Happy New Year to everyone reading my blog! Thanks for sticking by me as I discover new genres, authors, and titles that continuously blow me away. I’m thankful to be able to do this in my free time and even get books sent to me from publishers in exchange for honest reviews. I love sharing my thoughts (both positive and negative) with whoever is willing to listen and I hope my reviews encourage people to pick up books that I enjoyed. I decided to make a ‘Best Books of 2017’ list, so here it is! I read 69 books in 2017 and I narrowed it down to my top 9 favorite titles. I couldn’t decide on a particular order, so they’re just in the order I read them.
- The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace (read 1/4/17)
My 2017 started with a huge poetry kick. After finishing Milk and Honey in December of 2016, I began searching for poetry written by empowered women. The Princess Saves Herself in This One continues to be my favorite poetry collection I’ve ever gotten my hands on. Many of the poems are about mental illness and/or feminism and they were exactly what I was looking for. I truly think this is a must-read for young women. If I’m remembering correctly, Amanda Lovelace has another collection coming out early this year, so I’ll be sure to snatch that up as soon as it’s released!
- Crank by Ellen Hopkins (read 3/8/17)
I find it so amusing that I picked up my first Ellen Hopkins book in 2017. Almost all of my friends read her books back in middle and high school, but I thought I was ‘too cool’ to read titles that everyone else was reading. I’m actually glad that I waited so long to read Crank, because I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of it back in 2008. I’m a big advocate for education about addiction and the effects that the disease has on an individual. Crank is one of the many books I’ve read about addiction and it is my very favorite. Ellen Hopkins wrote about addiction in an educational way that didn’t trivialize the experiences of addicts. I’m very glad this book exists for young adults to access.
- Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (read 4/7/17)
This book made it to my top 5 books of ALL TIME. I loved this title so much that I sent my review of it to the author, explaining how much it meant to me. The protagonist in this book is a queer, chronically ill, female of color–just like me. We both suffer from chronic pain and I truly identified with her struggles. I don’t think I’ve ever related to a character as much as I related to Alana. In addition, I loved that the book worked to combat the stigma around taking medication. I’ve recommended this book to other people who deal with fibromyalgia, because my guess is that they’ll love it too.
- A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (read 4/29/17)
Another one of my all-time favorite books is The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I was so excited for this second book of hers that I bought the UK edition because it was released first. Becky Chambers definitely did not let me down with this novel. It didn’t make it to my “best books in the whole world” list, like her first, but A Closed and Common Orbit was still an amazing installment to the Wayfarer adventures. 2017 was the year of great sci-fi for me! I know there is a third standalone in the works and I’m just as hyped about it as I was for this one.
- Rosie Colored Glasses by Briann Wolfson (read 7/3/17)
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I went to BookCon last June. You also might know that I left with 27 books. One of them was an ARC of Rosie Colored Glasses, given to me by Harlequin. The title isn’t coming out until February of this year, but you need to have it on your radars right now. This is an adult book that talks about mental health, addiction, and divorce. It is an extremely important title to me because it serves as education about these topics. This book quickly made it to my “books that changed my life” shelf on Goodreads, which says a lot. I can’t wait for Rosie Colored Glasses to be released so everyone can get enjoy it as much as I did.
- Idlewild by Jude Sierra (read 7/11/17)
This is another title that I took home from BookCon! During my time at the convention, I quickly found my way to Interlude Press, a publisher that focuses on LGBTQ titles. I was so excited to find people that prioritize queer authors and characters. Idlewild blew me away; it’s the perfect gay, male love story. I hadn’t read a M/M book in a while, as I had been focusing more on lesbian romances, but Idlewild reminded me of how much I love reading about two men falling in love. I can’t wait to get to more Interlude Press books in the future!
- Earth Girl by Janet Edwards (11/9/17)
Can you tell that I was getting through my BookCon haul? I got Earth Girl from the Prometheus Books booth and ended up absolutely loving the story. This title touches on themes of racism, a topic not often talked about in sci-fi literature. It is a great book with planet/space traveling and different species of humans– classic sci-fi ideas. I’m very glad that the person from Prometheus Books handed me this book because it really changed the way I look at sci-fi. Science fiction has the absolute capability of tackling topics like racism and discrimination, just like Earth Girl did. I’m really looking forward to reading the other books in this series!
- I Know Your Kind: Poems by William Brewer (read 11/19/17)
I had extremely high hopes for this collection of poetry, as it’s about the opioid epidemic in the US. Prior to reading this, I had read one poetry collection about the same topic and it completely fell short. I was reluctant to start another in fear that it would also disappoint me. I quickly got over this fear when I saw that Milkweed Editions was releasing I Know Your Kind. This is such a touching collection and I urge all my followers looking to learn more about addiction to check this book out. I’m so grateful that this collection made its way to me and it will remain on my ‘favorites’ list for a very long time.
- Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson (read 11/12/17)
This book is truly something special. Where Women Are Kings was sent to me in a package from Other Press and it was the first one I picked up from that bunch. I feel so lucky that I happened to choose to start with it because it blew me away. This is the only book I’ve ever read that made me cry twice. I seldom cry while reading, so crying twice is probably a once in ten years type of thing. For anyone searching for a book that gives you feelings, like real, genuine feelings, this is the title for you. I have already recommended this book to many personal friends and I will continue doing so in 2018. I’m very thankful for this title.