Best of 2017

Best of 2017

I’ve been in a little bit of a reading slump and blogging slump during the month of December. There’s been the usual end of year family visits and festivities – as well as the mad rush at the mall where I work, so I have not had as much time to read. However, making Best Of lists is one of my favourite blogging activities, so I knew I had to get this up despite the time constraints. I’ve read many brilliant books this year, and below are some of my favourites.

Best of 2017 01

  • City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty: This stunning and expansive debut novel is one of my absolute favourite fantasy reads of this year (sharing the crown with the equally impressive Jade City). An #ownvoices at its best, the book uses historical and cultural cues from the real world to invent a rich world where djinns and devas roam a mythic city – steeped in courtly intrigues and surreal wonders. I cannot wait to read Kingdom of Copper!
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee: I knew I needed this book in my life the moment I read the blurb hinting at clan wars and supernatural wuxia action. I got even more than I bargained for, along with the page-turning action and complex political treacheries – it was also populated with a cast of compelling characters. Also one of the most dimensional portrayal of sibling rivalries I have read.
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: One of the first books I read in 2017 and it remains one of the best. The writing in this book is achingly beautiful, weaving myth about a fabled city and a boy who grew up amongst books. Filled with monsters and magic, along with romance and tragedy – it has all of the signature elements that made me love Laini Taylor in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Get this though, Strange the Dreamer is even BETTER than DOSAB.

Best of 2017 02

  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie Mclemore: I tend to love all magical realism, so it’s little surprise that Anna-Marie is quickly becoming my favourite YA author. Wild Beauty is 100% my aesthetics: a quintet of cousins with the power over flowers, a boy without memories, a dark family curse dooming lovers to disappear. Beautifully written, filled with exquisite imageries, and best paired with a reading of Secrets of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee – another book about flowers and forbidden love that I enjoyed immensely.
  • Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: I love a good fairy tale retelling, and this collection comes with several feminist reinvention of familiar tropes, made all the more delightful by the fact that the stories hail from the Grishaverse. While you can find a couple of these stories in previous publication, my favourite was Ayama and the Thorns, a new addition to this collection – hands down one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings of all time. The book is also beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated, pick up the physical copy!
  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashadourst: A brilliant Snow White retelling that turns a story about a stepmother’s envy into a tale about the strength of women, especially when they are working together. I loved both the narrative voices, but I particularly relished in Mina’s chapters as she turned from girl to queen. Definitely one to pick up on a chilly winter night, especially if you enjoy immersive fairy tales.
  • Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtues by Mackenzi Lee: This book was just pure delight and absolute fun! Monty’s is simultaneously charming and utterly insufferable, I adored him! I also loved Percy and Felicity, the cast of characters possessed an enviable chemistry – I could read about the trio and their adventures for days. I especially recommend the audiobook – the narration by Christian Coulson (teenaged Tom Riddle in the second HP movie!) is utter perfection.

    Best of 2017 03

  • The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee: This was just so much fun! The clever adaptation of a popular Chinese epic for the modern age, with characters that leaps off the page with their distinctive and larger-than-life personality. Genie is a protagonist you’ll absolutely one to root for, whether she’s trying to pass exam or save the world from hungry demons.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: After reading this book, Celeste Ng has moved immediately into my small list of autobuy authors. I especially love the way she manages to imbue mundane tasks with so much beauty and emotional weight. This book documents the way middle-class suburbia systemically exclude everyone they consider to be an outsider, absolutely heartbreaking and powerful.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: One of the best audiobooks I picked up this year. The book follows a fictional actress as she recounts her life story to a fledging journalist. It shows 1950-1970s Hollywood in all of its glamourous glory, as well as interrogate its inherent racism, sexism, and anti-homosexual attitude. I was captivated from the very first page, and Evelyn is one of the most intriguing protagonist of 2017.

Let me know if you’ve read any of them, or which you’re thinking of picking up! I wish you all a safe and happy new year 😀

 

31 thoughts on “Best of 2017

  1. Wow! These are some interesting books you got! I actually read The Gentleman’s Guide, but stopped and put it on hold. Maybe because I was not in the mood for it yet. But, I’m going back to it next year. Great post!

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  2. Ah that was such a great wrap up of faves!! Sharing the love for Strange the Dreamer and Gentleman’s Guide, that’s for sure. ❤ ❤ AND, I am SUPER PUMPED to read City of Brass! It sounds freakin' amazing.

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  3. Wild Beauty and Genie Lo made my list in some form, but to be honest, I only included books I really loved on any of my Best lists. I have been wanting to read a TJR book. Not sure where I would start, since I have seen raves for them all.

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  4. I haven’t read any of these, except for The Gentleman’s Guide which I’m reading right now and absolutely loving 😀 Quite a few of these were already on my tbr and I’m definitely checking out the others. I already have Wild Beauty and Girls Made of Snow and Glass on my shelves, but I don’t think I’ll be able to read them before Sunday haha

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  5. Girls Made of Snow and Glass made it to my top reads as well! It was such a lovely surprise and I am really happy that I read it because I almost passed up asking for an ARC of it.

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  6. Oh! You’re becoming one of my favorites go to when it comes to recommendations. I can’t wait to start reading some of these books in 2018!

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  7. My copy of Strange the Dreamer just arrived (the hardcover was discounted to just over $5 so OF COURSE I bought it!) and I’m so excited to dig into it! I’ve heard great things about it and I loved Laini Taylor’s other series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It’s first on my TBR list for the new year.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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  8. The only book on your list that I have read is The Gentleman’s Guide, but I utterly loved it. You aren’t the only person to recommend the audiobook to me – I’ve heard it is excellent and my library recently got the audio so hopefully I can listen to it when I choose to do a reread!

    Strange The Dreamer is really high on my TBR. Laini Taylor’s writing style is stunning and the concept of this book sounds breathtaking. Lovley list ❤

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  9. Ahhh I adore so so many of these. 😍😍 The Gentleman’s Guide is probably one of my very very top reads of the year (of ever?!) and OMG STRANGE THE DREAMER. I’m still reeling with how gorgeous that was and I can’t wait to reread. 😂 Also Anna-Marie McLemore is just such a gorgeous writer and I’ve read all 3 of her books this year and fajsdklad. I’m a fan. (And this makes me really excited for City of Brass which is on my TBR!!)

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  10. I haven’t read any of these… I guess it’s time for me to go hide. I am really looking forwards to reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and City of Brass. I’ve never heard of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but it sounds like a really interesting concept.

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  11. I haven’t read any of these books except for Little Fires Everywhere and I agree, Celeste Ng instantly moved to my autobuy authors after reading that book! I plan to read Strange the Dreamer this month and Gentleman’s Guide later this year, fingers crossed that they will meet my expectations!

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  12. Strange the Dreamer & The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue made my top reads of 2017 as well! I totally agree the audiobook of TGGtV&V is extremely well narrated.

    I was lucky enough to meet Celeste Ng on her book tour for Little Fires Everywhere, and am super excited to actually get around to reading it as it has done so well! I also attended the book tour for The Language of Thorns, so I am also happy to see that make your list too 🙂

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  13. LOOK AT ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL BOOKS AENTEE. *tear drips down cheek* I’m so happy to report I have read MOST on this list. The only ones missing are… A Language of Thorns (which I desperately need to get in physical copy once I save enough), Little Fires Everywhere (I’ve basically heard nothing but great things about this book), The Seven Husbands (veryyy interestinggg premise. I shall look it up!), and Girls Made of Snow and Glass (which has been in my TBR for soo long but that cover has me side-eyeing a bit).

    Wonderful list! Here’s to a 2018 full of more amazing books!

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