***It has been TOO long since I posted, so I am a bit rusty – so please forgive the awkwardness…and the late post!***
Honestly, 2017 was a tough year for me to get through, so I am especially looking forward to the New Year of 2018.
I know I read a lot of “great” books this year, but only 11 can be classified as “my favorites,” and most of those I read earlier in this year – which surprises me: “Did I get more picky as the year went on?” “Did the stresses of 2017 affect my ability to love books?” “Has 2017 changed me into a cynical and impatient reader?” Anyways…
Without further ado, here are my 2017 Favorites:
They Both Die at the End ~ Adam Silvera
Definitely a Kleenex story if you have any sort of soul 😭😭😭
I didn’t want the book to end because I didn’t want the two main characters to die…even though they do (no spoiler there…its on the front cover in big letters)
It was a epically heart breaking story of living life to the fullest and appreciating those around you and never missing an opportunity to say what you really feel because you never know…
The plot revolves around Mateo and Rufus but there are smaller POVs that are intermingled throughout that make the story richer and the world more real. The smaller POVs felt like threads in a complex spider web since they played a huge part in connecting certain characters and events right up to the end.
So sad that the title wasn’t a dark joke of Silvera’s because I so wanted the two boys to live! (Sniffle sniffle)
Eliza and Her Monsters ~ Francesca Zappia
Why it’s one of my 2017 Favorites:
– Eliza- well rounded, emotional, flawed, amazing character
– Wallace – a quiet character with so much emotional history, sensitive…human
-Sully & Church – loved the parts where Eliza actually “listened” to them (camping trip in the tent) and how they stood up for her with their oblivious but well meaning parents
– Eliza’s parents – reading this YA as an adult that could technically be a parent; I empathized with them and their worries for their daughter
– Wallace’s handwriting
– Eliza’s drawings
– How Wallace and Eliza had their first conversation
– The plot. Perfect.
– The unveiling of Eliza and the direct after effects…even though I knew it was coming, still packed a punch – amazing, tension filled writing
– The “feels” especially in the latter part of the book
– Wallace’s stepmother, Vee and his sisters
– Pacing was spot on, hence reading this 400 page beast in one sitting with only cheetos and salsa for dinner
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue ~ MacKenzi Lee
Why it’s one of my 2017 Favorites:
1. Percy interacting (bantering, fighting, making up, running away from highwaymen, saving each other…)
2. The adventure! Begins innocently enough with a small box but it builds to an epic adventure that involves alchemy, sinister siblings, Venice, stowaways, friendly pirates, greedy Dukes, a misadventure with a gun, and a truly satisfying ending.
3. Diversity and gender role issues addressed and included seamlessly into the story; also highlighted was the physical abuse doled out by a parental figure and how those beatings affected the character’s personality.
4. First YA book I’ve read that had a main character with epilepsy (interesting to read about how those with epilepsy were treated in the 1700s)
5. Felicity’s sass and the bonding she and Monty had over their adventures.
6. Characters felt REAL and imperfect (Monty definitely a selfish jerk sometimes and Felicity not such a sensitive one herself…)
7. The many many many feels!
Love Fortunes and Other Disasters ~ Kimberly Karalius
Magical setting, unique character names, love fortunes that are never wrong…and a heroine that thinks of herself as the “clever maid” instead of the Princess in this fairy tale.
I especially liked the beginning of Chapter 16. Fallon knows love isn’t going to come easy for her due to a bad love fortune, but nevertheless she shows her feelings by being gutsy.
Sebastian is the perfect prince to Fallon’s “princess.
Nico and Martin had an adorable supporting story, loved the back story between those two.
Camille was just poisonous enough to hate and Zita…well…the ending was a lot darker than I thought, but perfect. A perfect ending to cap off a book that is worth staying up late for.
Ridiculous ~ D.L. Carter
Easy fast paced Regency comedy of errors…a widow and her three penniless daughters and a suddenly dead loathsome male cousin – how could 4 females in the Regency era survive? By the eldest daughter dressing as her male cousin of course and fooling the Ton with her disguise as she runs “his” estate, rescues Dukes’ sisters and plays the part wonderfully …until she falls in love with the Duke with blue eyes. How could this possibly have an HEA? Ridiculously of course! Burst out laughing over some parts. Millicent née Timothy North is witty, ridiculous and lovable…only wish the POV from the Duke was more fleshed out when it came to his feelings about North
Far from the Tree ~ Robin Benway
Hit me in my adopted soul feels.
Character score card:
Maya: a bit of a spoiled brat but totally okay with it since Benway wrote a backstory of why she is the way she is..
Grace: a bit of a wet blanket and not like me at all so couldn’t relate that well to how she was thinking…
Joaquin: my favorite of the 3 siblings – his story line was the most interesting to read in my opinion, the backstory of his journeys through foster care and why he is so cautious to trust people…
Rafe: my newest addition to my book boyfriend shelf goes to this witty and sweet side character who is the best!
Grace’ s parents: A+
Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics ~ Jason Porath
Absolutely LOVED this huge monster of a book. Not a good idea to have the book fall on your head while reading in bed…
With it’s colorful illustrations depicting the historical, and sometimes fictional, heroines that changed history with their general air of confidence and attitude of ‘Don’t get in my way – I don’t care what you think, I’m gonna do it anyway’ made me feel inspired and proud that females are not the weaker sex.
The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America’s Favorite Desserts ~ Jessie Oleson Moore
A cookbook-baking-documentary that is delicious… easy to follow recipes with baking history and fun facts sprinkled throughout. Fans of The Great British (or American) Baking Show will recognize some recipes such as the Princess Cake with its green marzipan top.
I enjoyed reading the history behind iconic baked goods from elegant classic of Opera Cake to the comfy Pumpkin Pie to the showstoppers like Baked Alaska…and the guilty pleasures of Oreos and Pop Tarts. This book really does have it all.
Love Charms and Other Catastrophes ~ Kimberly Karalius
Charming book full of diverse and lovable characters who struggle with their own shortcomings.
Karalius definitely on my short list of must read authors!
Hijira and Ken’s story is totally special and full of surprises and feels, hope there’s another story coming for the twins and Ms. Ward and Bram!
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding ~ Alexander Bracken
The last three chapters…omgosh…one word: betrayal
Leo Loves Aries ~ Anyta Sunday
Some of my favorite tropes can be found in this contemporary m/m romance; there is the “Friends to Lovers,” “Slow Burn,” and the bantering is on-point and deliciously amazing.