2017 was a good year for reading, I went into the year not expecting to whizz through as many books as I did, I only put my goal at 10 books to start. As the year went on a upped my book goal to 15 books, then 20, 25, 30 but finally landing on 32 when it got to end of October/beginning of November, finally finished my last book of the year just before Christmas at 35 books! I surprised myself. I’ve always loved reading but never found the time for it in the last few years, but now I’m in a routine with reading I am thoroughly enjoying my me and book time and will continue to try up my reading count every year.
I’ve lived many lives and read many stories last year, so I’d like to share the stories that captured my heart and some that I think others will enjoy:
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare:
This series was the first set of books I read in 2017, I got the box set for Christmas as it was a bloody good bargain. I read all 6 books from January – the beginning of April as I prefer to read books part of a series all together.. although I do have one confession, I watched the City of Bones film before I even heard of the books a few years ago and absolutely loved it. This series is a Young Adult Fantasy series revolving around 15 year old Clary Fray who gets thrust into the world of the Shadowhunters, warriors who banish Demons from Earth, and unlock secrets to her past. All in all, I did really like this series, for me I really started getting into the series from City of Glass as events started to get super interesting. I wanted to give myself a break from the Shadowhunter world but I might look into reading the Infernal Devices trilogy this year.
13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough:
13 Minutes follows the story of Natasha and Becca during and after the event of Natasha’s near death drowning. I don’t want to give a way too much of the story by going into a detailed synopsis of the plot but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was a good breather to read a more true to life YA fiction after reading Fantasy for 3 months straight. This book has many twists and turns, although it was somewhat obvious who was involved in Natasha’s near-fateful drowning half way through, it didn’t make the story any less interesting and shocking. I would definitely go back and re-read this book maybe some time this year.
Faceless by Alyssa B. Sheinmel:
This is one of the very few books that had me gripped within the first couple of pages, Faceless follows the story of Maisie after a freak accident leaves her with a partially destroyed face. Maisie receives a face transplant instead of a skin graft and journeys through the rest of the story dealing with her identity. This book was amazing, it was heartfelt and taught me a lot about identity and how we perceive ourselves, I really think everyone should give this book a go.
Countless by Karen Gregory:
Everyone has a handful of books that changed their life.. Countless is one of mine. I picked this book up accidentally while looking for another book, was somehow like fate found me. This story follows teenager Hedda who is gripped by an Eating Disorder she calls ‘Nia’ while she finds out she is pregnant. Following this shocking reveal, Hedda and Nia then call a truce until the baby is born. Karen Gregory did an incredible job telling Hedda’s story, it was utterly heartbreaking but so very powerful. I loved that Countless didn’t end entirely happy like most books, but there was hope, it felt real and raw. Stories of Eating Disorders are most of the time ended on a super happy note, the character often suddenly beats their ED and it’s happy ever after.. but Karen Gregory did her research and knew that wasn’t the case. Just do me a favour and pick up this book if you want a real, emotional but still hopeful read.
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill:
Only Ever Yours is marketed as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mean Girls, it takes place in the future where females aren’t birthed naturally, they are manufactured instead. However these girls (called eves) are purely only created for male pleasure.. they either become wives, concubines or teachers to the newer generation of eves. Only Ever Yours follows the life of final year student frieda (the lower case ‘f’ is on purpose) who is trying to finish the year as one of the higher ranking eves to better her chance of being chosen as a wife. However frieda’s best friend isabel starts acting strangely and this sets of a chain of events that has consequences for all the eves. Louise O’Neill is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, she told a haunting and powerful story of society’s never ending pressure on Women. After finishing this book I was left with so many questions about the fate of the characters, I wish there was a sequel but maybe it’s best we never find out as life for these girls isn’t very happy, even after they leave school. A must read for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale wanting a more modern twist.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer:
The Lunar Chronicles is made up of 4 books (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter) and is basically futuristic fairy tales. The series starts with 16 year old Cyborg mechanic Cinder who is considered a mistake and a burden by society and her adopted family. However she is considered the best mechanic in New Beijing which draws the attention of Prince Kai, this sets of a huge chain of events including a plague epidemic, a vengeful Queen of the Moon, biologically enhanced super soldiers and a legacy waiting to be unearthed. I really loved this series which shocked me as I’m usually not a Sci-Fi type, but the characters were very well thought out and the story was super engaging. I couldn’t put down Cress and Winter, I finished both stories in a few weeks! Recommend to Fairy Tale lovers who like modern (or futuristic) re-tellings.
After the Fire by Will Hill:
After the Fire follows the story of Moonbeam that starts during a police raid of the cult she has been living within. The story is told through Moonbeam telling the FBI all about the cult through flashbacks leading up to the police raid. It’s an absolute chilling read, and is actually loosely based on the true events of the Waco Seige in 1993. After the Fire really sucks you in and questions everything you know about faith and loyalty.
I hope some of you found some books you’d like to read, if anyone has any recommendations then please feel free to comment!