TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2017



I love all the Top 10/Best-Of lists that come with the end of each year. Whether it’s done in categories or just best overall, reading posts with everyone’s favorites makes me positively giddy. But when it comes to choosing my own favorites… gah! I actually love going through everything I read in the past year (thank you, GoodReads, for making that so easy to do!), but narrowing it down to the Top 10, the cream of the crop… it’s tough. There are so many in the “you almost made it” category. And for that reason I’ll be starting with a few (okay, nine) Honorable Mentions. And it’s not cheating because it’s my list and I can make the rules. :)
A List of Cages – Robin Roe
Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
Goodnight, Nic – Marley Jacobs
The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay
Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer
Making Faces – Amy Harmon
Bossman – Vi Keeland
Unraveling Oliver – Liz Nugent

And now to my Top 10 of 2017. To be honest, 2017 was not the most stellar reading year for me. I started off strong – January alone had two books that made it into my Top 10 – but a most unwelcome reading slump hit in October and decided to make itself at home and stay a while. (To give you an idea, I read only four books in October, just three in November, and have managed only one this month.) Here’s hoping for a much better 2018!
Note: These aren’t necessarily 2017 releases (only six were released in 2017), just my top picks from what I read in 2017.

#10 SUGAR & GOLD – EMMA SCOTT
This beautiful romance with a slight paranormal twist captured my heart. I fell in love with Nikolai and Fiona from the very beginning and wished and hoped for their happy ending. Emma Scott delivered some twists I never saw coming, managed to elicit both smiles and tears, and had me not wanting to put the book down. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

#9 WRITTEN IN RED – ANNE BISHOP
I downloaded the audio version of Written in Red on a whim and was instantly transported into another world, where The Others – shapeshifters, vampires and more – rule. I was hooked from the very start and proceeded to enjoy all five books in the series. Bishop created characters that managed to feel real, despite this being urban fantasy, and I am completely invested in their story. A perfect example that taking a chance of something outside your reading comfort zone can deliver a new favorite.

#8 TRUST – KYLIE SCOTT
Having never read any of Kylie Scott’s adult/new adult novels, I had no idea what to expect when I picked up an ARC of her young adult release. I was totally onboard with Trust from the explosive beginning. With Edie as a main character that was 100% realistic and John as an anti-hero turned hero, a gripping storyline, and truly positive portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship, Trust seemed to contain everything I love in a YA contemporary and delivered it with a cherry on top.

#7 WHO DO YOU LOVE – JENNIFER WEINER
Jennifer Weiner delivered a story that spanned 30 years and still managed to have me wanting more. This was so much more than a second chance romance, but more a tale of two people who overcome their own pasts and oh-so-relatable flaws. Who Do You Love showed in heartbreaking detail what happens when love isn’t always enough. Rachel and Andy’s story was absolutely precious and pulled at every heartstring.

#6 THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED – BECKY ALBERTALLI
After the sheer epic-ness of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I admit I was nervous about what Becky Albertalli would serve up next. I shouldn't have worried because in Molly Peskin-Suso Alberrtalli created a protagonist so relatable that I felt like I was seventeen all over again. Add in a precious little cupcake of a love interest ( I ♥ Reid) and it was obvious that Albertalli had struck gold again.

#5 UNTIL IT FADES – K.A. TUCKER
K.A. Tucker took a foray into straight-up romance this year and all I can say is: I want more. Filled with a strong but vulnerable heroine, a swoony and sweet hockey star, an adorable five year old little girl (who wasn't overly precocious and actually sounded like a five year old), and a rich cast of secondary characters, I let myself drown in the feel-good romance and loved every minute.

#4 A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN – SARAH J MAAS
For someone who isn't a fantasy reader, I fell hard and fast for the ACOTAR series and have anxiously waited for each new release. And A Court of Wings and Ruin did not disappoint. Maybe it didn't quite reach the perfection of ACOMAF, but it still delivered the characters I love, the villains I love to hate, the action and adventure, the surprises, the laughs, the emotion. It was an incredible ride and I loved it.

#3 FAR FROM THE TREE – ROBIN BENWAY
I should have kept track of how many times I was moved to tears while reading Far from the Tree (hint: it was a lot) because Robin Benway probably owes me a box of Kleenex. This story of three teenagers who discover they are biological siblings and the relationships that follow grabbed me by the heart and didn't let go. Grace and Maya and Joaquin came alive for me and I finished their story feeling so happy I'd met them.

#2 ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS – BRYN GREENWOOD
Equal parts fascinating, disturbing, thought-provoking and heartbreaking, this novel delved into the hearts and minds of characters unlike any I'd read about before. Following Wavy Quinn, the daughter of a meth dealer father and an unstable addict mother, All the Ugly and Wonderful things tells the story of a lonely girl and a lonely man. It tells a story of creating family where there is none. And it tells a story of love, of human agency, and of ultimate acceptance. Truly unforgettable.


#1 FROM SAND AND ASH – AMY HARMON
My first read of 2017 is my favorite read of 2017. I was already a fan of Amy Harmon when I picked this one up but she outdid herself with this novel set in WW II-era Italy. Her writing was so immersive that I felt as if I was living the story. Eva (an Italian Jew) and Angelo (an American Catholic) were lifelong friends whose differences, which seemed not to matter as children, suddenly meant everything now that war was on their doorstep. From Sand and Ash was often difficult to read, showcasing a cruelty that was beyond belief, but it was also a beautiful depiction of love, faith, endurance and hope. This book is the perfect example of why I read.

Have you read any of these?
What's your favorite book of 2017?

14 comments

  1. I only read 3 on your top ten, but I have a hold in place for Far From the Tree (need it!). I read my first Emma Scott book this year and really liked it, so there will be more of Scott in my life. Tucker is an author I have been meaning to read. Maybe Until It Fades will be a good place to start. I still want to read Cages and Now We Return to Regular Life. They sound amazing.

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    1. I can't wait for you to read Far from the Tree, Sam. I feel certain that you will love it. I'm definitely looking forward to reading everything from Emma Scott. K.A> Tucker is one of my favorites. Until It Fades isn't her usual but I loved it so much. A List of Cages and We Now Return to Regular Life were such emotional reads.

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  2. Oh so many great ones here!! Upside, Until It Fades and Far From the Tree were such a great books. Who Do You Love was a favorite when I read it too. Same with All the Ugly and Wonderful. I still need to read From Sand and Ash.

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    1. I was already a fan of Amy Harmon when I read From Sand and Ash but she just took it to another level with that. Truly remarkable.

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  3. Great list! Far From The Tree and A List of Cages are on my TBR list, so I hope I like them as much as you did.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Thanks Aj. I hope you will love Far from the Tree and A List of Cages. Both are such powerful, emotional reads.

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  4. These lists can be tough to put together! The Upside of Unrequited has had me curious, after seeing quite good reviews, and Far From the Tree sounds like a wonderful read too!

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    1. Far from the Tree tackles so many issues but it never feels like an "issue book." Definitely worth the read.

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  5. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things ruined me, such an unforgettable story, no words to describe it!

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    1. Same here, Kei. It was so powerful and so unforgettable. It's been almost a year since I read it and I still find myself thinking about it.

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  6. Great picks Tanya! If you're interested in some more YA fantasy, I highly recommend The Last Namsara. :)

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    1. Thanks for the rec, Amber! I'll check that one out.

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  7. All of the books on your list that I've read I really loved. I'm excited to read Lake Silence this year!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I know Lake Silence is focusing on a different courtyard/town but I hope we at least get some cameos from Simon and the gang!

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