It’s safe to say that 2017 wasn’t exactly the most fruitful reading year for me. I went through quite a few slumps, my reading challenge was a total bust and then I totally forgot what a book even is during the last four months of the year. See explanation here.
Still. As weird as 2017 may have been for me on the reading front, it’s hardly fair to move on without so much as a backwards glance! I felt I had to get this post up before I could begin the new blogging year – I find loose ends particularly annoying…
Let’s break it way down:
If you read my review of When Dimple Met Rishi, then it shouldn’t be hard for you to figure out why this book was my absolute favourite stand-alone fiction for 2017. But just in case you didn’t read the full write up, let me just say that this book was everything I wanted for a YA book. It was adorable, realistic, totally relatable and filled with that special Bollywood flair that lingers long after the story has ended.
With everything that’s been happening in the world as of late, I felt this book was published at just the right time. It was a story that celebrated the Indian heritage and culture while exploring topics that are not generally covered in YA books, because you just cannot know about them if you haven’t been raised in a traditional household. This story was so very much needed, and I imagine that we’ll be seeing many more of these well executed diverse books on the shelves in the near future.
FAVOURITE NON FICTION: A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival by Melissa Fleming
Truthfully, I didn’t complete as many nonfiction books as I initially intended, but even so, this book has been stuck in my head ever since I read it last year. I wrote a review of this one some time ago, and it was without question one of the hardest books I ever had to review. It was not an easy book to read, but it is one that definitely needs to be read by all of us.
As a human being with a heart and soul, I make it my duty to find out what’s happening in the war torn Middle Eastern and African countries that big news channels conveniently chooses not to cover. I turn off a film and stop reading a book that depicts armed soldiers as heroes when there are countless innocent people being killed in the name of a “peace” that just never seems to come.
So when I received this book from Jonathan Ball Publishers, I was mildly grateful that I didn’t need to search the ends of the Earth for a book that gives the truth on something that just keeps on getting swept under the rug. Another part of me was blisteringly mad that more stories like these are not being told – and more importantly, not being read.
It feels wrong to call this a “favourite” because it was in no way a book that I enjoyed reading. But it was the most insightful and eye-opening book that I’d read in 2017 for sure!
Seriously, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this series! Not only was it the best series I read last year, but I can honestly say that it’s one of my favourite series EVER.
Granted, I didn’t get around to finishing the final book, but everything that has happened in the story so far has been completely unexpected. It took me quite a while to get used to (and fall in love) with Maggie Stiefvater’s writing technique, but damnit I am now hooked! She has such a unique style and her manner of weaving a tale is just in a league of its own. There hasn’t been a book/book series in such a long time that managed to keep me in this much suspense throughout every single instalment. I have absolutely no idea how she does it!
Gently told, beautifully illustrated and refreshingly uplifting – Ballerina Dreams was hands down my favourite children’s book for 2017. Based on the life story of real life ballerina, Michaela DePrince, this tiny book was such a lovely dose of inspiration. It gave off a warmth that I found to be fitting; and helped tell a difficult story in a light-hearted manner while somehow managing to keep the depth needed to bring the message across. I imagine that it would encourage young readers to ask questions, and give parents/guardians the chance to explain complicated matters in a calm, helpful way.
I think this one is pretty obvious, right? If you read this post then you’ll know that it was a book I could not stop thinking about last year when I finished reading it.
Where do I even begin with this one? It was just brilliant in every single way! From the characters to the plot that had my heart racing throughout, right down to the world building and writing – there is just not a single thing I can think of (other than I want more!) that’s wrong with Crooked Kingdom. It was truly unbelievable, and a true testament to Leigh Bardugo’s talent. She is without question a fantastic writer, and I am so looking forward to reading more of her books!
Welp, it is what it is I guess… ACOWAR just failed to live up to my expectations and I was more than a little disappointed by this final book in the main series. I wrote a full post last year where I basically ranted on, like an utter hooligan, about all the ways this book completely let me down. Feel free to give it a read over here.
Reading that post and being reminded of what a total disaster I found ACOWAR to be, just gets me riled up all over again because I still don’t have an answer for WTF happened here. The only explanation I keep coming back to is that Sarah J. Maas read too many fanfic of her books and didn’t want to upset her readers with anything veering too far from their predictions – because come on, that entire book was already predicted about 2 seconds after ACOMAF was published!!
I still don’t know how I should rate this book because it was quite good. But sadly the bad things far outweighed the good and so it has come to this – ACOWAR was my biggest disappointment for 2017!
With everything happening right now in my life I don’t think it would be realistic for me to set a very big reading target this year. However, I do want to catch up and get some reading done where I can, so I’ve set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 30 books for 2018. Thinking of reading 30 books already gets me overwhelmed, but I had to choose a number and 30 just happened to be it!
What were some of your hits and misses for 2017?