#Top17 Books of 2017

Top 17 Books of 2017

Hey, Bookworms!

Can you believe it’s 2018 already? Like damn. The last year pretty much sped by and it felt like I missed out on so much. 2017 had a great selection of books to pick up and read and I am super stoked to tell you about them.

So let’s get into it!


17.

RunebinderMagic is risen.

When magic returned to the world, it could have saved humanity, but greed and thirst for power caused mankind’s downfall instead. Now once-human monsters called Howls prowl abandoned streets, their hunger guided by corrupt necromancers and the all-powerful Kin. Only Hunters have the power to fight back in the unending war, using the same magic that ended civilization in the first place.

But they are losing.

Tenn is a Hunter, resigned to fight even though hope is nearly lost. When he is singled out by a seductive Kin named Tomás and the enigmatic Hunter Jarrett, Tenn realizes he’s become a pawn in a bigger game. One that could turn the tides of war. But if his mutinous magic and wayward heart get in the way, his power might not be used in favor of mankind.

If Tenn fails to play his part, it could cost him his friends, his life…and the entire world.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

First off I just want to say my reading dreams came true with this one. To have a gay MC leading in a fantasy/dystopian novel is one of the many reasons this one made the list. The world was refreshing, the characters were interesting and the plot was exhilarating.

16.

RosemarkedA healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Not only is this a richly captivating fantasy, but it is also one being led by a POC protagonist. The writing is beautiful, the romance is swoon-worthy, and the story was riveting.

15.

Buried HeartChoose between your parents.
Choose between your friends.
Choose between your lovers.
Choose who you are.
 
On the run from the murderous King Nikonos, Jessamy must find a way for her beloved Kalliarkos to take his rightful place on the throne. Only then can he end the oppression of the Commoners by their long time Patron overlords. But Kal’s rise to power is fraught with manipulation and shocking decisions that make Jes question everything they promised each other. As their relationship frays and Jes’s family and friends beg her for help, will she cast Kal and her Patron heritage aside? Will she finally join–even lead–the rebellion that had been burning among the Commoners for years?
This explosive finale of World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s Court of Five series forces Jessamy to confront an inescapable truth: with or without her, the revolution has begun.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

This one made the list because it was probably one of the best series finales I have ever read. I absolutely adore the world and characters Elliott created and how real the plot and writing came across on the page.

14.

The Art of StarvingMatt hasn’t eaten in days.

His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Such an important book in more ways than one. As a gay male that has had his fair share of eating issues, it was nice to read an MC that mirrors me. It was dark, really dark, but so captivatingly realistic.

13.

The Last NamsaraIn the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Need a new fantasy that is just epic in all proportions? Well, then this is the one for you. The world is so grand, the history and lore are expansive, the characters, the plot, and the writing were all beautifully created and was visually and imaginatively appealing to my brain.

12.

Strange the DreamerThe dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Dreamy. That is probably the best way to describe this one. It made my list for its sheer genius and originality. I can attest that Taylor is an expert storyteller. Her writing is lyrical and her imagination beautiful. She created something to be cherished.

11.

Dear MartinJustyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League–but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up–way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Captivating, important, and poignant. Stone picks away at the stereotypes, prejudices and fights against racial discrimination. She was not afraid to be true and honest and it shows in her writing. This one almost had me in tears!

10.

The Cursed QueenAnsa has always been a fighter.

As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.

Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.

With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Another fantasy that killed it in the plot and character development. We get a queer female MC that kicks as, takes no shit from anyone, and wears her heart on her sleeve. One of my favorite fantasy series thus far!

9.

Perfect TenWho is Sam Raines’s Perfect Ten? 

It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. But when Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the 13th.

Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend Landon might want another chance.

But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

I have never read a queer book that depicts my love life to a T like this one does. If you take away the “magical” element of the story, what you get is a realistic take on a gay male’s love life. Nothing is truer than every single guy wanting you when you are in a relationship. I laughed, I related, and I loved this one!

8.

The Upside of UnrequitedSeventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

I didn’t think I would like this one because it wasn’t Simon! But would you look at that, it made my list no less. I was so enamored with Molly’s story and the way she navigated her life. Albertalli knows how to write the cutest romances!

7.

AutoboyographyThree years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

This book was frustratingly good. Like really good. Good enough for my bad grammar to come out. To love someone who was taught that loving another man is a sin that will lead you to eternal damnation is really tough. A beautifully written story with beautiful characters and my beautiful emotions being torn to shreds.

6.

FirebloodAll hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust. The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

I CANNOT DESCRIBE ME THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS THAT I HAVE FOR THIS BOOK/SERIES SO FAR. I am so taken away with the plot and history. Although it’s not completely unique in concept, the story stands out above all the rest. And my precious little Arcus baby. I want to protect him forever and ever!

5.

What To Say NextTwo struggling teenagers find an unexpected connection just when they need it most.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her. 

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

A beautiful book about two very different teens that didn’t know they needed each other the most. Buxbaum created a friendship like no other. One based off of grief, the other a socially awkward misfit. Through tough situations, they find something in each other that they didn’t know they were missing.

4.

They Both Die at the EndWhen Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression.

Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.

Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love…

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

The first book to make me cry. And I mean tears were falling down my face. It was so raw and real. A testament to Silvera’s writing capabilities! This isn’t a story about death or dying. It’s a story about living life to the fullest. Taking every possible chance and stepping out of your comfort zones!

3.

At the Edge of the UniverseTommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.

Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

Another metaphorical masterpiece from Hutchinson. I love the way he writes his queer characters. They are all damaged in some way and are totally relatable. Whether it be something I can relate to now or something that I went through as a teen. I love how he seamlessly weaves his story with the mix of sci-fi elements; like the universe slowly disappearing bit by bit.

2.

Forest of a Thousand LanternsAn East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

This was a beautifully written fantasy. I absolutely loved the way Dao wrote her MC. She makes you fall in love with her to then have you question if you should care o much about a character who is so morally conflicted. She took The Evil Queen fairytale and made it her own. The writing, the world, and the characters were all created magnificently.

1.

The Hate U GiveSixteen-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.

WHY IT’S THE BEST:

I don’t have to say much about this one because I am sure you have read it for yourself. THE biggest YA book of 2017. This one is so prevalent in America’s current state towards racism, prejudice, and stereotypes. It’s emotional, critical, and a wonderful masterpiece. Every teen needs to read this book. It’s such an important message!


What are some of your favorite books of 2017? 

Let me know in the comments!


Until next time,

Jesse Nicholas Sig

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8 thoughts on “#Top17 Books of 2017

  1. I still haven’t read THUG but I plan to this year. FOTL is definitely beautifully written. And Strange the Dreamer was so engrossing. The Last Namsara made me cry… because Shadow. Some of my top 2017 releases are The Language of Thorns, Foolish Hearts (I like Emma Mills’ style, not too much into Albertalli’s), The Sandcastle Empire, and This Mortal Coil.

    Liked by 1 person

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