Goodbye 2019: The End of Year Book Survey, ft. My Best & Worst Books and Yearly Stats!!

FINALLY, I can write this post.

I’m gonna be honest, I’ve been waiting all year for this post, because it’s one of my favorites to write, despite all the hours of work it takes me.

Today, as always, I’m linking up with the End of Year Book Survey created by The Perpetual Page Turner. There are lots of questions on this wonderful survey that I won’t be answering, but I truly love how comprehensive it is! I’ll also be talking about my reading stats, garnered by my wondrous google spreadsheet and presented in the form of pie charts!!

Also: Hi! I’m currently in NYC right now, having the time of my life!! (Perhaps we’ll see a post about it?) I just wanted to say that this post took me HOURS to make, hence why I’m posting it so much later than I wanted to. Who knows if I’ll disappear again, but I hope you all have a good day!!

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QUICK STATS

Number of books read: 100!!

Number of rereads: 18 (almost 1/5 of my total books…)

Average rating: 3.82 stars (.1 less than last year!)

Average rating without rereads: 3.67 stars

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BEST BOOKS

Red, White & Royal Blue  Picture Us in the Light  Sadie  Foolish Hearts

  • Red, White, & Royal Blue is a very “like other girls” book to name as my #1 favorite, but I don’t even care, because all the other girls are right and have taste!!! I loved it so much, and I honestly think it’s the book that’s made me laugh the most. Plus it made me happy and hopeful when I needed it, and I’ll never forget that!
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  • Picture Us in the Light is queer Asian excellence! I was holding my breath the entire time, because I had no idea where it was going but I loved it so so much. The themes, the characters, the YEARNING… it’s all so very good and I cried a good amount at the end. And it was different from my expectations, in a really good way!!
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  • Sadie was absolutely brutal, and I hated finishing the book and realizing… I was finished. this book is so hard to read, yet so monumentally life-changing. I admire Sadie so much as a character, and however horrible yet true the narrative she was forced into was, it was a thrilling and chilling experience to read.
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  • Foolish Hearts is surprisingly a HET book (though there’s a side f/f couple and a grumpy Asian lesbian I love with all my heart!). But seriously, I loved this book so much more than I expected to and it just made me so happy. Thank you Emma Mills for giving me serotonin with this book!!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Far from You  The Weight of the Stars  The Stars and the Blackness Between Them  A Wish in the Dark

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WORST BOOKS

We Contain Multitudes  The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con, #2)  Hot Dog Girl  Her Royal Highness (Royals, #2)

  • We Contain Multitudes was one of the worst books I read this year, because of multiple reasons. 1) I expected Ari and Dante and got nothing close to it, and 2) I was grossed out by the 15yo/18yo age gap between the guys in a relationship!!! I just had a lot of problems with this one, and you can just read my full review to see them all.
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  • The Princess and the Fangirl isn’t a Terrible book, it just… annoyed me to no end. Why would a celebrity who’d worked so hard to get to where she was risk it all by trusting a random girl she met a day ago to impersonate her?? (Also, the insta love for both relationships was poorly executed! The gays are powerful but not powerful enough!!)
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  • Hot Dog Girl felt like it was trying to be Hot Girl Summer but failed miserably and became something like… Annoying Hot Dog Girl in the Summer. (That is Actually the entirety of the plot right there, not just a joke.) I was constantly irritated by the main character don’t remember her name but it was some old white grandma name, and the whole book felt like a drag!! I couldn’t wait for it to END.
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  • Her Royal Highness had the potential to be really great, but it was poorly executed, seeing as how it was terribly paced with next to no development. It was basically just a whole train wreck of: Cute romance! Disconnect from characters! Easy and entertaining to read! No buildup to anything!

(God, I missed talking about books I hated. Makes me feel drunk with power.)

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DISAPPOINTING BOOKS

Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)  We Contain Multitudes  We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire, #1)  Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

Not all of these books are objectively bad, and I know the last two are adored by many, but these just… didn’t live up to my high expectations. All the praise I’d heard for the last two made me so confident I’d love them, and I just… didn’t! And there is NO worse feeling than being disappointed by the sequel of one of your favorite books.

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FAVORITE BOOK COVERS

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)  Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)  Wilder Girls  Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening  A Wish in the Dark

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BOOKS I WISHED I READ SOONER

Foolish Hearts  Far from the Tree

This part is basically a callout at me, because my friend May has been wanting me to read these books for YEARS. And I, being a great friend, checked both out from the library in 2018, only to not even touch them, until I got them again from the library in 2019. And of course she was right that both of these were amazing!!!

(I also would like to shout out my other friends EmmaOlivia, and Dezzy for being so patient with me promising to read Foolish Hearts and then never reading it until 2019. You guys were completely correct, I’m SORRY.)

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BEST RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Sadie  Foolish Hearts  Far from You  Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)

  • Sadie: Melanie and Elise always have the best taste
  • Foolish Hearts: we’re not gonna talk about how many people wanted me to read this
  • Far From You: Elise again is my favorite book recommender!!!
  • Jade City: I think half of book twitter read this because of CW, myself included

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BEST DEBUTS

Red, White & Royal Blue  The Stars and the Blackness Between Them  Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)

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BOOKS I CRIED OVER

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)  The Weight of the Stars  Picture Us in the Light

I definitely didn’t cry over as many books as I did last year!! While I barely had any books rated below 3 stars, my reading year felt very “meh” because of how I didn’t feel very strongly about many books. (Even with rereads, I still cried over less books.)

I read all three of these books at the beginning of the year, so I don’t know if that means anything? But I cried over the Nina scenes in King of Scars (ifykyk), the entire ending of The Weight of the Stars, and also the ending of Picture Us in the Light!!

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BOOK I’M MAD ABOUT

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

Honestly, I wanted to include this section JUST so I can rant again about the ending of King of Scars: I despise it. I HATE the particular trope that Leigh Bardugo pulled, and I find it so cheap. And (I’m trying not to hint anything) I just don’t really like… that guy. Please let Leigh make it work in book 2!!

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HIDDEN GEMS

I definitely could list The Stars and the Blackness Between Them, The Weight of the Stars, and Picture Us in the Light for this one, because I want everyone to read and love those books. But I wanted to focus on the hidden gems that I haven’t talked about yet in this post! All have under 5,000 ratings on Goodreads and I loved them a lot.

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World  Summer of Salt  Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)  Slay

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#1 PRIORITY BOOKS FOR 2020

The Starless Sea  This Is How You Lose the Time War  In Other Lands   The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)  There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness, #1)  I Wish You All the Best  The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

These are all books I own in physical format (except for The Wicked King), and they’re all books I’ve wanted to read for a long time now (except for The Wicked King). Yes I’m solely giving in to the hype on The Wicked King, I just wanna know why you all are crazy over it okay!!!

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NEW FAVORITE BOOK BLOGS

I should have followed all of these bloggers a lot sooner than I did, but they are all so amazing and I highly recommend them!!

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FAVORITE POSTS I WROTE

(We’re going to acknowledge but ignore the fact that many comments on these posts are unanswered, otherwise I will cry about it!! But the coordinated grey makes me happy.)

realistic teens in ya book blogger guilt blogger appreciation

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FAVORITE BOOKISH PHOTOS

Both of these are Pride-related posts, and to that I say, GAY RIGHTS!!

Follow me on Instagram!

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READING STATS

This is where the nerd in me comes out! I considered making this part a completely separate post, because I’m trying to cut down on the length of my posts this year (I’m failing, clearly). But I also am not intelligent enough to talk for a whole post about these stats so here we are!


for some reason, “comic 2%” didn’t show up in the graph to the right”

2019 was very good in terms of rating books above 3 stars! The ratings are without taking my rereads into consideration, so you can see I struggled to find books that I  truly loved. I did get a considerable amount of 4-star reads, but I still wish I’d felt more strongly about books, both on the positive and negative side.

(The books I didn’t rate were some webcomics I hadn’t read enough episodes of to know the rating.)

And I’m glad I’m not just reading prose! I wish I’d read more poetry, but I’m happy with how many webcomics I read—they’re just so entertaining and I hope I can continue to find some good ones this year!!

This year, my genres didn’t really overlap! I expected to have read a LOT more contemporary than fantasy this year, since I was in a slump all of 2019 and contemporaries are the easiest for me to read, but it’s only higher than fantasy by a little.

I also am super surprised to see that only a tiny bit over half of the books I read last year were YA. It’s still obviously my predominant category, but I thought it’d be a lot more! This year, I want to read more adult, and more MG that isn’t just me rereads of childhood favorites!

(N/A was mainly for things like webcomics, since most of them don’t really have actual age groups.)

The ratio of physical to digital for 2019, without webcomics, was 51.4 : 24.3, which is… not surprising. I switch between loving and hating ebooks, but I can always rely on being able to read physical books. And I’m able to read a lot of my books through my library! A lot of the hardcovers and ebooks are checked out from my library. But obviously, I’m very blessed to have read so many books thanks to the kindness of so many friends, family, and publishers.

(The left graph is slightly messed up because I sometimes read the audiobook version of a book with an ebook. Free download means things like webcomics or online novellas!)

I was terrible at tracking specific rep in 2019, so this is all I have for diversity. I’m really happy with myself, though, because last year I got 93% by cheating a bit and counting books as “diverse” that weren’t actually diverse. But this year, NOT being lenient, I’ve gotten almost as high, with 91/100 diverse books!

A goal this year would definitely be to read more authors of color. Of the 80 books I tracked for AOC (aka the 80 authors I knew for sure to be AOC or white, because I was too lazy to research the other 20), only 26 were AOC, which is very sad to me!! I definitely would like to increase the percentage from 32.5% to, at the very least, 50-60%.

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ALSO:

Not to make this post even longer, but my 3-year (!!!) blogiversary is coming up on the 22nd! I won’t be doing a giveaway unfortunately, but I will be doing a Q&A as always! If you’d like to ask me any questions, you can submit them HERE or in the form embedded below!! (Commenting is fine too.)


shall we chat

what were your best and worst books of 2019? did you cry over any? how many diverse books did you read? any hidden gems I should know about? link me to some amazing blogs too!!

p.s. I barely kept it under 2k words, but I did it!! I commend you if you actually read and enjoyed everything

blog signoff

27 thoughts on “Goodbye 2019: The End of Year Book Survey, ft. My Best & Worst Books and Yearly Stats!!

  1. This was such a fun read, and am leaving with so many newer books to be added to my TBR. But first I need to finally pick up Red, White & Royal Blue!

    Wishing you a great reading year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I could NEVER write up such an in-depth post … I would lose patience ha-ha!

    I loved ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ so much!! I read Foolish Hearts a year or two ago, but I really enjoyed it. It’s what got me into reading more books by Emma Mills!

    I’m currently reading Her Royal Highness … it’s … okay? It’s good enough that I’m still reading it, but I have a NUMBER of critiques regarding the novel. I felt the same way about the first one she wrote as well. That’s a shame about We Contain Multitudes … and wait … 15 and 18 year old? That’s … hmmm … I don’t know how I feel about this now ha-ha! So far, I completely agree with your thoughts on Her Royal Highness … potential is there … but execution is … off.

    Wilder Girls does have a gorgeous cover!! I haven’t heard of “A Wish in the Dark” but that cover is so cute!

    I want to read Summer of Salt so badly … I think I’m gonna read it THIS summer … IT MUST BE DONE!

    THE STARLESS SEA!!!! YES!!! It’s one of my first books I plan to buy after my book buying ban has been lifted ha-ha! I’m just starting Cruel Prince this year … now that the series is done ha-ha! And I Wish You All the Best looks so cute!!!

    YAS! YOU MENTIONED SOME AMAZING BLOGS! I love Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall and Marija @ Inside My Library Mind (she also loves Emma Mills, so you should definitely chat her up ha-ha). I actually think it’s my third or fourth year blogging ha-ha! Fantastic post, darlin’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw thank you so much, jenna!! and i’m so glad you’re also a foolish hearts fan — it’s also gotten me into more emma mills books and i’m really glad i live in this time period where i get to experience her fun romcoms.

      and i’m also glad to hear that you had the same thoughts about her royal highness as i did! most people i know enjoyed it, and i’m happy that they did, but i truly don’t understand how they just managed to overlook all the issues i had (though of course reading is subjective!)

      okay well i actually started the starless sea at the beginning of the year but had to put it down, but i’m REALLY hoping to pick it back up again because i will not let it be a dnf 😭😭 and yes i’ve talked to marija @ inside my library mind about foolish hearts before!! i love how hard she goes for emma mills haha

      i hope you’re having an amazing month so far!! 💓

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      1. Oh yes — I feel the same. I’m glad people liked Her Royal Highness, but there was quite a few things that bothered me and a lot of things that weren’t addressed enough — it needed to be longer so it could’ve been more fleshed out, you know?

        I think I’m starting The Starless Sea next month or April. My SO just bought it for me as a gift and I’m so excited! Oh yes … Marija is a HUGE Emma Mills fan, and I love it ha-ha!

        I hope you have had a lovely February as well, darlin’! 💓

        Liked by 1 person

  3. wow i love this post??? ALSO the fact that I am on your list of favorite new blogs??? I DON’T DESERVE IT and also I LOVE YOU. Here’s to you reading all of Emma Mills’ books, I need to know how you like the rest of them. side note: the ending of king of scars was the ACTUAL WORST, no one can convince me otherwise.

    Anyways, did I say already this is a great post and you are wonderful? because it’s the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. THANK YOU!!! and hello, you are entirely deserving of being on EVERYONE’S list of favorite blogs!! and oh thank you so very much for your very correct opinion about the king of scars ending. all the d******* stans are happy and i am most decidedly not >:(

      hmmm did i already say that you’re the best and i love you?? because i’ll gladly say it again!!!!

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  4. Ahh, this was such a well-written post as always!! And thanks so much for the shout out I’m cry 😭😭💖 Omg yes, Wilder Girls and Crier’s War have the most beautiful covers—the gays truly WON. Also, we have similar books on our 2020 TBR! I’m so excited for The Starless Sea because I’ve heard such good things, but at the same time, I don’t know much about the book 😂
    I hope 2020 is a good reading year for the both of us! We really need more 5 star reads 🥺🥺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aah thank you so much caitlin!! and of course, you’re so well-deserving of all the shout-outs <3 and lmao i didn't know much about the starless sea either! all i knew was that it involved gays and books so that was all i needed (although i Did have to put it on hold so maybe it wasn't my brightest decision to ask for it for christmas…)

      i hope you're having a fantastic (reading) month, caitlin!! <3

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AHHH 100 books is impressive!! And I remember you said you managed to read 7 books in 2 days (I remember you said some were short, but pish posh 😂 I STAN ) Red White and Royal Blue is so good and I think I’ve rarely seen someone not being a fan of it!

    I read and loved The Starless Sea…though admittedly it got slow and a touch confusing here and there (thought it wrapped up beautifully in the end). My highlights were the snippets of stories in it! So grand and mysterious

    And I hope you’re enjoying yourself in NYC!! Have you eaten bagels there? Haha. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much miri!!! 🥰🥰🥰 yes, the 7 books in 2 days thing did involve comics and such, but shh it’s fine. and i adore rw&rb with my entire soul!

      ah yes, i had to put the starless sea on hold at the beginning of the year because it wasn’t moving fast enough for me and i thought i would hate it if i continued! but i’m very excited to keep reading sometime in the new future <3

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh this post is honestly just GOALS, I love your formatting here! AND STATS! Be still my little spreadsheet-addicted heart. Sadie was also one of my favorite reads last year and thinking about it still rends my damn heart. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy Her Royal Highness, though. I agree with what you said about it, but for me I didn’t go in expecting more than a super fluffy read with not much going on so I wasn’t disappointed. I liked the book WAY MORE than the first one, though!

    I am so honored to be a new favorite, thank you so much, May! I adore you too and am so glad we found each other in 2019! I hope you are enjoying NYC.

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  7. I’m so glad that Foolish Hearts was one of your favorites; I also read it last year and it stole my heart! :D And I definitely need to read Picture Us In The Light; I adore contemporary gems that can make me cry. I LOVED reading through this amazing post… your stats are great and congrats on reading 100 books!! Have fun in NYC, May! <3

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  8. I LOVE THIS POST, MAY! Ahh, the amount of work and detail you put into all your posts is so admirable, and it’s amazing. This was so much fun to read and I definitely added books to my TBR!! (It’s like twenty times taller than me now.)

    Wow, the cover for A Wish in the Dark is so beautiful! I just looked it up on Goodreads solely to see it in more depth and ended up adding it to my TBR. It reminds me a little bit (in an unrelated way, I don’t know how my mind works) of this middle grade book I read in middle school that seriously had the prettiest cover- it’s Bliss, by Kathryn Littlewood, and I remember nothing about the story but I do know it’s worth googling just for the cover!

    FOOLISH HEARTS FOOLISH HEARTS FOOLISH HEARTS. Okay, I’m so honored for the shoutout, thank you.😭The fact that I helped inspire you to read it makes me so happy because it’s actually my favorite book and I won’t stop talking about it. So it makes me really happy that you loved it too. <33

    Your charts and graphs are amazing! I'm in awe of your organization and dedication to this. They're so aesthetically pleasing. Good luck with everything in 2020!

    Also~ hope you're having so much fun in NYC!! I can't wait to hear about it, if you decide to do a post on your trip.💖

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  9. AAHHH IM SO HAPPY TO BE AMONG THE LIST OF BLOGGERS YOU LOVE IM 😭😭😭😭💖💖💖
    also i did have a great reading year, not gonna lie. i got back to reading this year, which i’m so thankful for, so it doesn’t matter that i only read 29 books. i’m so so happy to be back!
    some of my fave reads were the unhoneymooners, forbidden, the right swipe, and many moree!! (i can’t remember all my faves but i talked about my favorites of the year on my blog.)
    have fun in NY! 💖

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  10. This looks like such a fun survey, and it looks like you had a fantastic reading year! Congrats on that front! Also, I’m with you on Crier’s War because 😍😍😍

    It’s a bummer about those disappointing books, though! I felt the same about GoSaS, and it’s hard to be let down by books you wanted to love. 😔

    Hope 2020 is an excellent reading year again!

    Like

  11. woah! this is a really awesome and super detailed over view of your year! also ‘far from the tree’ was the last book i read last year and i absolutely loved it. and ‘i wish you all the best’ is also one of my top priority books of this year!

    Like

  12. I love this wrap-up!! Those pie charts are just 😍😍 Also, omg you are/were in my hood (aka NYC), hope you enjoy!!

    Aaah, alright, I completely agree about We Contain Multitudes, I was looking forward to it SO MUCH and then it just disappointed, and also sort of grossed me out?? RW&RB was fantastic, we’re all basic when it comes to that 🤷‍♀️ You have to read Starless Sea!! I can’t wait to see what you think of it, because I loved it, but I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t like it? Waiting in suspense to hear your thoughts.

    Hope you have an amazing 2020!! 💕🥂🍾

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  13. I agree that wrap up posts are so much fun to read and write even though they take ages! NYC sounds absolutely amazing and I would love to go there one day! Have an amazing time! I haven’t read any of your favourite books but I think I’ll give them a go!! Sadie has been on my TBR for so long!!

    The Wicked King is absolutely amazing and you need to read it!! I’m currently rereading the series because I finally got a copy of QoN and I may be freaking out completely.

    yess to all the diverse books!! i really want to take that energy into 2020! Have a brilliant new year!!

    Like

  14. Sadie was unlike anything I’d ever read before; it was so haunting and amazing, I loved it. I also *adored* Far From the Tree and I don’t know why I don’t see more people talking about it! That’s disappointing about We Contain Multitudes, though, I had high hopes for it.

    Like

  15. Ahh I love this post, May!! <3 This was such a fun wrap up post to read, and I love how you break down each of the sections! Sadie made it onto my best books of the year list too! It was such a beautiful, sad, yet powerful read! I adore it and already want to reread it. I haven't read any Emma Mills books before, but I have Foolish Hearts on my tbr! I haven't read King of Scars yet, because I'm scared that it will disappoint me. I'm also guilty of reading Jade City after hearing both CW and Shealea rave about it often. Haha! :) Also I am SO TOUCHED that you included me on your list of book bloggers, alongside all those amazing book bloggers!!! I love you!!! <3 <3 <3

    Like

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