The Best Books I Read in 2017

This year was full of many duds when it came to new releases or even old releases that I finally got around to, but there were a few stand-outs that really caught my attention and became new favorites of mine, the first of which was Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham.

CpH4ANsVUAE5OwOGilmore Girls is one of my favorite TV shows, and Lorelai is one of my favorite characters. She’s sassy, spunky, quirky, and hilarious, and I hoped that reading Graham’s memoir would make me love the actor who played her. (PS – it did.)

This reading experience was so much fun; Graham’s voice was so clear through her writing, and I can only imagine how wonderful this audiobook must have been. I loved reading about her life and some behind the scenes tidbits from Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, and A Year in the Life. This was my first 5 star read of 2017 and really just made my heart so happy.

29772863Next up was a graphic novel by none other than Marissa Meyer, a personal favorite of mine and a staple in the YA book community. That book would be Wires and Nerve, which is a sort of spin-off of the Lunar Chronicles following the adventures of Iko the android. Seeing as Iko was never a favorite character of mine, I was surprised by how much fun I had reading this and how much I now anticipate book two! This was my second experience reading a graphic novel and it has also given me a thirst for more. (PS – if anyone has any recommendations for other good graphic novels, comment below because seriously, I need more.)

DocumentAnother surprise was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. You can read my full review for this book here, but basically this book was incredible. It had everything I ever wanted and checked all of my boxes and was absolutely amazing. There was magic and mystery and action and romance and twists and family drama, and truly I cannot recommend this book enough. I want to buy copies for everyone I know and force them to read this except I don’t have that kind of money, so all I can say is: do whatever you can to get your hands on a copy of Caraval.

9781250050748Another book that I loved was This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. For some reason, this received a 4 star rating according to my Goodreads, but that may change upon further inspection because really, this book was so incredibly moving. Not only did I relate to the main character, I felt that it was a beautiful story of redemption and growth and moving past the pain of your past. I wrote a full review for this book here, so feel free to check out my complete thoughts on it and then hopefully pick up the book for yourself.

34538054The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones is another book that snuck up on me and became a quick favorite. The story was very unique and sucked me in fairly easily, but ended up really tugging on my heart-strings as well. I didn’t expect this to be such an emotional read, although I should have based on other people’s reactions. This was such a special book with such a heart-wrenching ending, but I can see myself rereading this for sure. Definitely check this pick out, and also my original review for it.

29385546Marie Lu’s most recent release definitely made it on the list; Warcross exceeded my expectations. I didn’t want to get too caught up in the hype lest it let me down, but this book is well-deserving of the praise. It was cool and modern, with interesting characters, a steamy love interest, and an awesome concept. This book made me want to get sucked into video game culture and participate in this world of virtual reality and technology. Check out my full review for Warcross here.

81uGB-QT1hLGeekerella by Ashley Poston was not a surprise favorite for me. I went into this book 100% certain that I was going to love it, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. This fairytale retelling of a fangirl Cinderella was adorable, funny, fresh, and such good fun. I wrote a review for Geekerella here, but you can just take my word for it: this retelling is so worth it. You may think that this story has been wrung dry, but I think there are still so many new and special ways to tell this classic tale.

Xpress-YA-Bardugo-TheLanguageofThornsThe last favorite of 2017 was The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. Sometimes I have issues with short story collections because typically, there are a few in the batch that aren’t as good as the others. This was not the case with this compilation. Every single story included in The Language of Thorns was exceptional, and I was so pleased with the entire reading experience. The illustrations on every page were stunning, and the stories were all beautiful and unique. Check out my review for this book here, and then buy it for yourself because you know you want to.

This was such an incredible batch of books and I’m so excited for the new stories I’ll be introduced to in the coming year! What are some of your most anticipated 2018 releases?

BOOK REVIEW: Marie Lu “Warcross”

29385546Title: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

In this technology-driven world, Warcross is a game that everyone, young, old, rich, poor, plays. It’s a virtual reality-type game where you can log on to be strategic and competitive, or just to escape your world and life to be somewhere else for a while.

Still, you can get into a lot of trouble on Warcross with illegal gambling and such, and Emika Chen is the one who catches these guys when the police don’t have time to. She’s a bounty hunter, and even though she has the skills to do so much more, her criminal record keeps this from happening. So she scrapes by on the little bit of money she gets from the guys she catches and finds solace like so many others in the world of Warcross.

That is, until one day when Chen unintentionally glitches herself into one of the most important games of the Warcross Championship, and she’s sure that she’s going to be arrested again.

Except she isn’t. She becomes an overnight sensation and is drafted into the Championship. Still, there’s more than just the games to worry about. Hideo Tanaka, the creator of Warcross, has a special interest in Emika and her hacking abilities, and she has a special interest in him. It becomes clear that someone is trying to sabotage the games, or planning something worse than any of them have imagined, and it’s Emika’s job to stop them.

My thoughts:

I absolutely loved this.

This is the book I’ve been waiting for. The dialogue was believable and the characters were interesting, well-rounded and complex. The action was engaging and the story was unlike any other virtual-reality, video game-related story I’d ever seen or read. Don’t even get me started on the romance. It was electrifying, and I could feel it before they ever even touched each other (which wasn’t until, like, after page 200?). Marie Lu took her time building up the romance and the tension, and I absolutely loved it. I loved Emika and Hideo. I loved everything.

It was just such a fun read that I didn’t want it to end. I actually found myself trying to slow down and take more time on it, and I was so sad to read the last page. Not that we aren’t getting at least one sequel, and since Marie Lu seems to have a thing for trilogies, I’m going to guess there will be two. Still, how long am I going to have to wait to find out what happens next?

I liked that I didn’t predict who the culprit was. Yes, I love to guess and yes, I love to be right. But lately, my accurate predictions have really been ruining the experience for me, and while the end wasn’t exactly out-of-this-world shocking, I was surprised.

One thing I’ll say is that the book seemed short. I suppose I’m not complaining because I like it when it doesn’t take me two weeks to read a book, but I do wish there had been at least 50 more pages of content? However, that’s just me. I was still so pleased with this that I don’t care too much.

Ever since I read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, I’ve admired her world-building. I noticed it there, I noticed it in her Young Elites trilogy, and I see it here. Her ability to shape and describe the world that her characters are living in is mind-blowing and I so enjoyed it here in Warcross.

I loved this book so very much and I’m going to recommend it for all of my days. Starting with my blog readers. Hey. Read this book.

 

Marie Lu: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads