Top 10 Books of 2017 (So Far)

Hello all!

Now that the year is winding down and NaNoWriMo is complete (for me at least), I thought I’d post an update to my reading life.

Update: it’s been pretty quiet. I didn’t get to read too much this year, but what I have read I’ve enjoyed for the most part. So for everyone who is looking for a good book since November is ending or something to grab during the holidays (books make great gifts y’all!) I thought I’d provide a few of my favorites for the year so far.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and go do it right this very second. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in my life. It cracked the top five, which is not actually easy to do. But there is a reason Angie Thomas is the Queen of YA. Do yourself a favor and read her book.

2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody Okay I dedicated multiple posts to my obsessive love of this book. If you didn’t expect to see it on this list you haven’t been paying attention very well.

3. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli This book has all the good things. I made me smile, laugh, and want to hug everyone SO MANY TIMES! I cannot express my love for this novel enough. If you loved Simon you’ll more than love Molly. (Which, if you didn’t love Simon, I’m not sure we can be friends)(Okay, we can be friends, but you have to re-read Simon VS and gush about it with me.)

4. Geekerella by Ashley Poston I actually didn’t really know about this book until recently. I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately, and saw it when I was shopping in B&N. I read the description and my inner fangirl went *squeeeeeeee* (no I really made that noise in the middle of Barnes & Noble). I didn’t buy it though until Thanksgiving night. I sat with my Kindle This was my surgery recovery read, and it did not disappoint. Cute and smart writing left me ready for more from these characters. No idea if there’s a sequel coming or not (the ending was wrapped up nicely) but I know I’ll be reaching for this one again in the future.

5. the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace Something most people don’t realize about me is that, in addition to YA & NA, I also write poetry. This is . . . fairly recent. I started working in the world of poetry my sophomore year of college (I graduate in May) and I’ve had the same professor voluntarily ever since. She made me go from hating poetry (and talking very loudly about it) to loving it and writing it. I owe this find to one of my best friends. She’d been looking for this for a while and picked this book up in a Target in Columbus, Ohio (we are not from Columbus just so you know)(we’re not even from Ohio we just spend a lot of time there for some reason). She opened Princess to a random page and the poem printed there hit home. I did the same to the only other copy on the shelf and BOOM same thing happened to me. Naturally we both bought it.

6. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas I know there’s quite a bit out there about how the queer rep in SJM’s books is not the best. I agree. I love her books, and her writing, but this is something that needs to be addressed. However, aside from that point, I loved ACOWAR. I never really got around to posting a review for it, but I thought it was a great ending to the trilogy, and was more than happy to spend the extra time in the world SJM has created. If you haven’t read ACOTAR or ACOMAF yet, you need to read them first for sure. But if you have the time and you love a good YA fantasy, this is a great novel.

7. Windwitch by Susan Dennard WHO HERE REMEMBERS MY FANGIRLING OVER THIS BOOK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR? I think I scared away any readers after that. My opinions about this book are positive and happy even though there is so much angst (in the best way). It’s been a while since I’ve talked about it, but it’s one of my favorites of the year for sure. Would recommend 110%.

8. Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron Listen to me. LISTEN TO ME! This book. Is so good. Bisexual rep. Asexual rep. Intersex rep. Different settings. Vivid characters. Flowing plot lines. Familial ties. The importance of consent. A group of people who shouldn’t be able to survive in this harsh environment is going to do their damn best to do it. This book is one of the best I’ve read this year for sure. (Also the sequel comes out soon so if you’re looking for multiple holiday gifts here you go!)

9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Okay it counts if you’re currently reading it right? I’m saying yes. I’m in the middle of it right now, and I wish I currently had more time to devour this book (*shakes fist at final papers* curse you!). So far though it’s fantastic. I’m hoping I’ll get to finish it by the end of the year and reiterate that, times a thousand.

10. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr Y’all know I have a problem when it comes to fantasy. I guess it’s not really a problem exactly, but more of an all-encompassing love. And I really have a thing for fae. This sequel hit all the marks with me. I adored the first novel, and pretty much the same can be said of the second. Great book, by a great author. If you’re looking for something good this coming holiday season, I would recommend some Melissa Marr.

Now, keep in mind these are my favorites of the books I read this year. I have so many books that have been sitting on my shelf all year, and that stack just keeps piling up. Some books that I bought this year that I did not get to get to, but have, heard are fabulous, and am mad at myself for not getting to them sooner are:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

There are probably so many more amazing books I’m missing. Please feel free to add your favorites of the year so far in the comments! It was not as heavy of a reading year as I had hoped, and a lot of these books are ones I intended to read right away, but just never got the chance to. This has been such a busy semester for me, and I wish I’d had more time to read, but sadly I did not. I’m aiming to remedy that after finals and over winter break.

I hope you like some (or all) of these titles! Again, feel free to comment some of your faves so far this year. I’d love to hear them.

Alright, I’m off for now. Sadly, not to read. Final papers & presentations abound in my apartment, and I must work on mine. Byeeeeeee!

Kailey

PS – the links I included are all to Amazon, but if see if your local indie bookstore has these books!

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Windwitch

Salutations, world of internet people. How are all of you beings today?

My strange self is glad to be posting this, finally. Wait, you don’t know what this is? Didn’t I say it while I was being weird? No? Oh, well it’s

MY WINDWITCH BOOK REVIEW

*throws confetti*

So, you’d think for being so excited about this book, I would have read it in one, two days max. NOPE. I only just finished it (literally thirty seconds before I started writing this) and I’ve had it for about a month. Now, I understand that’s pretty normal (especially for a busy person) but I dislike this.

One thing that sucks about being a crazy busy college student is that one does not have as much as free time as they’d like. Welcome to real life, I know. However, this semester has been busier than most for me. It has seriously cut into my reading time. Which sucks, because that is my de-stress time. And I have really needed some de-stress time these past couple of months.

Sigh. Alright, pity party/tangent over. The reason I mentioned it at all was because I felt bad for not having this review up sooner. I always feel bad when I go silent on here, even if only a few people actually read these posts. So, I’m sorry for not having time for this sooner.

Now then, onto the book review.

First let me just say this: Windwitch did not disappoint.

Holy hell I am so happy. I am so in love with this book.

So when I first talked about how excited I was for this book I mentioned how much work the author put into it. After reading it I can confirm: she poured her soul into this novel you guys. I felt the blood, sweat, and tears in every word. 

Let’s get into a few details (no spoilers though)(I won’t ruin this for anyone who wants to read it)(and you all should DEFINITELY read it).

First of all, we got to hear from Vivia’s POV, which originally I was concerned with. Don’t get me wrong, I was crazy excited to hear from her. I think my original reaction was something like “yay we get to hear from the evil one!” I cannot confirm or deny if Vivia is evil or not, but I can say my original skepticism of how she would fit into the story was shattered about two sentences into her first chapter. I flat out LOVED having Vivia’s POV thrown into the mix. It helped fill out the story and give the readers a new perspective.

Second: Merik, my love, my precious windwitch, your story was beautifully executed. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. But it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I have nothing more to say than this. 

Third thing: love stories are not the focus. Hell yes love stories are present! And I know love was not the focus in Truthwitch either. I like this. I am thrilled by this. I am all for a good love story, but sometimes it feels . . . overdone. There is love present in this novel, but it’s not the same romance story we’ve all seen a million times. Love does not always have to be passion and romance. Sometimes it’s best friends fighting for one another across continents. Sometimes it’s a spoiler and I can’t share it with you guys but read the book and find out.

But that brings me to point number four: there are some killer potential love interests in here. I can’t decide which couple/potential couple I ship the most. Ugh. So many options. So much cuteness.

Some quick and random things I loved: the writing, the world, the writing,the characters, the writing, the meticulous attention to detail throughout the entire book, the lovely and emotionally stacked writing . . . have I mentioned I love her writing? Susan Dennard is fantastic.

Okay I hope this was helpful. I know it was basically me screaming BUY THIS BOOK but it is worth it. Read the book. Then come talk to me about it so we can freak out together.

Okay, must sleep. *throws more confetti* Byeeeeeeeeee!

Kailey

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

Happy new year!! A couple of days late, but the thought is still there. I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year. Since it’s only been two days, I don’t have much to say as far updates. I’ve gotten a little farther in outlining one of my stories? That’s about it. So, let’s get down to talking about books!

Alright so the title is a little bit misleading. Maybe these aren’t the “most” anticpated books of 2017. And I guess this isn’t an “official” list. But for my first post of the new year, I thought I’d share a few books that I’m looking forward to being released this year. So, without further ado, here’s my top ten books as of today that I’m looking forward to coming out this year:

  1. Windwitch by Susan Dennard. The sequel to Truthwitch, one of my top five favorite books of all time (I’m not exaggerating)(when I read this I devoured it)(I told the author and she gave me a hug). I’m looking forward to the continued adventures of Safi and Iseult, plus all of the other beloved characters that sucked me into their world last summer. I know how hard the author worked on this (all authors work hard but if you follow her you’ll know she worked herself into creative exhaustion for this novel). I can’t wait to see how that pays off. Take me back to the world of the Witchlands! Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: January 10th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Carnivals, and illusions, and murder, oh my! This debut author caught my eye back when I was applying to Pitch Wars. She has woven a tale of murder and romance all set in a travelling circus that has me drooling in anticipation. And her novel aesthetics? Swoon. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: July 25th. Putchase: Amazon B&N
  3. Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta. Yet another author I found through Pitch Wars. While working on revising I got to talk to Demitria a bit and she was kind enough to critique my query letter. The description of this particular book grabbed my attention when I was researching her and I’m excited and intrigued to see if it lives up to my expectations (here’s a hint: it will). A bit of mystery? That takes place in Scotland? Sign me up! Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 14th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  4. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. LGBTQIA+ main characters? Deaf main character? Themes of friendship and romance and a story that is positively bursting with conflict? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes PLEASE!! This is a story I stumbled upon accidentally but that I quickly became excited to read. One of my goals for the year was to read more diverse books, and with these characters, this book may just top that list. Genre: YA Sci-Fi. Release Date: October 3rd. Purchase: Amazon
  5. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. If you’re like me, you love love love all things Shadowhunters (well, maybe not the tv show as much)(I’ve only seen a few episodes though. Still going to give it a chance). The Shadowhunters world is one of my favorites. Cassandra Clare is my favorite author. This next installment in the Dark Artifices series is highly anticipated, not just by me, but by all of those who love the characters and the stories, new and old. The continued conflict with the faeries and forbidden romance will make for another late night reading adventure that I cannot wait for. Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy. Release Date: May 23rd. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  6. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen. So, Sarah Dessen is the reason I learned to love reading. She’s the reason I decided I want to be a writer. I’ve read everything she’s ever written, and I actually screamed aloud when she announced this book. The classic romance and lessons in learning to love and grow as people call to me with her books. I may or may not have a countdown set for it. If you like teenage romance and lessons in growing up, pick this up. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: June 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  7. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas. If you know me at all, you know that SJM is one of my biggest writing influences. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I want to be her when I grow up (no 21 is not grown up shhhh). Her work ethic and writing style leaves me in awe. The worlds she creates and the characters she imagines are close to my heart. I have a particular (very deep) love for Feyre and her sisters (both blood and not blood)(Amren and Mor are killer don’t you dare fight me on this), and I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for ACOWAR since last year when A Court of Mist and Fury came out. (I’m serious. I bought ACOMAF the day it came out and finished it that night. Then I turned to my mom and said I want the next book). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this comes out the day finals finish at my school (okay maybe it is but shh don’t ruin this for me). Reward for studying maybe? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: May 2nd. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  8. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Remember that book from earlier with the queer characters? Remember my excitement? You don’t? WELL GUESS WHAT THIS BOOK HAS LGBTQIA+ REPRESENTATION TOO! I AM VERY EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK TOO! (How about now? Remember that energy yet? Thought so.) But, in addition to this beautiful thing called representation, it deals with very serious issues such as tragic death and mental illness. Mental illness especially is something I think needs more visibility in YA. It’s an issue close to my own heart and I want to see how it’s laid out here. Plus, I am a sucker for a love story gone wrong. I found this book, once again, by accident. Accidents might just be getting me some great new books this year. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: January 17th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  9. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. I have a minor (*cough* major *cough*) love for superhero movies (let me be clear here: I have never read a comic book. And I don’t care if I ever do. To me it’s all about the movies and novels). And I have a really major love for female superheros. You’ve gotta love women in positions of power being unashamedly badass. Plus, this novel holds basis in greek mythology which makes me go heart eyes (yes I know I’m a geek. Sue me). *Grabby hands* Can I buy it yet? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: August 29th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  10. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr. Let me just say something about this author. She knows how to write faeries. Her Wicked Lovely series was a favorite of mine a while back, and I still pick up the first book sometimes. If you want a faerie book go buy hers. I’m serious. Go buy her books, read her books, and fall in love with her books. It’s that simple. Seven Black Diamonds roped me into her world of faeries and spellbinding love stories. I am more than a little excited to attack the sequel and get back into the adventures of these complex and addicting characters. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: February 28th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Wow, those descriptions got long. I hope they tempted you to read some of these books though!

Keep in mind, these books were in no particular order (except for Windwitch)(because, I mean, come on. Truthwitch is in my overall top five)(Windwitch is clearly my number one anticipated). Also, all release dates are according to Goodreads, so I’m sorry if they are off. And, yes, there is a pattern of genres I like. Hint: it rhymes with Rung Madult Schmantasy. So there isn’t too much of a range of genres here, and I will be the first one to admit I need to broaden my reading horizons a bit. I’m working on it.

The reason I made sure to put that this is a list at the moment is because I’m always looking for new books. And there is always a good chance I might find a book I want to read more than one of these that comes out this year. There are numerous books being released this year and I can’t be aware of all of them right this moment. I’m looking forward to discovering them. Let me know some of your most anticipated releases below! Or talk to me on twitter! I’m always down to talk books.

Okay, I must get back to writing. I haven’t hit today’s word count yet, and I don’t want to develop bad habits so soon. Go read a book! Or buy one! Or write one! Just, go do something with books, okay?

Kailey