Seventeen Best of 2017

Posted January 8, 2018 by Kara in book review, Imaginative Discussions, Kara / 1 Comment

Seventeen Best of 2017

I saw some bloggers and booktubers writing about their seventeen favorite books of 2017, so I decided I would participate. I’m not sure where the idea started or if it matters, but if you know, please leave me a comment and I will credit whomever it was. I actually don’t mind having to choose seventeen books, because there were actually a lot of books I liked this year. Some were published in 2017, and a few weren’t. As always, I’m behind on my ARCs so I did my best with those, and as a result most of the books I read this year were actually published this year. But I did read a few that are publishing in 2018, and I read a few really old ARCs (whoops!). Anyway, these are the books I loved most in 2017, not in any particular order.

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (Bloomsbury)
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A delightful continuation of the series. Perhaps my favorite book so far because we got to see what other Scion cities were like, and it is bleak as heck but the world-building and excitement are STRONG. Bring on book four already!

Want by Cindy Pon (Simon & Schuster)
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I’m really into science fiction now, and I credit this book as one of the few that really got me into the genre. This is another case of super strong world-building, as Cindy Pon is one of those writers that always seems to deliver for her readers. Oh, and also, I really loved the characters.

Flashtide by Jenny Moyer (Macmillan)
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I really wish more people were aware of this duology. I’ve blogged and tweeted about it several times, but this book got like zero promotion from Macmillan and that’s really sad because it is SO. GREAT. It left me feeling so traumatized. The world is bleak, bleak, bleak and you spend the whole time wondering how they can POSSIBLY get out of it, and some of them don’t.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (Penguin)
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This was my first Kristin Cashore and it definitely won’t be my last. Experimental young adult fiction is super rare, and this one was loaded with awesome storytelling and multiple genre-defying endings. The Tu Reviens estate is full of exciting characters and painted with a rich atmosphere.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (Simon & Schuster)
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Just when you think the dystopian genre has taken its last gasping, dying breath, a book like This Mortal Coil pops up and completely blows readers away. Books about devastating plagues are supposed to be tense, exciting, and full of gory details, and this one certainly is. It’s also full of twists and an ending I never saw coming.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston (HarperCollins)
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Hey, so Heart of Iron isn’t out yet, but you should definitely pre-order it if you’re into shippy pairings, queer romances, and exciting storytelling. This was seriously one of my favorite books of 2017 and I can’t wait for other readers to get their hands on this science fiction gem.

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett (HarperCollins)
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Not enough people read this debut. It’s set in the mountains, features mountain climbing, dragons, and Himalayan culture. It’s a brilliantly told fantasy that features memorable characters, an interesting magic system, and surprises around every corner. But this book desperately needed a map. I hope they include one in the sequel.

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson (Penguin)
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I got to this one a little late, but boy am I glad I did get to it. For someone with a terrible memory, this book still stands out to me as completely unique and surprising. Characters are multi-layered and you never know what they will do next. The setting of Congo and Kenya are brought to life in such a vivid way that I wanted to savor every word. I also liked the romance which is a rare thing for me.

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole (HarperCollins)
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This is another one that’s not out yet that you should pre-order immediately. A Conspiracy of Stars is one of the most innovative, original fantasies I have ever read. Prepare to enter a time where dinosaurs and humans walked and lived together, just on a planet that isn’t Earth. It sort of reminds me of Origin by Jessica Khoury, but I enjoyed this one a LOT more.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (Disney Hyperion)
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If there’s one book I want to reread from 2017, it’s this one. The original world-building pulled me in, and the female friendship and empowerment kept me there. I loved all the different female characters, the diversity, and the author’s super cool idea of what a fantasy New Orleans would be like. Plus, all the fashion, and royalty, and palaces. It was so much fun!

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (Random House)
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I didn’t expect to like this at all, really. It took me a bit to get used to the short sentences, but this book was just SO. MUCH. FUN. I loved the creepy Lovecraftian monsters, this magic London, and the rivalry between sorcerers and magicians. Reading A Shadow Bright and Burning was some of the most fun I’ve had in 2017. Oh, and the shippy, shippy goodness.

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones (Penguin)
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I’m planning to read more adult books in 2018, and some of that is thanks to The Salt Line and just how much it engrossed and touched me. I fell hard for the characters and dystopian world this author created. I can envision a world like this in the future and that’s why it was scary. This book is so much more than killer ticks, but if that gets you to read it, then so be it.

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine (Amazon Publishing)
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Okay, so I read the first two books of this series this year but I’m only including the second because I wanted to showcase different books. I actually liked the first book a bit better than the second because I thought some of the plotting got a wee bit hard to believe, but guys, if you haven’t read this yet, what are you waiting for? Rachel Caine is a master at all she does. Her take on a serial killer is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever read. This book is violent, brutal, and I just want this family to get a happy ending already. I have a feeling that won’t happen for a while yet.

Warcross by Marie Lu (Penguin)
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It took me a long time for forget about this book, and it took even longer for any book I read to affect me nearly as much. Books about being in virtual reality rarely work for me, so I didn’t expect to love Warcross, and oh boy was I wrong. It doesn’t hurt that part of the book is set in a futuristic Tokyo either. I loved all the characters and the places they went, and the tension, and the competition, and yeah.

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Random House)
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Words In Deep Blue is an ode to readers everywhere. This is the kind of book you read if you are a word lover. Set in a bookstore where patrons write letters to each other. Features the friends to lovers trope that so many love, and it’s also full of Cath Crowley’s gorgeous prose. It’s one of the few contemporaries I read this year, and it’s the one I loved best.

The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner (Skyhorse Publishing)
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What is this two Australian authors in a row business? Perhaps because Australian young adult fiction is a whole different breed, brimming over with emotion and brilliant ideas that make you question everything you believed in. I had zero expectations going into this book, and it was brilliant and surprising in every way. The world building completely worked too even though it absolutely shouldn’t have. It’s up to the author to convince me, and she absolutely did.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury)
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I’m mostly including this one as sort of an afterthought. I’m fully invested in this series, and I’m in love with Rhysand and that hasn’t changed. Oh, and also, I loved the new characters Sarah introduced in this installment. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this series goes, to be honest. I’m not a Maas superfan or anything, but she certainly knows how to write relationships and fae in a way that I love.

 

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