Hey, everybody! I can’t believe this is my first blog post!! (wow, so many exclamation points!!!!!…sorry…)
Since 2017 is almost over, I thought I would make my first blog post about my top 7 books of 2017. So, let’s get started!
(I want to mention that these books are in no particular order and not all these books are 2017 releases)
Book #1: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – My Rating: 5/5 ★’s
Something you need to know about me…I LOVE mysteries/thrillers so this one not only threw me through a loop, but I’m STILL thinking about it – and I read this book in March.
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
And if anyone asks how it ends, just LIE.
Wow, that synopsis! So, since it doesn’t reveal much, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into (which is actually a good thing for mysteries/thrillers) – which is why I was mind f***** at the end! This is one of those books with an unreliable MC, but not because she’s untruth worthy or a bad person and I think that’s why I never saw the twist coming. Without giving too much away, the book is about an eighteen-year-old girl named Candence Sinclair-Eastman who goes every summer to her family’s summer home on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her Mother and the rest of the Sinclair family – which includes her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents…and that’s all I’m going to say because I’m scared to give too much away. You all definitely need to experience this book for yourselves – so go pick it up!
Book #2: Umberland (Everland #2) by Wendy Spinale – My Rating: 5/5 ★’s
Synopsis (Book #1 – Everland):
The only way to grow up is to survive.
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.
Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?
Since this is the 2nd book in a series (trilogy?), I gave the synopsis to the first book Everland. This series is a steampunk retelling of different fairytales. The first book was centered around Peter Pan while the second book is centered around Alice in Wonderland. I absolutely LOVE this series. It’s a little strange for me to want to say that this series is fun because it deals with dark issues that are going on in their world, but I just have a fun time following everyone in this world and I think it’s an easy book to get lost in. While I can’t say exactly why I loved Umberland because of spoilers – I highly suggest picking up the first book and get into this series like I am! The 3rd book (Ozland) comes out in April so you have plenty of time to catch up!
Book #3: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – My Rating: 5/5 ★’s
Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
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 didn’t think I was going to love this book as much as I did, to be honest. I absolutely loved the way mental illness was handled throughout this book. I suffer with anxiety and so does Eliza and while I’ve read more than a handful of books with mental illness as a theme, I never related more to a main character than I did with Eliza. Her anxiety came across as very real and I really appreciated that. The romance – oh the romance. I thought Wallace was the sweetest thing in the entire world. He also suffers with his own set of mental issues such as selective mutism. The romance wasn’t very insta-lovey – which I also appreciated about the book. And I think Francesca Zappia deserves a round of applause for not throwing in the awful YA trope of romance fixing mental illness!!! I definitely cried at different times throughout this book, especially towards the end, and I think that helps show what a great book this is. Please pick this up if you haven’t already!
Book #4: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – My Rating: 5/5 ★’s
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of The Hate U Give. While I can’t speak on the representation, I have read reviews from people who can and they say it’s very well done. What I can say is is that I definitely learned a lot from this book. It deals with the topic of racism and police brutality and these are relevant topics to today’s society. I loved everything about this book – the family aspect, the MC (Starr), how this book is own voices, and the description and representation of the racism and police brutality. While this book does deal with heavy topics, I liked how funny the family was towards each other. They were super close and that was so nice to read. I definitely think this book is important so if you haven’t picked it up yet…what are you doing?!
Book #5: The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) by Katharine McGee – My Rating: 5/5 ★’s
NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.
A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.
WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?
WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….
This book is definitely a Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars meets the future. I think this would make a great Reality TV show. This book had a little bit of everything – mystery, thriller, drama, and romance. I loved how lost I could get in this book. My favorite part of the book was how creative it was! I loved the idea of New York only consisting of this one, 1,000 floor, tower. How the lower parts of the tower meant you were lower class, how the middle was middle class, and the higher parts of the tower were considered the 1%. All the technology and how things worked in this future was so fascinating to me. I honestly would be okay with a book just about the technology and how things worked – just an entire book of it. The plot was also fun. The story was told through five different characters’ POV’s. The entire time you’re following each character’s own drama and how they intertwine with each other. I personally loved Eris and Watt’s stories the best. Eris went from one of the top floors to the middle because of a family scandal and Watt is a lower class genius with an illegal computer in his brain named Nadia who he talks to and who helps him with his life. Besides the separate book about the technology and how things work, can we also get a book just about Nadia? Thank you. I also recently read the 2nd book in this trilogy, The Dazzling Heights, that came out this past August. It was equally just as good! I’m super excited for the 3rd book, The Towering Sky, that comes out in August 2018 and that just got a beautiful cover reveal *heart eyes*. If you’re a fan of Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars or just anything like those two then pick up this trilogy!
Book #6: Now Is Everything by Amy Giles – My Rating: 5/5 ★’s
The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.
Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.
When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.
My Review (from my Goodreads):
Wow…okay. Where do I start?
TW for abuse (physically & mentally), suicide, & trauma.
Hadley was such a lovable character for many reasons. She was determined, strong, and caring. I could feel it in my heart the love she had for her little sister, Lila, and her need to keep her safe.
I was terrified of their father and it was hard to read his scenes at times. I think I felt a mix between anger & sympathy for their mother. It’s easy to tell someone to get out of an abusive situation like they were in, but it’s a whole other story actually trying to get out of it. I guess that’s why I couldn’t be fully angry that their mother didn’t get them out. I felt bad for her because she started drinking as a form of escaping her reality – while that wasn’t actually said, it was pretty obvious. But I could understand why Hadley was upset with her too. It’s a messy situation for everyone involved. (note: I’m not speaking from personal experience so if I’m wrong about any of this please correct me)
Lila was such a sweet girl with so much promise that it broke my heart thinking she’d lose her shine because of their father.
Only complaint? Not a fan of insta-love, but it wasn’t done too bad so I didn’t mind it all that much.
I don’t recommend this book to everyone because of triggers, but if you can – pick this one up.
Book #7: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu – My Rating: 4.5/5 ★’s
Moxie girls fight back!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
My Review (from my Goodreads):
I looovveedd this book. I loved all the feminism and girl love and just everything that Moxie stands for. I couldn’t believe the stuff the boys in this book said to the girls, but I could at the same time because these things happen in our world every day. I think that’s why I loved Moxie so much, everyone who was a part of it did things I wish I did when I was in high school.
Vivan was such a great character too. I loved how she saw a need for change and did something about it. She was a nice girl with a nice group of friends and I really loved them all.
This book explores so many reasons we need feminism and what it really means to be a feminist. Did I mention how much I loved the girl love in this? Because it was my absolute favorite part. We need more girl love in this world.
I definitely found myself cheering along with the girls at times and the end gave me goosebumps because it was just SO AWESOME & POWERFUL.
I highly recommend this book.
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!!!!
And there you go! My top 7 books of 2017! I’m so happy I read a lot of great books this year and most of my ratings were 5 star reads. What were your favorite books of 2017? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading!