My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s 2017 Wrap Up

2017 may have ended over two weeks ago, but due to a prolonged (and continuing) fight with a never-ending cold, I didn’t get around to wrapping up my new favorites and biggest disappointments of the year … until now.

In 2017 — the year of the dumpster fire, not to be confused with the original year of the dumpster fire: 2016 — I completed all five of my reading challenges and accomplished my goal of starting and finishing 100 books.

Keep scrolling to check out the best and worst books I read in 2017, or head to GoodReads to see a visual list of all the books (the good, the bad and the in-between) I read last year.

New Favorites:

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
From fun villains to unexpected twists and turns, disappearances, awakenings, reunions and even a character death, the fast-paced third installment has it all.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Full of characters you can’t trust, a fantastical new world and twists and turns you didn’t see coming, Caraval is a truly enchanting read.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Get ready for romance (unrequited and otherwise), revenge, action, adventure, schemes, double crosses, twists, jealousy, monsters, implied twincest, fabulous clothing, amazing characters and in typical new adult fashion: sexy times.

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
With on-set tales that range from hilarious, to baffling, to downright awkward, this is a must-read for anyone who has ever seen the cult phenomenon that is The Room.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
A feminist novel disguised as a serial-killer novel, McGinnis unflinchingly tackles rape culture, filling her (at times) disturbing novel with complex women and strong female friendships.

Final Girls by Riley Sager
Deemed “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King, Riley Sager’s Final Girls is a suspenseful thrill ride that will have you guessing wrong until the very end.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
heer along as the main character makes one terrible decision after another in the name of destiny, and puts a delicious new spin on the term “evil” in this Asian re-imagining of the evil stepmother’s tale from Snow White.

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty
Another candid exploration of the funeral industry, this time around Doughty travels the world to learn how other cultures deal with their dead with compassion, empathy and just the right touch of humor.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
From the dark fairy stories within the book, to a trip to a magical land and a journey of self-discovery, The Hazel Wood is three amazing, dark fantasy tales all rolled up in one.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
This standalone YA novel has it all: time travel heists, period clothing, paradoxes, teen romances and red pandas. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and for once, you’ll be upset that it’s only one book.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Both funny and horrifying, Grady Hendrix’s re-released novel is one giant walk down nostalgia lane, but with 100% more demonic possession.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
A 10-year-old B horror movie super fan tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious murder of her neighbor, holocaust survivor Anka Silverberg in this fictional illustrated diary.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Be warned, Nevernight is not your grandma’s fantasy revenge novel. It’s basically if Arya went to Hogwarts, but with even more murder. And more humorous footnotes.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Master storyteller Neil Gaiman retells classic Norse myths, staying true to the original stories while breathing new life into the northern tales. Be warned, this is not the Marvel pantheon you know.

Paper Girls Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Time travel shenanigans (and giant tardigrades) reign supreme in the second volume of Paper Girls, which transports our pint-sized heroes from 1988 to a terrifying future: June 2016, shortly before the election.

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
The Vagina Monologues meets comic books in this series of interlocked feminist short stories told from the perspective of women who have been fridged to further the plot of their male counterparts.

Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Robin Sloan’s new story claims to do for food what Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore did for books, and it definitely lives up to that promise. Dare I say it even surpasses it?

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Chock full of diverse, fully fleshed out characters, an adorable love story, and a relatable main character you want to rip out of the pages and hug.

Biggest Disappointments:

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
From the one-dimensional characters to the deeply disturbing male POVs and the weird way race is handled — not to mention all the relationships centered around statutory rape — Shepard has gone off the rails.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
A predictable tale about a girl with incredibly rare magic powers she’s unaware of and an unlikeable love interest who may or may not have killed her father, this is just another insufferable YA love story.

Literally by Lucy Keating
Described as YA Stranger Than Fiction, Literally could work, but it doesn’t. Super contrived and over the top, there’s nothing worse than Lucy Keating writing about how great Lucy Keating is.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
While I really enjoyed the first half of this beautifully written Hades and Persephone retelling, I found myself struggling with the second portion of the story, which took a turn for the boring and the confusing. What did I just read?

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Perkins’ latest work does not live up to its premise — Scream in novel form — and things go downhill fast after the killer and their nonsensical motivations are prematurely revealed.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
While the premise and even some of the world building were fun, Silvera’s novel ultimately suffers from extremely painful writing and a rushed love story, neither of which I could look past.


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