Which did make me cry quite a bit. I think I probably started tearing up at the third chapter and from there it was just a slow progression of more and more crying.

27. Hidden gem of the year?
Small Damages by Beth Kephart isn't a book I was blown away by but was a book that I enjoyed quite a bit and think should be read by more people. There were a few things I had trouble with but at the end, I was happy to have read the book just for all the great characters and wonderful experiences I was able to read about.

28. Book that crushed your soul?
ME BEFORE FREAKING YOU. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, 100%. That ending made me SOB like never before. Oh, Will and Lou... How I love you both.

In other news, anyone else hear about the casting for the leads in the film? What do you think about it?

29. Most unique book you read in 2014?
There were quite a few unique books I read in 2014 but I'm going try to pick out books I haven't mentioned so far so this title goes to Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. The entire premise was a new one for me and really interesting and refreshing. Unlike anything I've ever come across before. Like how often do you hear about an IT guy that falls in love with a girl through work emails?

30. Book that made you the most mad?
Tough, tough, tough! But uh, probably The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown? I liked it during the first half but then after that, it kinda went downhill for me and made me scream all types of things.


Ok so this survey ended up being a little lengthier than I had anticipated because I just LOVE to talk so I'm going to cut it off here and post pt. 2 later on this week. But let's discuss in the comments! Have you read any of the books listed here? And if you've already done this survey, link it down below so I can go pay a visit to you!