It’s finally time… I wanted to wait until 2017 ended just to make sure nothing snuck up and took me by surprise, but now that the year is over, I can finally tell you guys my complete list of my top reads of 2017! These are not all 2017 releases – some are older, and some are actually from 2018! – but they are all books that I loved with my whole heart and hope you do, too.
I was originally going to do a top 10, but that wasn’t enough. Then, I was going to do a top 17, but that was too much! I finally settled on a top 15, and these are – more or less – in order of least to most loved (with #1 being my fave). All but three of these have been reviewed, so I’ll link to reviews wherever I can (click the titles!).
15. Mud Vein
I was warned in advance that this was a polarizing read, but I had high hopes. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for how hooked I would be, how much I would love it, or how much it would mean to me. It broke something open in me that needed to be pulled to the surface, and I will forever cherish it for that.
14. Wild Beauty
This sweet, magical little story is so authentic, and touching, and gorgeous, and queer, and beautifully brown and diverse. I could ramble for ages about how much it meant to me to see such perfect bi rep, or how much I cherished the sweet latinx culture representation, as well as Anna-Marie’s unapologetic attack on colonialism and the havoc it has wreaked.
This was one of the first ARCs I ever received, and it was also the first time I ever saw confirmed, words-on-the-page bisexual rep. Ever. As a bisexual woman who took a really long time to accept and love myself, seeing a character openly identify her sexuality and say things that I related so well to shook me to my core, and ignited a passion in me for seeking out diverse reads and promoting them. I honestly would not be who I am as a reviewer today if it weren’t for this incredible little contemporary.
12. Strange Weather
Joe Hill has, for years, been my favorite horror author, and when I received the ARC of Strange Weather, I literally SCREAMED. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017, and man, it did not disappoint. It is shamelessly political in nature, but still spooky and eerie and strange, all in Joe’s perfected way. It made me love him even more than I did before, which I didn’t think was possible.
11. Every Heart a Doorway (RTC)
I haven’t reviewed this book yet only because I haven’t quite found the words for it, but it is so beautiful, and whimsical, and dark, and sweet. The representation and diversity is incredible, and despite it being my first time reading a full book of Seanan’s, it immediately placed her in a very beloved spot in my heart.
10. Prince’s Gambit
I was cautiously optimistic about this series when I picked it up, and enjoyed the first book, but damn, did the second book blow me out of the water. I never could have predicted that I would root so hard for these characters and love them so incredibly much. I fell head-over-heels into this fandom during Prince’s Gambit and am so happy for it. <3
Every now and then, as a blogger, you get an ARC approval that leaves you downright weepy over how blessed you are, and this was one of those for me. I adore Ashley’s writing, and I didn’t think I could enjoy a book by her more than I loved How to Make a Wish, but this one rocked me to my core. It wasn’t as sweet and lovable as my other top read of hers, but it was so incredibly important. It doesn’t come out until May of 2018, but you’d best believe I’ll be begging everyone I meet to pre-order it or request it from their libraries.
8. Dread Nation
See #9’s statement about being weepy and feeling blessed. Dread Nation was one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, and I wanted to devour this book the second I got approved for it, haha! As you can see, I didn’t hold off for long, seeing as this one doesn’t release until April, but it’s another book that is so crucially important and you positively must pre-order. It has such an important commentary on racism in America, and on top of that, it’s just a damn good read.
If you haven’t read this series yet, I’m gonna have to ask: what the hell are you waiting for?! It’s such a fun historical fiction series, and while I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper, its sequel totally blew it out of the water. I adore Audrey and Thomas so much, and I feel like I’m wasting away while waiting on the release of the third book.
6. Now I Rise
Some of my friends joke that I never shut up about this series, and honestly, I’m totally okay with that, because everyone needs to read it. The Conquerors Saga is a gender-bent retelling of Vlad the Impaler and the entire Ottoman Empire debacle of that era, but more than that, it is a queer, diverse, beautiful story told in opposing perspectives. Kiersten is a brilliant writer who wields her craft with devastating precision, and I literally debated for days over whether or not I should move this up into the top 5. I have no doubt that the finale, Bright We Burn, will be on my best of 2018 list this time next year.
5. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (RTC)
It physically pains me that I haven’t reviewed this masterpiece yet, but every time I sit down to do it, I just feel like I’m totally less than capable of even beginning to summarize my feelings for these characters. I adore them so much, and the only reason I’ve put off finishing the series is because I’m just not ready to say good-bye yet. The third book in the series lent to so much development of characters and relationships, and I literally used up 3 separate little sleeves of page tabs because there were so many moments I wanted to highlight and cherish forever.
4. The Hate U Give (RTC)
This is another book that I’m honestly regretful to say I haven’t reviewed yet. It sat on my shelf far too long before I finally read it, but I loved every damn page of it. It broke my heart, made me laugh, filled me with warmth, and brought my blood to boiling (sometimes all within the same chapter). It’s such a tremendously important book about racial issues and family, and I will forever recommend it to everyone. <3
It’s become a running joke with many of my close bookish friends that this book has become my legacy, because I never shut up about it. I adored the fae lore in it; as someone who grew up reading the old, authentic folk tales, I saw so much of them represented in this story that I was instantly transported back to the magic and wonder I felt as a little girl, learning about the tricky and fantastical fair folk. I only wish this book had been hundreds of pages longer, because I don’t think I ever would have tired of spending time with Isobel and Rook.
I was originally a little intimidated to start this series, because I hadn’t read much sci-fi in a really long time, but let me tell you, despite the heavy sci-fi nature of it and the bizarre formatting, these books felt so incredibly approachable and lovable for me. I loved both of them so much that it was hard to pick, but sweet little Nik is one of my favorite cinnamon rolls, so Gemina won out for me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be staring at my calendar, begging for the Obsidio release to get here sooner.
And finally, my #1 read. I cherish this series so much. As most of you have heard me ramble about before, this series brought me back into the world of YA fantasy and reminded me how to fall head-first into a fandom for the first time in years. The relationship that blossoms in ACOMAF is my favorite ship of all time, and came at a time in my life when I thought I couldn’t love characters this much anymore. I feel like I will never tire of rereading this book, and I will forever be grateful to Sarah J. Maas for bringing this sense of wonder and adoration back into my bookish life.
That’s it! My top 15 reads of 2017. I’ll still be posting a statistical breakdown this weekend, but this was definitely the toughest part of my end-of-year posting. I read so many good books in 2017, and I can’t wait to read even more amazing ones in 2018!
Happy reading, loves!