Thursday, January 4, 2018

Faves of 2017

What an awesome reading year 2017 was!  I mostly read whatever book I felt like according to my whim, as well as making an effort to read from my long term TBR list. I also read some YA that my teenage kids (aged 13, 15 and 16) were loving so we could have bookish chats and share faves.

I've read some books that received a lot of high praise and awards, but my personal faves still tend to be the cruisey, charming books that make me smile, swoon and relax. It's these books that continue to be my fave reading experiences, the ones that are feel good reads, where I just chill out and escape.

I have pie charts and stats regarding everything I read in 2017: genres and audience, format and star ratings, author nationalities, years published and series verse standalone in this blog post. 

In summary I read 135 books
Adult Fiction: 58
Young Adult: 63
Middle Grade: 7
New Adult: 4

This included
40 Audiobooks
15 rereads

I rated over 60 of my books 4 stars or higher (which means I either really liked, or loved, 60 books this year!) This has made it hard to pick my stand-out reads, and many I picked are maybe not the best, most brilliantly written books I read, but are my personal favourites just because they matched my mood and brought me light, happiness and unputdownable goodness. 

Fave Contemporary YA



A List of Cages by Robin Roe
A List of Cages was heartcrushingly good. If I were to make a word cloud of this book, included would be: hopeful, tense, devastating, brotherhood, secrets, cute, tears, powerful, smiley. 



Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer


This was a heart-in-mouth, unputdownable read. It also features one of my personal kryptonite fave tropes: letter writing with secret identity.


Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan

So funny and sweet with a slow burn, feel good crush. I loved the humour and so many hilarious scenes. It's a little bit quirky/over the top in some places (with some of the characters, climax and resolution) but I liked it in this book - I like off-beat humour with a lot of heart. 


Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

A mesmerising blend of gorgeous writing and mysterious happenings, this contemporary/fantasy/magical realism/genre-blending novel completely stole my heart. I was hooked after a few chapters but I did not anticipate how much the characters would endear themselves to me. Laura Ruby is a born storyteller and some parts had me feeling like I was inside a fairy tale. This book not only had achey, brilliant, shining characters to fall in love with, but it was also unpredictable and daring and wholly original while remaining full of heart.



By Your Side by Kasie West


They hit that sweet YA spot (something light, swoony and unputdownable ~ with just the right amount of character development to add some ache and depth)



This started out slow and then I was suddenly hooked. I loved the history in this and the bittersweet discoveries which gave me actual tears right near the end. This was compulsively readable and a story I know will stay with me. 


Fave Middle Grade




Absolutely hilarious, cute and swoony. I grinned my way through this and often reread scenes just to let the smiley moments linger. I loved everything about this <3 True to the title, there were many hilariously awkward moments, so this should be your next read when you're in the mood for some LOLs (haha). I seriously loved this ~ it's a perfect blend of some of my fave things in fiction: light-hearted fun with the perfect amount of angst, awkward shenanigans, characters who are my people, and a plot which builds in anticipation to a sweet. sweet climax and charming and cool resolution.


The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

Ahh, perfectly charming, whimsical, funny and wholly original with some wicked and wild unexpected twists. This book was such a delight to spend time with and so creatively realised. The characters endeared themselves to me and I loved every minute spent with them. It was a whole lot of adventure and fun, but also with some tender and heart-wrenching tear-jerker moments. 

Fave Fantasy



Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire


Ooh, this was an unexpected fave. It's deliciously original, with such an intriguing premise (children tumbling into other worlds, and then being returned and rejected), a boarding school setting and some  startling sinister activity. Once I got into this, I couldn't out it down and only wished it went for longer. 



The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

This fantasy novel just hit the sweet spot, it was perfectly timed to my reading mood and I loved the magic and world building. It also had a sloooow burn romance featuring a forced marriage (I love when that premise is done well). I devoured The Bird and The Sword in less than a day ~ another reading memory highlight of 2017.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Such a strange and epic fantasy unlike any I have read. The world in Strange the Dreamer came to life for me and was not unlike being inside a vivid dream. It had a slowish start but I knew it would pay off and it definitely did. What a gorgeous and vibrant and harsh and beautiful and devastating experience reading this book was! The imagination of Laini Taylor astounds me.


White Cat by Holly Black

Creative and clever and funny with a tightly plotted mystery and some great twists and reveals. I had seen this series around for a while but thought it didn't look like my thing - so glad I gave it a go as I binge read all three books and found them so satisfying and fun. New Holly Black fangirl!

Fave Adult Fiction



My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella


My Not So Perfect life is predictable chick lit. But it was also so happy-making! I loved the charm of this book, and spent a smiley afternoon delighting in this book. It's books like this which bring some added sunshine to my reading life - and I am always on the lookout for that. Can't wait for the next Sophie Kinsella. 

Notable mentions

I read 135 books - rating over 60 of them 4 stars or higher. So it's hard for me to just mention the ones above. I've tried to just stick to ones that made a lasting impression and I really loved reading, so I'm giving a shout-out to the ones below as I 100% recommend all of them!

Five contemporary YA's (and one fantasy/fairytale retelling)



Four series I very much enjoyed



Three New Adult Books I loved



Two historicals that stayed with me


Six Adult Fiction titles I loved




Have you read and loved any of my 2017 faves?
I would love to hear a few of your faves so leave me a comment and I'll add them to my 2018 TBR :)


Curious about my faves in previous years? Here's links to my other posts (I'm thinking of doing a very delayed faves of 2016 post which I missed last year):

2014 Part One  Part Two  Top Ten2013 Top Ten2012 Top Ten2011 Part One (the books) Part Two (characters) Part Three (scenes) Part Four (faves)
2010 Faves  and Aussie YA faves

5 comments:

  1. I recently read Why I Loathe Sterling Lane at your recommendation and I loved it! What a wonderful list, Nomes--will definitely be checking out more titles on this list and am glad to see we had so many fantasy faves in common. Happy New Year! Wishing you the best for 2018, dear. :)

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  2. I LOVED A List Of Cages! Glad to see you enjoyed it too. I am hoping to finally get to Hunted this year.

    Happy 2018!

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  3. A few of these are new to me and I've added them to my ever-growing TBR! I started Bone Gap a while ago, but put it aside (only got a few chapters in) -- I'll have to pick it up again. Orphan Train sounds like it could be right up my alley, I do like dual timeline family stories.

    Also, ahhhhh I need to get my hands on Hunted!!

    If you do a fave books of 2016 I'll definitely read it :)

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  4. Nomes! So many books I'll need to check out now :) I'm glad you had a wonderful reading year, and all the best for the new year!!!
    PS I can't believe you have 3 TEENAGERS LOL

    xo

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  5. Bone Gap was a favorite of mine the year I read it too. And Hunted was a lovely Beauty and the Beast retelling. I need to read The Bird and the Sword and Strange the Dreamer since you loved them!

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Thanks for the commenty love :)