the top 10 best books I read in 2017

Friday, January 05, 2018
I can't believe it's already 2018 and I am already putting a lot of thought into what I want to read in 2018, but it is and I am! I read 72 books in 2017 – 20 more than my goal of 52, one every week! – and if you saw my New Year's resolutions, I am upping the ante and trying to read 100 books in 2018!

As far as 2017 goes, 72 is a record for me since I have started tracking my books read each year on Goodreads, and I suspect I haven't read this much in a year since I was younger and was reading much shorter, less dense books (not that my YA contemporary romances are dense in any sense). It was a fun year full of books and I kept up with a lot of new releases – usually, I miss new releases because I'm catching up on books from months or years before.

According to the ratings I gave these books on Goodreads – and my general personal preference – these are the top 10 books I read in 2017, ranked in order of greatness.

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

It wouldn't be a list without giving credit to the queen, Sarah J. Maas.

I read ACOWAR in May for the first time and then in November for the second time, and it was hands-down the best book I read in 2017. (I am giving it top billing over the second book in the series, ACOMAF, which I reread in November as well, because I read it for the first time and got to experience it in 2017, whereas I read ACOMAF for the second time in 2017.)

If you like fantasy, new/young adult and romance, you will love this series. I can't wait for the next books to come out in 2018 and beyond!

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Seriously, these are just the best books, hands down.

I love this book because, SPOILER ALERT, there is a lot of great romance between Feyre and Rhysand, a character I was wary about in the first book but started to love in the second book as I learned more about him. Sarah J. Maas does such an amazing job with complex, detailed, layered characters that I could cry just thinking about Rhys.

3. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I loved this newest release from John Green, who is a must-read author me whenever he comes out with something, no matter what it is. But I knew I had to read his 2017 release Turtles even if it wasn't written by John Green when I read a blurb and learned that the main character struggles with OCD and tries to maintain her friendships and her life without letting her disorder take over her world. 

The book itself is fun but dark at times, in the depths of Asa's OCD, and I loved what John Green did to tell this story. It is so worth reading.

4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

This might be the darkest book I have ever read – mostly, I shy away from dark things, but this came highly reviewed from my friend Kelsey and was all over the place online and on Goodreads, so I checked it out from the library and dove in.

Oh, my.

This book was an adventure, and it was dark, and I cried a lot, and I felt so many conflicting emotions. But it truly was excellent and so worth reading.

5. 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

I read this ebook courtesy of Netgalley and the publishers on a plane to who knows where, and I cried my eyes out through so many parts of it. I don't even remember the characters' names anymore, but the main character was a foster child who was finally adopted by a really amazing single man. She has one friend and spends her time isolated in her dorm room – until she stares into the eyes of a total stranger for 180 seconds and feels a spark of something.

This was such a great heart warming and heart wrenching read. 120 percent recommend.

6. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

My boss lent me a copy of Hello, Sunshine – I read this before I read Laura Dave's other book, Eight Hundred Grapes – and I loved it because Sunshine was living my dream. She was a fun, famous chef with cookbooks and a TV show... but she had many dark secrets. (Not part of my dream.) And when she loses it all, she starts in a restaurant kitchen to find herself a place.

It was funny, quirky and a great, quick contemporary read and didn't end in the traditional way – so I was totally pleased.

7. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

My love for this book was 120 percent fueled by nostalgia, and I won't apologize for it. Lauren Graham has been my queen since I watched my first episode of Gilmore Girls back in middle school – sixth grade, I believe. She can do no wrong, say no wrong and write no wrong. And Talking As Fast As I Can was no different.

I loved sinking into the pages with my favorite actress in the world, hearing her voice and listening to her stories about a TV show that shaped me when I was a little kid.

8. How To Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

This was just so excellent. How To Find Love in a Bookshop was a warm, fuzzy hug, as far as books go. It had moments where I wanted to cry and moments where I wanted to scream, but it was the best book to read on a rainy day in the autumn, which is exactly when I read it, on some plane to somewhere.

I love stories with a handful of POVs and everyone is connected by love or friendship or hatred to one single character. In this case, it was the former owner of a bookshop, who passed away. His daughter returned home in his final days and took over his bookshop – and everyone else in their small town has their own story to tell, all going back to her father.

9. The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

This book had me at shark – and it never lost me. When I was little, I had a hefty fascination – obsession, really – with sharks, and a lot of those fun facts have stayed with me my whole life. Then when I was an intern in Charlotte after my junior year, I leaned in and joined the chaos when there were a record number of shark attacks along the North Carolina coast and we were reporting on them. My editor called me "the shark girl."

So, I didn't need anything more than sharks to get me to read The Shark Club. But it was better than expected.

10. Wonder by RJ Palacio

Everyone should read Wonder, and see the movie too. The book broke my heart and put it back together again. It was such a sweet, good, pure story and I loved the multiple POVs. I wish I had more things to say about it, but I really, really, really just think you, and your kids, and your friends' kids, and your future kids, and all of your friends and family, too, should read it. Stat.


What was the best book you read in 2017?


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