Annual End of Year Book Survey 2018

I absolutely love taking part in Jamie’s End Of Year Book Survey. It can be a little time consuming, but I adore thinking about my reading in the year.

2018 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 138 (thus far… writing on 8th December!)
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Thriller

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

Tough one. I really enjoyed Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke.

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

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington.

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

This Is Not A Love Letter by Kim Purcell. I liked it much more than I thought I would.

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

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

5. Best series you started in 2018 ? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Cheating because it’s a re-read but Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. It wasn’t released this year but it was still the best sequel I’ve read this year.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2018?

Cara Hunter! She’s awesome

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

Eek! I can’t say I’ve read outside my comfort zone this year.

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

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not a massive re-reader. I don’t think I’ll re-read a book from this year.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2018?

The Surface Breaks

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Zach from Only Child

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Not life changing, but thought-provoking… Anatomy of Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe. Not an old book but I wish I had read it last year.

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Getting smacked in the face with a Harry Potter book does not qualify as a fight,” Charlie says.
“First of all, it wasn’t just any Harry Potter book. It was Order of the Phoenix.”
Matt gasps. He knows that Order of the Phoenix is the longest and most potentially dangerous of all the Harry Potter books when used as a weapon.”

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

King & King by Linda De Haan and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenningd- both 32 pages (as part of a banned books feature)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne- 736 pages

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios. A beautiful book, but so tough to read.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Mateo and Rufus- They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Stevie and Hafiz from Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. I’m not a fan of Mr Green, but I wanted to read it because it was recommended so highly.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

I don’t have one this year!

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Soloman

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

The Showstopper series by Hayley Barker.

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

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R Pan

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

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings- the fact that this gentle picture book is challenged really makes me mad.

book-blogging

1. New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

That’s far too hard. I have loads of favourites. Check out some of them here.

2. Favourite post you wrote in 2018?

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Girls, girls, girls

I loved the support I got for this post.

3. Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

Capture.PNG

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

Ooh I haven’t. I must participate next year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Seeing my statistics grow more. I’m not focused on them, but it’s nice to see improvement year by year rather than a drop.

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

My reading has slowed considerably due to the busy nature of my job.

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

Top Ten Shows/Movies To Binge Watch

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

They Both Die At The End

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

I haven’t discovered anything new.

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

Yes! I have saved £1 for every book I’ve read.

I’ve also read over 12 British books… my current total being 65 books. Check them out here. 

I also think I’ll finish my Goodreads target of 150 books.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

The Dangerous Art Of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Fame, Fate and The First Kiss by Kasie West- I love Kasie’s books!

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Wilder Girls– Rory Power

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

I don’t have one!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Step outside my comfort zone with genre!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read one at the time of writing this, but I have an ARC for The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts that I’m really looking forward to.

Please leave me a link if you do this survey. I LOVE reading people’s answers.

Top Ten Tuesday- Books With Red, White and Blue On The Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about celebrating the 4th of July! I’m not American but the UK has the same colours in its flag. I’m not going to comment on the books individually. I’m just going to appreciate the pretty covers! So here we go…

I’m not as creative as some who I’m sure are going to make it look like the US flag! I’ll just appreciate the pretties.

The only book out of this selection that I haven’t read is The Life Lucy Knew. All of the others I can recommend! Especially One and Me Before You. 

What did you do for your list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Wrap Up Post- 5 Potential 5 Stars on my TBR #2

Welcome to my second wrap up post for this little feature inspired by one of my sister’s favourite book-tubers Mercedes from Mercy’s Bookish Musings 

Mercedes posted a video trying to predict which five books would get the five star treatment in her TBR. She then wrapped up with a video to see if her predictions were correct. I picked 5 books that I thought I might give 5 stars and since I have now read them I thought I’d let you know if I was right!

Click on the book image to learn more about the book and the link below the book to find my review!

They Both Die At The End- Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

This book totally lived up to my expectations. I thought it was heart-breaking. A massive 5 stars from me.

Bad Romance- Heather Demetrios

Bad Romance

Incredible book. Just incredible. So raw. A 5 star rating from me!

A List Of Cages- Robin Roe

A List of Cages

Another 5 star read. Wow. I didn’t expect this book to be as intense as it was.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies- John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Loved it, but it didn’t quite make that 5 for me. A solid 4 stars.

Sky Chasers- Emma Carroll

Sky Chasers

I loved it as expected but it didn’t completely capture my heart! 4 stars!

3/5 isn’t bad right? I read some great books and no horrendous let downs. Always a bonus in my eyes!

Talking About ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ with Bibliobeth

The Heart's Invisible Furies

How did I get it?:
It was a present!

Synopsis:

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

CHRISSI: This book has been very hyped by others in the blogosphere. Did the hype worry you? We all know about that dreaded hype monster…

BETH: I think we all worry about that horrible hype monster. There’s been so often where I’ve heard nothing but good things about a book and for some reason, I just haven’t connected with it as much as other readers. But for some strange reason, I didn’t have that worry with this book. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve read a few of John Boyne’s books now so I’m already familiar with his style of writing (and I was pretty certain I was going to love it!) or if I’ve read enough reviews of it now that I knew I’d be into it purely on the plot alone. This was definitely the case with me, I knew I was going to love it, what WAS unexpected was just how much I would adore it.

BETH: What did you make of the relationship between Cyril and his adoptive parents, Charles and Maude?

CHRISSI: SO VERY STRANGE. I really felt for Cyril. I felt like Cyril’s adoptive parents merely adopted him just because it was ‘right’ thing to do, to have a child. I don’t feel like there was much love there which was a great shame. Charles and his constant need to remind Cyril that he wasn’t a real Avery. Ooh his Dad really made me cross. Ha! I find it funny that I’m still so annoyed about Cyril’s parents!

CHRISSI: Following Cyril through the course of his life takes us through much of the twentieth century. How was each decade most vividly brought to life for you?

BETH: Great question. We see Cyril from a very young boy, right through school and teenage years to a young adult, middle aged man and then an old man. Different things happen to him in each decade that affect his life irrevocably and it seems each decade also comes with a different challenge for poor Cyril. I think his life was brought into vivid detail by these experiences that he goes through and also the host of colourful characters that he meets along the way that all touch his life in some way, either for better or for worst.

BETH: How well do you think this novel explored what it’s like to be gay in Ireland from the fifties onwards?

CHRISSI: I found this novel to be incredibly intriguing as to what it was like to be gay in Ireland from the 50s. I guess I always knew in the back of my mind about what Ireland experienced, but I don’t think I’ve ever read something so memorable about Ireland’s history with homosexuality. I think the novel explored it well and in a way that was heart-breaking but incredibly memorable at the same time.

CHRISSI: Discuss the ending, how else might you have concluded Cyril’s story?

BETH: The ending was quite bitter-sweet for me but I’ll try not to give away any spoilers. I’m really happy we got to see Cyril as a seventy year old man coming near the end of his life. However, this was also really sad (and sounds a bit silly) but even though I’m aware he’s fictional, I just wish he hadn’t aged so quickly! By the end of the novel, he seems to have achieved some sort of closure about the events that have happened to him over the years and has made peace with those he needed to which was lovely to read. Some of the parts really broke my heart though, especially when you find out his future and when he’s talking to his nearest and dearest that he hasn’t seen for years.

BETH: There is a large cast of very different characters in this novel. Which character did you most warm to and why?

CHRISSI: There really is a large cast of characters. However, only one stole my heart and that was Cyril. I absolutely loved following his story across his life. I loved seeing him grow over time from teen, to young adult, adult to the elderly Cyril. I loved being along for the ride. I grew so close to Cyril and was desperate for everything to turn out right for him.

CHRISSI: How do you think this book compares to John Boyne’s other books that you’ve read?

BETH: I’ve read probably his most famous – The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Mutiny On The Bounty and Stay Where You Are And Then Leave. Although I rated the latter of these five stars on Goodreads, I would have to say without a doubt, The Heart’s Invisible Furies is my favourite book by John Boyne so far. It has the most beautiful writing, the most fantastic characters and was a novel that had me laughing and crying in equal measure. It’s easily made it’s way to my favourites shelf and is probably one of my all-time favourite books that I’ll be talking about and pushing into other people’s hands for a long time yet.

BETH: The Heart’s Invisible Furies is both funny and sad. Why do you think the author chose to use humour in the telling of this story?

CHRISSI: I think it’s really important that stories have a balance of funny and sad. Despite bad things happening, life does have its funny moments. I think if stories always dwell on the sad then it can be very tough to read. I like it when there are lighter moments in this story. I think the author included some lighter moments because some particular moments were difficult to read.

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Without a doubt!

CHRISSI: Of course!

This Week In Books #100

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!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Flying Tips for Flightless Birds The Heart's Invisible Furies A List of Cages

NOW Flying Tips For Flightless BirdsKelly McCaughrain– I’m 80 pages into this sweet book. I’m enjoying it so far. If I wasn’t feeling so poorly, I probably would have read half of it last night! It’s very easy to read. It’s all about twins who are trying to set up their own circus school.

THENThe Heart’s Invisible FuriesJohn Boyne– I can totally see why people have been lapping this story up. It’s so wonderful. At over 700 pages, I thought I’d be put off by this book, but I wasn’t. It kept me engaged throughout. Look out for the ‘Talking About’ review, coming up within the next few weeks.

NEXTA List Of CagesRobin Roe– I am incredibly excited about starting this book. I have heard so many wonderful things about it.

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

5 Potential 5 Stars On My TBR List #2

This is the second post of this kind here on Chrissi Reads. The original post was inspired by my sister, Beth over at Bibliobeth. She was inspired by one of her favourite book-tubers Mercedes from Mercy’s Bookish Musings .

Mercedes posted a video trying to predict which five books would get the five star treatment in her TBR. She then wrapped up with a video to see if her predictions were correct. Like Beth, I’m not going to subject you to a video. No-one wants to see me on a video!

Last time I got 1 5 star out of my predictions… but at least it was one hey? Check out my wrap up post HERE.

Here are the books that I think have potential to get 5 stars from me…

Click on the book image to learn more about the book on Goodreads!

They Both Die At The End- Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

I’m so excited about this book. I loved History Is All You Left Me so I have high hopes for this one. I know it’s going to make me sad.

Bad Romance- Heather Demetrios

Bad Romance

I bloomin’ love Heather Demetrios. Really looking forward to reading this one soon!

A List Of Cages- Robin Roe

A List of Cages

I want to love this book. I have such high hopes for it!

The Heart’s Invisible Furies- John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I have heard such amazing things about this book. I can’t wait to read it!

Sky Chasers- Emma Carroll

Sky Chasers

I am super excited to read Emma Carroll’s Sky Chasers. She’s one of my favourite middle grade authors.

I wonder if I’ll be more successful with my predictions this time around? Only time will tell! Have you read any of these books? What do you rate them?

Looking Ahead- This Month’s TBR List (February 2018)

This month I’m trying something new! A monthly TBR. I usually have an idea of what I’m going to be reading in the month but have never really posted about it. Last month I saw this meme on Tina’s blog over at Reading Between The Pages. I decided to give it a go!

So here is my cautious TBR for February. Book images go to Goodreads, incase you want to add it to your TBR!

The Marriage Pact- Michelle Richmond

The Marriage Pact: For fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

Goodreads Synopsis

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

I’m looking forward to this one! I shall be ‘Talking About’ it with my sister, Beth.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies- John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Goodreads Synopsis

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

Here’s another book that I’ll be reading with Beth! We read about 2 books a month for our feature ‘Talking About’ where we ask each other questions about the book. I have loved John Boyne’s work for quite some time, so I’m quietly confident that I’ll like this one!

Matilda- Roald Dahl

Matilda

Goodreads Synopsis

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

This is the Kid-Lit book I’ll be reading in February. Another regular feature on my blog is Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit where we read children’s books. I absolutely love Matilda it’s a childhood favourite of mine.

Twilight- Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

It has been years since I reread this book. It should be an interesting one. Once again, it’s for a feature with Beth. This time Banned Books!

There’s Someone Inside Your House- Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your House

Goodreads Synopsis

Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

I’m intrigued by this book. I’m used to Stephanie Perkins writing YA contemporary.

Have you read any of these books? What did you make of them? Let me know!