Back at the beginning of 2017 I set myself a goal to read 38 books this year. I’ve found it difficult in the last few years to choose books as, although I love my Kindle, the book browsing experience is not the same as visiting a bookshop. I seem to have really found my genre this year as I’ve read more YA Fantasy novels than anything else, but I also still love mystery/psychological thrillers.
By the 31st of December I had read 51 books which was a massive achievement. Here is a quick summary of some books I’ve really loved in 2017.
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) – Victoria Schwab
A city divided, split north and south, inhabited by humans, and monsters. Monsters who eat your flesh, drink your blood and steal your soul. This book had lots of intrigue and mystery about it with a lot of chapters ending on cliffhangers – making it that much harder to put down! It has an air of Romeo and Juliet about it, but without the romance. I’m currently reading the second novel in this series which is also excellent.
Little Boy Found – L.K. Fox
I love a good mystery thriller! The story focuses on Nick’s frantic hunt for his son Gabriel, who he believes was driven off in a strangers car after being dropped off at school. The book can be quite hard to follow as there are two narrators but the story gives you all the twists and turns you expect from this genre.
S.T.A.G.S – M.A. Bennett
This is one of my top reads this year. It was recommended on Twitter by Cora (Tea Party Princess) and I’m so glad I read it. The books tagline is “Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.” and if that doesn’t grab your interest then I don’t know what does! The first pages of the book are so gripping and I found it really easy to get swept right up in to the world of Greer MacDonald and the Medievals of the elusive St Aidan the Great boarding school (AKA S.T.A.G.S). I think this book would make a great TV or film adaptation.
Silo Series – Hugh Howey
I stumbled upon this series and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was hooked from the get go in this strange universe where the community live inside a Silo buried underground, not able to go outside for fear of death. In fact, fear of death by exile or, being sent to “clean” is the exact thing that keeps the citizens of the Silo in check. The first book, Wool, is a bit of a slow burner, revealing things gradually but as you begin to realise there is something more going on it is easy to get caught up in the action. I definitely recommend reading all three installments, Wool, Shift and Dust one after the other to keep engaged with the story.
The Martian – Andy Weir
I will admit that I watched the movie adaptation of The Martian first, and I loved it so much that I thought I would try the book. It 100% lived up to all my expectations. It is so smart and funny and I felt really invested in the story. Mark Watney is a great character – he is so genuine and likeable and his narration is really what makes this book stand out. I’m really looking forward to reading Andy Weir’s next (unrelated) novel, Artemis, in 2018.
Before I Let You In – Jenny Blackhurst
I was recommended this book through a Facebook book club and immediately bought it as I loved Jenny Blackhurst’s How I Lost You. Before I Let You In tells the story of three friends who have been inseparable since childhood. Psychiatrist Karen is assigned a new patient and something just seems a little off. Little does she know that Jessica would be the catalyst in a series of events that would change their lives forever. The book has so many twists and turns and really keeps you guessing as some chapters are written in first person without giving away who is narrating at that point in time. This really keeps you involved with the story and you find yourself making assumptions that may, or may not be true.
Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) – Alwyn Hamilton
Coming in to 2017 this was the book I was really excited to read after falling in love with the universe of Rebel of the Sands. I can tell you right now that Traitor to the Throne lived up to ALL my expectations.
Everything I loved from the first book continued on in to the second instalment, from the engaging characters to the absolutely captivating world in which these books are set. The Arabian folklore completely captures my imagination and makes the stories such an enjoyable read. I love the character of Amani and enjoy how she really comes in to her own in this book, learning how to use and control her Demdjii powers. Jin doesn’t appear as often in Traitor which was sad, but honestly I didn’t find I missed him too much.
I read RotS again right before starting Traitor which was a good idea as I was really familiar with the characters and the storyline, however the book gives a handy list of all the characters at the start in case you need a refresher. I’m already looking forward to the final novel, Hero at the Fall, which will be released in March.
Throne of Glass series – Sarah J Mass
I read the first two novels of this series separately, before reading the remaining four in quick succession a few months later. The first novel, Throne of Glass, worked well as a standalone novel, and I struggled to engage with the follow up, Crown of Midnight. However, by the end of book three, Heir of Fire, I was totally hooked. The whole series is incredibly well written with engaging characters and lots of unexpected plot twists. The story never goes where I expect it to go. I love the universe in which it is set, and always feel excited when the characters travel somewhere new. The latest novel, Tower of Dawn, takes the reader away from the main action as some of the characters have split off, and this introduced a whole new land which I loved reading about. It was also interesting reading the differences between the two nations and the perceptions they have of each other. The final instalment to the series will be released next September.
A Court of Thorns and Roses series – Sarah J Mass
Another fantasy YA series from the brilliant Sarah J Mass. The lead protagonist, Freya, is a strong, young woman taken from her homeland to a magical kingdom as punishment for murdering a faerie. We learn about a faerie kingdom divided in to “Courts” – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day and Night. I found the first novel to be quite slow moving to begin with but as the plot got going it was really interesting and I found myself invested in Freya’s character. I struggled with the beginning of the second instalment but around half way through it began to pick up and I was hooked by the end. The third book was a gripping page turner and really managed to wrap up the story so far by the end. There are still more books to come in this series although there is some uncertainty about whether these new books will be a continuation of the current story, prequels or spin-offs. We’ll all just have to wait and see!
BONUS – Kids Grown Up
This gorgeous little book was one I read a lot about on Twitter this year and I was so pleased to purchase my own copy. Kids Grown Up is a poetry book inspired by Disney and is a must have for any Disney fan, whether young or young at heart. You can find Kids Grown Up to purchase here, and read more from the author, Sophie Jo, on her website – Sophie Jo Writes.
If you want to see more of what I’ve read this year you can view my 2017 Year in Books on Goodreads. For 2018 I’ve set my goal to 52 books! I’ve managed to read two so far so fingers crossed I can keep it up!
Let me know your favourite book of 2017 in the comments.