Top 9 Reads of 2017!

So let us dive into my top 9 favorite reads of 2017! All are in order but that doesn’t mean I loved them less than the last, all were rated 5 stars by me!  

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is definitely my top choice of 2017. Even though I grew up in the 90s, my mother heavily influenced the 80s culture during my childhood so you can bet I’m pretty up to par with knowing everything 80s. Reading RPO was so nostalgic and thrilling. I became intrigued when I saw the movie trailer in theaters, and then later that day someone on Bookstagram posted a story of their book mail, one of the books they received was RPO! It was then that I went to Amazon and ordered it right away. From the first chapter, I became so hooked that I couldn’t put it down but I wanted to savor it so I had to tear myself away from it and put it down. Once I did finish it though, I was so sad! My reading slump then took hold and all I had left to look forward to was the movie! I think one of my favorite characters would have to be “H” just for the complete plot twist of their character towards the end. So if you have come this far and you have no clue what this novel is about, I’ll tell you. The story is set in the year 2044, Wade Watts is our protagonist and the only place he feels truly alive is in the OASIS. The OASIS is a virtual reality world created by James Halliday who has passed away and in his will, he states he created a series of puzzles based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. The person who can solve each puzzle is promised power and fortune. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue he realizes there are players out there who will kill to take this ultimate prize, so the race begins and if Wade wants to survive then he must begin by confronting the real world he has always been trying to escape from. 
  2. Warcross by Marie Lu totally makes my list! I recently just finished this and phew, I am still reeling from the plot twists because they are so insane! And YES, there was more than one plot twist!! I finished Warcross in three short days, I literally devoured this book in its entirety. This was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend and I will admit, when I first came across it, my interest was peeked solely by the cover but my interest developed deeper when I sampled the first chapter. Our protagonists narrative is so badass and such a strong female lead, in my opinion. Marie Lu writes with such grace, it’s all smooth and effortless. This was my first reading of Marie Lu’s and I was so not disappointed in her writing! I think if we are talking characters, then this book had one of the strongest leading characters that I read of in 2017. If you haven’t heard of Warcross and have no idea what it’s about then I’ll explain! Emika Chen is our lead narrative and she’s a bounty hunter for those that gamble illegally on Warcross games. But the hunt is a competitive sport all on its own and Emika is already struggling to make ends meet to stay afloat. So in a desperate need to make quick cash she takes the biggest risk she has ever made– hacking into the opening of the International Warcross Championships but her hack glitched her into the center of the games, making her an overnight sensation. Now Emika is paranoid and anxious that she will be arrested but surprisingly, the creator of Warcross, Hideo Tanaka gives her a call requesting that she comes and works for him to help uncover a security issue. She is thrust into a world of fame and everything she has dreamed of, but soon her investigation will lead her to a sinister discovery with major consequences of the entire Warcross empire.  
  3. Renegades by Marissa Meyer is another amazing book that I finished close to the end of 2017. Aside from warcross, Renegades had the next biggest plot twist! Though it was just one, it was seriously so giant and unexpected, I seriously never saw it coming. We experience two POVs in Renegades, one that wants revenge and the other seeks justice. I was seriously torn while reading and I can’t really elaborate without spoiling it but I thought it was really clever for Marissa Meyer to have two completely different protagonists leading your mind and heart two separate ways while reading. This read also peeked my interest by the beautiful cover and that Barnes & Nobles had an exclusive inside piece to the making of Renegades. (I seriously try not to read books based on their covers but, hey, its the first thing you see!) Basically, Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies–  superhumans who emerged from a crumbled society that established peace and order to the world where chaos once had held. They are champions and a symbol of hope and courage, except to those villains they overthrew. Nova has a serious reason to hate the Renegades so she is on a mission of vengeance. Except as she draws nearer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in the utmost justice– and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiances lay in a villain who has the power to destroy them both.
  4. Vinyl by Sophia Elaine Hanson is a self-published trilogy and my goodness is it freaking AMAZING! I read this awhile ago in 2017 when I was trying to come out of a reading slump and Vinyl really brought me out of it and dumped me into an amazing world created by a very talented and lovely human. The third and final installment is coming out sometime in May this year! I am so excited for it but I’m also so sad that it’s actually ending for good. Though the author has announced that side stories from the series will be in the making, so at least it won’t be fully over! Ronja is our protagonist and yet again, is a strong badass female narrative, though the narrative goes between her and another, even a couple more characters you can see the dominance of her presence. Reading the beginning of this trilogy, I was simply struck by Sophia’s bold writing and the way each character was fluid in the storyline. Her books are seriously underrated! Vinyl takes place behind the walls of Revinia where self-expression in any form is prohibited and flattened by a device that issues a hypnotic sound called The Music. The Device is known as Singers, which are grafted into the citizen’s skulls at birth. Ronja is a teen who is struggling to support her two cousins and her disabled mother, but when a chance meeting occurs and leads to her kidnapping she discovers an underground resistance. When Ronja is cut off from her Singer by the agent Roark, she revels in her newfound freedom until the consequences of her disappearance begins to unravel before her.    
  5. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green was a highly anticipated 2017 release for me! John is absolutely one of my favorite authors and I’ve read every published book of his as if it was a religion. Once again, John has reminded me of why he is my favorite with this release. It was like he stepped into my shoes and showed me that I wasn’t alone, that I could overcome what I was dealing with. I never had a ‘term’ for what was going on inside my head, but John described and named it perfectly, showing me that it was indeed a real thing that myself and others were going through. Throughout reading TATWD I was constantly on edge of crying every chapter because it was so raw and true that it hit my heart hard. So if you have no clue what this book is about, which I don’t know how you couldn’t unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll fill you in. Sixteen-year-old Aza pursues the mystery of billionaire Russell Picket because there is a reward of a hundred thousand dollars at stake. Her friend Daisy accompanies her on the hunt, navigating the divides and distance that separate them from Russell Picket’s son, Davis. But Aza is trying. To be a good friend, good daughter, a good student and possibly trying to be a good detective and all within living in the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 
  6. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls was an unlikely read for me since I rarely ever read memoirs but I decided that a refresher in reading was needed and I was not disappointed with my choice at all! The story was so raw and full of pain that sometimes it was hard to read without tears in my eyes. I still have yet to watch the movie though, but soon I’ll get to that and release my extended review on both. TCG is about Jeanette Walls and her childhood to her adulthood. Her family living like nomads with unconditional love but flawed in every way, her parents had ideals and stubborn nonconformity that became their curse and salvation. Her father Rex was a brilliant man and when sober captured his children’s imaginations and taught them how to embrace life fearlessly. Her mother, Rose Mary, couldn’t stand the responsibility of supporting her family. She painted and wrote, calling herself an ‘excitement addict.’ Later when the money ran out and the appeal of wandering faded the Walls retreated to a mining town in West Virginia. Rex did everything he could to escape. He Drank, stole money for groceries and disappeared for days. With the escalating family dysfunction, Jeanette, her bother and sisters had to start fending for themselves until finally the resources to leave home became available. 
  7. The Crowns Of Croswald by D.E. Night is so magical and whimsical, it resembles the writing for Harry Potter but with Night’s touches, it transforms into her own magical world full of adventures. I received this novel from the author herself and the publishing company in exchange for an honest review. Which I read on my vacation in the summer and seriously finished it on the car ride there because it was way too good to put down! The details are so enthralling and visual it leaves breathless images in your mind. I haven’t found a magical novel since HP but TCOC restored my love for magical fantasy! The book is about sixteen-year-old Ivy Lovely who has been trapped behind a magical boundary all her life, separating her from mundane and magical. But when Ivy crosses that boundary for the first time in her life, her magic awakens leading her crashing into the Halls of Ivy for magical students. Ivy’s magic is threatened–and her life– is threatened by the dark queen, making Ivy scramble to unravel her history and save all of Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
  8. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins was such a thriller! I never read thrillers because they are kind of outside my comfort zone of reading, it’s not that I don’t enjoy them but I just haven’t experienced much of them. I read TGOTT in two days because I couldn’t put it down at all! Every chapter kept me on my toes, the suspense left me wanting more information. Paula Hawkins did an excellent job of covering up clues as to who the killer was, or at least I couldn’t piece it together because there were so many possibilities. The narration was absolutely the best, I love when there are multiple POVs because it adds more character to the whole. The way she made her characters unreliable made the possibilities of the killer endless. So the book is about this women Rachel who takes the commuter every day, she gets glimpses of a backyard and the couple who lives there. She imagines their lives, immersing herself in their story making it feel like she actually knows them in real life. One day everything changes and Rachel sees it happen. Now she has a real chance of becoming part of their lives instead of watching from afar but when this bubble of imagination turns to reality, it becomes sinister. 
  9. Alethia by Megan Tennant stole my heart! I feel like for a dystopia it is unique and its own story. My favorite thing about this story is the fact that the characters are nameless and instead have numbers for names and the fact that the main character 736 is badass! The climax was slow but completely needed to learn about the characters and develop feelings for them and to learn about the world around them in depth. A disease called, Lethe has infected the world two decades ago, robbing the carriers of their memories and turning them into savages. Iris has the cure, saving few from this fate and sending them to the compound under the city for work. The nameless have traded their freedom for the cure. 736 fights to protect the ones she loves but not against the depraved but against those who have saved her from a fate of savagery. 736 won’t let this cult use the nameless as resources to just be discarded, at least not without a fight. How much is 736 willing to sacrifice? How much is she willing to pay for the cost. 

       That concludes my top 9 reads of 2017! I was aiming for a top ten but I didn’t really have a last one to add to my list, so I settled with nine and I’m pretty happy with the list because they were books that I really loved every second of reading right up until the end. If you are interested in any of these books, you can find them all on Amazon!

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Always,

‘`m.d.’`

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