Best of 2017 So Far

2017 has been a decent reading year so far, but I felt that while I read a lot of good books – I haven’t read as many exceptional books this year. All of the books that ended up on this list are very special and memorable to me.

Best of 2017 First Half

The list also came a bit later than usual because my reading life skyrocketed with a couple of excellent reads in June – so I had to wait until I finished them to complete the post. It’s still missing a couple of books I started in June, but completed in July – but you’ll find out all about them at the end of this year 😉

2017 Top 01

Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap: I read this novella at the turning of the new year, and it touched me on such a personal level. Magical Girls is one of the tropes I grew up consuming and loving, and in Hurricane Heels it gets such a visceral and modern treatment. The book is filled with complicated friendships between girls trying to juggle their momentous destiny with daily life.

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera: Ever since I saw the Tor summary of this novel, promising star-crossed lovers with a love that slays demons, The Tiger’s Daughter became my most anticipated releases of 2017. The book did not disappoint, written with silky, beautiful proses that regale us in a tale of love and loss. Shefali and Shizuka’s love will leave you aching and wanting more.

The Wall of Storm by Ken Liu: I discovered Ken Liu last year, and reading his Dandelion Dynasty series this year has cemented him as one of my favourite speculative fiction authors. With The Grace of Kings, we saw a unique retelling of a part of Chinese history. In The Wall of Storm, we saw the females of the Dandelion Dynasty take centre stage – allowing the text to explore philosophy of governance, both on the battlefield and within the court. There’ nothing else on the fantasy market that comes close to this series in terms of innovation and ambition.

2017 Top 02

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: This is one of the few non-SFF titles I’ve read this year, but it’s one that left me breathless and aching. Everything I Never Told You uses a mystery setting to address questions about identity, family, and the weight of dreams.

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I was completely captivated by Strange the Dreamer and it’s exquisite world, filled with beautiful monsters and the humans who hates and loves them. I’m a huge fan of Laini Taylor’s signature lyrical writing style, but she blew all expectations out of the water with the gorgeous prose within this novel.

The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill: This story was filled with the wonders of moonlight magic, the magic of love, and the meaning of family. There’s tears and laughter, there’s witches and dragons, and a battle between hope and despair. This book is an absolute gem and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to readers of all ages, because we all need a little magic in our life.

2017 Top 03

When The Sea Turned To Silver by Grace Lin: This is a must-read for anyone who believes in the power of stories, especially those of folklores and oral storytelling traditions. Grace Lin uses a blend of Chinese folklore and her own brand of ingenuity to craft a story that contains talking fishes, mermaid princesses, monstrous kings, and a girl who survives by telling stories.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Truly one of the most dynamic and memorable cast of characters I’ve read about in a long time. Simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and break-your-heart painful, this book will take you on a roller coaster of emotion.

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee: It pains me that not more people are talking about this novel, it’s such a hidden gem. It’s whimsical, boldly imaginative, and filled with searingly evocative writing that will awaken all of your senses. The setting is incredibly unique, and if you’re a lover of plants and beautiful scents, you will need this one in your life.

I adore looking at Best Of… lists, so if you’ve made one, please link me! Otherwise, let me know what some of your favourite reads this year are ❤

31 thoughts on “Best of 2017 So Far

  1. I love Stacey Lee’s books! Why are they all so underrated?!? I seriously need The Secret Heart Of Note. AND OMG GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE WAS BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING. I thought it’d just be a funny time, but like?? no??? The book also wanted to punch my feels into a million pieces. I’m so glad it exists. *happy tears* And I LOVED Strange the Dreamer too! Cemented as one of my all-time favourites forever!😍


  2. I literally just finished Strange the Dreamer and am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I was very wary not only because of hype but also because I wasn’t a fan of DOSAB. I’m glad to say this book was extremely different and omg Lazlo is so soft and sweet I just want to protect him.

    Agreed on Stacey Lee books. I could pretty much read her shopping list and still be satisfied.

    I really need to read Ken Liu’s books, especially with all the praise you have for his stories! Awesome list Aentee- I hope the second half of the year gifts you with more spectacular reads ❤


  3. I have only read Gentlemen’s and The Secret of a Heart Note from your favorites list, and I absolutely loved both of them. I’m so disappointed at how underrated The Secret of a Heart Note is. It’s such a magical, and lovely book!

    OK. So I tried really hard to get into Strange the Dreamer, and while I was absolutely in awe of the writing, I struggled with focusing on the story. I do think I’ll give it another shot because I want to love it too!

    The Tiger’s Daughter sounds amazing! I have to add that one to my TBR. And how have I never heard of Everything I Never Told You? Your description is A+ and I obviously need it!


  4. ahh i’m glad you had an amazing reading year! i loved the girl who drank the moon, that book should’ve gotten more love! wall of storm sounds amazing, and i can’t wait to read everything i’ve never told you, strange the dreamer, and gentleman’s guide ❤


  5. So happy to hear you’re having such a lovely reading year. I have The Secret of a Heart Note on my TBR, unfortunately it’s still too expensive for me to order so I’m waiting for the paperback edition. I can’t wait to read it though, it sounds fantastic 🙂


  6. The Girl Who Drank The Moon & When the Sea Turned to Silver are definitely some of my favorite books that I’ve read this year too! I am reading Strange the Dreamer this month, so I hope I can also count it among my favorites of 2017 as well 🙂 Cheers to more amazing books in the second half of 2017!


  7. Yes Ken Liu is fantastic! I can’t wait for the third book in the series!! I’m also glad to hear you enjoyed the Tiger’s Daughter. I recently got a digital copy from Netgalley and I am so excited to read it!


  8. You’ve read some amazing books this year!! I adored The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and wish I could reread it right away! I’ve seen a lot of hype around Strange the Dreamer, does it live up to it? 🙂


  9. OMG Strange the Dreamer was PERFECT, wasn’t it??? The end, oh dear dear, the end… I just need the sequel in my clutches — immediately!

    I’m also really wanting to read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue soon! Rollercoasters are fun, physically and mentally. :’)

    I’ve not madea “best of” list since I basically just started my blog, and I haven’t quite had the best reading record these past 6 months, so I don’t know if I’ll plan on doing one or not, but! If I do, Strange the Dreamer is definitely number one. Number two? Probably would have to go with A Court of Wings and Ruin, just because I’d been anticipating it so, so much!


  10. Aentee,
    I am hoping to read Laini Taylor’s work soon. She just exudes charm and grace, lyricism and beauty. Haven’t heard of many of these books, so I am going to search for information on them and such. It’s my first time visiting your blog. Lovely to meet you.


  11. The only book I’ve read on this list is Strange the Dreamer which was incredible, and I’m so so excited to get to Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, the more people I see post about the more excited I get about it


  12. I can’t wait to read The Tiger’s Daughter! I’ve seen some early reviews that had mixed things to say about it, so I’m glad to hear you loved it and it makes me optimistic I’ll enjoy it too 🙂


  13. Thank you for sharing this post and making my TBR list grow even longer, Aentee! I also love the graphics, as always.

    I saw your review for TGGTVAV on Goodreads and I’m so pumped to pick that up the next time I visit the bookstore. And I already have Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You on my TBR shelf; I can’t read that one as well. Since you loved it so much, I guess this means you have plans on reading her newest book (that is if you haven’t already)? 🙂


  14. For starters your header for your blog is gorgeous! I adore it.
    I also haven’t read any of these yet so I have a few books being added to my TBR. A book I have loved this year is The Hate U Give!


  15. Quite a few of these books are on my to be read list and I actually own some as well but just haven’t gotten to read them yet. Strange the Dreamer is one of my most anticipated releases and it’s sitting prettily on my book shelf begging me to read it. The only reason I’ve not read it yet is because of my mood reading. I’ve been on such a contemporary kick lately so all things fantasy have been put on hold, for the most part. I’m thinking when the rain hits I’ll pick up the book haha. I also have The Secret of a Heart Note and that book sounds adorable and a sensory delight. Thank you for sharing your best books so far. I hope the rest of the year proves to be just as big a hit. 😀


  16. Great list! I haven’t read Strange the dreamer yet but I’m planning to read it soon. I’ve read The Tiger’s Daughter but sadly, I didn’t enjoyed it as much as you did. I’m currently reading The Gentlemans guide to vice and VIrtue and so far, I’m loving it! 🙂


  17. OMG the only one I’ve read on your list is GGTVAV D: Which, admittedly, is an amazing book. But still. I always feel a little guilty if I don’t have many books in common with people’s favourites lists, haha.

    I will say that Strange is on my TBR, though! I’ve heard good and bad things, and I want to see how it meshes with me as a reader. DOSAB is not a favourite book, so I’m interested to see if Laini Taylor is an author I can fall in love with. It does seem like I am missing out since so many people love her, haha.

    I hope you find even more amazing books to love by the end of the year ❤


  18. I haven’t read any of these! I plan to read Strange the Dreamer and the Gentleman’s Guide later in the year though.

    Best of the year so far for me includes the Shades of Magic trilogy (VE Schwab), George (Alex Gino), You’re Welcome, Universe (Whitney Gardner) and Forget Me Not (Ellie Terry)


  19. I still can’t believe I haven’t read Strange the Dreamer yet as I LOVE Laini Taylor’s books! Hoping to get to it soon! The Girl Who Drank the Moon sounds incredible, I’ll have to keep my out for that one. When the Sea turned to Silver looks so good! I read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by same author a couple of months ago and I adored it. I LOVE books based on Chinese folklore/set in China – I NEED more of them!


  20. Ohhh so many beautiful books here. I’m currently reading HURRICANE HEELS and I love the friendship, plus the Sailor Moon feels. I have The Grace of Kings, and I’m curious to read it. It’s awesome that you loved the sequel so much. SO many of these are on my TBR! If only I’d find the time to read them, ahah.


  21. Oh my gosh I haven’t been on your blog since forever so I missed your new design – IT’S GORGEOUS (like all your designs haha) Anyway I really want to read The Gentleman’s Guide and I hadn’t heard of Hurricane Heels but I love magical girls so obviously I need it


  22. Everything I never told you! Is an amazing book! I loved it! It was so dark and so sad. The weight of a promise and how one relies on siblings that much that we don’t even know! I was so shocked with the story, the ending, and how dreams and desires can crush you or the people around you!! :3 amazing words!!

    Thank You​ for sharing!! I hope you could check out my review! I will keep an eye on your amazing blog!! :3


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