2017 in Books: Year-End Reading Wrap Up


It’s crazy to think about how much my life has changed in this last year. How much life changes every year. One year can make a vast difference. 

The one constant for me is (and always has been) my books. When I began this reading list, my life was completely different than at the very end of the list. But throughout the year, I have been transformed to 24 different places. I have become attached to 24 more novels. Fallen in love with (and hated) hundreds of fictional characters that always seem too real. And become much too invested in fake murders, rivalries, relationships. 

My love of reading is a constant in my life. It never lets me down. I will never be able to explain how 26 letters can make you fall in love with a setting, a character, a relationship. Make you weep and laugh and finish the last page and stare into space thinking about the meaning of life for 10 minutes. 

If you’re a non-reader, you have officially labelled me as a lunatic. If you’re a book-lover, you are thanking me for putting into words exactly how you feel about books. Pieces of paper. But so so much more. 

Here is my (swear-word-filled) reading list + book reviews from 2017! 

Rating System:

☕☕☕☕☕⇢ ADORE. Very special book. Will stop people on the street to recommend.
☕☕☕☕⇢ Delightful. Shelf-worthy. Would recommend but probably would not re-read.
☕☕☕⇢ Enjoyable. Minor flaws. Missing that special something.
☕☕⇢ Don't buy it, borrow it! 
☕⇢ Skip it. Unless you like wasting your time.

1. The Hit- David Baldacci: David Baldacci through and through. Harlan Coben-esque, fast-paced, but easy read. Not a very satisfying start to my reading year. ☕☕

2. Guardians- Andrew Pyper: Different than anything else I've ever read. Slightly spooky, and very unpredictable. Really great storytelling. ☕☕☕

3. The Best Kind of People- Zoe Whittall: Troubling. This book will make you question how well you know the people around you. You will be jumping to defend the main character, and then wanting to crucify him once you reach the next chapter. ☕☕☕☕

4. The Silent Wife- A.S.A. Harrison: Have you seen Dr. Foster? This book could be based on that series. Except the book was written first, so I guess it would be the other way around. The worst outcome of cheating possible. Psychological thriller with Gone Girl vibes.  ☕☕☕

5. The Woman in Cabin 10- Ruth Ware: Real life Guess Who. Except on a cruise ship in the middle of Finland/ Norway- (extra creepy vibes). ☕☕☕☕

6. Still Mine- Amy Stuart: Small town, murder mystery. If Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks was more of a murder mystery as opposed to romance, it would be this book. ☕☕☕☕

7. I'm Thinking of Ending Things- Ian Reid: Un-fucking-settling. If you like books that keep you feeling like something is off and you just absolutely need to figure out what, then this is the book for you. ☕☕

8. In A Dark, Dark Wood- Ruth Ware: First book of the year that I want to recommend to everyone I see. Great story, wonderfully written, keeps you on your toes. ☕☕☕☕☕

9. The Dry- Jane Harper: Another small town murder mystery. Main character = super likeable. For fans of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series (πŸ™‹πŸ»), read this one. ☕☕☕

10. Company Town- Madeline Ashby: Mild sci-fi. If you're thinking you would like sci-fi but don't want to start with the big guns, this is the book for you! (If you've read any of the books in the Cinder series and enjoyed them, try this one out). ☕☕☕☕

11. Stiff- Mary Roach: First non-fiction of the year. This book puts things into perspective- just because you're an organ donor, doesn't mean that your organs will be donated to a living person or even to help cure cancer. However, this book made me sure that whatever happens to my organ-donated body after death (car crash simulations, plastic surgeon face-lift practice), it will surely be almost as interesting as my life. ☕☕☕☕

12. Red Queen- Victoria Aveyard: Sort of a re-read. I had started reading a couple years ago and never finished. In an attempt to save money on books, I started over. The concept didn't feel very original but I did still enjoy it. If you like YA novels, you'll love it. Very Hunger-Games-like. ☕☕☕

13. Glass Sword- Victoria Aveyard: Sequel to Red Queen. So I guess I did enjoy it. Possibly better than the first. ☕☕☕

*insert first reading rut of the year here*

14. The Dinner- Herman Koch: In order to combat my book rut, I picked up a book I've had for a while and that I've heard great things about. I figured there was no better way to drag myself out of this rut than with an "Adult Easy-Read" (it even says so right on the cover!) Enjoyable but too short to allow any sort of attachment. Finished in one sitting and I assume that everyone who picks up this novel does the same. ☕☕☕☕

15. The Snowman- Jo Nesbo: Nordic Noir. (See crimebythebook.com for more info. on this spooky genre). Bleak, dark Scandinavian setting + epic storytelling. This is a long book but it's a really enjoyable read. It'll pull you in and when you take a break from reading it, you'll find yourself thinking about it. ☕☕☕☕

16. Behind Closed Doors- B.A. Paris: I've read spookier books, but something about this one had me sleeping with the lights on. That is, when I could actually put it down to get some sleep. The writing was so-so but if you're looking for a good story, with all of the cliff-hangers and none of the frills some writers include, this one is for you. Last line will give you chills. ☕☕☕☕☕

17. I See You- Claire Mackintosh: Fantastic storytelling. Another one for Girl on the Train fans. Characters are more likeable (in my opinion) in comparison to GOTT. Murder matchmaker. Really really enjoyed. ☕☕☕☕

18. The Improbability of Love- Hannah Rothschild: Some parts seem to be dragged on and lost in unnecessary details. Good story. ☕☕☕

19. Eeny Meeny- M.J. Arlidge: MEH. I wanted more. ☕☕

20. The Winter People- Jennifer McMahon: Surprisingly spooked after the first 50 pages. Also, completely hooked. This book pulled me in 100%- a book that makes you feel excited to get home from work and read. To be immersed in the story. A book I will re-read. ☕☕☕☕☕

21. The Missing One- Lucy Atkins: This book was alright. A good story. If I didn't own it, I would not be disappointed. ☕☕

22. Little Pretty Things- Lori Rader-Day: A good, short (ish) read. I love the setting of this novel. Unfortunately, I found this one predictable. I predicted the ending about halfway through. I kept hoping I was wrong and would be in for a big surprise. Nope. ☕☕☕

23. Pretty Girls- Karin Slaughter: Some parts are sort of difficult to read- brace yourself. Not for the faint of heart. The last 100 pages are completely engulfing. One of the elements I need in a good book is unpredictability- this book had that. ☕☕☕☕

24. Best Day Ever- Kaira Rouda: This novel reminded me of The Dinner. It will pull you in simply because something feels off and unsettling. ☕☕☕

As a little bonus, I have also compiled a list of my friends and family members' favourite novels of this year. Thanks friends! πŸ’œ

Elizabeth: Girl in Snow- Danya Kukafka

Hailey: Behind Closed Doors- B. A. Paris

Bryanna: The Couple Next Door- Shari Lapena

Zianza: You Are A Badass- Jen Sincero

Viv: Shantaram- Gregory David Roberts

Geoffry: Rainbow Six- Tom Clancy

June: A Song of Ice and Fire- George R. R. Martin

Nana (Cheryl): Guilty Pleasures- Tasmina Perry

Noni (Myrna): The Nest- Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

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