2017 definitely had its ups and downs for me in both the literary world and my real life. Thankfully though there were some pretty awesome books that I found along the way! I sincerely hope you decide to give one or two if these a try. You can even send a message afterwards and let me know what you think!
On a side note, I was really bad at not reviewing everything I read last year. I’m going to make a valiant effort to change that in 2018.
Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward
This was the first book I read in 2017, and jokingly I asked if it was too early to go on my favourites list. Apparently not, because more than 365 days later, I still love this book a lot. Another one of those wonderfully angsty story’s that hit you right in the feels. It’s messy and hurts but it’s so good and so worth it. Just trust me.
Long Way Home by Katie McGarry
Anyone who actually pays attention to what I read knows that I will always have a soft spot on my heart of YA reads. And a YA penned by Katie McGarry? SIGN ME UP! One of my all time favourite authors, I’ve loved everything she has written. Period. This story is no exception to that. So not only do I love YA, but I love YA books that have all (and I do mean **all**) of the feels. Violet and Chevy are right up there with Rachel and Isaiah (Crash Into You) for my favourite couple ever. Now you’re probably thinking, can a YA book really be incorporated with a MC story? Read it and find out. Spoiler Alert: Yes. It can.
The Someday Girl by Julie Johnson
In 2016, one of my favourite books was The Monday Girl by Julie Johnson, so of course I was thrilled when she released the second part of the duet, The Someday Girl. These books live and breath emotion. They teach us how to be loved and what love should feel like. They show us to not settle. They show us that we’re not alone and it’s okay to be unsure. This is a story that proves each and every one of us are worth so much more than just one damn day of the week.
#1 Crush by T. Gephart
This one might have humour that’s a little OTT for some people, but I actually found myself laughing along way more than rolling my eyes, so this book worked for me in that sense. I guess I should ultimately say it was the heroine who was a *bit* OTT, but oh well, the hero is splendid and he balances her character so it all works out in the end. Now let me ask you this: have you ever imagined meeting your favourite Hollywood crush? If you answered yes, then you need to read this and find out how it went for Tia and Eric.
Devil You Know by LA Fiore
This book absolutely hooked me from the prologue and sunk it’s teeth in. Starting in their teen years, Thea and Damian had the most perfect instant connection. I felt their love from a young age, and then as readers we get to witness them struggling with this love and how, and if, they are able to hold on to it. I’m an angst lover, so this one was right up my alley but I’ll give you a fair warning. ANGST ALERT! This book is so deliciously filled with it and I loved every second.
Don’t Hold Back by Missy Johnson
I feel like the perfect thing to say about this book is just to share the first few lines of my review:
Don’t mind me. I’m just over here, huddled under a blanket with wet eyes and a full heart. My hand occasionally peaks out of the blanket in search of M&Ms and I’m wondering how long I need to wait before starting this book again.
“Now, be brave and don’t look back.”
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
This book reminded me of everything I love in a young adult novel. It perfectly embodies teenage love and what it’s like to fall for someone for the first time. Everything from the first meeting between these to, to their whispered secrets and keeping up appearances. To breaking down those appearances because who cares as long as they have each other. This book was so good and will definitely be getting a reread in the future.
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
This is another one of those fun RomCom books that I picked up with very few expectations and was so surprised! I tend to have a love/hate type of relationship with Lauren Layne and this one was definitely in the love category. It’s fun and sweet with pockets of banter and little bits of angst. I loved Andrew, this grumpy hero and how our over the top, socialite of a hero, Georgie, pulled him out of his cynical and broody ways.
Hawthorne and Heathcliff by RK Ryals
This book was so good, in such a unique way. Yes it’s a YA, but for whatever reason it didn’t really read like a YA to me. I didn’t see high school kids on the pages going through life. I just saw a girl and a boy playing checkers and eating cherry pie.
When I first finished this, I didn’t want to tell anyone. Have you ever had one of those reads? I wanted to hug my copy to my chest and never let go. I couldn’t put my opinion out there because I was too afraid my friends would disagree and not realize its magic. But here we are. The magic needs to be shared. So go forth, my love. Do good.
Four Years Later by Emma Doherty
This is actually the second book that deals with Becca and Ryan’s relationship. The first being Four Doors Down, and that takes place when these two are in high school. This story is their new adult version of how the next few years in their lives play out. While I liked the first book, I was absolutely speechless with this one. It was so incredibly heartbreaking and messy. I love angst, so this one was amazing for me but I feel like some people might get angry with Ryan and/or Becca. Persevere my friends! I’ve re-read parts of this more times than I can count. A top angst read of the year.
The Hard Count by Ginger Scott
Have you ever read a book and thought, “wow, this is profound enough to change someone’s life,”? No? Then read this. It deals with high school and athletes and poverty and racism and leadership. It touches on so many issues that as a society we seem to let slide. It’s about kids pushing past boundaries set for them, taking charge of their life and setting up a future. “Whose house is this?” Our house.
BRB, I need to go reread this now.
The Weight of Life by Whitney Barbetti
We first meet Mila in Back to Yesterday (don’t worry, this is a complete standalone) and to be quite frank, I wasn’t her fan. At all. I had very little respect for her. But I loved the book so much, I was really interested to see how Whitney was going to turn her around for me and WOW! Obviously she did a great job considering Mila and Ames are on my favourites of the year list. <3 I loved the different perspectives we got pertaining to the subject matter in this story and how Mila brought the old Ames back. She was like the sun, and he couldn’t hid in the shadows any more. A romantic story that I would definitely recommend.
Drumline by Stacy Kestwick
When thinking what books would make my favourites list this year, Drumline easily soared to the top of the list. I loved absolutely EVERYTHING about this book. Every word. Every scene. Every emotion. I don’t think this author could’ve possibly done better. Reese and Laird were amazing, their relationship was explosive, and we had a Batman/Robin type of relationship going on. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, an alpha hero who has a heart. *swoon*
The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young
Wow, apparently I read some pretty amazing YA a books this year! Now let me tell you something. For two months this fall, I didn’t enjoy reading. Nothing could keep my attention, it felt bland, I was uninspired, etc. But then I picked up this book and I couldn’t stop reading it. From cover to cover, I was entranced. Secrets, deception and angst are woven into an addictive plot and will keep the reader guessing from cover to cover.
Down London Road by Samantha Young
Back in the fall I managed to sit down and binge read (which I NEVER do) the On Dublin Street series and from that, Down London Road really stood out for me (followed closely by Fall From India Place). This is a fantastic read to show that people are great at creating a facade. Just look at your Facebook or Instagram feeds. Everyone will only showcase the best parts of their life. And that’s exactly what Jo was good at. Perfect on the outside, falling apart inside. Enter one steamy, swashbuckling hero named Cam into the scene and things take a turn for the exciting. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they hate each other. Let’s the games begin…
Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter
I picked this book up on a whim and I’m SO glad that I did. It’s hilarious and witty, I loved the character’s banter and their sense of humour. Who doesn’t want a goat? I totally do. Plus, if you like books that have lots of texting? This one is for you! Light hearted and fun, plus the ending wasn’t your average “guy messes up and has to grovel” type. 😉 Excellent read to escape the craziness of your everyday life!
Favourite Author: Mariana Zapata
In the interest of cutting this list down a little, I decided to add a favourite author section. And in the terms of 2017, Mariana Zapata was the clear winner for me. I read three books of hers this year (Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Kulti, and Wait For It), all of which earned 5 stars for me and each had a place on this list. Each are slow burn romances with plenty of character and romance development. Not an author that you want to miss!
Favourite Series: Elite Eagle by Rachel Van Dyken
Even though I’m not done (I’m sorry, it’s long! lol), the Elite Eagle series by Rachel Van Dyken absolutely needs to be mentioned here. So far I’ve read 6 books and 3 novellas and still have a few books to go before I finish. What’s so special about this series? Somehow, Rachel seems to make each book better than the last. They’re fast paced, intense, and freaking ADDICTIVE! When I first picked up Elite, I didn’t even look up from the pages until I finished. And it was 3am. That started my addiction and like the boys say: blood in, no out.
See you next year!