Tag Thursday

The 2020 End of Year Book Survey

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Hi everyone and welcome to my final post of the year 2020!

Who else is ready for this year to be over? However disastrous this year may have been, I have to admit that my reading life in 2020 has been pretty great! So let’s focus on the bright side and, on this last day of 2020, look back at my reading and blogging year with the 2020 End of Year Book Survey!

(I know there’s technically still one day left in 2020, but I’m not planning on doing a lot of reading today and instead just binge some TV, so this list will most likely not change any more 🙂 )

This survey is hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. All banners below are also hers.

**2020 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 102
Number of Re-Reads: 14
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

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1. Best Book You Read In 2020?

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
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I WILL NEVER STOP RAVING ABOUT THIS GORGEOUS, HOPEFUL, RAY-OF-SUNSHINE, SHOT-OF-SEROTONIN, WARM HUG OF A BOOK.

Though seriously, I adored The House in the Cerulean Sea and would highly recommend it to everybody.

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

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
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Please don’t get me wrong, I liked The Starless Sea. But I was expecting to LOVE it as much as I did The Night Circus and I just didn’t.

The writing was gorgeous and I loved the premise, the characters and the romance. But the story got a little too long and too weird for me near the end.

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

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I picked up Shifter Island book 1, Midnight Kisses, on a whim and because I was trying to read some more urban fantasy that I wouldn’t usually pick up. And even though I wanted to read it, a part of me still thought I wouldn’t really enjoy this one.

But surprise, despite a little rocky start, I actually really loved it and am looking forward to the next books in the series!

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

I’m not sure how many people picked this up because of me, but I do know I’ve been raving about The Guild Codex so much this year (and the year before that), and if there’s one series or author my fellow bloggers would connect to me, I’m pretty sure it would be this one.

That said, please read The Guild Codex by Annette Marie. You won’t regret it 😉

 5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?

The best series starter is definitely Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I got so hooked to this dark fantasy and am desperately craving more.

My favorite sequel is A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The first book in this series didn’t hook me immediately, but this sequel has gotten me OBSESSED.

And my favorite series ending has to be A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir. I’ve gotten so attached to these characters and their finale was heartbreaking, yet satisfying.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

I totally fell in love with Jeaniene Frost and her Night Huntress series. Cat and Bones are amazing and I love all the secondary characters almost as much. And the best part is, I still have so many books of her to discover, which I’m definitely planning to do in 2021!

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

Imposter by Tate James
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So, I haven’t been the best at reading outside of my comfort zone in 2020. I mean, it was a pandemic and I coped by reading what I love best, fantasy and romance…

But inside of those genres, I did step outside of my comfort zone by reading my first reverse harem story. And I liked it! I binged Tate James’ Royal Trials series in just a couple of days.

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

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
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Okay, the beginning of House of Earth and Blood is very info-dumpy and a bit slow / hard to get into. But when it starts, oh man it starts!

I spent the entire last third of this book literally on the edge of my seat. I was crying, I was cheering, I was yelling and no matter what, I could not stop reading.

 9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
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I’ve been craving a re-read of Boyfriend Material ever since I put it down, so I’m sure an actual re-read won’t be too long off.

I adored this hilarious m/m romance with its fake dating, enemies-to-lovers romance with an amazing friend group and the best kind of humor.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
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Look at the pretty! Also, the inside of Sorcery of Thorns was just as gorgeous as this was another one of my all-time favorite reads of 2020.

11. Most memorable character of 2020?

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
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Finian de Karran de Seel.

Because of course my heart would immediately be sold to the snarky, sarcastic, bi alien. (Also, can we please have him on the cover of book 3? Pretty Please?)

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
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Like I said above, even though I didn’t love this book as much as I was hoping I would, there’s no denying that The Starless Sea was still the most beautifully written book I read this year.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
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The House in the Cerulean Sea was the book that gave me hope again in a year like 2020. It made me believe in the power of kindness again. It made me believe in the goodness of people again.

Though they may not have been huge life-changing revelations, it’s still the ray of sunshine and shot of serotonin I needed.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read? 

Written in Red by Anne Bishop
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Written In Red, the first book in The Others series has been sitting on my bookshelf for several years already. This summer, I FINALLY picked it up and immediately kicked myself for waiting so long, because I loved it.

Now, I still need a new kick, because I have not yet continued the series even though I really, really want to.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?

Basically all of The House in the Cerulean Sea, but this one in particular:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
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16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

Shortest book: Fence, Vol 4: Rivals (112 pages)

Longest book: House of Earth and Blood (803 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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I had some theories and suspicions, and yet some of the revelations in From Blood and Ash (and its sequel) had me shocked so much I was thinking about them days afterwards.

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

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
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Elisabeth and Nathaniel own my heart.

“You unmanageable, contrary creature. You have made me believe in something at last. It feels as wretched as I imagined.”

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
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Alex and Dawes. I could read about this unlikely duo all day. And I wouldn’t mind if it turned romantic either.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Loveless by Alice Oseman
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I have loved Alice Oseman’s previous books, but Loveless, with its asexual representation may take the cake for new favorite.

“I’ve learnt some Things. Like the way friendship can be just as intense, beautiful and endless as romance. Like the way there’s love everywhere around me – there’s love for my friends, there’s love for my paintings, there’s love for myself.”

21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Upside Down by N.R. Walker
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I saw someone raving about Upside Down by N.R. Walker and its romantic ace representation and knew I had to pick it up. So I did just that and fell in love.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Look, where do I begin? I’m crushing so hard on pretty much all characters from the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, and most of all Bones. But I’m also equally crushing on Dawes AND Darlington from Ninth House, Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns and Linus from the Beginners Guide to Necromancy series.

23. Best 2020 debut you read?

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
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Cemetery Boys was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I’m happy to say it totally lived up to the hype and anticipation!

I loved this book about a latinx trans boy who wants to prove himself as a brujo to his family but ends up summoning the wrong ghost… and falling for him.

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

It takes a mastermind to create this huge, vivid world, containing several spin-off series that all intertwine in the most elaborate and genius of ways. I bow to the awesomeness that is Annette Marie’s Guild Codex series. That is all.

Also, hi I love this series and highly recommend it. You know, in case you’re new to this blog 😉

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

The Switch by Beth O'Leary
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The Switch by Beth O’Leary did also handle some harder topics, but overall it was not only such a feel-good read, but the humor was definitely so well done as well.

“Grandma, what are you doing?”
“Medding!” I yell cheerfully. “It’s my new ‘thing’!”

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
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The last third of House of Earth and Blood turned me into a sobbing mess and I still can’t read certain quotes without becoming a teary mess.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
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Are you looking for an action-packed story of galactic intrigue and badass space pilots? Or a tense exploration of loyalty and bloodright? Do you love Star Wars but wished it was more gay? All I’m saying is if you like fake dating, mutual pining, “there’s only one bed”, forbidden romance, secret princes, angst, legendary knights in powersuits and “Moments” in a river… then definitely check out the space opera Bonds of Brass!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

A-Sky-Beyond-The-Storm-by-Sabaa-Tahir
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The finale of the Ember in the Ashes series was perfect, and yet still soul-crushing.

“Emifal firdaant. May death claim me first.”

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
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The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow reeled me in because of the premise: a girl who loves books working together with an alien who loved pop music to try and save the world. But add in multiple references to favorite books and songs, well-done demi-ace and anxiety rep, a lovely romance, non-binary representation and a haunting commentary on racism and oppression, and this book becomes a unique little gem.

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

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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As I said above, From Blood and Ash was my most shocking read of the year and had me thinking about certain plot twists for days after reading it. But one of the feelings I had about some of the plot twists was pure anger. Anger for the characters and what was done to them.

So this book made me angry, but in a good way. (And I got over things slowly in book two 😉 )

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1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?

This year, I got to know Elza Reads, who is the sweetest and has a gorgeous blog, so feel free to go show her some love!

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2020?

7 reasons why you should try the guild codex
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Any excuse to rave about Annette Marie books works for me 🙂

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2020?

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

I did no such thing this year 🙁

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

That time Annette Marie used my post on her social media!!!
(It was this post 😉 )

Annette Marie shout-out
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Also, my new blog theme and redesign!

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

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, UGH!

For a few months, some comments did not come through on my blog. As in, I never saw them, they were lost, and the commenters never got an error message either. This really annoyed me, because I tried and tried and could not find the culprit.

I think I fixed it now (my site is back to http instead of https), but I’m not sure that was the actual culprit or just a coincidence and I’m terrified it’ll happen again because I’m definitely not technologically savvy enough for these things.

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

Books to read if you love pen pal romances got the most views this year!

190730 Books To Read If You Love Pen Pal Romances
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8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My first post on enemies-to-lovers romances is one of my most popular posts, but the second part could use some more love.

20200623 Enemies to lovers part 2
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9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Nothing, really. I’ve still been obsessed with audiobooks, which I discovered last year. But nothing new.

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

The only reading goal I set for myself this year was to read 50 books. I thought this was a nice goal, but not too high because I didn’t want to pressure myself and stayed away from reading challenges for that reason. But then the pandemic hit and I was stuck at home and reading even more to cope with everything and voila, I ended up reading more than double my goal and smashing my own personal record (which before this was 81 books back in 2016). Umm, woohoo, I guess?

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
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2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

The One and Only Crystal Druid by Annette Marie
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My favorite author writing a spin-off about my favorite Guild Codex Druid? It’s a must.

3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell
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Winter’s Orbit is a queer romantic space opera in which a scandal-prone prince and a dutiful scholar are forced into a political marriage and are trying to prevent an interplanetary war. I’m thinking it sounds like the perfect mix between Red White and Royal Blue and Bonds of Brass, two of my faves!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve become obsessed with this series and am eagerly anticipating the next installment.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

My main goal for 2021 is to write more book reviews again, because I’ve been kind of slacking on that front for the past 1-2 years. I also want to be more organised and get better at blog hopping regularly.

Most importantly though, I want to keep on doing this for a long time still to come, so I want to keep the fun and enthusiasm strong!

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Tell Me:
What’s your favorite book read in 2020? Favorite new author? Favorite post of yours?

Lindsey xoxo
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Follow me on: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

12 Comments

  1. Lindsey,

    I LOVE this End of the Year Survey — I haven’t released one in half of forever, *but!* this year, I’m changing that. Mostly as miss them as my year end roundup as much as the fact this year it will be a way to resolve I didn’t get to read as many books as I had hoped to nor did I consume as much as I wanted off my backlogue I’ll loop back in a few days and add a better comment – I just wanted to drop by and let you know I love your blog, am a subscriber and will be making a keen attempt to visit more regularly and add comments.

    1. Aww, thanks so much Jorie!
      This is indeed such a fun survey, but it’s so massive that I didn’t even start it the past few years. But this year, I persevered, haha 🙂
      I’m looking forward to yours and hope your 2020 reading was at least great and enjoyable, even if you didn’t read as much as you would have wanted.

      1. OOh! I forgot to circle back and share the link for mine — forgive me! I’m still adjusting back onto my blog and reading – esp after all the hours my Mum worked over the hols and I was caring for my Dad; it was one of those wild and crazy holidays – I’m tucking into some #ChristmasReads this January as I never had the chance to even read them this year! 🙁

        Here’s my End of the Year Survey and now I can re-read yours and add new comments!! 🙂

        I am so thankful I persevered myself this year!! I had so much fun announcing which stories/authors were my top favourites on Twitter and to give some joy + praise back to those authors was a delightful way to ‘come back’ into a New Year of book blogging.

        I did reconcile my 2020 Reading Life – it wasn’t nearly as bad as I felt it was going to be all told. In fact, through answering the prompts, re-thinking about the individual stories and being openly honest about how I feel about it all now really helped me resolve having a low yield of reads and move forward into 2021 on a better foundation than I started 2020.

        1. Hallo, Hallo Lindsey,

          I decided to go to WP Reader to make adding some extra notes for you easier,… I usually avg a higher amount of books read myself (150-200) so I congratulate you to get past 100x!! 🙂 🙂 The one thing I never seem to have time for are re-reads; I’ve been vexed over the years with my complete inability to do it. I just hope one day I’ll have a long Winter and whilst it snows, I can re-read to my heart’s delights! Mind, I need to live where it snows that hard. lol

          From your list the ones which interest me are as follows:

          The House in the Cerulean Sea [so much #booklove for this across the board for the book bloggers I read/follow!! ] I decided to just add it to my current queue @ the library and enjoy the journey once it comes in! lol #bookhugs are my jam!! Loved how you said this is about uplifting kindness in a darker world and where hope can still thrive and where people have the capacity to be kind to one another… I wish we had more of that but since the pandemic and the restrictions here, everyone seems short tempered, angrier and the drivers on the road? Gosh. Don’t even get me started about how I drove through seriously bad weather and nearly had 10x collusions with drivers who were too hurried, too mad and too sour to pay better attention to driving rain conditions on Christmas Eve! 🙁 I wished they had had better judgement then.

          The Starless Sea [so much angst!] I’ve heard this from others as well; I haven’t even finished The Night Circus (*gasp!* I know, I know) but I’ll have to tread carefully with this one OR I should see if you have a review / post about it and peer into your thoughts/reactions about why it didn’t jive well. Sometimes those help me understand if books aren’t my cuppa too. Which is why on my reviews I share positive, negative and neutral reactions (depending on the story, sometimes I just gush in joy!)

          I had my own angst of heartache with books this year… you’ll see if you visit my survey results. I laid it all out there and left it in 2020. I mean sometimes you just have to purge your own thoughts to accept in the new stories and let the past stories you’ve read which rankled to be left where they were read.

          I was going to fill out that category for ‘push’ stories to be read but I didn’t want to toot my own horn too much as I have recently been told that chatters during @SatBookChat are buying/reading the books I’m showcasing and whose authors are being interviewed during my chat. I was on the fence if I should reveal that or not and just didn’t do it. I mean its wicked good news and I’m humbled by it… but I was interpreting this Q to be more about what I blogged or tweeted about personally during the year than what I organise through @SatBookChat.

          OOh! I’ve been eyeing your favourite series started of the year — for er, years now? I keep vascillating if those are for me or not. I mean I heart #OctoberDaye. So?? Now that’s a seriers I want to continue and hopefully get to the last novel (at least last published) by year’s end!! 🙂 🙂

          I discovered a reverse harem novel/series I wanted to read myself this year but it was a devasting find as the author pulled all print copies off the market so that killed the ability for me to ever read them. *le sigh* I’m glad yours went far better! I will say for me reading a seriously Dark Fantasy was a full step outside my own comfort zones this year… I was pleasantly gobsmacked by how much I loved and endured the series by Marcus Lee.

          I was so unfocused this past year in reading… I couldn’t even focus on comfort reads because if I had I would have finished Leeanne Leads series of Witchy Circus goodness whilst picking up where I left off with the Wonky Inn series, too. I just lacked motivation and my family had a lot of medical emergencies too so there was that in the background, too. (ie. I’m my Dad’s daytime carer whilst Mum works in home health; he survived a stroke Nov’16)

          I’ve been hearing good things about Boyfriend Material… something tells me I might have a copy of this or my library has a copy? Its one of those books I know I have access to it but can’t remember where/why/how. Oyyy. #hardyear2020

          Ack. Sorocery Of Thorns! I dearly want to read this one but I have to read the other one first and then I can enjoy reading this one… by the time I get into its chapters I hope the wait won’t disappoint me.

          I love how you re-highlighted The Starless Sea – reminds me how much I repeated to mention certain stories too. Including some DNFs because I spent so much time in their worlds I still have something positive to say about them even though they frustrated me.

          OOh I forgot that Q: why you’d wait so long to read book for me would be a tie:

          * Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish
          * Magnolia Storms

          In theory I just learnt of the first and on the latter its been on my shelf languishing!!

          CEMETERY BOYS!! Another book I wanted dearly to read in 2020 as I had the chance to interview the author and everything but it wasn’t meant to be. Its on the top of my TBR for 2021 but I just need to sort out when its best to read and listen to the audiobook! I want to re-fetch the print out of the library and Scribd blessedly has the audio version!! 🙂

          I’m glad we both had books which gave us challenging thoughts, hearty smiles, gush fests of #booklove + character admirations as those are the memories I’m taking with me into 2021. And, that #bookphoto, OMG! How did you get that!? I try to put my cats into mine but their indifference is above and beyond frustrating.

          Like you, I want to keep book blogging for awhile longer yet and what I struggled with last year was having the joy and happiness I usually had book blogging. The cool bit though is had the chance interview more authors last year – both on my blog and on @SatBookChat. I hope to continue that track record on both platforms again but more importantly, I want to read the books on my shelf which are on my backlogue which is why I created a TBR dice game late last night. Full reveal will be at the end of January as I have a few kinks to work through! lol

          Hands down if I had to pick an evergreen novel of the year for 2020 it would be Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish simply because of what it gave me and how it resonated with me as I read it. Plus it works well with that post you wrote about enemies to friends to lovers? I never really go for those plots (a bit of a harder sell for me) and I don’t like bad boys either – and yet, Ms Turner took tropes I hardly ever read and spun this brilliant Contemporary Women’s Fiction story about one woman trying to give a bloke his just deserts only to find there is so much more going on behind his bravado!

          I’m so happy someone else loves filling these in as much as I do!!

          1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Jorie!
            I hope you’ll enjoy The House in the Cerulean Sea as much as I did if you decide to pick it up!
            The Starless Sea was definitely full of super gorgeous writing and an interesting plot, but the story got a little too weird, too whimsical for me at the end. I like a bit of whimsy, but too much and I’m lost 🙂
            Hope you’ll enjoy Boyfriend Material, Sorcery of Thorns and Cemetery Boys as well!
            The secret of my bookish photo? A little dog treat on top of my books and a whole lot of patience, haha 🙂
            Hope you’ll have an amazing 2021, Jorie!

        2. Thanks so much for linking me to your survey, I’ll check it out ASAP!

  2. I agree completely about The Starless Sea!
    I’m also super excited for The Crown of Gilded Bones.
    Happy New Year!

    1. The Starless Sea was so beautiful, just a little too weird for my tastes. I also have such high expectations for The Crown of Gilded Bones 🙂
      Happy New Year!

  3. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    You make me dread reading the last book of Sabaa tahir!!!

    1. Oh no, it’s heartbreaking, but also in a kind of good way if that makes any sense lol 🙂 It’s definitely a satisfying ending so I hope you’ll still give it a chance!

  4. I was disappointed by The Starless Sea – I agree, it just got a bit weird!

    1. It was so beautifully written and I wanted to like it more, but the end really lost me…

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