I had big plans to increase my reading this year but unfortunately, life got in the way. I'm slowly getting back on track with reading more and catching up with my schedule!
So far I have read 27 out of 75 books on my Goodreads Reading Goal which also means I am 12 books behind schedule, but we're not going to worry about that! Instead, we're going to focus on the books I have read in 2017 that were my favourites!
All but one of these books were a five star read for me, and I'll explain why a four star made it to this list when we reach it.
2017 has been a weird year for me. I've finally gotten out of my slump that I've been in for years, but I've also had a number of things get in the way of my reading.
I won't delve too much into what's been going on but the first three months of the year saw me facing my worst mental health problems ever and then I had a few months of building myself back up before June saw my gran in hospital, in intensive care, and that just threw my right back off track and reading took a back seat. But, things are now slowly starting to look up and, although I'm still struggling with some things, I'm in a better place and able to focus on my reading and in fact, the way I'm feeling right now, all I want is some peace and quiet so for once reading tops Netflix!!
Okay, enough rambling! On to the books!
Well, where better to start than with the first book I read in 2017:
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon
I'm sure we all know that Everything, Everything follows a girl who is allergic to the world so lives stuck inside her house in order to stay alive. This book gets so much schtick for having bad representation of disability/illness... but I don't agree. I don't want to give away any spoilers but I will say that just because a book isn't what you expect it to be doesn't make it a bad book. I could write a whole blog post on how some people take books way too seriously rather than just enjoying them for what they and have gotten ridiculous at finding "issues" in books and call them problematic then act like they're such good people for avoiding them but for this post I'll just leave it at this: Everything, Everything is a cute little contemporary romance book that deals with a wider, more serious topic, one which does exist but not often talked about. I didn't expect this ending at all, and I can see why some people did but it was absolutely portrayed in a smart way, and I did not find it... distasteful.
Next up we have one of two OwlCrate books on this list:
CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
I LOVED this book! I'm sure you've all heard of it by now, as with Everything, Everything, but for those who don't it has been likened to The Night Circus (still on my TBR so I've no idea!) and it is just magical! I went into this believing we'd be with the main character as she sat in the audience and watched a circus performance but it felt like Caraval was more of a festival of sorts. I'm still a little confused as to what exactly Caraval is, but I adored the book none the less. The atmosphere was amazing and it felt a little bit like a YA, plot-based version of The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (which is much more character driven!) to me! I definitely need to reread this as I was still in my slump at this point so didn't enjoy it quite as much as I could have but I'm so excited for the second book!
This third book was a 4 star read for me, but it makes this list as it kicked my slump in the arse:
STREET SONG by Sheena Wilkinson
I received this book thanks to the wonderful people at Ink Road Publishing - I think it was Janne who asked one of their authors, Estelle Maskame (you know, the author I ALWAYS mention because I adore her DIMILY trilogy - it's been a while since I brought those books up, but don't worry, her new book is on its way to me so you'll be hearing about that soon enough!!) if I'd want a copy of Street Song and gave her it to give me *insert laughing emoji*.
We follow TV Talent Show Popstar, RyLee as he reinvents himself as 'Cal' after running away from home and his journey as he ends up homeless, busking for money and joining a band with two girls meanwhile hiding his fame from them. This novel was just full of fun and was so enjoyable. It also dragged me right out of my slump so although it didn't get the full five stars from me, it definitely remains one of my favourites of the year!
On to our penultimate book and second OwlCrate book:
ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia
Ugggghhhhhh THIS BOOK!! I was hesitant about the May Owlcrate as the theme was Comic Explosion and as someone who has never seen Deadpool, Suicide Squad, Batman, Spiderman, Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy or indeed ANY comic/superhero movie or read any graphic novels of the sort I really was considering skipping this box. However, I've recently begun (began? I never know) enjoying trying to guess which book will be in each box and I knew that this was the only possible choice so I kept my subscription for that month just for this novel and I'm so glad I did! Eliza and Her Monsters was just brilliant! The little bits and pieces from the webcomic were a great touch and the story was wonderful. The character's responses to certain events was dealt with well and realistically and I just adored it. I've owned Francesca's other book, Made You Up for years and haven't gotten around to it but I am soooo ready for more Zappia and I need her to write more! How does she only have two books? I need more!
And finally, we move on to the book that broke my heart entirely but brought me so much joy:
ONE by Sarah Crossan
I'll admit that, whilst I enjoy poetry, I wasn't sure I wanted a novel written in verse but after hearing such wonderful things about One, I had to give it a go. It's sat on my shelf for a few months but as I'm waiting on an ARC arriving I wanted to pick up something I could read quickly so I wasn't stuck halfway through a huge, slow book when it arrived. I can't express my feelings on this book well enough but I need more YA in verse. It makes for such a quick, fast paced read and provides all the information you need nice and quick with no beating around the bush. Every page, scene, conversation is nice and succinct and just beautiful. Can you tell I'm just lost in how much I love this book considering I can't compose a decent sentence right now?
So, that's that - those are my five favourite reads of the year! Have you read any of these and if so were any on your list? If not, which made it to yours?