Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 End of Year Book Survey

6th Annual End Of Year Survey – 2015 edition!!

Hosted by Jamie, The Perpetual Page Turner. Be sure to visit and see all the participating blogs.

One more reminder that I'm hosting the 2016 EBook Reading Challenge if you are interested.

Number Of Books You Read: 125
Number of Re-Reads: I think it's zero, and that's kind of sad
Genre You Read The Most From: Probably Fantasy, although lots of historical fiction too.

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Hands down, The Martian by Andy Weir. Absolutely incredible. 
Second would be The Girl With All the Gifts.  Two adult books and both audiobooks. Huh.

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

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. Second book in the series and I loved the first (The Bone Season.)

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

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton. In a good way.

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

 The Martian. It wasn't that hard what with the movie being released.

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

Started: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Sequel: Polaris by Mindee Arnett
Series Ender: Winter by Marissa Meyer
 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
 Brandon Sanderson (Steelheart)

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

 I read everything. But, I'd have to say I'm most critical of contemporaries. I really enjoyed When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

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

 Blood of My Blood, by Barry Lyga

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

 Well, as you can see above, I'm not a big re-reader, and if I do reread something it's a classic or something from my history. Like Charlotte's Web, which I plan to read soon. 

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

 I love The Lunar Chronicles covers.  So Winter.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

 It's really Mark Watney from The Martian. But I'm trying to spread it around, and I really loved Marie-Laure from All the Light We Cannot See.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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

 Ummm....not sure there was one of those this year....

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

 The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck.  Always wanted to read it. Glad I did!

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

I'm not a good "quoter."  Don't have anything this year....

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? 

The shortest was Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber at 125 pages (even though Amazon and Barnes & Noble say it's longer, the ebook says 125!)
The longest was Winter at 824 pages.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Trust No One, by Paul Cleave
 18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Dave & Julia, Never Always Sometimes  by Adi Alsaid
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Grace & Tippi, One by Sarah Crossan

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

The Uninvited by Cat Winter

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

The Girl With All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey

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

I guess I'm too old for crushes.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

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

Ten Thousand Skies Above You, by Claudia Gray

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

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley. Flavia ALWAYS puts a smile on my face.

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

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

One by Sarah Crossan (this one could have answered #26 too.)

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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

Audacity by Melanie Crowder. A quote from my review: Clara comes from a very traditional Jewish family, so when they arrive in New York she and her mother must find work. Her father and brothers are to spend their time studying God's word.  I had a hard time not throwing the book across the room. Her mother is taking in piecework and Clara is working in a sweatshop barely making anything. And the males in the family go to the temple and study all day.  I'm all for faith, but how can one justify this in the name of any religion?
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

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

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

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

To read more. Always a goal. Also, I really need to update my blog design. It's been a long time!

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

Hmmm.  I don't think I've read any. I usually do, but I've not been reading ahead very much lately.

If you are still here -- thanks for taking the time to read. Please leave me a link to your answers so I can visit. Happy New Year!

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

Hit by Delilah S. Dawson book cover and review
Just a reminder that I'm hosting the 2016 EBook Reading Challenge if you are interested.

I loved the unique and troubling premise of Hit. It's definitely a "what would you do?" kind of book.

The country has been bought by Valor Savings. The national debt became so huge, that this company bailed it out and now controls everything. Patsy has been forced to become an assassin to save her and her mother's lives. Her mother built up so much debt that when Valor demanded immediate payment in full, there is no way she can. The only choice is death or for Patsy to become a debt collector for five days.

No one in the country knows this is going on. Patsy poses as a mail person. She gives these victims the same ultimatum that she got. If they refuse, she shoots them with a gun provided by Valor.

The idea that the fine print on a credit application could allow this to happen gets you thinking. How often do you "read the fine print?" Well, none of these people did and now Valor is allowed to basically do whatever they want. Scary.

The premise is intriguing and the book moves at a good pace. There's more to the story, including a romantic interest, but I don't want to spoil anything.  You do have to suspend some disbelief, since it seems so easy for Patsy to kill people. I mean, she's upset but she gets over it way to easily. She doesn't consider giving up her own life and her mother's. She pretty much accepts her fate and gets on with it. I don't really think that is realistic. I'm sure there would be much more mental turmoil than is depicted in Hit. There are also a couple places where the violence is pretty graphic and gory, so prepare for that.

But it is a compelling read and a great one for discussion. This was chosen by my kids in book club, and I can't wait to discuss this with them next week at our meeting. Pick this one up if you get a chance. It can't help but make you think.

Published by Simon Pulse, April 14, 2015
Copy obtained from the library
324 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carter @OfficiallyAlly

Secrets! Secrets! What is happening on Embassy Row now? In See How They Run Grace is still suffering from guilt after the end of the first book, All Fall Down. And she's also determined to find out more about her mother's death.

Her family, of course, just wants to shelter her. Jamie, her brother returns from West Point and Grace knows its only because he's worried about her. He brings a friend along who also has ties to this country, Adria. She is also surprised when her Russian friend, Alexei returns because he is supposed to be back in Russia.

When Jamie's friend is found dead, fingers are pointed and Grace once again feels like she must be the one to find out what happened and save the day.  As she digs for answers, she finds out more about her mother's past and how it contributed to her death.The revelation at the end of See How They Run will have you clamoring for the next book.

I continue to be thoroughly entertained with The Embassy Row series. The characters are interesting and are changing. Some of it is a bit far-fetched, and I'm not sure Grace shouldn't be receiving more psychological help, but if you suspend some disbelief these stories are quick and full of action and intrigue.

I think See How They Run could work as a stand alone, but you'll get much more out of it if you start at the beginning with All Fall Down. Ally Carter is very popular in my library, and I'll be sure to add this series for those fans and hopefully some new ones.

Published by Scholastic, December 22, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
336 pages

Rating: 4/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - Edelweiss Goodness!

Edelweiss offered a lot of great YA books this week, so I really stacked my shelves!

For Review:
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye book cover
The Crown's Game, by Evelyn Skye from Edelweiss

The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele book cover
The Marked Girl, by Lindsey Klingele from Edelweiss

Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman book cover
Traitor Angels, by Anne Blankman from Edelweiss

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd book cover
The Hunt, by Megan Shepherd from Edelweiss

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick book cover
Every Exquisite Thing, by Matthew Quick from Edelweiss

I'm not sure which one I'm most excited about. Lots of good ones here. How about you? Anything I should be looking out for? Leave me a link. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to thank our hosts, Team Tynga's Reviews. See you soon!

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays from Annette's Book Spot

May you experience all the wonder and magic of the season!

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review: Dashing through the Snow by Debbie Macomber

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber book cover and review
Dashing Through the Snow is a quick holiday romance that is sure to put you in the mood. It gave me that warm, holiday feeling that I was hoping for without being overly cheesy.

Ashley unexpectedly gets time off for the holidays and is desperate to get a flight to Seattle to spend it with her mom. Dash needs to get there for an important job interview. When neither one of them can get a flight and there's only one rental car left, they end up traveling together.

So you know where this is going. There is some humorous banter between these too, and they end up with a puppy along for the ride. (One that is way too well behaved compared to puppies I've experienced!) The romance develops naturally--well as naturally as it can in such a short time. The side story about Ashley being mistaken for a terrorist adds some excitement, but I thought the resolution of this part of the plot went way too fast and kind of just fizzled out.

Part of that is because Dashing Through the Snow was so short. Amazon says this book is 256 pages and so does the description of the EBook in the library catalog. But my ereader said 147 pages, and the last 20 of that was the first chapter of another book! I wish Dashing Through the Snow were a bit longer to fill in some of the details and add more drama to the romance.

But there is also something to be said for being able to finish a book in a couple of hours during this busy holiday season. And I did thoroughly enjoy the short time I spent with Dashing Through the Snow. It's cute, funny, romantic, and contains a (very) little bit of adventure.

Published by Ballentine, October 6, 2015
eBook obtained from the library
125 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer @marissa_meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer book cover and review
Winter is everything one could hope for in the conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles Series.

The characters all come together (and apart, and back together) to help Cinder kill Levana and take the crown that is rightfully hers. The path isn't easy --it takes over 800 pages! But there isn't any extra padding to lengthen the book. There is just one obstacle after another.

And usually in books like that, I feel like sometimes there is too much luck involved when the characters escape from certain death. I didn't get that feeling in Winter. They all worked hard and put their lives on the line time after time.

The new setting, Luna, adds a lot to the challenges. The romances continue and you can't help rooting for love. The new characters fit right in and I know we're all hoping for a "happily ever after" for all of them. Well....I'm not going to tell you about that.

I don't think I need to say much more. I don't think I've read a bad review for Winter yet, and there are plenty of them. If you've read the other books in the series (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest), run, don't walk, and get Winter as soon as you can. If you haven't read the Lunar Chronicles yet, then I highly recommend it.

Published by Feiwel & Friends, November 10 2015
Copy obtained from the library
824 pages

Rating: 5/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Stacking the Shelves -- Some Fun Ones

Another week has flown by, and I got a few new books and grabbed a few to take home with me over the holidays. Here they are.

For Review:
See How They Run by Ally Carter book cover

See How They Run, by Ally Carter from Edelweiss

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern book cover
Flawed, by Cecelia Ahern from NetGalley

From the Library:
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes book cover
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, by Stephanie Oakes

Hit by Delilah S. Dawson book cover
Hit, by Delilah S. Dawson
Our next book club selection

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller book cover
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber book cover
Dashing Through the Snow, by Debbie Macomber (eBook)

Just a reminder to sign up for the 2016 EBook Challenge right here at Annette's Book Spot.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what good things you got! Leave me a link. I hope you come back soon. Don't forget to visit our hosts, Team Tynga's Reviews. Happy Holidays!

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Audio Book Review: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters book cover and review
The Paying Guests isn't my favorite of Sarah Waters' books but once it gets going, you won't be able to determine what is going to happen (or even what you hope happens!)

Our setting is 1922 London. Frances has lost her two brothers in the war. Her father died soon after. She and her mother have been unable to keep the house up and make ends meet, so they've reconfigured the upstairs so they can take on boarders.

Mr. and Mrs. Barber move in and little do they know how their lives will change. Really, I don't want to say too much about what happens. There is a romance, a murder, a suspenseful investigation, and a trial. And the reader really doesn't know the outcome until the very last pages. Sorry - that's all you're going to get from me.

Sarah Waters is wordy. Her descriptions go on and on. But the atmosphere she creates is palpable. I'm not sure I would have the patience to read this book, but the audio experience is perfect. I've listened to several of her books and I believe it's the best way to experience them.

If you are at all interested in historical drama, I highly suggest you try Sarah Waters. The Paying Guests is good, but I would still recommend Fingersmith as my favorite. It's probably just a personal thing, though.

Published by Riverhead Books, 2014, Hachette Audio
Audiobook obtained from the library
576 pages

Rating: 4/5

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2015 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved


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