ThursTag: The End of the Year Book Survey (part 1)

Thursday can mean only one thing: tag day! Today, I’m sharing half of the End of the Year Reading Survey which I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) on Amy’s blog. I thought this would be a great way to round off and wrap up 2021 but it’s too much for one post so you’re getting half today and half tomorrow!

Number of books read: 165

Number of re-reads: 5

Genre you read the most from: Storygraph informs me it was Young Adult Fantasy, which absolutely checks out.

BEST IN BOOKS

With the exception of the first question, I am trying to answer these with different books for each question to give some variety. It’s harder than it sounds.

1. Best book you read in 2021?

This is an impossible question, so you can have my favourite book from each month: Secret of Birds and Bone by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, Vulture by Bex Hogan, Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn, The Edge of the Ocean by L.D.Lapinski, Heartstopper 4 by Alice Oseman, This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron, The Stormkeeper’s Battle by Catherine Doyle, Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, Medusa by Jessie Burton, and Rainbow Grey by Laura Ellen Anderson. I have more favourites than this, but if I were to list them all then that would take up an entire blog post.

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t?

I’ve read nothing this year that I didn’t enjoy at all, but I was super hyped for Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales and whilst it was a great read, it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. So I guess that.

3. Most surprising book you read?

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde. I have come to expect bonkers books from him, but this was a brilliant surprise. It was scathing and witty and I loved it.

4. Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did)?

I think the one I have recommended to the most people is Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams. Whether they’ve read it or not is another matter.

5. Best series you started in 2021?

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron. It’s dark and brilliant and I am desperate for the sequel.

6. Best sequel of 2021?

I’ve read so many great sequels this year, but I have to give this to The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg because it’s amazing and such an underrated series.

7. Best series ender of 2021?

Without doubt The Otherwhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie. I love this series so much and I was sad to say goodbye to it.

8. Favourite new author you discovered in 2021?

Kalynn Bayron. I have read both her books in 2021 and off the back of those, she’s an instant buy author for me now. I have so much love for her books.

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

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. I don’t read much (if any) literary fiction but this was worth the hype and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

10. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable read of the year?

I have to say As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson. That was a rollercoaster of a read and my heart was in my mouth for most of it.

11. Book you read in 2021 that you’d be most likely to re-read in 2022?

I think The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon. Possibly that whole series because it’s so intricate I definitely missed things the first time around.

12. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2021?

Rainbow Grey by Laura Ellen Anderson has a stunning cover, and also a delightful rainbow sprayed edge.

13. Most memorable character of 2021?

Deka from The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. She has such a rough time and I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel.

14. Most beautiful book of 2021.

Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston is absolutely stunning both inside and out.

15. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2021?

It has to be With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix. I would never have picked this up were it not for the events of this year, but I am so glad I did. I have been with two of my close relatives when they died, and I wish I had read this book before then.

16. Book(s) you CANNOT BELIEVE you waited til 2021 to read?

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. I read the first book in this series ages ago and I really have no excuse for not having read this one sooner.

17. Favourite quote from a book?

“I will find you now, whatever’s beyond the sea” from Afterlove by Tanya Byrne. If you know, you know.

18 & 19. Shortest and longest books you read?

Madam Squeaker by Pip Jones and Paula Bowles was my shortest at 84 pages. My longest was The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty at 782 pages.

20. Book that shocked you the most?

Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn. My gods this book. Shocks all over the place. I am still reeling from that ending.

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

Bronn and Marianne from Venom by Bex Hogan. I will not be taking any further questions, thank you.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Yanni and Amy in The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery. I adored these two cousins.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

It’s always Melinda Salisbury. Always. Also, The Way Back Almanac is just beautiful and I am so excited to follow along with it properly this year.

21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Medusa by Jessie Burton. This it not my usual fare, but Melinda Salisbury recommended it and made it sound amazing. It was.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?

I still don’t do book crushes so … no-one?

23. Best 2021 debut you read?

There are loads, but I have to say The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley because it was phenomenal

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

It’s got to be L.D. Lapinski’s he Edge of the Ocean. The worldbuilding in this whole series is phenomenal.

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

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo was just lovely to read. I adore Emoni.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?

I am not a crier so I can’t use a book I haven’t mentioned yet to answer this, but I definitely misted up at both Afterlove by Tanya Byrne and Venom by Bex Hogan.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Red Sky Burning by Teri Terry – why are people still sleeping on this series?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. So much in this one to crush a soul on a deeply emotional level.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

Absolutely The Stranding by Kate Sawyer. There are no other books I can think of that start with surviving an apocalypse in the belly of a whale.

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

I need to preface this by saying this is one of my faovurite series, but Dragon City by Katie and Kevin Tsang had some events that made me furious.

What was your best read of the year? And your hidden gem? I’ll be back tomorrow with the second half of this mammoth tag!

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