Confession: I have been dreading writing this post for weeks now. I’m sure I’m not the only one with the feeling of hopelessless when it comes to compiling a list of 2017 favorites… I mean, there are so many books worth mentioning I really didn’t know where to start. Out of the 189 books I managed to read last year, no less than 17! books received a full 5 star rating, 38 books a superhigh 4,5 star rating and a further 43 books a 4 star rating, which still means I pretty much loved reading it anyway. How to decide which of these 98 books should appear on this list? Where should I even start?
So I decided to cheat. Yes, you heard me, cheat. Below I will feature a list of the seventeen books I decided to give a full 5 star rating last year. Not that the other books that received a 4,5 or 4 star rating don’t deserve to be on here, but the list would be neverending otherwise right? 😉
First a little note to say that two authors seem to stand out and managed to have not one but TWO of their books on this list! Who? Victoria Schwab and Rachel Caine, without doubt two of my favorite authors I can highly recommend to everyone. Although all authors mentioned on this list are also on my list of favorites. ❤
And now on to the complete list in the order I read them during 2017. Because there is no way you can make me pick my absolute favorites among these. 😉 Basically, this list will be a copy of the series of IN THE SPOTLIGHT posts I wrote back in September (#1, #2, #3) with two extra titles I added to my list of 5 star books afterwards. Check out these posts or my review for my full rambles about each of these books!
### NUMBER 1: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: If you like suspenseful, well written and plot twist-filled psychological thrillers, you are in for a treat. The Perfect Stranger ticks all those boxes and more… And I’m not even talking about the gorgeous cover. I’ve read The Perfect Strangertwice now and the story still managed to keep me under its spell. Every main character seems to be having something to hide and you don’t get the full picture of what is going on until the very end. Suspense at its best!
### NUMBER 2: Mosquitoland by David Arnold
My rambles: Now I’ve finally read Mosquitoland, I cannot stop asking myself why I haven’t read it sooner. Because boy, this story has literally blown me away. Mim has won over my heart with her quirkiness and strange habits and all, and I enjoyed reading ever single moment of her road trip and adventures. The writing is more than excellent and has an unique feel about it; the characters are what make this story stand out from the rest as well. More than recommended!
### NUMBER 3: The One Memory Of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: If you look critically, The One Memory Of Flora Banks actually has a plot that isn’t all that credible and even has a hint of a love triangle. I’m normally not a big fan of either, but in this case it was all completely forgotten thanks to the lovely writing and more importantly: Flora Banks. Flora is basically what makes this story and is without doubt one of my new favorite characters! I love how she is able to overcome her anterograde amnesia and do all the things she does. The One Memory Of Flora Banks is definitely a story that is worth the hype and more than recommended!
### NUMBER 4: Making Faces by Amy Harmon (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: All the raving reviews were absolutely right: this story is simply brilliant. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy if you think about it critically. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it is really easy to put those thoughts aside. I loved the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention, especially as they are often misunderstood by society. As you might have guessed already, I simply adored Making Faces and I can definitely recommend it to any contemporary fan.
### NUMBER 5: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: I don’t think I can find something negative about this story, other than that it basically broke my heart and left me nursing a book hangover. The writing style is brilliant and will have you flying through the pages as you ride the emotional rollercoaster. The characters will win over your heart and the plot is both wonderful, sad and has an important lesson. If you like the genre, Goodbye Days is a must-read!
### NUMBER 6: A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab
My rambles: Let’s just say that while I loved the second book a tiny bit less than the first book, A Conjuring Of Light came back strong again. It’s a bit long, especially if you compare it to the first book, but I personally didn’t mind because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters yet anyway. The ending was also satisfying and I really hope this won’t be the last we’ve heard of this fictional world.
### NUMBER 7: Castle Of Water by Dane Huckelbridge (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: While it was the beautiful cover that made me first want to pick up this novel, it was the story and writing style itself that managed to blow me away in the end. Castle Of Water is basically a modern castaway story with a twist, and I loved every single moment of it. The prose is just wonderful and combined with the well developed and loveable characters you are definitely in for a treat. An emotional rollercoaster, in the best possible way!
### NUMBER 8: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
My rambles: Small Great Things is without doubt my new favorite Jodi Picoult novel, and I don’t think it will be easy to outdo this story. From the prose to the diverse, intriguing and well developed characters; from the well executed and important topic of racism to the very powerful message behind this story… Everything just points towards the fact that this story is a very important, powerful and brilliant modern take on such a complicated topic.
### NUMBER 9: Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: If you like well developed fantasy reads with gorgeous prose, setting and interesting characters, you are in for a treat with Flame In The Mist. The only thing that would have made me enjoy this story even more would have been the exclusion of the romance scenes; otherwise this first book of a new series is simply perfect. In fact, I can’t wait to read the sequel and the first book hasn’t even been published yet… More than recommended!
### NUMBER 10: Room by Emma Donoghue
My rambles: I still can’t believe it took me years to finally pick up my copy of Room, but it is without doubt one of my new all time favorites. The story itself is already both dark, shocking and powerful, but what makes Room even more special is that it’s told from the POV of a 5-year-old boy. Jack is a truly fascinating and unique character and having the opportunity to follow both him and Ma is a true blessing. This story will definitely stay with me for a long time! As you might have guessed, I can highly recommend this story.
### NUMBER 11: Love & You by Gretchen Gomez
My rambles: I loved both the writing style, form and the way the different emotions are voiced. It’s not often that I’m left speechless, but I found myself lost for words after finishing this bundle. Thank you for describing my own feelings and memories so much better than I could ever done! I devoured Love, & You in record time, and it took me a long time to recover from the emotion overload. Because to say it crudely: damn, that girl can write powerful poetry! Wonderful, emotional, raw, beautiful, powerful, strong, exceptional… Trust me, I can keep the adjectives going for a long time if you let me.
### NUMBER 12: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: Even though this normally isn’t my genre, I ended up absolutely loving What To Say Next. This story has once again proven to me Julie Buxbaum is an exception to my rule and I will be looking forward to her future books. Her writing style is very enjoyable to read and she is a master in creating the most wonderful characters. David is basically what makes this story into something special and he will stay with me for a long time, although it was really easy to connect to the characters and story in general. In short I can highly recommend What To Say Next!
### NUMBER 13: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: Stillhouse Lake is hands down one of the best thrillers I’ve read so far this year. This story is dark, disturbing and intense right from the very first page and will have you hooked until you reach the end. I love my serial killer thrillers and this focus on the relatives and the consequences of being linked to a serial killer is such an original perspective! I loved every single moment of this disturbing ride and I can highly recommend it to fans of the genre. SO good!
### NUMBER 14: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rambles: I should have known already I would love this book after seeing so many glowing reviews and after positive experiences with some of his other stories, but WOW. This is hands down my new favorite Patrick Ness story and it will be hard for any other story to live up to this one. Between the brilliant prose, characters, powerful and emotional topics and perfect mix of reality and fantasy there just isn’t something I didn’t love about A Monster Calls. Read this book if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it.
### NUMBER 15: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
My rambles: WOW. Victoria Schwab wasn’t kidding when she said this wasn’t a happy story; I admire her all the more for it even though this book kind of broke my heart… Bulldozer or not, I loved this story and how things developed after the first book ended. I’m not saying this Monsters Of Verity duology can compete with the Shades Of Magic trilogy, but I like to see them as two completely separate series that both deserve all the love. Because both have deserved a well earned place among my other all time favorite books and characters.
### NUMBER 16: Killman Creek by Rachel Caine (NETGALLEY ARC)
My rambles: The sequel Killman Creek has only reconfirmed my love for this series. A mindblowingly good serial killer thriller packed with plot twists, action and a healthy dose of suspense and creepiness… Both the writing and character development are excellent and I personally liked the increased intensity and action in Killman Creek; I feel it helped demostrate the escalation of the whole situation and all its consequences. And that ending!
### NUMBER 17: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rambles: I know everybody and the neighbor’s cat have been recommending this book to me since even before The Hate U Give was published, but to be honest this only made me hesitant to pick it up myself. I have a love/hate relationship with hyped books, but after THUG came out as a Goodreads Choice Awards winner I thought it was about time for me to check it out. And WOW. I’m so glad I finally did so! This book is definitely an exception to the rule and absolutely worth the hype around it. Brilliant writing, plot, character development and such an important topic! I feel words cannot describe just how important this story is and everybody should read it.
Pfeeewww. You made it to the end of this endless list! This were the seventeen books I decided to give a full 5 star rating last year… Did you read any of these? Did you enjoy reading them? I can highly HIGHLY recommend any of these titles.
Look out for a Bookouture Love Special coming out soon with all my favorite 2017 Bookouture thrillers… There were so many of their thrillers I loved reading last year I thought they deserved their own post.