My 2013 End of Year Book Survey

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Best in Books 2013

1. Best book you read in 2013? (If you have to cheat – you can break it down by genre)

  • Graphic Novel – The Nao of Brown by Glynn Dillon
  • Young Adult – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Science Fiction – The Humans by Matt Haig
  • Fantasy – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • Nonfiction – Mummy Knew by Lisa James

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

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

  • ReMIND by Jason Brubaker – I had no idea what to expect from this from the synopsis, but it turned out to be absolutely brilliant! (See my review here.)

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – This one was fantastically spectacular. I completely fell in love with it! (See my review here.)

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

  • Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

  • Margaret Atwood – I knew about her, but this year was the first time I actually got a chance to read her books. Amazing!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James – Nonfiction books on abuse was definitely a new experience for me (the only one I had read before Mummy Knew is A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer), and it has given me a greater understanding of others and a greater ability to sympathize. (See my review here.)

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

  • Again, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – This was absolutely fantastic, and within that small book is many more lessons yet to be learned! (See my review here.)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

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Utterly spectacular!

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

  • Unnamed Alien (in Professor Andrew Martin’s body) from The Humans by Matt Haig

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – The words are pure poetry!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James – It’s such a horrific story that really makes you think.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I started reading this when it first came out, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I can’t believe it took me until this year to finish it! It’s absolutely magnificent!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“Dear Son,

You’re holding this letter now because this is the most important day of your life. You’re about to have your first child. That means the life you’ve built with such effort, that you’ve conquered, has finally reached the point where it no longer belongs to you. This baby is the new master of your life. He is the sole reason for your existence.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

  • Shortest: Anthem by Ayn Rand
  • Longest: Outlander (Outlander Series#1) by Diana Gabaldon

 17. 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!

  • Again, Mummy Knew by Lisa James – This whole book is filled with shocking and horrifying scenes.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

  • Jack and Mabel from The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Their relationship was absolutely wonderful. It had flaws and was completely realistic. It is, hands down, one of my favourite couples of all time.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

  • The Nao of Brown by Glynn Dillon – It was recommended to me by a local librarian, and I ended up loving it!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

  • Graphic Novels (It’s not really a genre, but I don’t want to get too specific on this one.)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

  • Tim Drake and Wally West from Teen Titans (comics)

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

  • I’m not really sure about this one.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

  • Excluding graphic novels, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

  • The Humans by Matt Haig – It was so entertaining and funny!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James
  • Damaged by Cathy Glass

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

  • Aquaman Vol. 2: The Others y Geoff Johns – I think Aquaman as a whole gets too overlooked. The New 52 actually did a great job with him and his storyline!

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

  • I’m not sure! I can’t think of any as of right now!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

  • I want to try and read and blog more!

Whew! I had a lot of fun answering these questions! Thanks for reading! Have a happy holidays and a very Happy New Year!

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Miss Don’t Touch Me Volume One by Joe Johnson Review

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Fair Warning: This book is quite graphic, but that’s to be expected when you read a graphic novel in which the main characters are prostitutes.

Plot: There’s a murderer in Paris, and they call him “The Butcher of the Dances,” preying on loose women at dances and whatnot. The main character, Blanche, has a sister who is murdered by this serial killer, so she goes on a little journey (into a brothel) to find out who killed her sister. Can she work undercover in a brothel and find out who the killer is and still maintain her virginity? Find out in Miss Don’t Touch Me Volume One. Dun dun dun…

Review: Alright, all joking aside, I quite liked this book. It’s your classic whodunit book, but who doesn’t love one of those every now and then? I thought the setting and plot were pretty interesting from the beginning to the end, and I couldn’t put it down. It was just overall fantastic.

The plot was pretty simple, but it was told in an interesting and entertaining manner. You seriously can’t go into this book and expect to take it seriously. It’s completely unrealistic with the whole keeping her virginity in a brothel thing, but you’re not meant to do so. It’s totally for fun, and it’s supposed to be entertaining, and it was. I loved the whole plot from the mystery to the big reveal.

Some could argue that the characters were all quite cliched, but I really liked them. They were all so different and entertaining that I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters because I grew a small attachment to several of them. Blanche, even with the whole virginity thing, was still an interesting main character. In some parts of the book, she completely surprises me with some of the things she does, but I suppose she was really angry for the police writing her sister’s murder off as a suicide. All in all, the characters in Miss Don’t Touch Me are great.

The artwork is somewhat reminiscent of Sandman by Neil Gaiman except more racy, but it was quite charming. It was perfect for the setting, and I really liked it. It was fun, colourful, and very detailed. Kudos to the artists for that!

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Again, I have to stress that this book is pretty racy with some graphic images, so it’s definitely not for everyone. Read with caution. If you can handle it though, go and give this a try. Tell me what you think!

Live long and prosper!

ReMIND Vol. 1 by Jason Brubaker

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So, the little blurb on this book tells us that this book is about a girl named Sonja who loses her cat, Victuals. Later on, she finds her poor cat with stitches in his head and that Victuals now has the ability to speak! Wait, what? That was exactly my reaction. When I picked up this book just for the heck of it, I had no idea what to expect, and boy was I surprised. Pleasantly so.

I couldn’t believe that this was Jason Brubaker’s first published work. I mean seriously! Wow! I know the summary doesn’t sound like much, but it really is a great read. The book explores what happened to Victuals during his absence, and Brubaker paints this brilliant world of humans and other creatures like the lizard people. It sounds corny, but trust me, it isn’t. Victuals is not the same. A powerful but exiled lizard person is inside him now, and ReMIND goes on a mission to tell us of his journey to return to his motherland. The whole plot from start to finish is well thought out, refreshing, and very interesting.

As for the art, ReMIND has some pretty brilliant scenes in it. I mean, look at this masterpiece. Absolutely lovely!

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The world that Jason Brubaker has created within ReMIND is astonishing and beautiful with so many mysteries and secrets that I can’t wait to find out about in the next installments. Jason Brubaker is definitely on my radar now. Overall, it was a fantastic read that kept me glued to every page. I had so much fun while reading it. I would definitely recommend this book!

Live long and prosper!

The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon Review

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Hmm… what to say about this book other than it  was the bomb. Seriously. Loved it.

First let me start off with a little synopsis. The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon is about a girl named Nao (go figure) and her inner struggle with her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Now, what I loved most about this is that as a person who suffers from OCD, I liked the fact that the readers were not met with the same stereotypical image of a person with OCD. Nao does not wash her hands a million times a day. She doesn’t check her locks over and over again even after she just did. The Nao of Brown decides to show us a terrifying side of OCD – the thoughts.  Nao often has thoughts in which she harms those around her in horrific ways. She thinks about killing her boyfriend and even children around her. Now, when most people have disturbing thoughts, they’re able to push it off fairly quickly. A person with OCD experiences immense guilt at having had those thoughts and are unable to let it go. Nao struggles throughout the book to accept that she is not evil for having these thoughts, and her relationship with those around her are affected because of this. I thought the whole story was really well done, but the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked to see some more development on how it led to the ending, but overall it was great.

Moving on to the art. What can I say other that it was absolutely, fantastically, brilliant. It is drawn in a very simplistic watercolour style, and each and every panel is so beautifully done. I love the clear distinction between her thoughts and what is actually going on. The expressions on the characters are wonderful. The background is absolutely gorgeous. I could go on and on,  so let me just end it by saying I really don’t have anything bad to say about the art. It was just lovely all the way through. This is probably because watercolour is one of my favorite mediums but oh well.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Go read it. Seriously. Won’t regret it. I was drawn to this book from the cover, and I love the red outlining of the pages. The physical book itself is great and a wonderful addition to any library! I’m so grateful to my local librarian for pointing this one out to me. Take a chance, read it, and tell me what you think.

Live long and prosper!