T10T: Favorite 2017 Releases – Contemporary Edition!

December 12, 2017

This is a weekly tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s challenge is Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017. I’m going to have a full “top of 2017” post coming up at the end of the month, so I decided, instead, to give a list of my top 10 favorite contemporary releases of the year!

These will, obviously, ONLY be books released/releasing between Jan 1, 2017 and Dec 31, 2017. I’ll also mention the rep in the diverse titles, since most of these are. I’ll also add links to reviews!

These are in NO particular order!


1. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas – February 2017
Starr Carter watches her best friend die at the hands of a police officer, and only she knows the truth about the travesty at hand. I haven’t even finished this book yet, and I know that this #BlackLivesMatter-inspired story about racism deserves to be on this list.
(POC: black, own-voice) RTC

2. The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel – March 2017
This is techically a thriller/contemporary, but I really loved it. A woman is forced to return to her family home to search for her missing cousin, with a narrative that switches timelines between her adulthood and teen years as she pieces together a tragedy.

3. Dear Martin – Nic Stone – October 2017
Justyce starts writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. as he grows up in a world filled with racism and police brutality. This book was so important! I absolutely loved it and it broke my heart.
(POC: black, own-voice) REVIEW HERE

4. Now is Everything – Amy Giles – November 2017
We meet a girl who’s become the sole survivor of a plane crash involving her family, that alternates between “before” and “now”, highlighting the abuse that went on in her household. Breathtakingly sad and beautiful.

5. Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman –  September 2017
TA biracial Japanese-American girl is just trying to make her way through the world as an artist, all the while combating the racism her mother pushes on her everyday for not looking “white enough”. Another heartbreaker, but it’s so good.
(POC: Japanese, biracial, own-voice) REVIEW HERE


6. How to Make a Wish – Ashley Herring Blake – May 2017
A young bisexual girl learning how to prioritize her own health and well-being after a lifetime of focusing instead on taking care of her abusive, alcoholic mother, while also exploring her love of music and the beautiful black girl who’s just moved to town. Absolutely stunning, fun, heavy, sweet, and everything I wanted it to be.
(POC: black, bisexual, lesbian, own-voice for bisexuality) REVIEW HERE

7. Aftercare Instructions – Bonnie Pipkin – June 2017
A young woman has to learn how to face life after an unexpected breakup and a necessary abortion. It alternates between standard narratives and play scenes, and is a quick, impactful read.

8. What I Lost – Alexandra Ballard – June 2017
A girl is forced into in-house treatment for her eating disorder, where she must learn to love herself, let others in, and figure out who’s sending her all of those mysterious care packages.
(mental health, eating disorders) REVIEW HERE

9. There’s Someone Inside Your House – Stephanie Perkins – September 2017
I know this one is a horror/contemporary, but it read more “contemporary” than “horror” to me. A teen named Makani gets swept up into a real-life version of a slasher film when her classmates start dropping left and right.
(POC: black & hawaiian, biracial, trans) REVIEW HERE

10. They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera – September 2017
I hesitated to include this contemporary since it involves some fantastical/scifi elements, but I loved it too much to leave it out. In a world where people receive phone calls on the morning of their death day to warn them, Rufus and Mateo learn they share in their impending demise, and decide to make the most of their final day together. Positively soul-crushing, but I loved this story and these characters so much.
(POC: cuban & puerto rican, bisexual, gay, own-voice) REVIEW HERE

What was your top contemporary release of the year?


More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

Leave a comment
    1. Ooh The Roanoke Girls was such a good read! I felt so torn about that book. Loved it but hated some of it mainly due to content. No denying that it’s an excellent read though. Fab list!

    1. I heard not that many great things about There’s Someone Inside Your House, but I’m glad to see it on your list! The title sounds like a horrormovie I def. would watch, but to find out it’s contemporary, is kind of weird. 🙂
      Great list!

    1. i haven’t read many of these, but out of the ones i have read i absolutely love them!! THUG, dear martin, and TBDATE are SO good. i’m currently reading how to make a wish and i’m adoring it so far, and the roanoke girls, starfish, and what i lost are on my tbr.

    1. Okay okay, your list excites me so much!!! I cannot wait to read Dear Martin after hearing so many amazing things about it. The spotlight diversity has gotten this year makes me so infinitely happy!!!
      Is there anyone who didn’t enjoy THUG????
      The Roanoke girls was on my Halloween TBR and I never got to it!! BUT I NEED TO because that story seems so dark and twisted, just what I love. I’m dying to read about the japanese rep in Starfish. That book is HIGH on my list. I need to have that cover, too!!!
      You have NO IDEA how happy it makes me to see What I Lost on someone’s list! That book was so important and well-researched. Also really hard to read. Adam Silvera is also one of my favorite authors, and I read ALL of his books this year. He is so amazing!!
      Here’s my TTT: https://bookslikewolves.wixsite.com/blog/single-post/2017/12/12/Blogmas-Day-12-Top-17-Books-of-2017

      1. Ahhh thank you so much! This makes me so happy. Yes, I am LOVING the way the YA book community has been focusing on diversity! We’ve especially gotten a LOT of good LGBTQIA+ rep over the last 12-24 months, so I’m hoping 2018 gives us more of that PLUS even more amazing POC rep and authors! <3
        I know ONE person who hated THUG, and… I'll be honest, her reasons for it were disgusting and we don't talk anymore lol.
        The Roanoke Girls IS super twisted, but man, I loved it. I went into it knowing almost nothing about the plot and it was one hell of a ride! And Starfish was incredible. Every one of my blogging friends who has read it gave it 3.5-5 stars, so I figured that's a good sign!
        Also, yes to What I Lost – I was so pleasantly surprised by how educated and well-researched it came across. I plan on reading the rest of Adam's books next year and can't wait, even though I know they'll wreck me, lol!
        Oooh, I'll go look! Sorry this is a week late – the holidays have been kicking my butt lol!

        1. OMG, I’m curious to know what she said about THUG. It’s moments like that when you can realize if a friendship is worth it or not. Don’t worry about the lateness, please! The holidays are SUCH a frenzy!

          1. She just basically went on a tangent about how she didn’t believe racism against minorities was an issue anymore, because she supposedly grew up in a rural town where she was abused “because [she] was white”. Then she turned it into this big “woe is me” thing because “Starr and her friends were so mean to white people”. It was rough, lol. And thank you for understanding! They really are a mess sometimes! I love Christmas but I’m always a teensy bit relieved when it’s over.

    1. The Hate U Give is one of my favourites from this year too! I’ve got They Both Die at the End and There’s Someone Inside Your House on my TBR for next month and I’m really looking forward to both of them ?

    1. I love your list! I’ve only seen one other person with Starfish and Dear Martin on their lists. Both are on mine, as is THUG. Starfish just about broke me, and I’m almost tempted to say I liked Dear Martin even *more* than THUG. They all deserve to be widely read, that’s for sure! They Both Die in the End didn’t quite make my list, but I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely my favorite of Silvera’s novels so far.
      Here’s my list of favorite books of 2017: http://buecher-monster.de/2017/12/12/top-10-tuesday-top-ten-favorite-books-of-2017/ ?

      1. Ooooh, yay for twinning on our lists! Starfish was devastating, truly, but in the best way. I think I liked THUG only a tiny bit more than Dear Martin because I adored Big Mav so much, but man, they were both such incredible 5-star reads for me. I couldn’t rave about either of them more if I tried, lol. I’ll check yours out, too – sorry I’m a week late, though, lol!

        1. Maybe I liked Dear Martin more because I read it more recently and it’s fresher in my mind? Either way, they’re both amazing books!

    1. Love your choices so much!! I’ve read a handful of them, but you also gave me some recommendations. 🙂 My favorite contemporary read excluding THUG and Dear Martin was probably Wing Jones!

    1. i still haven’t read There’s Someone Inside Your House but i’m sooooo excited to!!!! will b checking out more of these

      1. I hope you enjoy it! Just remember to set your expectations accordingly and don’t go into it expecting Stephen King, lmao. I feel like a lot of my friends who hated it ended up saying they went into it looking for terrifying horror instead of slightly spooky contemporary. <3

    1. Starfish looks and sounds really interesting! I’m adding it to my list now. I actually finished There’s Someone Inside Your House this morning. It was spooky, but I agree that it was mostly contemporary. It was a little darker than I anticipated. Graphic. I have They Both Die at the End and plan on reading it soon! Thanks for sharing!
      Do You Dog-ear?

    1. I definitely clicked through here to see if The Hearts We Sold made your Top Ten this year as well… 🙂 I will for sure check in for the overall Top Ten later this month. 😉
      They Both Die at the End is ON MY SHELF and hasn’t been read yet because I’m trying to stick to my TBR Jar system and it’s killing me. Nothing but good reviews and ughhhh that title is killer. Also, despite crazy good reviews, this is the FIRST list I’ve seen it on? But I AM glad to see it here! 🙂

      1. Ooooh, it’s close! It probably won’t make my top list of the year, but I did love it – maybe I’ll make a list of “honorary mentions”! If I do, that will TOTALLY be in that list! <3
        TBDATE is soooo gooooood! You gotta read it haha!

    1. Great list. I have read zero of this but I am planning on getting thug from the library next year. And I’ve been recced to read Dear Martin as well.

    1. The Hate You Give and American Boys seem to be really good books and so on point for the current situation in so many countries… It is sad to know that future generations will see those books as we see the classics: paper records of the atrocities of humanity :/ but I bet they are really good books! I am so behind my reading XD

      1. Yes, that’s a really good point! I always say that I just hope I live to see the day when my son and his friends are shocked to think that his mom lived through a time where police killed unarmed people everyday. 🙁 It’s so sad.

        1. That would be soo good! that would mean that they have a better society than the one that we live in right now! I really hope we get to that for our kids to have decent please to live in… *adult talk* XD

    1. They Both Die At The End crushed me inside but now it’s definitely one of my favorites of the year or maybe of all time!

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