Can you believe tomorrow is christmas already?
I can’t believe I’m on track for blogmas! I honestly underestimate how time-consuming these blogmas posts are😅 Today’s topic will discuss my top 11 books I read this year. I almost change the prompt because 2017 has been a shitty reading year and I’m not sure I could find 11. But out of 83 books I read this year, turns out I managed to select 15 of my best reads, so I decided to follow the prompt and share with you my best 11 reads. Lets’s jump right in!
The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Obviously this book will appear on this list. Over the course of 12 days of blogmas, this book has appeared a lot, because this is THE BEST book I read this year. If you are into magic, Russian folk tales, swoon worthy demon, and dark wintery vibes, this book will be perfect for you.
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
I’m a sucker for a good historical fiction books and I started to get the appeal with Scottish Highland. And not, it’s not Outlander that started my love, but the Winter Sea. I love how atmospheric the setting is, whether it’s in the past or present, you can feel the cold and rainy mood of Scotland, as well as the ~lonely~ and the past ghosting around the setting. The story itself is extremely enjoyable, full of political intrigue and 2 ship-worthy romance. I wish the ending is different but overall it’s one of my best reads this year!
Summer Skin by Kristy Eagar
I don’t like reading New Adult, and basically any books that have sex in it. It’s nothing, it’s just my preference to not liking them. However, I love the way the topic is handled in this book. The main characters have a strong sense of duty and friendship towards each other and I love how this book is very sex-positive! It discuss about sex and how women can enjoy sex too without being labelled and viewed. Can’t wait to read the author’s other books!
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
2017 has been a great year for me and contemporary. Alex, Approximately is one of my favorite contemporary I read this year. It was cute, it was fluffy, Bailey has an amazing relationship with her dad (something rare to read in YA), it doesn’t shy away from hard topics, and the setting is very summery! If you’re in the mood for something cute, this book is for you!
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
Same goes for Noteworthy. Other than amazing story and characters, I love love love how diverse and inclusive and relateable this book is. Our main character, Jordan, is Asian american and I love how relateable she is in terms of family expectations and finding herself. At the same time, she is at the position where she started to be aware of the social inequality around her, and it’s very interesting to see her train of thoughts, something we rarely see in YA.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
This book definitely took me by surprise. I never thought I could finish it, let alone loving it and crying while reading it. For those of you who doesn’t know, HeLa cells plays an important part in science since they can continuously dividing and commonly used to test drugs and the effect of other diseases before they go to the market. However, the person behind HeLa cells, Henrietta Lacks, barely ever mentioned and her family continues to live in poverty while the companies using the cells are making millions. This book is about Henrietta, her family, and the legacy her cells made. It’s not an easy read, the contrast and the injustice are hard to read, but it’s eye opening and I’m really glad I read it.
Another non-fiction books I read this year that I loved. After 9/11, LIFE magazine interviews people who got involved directly in the events: policemen, fire fighters, and survivors. 10 years later, we revisited them and see how they are now. It’s a powerful read because it reminds us how in the worst of times, everyone forget who they are and just be together with one goal: helping others. Seeing stories from eyewitness- of the dramatic rescue and people they’ve lost- and the harrowing pictures present, gave me chills and even brought tears to my eyes.
Phantom by Susan Kay
Even though it took me months to read this book, I really enjoyed it! This book filled the gaps left by the original Phantom of the Opera, what happened with Erik before the events in the famous classic? This book is told from different pov of people who interact with Erik before he became the Phantom; it’s really interesting to see how people seemed scared but at the same time fascinated by him. But it’s also really sad how many rejection and inhumane behaviour he got due to his appearance, and as the result, we could see his slow change from being an sweet child who only want acceptance to the man full of hatred and jealousy we saw in Phantom of the Opera.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
I’m a sucker for mythology retellings. Hades Persephone is one of the most famous mythology, also one of my favorites, and this story has endless possibility of retellings. On its own, Indian cultures are very rich in stories and mythology on its own. This book mixed the greek and indian mythology of underworld and it works p e r f e c t l y. I was immersed in the world and invested with the story. I really look forward to read her other mythology-inspired books.
The Creeps by Fran Krause
The Creeps is a graphic novel filled with “people’s deep dark fears”. It’s a really fun and quick read, the fears are so relateable but also hilarious to read 😆 The art itself is very colorful and cute, but has that dark and sinister undertone. It was a refreshing read, and I really want to read the other book!
Forest of A Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
I really like this Evil Queen retelling that set in East Asia due to its familiarity with some of K-drama I’ve watched before. While reading it, I couldn’t help feels like I’m rewatching The Great Queen Seondeok and Jang Ok-Jung. Those drama tells the story of 2 women whose ambitions were to become queen of Silla and Joseon, respectively. Both the book and the k-drama were filled with vivid palace setting and intrigue but more importantly, all the lead females are cunning, ambitious, and won’t stop at anything to be at the top! While it can be uncomfortable to watch, I couldn’t help but admire them too. In an era where women are overlooked only as figurine to sit next to the king, these women do more than just sit still and look pretty to get where they were.
What is the best book you read in 2017?