Friday, July 2, 2010

My Year So Far in YA - Epic Book Survey

Half-way through the year (!) so here's some reading stats for me. So far this year, I've read 100 books exactly. Whoah, it sounds like a lot...Since working on my own YA MS, I've been reading a lot more YA titles (which are generally quicker to read than Adult Fiction).

My reading breakdown: 76 YA, 18 Adult Fiction and 6 Non-Fiction.

Sometimes, I feel sheepish about how much I read, I've always been a bookaholic and also an insomniac, which happen to work well together :)

I took this Epic Book Survey created by author Kirsten Hubbard and originally posted on the Absolute Write boards and YA Highway. Because my blog is all about YA - I've only used my YA books for the answers.

  • Most imaginative: Dreaming of Amelia (The Ghosts of Ashbury High), Dreamrider (Barry Jonsberg), Elsewhere (Gabrielle Zevin)
  • Funniest: Dreaming of Amelia, My Big Birkett, The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind, 
  • Scariest: none really, The Devils' Staircase was serial killer fiction, Dead Tossed Waves has some freaky parts.
  • Edgiest contemporary: Fade? Living dead Girl
  • Creepiest SF/dystopia: The Dead Tossed Waves
  • Most evocative historical: The Raging Quiet
  • Best love story: The Sky is Everywhere, One Night (Margaret Wild), 

  • Most hilarious: I loved Chapter One of I Am the Messenger. Loved it :)
  • Most disturbing: Dead Tossed Waves - eeew - a really creepy scene involving a religious sect and zombies... 
  • Steamiest: the Johnafter finally getting it on with Meg...whoah :)
  • Most exciting: Everything Beautiful was pretty wild @ parts, and Audrey, Wait! had lots of fun and excitement.
  • Biggest tear-jerker: [only cried in two] Stealing Heaven (I think it was just the mood I was in when I read it) and If I Stay.Didn't cry in these, but felt very moved:  The Only Alien on the Planet, Story of A Girl, Thirteen Reasons Why.
  • Best plot twist/revelation (no spoilers!!) : Liar, for sure! Also some cool stuff goes down in the climax of Dreaming of Amelia.

  • Best couple: Lennie and Joe (The Sky is everywhere), Tom and Tara (The Piper's Son), Seb and Lyd (Jaclyn Moriarty), Adam and Mia (If I Stay), Johnafter and Meg (Going Too far), 
  • Who you'd want as your best friend: Lyd, Cass and Em! Hands down! from Dreaming of Amelia.
  • Who you fell in love with: Tom Mackee (Piper's son), Raven (Big Birkett), Will (Perfect You), hmm, I have lots of literary crushes - I really don't want to get started :)
  • Worst (best?) villain: Living Dead Girl - ooh, creepy. Also, Anna from Some Girls Are (a worthy antagonist)
  • Best character twist (who you loved, then hated, or vice versa): Regina (Some Girls Are), Micah (Liar)
  • Best character names: I don't really think about character names like that... hmm...
  • Worst character names: Po (!), Willow (kept thinking Wallow - which she did a lot. sorry all you fans), Regina (kept thinking of Regina from Mean girls! LOL - was distracting.)
  • Favorite all-around kickass female: Riley!!! (Everything Beautiful), Katsa (Graceling), 
  • Favorite all-around kickass male: Pete (devil's Staircase), Johnafter (Going Too far), Caleb (Leaving Paradise) and Po <3


  • Best book cover: Argh! I really cant choose!
  • Best title: The Sky Always hears Me and The Hills Don't MInd, Love You Hate You Miss You, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Living Dead Girl, The Dead Tossed Waves, 
  • Most memorable voice: Morgan (The sky always hears), Lia (Wintergirls), Emily and Lydia from Moriarty's books <3, Riley (Everything Beautiful)
  • Most memorable first line: Liar! "I was born with a light covering of fur." Everything Beautiful "I am the maniac behind the wheel of a stolen dune buggy."
  • Best setting: Life As We Knew It, Dead Tossed Waves, Devil's Staircase (hello? squatting in London!)
  • Most beautiful writing: The Sky is Everywhere, Wintergirls, Shiver, Guitar Highway Rose, The Piper's Son, Dreaming of Amelia..


  • Will any of the books you've read make your life list of Favorite Books? YES!!!! See below.
I find it really hard to rate books - it's all so objective:
  • What mood I'm in when I read it
  • How I feel when I read it
  • How I feel a month after I've read it
  • What book I read before and what book I read after
  • Books I've read that are similar
  • How much hype the book has had before I pick it up (hype is not always a good thing)
  • Author crushes I already have
  • Etc, etc, etc...

Anyway, on Goodreads, here's the YA books read this year that I gave 5 stars to (I'm pretty stingy with 5 stars) I guess these are my top six YA reads so far this year:
  • The Piper's Son - Melina Marchetta
  • The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
  • The Only Alien on the Planet - Kristen Randle
  • Going Too Far - Jennifer Echols (okay, admitting it, guilty pleasure)
  • Dreaming of Amelia - Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Stealing Heaven - Elizabeth Scott

Here's my very very close 4 and a half stars (my next ten - in no particular order):
  • The Summer I turned Pretty - Jenny Han
  • The Sky Always hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind - Kristin Cronn-Mills
  • The Dead Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan
  • If I Stay - Gayle Forman
  • Leaving Paradise - Simone Elkeles
  • My Big Birkett (The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It) - Lisa Shanahan
  • Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler
  • I Am the Messenger - Marcus Zusac
  • What My Girlfriend doesn't know - Sonya Sones
  • The Devil's Staircase - Helen Fitgerald

Here's my 4 stars

...joking, joking...

.I would be here all day... as you can maybe tell, I am very bad at choosing favourites. But, even my four star picks are ones that I love and will be re-reads, for sure (like Courtney Summers and Kristin Cashore)

Authors I've first read this year and am now a major fan of:
Courtney Summers, Jennifer Echols, Helen Fitzgerald, Sonya Sones, C K Kelly Martin, Lauren Oliver, Sarah Ockler, Jenny Han, Simmone Howell, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Kristin Cashore, Gayle Forman,

Books I didn't think I'd like as much as I did: 
  • Graceling - initially a bit bored, then got so into it in the end. Po also helped ;)
  • Going Too far - thought it would be fluff but it was sexy, fun, <3 the dialogue, <3 Johnafter. Was definitely surprised that this kind of book would become a favourite :)
  • The Only Alien on The Planet - looked okay-ish but whoah, just whoah. 
  • How I Live Now - I was truly surprised how much I fell in love with this book. (mainly as I was bored in another book of hers)
Premises that I loved (wish I'd thought of them first):
  • Inside the mind of Gideon Rayburn
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Jekel Loves Hyde
  • Leaving Paradise
  • If I Stay
  • Stealing Heaven
  • The Devil's Staircase


This post has been epic. I was going to add what books I'm looking forward to for the rest of the year...maybe later :)

xx Nomes

EDIT: Sam @ Read, Sam, Read is giving a way a copy of Elizabeth Scott's Stealing Heaven -it's a super cute new blog. Comp open to US only and closes on July 4. 

As you can tell, I <3 this book. Why? I don't know... there's better books on my list but this one is just a personal fave b/c how I felt when I read it and *shrugs* who knows why I happen to love some books?  


  1. Oh wow, 100 books. That's a lot! Melina Machetta is definitely an author I need to check out -- I've heard so many rave about her. :)

  2. This survey is the shizz. And i LOVE it, Nomes!
    Also, I adore Lyd, Em and Cass.
    Oh, so many books...
    *sighs happily*
    *rushes to increase TBR pile*

  3. Wow!

    Amazing year so far!

  4. What an awesome list Nomes - great post!

    You're beating me in the books read tally so far - I'm trailing behind on 70 :P

    And your post has made me add quite a few titles to my 'to read' pile haha

  5. Great post - I may do one of these at the end of the year. I think I'm up to 42 books so far this year, and you've given me so many to add to my TBR pile.

  6. Amazing list! I hope to one day make it onto one of these. I just got to announce on my blog that my Young Adult novel is being published! Hope you will stop by and I became a follower!!!

    Emma Michaels

  7. Everyone one of your posts makes me want to go to the book store. I've got to find another hobby other than blog reading. NOT! :)

  8. Ooh that's an interesting survey. I loved The Piper's Son and ALL Elizabeth Scott's books, although Perfect You is my favourite, partly because of when I read it too.

    I wish I'd thought of If I stay too - such a great idea!

  9. Woah, 100 books! Congrats!
    What a great survey- I'll be referring to it before I make requests at the library! My TBR list is growing in my mind as I type!
    I'm now following!

  10. I know - so many great books - and heaps more to read :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)