My Favorite Books of 2017

How is 2017 almost over?!

I am beyond ready to end this year and start 2018 because 2017 was kind of a hot mess. It was a weird reading year for me. I went through several book slumps that coincided with bouts of depression, so what was neat. I went months without reading because I just couldn’t pull myself out of those moods unfortunately a lot of us know all too well.

Luckily the books I did read I mostly loved, but there are some that stand out above the crowd. I met my Goodreads goal (a first!) of 50 books, which doesn’t seem like that much to me, but I was happy nonetheless. Did anyone else meet their goals? If you want to check out my Goodreads, click here! I’m kind of frustrated with myself because I have so many books I know I will love, but I just didn’t read them. Fingers crossed for 2018!

I’ve rounded my list of my favorite books I read in 2017, many of which didn’t actually come out in 2017. They are in to particular order, so have a look and let me know if you’ve read them! What’s on your list after this year? This is my second time creating this type of list and I love looking back at all the books I’ve read this year! 30653853

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. 

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

*I absolutely adored this book. I loved a plus-sized main character because we don’t really see a lot of body size diversity in books. This was book was absolutely full of diverse characters of all sexual orientations, races and religions; it was so refreshing. Becky has a great way of telling a story, and I don’t think I’ve ever connected to a character as much as I did with Molly. She was me in high school, to a “T.” I felt the same things about myself, about boys, about life. I spent most of my time reading this with a giant smile on my face because it was just a delight. I will definitely be reading this again.

31931941Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. 

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

*I have a full review of Eliza and her Monsters here, but I just want to reiterate how much I appreciated this book’s representation of depression and anxiety. I in no way have the level of anxiety Eliza deals with, but I can relate to her on a smaller level in that aspect. Eliza’s struggle with her anxiety is a very real portrayal of what people go through every day. She escapes into the Internet, where she doesn’t have to physically talk to people. Her most valued friendships are from the Internet. Her fans are on the Internet, and that’s how she likes it. I think there are a lot of people like Eliza, who would rather interact with the public through social media and the Internet than go through the stress of face-to-face interactions.*

36313139Trust by Kylie Scott

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

*Are you sensing a theme with my favorites so far? Well, this is another book with a plus-sized main character and I freaking loved it. I am not a small person, so reading someone who in some way represents me now and me at this character’s age is extremely gratifying. I’m very grateful for authors going outside the norm and have characters with different body sizes. I think I read this book three times. Check out my review here.  

29367958The Wall of Winnipeg and Me – Mariana Zapata

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

*One thing you might not know about me – I LOVE football. That love has seeped into my love of books and now I seriously enjoy reading sports romances. Mariana Zapata has written several that I’ve read before, but this one… oooh man did I love it. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is such a slow burn. The football player main character reminded me so much of JJ Watt, I just pictured him the entire time. Don’t know who that is? Do yourself a favor and Google him. The man is gorgeous. Will definitely read this again.

34452618Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York’s socialites can’t get enough.  Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he’s careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn’t fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.

*This book came as a complete surprise. I didn’t expect to be as impacted by this story as much as I was when I first started this. I’ve read Leisa’s other books Broken Juliet and Bad Romeo and enjoyed them, but this one just blew me away. I connected so much with Eden, the main character, that it felt like Leisa had reached into my own brain, pulled out my thoughts and put them on paper. My full, gushing review is here

23766634A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas 

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

*I absolutely love this series, but ACOMAF will always be my favorite. For obvious reasons (Rhysand… swoon). But ACOWAR was a solid final book in this trilogy, but then not a trilogy because more books are coming. I think it wrapped up nicely, there was a lot of action, A LOT of steamy scenes (wink wink) and so much more. I was irked a certain pair of characters didn’t get the wrap up I wanted, but I still have my fingers cross for A Court of Frost and Starlight for them. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I plan to read this series over again just because I miss this world. 

29939048Roar by Cora Carmack

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

*I feel like I’ve talked about this book SO much this past year, I’ll link you to my review here, and that’s it. Just know this book was wonderful and I can’t wait for the next one. 
27362503It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

*This book broke my heart into pieces and made me cry ugly tears. Thanks Colleen Hoover. I reviewed this book here
22299763Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
*Leigh Bardugo is such an amazing writer. She has a way of putting in twists and turns I had no way of expecting and it was glorious. I loved going on this ride in the conclusion of the gang’s adventures. There were parts that were a little slow, but other than that it was fantastic. Full review here!
33558912Retreat by Jay Crownover 
Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.

I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart.

My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.

She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner bad-asses.
It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.

Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.

I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.

I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.

Retreat is a standalone novel, the first in the Getaway series which centers on the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women that dare to love them.

These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

*This book was EVERYTHING. Cowboys, the wilderness, cynical main character, horseback riding, bad guys, guns – it was perfect. I love Jay Crownover and this completely different story she created was wonderful. I just got my hands on the second book and so far, it’s amazing. I wrote a full review almost a year ago today, so check it out here! 
2017 was a great year for books! I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring. Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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