2017 has been a wonderful year for reading for me and having watched and read other ‘Best of 2017’ really left me eager to write my own. There has been a lot of fantastic books that I’ve read last year, alongside some not so great books, but today I want to celebrate those books that really stuck out to me. So here they are…
For this category, I chose ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home of Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs. In 2017, I ended up reading the first and second book of this trilogy, as well as watched the movie, and I truly fell in love with this story. I really like how this isn’t just another dystopian styled book, but instead had a historical fiction element to it. (as it is set in WWII) It’s so fascinating how he was able to stay true to the events during that period, but also incorporate that peculiar storyline and set of characters, which made me gobble up this story so quickly. If I had to pick the best out of the two in the trilogy, it would definitely be the second one, ‘Hollow City’. I felt like the story got a bit richer and the interaction between the historical events and these children became more developed.
The Strangest Read
‘Welcome to Night Vale’ would be my pick. Although it was strange, there was something so incredible about this book, that left me wanting more. I must say the world is so strange and sometimes unnerving, but I think this really helped with the plot. However, as there were moments that left me feeling confused, but the ending helped to round up and explain the peculiarities in the book. Everything was explained so well at the end, and it was almost touching. I definitely recommend this book.
The Coolest Character
I would have to say Poirot from ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. I found his character to be rather interesting and exceptionally cool, the way he conducted his investigation to the way he solved the case. I can’t really tell you why I found him to be a rather cool character, I guess it’s just the impression and feeling I got from the book. I do hope to read more of his stories by Agatha Christie.
The Warmest Read
I had to choose ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’, I’ll be honest to say that this was the first time I ever read Harry Potter, which I know is shocking, but at the time when the movies came out, I was really young so I just ended up watching the movies and found no interest in actually reading it. I felt that I already knew the story, but that was wrong of me. Although the movies are phenomenal, they do miss out elements of the story, as it focuses on the larger plot. It’s funny because I ended up reading the books while watching the movies at the same time, and doing so, it opened my eyes to the differences between them. Nevertheless, I still like the movies, but I also really love the books. In particular, ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ was my pick for the warmest read, as it was my favourite movie out of all 8 movies, and so reading the book gave me those nostalgic feelings again, but I must say that the goblet of fire gave me those warm and nostalgic feelings as well.
The Creepiest Read
It has to be ‘Slade House’ by David Mitchell. At first, I was a bit confused, but after reading the other stories it became more clear and more creepy. Even now, when thinking about this book, the word creepy pops into my mind. Nevertheless, I liked how there were multiple stories set in different time periods, with them all being connected together. The book gave me the feeling that I was watching on the sidelines, knowing what happened multiple times to the other characters who entered this house, and feeling powerless to do anything. I kept hoping that the characters would have a different fate, but of course, I was wrong… or was I???
The Most Surprising Read
This would be ‘3 Dark Crowns’ by Kendara Blake. Going into the book I really didn’t have many expectations, as I hadn’t read anything like this before, as I never found much interest in royalty-based stories, but the idea that there were 3 sisters who were triplets, all possessing different powers fighting for the crown, intrigued me. At first, the story didn’t seem to interest me too much, as I felt it was too slow and not enticing, but I was wrong. As I read on, the book kicked into high gear and left me feeling shocked and captivated. Plus, the ending of this book was so incredibly good. (I had my suspicions towards the middle of the book, but couldn’t believe that she actually steered the story in that direction) Out of the 3 protagonists, Arisnoe was my favourite.
The Most Fangirl Worthy Book
Meaning the book that I couldn’t get over, which was ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo. I can honestly say, I have never read a book like this. From the first page of the book, I was swept away into an action-packed scene. It was as if I was watching a movie. The story didn’t need to be unfolded slowly, she was able to develop the world and characters within the fast-paced plot line. I also really enjoyed the characters as they were unique, comical and incredible. They weren’t a band of heroes, they weren’t saving the world. They were doing it for there own selfish needs, but it’s hard not to root for them.
The Funniest Book
This goes to ‘Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda’ by Becky Albertalli, I never thought that I would have this category, nor did I think I would read such a book. I will say my taste in books tend to be of the darker side, where there may be some humorous remarks, but overall, I prefer contemporaries that steer away from the chick flick/ romantic comedy style of a plot line. However, coming across this book multiple times, I decided to give it a try. And I wasn’t disappointed at all. I must say I really liked the character, Simon, he was hilarious and awkward, which made him a character that was so likeable. Although this book looks at issues of coming out, it is a very light-hearted story, that leaves you smiling.
It would have to be ‘Highly Illogical Behaviour’ by John Corey Whaley. Going in, I thought this would be a story that may have some similarities to ‘Shock of the Fall’ by Nathan Filer. However, this ended up being a light read. Sure, it does deal with a boy who hasn’t left his house in years, but it isn’t a story where you are left feeling heartbroken. Instead, it is written in a way that is hopeful and honest, about people with mental disorders. And for that, it became the best contemporary in 2017.
The Fluffiest Book
Again, a category I didn’t expect to have, but I had to pick ‘Flipped’ by Wendelin Van Draanen. All I have to say is that its a cute read as it follows two kids who live on the same street, but at the same time, there is so much more to the story. It explores the relationship in a family, reputation, perception and growing up. I think all of those components are what makes this book feel fluffy. (if you know what I mean)
Best Graphic Novel
It has to go to ‘Paper Girls’ if you are a fan of ‘Stranger Things’ I think you will enjoy this as much as I did. As it follows 4 girls trying to figure out what has happened to their town ( Plus, there’s other dimension kind of things going on). I really enjoyed the plot, as well as the colour scheme that they have gone for in this graphic novel. I’m looking forward to reading the 2nd volume.
The Best Cover
This goes to ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. All that I can say is that it is a stunning cover.
The Most Emotional Read
It has to go to ‘More Than This’ by Patrick Ness. Patrick Ness has a way with words that I can’t fully describe. He really has a talent for telling stories, but for it to have a deeper meaning to it, that you gradually come to terms with, the more you read on. And this was no different, the way he was able to join to storylines and to have it be so impactful, made it so emotional. There is one particular scene in the book, that even now I remember so vividly because it was so beautifully put together, that left me heartbroken the first time I read it.
The Best Book of 2017
This has to go to ‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’ by Patrick Ness. What can I say, this book was just so special. Firstly, the plot was something so unique, that I don’t think anyone has ever written before. I loved how he focused on a group of friends who were living in a world where things were happening, that vampires, zombies etc. are trying to destroy the world, but they aren’t the “chosen ones”. So, they weren’t there to stop them. What is interesting is that these characters were apart of this world, but we get the other side of the story and that these characters are just dealing with their own issues of mental health, graduating, friendships, relationships (both romantic and family related), instead of fighting these monsters. Gosh… I could talk about this book for ages, but I won’t here. All I can say is that it was a fantastic read and I couldn’t recommend this enough.