This is the 8th annual End of Year Book Survey created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner.
The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published. Please link back to this post and go check out other bloggers’ surveys.
Number Of Books You Read: 52
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Romance
1. Best Book You Read In 2017?
My two favorite books of the year I read so close to one another and both have the word blue in the title with blue covers. Blue Like Elvis by Diane Moody was all about Cadillac Jack’s daughter and her sightings and relationship with Elvis. Blue Steal by Marnie St. Clair is the incredible story of a woman searching for infamous lost jewels in the hotel her grandfather died in decades before, but something isn’t quite right about his twin’s account from that night.
Check out the rest of my favorites list here.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I thought I was going to love Home at Last. I had just read the book prior to this in the series and adored it. And this book focused on Quinn, the spunky darling of the island who’s also a bit of a luluhead. The plot line drove me crazy and I hated the antagonist. He was making everyone’s lives worse. I didn’t find it as redeeming as I’d hoped.
3. Most Surprising Book You Read? (in a good way or bad way)
I think I was expecting something much different from this recounting of Malcolm X by his daughter. I don’t know what exactly I was thinking it would be like. Less…criminal, I suppose. I guess you could say I was uneducated and learned a lot in reading about his younger life.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I really pushed my students to read this. I had a group of 26 or so who read it with me and they went out and talked about the book and got other sixth graders interested. I even had a science teacher come get one to read!
5. Best Series You Started In 2017?
I have really enjoyed The Rakes of St. James series so far. I’ve read the first two books in the series so far, Last Night With the Duke and To the Duke, With Love. The last rake is Rathburn, so the next book will be about him.
Best Sequel Of 2017?
The best sequel I read was The Piper’s Price by Audrey Greathouse. I loved it!! Gwen faces some dilemmas in her journey back to the real world and she meets Tiger Lily, who has been living in plain sight in the real world.
6. Favorite New Author You Discovered In 2017?
My favorite new author is Donna Alward. I loved her Darling, VT series and just read a holiday book in the Jewell Cove series. She was my most read author of the year. It just so ended up working out that way. I would like to read the rest of the Jewell Cove series.
7. Best Book From A Genre You Don’t Typically Read OR Was Out Of Your Comfort Zone?
I don’t read very much nonfiction, I’m sure to my own detriment, and I also don’t read a lot of books that have a heavy religious tone (probably even more to my detriment). The Hiding Place had both.
8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book Of The Year?
Blue Steal was riveting. I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a book, but it truly was. The main plot line drew me in right from the start. Searching an old hotel for a famous sapphire necklace? The same hotel her grandfather died in as a teen, leaving behind his twin? The story of that night just doesn’t add up to the P.I. also looking for the necklace…
When the original cop on the Holloway scene and a childhood acquaintance turn up, the mystery of what happened the night Andrew Holloway died intensifies and starts crystallizing into a third story than the two previously told.
9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I don’t plan on doing much rereading. I think the only book I’d reread would be the ones I teach: Trouble River and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
10. Favorite Cover Of A Book You Read In 2017?
11. Most Memorable Character Of 2017?
Samantha Masters grew up in America’s Wild West. After her parents’ death, she was taken in by a family that worked her hard. She married to escape that life and dreamed of the coast of Oregon. That’s what her husband has promised her…after the Masters Gang pulls their last train heist. When her husband steps into her car and shoots a man dead, Sam makes a decision to save a life and is thrust an opportunity to start over and lay low in Scotland at the behest of Alison Ross. She is to live and work the family land for one year so that Alison can legally retain. Only thing is, Sam enters Scotland as Alison Ross. There’s cussing and LOTS of it. Particularly the f word, used mostly by Sam. She makes it quite clear that Gavin St. James should stay clear off her land, being very handy with her pistols and a better shot than any man.
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read In 2017?
I thought Hope at Christmas was such a beautiful, sweet book with so many great messages. I loved all the characters except Sydney’s ex-husband, and even he did show some character growth after many episodes.
13. Most Thought-Provoking Book of 2017?
Without Borders is a story that speaks to so many topics, and I found the title fit like a glass slipper. This story set in Nicaragua and features adopted Nicaraguan brother and sister working with their mother to provide medical care in their country. The jungle is a dangerous place, and it is a true mission getting to the people. And then there is the fragile and tentative trust of the villagers that Felipe’s mother has established over many years.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?
I thought for years that I would love the intrigue and mystery and suspense and thrill of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’ve had it on audio for a few years now and finally got around to it in 2017. I didn’t like it.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?
16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?
17. Book That Shocked You The Most?
I was shocked the the most by Blue Steal. I was left all throughout the book with these little tidbits as Jack Tierney, P.I., continues to investigate Lewis Holloway and his account of the night the the famous Petrovsky sapphire collection disappeared from the Empire Hotel – and the night his twin brother died.
While trying to riddle out the still-missing necklace’s possible hiding places, Jack and Selina both discover the mystery surrounding her grandfather’s death due to the Petrovsky sapphires. It just doesn’t add up. And Jack’s not going to let that go. MIND. BLOWN. Plus, the ending was explosive!
18. OTP Of The Year? (You will go down with this ship!)
Darling, Vermont is known for their famous Kissing Bridge. Local legend says that a kiss on the bridge brings everlasting love, and it is perpetuated by the city and local businesses for tourism. Despite that, Darling is a fairly small town with the traditional small town mindset.
Aiden Gallagher and Laurel Stone were photographed on the Kissing Bridge when they were five years old, dressed for a relative’s wedding. Ten years later, they date in high school…until word gets around to Laurel about a bet Aiden made in the locker room. Their break-up scene is still whispered about to this day, and Laurel still carries this anger and almost hatred for him. Now that she is back home and rebuilding her new life – alone – there is now avoiding him.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?
I loved Mac, the local high school history teacher and baseball coach, and his college coworker. There are an elite few in town (the mayor, Miss Bea) who know Mac plays the local Santa every year at their winter wonderland. He has since his son Seth was in the womb, and he has quite a knack for it. His coworker plays his elf and they work so well together! Ironically, the first year she worked with Mac she rolled her eyes and was an ungrateful jerk. Mac took her under his wing and taught her the spirit of grace and thoughtfulness, and ever since they have been the exclusive Santa-Elf pair.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation OR Peer Pressure?
I was pressured (ahem, told) to read The Phantom Tollbooth with my not-really homeroom students last year. We also had two different packets to complete with each chapter, so it literally took us from the beginning of December to almost the end of March to finish reading.
22. Newest Fictional Crush From A Book You Read In 2017?
I don’t have many fictional crushes. There are few who get that honor. But I did have one this year to add to my list. Hunter the hot fireman from King of the Friend Zone. I loved three things about Hunter the most: his realism, his humor and fun nature, and his conviction and determination to stand for what he believes in. Hunter’s reactions and inner dialogue were so on point. He thought – and sometimes said – what everyone else was thinking. Sometimes it wasn’t the best time or place, but he was honest with himself.
Hunter and Esme have grown up their whole lives with one another and are best friends. Esme keeps up with all of the calls for service Hunter is dispatched to, competes with him for steps on her FitBit, and constantly keeps up by texts. They are integral parts of each other’s lives, which they quickly learn the hard way after being ripped apart by jealousy – Esme’s jealous fiancé, that is. Jon is a straight up douche that goes for the jugular and single-handedly cuts all communication between the lifelong best friends and manipulates Esme into making decisions she later regrets. Hunter adopts a NOT TODAY SATAN armor toward Esme in order to get on with his life and follow Esme’s wishes.
23. Best 2017 Debut You Read?
I don’t think any of the books I read in 2017 were debuts.
24. Best World Building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I loved the setting and some of the scenes – especially those describing Willow’s home – in Someone to Love. The scene of Ethan’s young son cuddled with Willow in her swinging hanging chair, both fast asleep, still sticks with me.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is HILARIOUS! I crack up throughout the entire thing, and my kids this year LOVED my reading of it. They all did really well on their test over it, too.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?
I think the better question is, which books didn’t make me cry in 2017? I distinctly remember these books making me cry: Someone to Love, Last Night with the Duke, Close to Home, The Bad Luck Bride, The Master of Strathburn, The Scandalous Flirt, and Deck the Halls.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
April Vedora has physically healed and recovered from a terrible accident, but she is still in an emotionally fragile state. She avoids listening to any songs with lyrics and hasn’t gotten over what happened. She is a spunky, talkative young woman who owns her own business, a candle shop called April’s Glow, and has a great group of girlfriends.
When Zac Masterson moves in next door, he is furtive and secretive. But he is kindhearted, leaving a mystery flower on April’s porch for her birthday. As much as April tries to ignore it, he is a hunk of a man. She also discovers he’s a bit on the strange side, a different kind of bird, and she winds up liking him after their many backyard over-the-fence talks, drop-in visits, and texts. Like her, Zac is also suffering from his past and he uses poetry on his anonymous blog as an outlet.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
There are two heavy subjects that come up in Someone to Love. A semicolon is a very well-known mark, and has now become a stamp forever as a reminder and as hope for many people who battle depression or other mental health issues. The second heavy subject revolves around a woman’s right to choose for herself and her body, which is somehow a controversial topic in what is supposed to be such a progressive time.
Willow and Ethan slowly grow close to one another, neither wanting to admit what they have. But life takes its natural course, and all of the reason behind Willow’s semicolon tattoo forces her to make a different choice at this point in her life – not the choice she made before. Not the choice Ethan wants her to make. Willow chooses not to allow someone else to force her into making a choice she does not want, so she chooses her own path. When an innocent bicycle collision happens in front of her store, it propels Willow into an entire situation she and Ethan are not prepared to handle. On the flip side, as Ethan points out to Willow, she has also robbed him of his right to choice in the matter. It is a fine and delicate line, and in the end, Willow made the best decision for herself.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?
The Scandalous Flirt was the most unique book I read, but please don’t let the cover fool you. About the only thing accurate on the cover are the red slippers. The main character is Aurora Paxton, Rory for short. After being exiled eight years ago following a scandal that near ruined her family, Rory is now tricked into returning to London after learning her stepmother is being blackmailed and her younger sister is engaged to an old codger of a duke. Rory receives ruby red slippers from Lady Milford, the bearer of the bad news.
Upon her arrival in London, Rory discovers her stepmother hasn’t changed a lick, despite the years that have passed and the death of Rory’s father. Her stepmother is steadfast that Lucas Vale, the Marquess of Dashell, is the blackmailer, holding a packet of secret love letters between his father and Rory’s stepmother. Rory strikes a deal – if she can return the stolen items that are the source of frantic scandal – Rory will receive a third of her dowry, money she desperately needs to sustain her and her aunt in their cottage in the country.
Rory immediately sets out to become the companion to the Marchioness, reputed to be incorrigible and going through companions like fresh knickers due to her horrendous nature and behavior. It will be easy to recover the scandalous letters if she’s under the same roof where they are hidden. During her search for the mysterious letters and to stop the impending blackmail, Rory finds herself embroiled in a bitter battle with Lucas Vale.
And the love letters reveal some shocking information – quite a different story than the one Rory’s stepmother tells. And the exact same thing she was exiled for all those years ago.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
The Master of Strathburn is the one book that made me see red this year. I wanted to kill off the two antagonists myself, a mother-son duo. Jessie Munroe and her father have come to Lochrose Castle. Jessie takes a liking to the elderly Earl of Strathburn, although his wife and half-son, Simon, are not cut from the same cloth. They are snobbish and devious. The Earl pines for his long-lost son, Robert, who took part in the Jacobite uprising. With a price on his head, a near fatal injury, and his brother hounding the Dragoons to steal him away to the gaol, he fled the country.
Jessie flees the castle to protect herself against the wretched and lecherous Simon Grant. He is an ugly, vengeful, borderline demented young man. She is his Jezebel. She won’t get away. She flees the castle for the nearby coach station and travel to a relative’s home for safety.
Robert’s warrior instinct vows to shield her. He is a stark contrast to his villainous brother, Simon. Those two play large parts in moving the plot onward, and it is utterly despicable. The gooseflesh will rise on your arms. I wanted to wrap Jessie up in bubble wrap and hide her away somewhere.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?
I don’t remember exactly when I started following Latte Night Reviews, but I have loved keeping up with Gen in Puerto Rico and now Victoria.
2. Favorite review you wrote In 2017?
My favorite review was The Piper’s Price. I spent a lot of time perusing my review of the first book in the series, The Neverland Wars, and really thinking how to review the book without giving away vital spoilers.
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I had two non-review discussions on my blog. One was a personal, My Personal First Aid Kit. The core of the personal first aid kit is to be an emotional toolkit to treat, comfort and heal emotional injuries. The other post was a recent one, How Dare You Goodreads!
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Author Jason Reynolds came to my school in September! I loved his talk and getting to spend a minute with him. Then I saw him again (and a bunch of other authors) at Texas Teen Book Festival at St. Edward’s University in Austin.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?
The best moment of my bookish and blogging life in 2017 was when Texas Teen Book Fest shared my IG photo!
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
The most challenging thing about reading and blogging this year was the time and motivation. I have been SO exhausted and took most of the summer to just veg out and kind of check out. It took a toll on my creativity content, reading time, and getting things done on time.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Most Popular by Views (OLD) – Top Ten Tuesday: Books For Readers Who Liked Dead Poet’s Society and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: WONDER
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Honestly, I try to stay away as much as possible. I spent more money this year on bullet journal supplies than books. Journal This Now is one of my faves.
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I wrapped up all my challenges in my December Chit Chat. Sadly, the ONLY one I finished was my Audiobook Challenge. I was only one book away from meeting my Goodreads Challenge, but I just couldn’t squeeze one more in.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?
I have a few that are currently on my list…
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?
3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Middle school hasn’t been going well for Colin. His teenage sister teases him mercilessly, his autistic brother lashes out at him, and he has a crush on his best friend, Andy. But after the tragic night when his father commits suicide, none of that matters. Diane, his mother, seeks solace in therapy. Colin is awash in guilt, and casts about for someone to confide in: first his estranged grandfather, then a predatory science teacher. But nothing helps as much as the strange writing his father kept in a series of notebooks locked in his study. Colin looks for answers there—in fragments about disaster scenarios, the violence of snow, mustangs running wild in the West—but instead finds the writing infecting his worldview. Diane, meanwhile, has a miserable fling with a coworker, and leans more heavily on Colin for support as things go from bad to worse. But spring is unfolding, and a road trip to Los Angeles gives them a tantalizing glimpse of what the future might hold.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?
My NetGalley ratio is horrible…because I have 600+ books on my approved list. My big reading/blogging goal I want to accomplish this year is to increase my NetGalley feedback ratio to at least 20%.
6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I’m currently reading Saturday at Sweeney’s and I’m loving it! I was sad to learn it is the fifth book in the series, though. I think it can be read as a standalone, but now I want to go back and read them all.