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Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

So, I haven't posted since the beginning of the month, because finals totally destroyed me. But I'm here now! And for the gazillionth time in four months, I'm saying that I'm gonna get back onto a normal posting schedule. But for now, I have plenty of things to post this week since it's one of my favorite times of year - wrapping things up at the very end!

Yes, it's nearly the end of 2017. And personally, I will not be sorry about kissing this year goodbye. I've had a pretty good reading year, and not a bad personal year! But 2017 as a global phenomenon has not been great, and I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment. It's made me really want to focus on the good this year, especially in the form of books! So without further ado, here are my top ten books I read this year.

10. LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1): Based on all the other Cassandra Clare books I've read, I was in no way expecting this to make it onto my favorites. Would I like it? Probably, yeah. But I was absolutely blown away! I was absolutely sucked in, and I barely predicted anything that was coming. What really made the difference here was that I absolutely adored both the characters and the plot, so there was always something for me to be invested in. I do have some mixed feelings about a very spoilery part of the book that I won't be discussing here, but overall, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of it (and it helped that it was at the very end, so I didn't really have much time to dwell on it).

9. YOU'LL MISS ME WHEN I'M GONE by Rachel Lynn Solomon: I can't believe I got to read this early!! And I know I haven't posted a full review yet, which I'm so sorry about because I just want to gush about this book forever - so you better believe that's coming! I want this book to blow up when it comes out. The characters are incredible, the emotions are so much, and I am so overwhelmed just thinking about it. It also means so much to me to read about Jewish protagonists in a contemporary, which I frankly don't see a lot of. This was my most anticipated book of 2018, and you better believe that I'm giving it a shout-out in next year's favorite books list too. I already know that this story and these characters are going to stay with me forever.

8. I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE by Maurene Goo: This was absolutely hilarious! I laughed out loud about five times in the first chapter alone. I can't believe that I almost missed out on reading it (the premise was intriguing, but I was terrified of the possibilities for secondhand embarrassment - but it was so well-written that that didn't happen!). Desi was a lovable, wonderful character who I'm going to aggressively bring up every time someone says Slytherins can't be good protagonists. What really made this so great is that you could see exactly where Desi was coming from at the same time that you acknowledge that what she's doing is kind of ridiculous. I mean, some of this stuff is way over the top, but that's part of what makes it so fun to read!

7. NOTEWORTHY by Riley Redgate: Another really funny book! This one is pretty much everything that I never knew I needed from a book - super inclusive, a capella drama (that's not too dramatic for a light-hearted book), thoroughly hilarious - I mean, I can't even count the number of times that I laughed out loud, and I'm pretty sure that I actually cracked up so much I had to put down the book at one point - and that's just the start. Jordan was such a great, relatable character that you just automatically want to root for (not that she doesn't have her flaws, but every good protagonist does!) It instantly became one of my go-to recommendations for people who want a funny, fluffy contemporary, and the people I've recommended it to who I know have read it have loved it, too!

6. INTO THE BRIGHT UNKNOWN by Rae Carson (Gold Seer Trilogy #3): I'm so sad that this series is over, but I really couldn't think of a better finale for it. The stakes were higher, the character development was remarkable from the first book, and it had everything that I loved about the rest of the series. If you haven't heard of this series - which would be an absolute shame, but I haven't heard nearly enough buzz about it - it's historical fiction set around the California Gold Rush with a hint of fantasy in the form of magical powers; Lee, the protagonist, can sense gold, which certainly makes prospecting easier. But one of the best things about the series overall is that the fantasy somehow never makes it unbelievable - I actually had to remind myself partway through the book that this couldn't exactly happen.

5. THE NAMES THEY GAVE US by Emery Lord: I was a total emotional wreck after this one. I say that more often than it's really true, but this one actually left me curled up in a sobbing mess - but in a good way! I just felt so many things while I was reading and it was too much for me to do anything else. You know the feeling. Pretty much, take everything that I love about Emery Lord books, and multiply it by ten. Lucy was such a great protagonist. I was a bit worried about whether I would like it because discussions of Christianity usually come off as a bit preachy to me, but this included faith in the best possible way. There were so many other important topics tackled in this book, too, and they were all handled so incredibly well.


4. THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis: Is there anything Mindy McGinnis can't do? Okay, so maybe I've only read two of her books so far, but they were both instant favorites, and she's written in pretty much every major genre out there. This one totally took my breath away. I listened to the audiobook, which stopped me from devouring it whole as quickly as I probably otherwise would have, but I'm glad I took my time with it. It really let me get totally wrapped in the story. This was so incredible that I think it should totally replace CRIME AND PUNISHMENT in all high school and college English classes. And that's not just because of how much I dislike CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. It tackles the same moral issues in a much more relevant way, and you actually sympathize with the main character. (Sorry if you actually really like CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, but I can pretty much guarantee this book is better.)

3. HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME by Adam Silvera: I'll admit I was a little bit apprehensive about this one. I wasn't the biggest fan of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, so I wasn't really sure how I would feel about this one even after glowing recommendations, but I had nothing to be worried about. This examined mental health and grief in an honest, gut-wrenching way. I'm still a little in shock that such a short book packed such an emotional punch, but really, should I ever have doubted Adam Silvera's ability to give people emotions? Absolutely not. This story is told in one of my favorite ways - alternating chapters set in the present and the past - and it's really given every other book told in that way a new standard to live up to.

2. A SEMI-DEFINITIVE LIST OF WORST NIGHTMARES by Krystal Sutherland: A last-minute world-shaker! I already had this post almost planned out, and then I read this and needed to rethink everything. Esther, her family, and Jonah worked their way into my heart from the very first chapter, and the story instantly sucked me in when it really got going not too long after that. (Yes, I did cry on an airplane because of this book, and I would like to apologize to the old man sitting next to me and thank him for not saying anything.)
1. THE HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES by Katherine Webber: Did anyone not see this coming? I loved this book so much I read it twice in a row. That's never happened! It was heart-shattering, breathtaking, and all-around incredible. Every word went straight to my heart, and I felt every emotion that the book even hinted at. The characters were so beautifully written that I felt like I really knew them all as people. The family relationship was so important and so wonderful. And the tiny touch of fantasy was perfect. I'm never going to run out of good things to say about this book, but instead of reading all of that, wouldn't you rather just read the book instead?

What were some of your favorite books of the year? Did we have any in common? Any books that I really need to read, or that this list has made you want to read? Tell me in the comments! 

Comments

  1. You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone is one of my most anticipated books, so seeing it on your list just makes me even more excited to read it. :) And yes to The Female of the Species and Into the Bright Unknown - both of those were fantastic. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so good - I'm so happy it's coming out soon! And both of those were INCREDIBLE. Totally sucked me in.

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