Monday, January 1, 2018

The Top 10 Best Books of 2017

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

It's 2018! May your year be filled with prosperity, opportunity, and love. And, in my case, books. Lots of books. I've pledged to read 24 books this year on Goodreads -- time will tell if I can do it.

But now, let's reflect on the incredible books I read in 2017. Here are my top ten favorites. This was really hard to rank, but I'm happy with my choices. Please note that these are books I read in 2017; some of them came out earlier, but I only got to them that year.

Without further ado, let's get to the countdown!

HONORABLE MENTION: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Literally the only reason this book isn't on the list and near the top is because I'm technically only one-fourth of the way into it. But I'm mentioning it here, because I did start it in 2017, even if I'll be finishing it in 2018. This book is incredible. Simply incredible. Please go read it, and expect my rave review once I actually get to the end.

10. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

John Green's return to the page is a melancholy, honest look at mental illness, mixed in with two delightfully realistic main characters. It's got John Green's classic top-notch prose, and his excellent character voices, all of which were very missed by those of us who love his previous work.

9. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

This is a classic fairy tale, and perfect for when you want something lighthearted and feel-good. Following the forbidden romance between a human artist and a fairy prince, this fantasy takes you on a journey through a lovely little world. I don't know if there are going to be sequels, but if there are, I'll gladly snatch them up. The prose in this book is simply beautiful, making it a complete joy to read.

8. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

This is historical revisionism, through-and-through. Maybe 10% of the things in this book actually happened. 15%, if we're being generous. It's a completely absurd story, blending history, comedy, and fantasy, and I love it. All historical fiction bends the truth, at least a little; My Lady Jane is just honest about it. Telling a heavily edited version of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the girl who was Queen of England for nine days before being executed, this book is long, but incredibly easy to read. It's hysterical, exciting, and easily one of my favorite historical novels ever.

7. The Merciless by Danielle Vega

I feel like it's almost pointless to talk much about this book, since I've already said so much. This is the first in a YA horror series, and it's the best of the lot (so far, at least). It's creepy, tense, and atmospheric, just like any good scary story. I'd recommend this to any fan of religious horror. If you liked The Craft, Ginger Snaps, or Heathers, you'll probably like this.

6. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

This is a powerful, heartbreaking narrative about a trans girl's struggles to find a place in the world that will accept her, written by a trans woman. Amanda is a very compelling lead, and her story is one that's sure to stick with readers, queer or not, for years to come. This book's actually been given the Stonewall Book Award, and I'm glad. It deserves the honor.

5. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee

One problem I've always had with queer fiction is that it tends to be pigeonholed into being just that: stories about being queer. Not that we don't need those stories; we do. But it's nice to get some variety, you know? One reason I simply adored this book was that it has a queer main character, but the story isn't about that. It's a fun, tongue-in-cheek superhero story... that just so happens to feature a romance between two girls. And it's adorable.

4. The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

I finally caught up with the rest of the world and read these two books this year, and they were both so incredible, I had to rank 'em together. This dark fantasy story focuses on a team of six outcasts, as they try to pull off a heist that will make them all rich... assuming they don't kill each other before they even get there. Funny, dramatic, heartrending, and exciting, I'm sure that Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom will be considered young adult classics in years to come.

3. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

This queer historical novel has been making a lot of lists this year, and with good reason! Fun, fanciful, and hilarious, it follows our main character Monty as he embarks on his grand tour of Europe. Also in tow are his little sister, Felicity (who will be getting her own spin-off soon!), and his best friend/true love, Percy. When Monty steals something that most people in Europe would kill for, he and his companions are sent running for their lives, all across the continent. This has some of the best bi representation I've ever read, and one hell of a funny main character. I can't wait until the spin-off comes out!

2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

This left me with the book hangover from Hell. Literally. I think I had to lie down a bit. This book's characters are simply divine, and even as the plot grew more and more complex, I was hanging onto every word. The ending was perfect, in my opinion, but the fact that there's a sequel coming is just the cherry on top. If you like dark superhero stories mixed with intense rivalries, check this out. You won't regret it.

1. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I'd say I'm sorry for shoving this book down everyone's throats, except I'm not sorry at all, actually. This book is amazing, and has consumed my life in a way I didn't expect. Seriously, ask anyone who knows me in real life -- I've definitely talked this book up to them recently. The world it creates, with demons and otherworldly monsters, is simply wonderful, and even better are its characters. I read most of this book in a single sitting, and was completely swept away by it. I plan to reread it very, very soon. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have a big following... yet. (Please read it.)

And those are my top picks for last year! Here's hoping I enjoy what I read in this coming year just as much. Happy New Year!


Thank you so much for reading this top 10 list. If you liked it and would like to support my work, click on either of the buttons below to donate -- Buy Me a Coffee is a small, one-time donation, but becoming a Patron has several benefits and rewards. Either way, it's a huge help to me. A special thanks to those of you that choose to contribute!

Tell me about your favorite 2017 reads down in the comments!

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