Hi, friends! Can you believe that 2017 is more than a quarter over? I certainly can’t. Anyway, I’ve had a pretty incredible first few months of reading, so I wanted to do a post discussing my favorite books I’ve read thus far in 2017! In my ideal world, these quarterly wrap-ups would include things like statistics, but I’m much too lazy and much too stressed about my impending semester exams to include them in this first one. In this post, I’ll be telling you about all the books I’ve given five stars so far this year, as well as a bit about why I loved each. I’ll also tell you my top three reads of this quarter! Oh, also, this post will only include books I read in the first three months of the year (January, February, and March). I’ve read some awesome books in April, but you’ll have to wait til the next quarterly wrap-up to hear about those. 😉
I have two books I rated 4.5 stars, but I adored them so much that I couldn’t omit them from this post.
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton // Wow, I LOVED this duology. I haven’t read a series this compulsively readable in a long while. It definitely reminded me of why I love YA! I loved the setting (it takes place at a prestigious ballet school in New York City), the characters, and the important discussion of things like eating disorders, sexuality, prescription drug addiction, and bullying. The diversity of the main characters was also a huge plus for me! Plus, I am a sucker for ambitious female protagonists. YES QUEEN, GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS. TAKE EVERYONE DOWN WITH YOU. But seriously, I can’t recommend this duology highly enough! It’s entertaining and brilliant.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis // A masterful, dark contemporary that explores the reality and the effects of rape culture. A hard read, but a necessary one.
the five-star reads
Of the 28 books I read from January through March, here are the ones I rated five stars! Despite what it may look like, I don’t give out five-star ratings lightly, so that just goes to show what a fantastic reading year I’ve had thus far!
In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers // This was my first read of the year, and WHOA, what a way to start. The diversity among the cast of characters, the scavenger hunt premise, the emotional journey and the bonds formed between characters… all so masterfully done. This book made me feel all the things, and I just need everyone to read it!
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah // I love historical fiction, but WWII stories aren’t usually my jam. However, I The Nightingale was just… gorgeous. This is another book that took me on a wild emotional journey. It’s a story of sisterhood, survival, and standing up for your beliefs. A very atmospheric read that made me absolutely bawl my eyes out.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah // I listened to the audio of this one for the #DiverseAThon. It’s Trevor Noah (host of The Daily Show)’s autobiography. Trevor Noah is such a smart guy, man. I learned so much about life in South Africa during and post-Apartheid. Noah was literally born into a world where it was illegal to be mixed-race. His very existence was a crime. This was a fascinating listen, with tons of insight and no lack of heart. I can’t recommend the audiobook highly enough! Noah is an excellent storyteller.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde // This book has blown up the blogosphere, and with good reason. It’s a heartwarming story of friendship and first love, set over the course of a ComicCon-like fan convention. Plus, it features awesome #ownvoices representation for bisexuality and autism. And the romances! Soooo swoonworthy.
A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab // I mean, come on, it’s the conclusion of one of my all-time favorite series– and a masterfully written conclusion, at that. How could it not make this list?! Everything V. E. Schwab touches is gold. These characters and this world will always, always hold the most special place in my heart.
the top three
The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Without further ado, here are my top three favorite reads of the first quarter of 2017. (My fantasy-loving heart is dying a little bit at the fact that all three of these are contemporaries, but they’re just so deserving.)
3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // I love this book so much that I skipped class to read it. I couldn’t put it down! Starr has one of the strongest voices of any protagonist I’ve ever encountered– I loved her observations about the world around her. All the relationships in this story were three-dimensional and wonderfully written– Starr’s family plays a huge role in the story, as do her friendships and her romantic relationship. All of these characters just jumped off the page. And, of course, THUG covers such a timely subject (police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement). I gained a lot of perspective through reading this story. All in all, this one is a must-read, and Angie Thomas is an incredible new voice in YA lit.
2. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be “flawless.” I never realized how much I desperately needed to see my body type and my experience with anxiety (especially taking medication) represented in a main character– especially in a portrayal that was so positive and honest. (Seriously, Molly is kind of one of my favorite protagonists ever.) All around, the representation in Upside is spot-on and so reflective of the real world. Add in a fun plot and an a couple adorable romances, and this book checked all the boxes for me.
And my number one book of 2017 so far…. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate // Is anyone surprised??? Haha yep, me either. THIS. BOOK. IS. SO. IMPORTANT. I haven’t stopped screaming about it since I read it. Not only does it feature most of my favorite things in books (bisexual MC + choir/a capella + boarding school setting + cross-dressing), but Redgate executed the story so well. Noteworthy has the best bi rep I’ve ever read– at least, the bi rep here feels the most true to my experience of any I’ve read. It also features the most lovable cast of characters in the universe. The plot could’ve easily come off as hokey or contrived, but it was honestly genius. Just, like… go read my review, and then GO PREORDER THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY.
That’s all for this post! What has been your top read of 2017 so far? Have you read any of the books on this list? I’d love to know!!