My Favorite Reads from 2017

Well no one can say I didn’t wait until the very end of the year to post my top reads of 2017. I think there may only be a few minutes left of the year but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

2017 has been such a great bookish year for me. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a lot of bookish events, meeting a lot of my favorite authors and I’ve read 145 books, that’s around 48,500 pages. With an average rating of 4.0 stars there were a lot of brilliant stories making it really difficult to pick a top 10 so instead I’m hosting the third annual I Wuv Book Awards.  Essentially this means I’ve had a look at my favorite reads of the year and slotted them into some made up awards categories. There are no actual prizes I’m afraid but I will definitely be recommending these books to all I meet.

So without further ado the winners are…..


Best Historical Fiction

Winner: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow

Historical fiction is probably one of my least favorite genres but I have to admit that I absolutely loved this gem of a story about an aristocrat who is sentenced during the 1930’s to live out the rest of his life within a luxurious hotel in central Moscow. It’s a turbulent time in Russia but the focus of this story is very much on Count Rostov and how he finds meaning in such a restricted life. It’s very slow paced but a truly beautiful read.


Best Psychological Thriller

Winner: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie

There have been a lot of exceptional thrillers this year and it was difficult to narrow this down to just one book but this story was just so suspenseful I had to award it the prize. I do have a bit of an obsession with stories around memory loss which could be partly to blame but this was a book that surprised me with it’s twists and turns. One of those ones it’s worth forgoing sleep for.

I do also have to give a special mention to Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine which was also a truly gripping and surprising read.


Best Retelling/Reworking

Winner: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Hunted

I went into this Beauty and the Beast retelling with pretty low expectations (has this story not been retold enough times) but this really surprised and impressed me. I started it on audio, got impatient and ended up reading it as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. It’s quite a dark story and is surprisingly light on the romance side. What I loved the most however was how the author weaved in other stories and myths.


Book I most want to part of

Winner: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus

It’s unusual for me to want to be in any book (I do read a lot of dystopians), but I would love nothing more than to join the crew of the Invictus. The story is a mix of Doctor Who and Firefly and features a group of time travelling smugglers. They are just such a great mix of characters and they get to visit some of the most fascinating time periods (ancient Rome, the Titanic) I want to go with them.


YA Standalone

Winner: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks

This was my first book of 2017 and the first book I gave 5 stars. It’s a very unique story about a teenage girl who can’t hold onto any new memories. As you would probably expect it’s a little repetitive but there is something so positive and inspirational about Flora that you have to love it.


Best Sci Fi

Winner: Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis

This isn’t perfect and I know a few people have issues with it but I have to applaud Weir for the sheer level of detail and complexity of this story. Think Ocean’s Eleven set on the moon. Main character Jazz took a while to grow on me but I loved how clever and creative she could be. Plus the fact that Weir managed to keep me interested in such some complex science and technology was brilliant.


Best Fantasy

Winner: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

 The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

This was actually my first Holly Black book but boy am I regretting not picking up anything by her sooner. I read a lot of fantasy but this was an absolute stand out. It’s just so dark, violent and twisty. The only bad thing about it is that it’s the first in a series and I now have a wait for the next one.


New (to Me) Author of the Year

Winner: E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart

I’d had We Were Liars on my kindle for years but having had no idea what it was about from that very vague blurb I kept putting it off. It was only when I heard she was visiting Glasgow that I finally made the decision to read it and it blew me away. Needless to say I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest book Genuine Fraud and while it is similar to another book it’s so cleverly written you have to admire Lockhart. All of her books are just so surprising and incredibly detailed.

Hopefully in 2018 I’ll get a chance to work through her backlist.


Best Horror

Winner: Strange Weather by Joe Hill

 Strange Weather

This is four short novels rather than one story and I suspect is probably better for it as it forces Hill to be very concise and increases the pace. While some stories are better than others, each and every one has memorable characters and plots that will stay with you for some time after finishing.


Most Original

Winner: Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

This is another book I was a little bit wary of. The whole story is told from the pov of Ginny Moon an autistic 14 year old in foster care. It’s a fascinating experience being inside the head of Ginny. I absolutely loved her but she was incredibly frustrating. This was a truly engaging story and very emotional at times. Brilliant.


Best Rom Com

Winner: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game

The Hating Game shouldn’t be a standout read, it’s a pretty common office based enemies to maybe not enemies story but it definitely is. Thorne’s writing is wonderful, so funny, and the characters are just so nice (OK maybe not Joshua) and likeable. There’s also a serious amount of spark between them. If you like a romance read and haven’t read this what are you thinking?


Most Emotional Read

Winner: Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood

Big Sexy Love

Given the title of this you’re probably surprised by the category but this was truly one of the funniest, most heartbreaking books I read this year and one I think is seriously underappreciated. It is chick lit (or rom com if you prefer) but don’t let that put you off as it’s not really about the romance. What it’s really about is friendship and how we’ll do anything for those we care the most for.


Best Contemporary Fiction

Winner: How Do You Like Me Now by Holly Bourne

How Do You Like Me Now?

Have you ever come across a book that just seems to speak to you? For me this was Holly Bourne’s How Do You Like Me Now. It’s her first foray into adult fiction, and the first book by her I’ve read, and there was just so much in it that had me thinking YES!! It’s a while until it’s published (hence no review yet) but I had to include it on my list. If you’re in your 30’s and have ever had a freak out that your life isn’t what you thought it would be, or that you’re falling behind everyone else this is for you.


Book of the Year

Winner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

This was a book club read and probably not one I would have been in a rush to read but I’m so glad I was forced into it. I absolutely adored this book. It’s so funny, There are elements that stretch credulity but I really didn’t care.


So that’s it, my favorite reads of the year. If you’ve made it this far thank you for sticking with it and I hope you agree with some of my choices or that they’ve given you some ideas for books to add to your 2018 reading lists.

If you have any comments on my choices or if you think I’ve missed a great book let me know below.

It’s been truly an incredible year of books for me and I hope 2018 proves to be just as good.

17 thoughts on “My Favorite Reads from 2017

  1. Wow, book of the year…I have a copy and I’m going to have to read it asap!!
    You have a lot of awesome books on this list…a few I’ve read and many on my TBR. I’m glad to see you enjoyed them so much – now I’m excited to read them!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year!!

      It was a pretty close run thing for book of the year. I was sooo tempted to make it Big Sexy Love as I was rereading bits to remind me and even a few sentences had me smiling and ready to cry at the same time.

      Eleanor Oliphant is brilliant though. I hope you love it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an excellent selection! I completely agree with A Gentleman In Moscow, The One Memory Of Flora Banks and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and basically most of the other titles are on my TBR already. I hope 2018 will be another good one for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were so many great books last year it was difficult to narrow it down. I almost forgot about Flora because it was so early on and there are another couple I wish I’d included. I hope you enjoy those you haven’t read yet when you get to them and happy new year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I feel you. I finally finished my post and the only reason I narrowed it down is that I only picked my full 5 star reads, although there are tons of 4,5 star reads I would have wanted to mention as well. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think I had about 25 five star books on my list and actually some of the books here didn’t get five stars. There are a couple I really appreciated for what they are but didn’t quite reach the love stage I need for the fifth star 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow that’s a lot! And I agree some books are without doubt worth mentioning even if they didn’t get the full rating… I’m considering adding another best of 2017 post with other recommendable reads just so I can mention a few more haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome list!! I really want to read Gentleman in Moscow! Hunted sounds like an amazing retelling, I just love how you describe Invictus (yes please to anything like Firefly!) Eleanor Oliphant sounds great! I’m really excited for Cruel Prince as well 🙂 You’re right about Artemis too and I agree about how well the one memory of Flora Banks was done.

    Liked by 1 person

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