It’s that time of year again. CHRISTMAS!!! The trees are up, the stockings are hung, and presents are wished for. So, I’ve compiled a selection of books I’ve read throughout the year. Books I loved, books that moved me, books that captured my heart and mind completely.
BUT, there are so many of them, that I’ve decided to write two separate posts so I can fit them in. In this one, you’ll find standalone books, and in my follow up post, I’ll be chatting about books in a series!
So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some of the books that I read and loved in 2017, plus two recommendations for 2018…
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
The format for The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley is partly what made it for me. Told using alternating chapters, the reader is taken on two journeys. Samuel Hawley’s past and how he got to where he is, and the present told through Loo’s eyes. Perfectly crafted, this dual narrative barrels towards an unexpected conclusion. No spoilers in saying that, I just didn’t see where it was going. It has been over 6 months since I read this, and I still think about it.
One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
One Of Us Is Lying hooked me completely from the outset. I loved the premise. Five teenagers in detention and only 4 of them make it out alive. I mean, terrible yes, but how could you not want to find out why?! And the comparisons to the seminal John Hughes classic are not unwarranted. I devoured this one, and recommend it quite regularly!
Blackwater by GJ Moffatt
American crime fiction at its best and most gripping, Blackwater will grab you by the throat from the first chapter and won’t let go. Superb characterisation, a gripping plot and excellent writing made this a no-brainer for this list!
If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio
If We Were Villains was reminiscent of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life for me. In that, I mean that we get to see the characters, really see them, faults and all. Their highs and lows, petty dramas, competition between themselves, selfishnes and methods of self-preservation are there in all their glory. The arcs of these young, strong-willed characters takes the reader on an emotional journey, and this is where the story format really excels. It feels like you are reading a contemporary Shakespearean drama, yet it still stays true enough to the originals. it is bloody, honest and gruelling at times, but utterly rewarding to read.
Afterlife by Marcus Sakey
Afterlife is an absolutely outstanding book! Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. It is compelling and beautiful, yet so dark at the same time. It is a mix of crime/dystopian fiction and a love story unlike any other, spanning years and worlds, with a very different antagonist. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It caught me unawares and I will be thinking about it for a long time!
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
Tin Man is an eloquent and highly descriptive book. It is full of colourful and flowing prose, which made it a joy to read. In terms of books outside of my comfort zone, this is definitely one of those, but I am so glad I read it. Emotional but completely beautiful.
Blackwing by Ed McDonald
Loved Blackwing! I’m new to this whole fantasy book reading thing, but I’m starting to figure out what I enjoy and Blackwing is just amazing! It has epic world-building, a damn fine main character, a band of supporting characters that is both motley and brilliant, and an absolutely insane plot!
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
*I never actually wrote a full review for this one. I genuinely couldn’t find the words to do this book justice. I still can’t. I need to re-read it but all I know is in all its brutality, I still loved it.
I am months out from reading MAD and I am still haunted by Turtle Alveston. I can’t find the words for how much I enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It is raw, visceral, disturbing and challenging, but boy is it rewarding. I don’t read books like this usually, but I am so glad I got to read MAD. It will stay with me for a long time, and I will recommend it to everyone!
Age of Assassins by RJ Barker
Age of Assassins thrives on its characters, with each and every one of them really well developed. Some you will love, some you will loathe, but that’s what you want isn’t it? To feel something for those whose journey you’re going along with. Add to this a great plot and plenty of action and you’ll find yourself hooked immediately!
In The Still by Jacqueline Chadwick
In The Still is a graphic and evil crime thriller. Usually, with all of the crime books I read, I tend to read with detachment as I’ve become desensitised to violence between the pages, However, In The Still is different. It got under my skin. It made my heart pound. I was afraid to turn the pages to see what fresh hell Jackie Chadwick would unleash on her unsuspecting readers. The antagonist is so sick and twisted, yet unbelievably clever. That is what kept me hooked from beginning to end.
First, I’m going to go with Luca Veste’s forthcoming book The Bone Keeper. Out in March next year, I had the pleasure of reading this in 2017 and it is absolutely brilliant. A chilling crime read. Full of tension and with a sinister undercurrent, it will definitely get under your skin.
In keeping with last year, I’m recommending Matt Wesolowski’s next book, Hydra. It’s another Six Stories book, and if you though Six Stories was creepy, just wait until you read Hydra. It is utterly chilling and completely compelling. You won’t be able to put it down!
Right! That is Part One of my Top Reads of 2017 done! I’ll be sharing my Top Series Read in 2017 later on today, so keep your eyes peeled for that! 🙂
Oh, and if you want to check out any of the previous years books, just click the links below to have a look:
Top 10 Books & Series Pt 1 2015
Top 10 Books & Series Pt 2 2015
Top 13 Books of 2016
Happy reading 🙂