2015 End of Year Book Survey

I've seen this survey done a few times by several book bloggers over the years and enjoyed reading their choices, so I decided I'd try it out this year. This is hosted at The Perpetual Page-Turner and can be found here. I have a hard time choosing just one, so I cheated on most questions and gave multiple answers.

 

2015 Reading Stats

 

Number Of Books You Read: 285

 

Best in Books

 

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

  • Rachel Rising by Terry Moore - I read the 1st 4 volumes of this horror/paranormal comic book series back-to-back. It'll pop up a few more times on this list.
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - A historical fiction novel following a girl raised by thieves who gets roped into a con man's plan to trick an heiress out of her inheritance. This'll pop up a few more times as well.
  • X-Factor by Peter David - I read the 1st volume of the 2005 version of this series where this mutant team headed by Jamie Madrox (Multiple Man) runs a detective agency called X-Factor Investigations.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J. Maas - A faerie retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I was surprised (but happy) to learn was not a stand-alone, but actually the start of a series.
  • DC Comics: Bombshells by Maguerite Bennett - I read the 1st volume of this which features an alternate reality set during the Second World War where the female superheroes came first. It was delightful.

 

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

  • All Fall Down by Ally Carter - After loving her Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series, I was positive I'd love this, but it just didn't work for me. The ending did give me some hope that the 2nd will be more enjoyable though.
  • Angela: Asgard’s Assassin by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett - I adore Angela, so a comic book series with her as the lead should have been a win. Sadly, I found myself bored while reading it.
  • Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen - After hearing so many good things about this comic book series featuring a group of teen heroes and already adoring several of the members (Wiccan, Hulkling, and Kid Loki), I was positive I'd love this. Instead, this book made me dislike most of the characters.
  • Multiversity by Grant Morrison - This anthology superhero comic book series was quite strange and hard to follow at times. I generally love alternate universe works, so I thought I'd love it.
  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone - I was excited for a book about a girl with OCD, but I just didn't really enjoy this one.

 

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

  • Fingersmith - The end of part 1 of this throws a twist in that changes the whole book and several more surprises were still to come. Going into any kind of detail would be major spoiler territory.
  • Rachel Rising - Not only is it surprising that I'd love a horror series, the series provides plenty of surprises too.
  • DC Comics: Bombshells - For a comic book series that was based off a series of statues of bombshell versions of female superheroes, it's surprisingly feminist and a complete blast.

 

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I really only push books on my family, so these are the two that win:

  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay - This was a series of essays on her thoughts about feminism and various topics in pop culture that I thought my mom would enjoy. I was right.
  • Fingersmith - My youngest sister likes historical novels, books with female leads, and books with lies and trickery, so a female-led historical fiction featuring thieves and cons seemed like a good bet for her. It was.

 

5. a. Best series you started in 2015?

I'm not going to repeat myself by including books that made it on the best book list. It's safe to assume if it made it on the best book of 2015 list and also was a series starter, it would also have made it to the best series list.

  • Secret Six by Gail Simone - I read the 1st volume of the 2006 comic book featuring a team of villains who managed to steal my heart with the little family they're building. I just bought the next two volumes on sale, so I plan to continue it soon.
  • Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe - With four main characters as wonderful as the four wild and often vulgar Rat Queens, this is one hilarious series I can't wait to continue.

    b. Best Sequel of 2015?

  • The Rose Society by Marie Lu - This book continued Adelina's path to darkness quite nicely, managed to make the Dagger Society more interesting to me, and introduced a love interest I actually like. Basically, it improved the series in every way.

    c. Best Series Ender of 2015?

  • Winter - With such a big cast of main characters, it's impressive that each of them managed to have their own thing going on and have their stories wrapped up so well. I continued to love her sci-fi twist on fairy tales.
  • Batgirl Vol. 5: Deadline by Gail Simone - This isn't technically the end of the series, but it is the end of Gail Simone's run on it. And the next team on the book changes it so much that it's basically a different series with the same name. Anyways, this wraps up Barbara's story on a hopeful note with her in a good place and gives us a bonus story in the form of a potential future where a team of Batgirls defends Gotham. I loved every moment of it.

 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

  • Noelle Stevenson - I read the 1st 2 volumes of Lumberjanes which she's the coauthor of, Nimona, and a short story from Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman. I wasn't sure about her art style at first, but it quickly grew on me. Her stories are fun and all featured diverse casts.
  • Terry Moore - I read the 1st 4 volumes of Rachel Rising. Each issue was consistently great, which is really hard to find in longer comic series.
  • Dahlia Adler - I read Behind the Scenes and Under the Lights. She writes great friendships, and I can't wait to get my hands on her next book.

 

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

  • Rachel Rising - I am not generally a fan of horror. I usually find it gross or too creepy. But I was hooked on this from the first issue.

 

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

  • Fingersmith - There wasn't a ton of action in this one, but the schemes and cons going on in this kept me glued to the book to find out what would happen next.
  • Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward - I've only read the 1st 3 Black Dagger Brotherhood series (this is #3), but I've found myself speeding through each one to find out what the group of vampires warriors are going to do next and how each romance will play out.
  • Rachel Rising - I read the 1st 4 back-to-back and can't actually tell you where one book ends and the next begins as a result.

 

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

  • Rachel Rising - There were so many twists in the first arc of this series that I want to read it over again before continuing on.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - I want to read both this and the companion novel, Fangirl, over again because they were just so much fun.

 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Apparently comic book covers featuring women were my thing this year. Even if I didn't always like the story inside, I did like looking at their covers.

        

 

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

  • Rachel from Rachel Rising -The eponymous lead of the series, Rachel was introduced digging her way out of a shallow grave mostly dead. That's one way to make an entrance.
  • Baz from Carry On - This vampire wizard may have taken a while to appear in the story, but once he did, Baz stole every scene for me.
  • Maud from Fingersmith - I would have been surprised at this choice when I first started the book, but once things got going, Maud gained a lot of depth and became the most compelling part of the story.
  • Layla from X-Factor - I was first introduced to her in House of M where she made no impression on me. Then I got into this series, and she's the one I have tons of questions about, especially with that ending.

 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

  • Black Iris by Leah Raeder - Her books tend to be dark and hard to read at times, but the writing is always gorgeous.

 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

  • Bad Feminist - It's not surprising that this was my most thought-provoking since it was a series of essays about the author's thoughts on a number of topics with the hope of getting others to think about those things as well.

 

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

  • Battle Royale by Koushun Takami - I watched the movie 5 or 6 years ago, so it's a bit surprising I waited so long to get around to the book.
  • Secret Six - I love Gail Simone's work, and this is the series I hear the most about by her, so it's a bit ridiculous that I took so long to start it.

 

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I can never remember quotes, so I'll just have to pass.

 

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

 

17. Book That Shocked You The Most:

  • Fingersmith - I did not see all the twists coming. And I'll just leave it at that.
  • Rachel Rising - Another one where I didn't see all the twists coming. And I'm sure there are plenty more to come.
  • Irredeemable by Mark Waid - This comic book series of a superhero gone bad does not pull any punches when it comes to the lead going dark. He is terrifyingly brutal and sadistic and puts all other villains I've read to shame.

 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!):

  • Sue/Maud from Fingersmith - Did I mention this is also a lesbian romance? Because it totally is. And they're pretty cute together.
  • Simon/Baz from Carry On - Hate-to-love romances are one of my favorites, and this one between two wizard roommates delivers just that.
  • Mia/Michael from Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot - I've been a fan of them for over a decade, and it was great to see them together again.
  • Lois/Clark from Fallout by Gwenda Bond - They haven't actually met face-to-face yet in this series, only chatting online, but I've been a fan of Lois Lane and Superman since I was a kid, so even if it was only messaging, they had me smiling every time they talked.

 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:

  • Ma/Jack from Room by Emma Donghue- The story of Jack and his mother who are held captive in a room, their absolute love for one another was my favorite part in this sometimes creepy book.
  • Rat Queens from Rat Queens - The Rat Queens are a team of 4 (Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty) who have each other's backs and get into all sorts of trouble together.
  • Adelina/Raffale from The Young Elites - Adelina and Raffaele's friendship was my favorite part of this book and was far more compelling than her relationship with either love interest.
  • Diana/Mera from DC Comics: Bombshells - I was not expecting Wonder Woman and Mera of Atlantis to be best friends in this, but they are, and it is beautiful.

 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:

  • The Rose Society - I had read Legend by her previously, but I enjoy this series far more with book 2 being my favorite at the moment.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses - I read several of her Throne of Glass before, but I love the characters in this more. And everyone has great chemistry here.
  • All the Rage - I had read Some Girls Are before. Based on these 2 books, Courtney Summers writes great teenage characters and covers some hard topics, and I need to get to work on reading her other books.
  • Secret Six - I've read a number of books by her before, but this is one of my favorites now.
  • Lover Awakened - I've only read the 1st 2 in this series before, but I love every one of them.

 

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 that You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

  • Rachel Rising - I never would have heard of this, let alone read it, if it hadn't one of the sites I get comic book recommendations from hadn't repeatedly called it one of the best comics currently being published.
  • Fingersmith - I can't remember exactly where I got the recommendation, but I know it was specifically because it was a great book with a lesbian romance.

 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

  • Rachel from Rachel Rising - She's just too cool for me not to love her.
  • Raffaele from The Young Elites - He's clever, calculating, charismatic, and pretty. My favorite type of guy.
  • Feyre/Tamlin/Lucien/Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses -Remember how I said everyone had great chemistry? It made me fall in love with all of the main characters.

 

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

  • Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - Looking over my list of books read, I didn't actually read too many this year. This was my favorite though following Simon who is being blackmailed into helping a fellow classmate or risk being outed to everyone as gay.

 

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

  • Rachel Rising - This did have the advantage of drawings to help set the atmosphere for this creepy town with a dark history.

 

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

  • Carry On - This book was just so silly and fun.
  • Rachel Rising - These books just kept making me smile at how much I loved the characters and the story.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses - I love books where the main character has chemistry with everyone. They're a blast.
  • Rat Queens - These ladies are hilarious and cracked me up with their antics.
  • Lumberjanes - The girls' adventures at summer camp are just so cute and fun.
  • DC Comics: Bombshells - This was so much fun, and I loved seeing all the female superheroes in the alternate universe Second World War era.

 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

  • Torn Away by Jennifer Brown - The book starts with a tornado destroying Jersey's home and killing her family. And things get worse from there. I got teary-eyed several times.
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - Sarah Dessen has made an art of writing books that bring me close to tears. In this one, Sydney's family is thrown off balance after her brother gets into an accident while driving drunk. Sydney feels lost in the aftermath and finds herself growing closer to another family as she tries to deal with everything.

 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

  • Rachel Rising - This is the comic book no one has heard of. Can you tell I like it yet?

 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

  • Saint Anything - Sarah Dessen's book are pretty good at destroying me, but then putting me back together again by the end of it.

 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

  • Ody-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward - The was a sci-fi comic book retelling of The Odyssey that was unlike anything I've read both in terms of story and art. It was a bit too weird for me though.
  • Room - Telling the story of a mother and son held captive from the eyes of the 5 year-old son who has no clue what's going on is not something I ever expected, but it worked really well.

 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

  • Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick - A sci-fi comic set in a world where women can be thrown in jail for being noncompliant (not being exactly how the patriarchy wants) where they face even more abuses of power is bound to make me mad.
  • Ensnared by A.G. Howard - The last book in the trilogy and Jeb, her horrible human love interest, was still awful.
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - It's specifically the ending on this one that made me mad.
  • All the Rage - The book focused on how young women who are raped are treated by society, specifically following one girl and how it wrecked her life. The title is pretty appropriate.
  • Torn Away - After losing her home and family, Jersey has to live with the worst people. I was so angry at what she had to go through.

 

Looking Ahead

 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016

I say #1 priority, but we'll see how well I do at actually getting to them quickly.

  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia - All I know is that it features an unreliable narrator with schizophrenia, but I really want to read it.
  • Glimpses by Lynn Flewelling - This is a collection of short stories from her Nightrunner  series that I want to read.
  • Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler - I've heard this is her best one yet and that there's a strong focus on friendship in it, which have been my favorite relationships of her other books I've read.
  • Black Widow: Forever Red - It's Black Widow. I have to read it.
  • The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet - I loved The Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series and the first spin-off novel, so I'll definitely be reading this one.
  • The DUFF by Kody Keplinger - I keep meaning to read this, and it hasn't happened yet. I need to fix this.

 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer - I loved her sci-fi fairy tale retellings in her Lunar Chronicles series, so I can't wait to see how she does with Alice in Wonderland.
  • Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson - I love stories told through emails, journal entries, etc.
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard - My reason for wanting to read this is pretty shallow: the cover is gorgeous.

 

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - The only part I remember from the synopsis is that a princess falls in love with her fiance's sister. That's enough for me.
  • Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin - The main character is genderfluid, and I'm intrigued.

 

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

 

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

  • Get caught up on reviews - I've gotten very behind on writing reviews for the books I want to do, and I don't like that.