I’ve been doing Jamie’s End of the Year Survey for years now, and obviously 2017 wasn’t going to be an exception. This survey is such a fun way to take a look back on the year’s reading and also to look forward to the upcoming year.
2017 reading stats
Books Read: 65
Number of Rereads: 3
Most-Read Genre: Fantasy
best in books
1. Best book you read in 2017?
This was really, really not easy. I read a lot of incredible books this year, but a lot of them were very heavy. It was so hard to decide between the books that moved me or opened my eyes, and the books that brought me joy. I decided that since 2017 was such a rough year, to show you the top three books that brought me joy while reading.
Now I Rise by Kiersten White because I love these characters. I love Radu and Nazira’s friendships, Lada’s bravery, and Mehmed’s strength.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire because it reminds me of being a child and having someone tell me a story instead of just reading it.
Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta because the story was so much fun, the world was exciting, and there was a CAT.
2. Book you were excited about and thought you would love but didn’t?
What made The Dragon’s Price even more terrible than it could have been is the wasted potential. So many lazy tropes were deployed in the writing of this novel, the worst of which was insta-warrior-without-training. I was promised an angry princess willing to give herself over to dragonfire, but I got a simpering, whiny child.
3. Most surprising book you read?
The Girl With the Red Balloon it outside of my comfort zone completely. I do not usually like time travel books and I typically will not read a WWII book. But I rated this a 5-stars. It was amazing.
4. Books you pushed the most people to read?
I have not been able to shut up about the Wayward Children series. I recommend it in all the bookish Facebook groups I’m a part of and I’ve successfully converted my best friend, too.
5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?
Series starter: Every Heart a Doorway
Sequel: Now I Rise
Series Ender: The Abyss Surrounds Us
6. Favorite new author discovered in 2017?
The Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds was fucking incredible and I can’t wait to read his entire backlist.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read?
I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, but this Pashmina called to me. The art was SO beautiful and I loved the story too. Seriously, I want to frame it and hang it on my walls. I can’t wait to see more from this author.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book you read in 2017?
The Call had me on the edge of my seat. It was not perfect but it was seriously suspenseful and I was practically tearing the pages as I turned them trying to get to the story faster.
9. Book you read in 2017 that you’re most likely to reread in 2018?
How to (Un)cage a Girl by Francesca Lia Block is the most beautiful and moving collection of poetry I’ve ever read. It spoke to me as a woman and as a mother and I know I’ll read it over and over again in the years to come.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?
This color palette. This art style. The way it reflects the tone of the story inside. Everything about this is perfect.
11. Most memorable character of 2017?
Starr from The Hate U Give. Her voice and her story is one that I read back in February but I still think about every day.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?
I picked up One by Sarah Crossnan on a whim because it had been sitting on my ARC shelf for quite some time. I had no idea what I was in for. I love books in verse as a rule usually, but Crossnan’s writing was so powerful and so beautiful.
13. Most thought-provoking read of 2017?
I just can’t stop thinking about Long Way Down. About the kids he writes for, the way violence affects their lives. About the book itself and the writing and structure and the genius it took to create it.
14. A book you can’t believe you waited until 2017 to read?
This is a children’s classic. So many of us grew up reading A Wrinkle in Time but somehow I completely missed it. I probably would have liked it a lot better if I had read it at the right age, but I still liked it and I cannot wait for the movie.
15. Favorite passage or quote from a book you read in 2017?
This is from How to Uncage a Girl. “When you were born it was not a meeting, but a reunion,” brings me to tears every time. The whole poem, which is a list of thoughts written for her daughter, captures exactly how motherhood feels to me. Like she cracked open my soul.
16. Shortest and Longest books read in 2017?
Longest: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – 693 pages
Shortest: The Summer Palace by C.S. Pacat – 30 pages
17. The book that shocked you the most?
Ahhhhh. The way this whole plot unfolded and the way all the secrets and the lies came together. I was shocked, I admit it. The twist itself isn’t surprising but the mechanics behind everything were great.
I had to do two answers for this because This Darkness Mine shocked me in a not-good way. It was gross and disturbing and fucking weird and the climax was BONKERS.
18. OTP of the year?
RUBY AND ARCUS UGH MY HEART OW
19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
I mentioned them before but Radu and Nazira are everything. Friendship goals. They love each other and support each other but also Nazira is way out of Radu’s league as a person I LOVE HER. More wlw and mlm solidarity please.
20. Favorite book you read in 2017 from an author you read previously?
I had to give this to Before I Let Go because I couldn’t connect to anything in Nijkamp’s first book. I couldn’t even finish it. But this is easily a favorite of mine that I’ll be thinking about and recommending for some time.
21. Best book you read based solely on a recommendation or peer pressure?
I bought this because of the astounding amounts of hype in the book world, but only read it finally because of Lili and our failed attempt at Epic Recs haha. I loved The Hating Game a LOT and I’m so glad I went outside of my comfort zone with this one.
22. Newest fictional crush from 2017?
Back to back repeat answer for this but I loved Josh from The Hating Game.
23. Best 2017 debut you read this year?
Hands down. There’s nothing about The Hate U Give that feels like a debut novel. It’s perfectly structured and written so well and the characters are fully realized. It was an amazing book all around.
24. Best world-building or most vivid setting you read in 2017?
This whole world is just amazing. I can’t believe the depths of McGuire’s imagination and creativity. The universe this series is set in is simply endless. There are dozens of unique worlds within this one world and I wish I had the brain to have created it.
25. Book that put a smile on your face and was the most fun to read?
I loved this so much. Queens of Geek could get a little preachy at times, but it’s still such a love letter to fandom culture that I could forgive it. I don’t think I’ve read anything that captured my experience with anxiety so well either. But what really made this fun to read was the con setting and the adorable romance.
26. Book that made you cry this year?
I broke down sobbing at the end of We Are Okay. I don’t really have the words to convey the weight of grief, depression, despair, emptiness that filled this book.
27. Hidden gem of the year?
I wish more people had read Shimmer and Burn because it was fantastic. I loved the magic system, the poisoned magic especially, the MURDER PRINCESS, the ass-kicking main character, the smoldering romance, the plot reveals, the CAT COMPANION, the scary as shit female villain. So good. So fun.
More cheating from me because I couldn’t leave off this moody, dark, crazy thriller, Bad Girls With Perfect Faces. Everything about this was perfect, from the characters to the writing to the wild and crazy plot.
28. Book that crushed your soul?
I don’t know that there are any I haven’t mentioned, but definitely We Are Okay, The Hate U Give, Every Heart a Doorway, and The Girl With the Red Balloon.
29. Most unique book you read in 2017?
Reign of the Fallen had a really interesting take on necromancy and even zombies. I also loved the animal magic in here. I want to see more of the inventor’s magic and just learn more about the Sight over all.
your blogging and bookish life
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?
My friend Morgan started her new blog, The Bookish Beagle, this year and obviously I love it and the “I ship it” tag line to pieces.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?
No review quite sticks out like my enormous 1-star review of Empire of Storms. I’m really sad it came to this, but also I haven’t taken a book to task like this in quite some time.
3. Best discussion or non-review post of 2017?
I love Bookish Bingo, you all should join.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
It’s time for me to get sappy for a moment. We’ve been taking Rosie to the Mother Goose story time at our local library for a couple months now and it’s been the best thing ever. They read books and sing songs, and each time we go, Rosie gets a little less shy and has a little more fun. Also they have therapy dogs there! Here is Rosie petting the most gargantuan Newfoundland in the world, Major.
5. Best moment of your bookish/blogging life in 2017?
I don’t have one specific moment, but again this goes back to being a new mom of a budding baby bookworm. Rosie loves books. The best thing in the world is when she carries them over to me and asks me to read them.
6. Most challenging thing about your blogging life this year?
Finding time. Blogging and reading are my favorite hobbies and I don’t want to give them up. But obviously they are not as high on my list anymore, so they suffer. The content has suffered a bit this year. And I’ve read less this year than I am used to.
7. Most popular post this year?
I’m very happy that my most popular posts are always Bookish Bingo!
8. Posts you wish got a little more love?
I think I’m like every blogger in that I wish my reviews got more activity. Now that I’ve been reading less arcs, and I’ve been grouping my reviews together, I do seem to get more comments and for that I am super grateful.
9. Best bookish discovery of 2017?
I don’t know if this counts but I’m using it anyway: I discovered that a Barnes and Noble membership gets you a free drink at the cafe every month, and that the kids’ club membership gets you a free treat during your kid’s birthday month!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges this year?
I passed my Goodreads challenge a few months ago, which I am super pumped about. I also did pretty well at my other reading challenges, though failed some others pretty miserably.
1. One book that you did not get to in 2017 but will be your number one priority in 2018?
I loved Frostblood so much and I was so looking forward to Fireblood. I’m sad I didn’t get to it when it came out but I’m very excited to read it and the finale next year.
2. One non-debut you’re excited about for 2018?
The Half King by Melissa Landers! It sounds really good and kind of reminiscent of Cruel Beauty. I cannot wait to see the cover, too.
3. A debut you are excited about?
This is the most beautiful book cover on the face of the planet and I would buy it for that alone. But it also sounds moving and important and I can’t wait to read it.
4. One sequel or series finale you’re excited about for 2018?
Honestly I am excited for the Throne of Glass finale so I can finally be free.
5. One thing you hope to accomplish in your blogging life?
This is weird but I want to move back to a free blogging platform. I’ve been slowing making the switch over the last few months. Our hosting service renews in May and I’d like to move before then. It’s just so expensive anymore and I think the money can be better spent elsewhere.
Another thing is making it to ALA. My murder squad has been planning for MONTHS and I’m the type of person who doesn’t believe good things will come through until the moment they’re happening. But I can’t wait to see my loves.
6. 2018 release you’ve already and recommend to everyone?
Like I said earlier, Before I Let Go is the perfect book. It comes out very soon and I highly suggest you pre-order it immediately!
I just finished this a few days before the end of the year and it’s AMAZING. I think it will already be out by the time this post goes live and I really recommend it for contemporary YA readers.