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.
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 😉
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.
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.
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 ❤