Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Best Books of 2017 So Far

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's list is our favorite books we've read so far in 2017. Yay!

Interestingly, I've only finished about 48 books so far, which means I'm on track to read slightly fewer than usual this year. I definitely feel like I'm reading a little less and taking longer to read each book, but I'm not certain why.

These first two are my only 5-star reads so far this year (I'm very stingy with my 5-star ratings!)

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I think we can all agree that this book is something special. The issues are timely, the characters are realistic, the story is complex and nuanced and thoughtful, and the audio narration is stellar.

2. The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

Character-driven science fiction about astronauts in a Mars mission simulation. I can't tell you what I loved most about it without giving too much away, but I loved spending time with these characters and the writing was accessible and sophisticated at the same time.

The rest of this list was difficult to compile! The first few were easy, but it got harder to choose after that without falling into the trap of listing the most recent ones because they happen to be more fresh in my mind. I have a lot of 4-star reads, so I went back and read my own reviews and compared them to determine which ones I liked more than others.

3. Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

I honestly don't know why this author isn't more well known. I'm getting a bit tired of thrillers with twists, but this guy does it so much better than most that I'll read anything he writes. If you like Gillian Flynn, you need to check out Peter Swanson.

4. Miss Jane by Brad Watson

The premise was so unusual, and Watson beautifully crafted it into a very compelling portrait of his main character's life. If you like historical fiction about women, definitely pick this one up.

5. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Another work of historical fiction, this one felt very cozy to me in that I wanted to move to this town and befriend all of these characters. It's not cozy though, as the looming war and death begins to affect their lives, but it's so much about coming together and supporting one another.

6. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

This story about a transgender girl trying to fit in has so much heart, and managed to be realistic without being cruel about it. Bonus points for being set in a rural area in the South.

7. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Another teen book that takes place in a rural area, also with an LGBT theme, and also really, really good. I love Ramona.

8. The Painter by Peter Heller

I read this way back in January and had to re-read my blog post to remember how much I liked it. Peter Heller is fantastic at creating complicated characters who feel real.

9. The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The final volume in the trilogy that began with The Tea Rose. I loved this series the whole way through. It's a must-read if you like historical fiction.

10. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reid is a new favorite author. I love the inventive ways she finds to explore relationships, and her books are so easy and fun to read.

There are so many others I want to cram on here, but I'm sticking with ten!

What are you favorites so far this year?

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