Friday, 5 January 2018

My 2017 in Books

Another year, another end of year book survey! This is my second year completing The Perpetual Page-Turner's survey. I didn't answer all the questions like I did last time for reasons I will explain, but it was just as fun as last year and a great way to reflect on 2017. I'm also doing my yearly wrap up for TV, Movies, and Music, so keep a look out for those coming out this January.

Goodreads Challenge: 50 
Number of Books I Read: 62
Number of DNFs: 2
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre I Read the Most: Fantasy
Average Rating: 3 stars

I wanted to keep my challenge low this year so I wouldn't feel pressured, and it was a good thing because I was a bit of a mess in 2017. I read fewer books than I did in 2016, but I think 60 is a good number to end on. The most significant change to me is that my average rating dropped from 3.7 to 3 stars. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when you look at my 2016 and 2017 ratings side by side you can see the difference (32 5-star books to 13 is a big drop). The way I rate books hasn't changed and I know it's not related to my mood or being more picky. It just looks like 2017 was an unlucky reading year, or that 2016 was a super lucky one.

I'm not going to answer all the questions for the Best in Books section like I did in 2016. In 2016 I was able to pick a different book for every question with no repeats. But because I didn't rate as many books as highly in 2017, doing the same just isn't possible. Plus when I started answering them, all my answers were the same four books! So instead of answering the questions, here are my top four absolute favourites of 2017.

Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas - I adored the first book in this series, Because You'll Never Meet Me, and I was so happy to see the friendship between Ollie and Moritz grow. It's about two boys who cannot meet because one lives with a pacemaker and the other is allergic to electricity, but they form a beautiful bond over writing letters to one another. Unbelievably captivating and heart-stealing.

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake - I bought this book for its cover, but the contents were just as stunning. The story is about a girl who hears a voice in her head and how she learns to deal with it, whilst also coping with her own suppressed traumas. Cassie's responses felt genuine and human, and the book was dark but hopeful, and carried a very real message wrapped in truly beautiful words.

Release by Patrick Ness - Release filled me with such love and hope. It's a novel all about hope, and spans a single day in one boy's life and the unfolding of several life changing events, with a mysteriously magical subplot about a murdered girl haunting the foreground. Ness really captures the beauty of all types of relationships in a way that felt utterly genuine.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera - A total heartbreaker of a book. It's about two boys who meet on the day of their death, and try to live their last day to the fullest together. You'd think this would be a story about crazy risk and adventure, but it's actually so pure and all about small braveries and simple kindnesses. The way Silvera shows the connectedness of life is gorgeous.

Notable Mentions: Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine and A Conjuring of Magic by V.E. Schwab

2016 Favourites: The Great Library series, Ultraviolet duology, I Am Malala, Seven Ways We Lie, Chaos Walking, Carry On, Shades of Magic series, The Raven Cycle, Six of Crows duology, Vicious, Because You'll Never Meet Me, And I Darken, A Monster Calls, Aristotle and Dante, Frankenstein)

What is really interesting to me about my 4 favourites of 2017 is that they are outside of my favourite genres - fantasy and science fiction. They are all, for the most part, contemporaries. But Nowhere Near You has a sci-fi backstory, Whisper to Me has elements of mystery, Release has a fantastical storyline, and They Both Die at the End envisions a world where death can be predicted. Yet all of them (with the exception of Whisper to Me) are contemporary fiction with light sci-fi/fantasy elements. Describing them as 'light' makes me feel like I'm doing these books an injustice, but what I mean by that is that they're not focused on the fantastical and are utterly grounded in a reality identifiable as our own and characters that are so genuine. Normally I obsess over books with vivid worlds that use unique and original concepts - you can guess that from my 2016 favourites. But my 2017 favourites are from a really different subgenre of SFF that crosses genre boundaries. They are unique and original in a whole different way, and I'm really hoping to find more of these kind of books in the following year.

1. New favourite book - Val @ The Innocent Smiley - I love her posts and she always leaves such thoughtful comments and seems like an all-around lovely person.

2. Favourite review - It's between my reviews for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Release, and They Both Die at the End. But it could be my new review layout and the fact that I really like the photos I took for them!

3. Best discussion post - I was really proud of my post What is it that Attracts Adults to YA? I also quite liked my one on Does Good Sci-Fi Need to be Realistic?

4. Best event - YALC! This was the second year in a row that I went. I hope that when I go again I can be more confident in talking to authors and meeting new people.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life - I don't really have a 'wow' moment, but feeling the motivation to blog and read again has been really great.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life - Definitely my low mood in the second half of the year. It took the joy out of everything I did, blogging and reading included.

7. Most Popular Post - Books For Fairytale Lovers (That Aren't Retellings!) - I'd kind of forgotten about this post, but I really like it! The idea isn't something I've seen done before and I liked that for once I was able to put an interesting twist on a Top 10 Tuesday post.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love - My mini reviews. Or just reviews in general. I really like writing book reviews but I notice on other people's blogs too that they don't always get enough love.

9. Best bookish discover - The Raven Cycle candles my friend got me for my birthday! I love them so much but I have yet to light them because I'm too in love with the scents to use them all up. The app Libby was also an amazing discovery. I managed to speed through so many audiobooks!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals? - Yes! I set my Goodreads Challenge to 50 and I beat it (but to be fair I like to keep my challenge at a number I know I can achieve).

1. Priority Read - The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo - I didn't get the time to read this in 2017. Not only do I really want to, but I feel I need to because it was a wish on Netgalley. I never get granted wishes! I've heard incredible things and I look forward to it.

2. Anticipated Release - Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody - I just got granted an eARC on Edelweiss and it sounds so good. I liked the author's debut, but I get the feeling this will be even better.

3. Anticipated Debut - Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed - This book deals with a serious issue that is quite important to me. I really hope it lives up to my expectations and all the early praise I have heard.

4. Anticipated Sequel/Finale - Vengeful by V.E. Schwab - I CANNOT WAIT to read more about Victor Vale. I'm terrified about setting my expectations too high (they've never been higher), but who are we kidding, it's Schwab. It will be glorious.

5. Something I aim to Accomplish - Just to keep doing what I enjoy and to not let myself get in the way of that.

How was your 2017 reading year? Have you read any books of my favourite books? What are your reading plans for 2018?


  1. I'm sorry about your low mood getting in the way, I know how much that sucks. I hope it gets and stays better!

    1. Thanks, Brooke <3 It has already gotten so much better these past couple of weeks and I'm working on making sure it stays that way too :)

  2. My 2017 reading year was just okay this year. I was able to finish a ton of books but when it came time to do the end of the year statistics, I realized I barely marked any 5 stars. I did receive They Both Die at the End over the holidays so I'm excited that you loved it so much. I can't wait to read it! Happy new year!

    1. Aw no that's a shame that you didn't have too many 5 star books, but it's great that you got to read so much! I hope you adore They Both Die at the End as much as I did - I've been gently pressuring everyone I know to read it so I can have more people to cry over it with! Happy new year to you too, Jeanna <3

  3. Awww thank you so much for mentioning me as your favorite newly discovered blog! It means so much to me <3

    I kind of wish I did an abridged version of the survey too, because I did notice how I kept repeating many of the same books over and over again haha. I really liked Because You'll Never Meet Me, but just had to put Nowhere Near You on hold because I couldn't get into it at the time. But I do agree that the sci-fi-ish premise was definitely interesting and was what drew me in!

    I hope you get to Ace of Shades. I'm very curious about whether it'll meet expectations, as I've been seeing a lot of hype for it!

    1. Not at all! <3

      I admit that I shortened the survey partially because I couldn't think of answers for half of the questions. But the repitition on your post was great! It reassured me that I absolutely need to read Uprooted, Starfish, and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, so thank you for the recommendations! The sci-fi side of Because You'll Never Meet Me was also what drew me in, and I didn't think I'd like the more contemporary side of it but I really did. I'm glad you liked the first book too, and I'm sorry you couldn't get into book 2 at the time. It's so annoying when that happens, but I hope if you pick it up again you'll enjoy it :D

      Thanks, me too! I'm also interested if it will live up to the hype, but I'm hoping it will!

  4. I've been kinda wanting to try PAtrick Ness and the Great Library series as well- those are two things on my radar for this year. And I hear you about your favorites being outside your preferred genres- I had a similar issues last year, I read mostly fantasy but last year for some reason I read a ton of psychological thrillers and mysteries? Oh well- hoping to get back to some good fantasy reads this year. :)

    1. Patrick Ness is a wonderful writer. All of his books are really unique and I think there is a Ness book to suit everyone, so I do hope you like his stuff if you get to pick any of it up! The Great Library is also brilliant and deserves more love. It feels kind of Harry Potter-ish at the beginning but ends up taking a completely different and exciting path. I think it's great to read outside of your ususal genres! I mostly read Fantasy but with a lot of contemporary and quite a few that blended the genres (which were the ones that made my favourites list). But I'm hoping to find a few new epic fantasy series' to check out this year, and I hope you come across some great ones too :)