The Book Review of 2017

I did this last year (having stolen it from Kezzie) and it was great fun so I’ve decided to do it again this year. Also, I thought it was perfect for Jana and Steph‘s “Show Us Your Favourite Books of the Year” link up (although not all the categories involve favourite books). Two birds, one stone and all that. So, let’s talk books…


Best book you read in 2017:

I hate this question. It’s so hard! How can I pick one best book?! I’m going to say The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry or The Trespasser by Tana French. Yes, that’s two. Sorry! (No I’m not…)

Best children’s fiction:

Just Call Me Spaghetti-Hoop Boy by Lara Williamson is a lovely book. I just wanted to hug Adam.

Best crime fiction:

Ooh, that’s not fair… I already picked Tana French for best book. Maybe this is why I should actually only pick one per category? Märchenwald by Martin Krist then.

Best classic:

I didn’t actually read many classics this year. Umm… The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham I didn’t expect to like it, but I did.

Best non-fiction:

I am awful at reading non-fiction – I think I read about 3 non-fiction books all year (which is why I’m going to fail that item on my 35 before 35 list). However, I enjoyed The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright.

Best dystopian fiction:

I think All Our Yesterdays was the only thing I read in 2017 that could be considered dystopian, so that one wins by default. I did actually like it though. Ooh, no wait… I also read The Handmaids Tale. How can I choose?

Best YA:

I can’t choose between The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli and One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus. Two again. I’m not very good at this making decisions thing 😉

Most surprising (in a good way) book read in 2016:

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I had no idea what it was even about and didn’t find the title or cover particularly appealing, but it ended up being surprisingly good. Not what I’d call a page-turner, and some parts bored me, but overall it was fascinating.

Book You Read In 2016 That You Recommended Most To Others:

For the first time in a while I can actually think of a book I specifically recommended, personally to people (not just by writing a review on my blog): Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent. I even bought it for my brother for his birthday – along with book two in the series.. I’m not sure whether anyone I spoke to about it has actually read it yet, but I did recommend it. Yay! (And I still do. Reeeeeeeead it! And the rest of the series.)

Best series you discovered in 2016:

The aforementioned Alfie Bloom! And also The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood. I cannot believe we’re being deprived of the sixth (and final) book until next summer though! I’m sure they originally said October 2017! *Glares*

Favourite new author you discovered in 2016:

Trying to avoid repetition… Menna von Praag (author of The House at the End of Hope Street), as far as I can judge based on one book.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t

Broken Silence by Danielle Ramsay. Ugh, I am still mad about this one! I was so excited to read a book that was set somewhat locally to my home then the author ruined it by constant references to how horrible Whitley Bay is, how it used to be a nice fishing village and is now run-down and full of druggy teenagers, etc. If you hate the North-East that much go back to Scotland! Also, I wasn’t keen on the overall style of writing. It read like she’d taken a creative writing class where someone said “vary your vocabulary” and taken that very literally. I actually ended up giving it three stars because it suddenly got good right towards the end and I did like the story in general. I have read worse books this year. But after I had been looking forward to it so much I was majorly disappointed.

Best Book That Was Out Of Your Comfort Zone Or Was A New Genre To You

New genre: The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monserrat. War books are not my thing. Setting them at sea doesn’t magically make them more my thing. I actually enjoyed this one though. As for out of my comfort zone… America Psycho vy Pret Easton Ellis. Is that actually in anyone’s comfort zone though? There is nothing comforting about it. Brrr.

Book You Read In 2017 That You’re Most Likely To Read Again In 2018:

It is highly unlikely that I will re-read a book so soon – at least give me time to forget the details! So how about a book I read in 2017 that I will most likely read again at some point? I read a few children’s books that I hope to be able to read to/with my children one day. If I have to pick a specific one… Carbonel: The King of the Cats by Barbara Sleigh.

Favourite Book You Read in 2017 by an Author You’ve Read Previously:

Interestingly, I actually seem to have read quite a lot of books this year by authors that are either new to me released their debut in 2017, so I think I only have a choice of about three for this answer! I’m going to say Bogwoppit by Ursula Moray Williams because it is such a cute book, and relatively unknown. Plus I haven’t mentioned it yet.

Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I read Wicked by Gregory Maguire solely because someone else had chosen it for Erin’s reading challenge. Does that count as a recommendation? I read a few books for that reason, but I think Wicked was my favourite.

Favourite Cover of a Book in 2017:

I’m assuming this means of a book I read in 2017 rather than a cover of a book published in 2017? I think it was this one:

Mein Leben book

Book That Had The Greatest Impact On You In 2016:

In a bad way: American Psycho.
In a good way: Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
Also The Handmaid’s Tale. Scarily relevant for the way the world seems to be heading today.

Book You Can’t BELIEVE You Waited Until 2016 To Read

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo. I think I bought this book before we even moved to Switzerland, so how it was still sitting unread on my bookcase until this year is beyond me?!

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I keep repeating myself, but so many scenes in American Psycho. Like did that even really happen? How did nobody notice anything? And how do I get these images out of my head? Ick!

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2016 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)

The relationship between Benjamin Brown and his dog in Midnight for Charlie Bone. That might sound weird but I don’t care… doggies!

Most Memorable Character In A Book You Read In 2016:
Kieran in Smart by Kim Slater. He’s so lovely and I was happy that things worked out for him in the end. There are others, but I would be repeating the same books again so I’ll leave it at that.

Genre You Read The Most From in 2016:

I’m going to take a guess and say either fantasy or thrillers. If anyone knows a way to find this out without literally clicking through all my books on Goodreads (other than making shelves for every single genre) I’m all ears – or eyes really since you’ll be writing it in the comments…

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2016:

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. Some might find it too sweet or “corny” but I found it quirky and fun. Especially Biscuit the dog.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016:

I’m awful for crying at books, so yeah… none in particular stands out. Pretty sure I cried at least once during Wonder though. Actually there is one point in particular that I know made me cry, but I won’t say because spoilers 😉

Book You Read in 2016 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out:

One by Sarah Crossan came out in 2016 and I had never even heard of it until I stumbled across it by accident. It has over 1,000  reviews on Goodreads, which sounds like a lot, but The Fault in Our Stars (which I think is overrated) has over 14,000 so yeah. Anyway, a book featuring conjoined twins isn’t something you come across every day so I think it should be more popular just for that.

Total books read in 2017 (so far): 102

It’s theoretically possible that I could finish another one before the year is out, but I’ve just started another 1,000-pager so I doubt it. My GoodReads goal was only 80 though, so I can’t complain. And I feel like I should mention that Magician by Raymond E. Feist was the 100th book I finished… and it was looong. Actually not the longest book I read this year, but long enough (841 pages in case you’re wondering).

And, just because Goodreads tells me and I like statistics, the longest book I read in 2017 was The Stand by Stephen King at 1,439 pages and the shortest was First Day At Bug School by Sam Lloyd with 32 pages (bought for my godson as a starting school gift, so of course I read it before giving it to him).

I know this was a long post, so if you actually read all of it you are amazing! If you decided to answer the questions, let me know so I can come and be nosy.

This is a scheduled post, so I will add the official Show Us Your Books link later once the link up post is published. Edit: As promised, go here to see which books everyone else loved this year.

22 thoughts on “The Book Review of 2017

      1. You have a life! Kids just divert your attention from the things you’d actually like to be doing! (T is most indignant at this comment – she knows I love her dearly.)

  1. I think there are more categories in this post than books I read this year! I love the variety of books you read, the different genres, interesting titles, etc. I tend to stick to what I’m pretty sure I’ll like, which is probably pretty limiting. I couldn’t do a post like this (or if I did it would be kind of dull), but I’m pondering one on the books I _plan_ to read in the first half of 2018. There are a couple dauntingly thick ones already stacked and loaded on my night table.
    I hope you’ve had a Merry Christmas and will have a good slide into the New Year! I have two goals for 2018: Read more books, and eat all the chocolate. 🙂

  2. I am so jealous that you have the time to read all these books. I truly love to read but can’t seem to find the time to do so. I finally read two books this past months and it felt so good. I started a lot of books but was never able to finish them for one reason or another. I do think I need to stick to fiction though, the self-help, autobiography books don’t seem to hit it with me. I might go through this list and looks for a few to try out. Happy New Year to you!!!

  3. oooh this is so fun! i would struggle to pick the ‘best’ in each category as well.
    SERIOUSLY with The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place – i am so mad. so when i first looked, it said december 2017, but if it said october when you originally looked, it’s been pushed back twice! or more! rage! why am i so invested in a childrens series? hahaha.

  4. Yay! I love this sum up post! I also read Day of The Trifids and it was super! My father in law chose me two Christmas presents based on my reading that! You did well with 102. I think I did 89 so far so much lower than last year.

  5. One of Us is Lying is on the top of my list for next year. Also, I read The Handmaid’s Tale this year and was totally affected by it.
    You have me VERY curious about American Psycho… lol

  6. Nicely done! I’m doing a Good Reads challenge this year to try to up my book-reading game, beause I was terrible at reading lots in the previous year.

    Also, I have a genuine fear that I will be accidentally blinded and eaten by Triffids. That book *terrifies* me. Yes, I know that it’s fiction, but I can still imagine it happening all too easily.

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