Admittedly, 2017 was not my best year for reading. With our massive move from Pittsburgh to Seattle, university, working, and my side writing project, I’m a little sad about the literary adventures I wasn’t able to have.
On the flip-side, though, I was able to get my hands on a couple of books that blew me away and for that, 2017 wasn’t a total loss. In fact, these books made this year bearable and a little bit brighter. In hindsight, here are seven releases from 2017 that I couldn’t put down even if I tried:
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
It was love at first sight. When I first laid my eyes on this cover, I was struck with an undeniable urge to find a way to make this book mine.
At some point, I took a risk. I emailed Emily, the author, and explained how much I’d like to review her book for my blog. To my surprise, both she and her publicist emailed back, more than happy to send me a copy.
The Disappearances is a young adult magical realism novel. It’s set in a town in which the things people value most disappear and they are forced to find ways to live without it. The protagonist, Alia Quinn, and her brother, Milo, are sent to live with old family friends in Sterling, a town where ordinary things suddenly disappear. With her mother dead and her father sent to fight in World War II, Aila has enough on her plate and must learn to navigate in this uncertain place where she finds the most valuable and precious thing to her – and pray it doesn’t disappear.
What I liked most is how creative, refreshing, and sentimental The Disappearances is. I felt drawn into Sterling, invested in Aila, and curious to witness how events would unfold. Wrapped in rich history, mystery, and human flaws, it was impossible to put down, making it one of the best books I read in 2017.
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare
Ever since reading the first book in The Dark Artifices series, Lady Midnight, I stalked the internet for news of its sequel. When word reached me of a 2017 release, I promptly pre-ordered the ebook, knowing I would be too impatient to wait for the mailman.
There’s no way in hell I can explain Lord of Shadows without dropping a few spoilers, but just know this: I sacrificed sleep to finish this book. I abandoned half-eaten meals, neglected to move from my bed for two days, and turned off my phone.
All for Lord of Shadows, which destroyed me again and again. Yet, I kept crawling back. It was the most abusive book of 2017, but damned if it wasn’t good.
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
Because I recently finished Good Me Bad Me and wrote a review, I’m not going to spend too much time trying to convince you how mind-glowingly twisted this book is.
I think my review says it all.
The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Trigger Warning: This book contains sexual violence, rape and sexual assault.
Other than being a book filled to the brim with kickass female characters who all had distinctive voices and personalities, The Nowhere Girls shines a bright spotlight on the social issues of sexual assault and declares, “enough is enough.”
You meet Grace, Rosina, and Erin – three teens with little in common at first glance, but go one to forge an alliance to combat racism, sexism, and the harshest inequalities affecting their lives.
Not to mention, the cover is an eye-grabber and the title alone is enough to bring back thoughts of The Outsiders.
These girls are rebels with a cause!
Final Girls by Riley Sager
When Stephen King compliments a book, you know something is up, but oddly, the reason I wanted to read Final Girls had less to do with King and more to do with it’s dangerous red cover. LOOK AT IT. You can’t say it doesn’t scream for you to read it or bring back fond memories of nights watching scary movies, where you shout at the screen “don’t go in there!”
No? Just me? Darn. Final Girls kept me on the edge of my seat and from the first scene of the protagonist running through the woods in a bloody dress, I was hooked. Is it full if tropes? Yes, but I actually liked it. Sometimes tropes help, not hurt, a story.
Prior to the final twist, I had no idea who to trust, whether the protagonist herself was really innocent, and it compelled me to keep reading just to find out.
Darke by Rick Gekoski
This year, I read more indie books than mainstream, which is incredible. Darke was one of those books and probably the best out of all the indies I crawled into.
Centered around the life of a professor who becomes a shut-in after the loss of the loves of his life – both those alive and dead. The protagonist, Dr James Darke, is misunderstood, rough around the edges, and impossibly human – making his transformation throughout the book that much more beautiful to witness.
Not to mention, Gekoski’s writing style is balanced, rhythmic, and vivid. Honestly, I didn’t expect to like Darke. It just kind of happened.
Artemis by Andy Weir
How can font be this beautiful? I know not. A better question would be: how can a novel be this good?
If you liked The Martian, you’ll probably find yourself drawn to Artemis and its protagonist, Jazz, who must find a way to survive of the moon’s first city. When Jazz sees a crime as the perfect opportunity to get ahead, she’s thrown into a power-trip conspiracy on Artemis and must take an even bigger risk to survive. Excellent writing, original characters, and thick with conflict, Artemis earned itself a spot on my 2017 hit list.
And. It. Was. Worth. It.
What were the best releases you read in 2017? Let us know in the comments 😀