Holy smokes, I cannot believe 2017 is finally drawing to a close. This year has been a record for me with reading, and although it hasn’t been the best year in certain other aspects, I truly rediscovered my love of books and that’s something I am exceptionally grateful for.
With a total of 34 books (about to be 35), I’ve decided to make one of the hardest lists imaginable: my top five for the year. When you consider the fact that I read SO MANY good books this year – literally so many – choosing which ones had to be knocked off the list has given me nightmares, but I have done it (and it’s even in order). So, without further ado, here are my top five books of 2017!
#5 A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This was my first Patrick Ness novel and I have since fallen head over heels in love with his writing. This book is, of course, an absolute soul crusher and will most definitely make you cry. The story of thirteen-year-old Conor coming to terms with his mother’s chemo treatments, his relationship with his father and other internal monsters he has to face pulled on my heartstrings and truly, honestly made me stop and think about life – and to me, any book that does that is a winner.
#4 Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I have to admit this one didn’t grab me at first. I read the first half sort of sporadically over a few days and enjoyed it, but couldn’t really decide how into it I really was. Somewhere around the halfway mark though… wow. I ended up reading the second half in one sitting because I literally could not put this book down. The world that Stephanie Garber created for this novel is so dark and magical and it completely sucked me in and made me desperate for more. I confess, I’m not the greatest fan of any of the characters other than Julian (swoon), but the writing style and the plot and the PLOT TWISTS and everything else just blew me away. I am champing at the bit for the sequel, Legendary, which is being released in 2018.
#3 City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments series)
It was a bit of a toss-up between number 3 and number 2 – both of which actually refer to an entire series. I obviously couldn’t put a whole series in one position, so I went ahead and chose my favourite book from each series. Makes sense?
Oh wow, the Mortal Instruments. I don’t think I’ve ever blown through six books so quickly in my life. I bought the whole set second-hand on impulse and really wasn’t bothered with them for an awfully long time. When I did eventually start reading City of Bones, I was grossly disappointed about two chapters in and almost didn’t bother reading the rest. I don’t know what force of nature pushed me to continue reading but gosh, I am grateful for it. I LOVED these books. I don’t even really have the capacity to talk about them objectively or with any form of restraint because they reduce me to twelve-year-old fangirl mode. I LOVED them. I am utterly in love with the characters and the world and I think Sebastian Morgenstern is probably one of the best-written villains I have ever encountered. I wanted to reread this series from the second I finished it (I held myself back), and I do not care what age group these books were written for – they are purely awesome.
#2 Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (The Throne of Glass series)
Yes, of course. Queen Maas is almost at the very top of my list. As it seems to go with the majority of my favourite books, I was hesitant to read this series. I read A Court of Thorns of Roses in 2016 and loved it so much, and so many people had told me that it’s her better series and that Throne of Glass doesn’t measure up, and not to even bother with it, and and and. I took a risk though, and bought the first book and obviously fell in love. Aelin Galathynius is hands down the baddest badass strong female character. Granted, she’s selfish and moody, but I feel like she puts it to such good use with her endless scheming and bad-assery. I adore her as a main character, the world, the magic, so many of the other characters (Dorian Havilliard), the creatures, the darkness, the humour, everything (Dorian Havilliard). Everyone in these books is also unreasonably attractive (Dorian freaking Havilliard).
In all seriousness though, the drama, the action, the romance and the magic is all so beautifully written, and Sarah J Maas is just a true gift to this world. This series holds my soul and waiting for the last release is slowly killing me.
#1 Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
My number one read for 2017. This one, unlike the others, was not a hard decision at all. These books (yes, I know it’s two, shoot me) were my favourite by a landslide. I’m not quite sure how to formulate the words to describe them.
Bardugo’s world is dark and dirty and grim, and her characters are pretty level with the city they live in. Each of them is so intricately woven, with their quirks and habits, histories and secrets. They’re all dark and brooding and pained and hurting and constantly in danger and something about that just gets me going for some reason. The plans, scheming and absolute mastermind of the heists and missions that this group of criminals find themselves in just blew me away with how AWESOME they were, and aside from that, the bonds they form made me fall even deeper in love with the story.
There was nothing about these books I didn’t love. They were so bold and intense and yet so subtle. I love the fact that the fantasy aspect isn’t thrown in your face, but rather very delicately woven in. Similarly, there is a romantic element, but unlike in most young adult books, Bardugo didn’t let it take over the entire story and actually left me desperate for more.
I could talk about these books forever, but I realise that I’m beginning to blabber like a fangirl (again) and this kind of in-depth discussion could be saved for a review after a future reread of this duology.
Overall, a year of incredible books and stories that I feel I’ll be holding close to my heart forever. I am so excited to try and aim for 45 books in 2018.