Top Ten of 2017: Best Books Read This Year

Posted December 25, 2017 by Madalyn || 16 Comments

I’m super excited to be participating in the Top 10 of 2017 blog event, hosted by Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books, Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Dark Faerie Tales, Seeing Double in Neverland, and Take Me Away to a Great Read.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and welcome to the first day of Top 10 of 2017! There will be a different top ten post up on the blog for the next five days. Today’s topic is simple: our top ten books we read in 2017. Well, it sounds simple– I of course had a difficult time narrowing down my list! However, I’m really pleased with the final ten I settled on. Out of the 160+ books I’ve read in 2017, these are my ten favorites! Also, all but one of these books were released this year.

madalyn’s top ten

(Covers link to reviews or Goodreads)

10. Down Among the Sticks & Bones by Seanan McGuire // This prequel to Every Heart a Doorway (one of my favorite books of last year) permanently cemented this series as one of my forever favorites. It captures childhood so perfectly, with just the right mixture of whimsy and darkness. This read like a fairytale, and I loved learning about Jack and Jill’s world. Read this series, guys.

9. Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta // This was the murdery f/f theatre romance I didn’t know I needed. Amy Rose Capetta’s writing is just gorgeous, and I loved the romance between Zara and Eli as well as all the fun theatre elements in this story.

8. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng // I read both of Celeste Ng’s published books this year, and she’s by far my favorite author discovery of 2017. Her debut in particular, though, captured the reality of suburban American life with a remarkable degree of nuance. Ng addressed things like the prejudices we harbor and the secrets we keep from those closest to us with so much skill and grace. I love the way she writes. This story was sad and wonderful all at the same time, and I think it’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys literary fiction.

7. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare // One of the best sequels I read in 2017. The Dark Artifices series is BY FAR Clare’s best work, and shows just how much her writing has improved over the years. This story in particular has so many layers; I love the focus on faeries in this series. The pacing and plot are masterfully woven, and I would die for any one of these characters, tbh. Plus, THAT ENDING, Y’ALL.

6. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord // Emery Lord once again captured my heart with another beautiful, raw, realistic story. Names explores themes like processing grief, questioning your beliefs, and generally growing up and finding out who you are. I loved the setting and the friendships (of course. Emery Lord ROCKS at writing friendships.), and Lucy’s character growth over the course of the book was beautiful. I cried buckets while reading this one.

5. Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray // It wouldn’t be a list post on my blog without a Libba Bray book. But holy hell, you guys, The Diviners series is SO. DANG. GOOD. A 1920’s New York City setting coupled with a wonderfully diverse, complex cast of characters and some creepy paranormal elements… this is seriously the series of my dreams, and it’s written by my favorite author. This third installment was pretty close to perfect– I mean, all the main characters are FINALLY together, fighting ghosts and solving mysteries. Plus, my ship sailed. And the story is headed in an even more epic direction. (Also, if and WHEN you pick up this series, you have to listen to the audiobooks. They’re too excellent for you to read a physical copy when you could be listening to January LaVoy’s brilliant narration. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.)

4. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // Be still, my heart. Becky Albertalli excels at writing the teenage experience– seriously, her books just get it right. I hardcore related to Molly– it was so wonderful to see my anxiety and my weight represented in one of my favorite new protagonists. Plus, the romance was ADORABLE (nerd love!), and the diversity among the characters felt so true-to-life.

3. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate // Ah, Noteworthy. The book of my bisexual, music major heart. A capella + cross-dressing + a boarding school setting + the most lovable cast of characters in history + the best bi representation I personally have ever read.

2. My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Vol. 1 by Emil Ferris // What do I have to do to make everyone in the world read this book? I’m just awestruck by the intricacy of this beautiful graphic novel. The art, the characterization, the setting, the many layers of plot… every single piece of this story was so, so well-executed. It feels like you’re actually inside the main character, Karen’s, head. And speaking of Karen, I ADORE HER. And the way this book plays with the idea of monsters is perfect. Seriously, read this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

1.. The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke // Oh, this book. I was so not expecting to love this as much as I did, and I definitely did not anticipate the fact that I would still be thinking about it nearly every day five months after I read it. This is YA historical fiction at its finest. It raised so many important questions. The three main characters are some of my favorites ever, and Kai and Ellie are one of my favorite couples in any book. The story, the historical setting, the magic, the romance… it’s just perfect. And sad. And beautiful. I cried SO MUCH when I read this; you guys have NO IDEA. I wasn’t even crying out of sadness; this story just touched me in so many ways, which to me, is the marker of an excellent book.

What are some of your favorite reads of 2017? Do we share any favorites?

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16 responses to “Top Ten of 2017: Best Books Read This Year

    • This was such a great year in contemporary! The Start of Me & You is one of my very favorite books of all time! If you liked that one, I think you’d definitely also enjoy The Names They Gave Us.

  1. Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

    The Names They Gave Us was a STAND OUT read for me this year! I borrowed an ARC and was able to read it early and it’s just stuck with me and stood out among all of the other contemporaries I’ve read. It’s the first Emery Lord book that truly clicked with me and I can’t wait to see what she releases in the future!

    • I read it under basically the same circumstances, and I couldn’t agree more! Emery Lord’s books can be hit or miss for me, but Names (along with The Start of Me & You) definitely earned her a spot on my favorite authors list.

  2. Great list! I’ve read a few on this list and agree that they’re awesome books! I just got Before the Devil Breaks You for Christmas, and I cannot wait to get to it!

  3. Liliana

    I am SO incredibly behind in Cassie Clare’s series, but I am so glad to hear that her books are still amazing! Great list!

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