End of Year Survey 2015

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This is one of my favourite surveys to do, by one of my favourite bloggers, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish. For some reason, I hadn’t noticed her post this year, but was pleased to see another blogger do the tag, so of course I jumped on board.

The links either go to my review of the book or Goodreads if I haven’t reviewed it already!

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Number Of Books You Read: 144
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Simon Versus The Homo Sapiens Agenda– Becky Albertalli. This book warmed my heart. I can’t speak highly enough for it!

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

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley. After devouring her debut, I really wanted to like her sophomore novel. I didn’t. I was very disappointed.

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

I didn’t expect to like Cruel Beauty as much as I did. I had heard so many bad things about it that I was expecting not to like it.

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

Still Me Before You. I will ALWAYS push that book.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Sequel: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E.Pearson

Series Ender- Winter by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Becky Albertalli!

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

Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green. My second graphic novel of the year.

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

I Let You Go– Clare Mackintosh

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

I’m not so sure I’ll re-read a book so soon. I tend to leave it a while in-between!

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

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Simon (from Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda). I’m totally the heart emoji over that.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I really resonated with this book!

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

Reasons To Stay Alive– Matt Haig

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

Rites of Passage– Joy N.Hensley

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

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.” – Err… Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (again, sorry!)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Dream A Little Christmas Dream by Giovanna Fletcher- 69 pages

Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer- 824 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Ice Twins– S.K Tremayne

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

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

I’m sorry not sorry- Simon and Blue- Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I’m going for friendship and I adore the friendship in The Ladybirds series by Jenny McLachlan

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

Ensnared by A.G Howard

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

The Last Leaves Falling– Sarah Benwell. I’m not sure this book would’ve been on my radar otherwise.

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

I don’t have one! Sad times.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Simon Vs…. you get the idea!

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

I’m loving the worldbuilding in the Throne of Glass series. I read Queen of Shadows this year.

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

Lily and The Christmas Wish– Keris Stainton. All the cuteness.

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

The Last Leaves Falling- Sarah Benwell

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Boy In The Tower- Polly Ho-Yen

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman. Highly intriguing but it made such an impact.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Born Weird- Andrew Kaufman. It totally lives up to its title!

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

Hmmm… Those Girls by Lauren Saft. This book just really didn’t sit right with me. At all.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I haven’t discovered many new book blogs this year, but I need to get on that. I’m looking forward to seeing how Outlook on a Book grows.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I liked how I did Reasons To Stay Alive.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Unhauling Books. I need more discussion posts this year!

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

YA Shot by far. I loved being part of a blogger workshop.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Continuing to blog even though my life got a hell of a lot busier.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Balancing it with teaching. I had one day where I almost forgot to schedule a post.

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

Top Ten Books For Readers That Like Plot Twists.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Gracefully Grayson– Ami Polonsky

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

I haven’t really discovered much bookishness this year. A goal for next year?

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

I’ve read more of the series that I wanted to and I think by 31st December I should have completed my Goodreads challenge. Fingers crossed!

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

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle

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

When We Collided by Emery Lord

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

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

A Court Of Mist and Fury– Sarah J Maas.

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

Find some sort of schedule that I can keep to for visiting other blogs.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

This Is Where It Ends– Marieke Nijkamp!

Feel free to leave me a link to your survey if you’ve done it too. I love reading these!

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Sunkissed (The Ladybirds #3)

Sunkissed (Ladybirds, #3)

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bloomsbury

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Flirty Dancing
Love Bomb

Synopsis:

Kat can’t believe her family are sending her to Sweden for the summer. But without her friends, or even a phone signal, can Kat make it on her own?

In a land of saunas, nudity and summer sun, Kat soon realises she has nowhere to hide. It’s time to embrace who she really is, underneath what she’s been thinking people want her to be. Especially if she’s going to win the heart of mega fit Swede Leo! Can Kat find her inner strength and prove she’s got what it takes?

Kat soon finds that when you’re surrounded by phosphorescence and wonder it’s easy to sparkle. Or maybe that’s what happens when you fall in love . Or maybe you only shine when you’re true to yourself.

Thoughts:

This collection of books are so damn cute. They are perfect summer reading. They don’t take long to devour, the characters are realistic representations of teenagers and they don’t need to necessarily be read in order to enjoy them. They definitely feel more like companion novels to me, so if series are not your thing then fear not!

If you do read these books in order of publishing then you’ll have already met Bea and Betty, and Sunkissed is the opportunity for Kat to have her own story. Kat is known for being more rebellious than her friends. She gets sent to Sweden to spend the summer with her Auntie, after her parents can’t trust her to be at home with her older sister. Kat is an interesting character. She comes across as a little self centred, but she grew on me as I read her story. I found her to be funny and quite endearing in some ways.

These books are just plain FUN to read. I love how the element of friendship is strong within these books. The girls are all interesting apart, but much better when they’re together! If you’re looking for a deep read then this series isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a beach read with good writing and decent characters, then any book from The Ladybirds series would suit you! I’m looking forward to reading Pearl’s story which will be the next (and final?) book in the series!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Sunkissed is perfect for a beach read or if you’re just looking for some light-hearted fun! 

Love Bomb (The Ladybirds #2)

Love Bomb (Ladybirds, #2)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Flirty Dancing

Synopsis:

Betty Plum has never been in love. She’s never even kissed a boy. But when H.O.T. Toby starts school it’s like Betty has been hit with a thousand of Cupid’s arrows. It’s like a bomb has exploded – a love bomb!

More than ever Betty wishes her mum hadn’t died when Betty was a baby. She really needs her mum here to ask her advice. And that’s when she finds hidden letters for just these moments. Letters about what your first kiss should feel like and what real love is all about …

Is Betty ready to fall in love? Will she finally have her first kiss?

Thoughts:

Love Bomb is the perfect book to read when you need a bit of a lighter read. It is so easy to read, with characters that are easily likeable. I found Betty, the main protagonist, in this story very endearing. This story is more of a companion to Flirty Dancing, but I believe it can be read as a standalone. You don’t need to know what happened in Flirty Dancing to enjoy Love Bomb. 

Love Bomb follows Betty who is ‘different’ to the rest of her peers. Betty is a fifteen year old, who is dealing with her widowed father is moving on with a new relationship. Betty also has a massive crush on the new boy, Toby. Betty puts her everything into getting his attention. I’m not sure why, as I thought he was an absolute idiot! You’ll have to read it to see if you agree with me!  Love Bomb is a lighter read, but it does have some substance to it. Betty had lost her mother to cancer. Betty’s mother had left some letters for Betty, for special events in her life like her first kiss. Betty feels like she’s getting to know her mother through these letters.

I am looking forward to reading more in this series and reading from another character’s point of view. The characters Jenny McLachlan has come up with are incredibly realistic and I can certainly see that they’ll be relatable to many teenagers that will devour this series.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars!

A fun, but sensitive read!

This Week In Books #15

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

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NOWHouse of WindowsAlexia Casale– I’m over halfway through Alexia’s second book. It is incredibly different to The Bone Dragonbut I am really enjoying reading it. I hope to finish it today!

THEN- Love BombJenny McLachlan– I was in need of a light read on my way back from the Young Adult Literarture Convention (YALC) at the weekend, this book worked perfectly!

NEXT I Wish For YouCamilla Isley– I did mean to read this book sooner, but life got in the way! I’m hoping to have a review up of this book very soon as it is a review request!

What are you reading? Feel free to let me know or leave a link to a similar post that you might do! Happy Reading! 🙂

Stacking The Shelves #124

Click on the image to get to Tynga’s blog! (Opens in new tab)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book title to get to the Goodreads page!

NetGalley:

Concentr8 Sunkissed (Ladybirds, #3)

I received two books from Bloomsbury this week via NetGalley. I’m looking forward to reading both of these books. Concentr8 looks like an intriguing dystopian and Sun Kissed looks like a perfect summer read!

Pan Macmillan

The Bones of You

Big thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me this book. It sounds fascinating! I can’t wait to get stuck in.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave me a link to your post and I’ll stop by! 😀

British Books Challenge 2014: The round up!

The British Book Challenge was set up to show support for British Authors. By signing up I promised to read at least 12 books by British Authors. That’s equal to one book a month.

It’s safe to say that I exceeded this challenge this year.

Flirty Dancing

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing

Synopsis:

Bea Hogg is shy but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It’s just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude . . . and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with equal panache.

Thoughts:

I have to admit that it was the beautiful cover that immediately drew my eye to Flirty Dancing. Then it was the fun title. It sounded like a perfect summer read. That’s just what it was.

I think I have to admit, that at first, I wasn’t completely blown away. It seemed incredibly young, and I worried that I wouldn’t get through it. I think this book is aimed towards teenagers, so I persevered anyway to see if it improved. It did. I won’t say that this is one of my favourite books, or that I would continue with the series, but it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. It is a short read and enjoyable throughout.

Flirty Dancing centres around Bea and her friends at school. It’s your typical teenage story about the cliques there are at school. You know the sort… the sort where there is a Queen Bee and in this case, it’s Pearl. Pearl completely bullies Bea because Bea is different and doesn’t fit in as well as others. The bullying increases when Bea is partnered with Ollie, someone Pearl is really interested in.

I really loved Bea as a character. I thought she was incredibly likeable. I was rooting for her to stand up for herself. I’m shy myself, so I could totally relate to her. I thought the relationship between Bea and her sister Emma was totally adorable. Pearl was the stereotypical secondary/high school popular kid. I was certainly glad that Bea developed confidence even though Pearl tried to bring her down.

Flirty Dancing is a quick, cutesy read that easily captures your attention and is a lovely way to spend a few hours. I like that Jenny McLachlan dealt with bullying as well as providing a fun, captivating read for teenagers and teenage fiction fans alike.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes- definitely for fans of teenage fiction!