Danielle and Jessie's 2017 Year End Survey!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Welcome back my loves to the year end survey! This is our fifth year participating with Jamie and Perpetual Page Turner and for some real laughs at terrible predictions and choices that haven't aged well, here are the links to our previous lists.


This is one of my favorite things we do as a blog and as a bookish community and I always look forward to it, so without further ado: 
Note: The Survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2017!!

Number Of Books You Read:

Dani: 148

Jessie: 455 - an all-time record

Number of Re-Reads:

Jessie: 73!

Dani: 12 (who am I?)

Genre You Read The Most From:

Dani: Fantasy - 24%

Jessie: Fantasy at 31.1%

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2017 release vs. backlist)

Adult Fantasy: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. This one took a bit more time to mature but it was an excellent third addition to the Stormlight Archive. The interconnected plot crescendos into the expected Sanderson epicness and more revelations and plot twists thicken the ever-complicated plot.
Adult, Non-Fantasy: Taylor Jenkins Reid wins this for the second year in a row. This time it's for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, proving that no matter what she chooses to write, it ends up being amazing.

YA Fantasy: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. Weird and hilarious and clever and subverts so many  tropes in delightful ways.
YA, Non-Fantasy: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I really loved this one.

I read 28 new five star books and reread seven. So uh, fuck me.

Contemp: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Thriller/Horror: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Comic/Graphic Novel: Injustice, Gods Among Us: Year One by Tom Taylor
Poetry/Verse: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Romance: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Fantasy: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust/ Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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

Dani: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger. So many of my friends, including my rec'ing ball Dahlia liked this one and I thought it was kind of a mess. The main character hated every other woman in the book and that's such a bad look.

Jessie: Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney. This had the potential to be a fun read, reminiscent of The Royal We. Instead it is an aggressively average contemp set in England with characters who somehow talk like Californians (calling the Crown Prince "dude"?). The plot is formulaic, the characters stick to their expected roles and easily predicted outcomes. Disaappointed.

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

Jessie: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George is a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in a Long Island Prohibition-era speakeasy. It felt like a real representation of society and was shippy and banter-y and so much fun. 

Dani: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Oh my god did I go into this book with the expectation that it wasn't a "me" read and left with an obsession. 

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

Jessie: Mira Grant's Rolling in the Deep and Into the Drowning Deep. These books about carnivorous mermaids are now my favorite Mira Grants of them all. (Yes, that's including all/any of the Newsflesh series.) The 120+ page novella that launched this series was impressive but the full-length sequel is even better. It's inclusive and reflective of life in so many ways; the disparate group of characters the narrative is centered around are awesome and awful and various mixtures of both.

Into the Drowning Deep has the usual great prose and premise and execution I've come to expect from this multitalented author. She can be counted on to be creatively and horribly plausible when it comes to building and expanding her stories. It's true again here, as it was in Newsflesh and in the Parasitology books. There is so much attention to detail in how Grant approaches the idea of modern mermaids -- there's a lot of thought built into this monster story.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?


Started: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Sequel: Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (Diviners #3)
Ender: The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May (The Falconer #3)

Dani: Series Started - Motor Crush by Breden Fletcher
          Sequel - Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #2)
          Ender - I...did not finish a single series in 2017 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Dani: Alyssa Cole. She's been on my radar for a few years but it wasn't until the back to back punch of Hamilton's Battalion and A Princess in Theory that I found the usurper to my romance throne.

Jessie: C. Robert Cargill. His book Sea of Rust was a fascinating, fresh new scifi read for me. It left me desperate for a sequel just to see how else he could imagine the robocalypse.

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

Jessie: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Death by Blackhole, both by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I definitely don't read a lot about astrophysics but this cover, title, and author made me curious enough to try.


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

Dani: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. I can't read 320 pages in a day, much less a sitting but it turns out, that's no longer true.

Jessie: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Couldn't stop from page one until the end of the acknowledgments. It's also the book I've lent out the most this year, which is awesome. I make sure I get it back soon each time, though.

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Jessie: An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. I hope its because there's a sequel out soon and I need to refresh my memory of these awesome characters and their magic dueling system.

Dani: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I don't know what it is about this series, but I never get tired of rereading it.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?


What do I have to do to get this indie comic anthology tattooed directly onto my eyeballs?

Jessie: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. The second of the Themis Files series may have slightly disappointed with its contents but the cover definitely didn't.

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Jessie: The Violinist of Venice's titular character of Vivaldi. I've always been drawn to historical fiction and I played the violin for years -- but Palombo really captured the feeling of Venice and the Red Priest and what makes music so integral to some people's lives. I've been listening to Four Seasons since March with no plans to stop.

Dani: Dimple Shah of When Dimple Met Rishi fame. I fell so head over heels for this girl.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Dani: Long Way Down. I could have finished it in half the time if I'd stopped highlighting stanzas to read to my partner.

Jessie: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi. Her descriptive, lyrical style lends so well to Alice's story. Gorgeous. Though it was a reread to prepare for the sequel Whichwood, Mafi can't quite top the original story set in her magical lands.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Jessie: As always: no answer for life-changing books? I don't really think any book changed my life this year. I read a lot more nonfiction this year (15, which was more than my goal of one per month) and most of them were fascinating and thought-provoking. Mary Beard's SPQR is a must for anyone who enjoys learning about ancient Rome. Game of Queen is about powerful female rulers in Europe during the 16th century.

Dani: Bitch Planet. This series makes me so angry, so passionate, so...feminist in this current climate. It's no coincidence that Kam finds a note "nolite te bastardes carborundorum" because this book gives me the same rush The Handmaid's Tale did, only so much more.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Dani: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I thought Percy Jackson was just an HP ripoff, but guess who has egg on her face?

Jessie: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Granted it was publishe donly a few years ago but it's such a unique book. Definitely stands out.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

Jessie:  Two from Into the Drowning Deep:

"There were appetites to be sated, no matter how cold the water became, no matter how strange the sea turned. As long as there were bellies, they would need to be fed. As long as there was life in the sea there would be teeth."

"This was not where she belonged. This had never been where she belonged. Humanity had chosen the land over the sea millennia ago, and sometimes -- when she was letting her mind wander, when she was romanticizing what she did and how she did it -- she thought the sea still held a grudge. Breakups were never easy, and while humanity was hot and fast and had had plenty of time to get over it, the oceans were deep and slow, and for them the change had happened only yesterday, The seas did not forgive and they did not welcome their wayward children back."

 Dani: Mine is also by Seanan McGuire (who writes as Mira Grant for her horror work), though mine is from Down Among the Sticks and Bones. 

The moon worries. We may not know how we know that, but we know it all the same: that the moon watches, and the moon worries, and the moon will always love us, no matter what.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Dani: Shortest: Six Months, Three Days at 33 pages
Longest: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (752 pages)

Jessie: Shortest was The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Grey and J.S. Herbison at 115 pages
Longest: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson at 1243 pages.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Jessie: The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah A. Wolfe went down some veeery unexpected paths. I was surprised and impressed. And in desperate need of The Forbidden City sooner than ASAP.

Dani: Let's see, I was shocked Injustice was good and that The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was not and that A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is a fantasy and not historical fiction. But I think the biggest shock of the year was the time Fred Flintstone committed genocide.


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

Dani: I'm shipping Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy like whoa.

Jessie: The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera. "Moon chases sun, so would I chase you." I also loved the various ships in the alternate American historical fiction River of Time. Hippos and inclusive casts and capers!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Jessie: The siblings from Robin Benway's fabulous Far From the Tree. The found family feels are just so much and uuugh I loved it. I cared so much about each of those kids and about them as a unit -- it was so well done.

Dani:When I think of unwavering friend support, I think of The Lumberjanes. What I wouldn't have gave to spend my summer with them.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Dani: 15% of my five star reads were by Seanan Mcguire who's quietly become my favorite author. In addition to the Wayward Children series, I also loved two Toby Dayes: Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea and her Newsflesh short story compilation, Rise. 

Jessie: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. Darkly beautiful compilation of fairytales from within Bardugo's invented Grisha fantasy world. Three stories included in the anthology were new to me (Ayama and the Thorn Word, The Soldier Prince and the last, When Water Sang Fire, is the particular standout), and three were familiar stories happily reread (Too Clever Fox, The Witch of Duva, and Little Knife all used to be available on Tor.com); all of them are also gorgeously illustrated.

Readalike to Laini Taylor's Lips Touch: Three Times.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Jessie: The only answer is the book I wouldn't have known I needed were it not for twitter and my friends: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. It is thanks to Christina and Meg and Gillian and Morgan that I bought and read this and I AM SO HAPPY I DID PLEASE GIVE ME A SEQUEL I NEED MORE ELLIOT AND LUKE AND SERENE.

Dani: Again, it's The Walls Around Us. Bekka talked me into it, it was available at the library and I was like, it's so not going to work but I'll try it for her...oh wait, I love this.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Dani: Rysand

Jessie: I don't seem to recall too many new additions to the list this year, outside of the reread givens (Akiva, Adolin, Gwenna, Kiaran, etc.) Serene from the just listed In Other Lands, Pyrre from Skullsworn, and the extremely polite, capable, handsome Parrish from Hidden Sea Tales series.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

Jessie: Is there another answer besides the book that truly conquered 2017 from the moment it was released? THUG by Angie Thomas.


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


(Down Among the Sticks and Bones)

Jessie: Brian Stavely's Skullsworn. this prequel/standalone concentrates narrowly on the seething city of Dombâng, a city long-conquered and always primed for rebellion.

The world Brian Stavely has created has always felt very real and very big with parts unknown, with lots of room for further exploration. His gift for creating new worlds and cultures is readily apparent in all aspects -- even cursing has its own rhyme and reason, relevant to how the various cultures within it view hell/damning (aka in-world curses like "'Shael-spawned", etc.) One reason for reading  is that he creates fantasies that don't feel like pseudoEurope mid 1200s; they don't feel like a tired retread of something already done.

 Skullsworn and particularly Dombâng, its environs, its history and culture, and the plot centered around the city are wildly different. Staveley is an ambitious author but he's also inventive and rigorous enough that his reach doesn't exceed his grasp.

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

Jessie: Both Geekerella by Ash Poston and The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee were incredibly fun reads. I had a great time with Poston's modern nerdy Cinderella and Genie Lo is action-packed and memorable.

Dani: Slouch Witch by Helen Harper. This book is hilarious. Ivy just wants to go home to her talking cat and instead she's stuck investigating a series of missing artifacts with Winter, a hotshot witch with a stick up his butt, after a case of mistaken identity. God am I Ivy. Just let me go home to my apartment and my pizza.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Dani: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Rise by Mira Grant
Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood
Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi Fantasy Comic Anthology ed Sfe R. Monster

Jessie: "Nearly", lol. I've become so weak in my old age.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (when the anonymity ends)
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (the entire last... 100 pages?)
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum (yes, even tho I was warned - I still was not prepared)
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (this book hurt me, please go read it)
The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May (such a bittersweet but perfect finale for this series)
Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (the ACT day killed me)
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (whooo boy Zappia continues the hit parade)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (every time, forever)
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (Lords best yet - a great balance of sad and hopeful, humor and pain)

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Jessie:  Since I'm still in a world without a sixth Kate Morton novel, the genuine closest I've found was Nicola Cornick's House of Shadows. Several stories tied together and centered on a central location with hidden connections between. I enjoyed it very much and bought another book of hers as soon as I finished.

Dani: I haven't seen much in the comic community, but I LOVED Motor Crush. It has some of the best art of the year and the sci-fi setting is beautifully realized. Plus it's hella gay, kids.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Dani: Long Way Down. I'm broken.

Also the time I had to read KFC's romance novel.

Jessie: Jay Kristoff's Godsgrave probably came the closest to doing so. How dare. HOW DARE. I mean I know Kristoff is the same kind of author as GRRM --- no one and nothing is safe but... damn. ON MULTIPLE LEVELS.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

Jessie: I still don't think that there's any other answer besides Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It is weird and definitely unique. So unique I'd say it conquered this premise and we don't ever need to explore it further. He won it.

Dani: Long. Way. Down. 

Are you even listening to me at this point?

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

Dani: Fuck you Hallmark and fuck your stupid cash grab attempt to break into the romance market. Love You Like Christmas is terrible and you should feel terrible.

Jessie: I was not too impressed with Godblind. It had a decent synopsis and a lot big name blurbs but it was a waste of time and paper in my opinion. It was generally overhyped with a generic world ( there's literally a place called "Cattle Lands") and a transparent, often convenient plot. There are too many POVs, mostly indistinguishable that muddy the progress. Pass.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

Jessie: I think I pretty much kept the same readership as I had in 2016. I read a fair number of blogs but there are a core few I trust to check before a purchase.

Dani: Same. I did watch a few more booktubers, but unfortunately the blogosphere seems to be dying a bit.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

Dani: I'm really, truly proud of my review of The Flintstones. It's one of the most intelligent, in-depth looks I've ever taken at a book and yes, I think there's some humor in the combination of that and the bizarre book itself.

Jessie: I was a fan of my review for The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis. It's a steampunk novel set during a Napoleonic Wars-type era with a female airship captains. It's funny and full of battles and political intrigue. I think more people should read it and then wait impatiently for the sequel with me.

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

Jessie: For once I have a year in which I posted discussions! I liked all of them, actually but I had a lot of fun on the one where I reminisce about hazily-remembered favorite books from childhood that I now want to recollect and reread.

Dani: I loved the TTT: Books for my Coblogger. And in looking it over, we both read one of them!

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

Jessie: Ummm... I can't say I did too much this year. No BEA or ALA, but that should be different for the survey I will complete in 2018!

Dani: Same. It was a hard year. We did a secret santa with a small group of bloggers?

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Jessie: It's been a quiet year on here for me, with some unintended slumps but hey, I'm still around, still get to blog with the best coblogger that exists, we have sparkle deer, etc. I am just happy to still be around and active in this hobby I love. It will be 7 years in January so I think that's pretty good.

 Dani: I think it might have been seeing our dear friend Gillian's success in PitchWars. While I don't have pub dreams of my own, I was so excited to champion her and I can't wait to see where she goes from here.

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

Dani: My husband almost died.

That's...really hard to type but I would not have made it though the last three months without the girls above and Jessie most of all. Unfortunately it's really fucked up our blogging schedule, something I'm still trying to repair, and I can see in the views that we've lost reader faith. I hope we can make that up to you in the new year.

Jessie: hahah I feel like I could c/p the above answer here pretty much. But no apologies -- I blogged when I could and didn't guilt myself too much when I couldn't.

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

Dani's Most Viewed: Winter Review Wrap-Up

Most Comments: The time a washed up MG author forgot to look at which blogger wrote the post.

Jessie's Most Viewed: Ageless Discussions: Genre Phases

Most Comments: Top Ten Books to Reread in 2017

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Jessie: I loved when Dani and I did a Top Ten Tuesday about the books we would recommend one another. It was a fun thing to do as cobloggers and see what the other thinks would be a hit.


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

Dani: We got a new local indie that's super cute!

Jessie: I am a creature of habit and thus I do not have any new discoveries to list. I still frequent the same sites and outlets and blogs. #oldperson

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

Dani: I didn't. My goal was 150 and as of 9 pm on 12/31, I am tapping out at 148. I read 18 books this month and SIX in the last 36 hours, but I'm spent and also if I don't finish typing this, I might be killed.

Also I did not publish something on the blog every week. PastDani, you were so funny.

Jessie: I originally wanted to read 280 books. I then set it at 300, and then 350. I finally ended my year at 455 books. I can say I hit this all-time high because of a friendly but tenacious race with Christina from A Reader of Fictions. Our competitive natures kept us both reaching for the next book and to stay in the race. Cheers, Christina!

I wanted to read more nonfiction as well. I wanted to read at least one a month and I exceeded it by reading 15. I think in 2018, I am going to attempt to read two nonfiction books a month.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

Dani: So many. I'm a disaster. I still haven't read Nevernight and Empire of Storms. I didn't read Strange the Dreamer or Oathbreaker. I OWN ALL OF THESE? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Jessie: Oh man there's a lot, just speaking of ARCs: Furyborn, To Kill a Kingdom, Let's Talk About Love, Tess of the Road, Shadowsong,

Non ARCS: The Girl in the Tower, The Valiant, Library of Fates, etc. There are literally dozens I could and should list here.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

Jessie: Oh man there are a lot I am eager for. Honor Among Thieves, Smoke and Iron, Space Opera, Rejected Princesses 2 and more I know I am forgetting because my TBR is expansive and I am merely human.

Dani: OBSIDIO!!!!!

Also, From Twinkle, with Love, The Heart Forger, Toil and Trouble, White Rabbit, the last Throne of Glass

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Jessie: I am so bad at tracking this... The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory! It sounds so cute and fun, I love the cover and gives me some serious The Hating Game-type vibes. And, of course, Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone.

Dani: DEFINITELY Children of Blood and Bone. American Panda by Gloria Chao. Gunslinger Girl (one of the best covers, omg), Sea Witch, Love, Hate, & Other Filters, Tyler Johnson Was Here. Next year looks good.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

Dani: Beneath the Sugar Sky and whatever gifts Brandon gives me. Surely he must have three or four Mistborns about done.

Jessie: As always I will continue to hope and wish and cross my fingers that this next year will finally be the year that the Winds of Winter comes home from the war. 2018, let it be so. Let it be the year -- seven years later -- that we get a new ASOIAF book.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Jessie: get back into the swing of things and maybe post a review or two and some TTTs and WoWs. To still have fun with this hobby :)

Dani: This, but also ALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Dani: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole! Oh my god you guys are going to love Ledi. A kickass girl in STEM and a secret princess yesssssssss

Jessie: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk! FEMALE SPARTAACUS.

1 comment:

  1. I know all about terrible predictions haha! It's one of my favorite posts too!! :) Dani, you did amazing and Jessie, QUEEN IN THE BOOKISH NORTH. Seriously in awe of all the rereading too for both of you! In Other Laaands! Girls Made of Snow and Glass! I really want to read The City of Brass. An Extraordinary Union is on my kindle, which would be my first Alyssa Cole book. Sounds like she's a winner! I still need to read THUG and Gemina. Need to fix my life choices haha. Ooooomg the Power of Magic cover! WOW. I have a few nonfiction books on my shelf that I want to read, I should make that happen. SPQR sounds fascinating. My longest book was HP 7, high five. Bahahah I see that tiny font, Dani. Loved Geekerella and Genie Lo, they made me smile a lot too. oooooh Jessie now I'm made I haven't read my e-arc of House of Shadows yet!! A genuine KM comparison?! Excellent. I have to check out tha post about childhood favorites!! I'm always thinking of books I want to do this with! Yay secret santa <3 Sending both of you lots of love and i hope/am glad you didn't guilt yourselves too much. You shouldn't. I love cute local indies, that's a great discovery! Yesss I put The Wedding Date too! It sounds awesome! So many books I should have gotten to and hope to get to... LET US SPEAK THE WINDS OF WINTER INTO EXISTENCE, BY THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW. ALA! Yes!! Also fun blogging, double yes. oooh perfect bc Blood and Sand is going to be my first read of the year! Happy 2018 lovely friends <3


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