I didn't quite reach my (internal) goal of reading 50 books in 2017. Rather, I got to 46 - which is one book more than my 45 goal on Goodreads. In the past, I've done favourites videos on my youtube channel, but since I don't have much time to make videos anymore, I knew that I couldn't let 2017 go without running down my favourite books of the year. And if you're patient enough, you may find a LEAST favourite books of 2017 post in a couple weeks. This time around, I have 6 books to talk about. I rated more books than that at 5 stars this year, but these are the books that have stood up in my mind from reading them, to writing this post. And, as usual, I have two TOP books: one contemporary, one fantasy.
Arcadia, Tom Stoppard
This is different, eh? I read this play for a class, and I absolutely loved it! The characters are so smart and witty and the way the play is drawn up (even if you're just reading it) is fantastic. It follows two generations, one in the nineteenth century, the other in the twentieth century, both who're trying to solve something they don't understand and believe they can find answers on the estate the play takes place on. The play's only setting is a single room and every prop that is brought onto the stage stays on the stage, and is used in each century as they narrative switches back and forth. I never thought I would have a crush on a play, but now I totally do, and it's on this one.
I read the entire Heroes of Olympus series in 2017: a series I almost DNF'ed halfway into the first book. And I'm so glad I didn't. The Mark of Athena is definitely my favourite mostly because of the way it's set up and the amount of character development that takes place. One could argue that Annabeth doesn't have the greatest character development in the Percy Jackson series, but this book totally made up for it. I honestly am looking forward to when I may have the chance (and time) to re-read the Heroes of Olympus series - and particularly this book.
I had an ARC of this sitting around for... longer than necessary, I'm afraid. So when I finally decided to pick it up, the hype in my mind had kind of died, which is why I was so surprised by this book. I forgot how engrossing and captivating Chokshi's writing is - as I read The Star-Touched Queen quite some time ago. Meanwhile, Vikram and Guari are amazing characters, and have the best chemistry (all thanks to Chokshi's writing). I also loved the premise of them going to this strange world and playing a game where they may or may not be granted a wish. The whole thing was incredibly intriguing, which means I read it pretty quickly.
While I may still love Clockwork Princess the most, Lord of Shadows is definitely one of Clare's best. I just felt kind meh about Lady Midnight, only continuing because of the ending, but Lord of Shadows kept me engaged the entire time, while still blowing me away at the end. I honestly can't wait to read the last book, mostly because I just want to see how Jules and Emma's relationship plays out, but there's also so many little things going on behind that main conflict that I'm intrigued to see resolved. While I think you can read The Infernal Devices without any prior knowledge of the Shadowhunter world, I'm not sure how much you'd keep up with The Dark Artifices without The Moral Instruments. Which is unfortunate, because I think this series is some of Clare's best.
A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab
This will come as no surprise to you, especially if you follow me on Twitter. Everyone I know that has read this book/series either loves or hates it, I fall into the love category. I'm a total sucker for novels with large casts of characters, where each character is a flushed out, three-dimensional character, and they all have complex relationships with each other. This book gives you that, along with a really cool world. Kell is an Antari, one of just two, which means he can travel between worlds that are parallel with each other, and at each world's centre, is a London. You've probably heard enough about this book, but if you love fantasy at all, I think you should at least give it a try.
Again, this probably is no surprise. I'm actually quite sure this is my favourite book of the year. I did a review right here on my blog, if you'd like a more flushed out review. (TL;DR: this book made me feel a lot of things.) I cried multiple times just because of the amount of connection I felt with the main character, Aza. The way Green writes about mental illness really hit me, meaning my copy of this books is very marked up. Everyone experiences their mental illness differently, and I don't have OCD, but I do find that when you are diagnosed with a mental illness (me, a panic disorder and depression) you tend to find your symptoms cross over into other illness' depending on how other people experience them. So I really connected with it. I just wish they would re-write the synopsis for it, because it makes it sound extremely boring and hardly covers the main plot.
4-Star Honourable Mentions:
- Language of Thorns, Leigh Bardugo
- Queens of Geek, Jen Wilde
- What to Say Next, Julie Baxbaum
- Kat and Meg Conquer the World, Anne Priemaza
What were your favourite books this year?