Kinda sad that my last post of 2017 was about the worst books I’ve read that year, but at least my first post of 2018 is about the BEST books I read! If you think about it, it balances out. Probably. As long as you don’t think about it too hard. (Happy
two weeks late New Year, by the way!)
Anyway, this post is dedicated to all the books I read in 2017 that I wound up giving a full 5 out of 5 stars to. A.K.A…the best books. You know this already. Disclaimer, however! This post isn’t about books that were necessarily published in 2017, just the books I read for the first time in 2017. Also, this post is less of a review of the books I read and more just about my experience reading it, so get ready to curl up with a nice cup of whatever it is you drink and watch me get a lil personal.
Alright, let’s get into it:
The Memory Book by Lara Avery– I’m gonna be honest, I gave this book 5 stars just because it made me cry. If I hadn’t cried, this would probably just be a 4 star book. There were a lot of little nitpick-y problems I had with this book (that I don’t remember now, which I guess is a good thing), but I decided to rate it based on the emotions I felt rather than focusing on the technical aspects. Which, I know, sounds like what I should do, but honestly I rarely ever rate books like that. Usually I end up being like “well yeah, I was emotionally invested in the characters but there was that ONE THING on page 32 that I didn’t like and I just cant give it a perfect score because technically it’s not perfect to me”. Which is dumb. I should stop doing that. And this book was like a swift kick to the gut for me, because I haven’t felt that moved after finishing a book in a loooong time. And I had my review made up in my head already; I knew what I was going to praise and what I was going to criticize. Like I was some sort of book-reviewing robot. (Which…sounds pretty cool, ngl.) But after this book’s ending, writing that review just felt wrong. So I scrapped it and gave the book 5 stars. And, not to sound TOO dramatic, but I think this book is the reason why I rated so many books 5 stars this year. I mean..it’s still not that many, but STILL. Slowly but surely, I am becoming less of a robot. (You can read my full review here!)
Scythe by Neal Shusterman– This book was a slow burn for me. I didn’t think I would love it as much as I ended up loving it because this book’s plot unfolds REAL slowly. So that’s a warning for people who like more fast-paced books; you may not like this one. Although, even while the plot was building, I never felt bored reading this. This series has some of the best characters. I truly never understood the term “a character I love to hate” until I read this book. Turns out it’s a very weird feeling. Anyway, once the climax of this book hit, I was hit with this huge wave of realization and the past 400 pages of the book suddenly and all at once made sense to me. And it was wonderful. Plus, the second book to this series came out like…yesterday? I think? I was already in line for it at my library and I got it the day before it came out!!! Which is pretty cool. I gotta tone down my hype though…high expectations are not good for my health.
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab– This book was such an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Which I know sounds weird to say about a book in such a popular and well-loved series, but I…uh…wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book. I still ended up liking it, (I gave it 3.5 stars? I think) but for some reason none of the characters were clicking with me and I kept forgetting the plot. It might have been because I was listening to the audiobook, which was real bad, or because I was in a slump, or a combination of the two, but irregardless of the reasons I thought this book would go down the same way. But it didn’t! I truly don’t know what happened with the first book, but this one blew me away and fixed all of my problems with the series. I fell in love with all the characters (especially Rhy, who finally gets the attention he deserves) and the plot that seemed so confusing before was suddenly so exciting and suspenseful. I even bought a special edition of the first book because I loved this one so much. (Although now that I’m writing it out, that reasoning doesn’t make much sense.) In conclusion: it’s good. It’s a good book.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – Guys. Guys. GUYS. This is my new all-time favorite book. I honestly can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. I mean, I absolutely loved the movie, so maybe I thought this book would just disappoint me? But it was just the opposite. I loved this more than the movie, and more than any other book I’ve read (or, read recently.) This is just so exciting for me. If somebody ever asks me what my favorite book is, I’ll finally have an answer. It used to be The Night Circus, but tbh I read it so long ago that I remember hardly anything about it. Also, and y’all might want to sit down for this…I wrote in this book. I wanted to start highlighting passages and writing in the margins of my books, and I thought this cheap, floppy paperback edition would be the perfect place to start. And I know it’s kinda taboo to mark up your books in this community, but guys…it’s so fun. I love writing down all my reactions to things and highlighting my favorite dialogue. It makes my books my own. I mean, I’m still too scared to write in hardcover books and I still feel bad about dog-earring pages, but who knows what the future holds? (Who am I kidding, I’ll never dog-ear pages.) You can read my review here!
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – This was actually the last book I read during 2017, and it was the best book to end the year with. It dealt with a lot of issues that I’m going through right now, most of it being college and friendship related, and the book ended on such a sweet and hopeful note that it made me really excited to move on and start a new year. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what I usually feel when nearing the end of a year, and thankfully this book helped me break out of that. Honestly, if any of you are feeling lost in the world or with yourself, I highly highly recommend reading this. Even though it deals with some pretty heavy issues, I felt really warm and calm reading this. I don’t know how this book is so chill, but it really is. Even if you’re not dealing with anything this book talks about, it’s worth it just for the diversity and the great fashion choices these characters make. (And the memes, of course.)
Aaaand those were all the books I gave 5 stars to in 2017! I know, 5 books isn’t exactly a lot, but these books were amazing and I just wanted to give them some recognition and appreciation. Also, sorry if some parts of this post were real ramble-y or nonsensical, but you know. That’s just how it is sometimes. Ramble-y and nonsensical is my style.
What were some of the best books you read in 2017? Did you find your new favorite book like I did? Let me know! ❤