Danielle and Jessie's End of Year Survey!

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Thanks to the hard work and sheer creativity of Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner!

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 2015!!


Number Of Books You Read:

Jessie: 341
Danielle: 120

Number of Re-Reads:

Jessie: 43
Danielle: 6

Genre You Read The Most From:

fantasy: 100
historical fiction: 67
contemporary (YA and adult): 60

Fantasy - 65
Contemporary - 22
Sci-fi / Romance - 8 each


1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2015 release vs. backlist)

Fantasy would be Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows! That book was fabulous and full of ships and pain and cleverness and heist faaaaaaaaantasy
Historical fiction would be The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller because holy shit is that is beautiful book.
Contemporary would be The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes because it's clever and unpredictable and a debut.

I gave 22 books five stars this year! How do I pick between 22 books?

Best MG / Best LGBT - George by Alex Gino because the scene where Melissa likes her pictures will have you on the floor in tears.
Romance - Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise. This book is a love letter to Italian food and banter and Calvin shuts down Min's mother in a way romance readers only dream of.
Fantasy - Six of Crows because if I wouldn't get arrested for copy-write violation, I would quote the whole damn book until you loved it too.

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

Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier for one. It was weird, confusing, and veeeery childish.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness was another. Such high hopes and very bored throughout. This was the first time a book of his didn't rate 4-stars or more from me.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours. Don't get me wrong, it's in no way a bad book, it just didn't live up to its own hype.  Sales once again wrote a relateable heroine, but I found the pacing off, with the eponymous "tonight" occupying far too little of the actual story and an eleventh-hour reunion to be saccharine and overly neat. 3.5 from a 5 star author.

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

 Soundless by Richelle Mead. I didn't haaate it but it was vastly under her abilities as an author.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I had written this off as "not a Jessie book" but then found a copy when I was stranded and.... ended up sobbing over it. So. Yeah.

Clowfellas by Carlton Mellick III. You forgot about the time I reviewed a clown gangster novel by the guy who wrote The Haunted Vagina, didn't you? WELL I DIDN'T. Even more surprisingly, Clownfellas is pretty good? In a, "your brain is melting", kind of way.

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

The Widdershins books by Ari Marmell aka Thief's Covenant, False Covenant, Lost Covenant, and Covenant's End. I read them in late Sept-Oct. and it has been my mission ever since. I've gotten four people to start and about 8 more to add it to their TBRs. I am also NOT DONE YET READ THEM READ THEM READ THEMMM

I'm not a pusher! I mean I tried to get you all to read Pirate with me, but that's a misery loves company kind of thing.

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

Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman's Illuminae was a fanfuckingtastic series launch.
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas has to be the best sequel. I reread the whole series for that book and DAMN if it was not worth it.
Lady of the Eternal City ended Kate Quinn's Empress of Rome series perfectly.

Starter: Six of Crows/A Darker Shade of Magic/A Court of Thorns and Roses. We live in a time of balls fucking awesome fantasy and I need these three's sequels like yesterday.
Sequel: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger. Maybe not better than Curtsies, but definitely on par and a solid step in the series. Oh, and Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. But that's more an ender, because Kate and Curran and Julie and the Attack Poodle all lived happily ever after and there is no book five, lalalalala I can't hear you.
Ender: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers. Annith. 

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Taylor Jenkins Reid. Maybe In Another Life and After I Do really made me think about love, marriage, commitment. Not typical love stories but ones that make you FEEEEL things.
Sherry Thomas's The Burning Sky trilogy made a definite impact and I want many more YA fantasies from this lady.

I just did a TTT on this topic, but gun to my head? Ilona Andrews. I've gotten more joy out of the Kate Daniels books that possibly any series this decade.

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

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. So much hype and so much love and I am a nerd but not an 80s geek or a gamer or.... so yah. This was outside my wheelhouse but I ended up liking it very much.

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. My historical fiction is pretty strictly Regency romances and Tudor plotting, but this timeslip between the 90s and the Restoration eras works surprisingly well, with a twist that could have qualified it for answer 3.

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

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine. It wasn't completely perfect but this was such a fun read. It was creative and different and actiontastic and I read it in one sitting.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. If it wasn't for reading along with Jessie, I might have had that book done and reread in three days. Where is my Crooked Kingdom?

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

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Gotta get ready for the third book!
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey so I can relive those feeeeels.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab so I can mentally gird myself for A Gathering of Shadows.


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



11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Kaz/Inej from Six of Crows. Nick/Bex/Freddie from The Royal We. Titus/Iolanthe from The Burning Sky trilogy. Lia from The Heart of Betrayal. The Crew from the Lunar Chronicles books (but seriously where is my Iko book??)

The whole Six of Crows crowd. Cobalt Zosia in A Crown for Cold Silver. Don Bozo from Clownfellas. (We didn't specify memorable good.)

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

If we include rereads: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

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

I don't know that I had anything life-changing but Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy Tale Endings was fascinating and interesting. Taylor Jenkins Reid's books are also really clever and make you think about love and relationships.

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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

The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham (The Dragon's Path, The King's Blood, The Tyrant's Law, and The Widow's House) . Once I started that one, I could not stop. I had to have the next book as son as I finished. Unlikely protagonists, clever plots (with banking???), fresh ideas in fantasy and NO RAPE. Yessss please.

Fables by Bill Willingham. I love graphic novels, I love fairy tales, I loved Wolf Among Us. Why didn't I want to read these comics?

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

I did really bad at keeping track of favorite quotes this last year.

From Eric by Terry Pratchett:

"Preeminent among Rincewind's talents was his skill in running away, which over the years he had elevated to the status of a genuinely pure science; it didn't matter if you were fleeing from or to, so long as you were fleeing. It was flight alone that counted. I run therefore I am; more correctly, I run, therefore with any luck, I'll still be." 

"It's not just men who need adventures, you know."
Sarah Pinborough, Beauty

"We were murderers and poisoners, innocents and warriors. And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.

Instead, he was a god."
The Conqueror's Wife by Stephanie Thornton


"Shins, what's the signal if you need help?"
"Screaming. Lots of screaming. Probably breaking things. Sometimes, there's fire."
False Covenant by Ari Marmell


"I prefer to fill my own gut before I plug a squirming wench's belly with my manroot."

Pirate by Fabio

or is it...

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. "Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."
Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."
"My ghost won't associate with your ghost," Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

the world may never know.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: The Horrid Glory of Its Wings by Elizabeth Bear (35 pages)
Longest: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (944 pages)

Shortest: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson (35 pages) (weird? -D)
Longest: A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall (656 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

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

Illuminae shocked me for a minute or two, ditto A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Deadline by Mira Grant. You monsters.

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

Ohhh boy. No way is this going to be just one. I ship a lot and I ship it HARD.

Titus/Iolanthe from The Burning Sky. Aelin/Rowan from Queen of Shadows. Kaz/Inej from Six of Crows. Lysandra/Aedion from Queen of Shadows. Nick/Bex from The Royal We. Agnieszka/theDragon from Uprooted. Gideon/Sofia from Their Fractured Light. Ezra/Kady from Illuminae.

Kaz/Inej. All day. Every day. Twice on Sundays.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Reagan and Vic from Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler! Those two were such honest characters; I have immense love for them.

Julie and Kate from the Kate Daniels novels.

'"Derek's being very careful. What did I tell you about plastic ties?"
"Only for humans," Julie murmured.
"If you don't listen to me, I can't teach you anything."'

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

Instead of going with the ones I've used.. let's say Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu. Her first book was good but this was an honest and unflinching look at life in a cult like the Duggars.

Trade Me by Courtney Milan. I can't get over how much I enjoyed my favorite Victorian romance author switching to contemporary NA with swearing, a WOC main character, and a trans best friend who's getting her own romantic sequel. And AFR might be the best character of the year. I should go back and change my answer to question 11.

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

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley and The Martian by Andy Weir were reads based on the rec and love of my lovely friend Lyn from Great Imaginations.
All three Taylor Jenkins Reid books (Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted) based on the love of Aly from Swept Away by Books.

George. I thought it was going to be way too young and superficially handled, but seeing reviews, specifically Paige @ The YA Kitten's, (I trust her basically implicitly on LGBT issues,) made my decision to request.

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

Freddie from The Royal We without a doubt, but also Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses and Kaz from Six of Crows and yeaaaah.

Literally everyone from Six of Crows. Like the whole team and I are going to earn all the stereotypes about bi/poly women.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. READ IT.

I feel bad, but George is the only 2015 debut I gave more than 3 stars to.

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

The Seven Realms books by Cinda Williams Chima were impressive, as were the Lunar Chronicles books (I reread the first three). Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman for sure, and last but not least the Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Even though I didn't end up liking the book, I think I have to give that to A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz.

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

Definitely The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler.
The Royal We and its older but younger-aimed sibling, Spoiled by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. Squirrel!

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

I cried during all Taylor Jenkins Reid's novels, I cried in I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios, I cried in Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. And also Made You Up by Francesca Zappia.  (Also Me Before You and The Song of Achilles as mentioned before.)

Guys, this is me. I cried at Clownfellas. (Shut up. You cried. The porcelain doll. Shut up.)
I cried in every single Marchetta, especially Jellicoe Road. I didn't stop crying at I'll Meet You There for 80 straight pages. Sculptor by Scott McCloud. Devoted. THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS WHEN THE PARADE, OH MY GOD. Oh and George. Oh my god did I cry at George.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Definitely the Widdershins books. Also Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell, the second in his Greatcoats series.
Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler is another one. And also Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez.

School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough. I LOVED this book. It was exactly what I wanted as a follow up to HP and PJO, but it doesn't seem to have taken off. Seriously, I don't think y'all would be disappointed if you read it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn? It had been so highly recc'd and then it was a genuine mess of plots and POVs and uuuugh.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Is there any other answer besides Illuminae? I mean, really?

Cam Girl by Leah Raeder. It took a lot of twists and turns and blended thriller with coming of age in a way I didn't see coming.

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

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. It made me so mad and so sad and it also made me think. I can't recommend it enough, really, for fans of YA contemporary.

After Hours by Claire Kennedy, and unlike Jessie, I can recommend it enough. By never recommending it.

I'm saying it's bad.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Oh man, way too many to name them all. Bring My Books was definitely one I found and loved this year, though.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I liked my series review for the original Shannara trilogy a lot. It was just something I felt like doing for fun for these 20+ year old books and it was a really popular review. So, yeah.

Every year I realize I only like my reviews where I hated everything. So yeah, read Pirate by Fabio again.

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

I don't really go in for discussion posts. I did have fun with the Unpopular Opinions tag, tho.

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

Sadly no signings or festivals for me! But that should be changing in 2016...

Same. I still have never met an author, though I did get two gorgeous signed copies from my Secret Sister, which was definitely the best event I've participated in.

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

Well, I did get married in a bookish themed wedding sooo there is that :D

pssst and Danielle made those gorgeous flowers for me

Fucking Ditto

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

I hit some slumps blog-wise this year, I am not going to lie. I am almost 5 years into blogging and this last year is the closest I have come to giving it up as a hobby. I got burned out.. but by pressuring myself less, I began to miss it and enjoy it more when I would blog.

Unlike on tv, medications for anxiety and depression don't work immediately and perfectly and you go back to being able to sleep regularly and having a great work ethic and the energy to write long, detailed posts after one dose.

0/10 would not recommend.

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

This is one of my favorite stats to look up. We're not a huge blog. We consistently get between 100 - 150 hits on a new book, 180 - 210 on a backlist or a top ten list. For some reason, these posts resonated with you guys just a little more. (Or someone way bigger linked them.) - D

Jessie: Backlist Review: Jellicoe Road.  Viewed 562 times in four months!

Danielle: Blog Tour: Tonight the Streets Are Ours. Viewed 309 times.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Broken record time, but my reviews for the Widdershins books. They are SO FUN.

To All The Books I Forgot to Review. I wrote twenty four mini reviews. I nearly died. So you could all know not to read Battlesaurus.

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

I discovered Book Outlet last year... so... not much for this one. Pic Monkey is great for photos for reviews and features? That's all I've got.

Sadly, my best discovery was the best plagiarism checker. (I like paperrater, btw.) Let's not do that again in 2016, eh?

Also magnetic bookmarks from HelloPapers and BookedYouUp

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

 I set out to read 115 books; I read 120. 
I set out to read 10 - 15 retellings for The Daily Prophecy's Fairytale Challenge; I read 13.
I wanted to read 40 fantasy books for Flights of Fantasy; I read 53.

This year I'll be doing Flights of Fantasy again, though I won't be counting Urban Fantasy in my totals this year. I want to focus more on swords and sorcery. I've also signed up for #RockMyTBR. I need to make a list, but I'm hoping to read 20-30 books from my current shelves, which would be a quarter to a sixth of my yearly books.

I set out at 250 books for the year and bumped it to 285 about halfway through. I ended up with 341 books for the year.
I aimed for 75 high/epic/low fantasy novels with Flights of Fantasy. I ended up reading 100.
I set a goal of between 16 and 20 for the fairytale challenge and wound up with a total of 23.

Next year I am definitely signing onto Flights of Fantasy for a second time. I'm also doing Rock My TBR, and Backlist Books!


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

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS by Sherry Thomas! I marathoned the first two books but have not had a chance to read the finale. This will probably be my first read of 2016.

Queen of Shadows! What am I doing with my life? Also Shadows of Self!

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

WINK POPPY MIIIIIIDNIIIIIIGHT. I don't know why I want it so badly all I know is that I just DO.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Gimmmmeeee

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I am reaaaaalllly bad at keeping track of this stuff.... is The Crown's Game a debut? Cause that's totally my answer.

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

Can I just say Winds of Winter and we all pretend really hard that this going to happen? No? Then Gemina, The Fate of the Tearling, and ToG #5.


Also A Gathering of Shadows, The Thorn of Emberlain, ToG5, and Winds of Winter which is totally coming.

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

BEA! I know I said it last year, but 2016 girls. It's happening.

Every year I try to meet or exceed last year's books, so for 2016 I want to read another 120 books or 38,400 pages. I found I was avoiding longer books because I didn't want to "fall behind", so this year I'm focusing more on page count. (Yes, Sanderfans, Words of Radiance. I freaking hear you.)

BEA for the second time! I'm going to get my owned unread piles of books down by at least 100. I'm going to get back into comment bombs and sprees. Maybe work on a new feature... A new look for the blog is definitely in the offing...

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

I actually have not yet read many 2016 releases. One I did just finish was Kali Wallace's Shallow Graves and it was a fun, different read. It reminded me of Dexter meets Supernatural for the YA crowd.

The only 2016 I've read already is Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. I really enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I'd rec it to everyone because it does feature some pretty heavy triggers.


  1. You guys are hilarious, and I am dyyyying at the gorgeous amazingness of those wedding pics! Thank you for the JV shoutouts, Jessie! <3 (And yes, THE CROWN'S GAME is a debut and definitely one of my most highly anticipated too!)

  2. MWAHAHAHAHA. I made someone read The Martian! *dances*

    I am so sorry you didn't like The Rest of Us Just Live Here, J! I am going to write a review that kinda counters Kara's review from last week.

    I am so happy to see The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly up here. That book was just amazing. I loved it. I can tell it, with Uprooted, is going to become a reread!

    But this was a super rough year. There are things that are ruining it for me, and I really want to just let some things go and realign some of my own priorities. I really want to come over here more. I am going to bookmark blogs that I can't get via e-mail (I have no idea what the issue is, gals, it just isn't working) and do a better job of commenting).

  3. You both kicked my reading butt, congrats!! That's so awesome! I really want to do more rereads next year. THE SONG OF ACHILLES <3 <3 <3 Need to read Six of Crows, if you both say it's best fantasy it must be! I didn't like Dream a Little Dream either for the same reasons; DNFed. And I didn't read Tonight the Streets Are Ours Danielle, I heard so many middling reviews. Queen of Shadows, YES. Omg I can't wait to read Lady of the Eternal City! This is the year of series enders for me I guess haha. Love the Finishing School series Danielle! W&W was awesome. THE ENDING. I'm dying to try some Susanna Kearsley books, I think I'd like her. I do love the Selection covers even if I don't love the books. Lots of ships are the only way to go!!!!! Ooh I totally ship Lysandra/Aedion too :D Tamlinnnn aka a fey Chris Hemsworth in my head. Yummers. Omg your wedding pictures are GORGEOUS. So gorgeous!!! Yayyy magnetic bookmarks :) You both did so awesome with all your challenges, congrats! WINDS OF WINTER, LET'S START CRYING AGAIN UGHHHHH. BEA BEA BEA BOOZY LADY KNIGHTS YAY!


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