End of Year Survey 2017

13th May 2018

By Jamie @ Perpetual Pageturner

Number of books I read: Work-related + Private = 28 + 72 = 100
Number of rereads: 8
Genre I read the most from: Contemporary

Please keep in mind that I work for a publisher and, as stated above, read a lot of their books. So it’s bound to be quite a couple of them in here. But this is still my personal opinion.

1. Best book I read in 2017

Let’s split that up a little [only counting first-reads]:

2. Books I was excited about and thought I was going to love more but didn’t

Although both books were still three star reads, I was a little disappointed because I had super high expectations for them: Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff just couldn’t live up to its predecessor in execution, characters, and plot [however, it improved on rereading and I upgraded it to 4 stars in 2018]. Same goes for Wires and Nerve (Wires and Nerve, #1) by Marissa Meyer & Douglas Holgate. I’m not a big fan of the illustration style and a lot of the things I adored about The Lunar Chronicles just don’t translate well into the graphic novel format.

3. Most surprising book I read

I’ve never been good at sports in school and I disliked all team sports involving balls, especially basketball (which, ironically, actually got me the best sports grade I ever had in any school cert). So I was quite surprised to like Absolute Gewinner by Christoph Scheuring as much as I did since the whole plot is revolving around a basketball tournament. And then it also had that scene at the Reeperbahn, Hamburg,  that had my jaw drop. What an unexpected scene in a MG novel.

4. Book I “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)

I didn’t have a book I particularly pushed privately in 2017. Professionally, my book pushing is still going strong, though.

5. Best series I started in 2017 / Best sequel of 2017 / Best series ender of 2017

A: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy, #1) by Marie Rutkoski
I enjoyed this immensely, much more than I thought I would. Unfortunately, I didn’t own book 2 and 3 back when I read it and although I own them now, I haven’t managed to continue the trilogy yet.

B: Lizzy Carbon und die Wunder der Liebe (Lizzy Carbon, #2) by Mario Fesler
*fangirl squealing* I just love this series to pieces!

C: So I didn’t really read a book that qualifies here? Need to work on finishing series …

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

I can’t really tell since I have only read one book of all of these authors so far, but these impressed me the most and had me buy more of their books immediately: Jodi Lynn Anderson, Kat Rosenfield, Marie Rutkoski, Ken Liu, and Seanan McGuire.

7. Best book from a genre I don’t typically read

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I had to create a new tag both on GR and in my spread sheet because I usually don’t read biographies. But for Carrie, I gladly make an exception. I did like it a lot although it was also painful to read on many levels. I really need to read more of her books.

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

I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline in early January and I really couldn’t put it down. As soon as I got home from work, I had to continue reading. It has some lengths, but all in all, it’s a really gripping and exciting read with lots and lots of references. I’m pretty sure I missed a lot!

9. Book I read in 2017 that I’m most likely to reread next year

In 2016, it was Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – I didn’t reread it in 2017.

As for 2017, I’m pretty sure I won’t reread any of the books in 2018, solely because I’m currently not big on rereading. However, I should be rereading The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy, #1) by Marie Rutkoski before continuing the series because I’ve forgotten almost the entire plot although I really liked it, and the other most likely candidate would be The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson because I adored it. [2018-Me: I’m actually rereading much more than I expected, mostly through audio books. I did, however, reread Gemina in print]

10. Favorite cover of a book I read in 2017
Best Look Best Feel
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I love the origami tiger! So pretty! This cover might look simplistic, but wait till you hold it in your hands! The plot revolves around a basketball tournament and the cover feels like a basketball! I couldn’t stop stroking it when we got the first proofs. So amazing!
11. Most memorable character of 2017

That would be Lizzy Carbon [Lizzy Carbon und die Wunder der Liebe (Lizzy Carbon, #2) by Mario Fesler]. I love her, especially her black humour and sarcasm. She’s utterly brilliant!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson just ticked off all of my boxes. The most beautiful dreamy-melancholic atmosphere, a haunting plot, and the most perfect ending this novel could have – sadness seeping from every page.

13. Most thought-provoking book of 2017

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu is a collection of scifi and fantasy stories which all have aspects of identity at their centre, sometimes wrapped into metaphors, sometimes as blunt as a knife, a knife that buried itself deep into my heart. I did cry a lot reading those stories. Especially “The Paper Menagerie” broke me completely.

14. Book I can’t believe I waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

I loved Between Shades of Gray and when I found out about this companion novel, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I actually managed to obtain an ARC copy of Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015, but I didn’t mange to read it back then, nor in 2016. So glad I finally managed, because I really liked this one, too. The ending turned me into a puddle.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book I read in 2017

A very memorable and touching passage from The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The hairstyle that was chosen would impact how everyone – every filmgoing human – would envision me for the rest of my life. (And probably even beyond – it’s hard to imagine any TV obituary not using a photo of that cute little round-faced girl with goofy buns on either side of her inexperienced head.)

She was right.

16. Shortest and longest book I read in 2017

A: Bogumil, der Flughafenzwerg by Rusalka Reh [56 pages]

B: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff [663 pages]

17. Book that shocked me the most

I expected the interesting report of an adventurous ride through Connemara. Instead, it took a quarter of the book to even get her to Connemara and then the narration was quite bland. Until the end, that is. Then Connemara Mollie: An Irish Journey on Horseback (Ireland on Horseback, #1) by Hilary Bradt totally left me pissed. Let’s face it, she killed her own horse with her infuriating recklessness and stubbornness. Even though her horse sank several times into the bog, she continued on – until her horse got totally stuck. It was evening, so she went to a dry patch and got to sleep, hoping Mollie would find the way out of her misery on her own. Well, that poor thing got out just to fall down a cliff and die. Just writing this has me all worked up again.

18. OTP of the year (I will go down with this ship!)

I always cheat because I usually have an OTP for everything. I just can’t decide for a single one. My favourites of 2017:

  • Kaede & Takeo [The Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn]. Finally managed to read the third book in this series after years and years of rereading book one and two. I love these two, especially Kaede, who – just like all the women in this series – can’t catch a break. There are constantly awful things happening to her but she always stays so strong.
  • Kestrel & Arin [The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski]. Still haven’t continued the series, but these two have really grown on me, especially since there are fanvids with Luke Pasqualino and Freya Mavor that or so damn on point, it’s glorious. I will go down with that fan casting ship.
  • Grace & Eva [How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake]. Oh God, these two are so adorable!
  • Achilles & Patroclus [The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller]. Their story is so damn painful.
19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year
  1. Aubree and the seniors [Wanderlost by Jen Malone]
  2. Hollis and her siblings [The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend]
  3. Maika and Kippa [Monstress Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda]
20. Favorite book I read in 2017 from an author I’ve read previously

Definitely Lizzy Carbon und die Wunder der Liebe (Lizzy Carbon, #2) by Mario Fesler! I just love Lizzy and her sarcasm! Runners up are Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – she always has me crying my eyes out -, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo – I always loved her stories much more than her original Grisha trilogy and I’m looking forward to reading the Six of Crows duology hopefully in 2018 -, and On the Fence by Kasie West – her contemporaries are a mix of cuteness overload and heartbreak.

21. Best book I read in 2017 that I read bases SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure

I usually don’t read books solely based on a recommendation or peer pressure. If there’s not at least something about the book that piques my interest, I’m not going to waste any time and money on it. However, there was a book in 2017 that qualifies for this category, which would be Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertally. This book was everywhere but I wasn’t really interested. Since it was nominated for the German Youth Literature Award and I could borrow it from a colleague, I decided I’d give it a go. I did like it, but it didn’t completely blow me away.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book I read in 2017

That would be Arin [The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski] and I also developed a soft spot for Kashmir [The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig].

23. Best 2017 debut I read

Apparently, I haven’t read a single debut novel in 2017.

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting I read this year
  1. The Illuminae Universe by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
    Even though it got crazy in Gemina, I really like this scifi setting!
  2. The Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo
    This time, not of the original series, but of her wonderful twisted fairytales of The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic. So beautiful!
  3. Three Countries by Lian Hearn
    I’ve always loved the fantastical setting of The Tales of the Otori based on feudal Japan even though I’m nowadays a bit wary since it’s not own voices.
  4. The World and the OASIS by Ernest Cline
    Ready Player One was such a fun book and I loved that it was set mostly in this virtual reality with all those quests and references of which I didn’t even get half of them.
25. Book that put a smile on my face/was the most FUN to read
  1. Lizzy Carbon und die Wunder der Liebe (Lizzy Carbon, #2) by Mario Fesler
    That sarcasm and black humour!
  2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #2) by Douglas Adams
    These books are beyond silly!

  3. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
    Some of these anecdotes had me in stitches!

26. Book that made me cry in 2017

Amongst others:

  1. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
    Every single Marchetta novel I’ve read so far has made me cry, actually.
  2. On the Fence by Kasie West
    What I expected: a cute contemporary. What I got: a cute contemporary with a heartbreaking subplot.
  3. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
    Of course this made me cry. WW2 novels always make me cry.
27. Hidden gem of the year
  1. The Dark Horse by Jenny Hughes
    I have read hundreds of horse novels and I’m no longer ten years old, so to impress me, it’s got to be quite something. This one I adored due to the wonderful characters although it utilises a couple of those well-known tropes.
  2. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
    These stories are all kinds of awesome!
  3. The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson & Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
    I put them up next to each other because they are very similar – not necessarily in story, but in tone and atmosphere. And that atmosphere’s just right down my alley!
28. Book that crushed my soul

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys really got to me. As the reader, you know how this ends. You know these characters are not fleeing to safety. You know that not all of them will make it out alive. You just don’t know which ones will live. I once watched a very interesting – and very sad – documentary about the Gustloff, the Goya, and the Steuben in my teens. I’ve never forgotten.

29. Most unique book I read in 2017

Well, that would be Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff even though it’s not quite as varied in narration techniques as Illuminae was. However, these books are pretty fun to read with all those snippets and chat logs and files and stuff.

30. Book that made me the most mad

Connemara Mollie: An Irish Journey on Horseback (Ireland on Horseback, #1) by Hilary Bradt for the reason I mentioned above but will repeat here: Let’s face it, she killed her own horse with her infuriating recklessness and stubbornness. Even though her horse sank several times into the bog, she continued on – until her horse got totally stuck. It was evening, so she went to a dry patch and got to sleep, hoping Mollie would find the way out of her misery on her own. Well, that poor thing got out just to fall down a cliff and die. Just writing this has me all worked up again.

1. One book I didn’t get to in 2017 but will be my number 1 priority in 2018

For 2016, it was Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, which I did read in 2017.

For 2017, that would be Die Spur der Bücher (Die Spur der Bücher, #1) by Kai Meyer, which I started, but haven’t managed to finish yet.

2. Book I’m most anticipating for 2018 (non-debut)

I’m really looking forward to The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black (faeries from the queen of faeries!), Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Eurovision in space!), Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (loved the short story this novel is based on!), and Competence (The Custard Protocol, #3) by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate Universe ftw!).

3. 2018 debut I’m most anticipating

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin not only looks really pretty but also sounds incredible!

4. Series ending/a sequel I’m most anticipating in 2018

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff for sure! I can’t wait to find out how this is going to end. [Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. While I couldn’t stop reading, it just wasn’t nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be.]

5. One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging life in 2018

I hope I’ll manage to do both reading and blogging. Lots of changes aka new responsibilities at work coming my way this year.

6. A 2018 release I’ve already read and recommend to everyone

One of the books I read for work: Pinella Propella by Katrin Zipse. It’s actually for children aged 4+ but this little book is adorable. The story – a little girl who’s able to fly decides to become a superhero to defend her new best friend from bullying – and the illustrations are beautiful!

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