I call myself a book blogger, but here I am probably doing the first of any kind of bookish tag. Better late than never though, right? Allow me to indulge and talk about some of the titles I have loved and had some feelings on this year, and celebrate the incredible authors behind them. You guys are the bees knees and I’m thankful to have spent time losing myself in your pages.
Best book you’ve read in 2017
I expected this to be a difficult choice, but I don’t think anyone in their right mind who has read it cannot not say ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas. Focusing on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, this book is immensely of its time and oh so important. It’s such a strong and brilliant debut and I am excited for more #ownvoices, diverse reads from Angie Thomas in the future.
Honorary mentions go to ‘Freshers’ by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison for the hilarious and accurate portrayal of university life in the UK and, duh, ‘Moxie‘ by Jennifer Mathieu. Feminist zines, kickass punk movement and much more. Can I get a hell yes?
Best sequel you’ve read in 2017
Without a doubt, the queen that is Cassandra Clare and ‘The Dark Artifices’ second book, ‘Lord of Shadows’. Cassie is one of those authors that you don’t think could get any better, but she out does herself every time and ‘The Shadowhunter Chronicles’ continues to develop into an inclusive, diverse, angsty filled ride that I’m fully on board with.
I think I can probably also count Rupi Kaur’s ‘the sun and her flowers’ in this one. I read both this and her first poetry collection ‘milk and honey’ and loved both the lyrical words and the accompanying illustrations so so much. I want them inked on my skin.
New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Some are sat on my physical mountain of a TBR and some are sat waiting for me to buy, but ‘They Both Die At the End’ by Adam Silvera (it’s going to hurt me, isn’t it?) and ‘You Don’t Know Me But I Know You’ by Rebecca Barrow (which I’ve just started). And also ‘The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue’ by Mackenzi Lee.
Throwing it way back to the beginning of the year, I finished ‘Heartless’. It was one I actually started at the end of 2016 and it crossed over. It lacked grit and felt a little careless in places. It just wasn’t my jam, unfortunately. I also didn’t love ‘Wonder Woman’ as much as I thought I would. The plot felt a little lacklustre, although Leigh Bardugo of course killed it in terms of the writing and characterisation. For this one, I think it was more a case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. There are a lot of superhero films out there, most of which I haven’t seen, so… I guess it’s all sort of lost on me?
That one scene in ‘Freshers’, you know the one. The closeness of the uni bond got a little too real.
Favourite new author (debut or new to you)
Katherine Webber, without a doubt. ‘Wing Jones’ as a story was fantastic and completely breathtaking, but her writing made me the most excited. The lyrical prose showed me there’s room for more flowery writing in published works and inspired me tenfold.
Newest fictional crush
Probs Aiden Green in ‘Unconventional‘. Slightly cocky, but nervous on the inside debut fantasy author. I mean, helloooo! Very recently, I also fell for Wallace in ‘Eliza and Her Monsters’. Clearly I’m just very into writer types.
Newest favourite character
I became more enamoured with the boys of Fire & Lights in the second book in the ‘Songs About A Girl’ trilogy by Chris Russell. If I just had to pick a fave, it would probably be Yuki, tbh. Nina in ‘Six of Crows’/’Crooked Kingdom’ got me girl crushin’ hard. Just ugh, what a woman. I need a whole six book series on her alone, stat. There are also a couple of characters who stole my soul, but they’re 2018 releases, so I’ma save the hype for then. But, like, if you really wanna know… Read this review and this one. Ahem.
Book that made you cry
‘The Memory Book‘ by Lara Avery almost had me. Not quite, but almost. An incredible story about Sammy with loveable characters like her kookie siblings and the lovely, gorgeous Cooper. Let’s not forget Adam Silvera’s ‘History is All You Left Me’, because would this be a true answer if I didn’t mention this life-ruining genius of a wordsmith. What a painful story. And you wonder why I’ve yet to brave ‘They Both Die At The End’.
Book that made you happy
The liveliness of the ‘Six of Crows’ duology and the frankness and positivity that oozed from ‘The Upside of Unrequited‘.
Most beautiful book you bought or received this year
My copies of ‘The Dark Artifices’ will be some of my most treasured bookish possessions (probably after the illustrated editions of HP, that is), so I’d have to say my Waterstones edition of ‘Lord of Shadows’. Clothbound books with shiny Shadowhunter marks. Tess herself would be overjoyed with these on her bookshelf. I was also completely heart eyes for the ‘Out of the Blue’ proof copy and there will always be a special place in my heart for Jenny Han’s book covers. With the release of ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’ there was another stunning choice of pastel hues and the model that was so quintessentially Lara.
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I reached my goal of 50 books read this year and then some, so there isn’t anything in particular I want to cross off my list, especially with only a couple days to go (as I’m writing this). I’m of the belief you shouldn’t stress yourself out if you can afford not to when it comes to reading. Although as book bloggers we are sometimes lucky enough to receive books to review, I never want to work myself up about what I should and shouldn’t be reading. So I’m afraid my answer for this one is kind of void.
To add to my 50 books read goal, I also said I wanted to ensure there was a bit more variety in my reading with poetry and non-fiction thrown in there, too. With about four poetry collections and a lot of feminist theory, I’m quite pleased with the titles I managed to get through. Reading more classics was also squeezed into that bracket of more variety in my choices, but I only just about managed to read Little Women in time for the end of the year. Hopefully in 2018 I might be able to cross off a few more Jane Austen and Bronte sister titles, considering I now own such gorgeous clothbound editions.