Monday, December 11, 2017

Top Ten Books of 2017



Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish




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I can't believe I let myself wait TWO YEARS between reading the first book and this one.  The Girl of Fire and Thorns was one of my favourite books of 2015 - and for good reason.  It has racial diversity, landscape diversity (a non-Western based fantasy!), different body shapes, incredible world building, fantastic character development...I mean it has EVERYTHING I've been saying I want in fantasy!  So it's no surprise that this book was just as amazing.  





Tales from Shadowhunter Academy - Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

It was a tie between this and Lady Midnight, but this one tugged at my heartstrings more.  It seems that despite my contentious past with The Mortal Instruments series and my more or less disinterest with the Tessa Gray series, I have somehow managed to fall in love with the characters and world building so much I keep trying everything set in the world - and I'm glad I have. The Bane Chronicles, as well as the end of TMI series, and the start to this new series have all been highlights of my year over the past two years!




The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)

This series is my favourite discovery of the year. I binge read all thirteen books in something like two weeks.  It was AMAZING and started this whole crazy paranormal/urban fantasy phase I haven't come out of yet.  (In fact I'm planning a separate post on this later).  One of my favourite things about this series (and urban fantasy in general) is the diversity you find.  This series allows for characters to play around with the differences between physical love, romantic love, and platonic love - and a lot of that gets blurred and characters aren't put in specific boxes and I LOVE that!  Besides, of course, that this series is a ton of fun with solid world building and character development.  Out of the six urban fantasy series I've read so far (I have a ways to go!) this is hands down my favourite of the lot.




Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven


This was one of the first books I finished this year, and I knew even then that it was extremely unlikely I was going to read anything at all that would topple it from the #1 book I read all year.  I rarely have an actual favourite book of the year - I think the last time that happened it was in 2015 and I'd read Neal Shusterman's Unwind.  Not only was it unlikely that I was going to find a book I enjoyed more, it seems unlikely I'll find another book like it at all.  It's so hard to find words to describe this novel - it's such a quiet, introspective book.  It's...apocalyptic and post apocalyptic slice of life, which is not a combination I thought I'd ever find, and apparently I love it.  (I have read one manga that has a similar feel and subject matter, but no novels).  If you know of any other books like this, please recommend them!





Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Adichie

Purple Hibiscus

This is certainly a diverge from my general reading, but it was utterly absorbing.  Adichie was at the Baltimore Book Festival this year which is why I made an extra effort to make sure I didn't just get the book and have it linger on my shelf for years (which is what usually happens to anything that's not a fantasy novel).  Sadly I wasn't able to see her - the tent was absolutely PACKED, but I have hopes I'll get the chance to meet her again.  In the meantime, I know the book is a decade old by now but I can not recommend a non-fantasy based novel more.  It's set in Nigeria in the 1990s, when it was going through huge political strife.  In some ways it reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird - narrated through a child's eyes (although the main character is a teenager, she is a naive teenager so she feels young) which gives it multiple levels to navigate - personal, intimate and larger scale politics.




Simply Perfect (Simply Quartet #4) - Mary Balogh

Simply Perfect (Simply Quartet #4)


I love Mary Balogh's series - every novel I've read features a character with a disability (she has a whole series that focuses on soldiers back from the war) and at least from my perspective she's always treated every character with sensitivity.  It always feels like everything was researched, and it wasn't ever used to play up pity or used as a prop.  Now, as an able-bodied person I am obviously not an expert on the matter so I could be 100% completely wrong on this.  But beyond that, this story was just so well written and the FEELS are real.




Mercy Thompson Series - Patricia Briggs

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I've been meaning to get to this series for AGES. And man did I do that in a major way - I am fully caught up with the series (and I only started it last month).  A paranormal fantasy with a new set of world building rules I haven't seen yet, with a half-Native American main character, and a gay werewolf bff?  Sign me up!





Dead Beat (Harry Dresden #7)

Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7)

Guys this book was SO FREAKING EPIC. I have complicated feelings on this series sometimes, but at the end of the day it's still completely addicting and this book took the series up to a whole other level.  I'm still not caught up - only up to book 10 so far, but it's my favourite of the whole series so far.  And can I just say James Marsters is an amazing narrator?





The Angel's Game - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)

I didn't quite love this one as much as I loved The Shadow of the Wind, but it is always a treat to read Zafón's writing.  It's lush and the gothic feel is upped from the last novel.  It's my goal to be able to read this in the original Spanish, but in the meantime I'm looking forward to reading the last book in the series...in English.




The Silver Metal Lover (Silver Metal Lover, #1)

This is one of my favourite Tanith Lee novels to date.  I think it such a shame her books are almost entirely out of print.  This was one of her most famous works (possibly actually her most famous work?) so I think this one is still in print, so go get your hands on this!  Tanith Lee was one of the most underrated yet hugely influential authors in science fiction, fantasy, and especially in horror.  Her stories almost always feature nonconforming women - in all sorts of different ways. Sex, sexuality, power, gender - it's all there.





What were your top ten books of the year? Leave me a link below!

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