These are the books I’ve read throughout the year which have left a strong impression on me, for one reason or another. Although many of those were published this year, I’ve decided against writing a post on the best books published this year, since it would be a much shorter assortment of books to choose from.
Best Contemporary Novels
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was the novel I looked forward the most to reading this year and it didn’t disappoint! She has amazed me with Everything I Never Told You and this novel blew my mind and kept me turning pages. This novel deals with racism, privilege, sexism and prejudice. Celeste has officially made it to my auto-buy list and she definitely helped me start reading contemporaries.
Young Jane Young impressed me so much, too! I knew Gabrielle Zevin’s writing from another book I read by her, and this one is so absolutely amazing! Definitely a great feminist book, telling the story of a girl who becomes national news after being caught as the lover of a famous politician. It made me so angry, but also so emotional. Amazing book!
Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel
The Female of the Species threw emotional punches everywhere and my heart is still broken from it. This is such a fantastic novel about a girl who cannot control the violence within her and deals with rape culture and… I’m in love. It’s gritty, dark and captivating.
New Favorite Authors
(only counts if I’ve read more than 1 book by the author)
The year started quite well with finally getting acquainted with Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty in February, falling in love with Big Little Lies in April and enjoying . I would also like to mention that Liane Moriarty is probably the author that most quickly made it into my list of favorite authors and I am glad to have discovered her work this year!
I have also quickly become a huge fan of Matt Haig. His fabulous novel How to Stop Time is one of my favorite books ever, and I can’t recommend it enough. This year I also read by him Reasons to Stay Alive, The Girl Who Stole Christmas, Father Christmas and me, and A Boy Called Christmas.
Best Historical Fiction
The Nightingale tore my heart right out. It’s a beautiful story about bravery, forgiveness and love, set during World War II in France and revolves around two French sisters, Vianne and Isabella. Both need to find in themselves the courage to fight against the Nazis taking over France. It is so incredibly touching and I loved the characters so much!
Best Young Adult Historical Fiction
Stalking Jack the Ripper was an absolute surprise to me. I loved it so much, Audrey Rose is fantastic and this book was so addictive! I loved how dark it was but still a nice, flowing read. I look so much forward to the next ones of this series!
Best Fantasy Novel
The Bear and the Nightingale was a dark fantasy book that fits perfectly as a read for winter – it’s a retelling of Russian fairy tales, set in a small village and it’s so full of magic, tension, religious intolerance, fear and snow… I loved it so much and can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
Best Young Adult Fantasy Novel
Uprooted is a fairy tale-like story that I loved so much. Its world is wonderfully crafted and I loved the friendship between Nieshka and Kasia.
I’m not a person who loves retellings a lot, but this year I’ve put extra effort and tried to read a lot of retellings, and it did help me change my mind about them a lot! I am completely obsessed with Heartstone, which is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice plus dragons and other mystical creatures and I’m in love!! I’ll for sure be re-reading this a bunch of times more!
Best Magical Realism Novel
Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a very recent read, and as soon as I finished it and clicked the 5-stars option on Goodreads, I knew this book had to make it to this list, so I added a Magical Realism category! This story was addictive, mysterious, magical, atmospheric and so, so engrossing. I loved it very much.
Best Romance in a Novel
I couldn’t decide, so two books here!
The world building of The Night Circus is amazing, the writing is beautiful and outright magical, creating an imagery so powerful that I couldn’t help but fall in love. This also falls into the best romance category for me, with one of the most passionate and magical love stories I’ve read.
I also am completely in love with Rhys and Feyre’s relationship in A Court of Mist and Fury, the sexiest book I read this year! I look forward to re-reading this, the whole series is so addictive!
Best Science Fiction
Dark Matter was such an amazing read, and I was quite surprised by how well executed this is. It’s a thriller about alternate universes and the power of choices, small as they might be.
Best Young Adult Science Fiction
I was very impressed by Leia: Princess of Alderaan! This is the story of Leia as a teenager, becoming the fierce princess as we know her. The writing is very strong and I loved the story and the representation of her!
Best Crime Thriller
The Other Girl is a-freaking-mazing and will keep you on your toes throughout the whole story!
Best Mystery Novel
Night Film was quite an unexpected favorite for me. I loved the dark mystery of it, the noir feel of the novel and the question hanging throughout the whole novel: is there black magic going on, or is it all just your mind playing games? This book was fascinating and I loved getting immersed in the mystery.
Best Classic Novel
I didn’t read a whole lot of classics this year, but this was easily my favorite. The Handmaid’s Tale has a quiet, calm narrator that describes the chilling dystopian world she lives in with a matter-of-fact voice.
Best Feelgood Novel
A Quiet Kind of Thunder literally makes you happy. It’s so adorable, fluffy and sweet. It made me grin, chuckle and tear up. So lovely!
Special mention to When Dimple met Rishi, too!
Best Mixed Genres Novel
I was debating whether My Lady Jane should be in the Best Feelgood Novel category, but then I decided to create a category just for it! Hahaha Anyways, I didn’t think a historical fiction, fantasy and comedy young adult could end up in something I would actually enjoyed, but this book proved me wrong. I loved the humor, the romance, the horse jokes, the funny narration and I was giggling all the way! I loved this book and can’t wait for the next installments!
Most Original Protagonist
Lada from And I Darken! I loved how dark and twisted she was, definitely not your typical YA character, and I look forward to the next two books of this series!
Special mention to Alex Craft from The Female of the Species! I didn’t put her in this category because the book was already in another! 🙂
Most Badass Protagonist
Sorry, Lada, this one goes to Wonder Woman. Diana was such a fantastic character with an honest, open, kind and brave personality, if you’re looking for a book that will make you feel like you can conquer the world, this is it! This was so fun to read and gave me badass vibes all the way.
Best Book to Come Out in 2017
There were so many good reads that came out this year, this was such a hard choice. How to Stop Time is such a beautiful science fiction novel, a mixture of romance, historical fiction, science fiction and an examination of humanity that breaks your heart and mends it back together. Also, the cover is 10/10.
Best Debut Novel
Watching Glass Shatter! This novel was a wonderful blend of mystery and family epic, and it impressed me to much! I look forward to reading more books by the author and to re-reading this as soon as I have time!
Best Book Overall
This was decided the moment I finished this book back in June. The Hate U Give is the most relevant book I’ve read this year and its writing is so gripping you will not be able to put it down. The 5 star rating for this one felt like it was hardly enough.
Most Beautiful Covers
What were your favorite reads of this year?