Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Bookish 2011

What better way to ring in the new year than with a survey? Credit to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for this awesome survey that will highlight all bookish aspects - the good and the bad - of my 2011!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Hands down. No argument, no other choices. I've read a lot of amazing books this year but this one really stuck with me. So incredible!

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. It was my first Libba Bray book and I wanted to love it so much, but I couldn't even finish it. Tried, but couldn't. I guess I just don't have much of a sense of humor when it comes to my books, but the oddness and randomness were just too much for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?
Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt. I went into this book expecting to hate it, because it's a "girl falls for best friend's boyfriend" type story and I don't condone hurting your best friend over a guy. Ever. I was expecting my feelings to get in the way but wow! This book completely tore down my walls and really made me see that there's always more to a situation than you think.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?
Divergent by Veronica Roth. I pushed this book on to sooo many people. I have a feeling that my persistency annoyed them a bit, but they all ended up loving the book in the end.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?
That would most definitely have to be The Summer series (The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer) by Jenny Han. I won them at a S&S luncheon but didn't read them until a few months ago and HOLY CRAP. Best contemporary series EVER.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Victoria Schwab (The Near Witch) and Myra McEntire! (Hourglass) Not only did they write incredible books, but they're on Twitter quite a bit and they're both absolutely hilarious and down to earth.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I tend to stay within my comfort zone when I'm reading, so I didn't really venture far out of it this year but I'd say that This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel was a bit out of my zone. It was based on Frankenstein, which I haven't read nor have I seen the movie. I went into it kind of blindly but I ended up loving it!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?
It's a three-way tie between Divergent by Veronica Roth, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. My fingers were glued to both. I can't choose!

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce! I was a huge fangirl of Sisters Red in 2010, so I was twitchy with impatience for Sweetly. And it definitely didn't disappoint - it was just as incredible as it's companion!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
My head keeps bringing me back to Pearl from Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst. She was quirky, sarcastic, lively and the witty banter she had with her foes was hilarious.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. That story flowed so gracefully and gorgeously that it was almost lyrical.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?
I wasn't emotionally moved by a lot of books this year, but I did feel an impact from Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez. That book was definitely powerful and the emotions oozed from the pages!

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. A blogger friend pushed and pushed me to read this so I finally jumped at the chance to get a copy and ended up loving it just as much as she promised that I would.

15. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I'll be likely to reread that in 2012. And 2013. And probably every year for the rest of my life. Just saying.

16. 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!
There are a few! There was a pretty brutal, gory death in Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake that kind of took my breath away. And there was a scene with surveillance camera footage in The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson that gave me a hardcore case of the heebie jeebies. And pretty much the entirety of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was a WTF moment. My jaw was dropped throughout the whole length of the novel. In a really, really good way. The sexual tension, the alligators, the grisly happenings ... *shivers*

- Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011 -

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?
Oh snap. There are so many! But I think two of my favorite blogs I discovered in 2011 are Makeshift Bookmark and GReads! They've both got great blogging voices that shine through in all of their posts. And they're both pretty awesome on Twitter as well!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?
Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly. I loved this book so much. And I'm not sure what I ate that day, but it gave me some brain power because I feel like I touched on all aspects of my reading experience in that review, which is something that pretty much never happens. Sure, I sounded like a fangirl lunatic but I sounded like an articulate fangirl lunatic and that's all that matters.

3. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
BEA. Oh my god. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing that was. I met so many incredible authors and bloggers and publishers and editors and holy cow, it was my own personal week long Christmas. And in NEW YORK too. Book people are my people and I felt so in my element with all of them. I'm so sad that I can't go in 2012 but I hope to have some equally incredible bookish experiences anyway!

Picture credit: Heather from Fire and Ice.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?
Oh geeze, I don't even know if I have one. Every single time an author contacts me, every time I get an arc in the mail, every time an author retweets or replies to something I tweet ... I get extremely giddy and feel like it's the best blogging moment ever. Reaching 1000 followers was pretty kickass, both on the blog and Twitter! And even though it doesn't relate to blogging indirectly, I think the highlight would be walking up to authors at BEA and having them recognize my blog. That was always a big OMGDANCEPARTYHAPPINESS moment for me.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My fan art for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer got 2,650+ pageviews (umm, HOLY FUDGE THAT'S A LOT) and had over 20 comments, which is pretty big for me and my little blog! I was happy to get that reaction because it's definitely one of my favorite pieces!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I don't have one in specific. I always wish my reviews get more love than they do because I put so much thought into them, but I blog strictly for me so I'm not really that heartbroken if nobody views or comments. (Okay, I am a little, but it wouldn't discourage me from blogging!)

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
It's a variety site, but PINTEREST. You have to search for them, but Pinterest has got so many amazing bookish crafts. I made some bookish Christmas ornaments for my tree this year and I plan to make a tablet case out of an old hardcover book soon. It also has links to places you can buy cute bookish stuff, such as the polar bear shaped bookcase I plan on purchasing as soon as I win the lottery!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
No! I was a couple books short of completing the 2011 Debut Author Challenge but it just didn't happen. I try not to set too many goals because I'm horrible at keeping them. I'm bound and determined to follow through with a few in 2012 though!

Looking Ahead...

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?
Vampire Academy! I hope. I keep dragging my feet on this series but I will read them in 2012 eventually!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?
ENSHADOWED BY KELLY CREAGH. I have been waiting for this book for years now. Must have the amazingness. And also Insurgent by Veronica Roth and the untitled sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Those are my three "get my hands on at any costs" books.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?
I always say this but I'm actually going to follow through this year ... more author interaction. The thought of contacting authors kind of scares the crap out of me, because I'm skittish and nervous and starstruck if one simply tweets me. But I'm determined to have all kinds of authors featured in Sophistikatied in 2012!

2011 was a great year for bookish stuff, but I'm hoping 2012 is ten times better! See you guys next year!


  1. PINTEREST. for the love, that site has changed my life.

    Ginger and Jen are so rad. Solid choice for new blogs!

    I too need to get in on that VA action. It will happen in 2012! I can feel it.

  2. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was one of my top reads of 2011, too! LOVED it!!!!

  3. ME TOO, Lisa! It's got me cooking and crafting and sewing. I almost feel like a real adult now hahah.

    And definitely agreed, KM! DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE FTW. Best book ever!

  4. So many excellent books this year!!! I'm definitely with you on the awesomeness of Anna Dressed in Blood and Name of the Star. This Dark Endeavor was also one of the better books I've read this year!

    Here's hoping your 2012 is filled with health, happiness, and tons of excellent reads!


  5. Wow, so many great books on your list! I haven't read a lot of them, but have been dying to. And omg, you haven't read VA yet?! I know, you probably hear that a lot. But seriously, it's a great series. It's my top number one favorite YA vampire series.

    Hope you had an awesome new years!

  6. What an AWSOME post! Loved hearing about your 2011 and hopes for 2012. I just thought I'd comment and says thanks so much for being an incredible blogger. Sophistikatied was the first book blog I ever followed and I have followed religiously since mid 2010 (i believe). If it wasn't for this blog I wouldn't have read some of the amazing books I've read over the past year or 2 and I wouldn't have plucked up the courage to eventually start my own blog

    So thanks and looking forward to reading more of your book reviews in 2012 :)