It’s quite unbelievable to me that 2017 is almost over. Not that I’ll be sad to say goodbye to this year, but seriously, where did the time go? Regardless, despite the bad that occurred this year, in terms of the books I read, it was a pretty good year for me. In total, I read 79 books this year (so far!) so it was pretty hard for me to narrow that down to 17 books but I’ve done my best. So in no particular order, here are my 17 favorite reads from this year.
1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Truthfully, I didn’t want to read this book. I won’t go into much detail since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but it basically follows Chaol Westfall and takes place at the same time that Empire of Storms does. When I first heard about this book all I thought was I didn’t want it and instead I’d would’ve liked the final Throne of Glass book. However, after everyone kept saying how amazing it was I finally got the audiobook and I think I finished it in two days. It was SO good. I truly couldn’t stop listening. It tied so many things in the series together and made me even more excited for the last book. Plus, it’s by far the most diverse book Sarah J. Maas has written, which is a shame but at least she’s growing.
2. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
This year I discovered Adam Silvera and I’m now obsessed. They Both Die at the End broke my heart in the best way and despite the title I was still not prepared for the ending. The story follows Mateo and Rufus who are told they are going to die by the end of the day. Thanks to the Last Friend app they end up meeting and find themselves making the most of their last day on Earth. The story alternates between the POVs of Mateo and Rufus, and also gives insight into some other characters. All together it gave me The Sun is Also a Star vibes, but is still felt totally different and SO good. It will make you cry but also laugh and smile.
Another Silvera book? Oh yes and I’m not the least bit sorry. This is the first book I read by Silvera and I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into it. Full disclosure, I only picked this up because I was trying to get an internship at the place that published this book. While I didn’t get the job I did fall in love with this book, which tells the story of Griffin, who’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, died. Surprisingly, it’s Theo’s new boyfriend, Jackson, that Griffin finds himself connecting with after Theo’s death. As the story jumps between the present and Griffin’s “history” with Theo secrets are revealed that led to a twist I definitely didn’t see coming.
4. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I love Constance Wu so when I heard she was starring in the movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians I knew that a) I’d be seeing the movie the day it came out and b) I needed to read the book. Since the movie’s not out yet I started with reading the book and I couldn’t put it down. It was so funny and even though I’m not Asian it was still felt very relatable. The book hooked me from the very beginning. It expertly looks at race and class, while also just being hilarious. I literally closed the book so I could laugh out loud multiple times while reading. I can’t wait to read the next two books in this series.
5. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
If you love ’90s rom coms or remember watching them with your mom like I do, then this is the book for you. Loosely based on You’ve Got Mail, this story follows Bailey “Mink” Rydell who talks to “Alex” online for months. When she moves to his area, Bailey doesn’t tell him for fear he’ll disappoint her. Instead, she ends up working with the infuriating Porter, and soon finds herself trying to decide between her online relationship with Alex and the chance at a real one with Porter. Besides the romance, this story also deals with a number of other issues, most notably gun violence. I really loved this book and could see myself reading it again.
I’m a sucker for a “forced to be together but end up actually falling for each other” story and this one was fantastic. The story follows Vaughn Bennett who agrees to pretend to be the girlfriend of teen pop star Oakley Ford in order to get money to help her family. Told in alternating POVs of Vaughn and Oakley this was a super cute love story, interspersed with texts and tweets that made it incredibly funny as well. I couldn’t put this book down and immediately picked it back up again when I finished it.
I’m still not over the ending to this book. Just thinking about it right now makes me feel some type of way. Cassandra Clare broke me with this book but I loved every minute of it. I’m now impatiently waiting for the next, and last, book in the trilogy. Here’s to hoping the wait doesn’t kill me since it doesn’t come until December 2018.
Honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long to finally read this book. It was so good! I felt for Simon, who was being blackmailed about his sexuality, but I also loved him and his relationship with Blue, the mysterious boy he was emailing. This book was funny, heartwarming, and had so many great quotes. If you haven’t read this you definitely should before the movie, Love, Simon, comes out in March.
9. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t like this series in the beginning. Red Queen seemed way too predictable to me and I wasn’t a fan. But Victoria Aveyard sucked me in with Glass Sword and King’s Cage was even better. Told in different perspectives, King’s Cage raised the stakes, setting the perfect stage for the series’ conclusion next year.
This is another read that it took me too long to finally get to, but I’m so glad I finally read it. This book was filled with so many twists that came together perfectly in the end. I loved how this was really a book about women coming together and supporting each other, but wasn’t preachy about it at all. In fact, it was hilarious and I couldn’t put it down.
I know next to nothing about video games but I love Marie Lu so I decided to give this book a chance anyway and boy did it not disappoint. Although the virtual reality game, Warcross, is obviously a big part of the story, because it’s made up Lu had to explain it for the world building and so it was easy to figure out and get immersed in it. Plus, the story was about more than just Warcross itself, it was about the protagonist, Emika, who I loved. While the twists weren’t all that surprising, I still loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel.
Holly Black is another author I just discovered this year, and honestly, why am I so late to this party? The Cruel Prince was filled with amazing twists and just enough romance to make me swoon. I loved the main character, Jude, who’s a human raised amongst faeries, and I liked that these faeries were ruthless, as the fey should be.
13. Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter
I don’t typical read middle grade novels, but I had to for school this year and while I definitely didn’t love all the books I had to read, I fell in love with Forever, or a Long, Long Time. This heartbreaking, but equally heartwarming, story follows Flora and her young brother, Julian, two foster kids who believe they were never born. Although they’ve finally found a forever home, Flora and Julian continue to struggle with the things that have happened to them in the past. I absolutely loved how this story was written in Flora’s perspective, because her view of the world and her surroundings was so interesting. I sympathized with her throughout the novel and felt for her when she messed up, but celebrated all her triumphs. This is a must read.
14. Invictus by Ryan Graudin
I loved the Wolf by Wolf duology so I was very excited to read another book by Ryan Graudin and Invictus did not disappoint. Filled with time traveling adventure, romance, and a bit of a plot twist, Invictus kept me hooked the whole way through. I’ve been telling people its like Six of Crows but with time travel. In other words, I highly recommend it.
Even though I’ve never really had an interest in Wonder Woman (I still haven’t seen the movie), I love Leigh Bardugo so I decided to give this book a chance, and I’m glad I did. Bardugo did a great job of setting up the world so that even for me, who really knew next to nothing about Wonder Woman going into this book, everything still made sense. I loved this version of Wonder Woman, aka Diana, and the adventure she went on when she arrived on Earth. I also loved that this story was able to surprise me. Overall, this book has made me excited to read the next books in this DC Icons series.
If I’m going to read erotica it’s going to be a Lauren Blakely novel. The woman has only disappointed me once and in her defense it was one of her earlier novels; her writing has only gotten better over time. It was hard for me to just choose one of my favorites by her this year but I’m going with The Sexy One because I love a forbidden romance and Simon and Abby’s relationship was so freaking cute. I’m pretty sure I read through this book in a day.
Kasie West has become one of my favorite YA contemporary romance authors and she also gives me serious writer goals. She comes out with two books a year. TWO! But anyway, By Your Side is definitely one of my favorites by her, mainly because it begins with the main character, Autumn, being trapped in the library with a cute, bad boy. So basically, my dream. However, what I loved most about this book was how West handled Autumn’s mental health and how that played into the story.
What were some of your favorite reads this year? Let me know in the comments below!