Strap in, this is going to be a bit of a long one!
When I say I read a lot, I mean a lot. Last year I logged 246 books on Goodreads. Were all of them life changing, soul searching, or heart pumping? Of course not. I read to escape. I read to be entertained. I read to pass the time. Sometimes, I read utter garbage. Sometimes, I read something that looks like it might be utter garbage, but turns out to be quite well written and amusing. Sometimes, I read something that has been praised by critics, BookTubers, and even people I know, but I find it blah. Here’s a chronological tour of some of my reading highlights from 2017. These are all books that I read for the first time in 2017, if I don’t mention the earlier books in a series, that is because I read them in a different year.
The first thing that I really loved last year was The Collector Series by Stacey Marie Brown. This is an urban fantasy series set in present(ish) day Seattle that explores the fae and the government agency assigned to tracking and dealing with them, that is of course, until everything goes to hell. I’m being extremely vague in the description, as I’ve read over 240 books since then and I’m a bit sketchy on the details, but I do remember that I loved them and their companion series Darkness. I convinced my cousin to read them and she loved them too. I seem to recall the first book in the Darkness series being a bit weaker than the others. Stacey Marie Brown also has a new series that came out at the end of the year, called Lightness Saga, set in the same universe, which is definitely on my TBR for 2018.
Oh, and warning this is definitely not recommended for under 18, it gets a bit steamy sometimes.
The next book on my list is Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop, book five in The Others. What can I say about the others? It is so weird and wonderful and oh so difficult to explain! I guess it would be classified as urban fantasy, but that still doesn’t seem to fit quite right. To say that it’s about vampires and werewolves would be gross oversimplification. The series follows Meg, a blood prophet and Simon, an earth native, and how they navigate between The Others and the humans. Confused? Just take my word for it and read the books. Etched in Bone is the conclusion of the series and it was everything that I wanted it to be. This series gets a big endorsement from one of my besties, Karissa, and one of my cousins, both of whom I begged to read it. In fact, my book club is reading the first book this month, can you guess who recommended it? Go out and get the first book, Written in Red and let me know what you think.
Have I mentioned that I read a lot of historical romance? Well, I do. Two of the best historical romance series that I read this year were, The Hathaways by Lisa Kleypas and the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt. If you're unfamiliar with historical romance, be prepared for silly titles and covers. Oh and the scandalous warning applies again! Maybe I should develop a scale of scandalousness...
Anyway, Lisa Kleypas is a great writer and the only reason I haven’t made it through her entire catalog so far is because I’m saving them for when I really need some Kleypas! The Hathaways is set during the early Victorian Era and follows (you guessed it) the Hathaway family. Each book is about a different sibling and their journey to find love. They were all fabulous, but I especially loved the first one and the fourth one.
The Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth Hoyt is a historical romance series set in Georgian London and each of the stories revolves around someone who is in someway connected to Maiden Lane (mostly). The final book, Duke of Desire, along with two novellas came out towards the end of the year, so I haven’t gotten to them quite yet. My favorites were Wicked Intentions, Scandalous Desires, Lord of Darkness, Duke of Midnight, Duke of Sin, and Duke of Pleasure.
No 2017 list would be complete without Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare, book 2 in The Dark Artifices. No spoilers, but I mean come on, talk about your cliffhanger ending! I love Cassandra Clare’s books. If you like urban fantasy and haven’t read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, where have you been?! They’re funny, action packed, and the characters are fantastic. I definitely recommend reading both of those series before jumping into The Dark Artifices, otherwise, in my opinion, you will be completely and utterly lost. I can’t wait till the final book comes out at the end of this year! If you’d like to dive in, Shadowhunter Chronicles superfan and BookTuber, emmmabooks is hosting a read along this year, follow the link to check it out. She's awesome, subscribe if you want Shadowhunter news!
I’m so late to the party, but I finally read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell in 2017 and it was so adorable! I didn’t have quite the same issues as the main character, Cath, but I remember feeling a lot of the same things my freshman year in college. One of my best friends, Karissa, texted me, saying that she had stayed up all night reading it, laughing so much that she wasn’t even sure if it was even funny or she was just delirious. Cut to me laughing out loud like a total weirdo in my room alone at 3am, and loving it. Karissa also loved the confirmation that she wasn’t alone.
Oddly enough, rounding the list out chronologically also ends with my favorite reads of the year The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. The series had been on my TBR for awhile, when I suggested the first book, Red Rising, for my book club. We loved it so much, we decided to read Golden Son and Morning Star for the next month. I’m not typically one for science fiction, but these books are amazing, I cannot recommend them enough. They are absorbing, witty, and moving. The characters were multidimensional and memorable. Brown’s writing is cinematic in scale, without being overly descriptive. I’m famous among my friends for being a non crier (some call it Ice Queen, I prefer non crier), but I cried at multiple times during these books. Of course, when I say cried, I mean my eyes welled up and a single glistening tear rolled down my cheek, but for me, that’s saying a lot! I finished these books in September and I’m still fangirling over them. I’m just about to start a reread to prepare for the release of Iron Gold in a few weeks. Fair warning, the first 50 or so pages are a bit slow moving, there’s a lot of world building and motivation to establish for the rest of the series, push on through and you’ll thank me.
That's my highlight reel for 2017, stay tuned for more reviews!