I know almost everyone in the book blogging community has already posted their lists of favourite books and most anticipated releases, not to mention favourite author discoveries. You probably won’t even think about reading this because you have already read at least a dozen of them and what could I bring to your attention that you haven’t read in someone else’s post already?…and you’re probably right. But after giving so much shade to all the most disappointing books of 2017 TWICE (Part One and Part Two) I really feel like I need to write something less sarcastic and positive.
This year had a surprising amount of mediocre literary fiction and a lot of YA. I didn’t read as much poetry or non-fiction as I would have liked, but I certainly read more than enough graphic novels and memoirs to make up for that. I honestly didn’t read a lot of great books, most of them were just entertaining and didn’t really capture my interest. I started over two dozens of books and dnf’d them…should I have tried just a little harder and pushed through? Nope. The fact is, even if a book gets better at the end, if I don’t like the way it started, the chances that I will actually really like it are pretty low.
Oh, yes…talking about a disappointing reading year with lots of dnf’s really sets the mood for a happy and positive post on my favourite reads of the year. Someone just give me a kitten to snuggle with already…no? …guess I’ll have to work with this then:
Oh, yes…I already feel better. So here are my top four favourite reads of 2017. Yes, I know four is a weird number, but if I had included a fifth one, I would have had to include a bunch of other books that I loved just as much… 😀
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Now that I am happy, let’s talk about a book that ripped out my heart…yes…that sounds like a great idea, I am such a genius …and a complete sucker for stories told within stories so this was just perfect for me.
This book deals with love and grief in such a humanizing way (even though we have a giant, scary monster that tells stories) that it left me in tears at the end of it. I felt so much love for ten-year-old Connor and his mother who fights her cancer so bravely and everyone who had to go through something similar. It was a beautiful and impactful read that will stay with me for years to come.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Talking about amazing storytelling…this was one of these surprising books that just knock you off your feet without expecting it. This story follows a number of gay guys in their teens for forty-eight hours and tells their stories from the narrative perspective of the people who died during the AIDS epidemic.
The people who had suffered so much, misunderstood and without any hope for kindness from society or a cure for the disease that destroyed their lives. They are watching these boys struggling with their lives, falling in and out of love. Their voice was so melancholy and sad with a tinge of hope and love…it was just beautifully written and a painful reminder of how far we have come on our journey for acceptance, but how far we still have to go.
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth and One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
And to end this post on a lighter note (yes, I can do that…just watch) I’ll finish with these two snarky, sarcastic, beautifully drawn graphic novels.
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth follows a boy who goes on a journey to find the one thing that is missing in his life. The One Hundred Nights of Hero follows two women who fight for their right to be together in a misogynist world (Full Review) .
Happy stories, right?…okay maybe not the happiest, but they will definitely make you smile. Greenberg puts such a funny twist on stories and fairytales that are so familiar to us and the artwork is so beautiful that it completely draws you into these stories told within stories.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng Full Review
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Curious Incident Of The Dog At Nighttime by Mark Haddon
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Full Review
Release by Patrick Ness
A Long Way To A Small And Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
My Favourite Reread of the Year: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Not going to lie…I was scared of going back to this one. Like everyone, I tend to romanticize my reading experiences after a couple of years. I loved this series when I first read it, so I naturally expected a lot from this reread and the things that I expected to like didn’t seem to play such a huge role anymore. Sure, I still loved this world filled with demons and multiple universes, but more subtle (and sometimes not so subtle things) that have escaped my attention as a twelve-year-old were suddenly incredibly important. I didn’t remember the critisicm of the church that is central to the entire series and the intricate philosophical questions Pullman makes you think about without you even realizing it until you close the book.
What were your favourite reads?…maybe I should ask another question considering y’all probably answered it a million times…Have you read any of these books? Did you like them?