Ever since I started blogging (the very first book blog I opened was in 2013) and saw this survey on “The Readables” YouTube page, I have always wanted to do this. Last year, I had the chance to do so, thanks to a little activity I made on BookishPinoys (on Instagram), and now that I have this blog, I decided to just do it here instead.
This is a very long survey, so without further ado, let’s get on with it.
- Number of books read – 82, not counting the re-reads.
- Number of re-reads – 4
- Most read genre – Contemporary / Realistic fiction
- Best book you read in 2015 – “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand.
Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t? – “The Sky is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson. Although that wasn’t my most disappointing read of the year, I was truly expecting I’d love this, and not even halfway through, I wanted to DNF it. I did get to finish it, but I personally hated it.
- Most surprising (in a good and bad way) book you read in 2015 – In a good way, it was “Seduced in the Dark” by CJ Roberts. I wasn’t at all sold at her first book (“Captive in the Dark”), but this one was surprisingly a thousand times better. The writing was better, the story was better… the main character Livvie wasn’t sadly, but this book felt to me as if it was the main book and the first one was just a companion novel. On the other side of the spectrum, the book that surprised me in a bad way was “Dumplin'” by Julie Murphy. Reading it, I was so excited that I can get to read a book with a character I can relate to, but it all fell flat for me.
- Book you “pushed” more people to read (and they did) – Ummm, I guess it would have to be “The Martian” by Andy Weir. I read the book in March, learned about the movie adaptation months after, and since then I may have (in a subtle way or another) pushed people to read it as well, so we can fangirl together.
- Best series you started in 2015? Best sequel? Best series ender? – Best series started would have to be “The Wrath & the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh, as that one blew me away. I want more! Best sequel would be “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith, well, the third book in the series (“Career of Evil”) was more gruesome, but “The Silkworm” was better in my opinion as I truly didn’t anticipate the twist coming. Best series ender would be “Champion” by Marie Lu. True, it was a convenient ending (and something that is up for debate), but I truly thought it was the best ending anyone can come up with.
- Favorite new author discovered in 2015 – The thing is, I tend to read a book by a new author one after another, but of all the new ones I discovered this year, only two one had a repeat within the same year (series counted as one) – Matthew Quick and Jandy Nelson. Since one of Jandy Nelson’s books disappointed me, my answer for this would be Matthew Quick, as both of his books I read this year were absolutely wonderful. Too bad I didn’t get to meet him in person when he had a book signing event, I was out of town.
- Favorite book from a genre you don’t typically read / was out of your comfort zone? – For this I will go for New Adult Romance, and the best book for me from that genre was “The Opportunist” by Tarryn Fisher. As much as I liked the whole “Love Me With Lies” series, I am pretty much happy with this book as is.
- Most action packed / thrilling / unputdownable book of the year – Definitely, definitely “The Martian” by Andy Weir. That book put me on the edge of my seat!
- Book you read in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read in 2016 – I think it will be “The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. Actually, I tried to read its sequel, “The Heart of Betrayal” late of December 2015, but I couldn’t get on with it because I somehow forgot some things that happened in the first book. Up until now, I still couldn’t get on with it, so I might probably re-read the first book then continue with the second book.
- Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015 – “Paperweight” by Meg Haston. Click on the link to see the cover of it. Simple, but beautiful!
- Most memorable character of 2015 – Louis Zamperini (from Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand). He went from a juvenile delinquent to a Olympic track athlete, to an Air Force bombadier in WW2, to a prisoner of war. He not only turned his life for the better, he also endured so much, even after the war, but somehow amid all the trauma, he was able to find peace…and he was a real person!
- Most beautifully written book read in 2015 – “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson. I couldn’t get over that book.
- Most thought provoking, life changing book of 2015 – At the top of my head I want to say “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom, but my reading experience on that one wasn’t that amazing, so I will go for “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. That book offered a lot of events that made me question if the character did the right choice, or if I would do the same thing if I was in his or their shoes.
- Book you can’t believe you waited ’til 2015 to read? – “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. I put off reading this one because I felt it was a difficult read (being a usual book project in American schools), but it was actually easy to read, with a wonderful story to follow.
- Favorite passage / quote from a book you read in 2015 – “…and maybe because of the boiling April sun, he thought about water and ice. Water and ice were made of the same thing. He thought most people were made of the same thing, too. He himself was probably a little different from the corrupt people around him. Ice was distinct from – and in his view, better than – what it was made of. He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai’s dirty water, he wanted to be ice. He wanted to have ideals.” taken from Katherine Boo’s non-fiction book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
- Shortest and longest book you read in 2015 – This is funny… shortest book I read was “Fifty Sheds Damper” by C.T. Grey, a parody to E.L. James’s “Fifty Shades Darker” with 144 pages (but actually the story was a lot shorter than that because the book had so many pictures and the fonts were like children’s book big. What made this whole thing funny is that the longest book I read was “Grey” by E.L. James, a retelling of “Fifty Shades of Grey” based from Christian Grey’s POV. At 576 pages, it might be the longest, but it is also one of the most hallow ones, as I actually just skimmed through it. Why? Because nothing new happened! It was like recycling FSOG and sell it to people. Talk about milking an old cow!
- Book that shocked you the most – This is a tough one as I read a few books with controversial themes, but I will go with “Tampa” by Allisa Nutting. When it comes to teachers seducing young teenage students, we often hear about male teachers doing it, but this book is about a female teacher preying on her 8th grade students. That alone has a shocking value, but what shocked me the most was the question posed by the main character’s lawyer. Read it and be shocked as well.
- OTP of the year – Wow, another tough question. I got to read a lot of books with awesome pairings, but after a few heavy sighs, I will answer Anais Darnby and Lindsay Markham from “Addicted” by Charlotte Featherstone. No, they are not lesbians… Lindsay is a man’s name. I decided to go for them because their love for each other remained true despite the challenges they both had to face.
- Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year – The Baker family from “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen.
- Best book you read in 2015 that is based solely on a recommendation from somebody else / peer pressure – “Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone, recommended to me by my friend Catherine.
- Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015 – Probably the hardest question to answer as I don’t usually fall for fictional characters (Christian Grey is still my only fictional boyfriend). Anyway, I guess I would go for Daniel Wing from the Legend series by Marie Lu (I read Prodigy and Champion this year).
- Best 2015 debut – “Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone.
- Best world building / most vivid setting – “The Kiss of Deception” by Mary E. Pearson. Reading that book is like watching a movie.
- Book that put a smile on your face / was the most fun to read – “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen. The female lead, Juli Baker sure is one tough cookie, but I just loved how the very young Juli tormented the very young Bryce.
- Book that made you cry / nearly cry in 2015 – A lot of books made me cry really. Naming three books that I haven’t mentioned in this survey yet: “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven, “The Last Time We Say Goodbye” by Cynthia Hand, and “Second Chance Summer” by Morgan Matson.
- Hidden Gem of the year – “The Humans” by Matt Haig. If you can see the cover of my book, you might not give it a second glance because it looked weird and uninteresting. It is a classic example of not judging the book by its cover because the story and the words are just excellent.
- Book that crushed your soul – “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. I think anybody who has had the privilege to read the book or watch the movie had had their souls crushed, too.
- Most unique book – “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton. Should you decide to read the book, don’t forget to read its prologue again once you’re done reading the end of the book. You will be amazed.
- Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you hated it) – “Priest” by Sierra Simone. I actually liked that book despite its subject, but what made me mad was the lack of respect in some of its scenes. I am not a devout Catholic, but even if I don’t attend Sunday masses and other church events, never in my wildest dreams did I think about what was done in this book. The characters weren’t a problem for me, it’s some of their acts that made me really, really mad.
This section of the survey talks mainly about book blogging, but because I didn’t get to blog actively in 2015, I will change it to Bookstagram, as I am more into Instagram than blogging.
- Favorite Instagram page discovered in 2015 – @foldedpagesdistillery. Every post she makes looks like a magazine spread. Stunningly beautiful!
- Favorite review that you wrote in 2015 – Probably my movie review for “The Martian.” It didn’t get a lot of comments, but I was able to convey my words well on that one.
- Best discussion/non-review post – That would be the time I posted the leatherbound classics I bought from B&N (through my friend Gie).
- Best event that I participated in – The grand opening of Book and Borders Cafe… it was such an honor to be invited on that event.
- Best moment of your bookish life – Going to this year’s MIBF. Not only did my mom and sister came with me, I also met friends Cath and Rexy at the venue, and had a glimpse of authors Christine Brae, Tarryn Fisher, and Colleen Hoover, who were there for a book signing activity.
- Most popular post – A shelfie post. This shelfie post.
- Post you wish got a little more love – That would have to be the posts I made on BookishPinoys. Sometimes I feel sad whenever I, or my co-admins would post discussion threads and very few people would interact with us.
- Best bookish discovery – When Gie told us she was able to order books from Bookoutlet and she let us send in our orders during the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales. Yip yip, hooray!
- Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year? – Partly yes, partly no. I did manage to read more physical books this year as well as reading more than 75 books, but I failed to read one classics and one Filipino literature every month.
- One book you didn’t get to in 2015, but will be your number 1 priority in 2016 – Not really a priority, but I will definitely going to continue and finish “Noli Me Tangere” by Jose P. Rizal in 2016.
- Non-debut book you are most anticipating – The sequel to “The Wrath & the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh.
- 2016 debut you are most anticipating – None, actually. I am not that knowledgeable about debuts and such.
- One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading life – Lose the fear of writing book talks / reviews.
- A 2016 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone – None, really.
Whew! That’s it, this survey is done! 🙂 A very long one, yes… but I did enjoy doing this. As early as now, I am already excited for the next survey!