Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (★★★★☆½)
My first read of 2018 took me by surprise, mostly because I had no idea it was a murder mystery. Thankfully, I wanted to watch the HBO series and I’m a read it first kind of girl. Due in large part to the suspenseful nature of the novel (who done it and who!?!) I flew threw this Australian contemporary drama. Read: Pretty Little Liars for adults.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (★★★★★)
A dark fantasy set in the world of faerie, The Cruel Prince hits the ground running with a brutal double murder. What follows is a tale of revenge, beautiful dresses, crosses and double crosses, courtly drama, cruel faeries, even more murder, and magic, proving that this novel is deserving of all the online hype. Could it be Holly Black’s best faerie story yet? Damn straight it is!
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (★★★★★)
I could read 8,000 more books set in the worlds (plural) of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, which takes place at a boarding school for children forever changed after their adventures in other dimensions. The first two books are amazing in their own right, but Beneath the Sugar Sky is my favorite due to its multiple settings, including an underworld inhabited by the dead and a land made entirely of sugary treats. A candy land if you will.
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.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (★★★★★)
A dark horror fantasy, Albert’s debut novel is about a fairy tale author turned cult phenomenon, and her granddaughter Alice, who has been raised as far away from everything to do with Althea Proserpine and the Tales from the Hinterland as possible. That is until her mother is kidnapped and she’s forced to learn the horrible truth of her past. 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 tales all rolled up in one.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix (★★★★☆½)
Both funny and horrifying, Grady Hendrix’s re-released novel is one giant walk down nostalgia lane, but with 100% more demonic possession. Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since a disastrous roller rink party, that is until Gretchen goes missing one night and returns possessed by a demon. With everyone else snowed by Demon Gretchen, it is up to Abby to save her bestie with the power of friendship.
Deep Dark Fears and The Creeps by Fran Krause (★★★★☆)
The Deep Dark Fears collection is a humorous look at humanity’s strangest and darkest fears. A webcomic turned into two collected editions, Deep Dark Fears and The Creeps are unique looks at strangers’ most horrifying and baseless fears, submitted through Tumblr and illustrated by Krause himself. Get ready to feel slightly less crazy!
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (★★★★☆½)
Be warned, Nevernight is not your grandma’s fantasy revenge novel. The first in a new series from Jay Kristoff, Nevernight follows a bad ass orphan named Mia who is on a quest to avenge her family. A quest that takes her to the famed Red Church, where would-be assassins are trained by the world’s deadliest killers. It’s basically if Arya went to Hogwarts, but with even more murder. And more humorous footnotes.
The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee (★★★★☆)
The sequel to The Thousandth Floor, The Dazzling Heights is a slightly less fun version of its predecessor, but is still 100% future Gossip Girl. From an intriguing new character to a new murder mystery, McGee’s latest novel is a fun and frothy diversion from real life that suffers from too many POVs and the loss of the best character in the series (because they didn’t survive book one).
Invictus by Ryan Graudin (★★★★★)
This standalone young adult novel — are those making a comeback!?! — from Ryan Graudin 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. Don’t let the cover scare you away, Invictus is the super fun and super smart young adult novel you should have read yesterday.