9th Annual End of the Year Book Survey – 2018 Edition

It’s time for the annual End of the Year Book Survey! This survey was created by Jaime @ The Perpetual Page Turner and is a great way to look back on the reading year. I love sharing which books really stood out to me each year and this time around, I didn’t forget, so I’ve been working on this one since early December. So yay me! Let me know if you are also doing this survey and leave me a link to your own post in the comments. Covers/Titles are linked to Goodreads. Let’s get to the books.

**2018 FINAL READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 68
Number of Re-Reads: 4 1/2 (currently in the middle of The Cruel Prince reread)
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (not surprising)

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1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

Every year this question is so cruel, but this year it feels extra cruel. I’ve read some really fantastic books this year and to make me choose which to highlight feels impossible. Which is why I am naming six favorite 2018 reads because no one can tell me I can’t. In the order in which I read them:

  1. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  2. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  3. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  4. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
  5. Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
  6. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhouse

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

I’ve had a lot of good luck with graphic novels, enjoying nearly every one I’ve picked up. Unfortunately, I did not like Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1) by Joe Hill like so many others did.

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

Amy Tintera’s Ruined really surprised me. If you asked me before I read it whether or not I would enjoy it, I would have bet that it wouldn’t be a positive read for me, but it really worked for me and I’m really intrigued by many of the characters and am very interested in seeing what happens next.

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

I’m hoping that I pushed enough people to read Lily Anderson’s Undead Girl Gang. I really love everything that she’s written and I’m really hoping she gets more recognition.

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

I read many really good first books in a series, but I’m going to mention The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. Both impressed me as series openers and I can’t wait to continue both series.

For best sequel I am going with Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova. I am so in love with this series and eagerly awaiting the announcement for the third novel.

My favorite series ender I read in 2018 was Elizabeth May’s The Fallen Kingdom. This one made me feel all the emotions and I am really looking forward to seeing more books by this author.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Going to resist naming a bunch of debut authors and go with Seanan McGuire and Courtney Alameda. With the former I finally pick up a book from (Every Heart a Doorway) and with the latter, it was kind of like I rediscovered her with Pitch Dark.

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

I don’t pick up short story collections very often, but I fell in love with Carmen Marie Machado’s eerie and strange Her Body and Other Parties.

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

Courtney Summer’s Sadie was an unputdownable mystery. I grew so invested in Sadie’s story that I was racing to the end.

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

There were a lot of really good books I read in 2018 that I can totally see myself rereading. At the top of the list is Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Beautiful Ones. I found that book so satisfying and loved nearly every little thing about it.

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

There were so many beautiful covers this year, but one that stands out to me is Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles. It’s such a gorgeous cover and makes me want to take all the book pictures.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

I felt a really deep connection to Janna from Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali. She completely stole my heart. I wanted to wrap her in a blanket and protect her from the world. I just found out Ali is writing a sequel and I could not be more excited.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

I don’t even have to think about this one. Anna-Marie McLemore astounds, enchants and beguiles with her writing. Blanca y Roja was everything I love about magical realism and fairy tales. McLemore is such a gifted writer whose every word feels like magic.

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

I could go several different directions with this one, but I’m going with Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X because it was a novel that challenges me to read outside of my comfort zone.

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

This one easily goes to Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book, but it was fantastic. If you ever need a book that will make you smile from start to finish, this is the one you need to reach for.

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

This is a difficult one, but I’m sharing a little excerpt from The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

“Late into the night I write and
the pages of my notebook swell
from all the words I’ve pressed onto them.
It almost feels like
the more I bruise the page
the quicker something inside me heals.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

The shortest book I read this year was Melissa Lozado-Oliva’s poetry collection peluda which I loved so much. I didn’t read a ton of big books this year, the longest was Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor at 536 pages.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most?

How can I not mention Tiffany D. Jackson for this category. Monday’s Not Coming ended up being such a compelling read. It another one of those books that make you want to turn back to the first page just to be sure about what you read.


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

*slams hand on table* Let me tell you about Maggie and Kai from Rebecca Roanhouse’s Trail of Lightning. Maggie is the broody one who keeps people at arm’s length. Kai is a ray of sunshine who makes every page he’s on light up. They are amazing together and I love them.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I’m going to include the entire crew in Natalie c. Parker’s Seafire. I love how supportive these girls are of one another.

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

Let’s see, I would have to name Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Beautiful Ones and Anna-Marie McLemore’s Blanca y Roja.

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

Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince has been my consistent answer when it comes to questions involving hype. I really had no intention of reading this one, but it felt like everyone and their mothers were recommending it and so I caved. But it ended up being such a fantastic read and the sequel is now one of my most anticipated 2019 releases.

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

Kai from Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhouse. Listen, he is a ray of sunshine and I love him and will protect him no matter what.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

Factoring everything in, I’m going to go with The City of Brass by S.A. Charkraborty. I was so impressed with everything in this one. The characters and world-building were top-notch.

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

Mirage by Somaiya Daud stands out to me for its vivid and multilayered world-building. I can’t wait to see more from this author.

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

Mentioning Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi again because I have never been happier reading a book this year than when I was reading this one.

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

I am a crier. Well, not in real life, but fictional stories always make me cry for some reason. Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X had me in tears multiple times.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I say again, Lily Anderson’s novels are a must. I mentioned Undead Girl Gang earlier, but here I will mention another of her novels I picked up this year. Not Now, Not Ever is a smart, fun contemporary loosely based on The Importance of Being Earnest. Read her books!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

This one goes out to History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, who loves to crush all his readers’ souls with each book he writes.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

I think Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is going to usher in a new era of fantasy books and I for one cannot wait.

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

I’m only mad about Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation because we have to wait so long for the sequel. I’ve heard both 2019 and 2020 dates and in all honesty, both of these are too long away. Okay, maybe not mad, just sad. *cries*

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

Special shout out to Carolina @ Fictionologyst. I’m so glad I was lucky enough to be paired with you for the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge. I think you are amazing and I’m so happy we’ve gotten to bond over books.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

I love all of the posts I did for Latinx Heritage Month. I worked really hard on these and was really happy I could help spread the word about all the wonderful books written by Latinx authors. You can check out my series here.


3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018?

Don’t know if I have a favorite photo, but this one seems to be pretty popular over on Tumblr.

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

Does visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter count for this one? I finally got a chance to visit this truly magical place. My Potterhead heart was so full. I can’t wait to go back again.

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

I received my first physical ARCs from publishers this year and I was over the moon.

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

I had to lower my Goodreads goal this year because I was kind of stressing about meeting it. I’ve decided I am going to keep my goal at 50 next year, so I don’t stress about it so much.

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

My most popular blog post this year that wasn’t a meme was Latinx Heritage Month, Part II: New & Upcoming Releases. If you are curious about books by Latinx authors being published between this October through 2019, check this out. I managed to find 50+ titles.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I do wish my post Latinx Heritage Month, Part III: Latinx Poets You Should Know got a little more love. These poets are absolutely incredible and I need more people to know them by name.

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

I finally gave in and became a Barnes & Noble member. So far it has been very worth it, though my bank account might disagree.

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

I met my Goodreads challenge and came up a little short with the Debut Author Challenge and I’m okay with that.

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

I have neglected this latest release from Naomi Novik and must make the time in early 2019 to pick up Spinning Silver. I reread Uprooted this December because I wanted to pick up something I was sure to love and it has me very excited to finally dive into this Rumpelstiltskin retelling.

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

Do you know how much I love Roshani Chokshi’s writing? So so so much. I’ve already preordered The Gilded Wolves and am now counting down the days until I have this one in my hand. The cover for this one is so pretty, I can’t wait to see it in person.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

There are so many 2019 debuts I am itching for, but I’m naming We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia. And yes, I’ve already preordered this one.

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

Again, there are a ton of sequels I am looking forward to. One I’m particularly excited about it The True Queen by Zen Cho. Sorcerer to the Crown is one of my favorite novels and now that we are getting a sequel/companion novel, I could not be happier.

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

I’m hoping to get to more books on my shelf which is why I am joining the Beat the Backlist challenge. Look for my sign-up challenge in early January.

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

I’ve only read one 2019 release, but felt pretty eh about it.

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End of the Year Book Tag

I love doing end of the year tags and while I am still working on completing the annual End of the Year Book Survey, I thought I’d tackle this short one in the meantime. I was tagged by the lovely Annemieke @ A Dance With Books. She is one of my favorite bloggers and if you haven’t had a chance to check out her blog, you should do so now. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I am usually a strict one-book-at-a-time kind of bookworm, so I don’t have any partially read books I’m scrambling to complete by the end of the year.

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I feel like the only time there is a dramatic shift in my reading choices is back in October when I pick up all the spooky reads I can get my hands on. While I do associate big fantasy books with the winter, it doesn’t necessarily translate to a change in my reading habits.

3. Is there a new release that you’re still waiting for?

There are several new releases I wish I had my hands on, but I think any more book buying I may do will have to wait until the next year.

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4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I am planning a buddy reread of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince with Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories, I have an ARC of The Similars by Rebecca Hanover I need to start today, and I’m hoping to pick up Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, but I’ve been in the mood for rereads, so we will see.

5. Is there a book you think could still shock you & become a favorite of the year?

If I do get to Girls of Paper and Fire I am sure I will be blown away.

6. Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?

No, I have not, but I am contemplating joining the Beat the Backlist challenge hosted by Austine @ NovelKnight. It’s a pretty popular challenge that I think would do me some good. I have way too many backlist books on my shelf that need reading.

Tagging anyone who would like to take part. Leave me a link to your post and I will be sure to visit!

Halloween Creatures Tag 2.0

Happy October! I was so delighted to be tagged by Michaela @ Journey Into Books for this Halloween-themed tag. As you probably already know, I love Halloween and delight in sharing posts that celebrate this creeptastic holiday. Special shout out to Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward who is the creator of this tag. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

Rules: 

  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator.
  • Have fun!

 alt=Witch – A Magical Character or Book:

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – I love when authors build magical systems that are fully fleshed out and this one of my favorites. It’s also a book I consider underrated, so if you are looking for a little magic in your life, perhaps reach for this one. The characters are also great and the sequel/companion novel is coming out next year.

 alt=Werewolf – The Perfect Book to Read at Night

Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda – Is there a better time to read a book with this cover? If the dark expanse of space kind of gives you the heebie geebies like it does me, this is the books you ought to reach for. Up the creep factor when there are unexplainable creatures in space trying to kill you.

 alt=Frankenstein – A Book That Truly Shocked You

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson – Who doesn’t like a little humor with their horror books? This one combines witchcraft, zombies, and a very surprise reveal that completely blindsided me. I’m usually really good at novels with a bit of mystery, but this one managed to pull one over on me.

 alt=The Devil – A Dark Evil Character

Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton – Fern Blackburn was such an interesting character in this one for many reasons, but none more than the fact that she is both the mother of the protagonist and the villain of the story. She has the power to manipulate people, to create devotion in anyone she chooses, which has led her to do some truly horrendous things, including hurting her own daughter.

 alt=Grim Reaper – A Character That Should Never Have Died

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – Look away now if you don’t want any spoilers for the final book in the HP series (even though I kind of think it’s been long enough that most of us now openly talk about all these deaths). There are a lot of deaths in this series that I will probably never get over, but two that felt super unnecessary were Tonks and Lupin. They just had a kid and it felt like JKR was creating another Harry Potter by killing off both of Teddy’s parents at once. I am still so angry on this kid’s behalf.

 alt=Zombie – A Book That Made You Hungry For More

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova – I loved this sequel so much and the Brooklyn Brujas series has given me characters that I’ve always wanted to read about. I feel like Córdova’s stories just get better and better and the moment I finished this novel, I immediately needed the next book in the series. I love that each of these books has centered when of the Mortiz sisters and am really looking forward to Rose’s story.

 alt=Gargoyle – A Character You Would Protect At All Cost

Roja from Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – Roja will never be described as kind or soft and maybe that’s one of the reasons that I love her so much. She’s a little rough around the edges and even when she tries to soften herself, it just doesn’t come naturally to her. Despite her flaws or maybe because of them, she is one of my favorite characters and I take umbrage with anyone who might have issues with her. Fight me.

 alt=Vampire – Book That Sucked the Life Out of You

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez – This is the last book I read that I gave one star to. I would have DNFed it if it hadn’t been an ARC. The love story was the worst. I rolled my eyes so many times and was just happy when it was all over. I definitely won’t be reaching for the sequel for this one.

 alt=Ghost – A Book That Still Haunts You

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – This book was so amazing. It’s one of the most compelling reads I’ve ever picked up. The protagonist’s voice was so clear and the fact that she is an unreliable narrator had me turning page after page, needing to know the truth. This book has so many twists and turns. I still think about how well-crafted the story was and how deeply disturbing it ended up being.

 alt=Demon – A Book That Really Scared You

Penpal by Dathan Auerbach – Very few books scare me and it’s kind of a curse because I love being a little scared. Penpal ended up giving me plenty of chills though. I’d really like to do a reread of this one to see if it still gives me all the heebie jeebies.

 alt=Skeleton – A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Michael is a character that I wanted to like throughout the series, but his personality kind of got on my nerves. While I do think he is a sympathetic character, I wasn’t fond of the way he treated other characters (especially Dean, who is another character I’d protect at all costs) and kind of wanted him to go away.

 alt=Mummy – A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – This was a tough question. There are so many books that I love so very completely, but I’m going with this one because not only is it beautifully written, the story reached right into my soul and changed how I read magical realism. I have given myself over fully to the genre thanks to this novel and would love to share it with generations to come.

 alt=Creepy Doll – A Cover Too Scary to Look At

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz – The cover for this one is really creepy if you stare at it for too long. Oh no, now I can’t look away. Who thought it was a good idea to put this on a children’s book? I actually think it’s creepier looking at it as an adult than as a kid. Still can’t look away.

The Monster Mash It’s fun to be with friends on Halloween. Tag your friends!

Apologies if you’ve already been tagged. I am tagging Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm, Erica @ Erica Robyn Reads, Sophie @ Blame Chocolate, Lipsyy @ Lipsyy Lost & Found, and anyone else who wishes to take part!

2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was originally created by booktubers Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books. I’m a little late with this tag because as usual, it started showing up first before I remembered to do it. And I kind of dragged my feet when it came to editing it as well. I’ve been reading less compared to last year, but I’ve been picking up some really good reads. I’ve only had a handful of two and one star reads, so regardless of the number of books I end up reading this year, as long as this number is low, I consider it a successful reading year. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

As of the end of June, I’ve read six five-star reads and while this isn’t the biggest number, I’ve had tons of four-star reads that came close. So far in 2018, my favorite read it Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Beautiful Ones. I didn’t expect to like this one so much, but it cast a spell on me. I found the story enchanting and the characters hard to forget.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

While I liked Zoraida Córdova’s Labyrinth Lost, I loved Bruja Born. Lula was a character I could related too and one I cheered for throughout. The best part about the sequel was its emphasis on the Mortiz’s sister relationships. I loved seeing these three come together despite how different they were, how they learn from their mistakes, and how much they supported one another.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

I’ve had Emily X.R. Pan’s The Astonishing Color of After for a few months now. I bought it because so many bloggers praised it and I was completely taken by the writing when reading excerpts, but I just hadn’t had time to read it yet. This summer, I will read it…I hope.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018?

I have an eARC of Anna-Marie McLemore’s Blanca & Roja sitting in my tablet and am so stoked to get to it. I will buy every book this author writes. You can write that in stone. Put it on my grave.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

I haven’t had too many disappointing reads this year, but I was really looking forward to Kristina Perez’s Sweet Black Waves. The romance was unbearable and the other relationships puzzling. If I hadn’t read an ARC of this one, I probably would have DNFed.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I picked up Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince based on hype alone and was surprised to find that it lived up to said hype. Black can write complicated and multi-layered characters. Jude is one of my favorite protagonist I’ve met so far this year.

7. Favorite New Author?

Elizabeth Acevedo blew me away with her poetry in The Poet X. I don’t read a lot of novels in verse, but this one makes me want to pick up more.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

At the top of my head, I don’t think I have any new bookish crushes, but I do have a lot of friend crushes. In some other world, Dimple from Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi and Janna from S.K. Ali’s Saints and Misfits (I’m cheating with this one because technically I picked it up in July) are my BFFs.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

Jane from Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation is the most complete and complex character I read this year. I loved her strengths and her weaknesses, and I think both made her character feel more real.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

Adam Silvera knows how to make me cry and History Is All You Left Me is no exception. I love that Silvera allows his characters to be flawed, to make terrible mistakes, but still remain the kind you root for.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

This was on my list last year as a book I needed to read, but hadn’t yet and now that I finally have read it, I am so happy. Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi made me smile from start to finish and I can’t think of the last time a book made me this happy.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

I finally watched Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time and I loved it. I thought it was beautifully done and managed to scrub from my brain that horrible adaptation they made years ago.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

This is always a hard question to answer, but I’m going to go with my review of The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This book made writing a review easy which doesn’t happen often. Go check it out!

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

I really like the cover to Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. I felt its epicness even before I opened its pages.

 

15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

I made a list of summer TBR books I’d like to get to (you can check out the full list here). These are the ones I’ve owned the longest, so it would be really nice to finally get to them.

What’s your favorite book so far in 2018? Tell me your new favorite author. What book are you hoping to get to before the year is out? Leave me a link in the comments to your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag post.