Whew! I cannot believe 2017 is over – it almost feels like yesterday when I was making the crazy idea to start a bookstagram. Then it was January 1st, 2017, posting my very first picture… Jeez, I was so nervous. Still I have no clue what the hell I am doing yet I have so much fun doing it, I made so many friends with the memories for sure. Now I am venturing into new territory that I am both excited and beyond nervous about; blogging absolutely terrifies me. Am I any good at it? Who knows?! I surely hope I am entertaining. I am pretty confident at this point I am just rambling to myself, and that is absolutely ok! Only way is to go up I suppose…
So why are we here? My 2017 wrap up. What was the best of the best, the least of the least – my most recommended, what do I suggest throwing in the bonfire?
Let’s get started…
Favorite Sports-Themed Erotic Literature Romance of 2017: PUCKED by Helena Hunting
Seriously I flipping loved this entire series. I plan on doing an entire review feature in the near future, but I overall LOVED Vi and Alex; from start to finish. Between the steamy monkey sex, the awkward and hilarious conversations, the romance that is this novel was the perfect mixture of all things amazing. 5 STARS in my book and highly recommended. I do not think there is a single person I have recommended to read this series has disliked it. Plus, I cannot help but relate completely to Vi, only differences is, I don’t dress up my husbands penis as a superhero, he is totally a pirate with a pirates voice… so I mean – no judgement!
Favorite Duet Series of 2017: Checkmate – Travis & Viola by Kennedy Fox
Yet another series I need to write some serious love reviews on, I mean seriously these covers, insert beaver drool. I read the ENTIRE Checkmate duet series in 2 days, that is 6 books in 2 days. I couldn’t stop once I started. Though I enjoy all of the couples to a degree, it was Travis and Vi story that was my absolute favorite out of all of them. The connection was beyond my favorite; I loved the crass bickering between the two of them, it was almost like their banter was a means of foreplay at the beginning. Ultimately I will admit I gave this Duet 5 STARS, I preferred the drama over the others, I preferred the connection of Vi and Travis. Honestly, I still want more of these two.
Favorite Contemporary with hint of Angst Romance of 2017: Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting
I was extremely surprised how many books I enjoyed this year of Hunting’s, I never read a single one of her books until 2017 – holy shit I am in love with this woman. I want her babies honestly. Angst is generally not in my comfort zone, I like a good ol’ fashion hit and quit it kind of drama, but this one really stuck to the punches, it was the great kind of punches too. The feels were too good. I felt the pain of the main characters, it was really powerful; everything was almost realistic. I say this because sometimes when you have an author who write a specific genre and when they try to venture into other avenues they fail, however this was done absolutely beautifully; highly recommended.
Favorite Adult Horror (Non-Zombie) Fiction of 2017: Hater Series by David Moody
Everyone knows I love horror, if I could watch/read anything apocalyptic genre all day I would. To me, if never gets boring. Moody’s take of one that has always fascinated me, especially the Hater series. Both gripping and completely gut wrenching believable, it is possibly one of the most bone chillingly, the most scariest apocalyptic series I have read. Because it isn’t zombie doesn’t mean it is nothing short of a blood bath. You are either the Hater or the Unchanged, do the killing or be killed- them or us. There is no discrimination; The thought process is basically something inside of everyone just switches on and everyone is just different. Everyone has the urge to kill. When I first started reading it, I was not prepared for what I was getting into at all, but once the break out started, you get the pre, the post and the aftermath of the Apocalypse. Moody is someone I highly recommend adding to your collection, I have already started is Autumn Zombie series, he is such an amazing writer!
Favorite YA Alternate History Fiction of 2017: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Alternate History is probably one of the funniest genres to read, at least in my opinion. Wolf by Wolf is by far one of the best in this genre and I highly recommend adding it to your TBR. This duology was absolutely stunning. I love the premise completely; the idea that ‘what if’ Hitler won WWII and the experiments that went on in the concentration camps toyed with genetics creating skinshifters – hello to our main character Yael. I flipping loved it. From the main characters, as the reader you are connected instantly, you understand their placement in the plot; then to the world building, you can almost taste it. Graudin does such an amazing job with the world she created. While you are reading you understand where the characters are each movement they make. I am completely enamored by this duology. I personally gave it a 5 STARS all around. I do not think there was a single thing I disliked overall, I will say also the sequel, Blood for Blood, neither outshine nor was a let down from is previous. Wolf by Wolf put Graudin in my category of must read more from this author.
Favorite Historical Fantasy Fiction of 2017: And I Darken/Now I Rise by Kiersten White
What activates my book boner you might ask? Easy. Reading a badass chick in a historical fiction that is described as a lesser attractive heroine figure, and I do mean she a force to be reckoned with; add that with great (semi-slow at first) world building plus character dynamics to build on – really just all around great writing structure that is just phenomenal. When I recommend ‘And I Darken’ to potential readers I always warn that there is a slow build, because in my opinion it is more about the characters development whereas ‘Now I Rise’ is more fast paced. Nonetheless, I think both are really great novels and I cannot wait to see what happens in the future with this saga.
Favorite Science Fiction of 2017: Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
World Building – Groyhell Brilliant; Character Connections – Fucking Phenomenal; Writing Style – Deliciously Magnificent. Check, Check, and Check – I am one satisfied reader beyond belief. My book boner is hard and in charge. I loved this series and I absolutely cannot wait for Iron Gold to be released in 2018. I highly enjoyed the complexity of the caste system, the development of the social dynamics, the character growth; I highly recommend this series. Not only is Darrow one of my favorite male characters, the fact that you have a male author who writes females who emulate a certain level of badassary instead of coward (or damsel in distress), it is just amazing.
Favorite YA High Fantasy of 2017: Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
One of the first Young Adult fiction duology series I read when I started my bookstagram and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it; jeez the feels. For starters, I am happy I read the Grisha Trilogy first, but this duology really set the bar high for standards on fantasy genre. The world building is absolutely phenomenal, the character connections are beyond some of the best I have read yet; I cannot even begin to describe the emotions I had while I read this series. Gut wrenching, heart pounding, tear jerking, man swoonage – everything just flipping amazing. I cannot wait to see where Bardugo takes the Grishaverse in the future.
Favorite YA Paranormal Fantasy of 2017: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
I do not know what I like most, reading this series or Will Patton reading this to me via audiobook. Either way, highly recommend this series on either spectrum. Why? because this is my new love. Again, I cannot gush enough about the world building, the placement that Stiefvater gives is stunning, it is beautiful. Though at first it a slow build in The Raven Boys, it is worth to stick with it. The characters really have their own stories that really develops into the plot: from Gansey to Blue, down to Noah then to Ronan and on to Adam – they are the story and each are the building. I wouldn’t change a single outcome. This is definitely something that will be a re-read to come for me in the future or a re-audio listen in my slumps because it is such a powerful story line about friendship with an amazing premise – highly recommended.
Favorite Utopian and Dystopian Fiction of 2017: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Huge gamer that I am, the biggest thing I would love to see in my life time is a virtual world that I could physically jump into; my wet dream is Ready Player One. Not only is this about to become a motion picture, which I am super excited about, but this novel is beyond amazing. The premise of this novel is it is nothing but a dystopia yet the virtual world is the utopia, which is mind blowing. Obviously the world building cannot be anything less than perfect, and in my opinion this is done so perfectly. If you have not read this novel you are definitely missing out; super fun, jammed pack of action, keeps you on your toes, twists and turns of a plot – I absolutely love the characters, which is definitely one of the best parts about the novel itself. The characters in this novel are some of my absolute favorite characters I have come across in a very long time, I see so many characteristics that are so completely believable… I love it.
Least Favorite YA Romance Fantasy of 2017: ROAR by Cora Carmack
Yes, the cover might be super pretty but the inside was completely a let down for me. Although this has such an great premise, and it is labeled a fantasy , probably about 80% of the novel is purely romance based. Hell majority actually insta-love scenario that are vomit worthy. Then random moments it is kind of like Carmack remembers she has it labels fantasy and plops in some moments like “OH LETS DO SOME FANTASY SHIT HERE”. Blurb… again, just a slight let down for me. It was start to finish, Aurora comes off as a flimsy, inferior female instead embracing her title. I did sort of like some of the supporting cast, and more towards the end, but that was only worth 5% of the novel. All things considered, I don’t expect to put the sequel very high on my TBR when it releases. Who knows, I may wait and see what other reviewers think before giving it a go. Carmack might surprise me yet.
Least Favorite Retelling Romance of 2017: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
A sucker for a cover buy – good thing this came in an OwlCrate! Nonetheless it was yet another let down but still a quick read. Listed as a Romance, Paranormal, and Fantasy genre however it is just too damn much in 400 pages for Howards’ writing style. I loved the premise of the phantom of the opera retelling, but in all honesty the romance for this YA was borderline smut and then randomly there was this fantasy smudged in that made almost little to no sense. By the end of it I was not sure if I was turned on or slightly disturbed with how the outcome of the entire novel turned out because the fantasy was so much of a cluster fuck of nonsense it was strange to say the least. So I was just not pleased at all with the entire novel. Loved the premise and idea of the novel, and I will admit that at first I loved the beginning of it. How the characters were introduced, but then as things started to evolve it no longer made no sense or flowed properly (in my opinion), and then everything took a turn to romance-ville. Very lack luster feel with a side of confusion.
And there it is, some of my wrap ups from 2017 – what do you think? I think that was some good ones… well what about some honorable mentions?! Then why not Right? Well then, here we are, below are some other personal favorites that I have that have all ratings higher than a 4 STARS that I personally loved reading this year in 2017 and highly recommend giving them a dive in!
If you do get the books or the authors a go, let me know your thoughts! I will be curious.
- Heartless by Marissa Meyer
- Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
- Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Manuscalco
- Illuminae/Gemina by Kaufman & Kristoff
- Legend Series by Marie Lu
- Warcross by Marie Lu
- Bastards & Whiskey by Alta Hensley
- Come Undone/Come Alive/Come Together by Jessica Hawkins
- Mixed Up by Emma Hart
- Boss Man by Vi Keeland
- Beautiful Series by Christina & Lauren