Top 17 Books of 2017

Wow, 2017, what a year. So much has happened in my life. There have been so many hardships throughout this year and sometimes it was a mess. Sometimes it left me having a relapse in my room at 3am and sometimes it ended with me on top of the moon being so glad of all the progress I made.

But, you’re not all here to read about my mental health and my hardships of this year. You’re all here to read about what are my top 17 books of 2018. This was strangely an easy list to format. I tried to keep it mainly to 2017 releases, but some are just books I read this year and I adored. So, let’s get stuck into it. This list is in no particular order, so don’t assume because a book is higher up or lower it has more value.


1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Review

This is the one that will have people screaming at me the most I think. I know so many people despise Sarah and her books, but her representation of PTSD really helps me. So, having Chaol, the main character, suffering throughout the book was something that resonated with me and left my feelings all over the place. It was also interesting to learn about his recovery, my mum had been in a car accident and told she’d never walk again (she did and does) so it was interesting to read about something that upsets her too much to talk about.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia | Review

I think this hit a lot of people’s favourite books this year. The fandom representation and anxiety throughout hit the nail on the head. It was also interesting to see a character who wrote and fanfiction to be incorporated into a novel. I used to write fanfiction (cringe) so I sincerely enjoyed this dynamic because I met one of my closest friends from writing it.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

Now, this had to be one of my top books of 2017. It was incredible. It was the book I needed when I was younger and not sure where I fit in the world. When I truly needed some girl power. Honestly, I’m still speechless about this book but I will continue to scream about it and shove it into anyone’s hands I can.

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Review

Okay, so obviously Lord of Shadows was my favourite book of the year. I’ve made it clear how much I adore Cassandra Clare’s books and The Dark Artifices series is no exception. Her writing has improved so much over 10 years so I’m even recommending this series who didn’t like The Mortal Instruments. I really am still speechless over this book. I will definitely be re-reading before Queen of Air and Darkness releases next year.

5. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | Review

Now, The City of Brass is a shock favourite of the year honestly. It was such a magical read that really drew me in. The culture and just, overall, the story was so absolutely incredible. I am still unable to really grasp what happened in it and it’s another book I want to shove onto absolutely anyone who will listen.

6. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

Mackenzi Lee’s work is one book that has stuck with me since I read it months ago. It was so what I needed. A story about two young men and a girl causing mischief throughout Europe with a sense of adventure and serious tones throughout the novel. My favourite thing about this particular work was the inclusion of epilepsy. As someone who’s mum has epilepsy, it was incredible to see it represented in fiction with such a raw emotion. It truly is difficult to see someone you love suffer.

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and the second book was no exception. I loved it. Honestly. This book also had some PTSD representation throughout it, that in my opinion, was so well done. The storyline is just as incredible as the first, even if I guessed the killer in this one. Maniscalco is just an incredible writer who I sing the highest of praises to.

8. A List of Cages by Robin Roe | Review

I read this book before I had my blog and really had a chance to rave about it. There are a lot of triggers in this book I wasn’t aware of but I read it in one sitting and was awake until late in the night crying over what happened. I still think about this book. My best friend actually bought me a physical copy for my birthday and I’m just so in love. It was just such an emotional punch so be prepared for that.

9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

This is probably the most shocking book on my list. I put this book down after starting it and wasn’t expecting to ever go back. I had bought it because it was pretty and $11. One day though I picked it up on a whim and wow. This book. I am completely in love with Lazlo. Yet another book I am recommending endlessly to my friends and family. I really think this particular one is a good fit for anyone.

10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

I just loved this book. There are no words for me to even describe how great it was. Read it. Now.

11. Everless by Sara Holland | Review

This is a debut I just loved. The concept is just so intricate and so elaborate. I was blown away by it, not at all expecting a favourite book to come out of reading it. Sure, it doesn’t come out until next year for the US but this book is just so incredible you need to preorder now. 

12. How To Make A Wish By Ashley Herring Blake | Review

Similar to They Both Die At The End I have no words to describe this book. I am trying to shove it on my sister quite aggressively (because it needs to be shared) but she refuses to read it and it frustrates me. So, to everyone reading this you need to pick up this book. Obviously you need to pick up every book on the list, but still.

13. Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

I knew I was going to love Renegades. So, I wasn’t shocked when I loved Renegades. Recently its been the target of some homophobic reviews which is really annoying because this book is incredible. I absolutely love the anti-hero concept so I sincerely loved reading about it in Marissa’s beautiful writing style.

14. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

This one kind of speaks for itself. It’s the final book in a series and makes the list because Rick Riordan is an incredible writer. His inclusion of the mythologies in his worlds are so flawless and engaging that I can’t help but fall in love with absolutely everything.

15. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | Review

This was probably the biggest shock for my list. I picked it up on a whim because the ebook was on my phone was some reason. I thought it was a series as well, I’m not sure why? I fell in love completely. This book is so underhyped. Why haven’t more people read it? I don’t understand, honestly. It is truly a masterpiece. The writing, the storyline,  the romance. All. So. Incredible. Pick this up, please.

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | Review

If you like Moxie, then you’ll love The Nowhere Girls. These two go right together with feminism movements. However, this one is a tad darker and intense. The girls fight back and a movement begins to protect others. It also made me realise some things about my own life I had to move through mentally. It was, however, such a powerful feminist read and I highly recommend it.

17. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Another unexpected favourite. This book got really popular on Goodreads for awhile and I decided to jump on the hype train. It’s such a beautiful f/f romance with pirates involved. Was not what I expected at all but I am glad to have it on this list!


So, there we have it! My top 17 reads of this year. Obviously, I recommend them all highly and sincerely suggest you give them as gifts to yourself (or others) this holiday season. All 17 books meant something important to me this year.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your favourite reads of 2017?

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The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: February 8th, 2016

Pages: 273

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.


 

R A M B L E

I went into The Abyss Surrounds Us with low expectations. It’s not a very popular book, but it had suddenly been making the rounds on my Goodreads account and I just had to know why no one had rated this book under four stars.

I now know.

The Abyss Surrounds Us is a tale unlike any other I have read. That may be because I’m not a fan of sea monsters or pirates usually, but this book does it so fantastically I simply enjoyed my precious opinions. The f/f romance in this was beautiful as well. I am now completely on board with the Cas and Swift OTP. Someone get me a ship and I’ll name it after them.

I just have a lot of feelings about this book and all are good. My only point of “eh, could have done without” was during the action scenes. I would get a tad confused in some parts.


P L O T

Going in, I knew nothing about the plot apart from there would be some lesbian pirates. When I read the first chapter a few months ago and put the book down, I thought Cas was the pirate and there was going to be some Kraken like creatures throughout.

I was very wrong it seems. That is not at all what the plot of this book was. And I was so happy. I was pleasantly surprised and definitely happy as we follow Cassandra who has trained Reckoners her whole life. I’m a bit unsure of what they look like still, at no fault of the author. I believe the ones in this book look like turtles? Could be completely wrong though.

The plot was packed with adventure and action, in a way that would leave you desperately wanting more. The romance does not take over the story in anyway but you are still left with giggly feelings when sparks fly between the main characters. The enemies to lovers trope is done so well, with flirting and banter that make you feel so warm inside.

I’m getting gushy, I know, but I just adore Swift and Cas. I can’t wait to see where their story goes!


C H A R A C T E R S

#C A S S A N D R A

You know how a while ago there were those things that were like “looks like a cinnamon roll but will kill you”? Well, Cassandra is a cinnamon role who will kill you. She comes across as kind-hearted and soft, but oh my God. That girl is kick ass.

The character development that the author uses for Cas is incredible. Following her particular growth is amazing. Honestly, I am speechless by how flawlessly the author achieves this. It is completely captivating in a way that you simply need to know what she does next.

Her decision at the end of the novel shocked me and the revelations that came out? Someone hand me the next book now. I seriously can’t wait to finish the four other books I need to so I can jump straight back into this world.

#S W I F T

So, if Cassandra is “looks like a cinnamon roll but will you kill you”, Swift is the exact opposite. Which I believe is “looks like they will kill you but is a cinnamon roll”? I clearly missed that trend. Swift was a character I was momentarily scared of. For some reason, she also reminded me of Theon Greyjoy’s sister on Game of Thrones. That could be because I’ve been binging Game of Thrones for two months now in order to catch up (two episodes left!).

Finding out Swift’s story broke my heart. It isn’t unusual for that to happen to me. My friends all say I’m really soft (I just have a lot of feelings, I’m sorry) but really, I loved Swift. She was overall a morally grey character that I was rooting for. Something that I don’t usually do.


O V E R A L L

Overall, this enemy to lovers story is great. I was so unable to put it down to even think of anything else. I am so glad this hidden gem was floating around Goodreads.

highly recommend.

On a note that isn’t this particular book related, I am having the best reading month.