Amber’s 2013 End of Year Survey and Blogging Break

Before I get into this book survey, I wanted to announce that I’m going on a short blogging break over Christmas. It will only last a week, but I’m hoping that it will give me a chance to recharge and read some books without worrying about posting anything on the blog. I didn’t take a break at all this year, and posting almost every day for 51 weeks really gets to you, and so I think a break is just want I need. It will also give me the chance to get way ahead with my scheduling, which has been something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. So, Merry Christmas everyone, and I’ll see you closer to the New Year!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
In the past, I’ve tried to cheat with this answer. And this year isn’t going to be any different. Here’s a short list, because I can’t just pick one All Time Favourite! Some of these spread over a couple of genres, but who cares?

Fantasy: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Science Fiction: Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
Thriller: Altered by Jennifer Rush
Paranormal: Pivot Point by Kasie West
Dystopian: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Other: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster. I was really excited for this debut since it was a standalone and there were murders going on and the worldbuilding had so much potential. It was still a good book, but the only thing I did love about it was my cat ship.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Altered by Jennifer Rush. I read it on a complete whim, and I ended up adoring it and recommending it to everyone. I’m glad all of my friends have loved it too!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
Altered by Jennifer Rush, for sure. I read it in January and since then I’ve been pushing it onto everyone! I’m pretty sure I’ve convinced at least 25 people to read it.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Between the Lines by Tammara Webber. I wanted to pick a series that I discovered and finished, because that seems more fair. Between the Lines starts off as just “very good”, and then you get to the fourth and final book and you want to cry into your pillow for a week. The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo is also pretty awesome.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Kasie West, because Pivot Point was FLAWLESS and The Distance Between Us was also really great. Kasie West is bloody talented! I’ve written a whole list on this, though, because there are plenty of authors that I have discovered and loved in 2013.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

It’s not really out of my comfort zone because I’m happy to read anything, but I’m going to go with Between the Lines by Tammara Webber. It’s marketed as New Adult in the UK, and I’m very wary about that genre as a whole. I thought it was going to be sex sex sex, and honestly I can read that shit for free on the internet, but I was happy to discover that there was more to it than that.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis and Altered by Jennifer Rush. I read both of these in one or two sittings. There’s so much going on in each of them and I couldn’t put them down.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris, because I want to feel the pain again. Erased by Jennifer Rush, to celebrate the release day. And To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, because it’s one of the best books ever and I want to experience it again.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Dodge from the Locke & Key series. Dodge is fucking evil, and I love reading about his quest to find the keys. There’s also Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird, who I absolutely adore because he’s the loveliest human being. And Ramsay Bolton from A Clash of Kings. Ha.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Flawless.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, because I have decided I’m going to be Atticus when I grow up.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. I read the first book in the trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go, ages ago, and I waited to pick this one up because I knew it would be heartbreaking. *cries*

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?


And I don’t have photos of these To Kill a Mockingbird quotes: 

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

The longest book I read was A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin, although it was in two parts because the UK paperback had to be split. It’s a giant 1177 pages all together. The shortest book I read was a graphic novel – Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill, at 140 pages.
17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris because there were steamy scenes under the floorboards and emotional scenes between two characters and then THE ENDING FUCK MY LIFE.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013?

Patroclus and Achilles. They’re epic.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris. Fuck this book.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Tatum recommended it to me and didn’t warn me properly about it having the ability to destroy me. It’s a beautiful book, and I recommend it to everyone.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Probably paranormal or fantasy? Or perhaps dystopian or science fiction. I don’t know, how do you keep track?

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Barclay from Unbreakable, because oh my GOD he gives me feelings. Also Nick from Altered and Erased.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Altered by Jennifer Rush

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I’m so deep into this world and its history now, I couldn’t NOT mention it.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
People read fun books? Probably Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo because there was Sturmhond, who was epic, and also I really liked hating on Mal and wishing death upon him.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Tiger Lily and Unbreakable, because not enough people are reading them.

On Blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
Paper Riot, Writer of Wrongs, and Pop! Goes the Reader. I think I discovered all three this year.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?
My review of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson because I worked hard on that one and it turned into an essay.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Lauren’s post on LGBT+ representation in YA. It’s flawless.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I have no idea! This is terrible. I often save discussion posts to read later, but with starting a new job and everything those posts just got forgotten about in favour of reviews.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I took part in my first Bout of Books and it was epic.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

When Tatum joined the blogging team. It took a while to convince her, and she still doesn’t class herself as a book blogger, but whatever. TOM <3 p="">
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
In terms of views, my Debut-a-Thon Sign Ups post was the most popular. Which pleases me, because it’s the first proper event or readathon I have ever hosted, and I loved it. In terms of comments (not including memes), people really liked my review of If You Find Me, and also Tatum’s review of Howl’s Moving Castle.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
*whistles*

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
My local WHSmith’s has a reduced section. Hehe.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
YES! I have completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 100 books this year, which is just as well because I’m now stuck in a reading slump. I don’t think I completed the “Amber Must Read 5 Classics” challenge, though. I’m pretty sure I’m at three.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
I’m not sure about #1 priority, but I really want to get to The Spartacus War by Barry Strauss. I can handle the pain, I promise.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, and Split Second by Kasie West. Also the untitled, unannounced, so-not-happening spin-off series to Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris featuring Barclay. It’s happening in my head, okay?

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Probably The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Ashes to Ashes, because fuck my life, it’s gonna be rough. And also The Retribution of Mara Dyer. And Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan, because SETH. And the final book in the Grisha series. I read a lot of series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

One? Well, I want to make new friends, and I also want to convince Tatum that she’s a real book blogger person. And teach her how to format posts properly.

14 comments on “Amber’s 2013 End of Year Survey and Blogging Break

  1. Isa 21/12/2013 2:20 pm

    I need to read Tiger Lily, it’s been on my wishlist since it’s release. I still need to read a New Adult book but I have the same concerns as you but Between the Lines sounds fantastic. Locke & Key is freakin’ awesome.

    Me after reading your post: MUST HAVE TIGER LILY.
    And then this little part of my brain whispers, “B-but the book buying band? and you have entire shelf of books that need to be read!”

    I’m so conflicted. ><

    Also, I need to get on The Chaos Walking Trilogy, soon it will be two years since it was on my shelf but I lent out the first book to my friend and have yet to see it. ><

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 28/12/2013 12:10 pm

      I was really hesitant about reading Between the Lines, but it was a fun and enjoyable (and, later, heartbreaking) read. I want to give more New Adult a go, but they all sound the same right now so I’m waiting.

      YOU MAKE FANTASTIC DECISIONS. Hahaha, book buying bans. I’m meant to be back on one after Christmas but instead I’ve been buying like crazy.

      I hate it when people borrow books and don’t give them back! I lost so many books that way. I don’t lend them out any more, because people are thieves. I hope you get yours back, because the Chaos Walking trilogy is EPIC.

  2. Renu 21/12/2013 3:32 pm

    City of a Thousand Dolls ended up disappointing me too. Altered was a surprising read for me as well, one of my faves of the year! And omg, Amber! Unbreakable made me feel all the feels too! I just fell in love with Barclay and was sobbing at the end. <3 I will def read anything that Norris writes tbh.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 28/12/2013 12:11 pm

      I will never be over Unbreakable! I need to reread it so I can see Barclay again, because I adore him. Norris is ruining my life *weeps*

  3. Maji Bookshelf 22/12/2013 5:04 am

    i remember you putting Taken as one of the worst YA covers on your youtube channel.. but now it is your favorite cover? I’m confused 😛 I do know you put it as a bad cover on youtube because you hated the story.

    anyways, yea you definitely need a break! Only way I’m sane right now is because I don’t post every single day (more like once every 2 to 3 days) and it is much better this way. Enjoy your break and happy holidays! and yes Kasie West is a genius!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 28/12/2013 12:13 pm

      The list was actually Covers I Wish I Could Redesign, haha. It’s a beautiful cover and I love it, I just wish it had been put on another book. Taken doesn’t deserve a pretty cover.

      At the moment I’m posting four days a week, and Tatum takes over on Fridays, but it’s still a lot. I’m definitely going to be taking more breaks in 2014. This one has been so refreshing!

  4. Tatum Turtle 22/12/2013 9:37 pm

    technology confuses me, okay. and i’m not a real blogger person, i just sort of invade your blog every once in a while to shout about a book i’ve read. it’s terrible, i’m surprised people haven’t just been like ‘you need to give up now’ tbh.

    also the song of achilles and the ask and the answer getting mentions *weeps forever*

    SOBS HOW AM I THE BEST THING SOBS MORE

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 28/12/2013 12:14 pm

      You ARE a real blogger person. Publishers clearly think that you are since you’ve been approved for books and things. Just stop talking.

      I was going to put the Recaptains as the best thing, but Reviewer X was by far the best idea I had.

  5. Tatum Turtle 22/12/2013 9:38 pm

    as proof of my inability to technology, let us all take a moment to realise that i still haven’t figured out how to put an icon on these blogger post things

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 28/12/2013 12:14 pm

      I can’t remember how to do it, so I can’t help you there. Maybe go to your profile?

  6. Lisa Schensted 24/12/2013 2:37 am

    PATROCLUS AND ACHILLES.
    Their relationship was incredible. So refreshing and OH MY GOODNESS.

    I honest to shit just teared up reading those quotes from Chaos Walking. TODD HEWITT OWNS MY HEART.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 28/12/2013 12:15 pm

      YAAASSSSSS. One of the best relationships I’ve ever read about. My friend bought me The Iliad for Christmas, so that’s going to be lots of fun. *sobs*

      PATRICK NESS IS FLAWLESS.

  7. Kara_Malinczak 29/12/2013 6:02 pm

    I hate Mal too. I don’t get how ANYONE can like him. He is a condescending, chauvinist prickhole. Also loved Not a Drop to Drink. I STILLL have not read To Kill a Mockingbird although I really want to. I wonder if Lyn has. If not, maybe we can do it for our Forgotten Fridays feature at some point this year. We’ll see.

  8. Reviews from a Bookworm 09/01/2014 12:16 am

    You’ve got a lot of great books in your answers! I have Tiger Lily sitting on my book shelf, waiting to be read. I really love the look of that and I’m really excited to get to it. I just got Pivot Point for Christmas and I will definitely be getting to that soon. I have also had my eye on Altered for a while now… may have to cave and buy that for myself soon 🙂 Great answers. My End of Year Survey.

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