Before I dive into a brand new year of reading, I wanted to share with you (in my personal opinion) the 5 best and worst books of 2017. Please don’t be offended if one of your favourite books makes my thumbs-down list. We all have different tastes and preferences. This is what makes reading fun. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
THE BEST OF 2017
1.) READY PLAYER ONE by ERNEST CLINE
This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. It spoke to my geeky little soul that adores 80’s pop-culture and gaming. The movie is set to be released March 2018. I’m very excited to see it despite the fact that it is going to be quite different from the novel due to copyright laws. This story follows Wade Watts, an impoverished kid living in a post-apocalyptic world. His only means of escape is through logging into the OASIS, a virtual-reality experience created by James Halliday. When James passes away, he leaves his fans with clues to find his hidden ‘Easter Egg’ within the OASIS. Whomever finds it first, gains ownership of the entire thing. As you can imagine, chaos erupts. This was definitely my favourite read of 2017. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to pick it up and start all over again.
2.) FANGIRL by RAINBOW ROWELL
I read my very first Rainbow Rowell book this year. It didn’t take me long to fall in love, declare her one of my favourite female authors, buy all of her works and read them. My favourite however, was Fangirl. The story is simple yet hilarious and emotionally resonant at the same time. Cath is a twin who is having trouble letting go of her sister Wren when they move to college. Wren asks Cath if they can live apart so they can form their own identities. This leaves Cath feeling incredibly lost and confused. Moreover, she is accused of plagiarism in her creative-writing class, she is concerned about her father’s mental-health, her new roommate is rude and her roommate’s cute ex-boyfriend Levi, may be interested in her. I would highly recommend this book to anybody.
3.) NEVERNIGHT by JAY KRISTOFF
Jay blew me away a lot this year with Nevernight, Godsgrave, Illuminae and Gemina. I picked Nevernight for this list however because it took me by complete surprise. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. In this fantastic and compelling trilogy, we follow Mia Corvere, a girl who witnessed her father hung for treason at the age of ten. At sixteen, she decides to join the Red Church, a school for assassins. Her end goal is ultimately to avenge his death. There are hilarious footnotes throughout this book as well as maps to give you a more visual image of the setting which resembles ancient Rome. Every single time I thought I knew where this story was going to go, Jay completely turned the whole thing around. I was shocked by all of the twists. It was incredible.
4.) THE HATE U GIVE by ANGIE THOMAS
The Hate U Give was a book that broke me and changed my entire perspective on life. I realised just how privileged I was and through Angie’s writing, was able to step into the shoes of another race and society. To summarise, it follows Starr Carter, a sixteen year old African American who witnesses her best friend get shot by a white policeman for no reason. The film adaptation will also be released in 2018. My husband read it and felt the exact same way. I feel like this is a story that every single person needs to read. I was very fortunate to meet Angie in 2017 and express just how powerful her novel was. I wrote an entire review on this book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Spoiler-Free) Book Review
5.) PAPER TOWNS by JOHN GREEN
I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion but I wanted to share just what this book meant to me. Paper Towns is still my favourite John Green book even after reading all of his other works. I believe I loved it so much because I connected very strongly with the protagonist, Quentin Jacobson. Quentin is close to finishing highschool but is having trouble letting go. When his childhood crush Margot goes missing, he embarks on an epic road-trip with his friends to find her thanks to the clues she left behind. A lot of people dislike Margo and this is why they don’t enjoy the book. In my opinion, this story actually has nothing to do with her. It is about Quentin and his friends. It’s about spending time together and enjoying their last moments as teenagers before everything changes. I related to his nostalgic narration because I too had the same attitude when it came time to graduate. I also loved the movie adaptation.
THE WORST OF 2017
1.) WHY WE BROKE UP by DANIEL HANDLER
Now for my naughty list. Let me just preface by saying that none of these books were bad, they just didn’t speak to me. To start, I had really high expectations for Why We Broke Up. It took me forever to purchase a copy and when I finally got my hands on it, I felt very let down. The artwork was absolutely beautiful (so I’ll keep it) but the story fell flat for me. I didn’t enjoy the writing style. It felt overly poetic to me and not natural. I also strongly disliked both the main characters. This story follows Min, who recounts exactly why her and her ex-boyfriend Ed broke up. I found both Min and Ed to be superficial, shallow and pretentious. I felt no sympathy for either of them. No wonder they broke up! I just didn’t enjoy it at all. Sorry!
2.) PRINCE LESTAT AND THE REALMS OF ATLANTIS by ANNE RICE
I never thought I would dislike an Anne Rice book so much. She is one of my favourite authors of all time. This latest installment of The Vampire Chronicles however was really disappointing. I noticed the majority of online reviewers saying the same thing. When I first started this story, I was so excited to dive into the realms of Atlantis. It seemed so ancient and mysterious. In reality, the story was extremely boring and the elusive creatures from the forgotten city turned out to be odd birdlike/alien things. It was too strange and all over the place for me. Why Anne? Why? I didn’t enjoy any of it.
3.) THE SILVER MASK by CASSANDRA CLARE and HOLLY BLACK
Another book from one of my favourite authors turned out to be terrible. I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s writing but this latest instalment in the Magisterium series was a complete flop. NOTHING HAPPENED. For the entire 200+ pages, not a single thing happened. Not only that, all of the characters behaved differently to how they normally would. I kept thinking: ‘he would never do that!’ I have thoroughly enjoyed this saga up until the 4th book. I’m not sure what went wrong but it was awful.
4.) THESE BROKEN STARS by AMIE KAUFMAN and MEGAN SPOONER
I’ve mentioned this before but I was so upset that I didn’t like the first book in The Starbound Trilogy. So many people rave about this series but I struggled to understand the hype. I found it to be very confusing and the majority of the plot super slow. It follows two characters in space that land on a strange planet after their ship crashes. They spend most of the novel travelling across the spooky terrain but in all honesty, not much happens. Moreover, I felt zero connection with the characters who were quite whiny. At the end, something big happens but it wasn’t clear what and that left me so underwhelmed. I tried to read the sequel and gave up after a few pages.
5.) ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by KENDARE BLAKE
Finally, I undertook the Anna Dressed in Blood duology by Kendare Blake with high expectations. I love a good ghost story and expected to be taken on a wild, horrific journey. It started off very well but the middle, end and sequel (Girl of Nightmares) were just off for me. It started to decline rapidly and the final book just ended with no real closure. I wasn’t scared nor super invested in the characters. I was certain this would hit the top of the charts but it instead it hit the bottom.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed my list and it didn’t offend anybody. Let me know your best and worst books of 2017 down below. Thanks for reading.
Peace & Love xoxo