10 January 2013

2012 Round-up and end of year survey!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have all been enjoying your holidays. I have had an amazing holiday full of family, friends, food and lots of drinking (well I am Scottish and have hollow legs!). I have been thinking a lot about trying to sum up my 2012 and some of the things which happened blog related and non blog related.

2012 has been a great year with lots of ups and downs. I was assistant director on 3 plays (one of which won an award), I dislocated my knee cap at rehearsal (which I am currently still in physiotherapy for), I met someone I thought was a great guy and then had my heart broken and I met some amazing people including 3 fantastic women from the US.

In terms of my 2012 reading challenges... what can I say? I didn't meet a single target. I am surprised my total for books read is as high as it is. I am not surprised at how badly I have done with the rest of the challenges I signed up for as I started only reading for pleasure and not for my goals as I found I had very little time to read.

This year I have decided to jump on the bandwagon and join in with Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner's end of year review. It's a chance to look back and reflect on the books you have read over the last year. Let me know if you have filled out a survey or if you strongly disagree with my answers (I love a good debate!).

1. Best Book You Read In 2012?
Jellicoe Road. I loved this book so much that I finished it shortly before going to the north of Scotland, where we have a holiday home. I took this with me to force into my mother's hands to make her read it as soon as she was done with whatever she was reading at the time.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn't?
Beautiful Creatures - I think I mentally built this up to a point where it was never going to match my expectations. I read this off the back of seeing the film trailer, which I think looks beautiful, and wanted the book to be the same.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
Such a Rush - After reading Love Story and finding it to be a bit "meh", I was not holding out high hopes for this book to have recapture the magic. I was delightfully surprised to find that this book had went back to the lovelyness that I was looking for.
The Immortal Rules - I honestly thought that there were no new vampire stories to be told, so I started reading this with very little hope that it would be fresh and exciting, but it was. Well done Ms Kagawa.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Jellicoe Road - I know that I have already gone on about this book, but it was so lovely and the stories in this book were so well interwoven together I would recommend this to anyone who has a heart!

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I read a few series this year, and started a few. Not all of them I am on board with, but the ones I loved were... Airhead, Medusa Girls and The Immortal Instruments.

6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2012?
I don't think it would come as a surprise for me to say that Melina Marchetta is now one of my favourite authors (I mean come on, she wrote an episode of the amazing Dance Academy), but she is not my only favourite, I have also loved reading Cole Gibsen and Mindy Kaling.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me? by Mindy Kaling - I tend to only read fiction and stay away from memoirs or biographies, but I really liked reading about Mindy's struggle to make it in comedy.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
The Girl In The Wall - OMG, I literally could not put this book down. It was so exciting that I constantly had to know what was going to happen next or if anyone else was going to die!

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Probably none as I only re-read a few books (such as Jane Eyre), but I have been hankering to do a Jennifer Echols re-read so maybe Such a Rush.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
John Belushi is Dead, it's just so pretty!

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Allison Hewitt from Allison Hewitt is Trapped is not the most kick ass character I have ever read, but I loved watching her transformation from a mild mannered girl that works in a book shop, to a strong woman that steps up to the plate and takes charge when she needs to.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Jellicoe Road - The way all of the individual strands of the two stories interweave together creates a beautiful patchwork of a book that pulls at your heartstrings and could make even the hardest of people feel something deep within their souls.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
In Honor - This was recommended to me by my lovely friends in the US. For some reason it took me a long time to getting round to read it, but when I did I found a beautiful book that made me really think about the priorities in my life.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Saving Francesca - This book was sitting on my shelf for about 18 months before I actually picked it up and read it. It opened my eyes to Melina Marchetta and for that I can't believe I waited so long!!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?
There are so many and this year I made hardly any notes on my kindle. I will try and keep better notes for 2013.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Shortest was a play called Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us and the longest was possibly Bloodlines? I read mostly on Kindle and so I'm not sure of the lengths of books as I don't see the page numbers. I can get a feel for the lengths of books by how long it takes me to read them, but it's not something I can be sure of.

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!
Allison Hewitt is Trapped had a scene in it that made my jaw drop and swear out loud. Without giving too much away I have always found it a little annoying that when you read books which involve some kind of post appocalyptic dire situation the characters in the story always stay above reproach. This is the first story where I found the main characters to be real as there are a few seriously shady (and one majorly messed up) situations.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Such A Rush - The whole book start to finish was the development of the relationship between the two main characters, and it was lucky I was reading this by a pool in Barcelona as I definitely needed to cool off while reading it!

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously?
Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares - This was a sweet and charming book and it was everything I was looking for. I enjoyed reading Nick and Nora's Infinate Playlist so I knew what to expect from David Leviathan and Rachel Cohn and they delivered everything I wanted and more. I just need these two crazy kids to write some more books!

20. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
There are literally hundreds of books I didn't get to in 2012 and that I wanted to read, but number 1 on my list is now going to have to be The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer. I don't know why, but I keep reading other books over this one! No more. This will be the next the book I tackle from the ever expanding list of books to read!

21. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
Isla and the Happily Ever After - I mean this need no explanation right? Things I can't Forget - Again I thinks this can go without explanation. In addition to these there are so many series coming to an end at the start of 2013 that I will be doing a lot of catching up (I tend to read the 1st book and then stop!) so that I can see how the series finishes.

22. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
I need to become far more organised in my blogging. I have enjoyed reading for pleasure this year and I will try to maintain this level of enjoyment. I will also be trying to expand what I write about from just YA books to TV series, blogs, music and anything else that I am enjoying at that time.

That feels like a pretty good end to the year and I hope to see you all in 2013.


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