Top Ten / Books I Read in 2017

Here are my top books of the year!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
I’m so glad I chose this brilliant audiobook. I loved Monty and Percy – they’ll sit comfortably amongst my favourite characters ever. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue genuinely gave me the giggles. It’s also a much-needed read, featuring LGBT romance, racial diversity, and politically active women during a period of history that ignored them.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple and Rishi are geeky. They’re smart, funny, talented and interesting – and lovely. I really enjoyed seeing a girl passionate about STEM subjects and a boy passionate about art. When Dimple Met Rishi was a perfect YA contemporary read, for me.

Freshers by Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen
Narrated by Luke and Phoebe, Freshers captures the first year of university perfectly. They’re two of the most realistic teenage characters I’ve come across (as we’ve all come to expect from Lucy and Tom!). It also covers topics that are vital to talk about, from sexual harassment on campus and one-night stands to ‘laddish’ behaviour and homesickness. I wish I had it when I was a student.

This is Going to Hurt: Section Lives of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
Now a writer for film and TV comedy, Adam turned his compulsory doctors’ notes into a book. It opened my eyes to what it’s like to be a junior doctor. This is Going to Hurt is hilarious, honest and heart-breaking. As a woman, Adam’s field of expertise (obstetrics and gynaecology) is particularly relevant to me. Even so, This is Going to Hurt is a must read for everyone.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Griffin and Theo are best friends > boyfriends > ex-boyfriends > best friends. And then Theo dies. A heartbreaking story, The History is All You Left Me is a wonderful exploration of relationships. I adored seeing Theo and Griffin take part in a pub quiz, complete with Harry Potter and Star Wars questions. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
After more than 10 years since I first read it, I picked up this popular trilogy and quickly became entranced by Lyra’s world, the characters, and the clever, twisty, exciting story. I’d lie in bed – the perfect place to listen to audiobooks, in my opinion – not wanting to fall asleep. I found myself eager to get back to Lyra’s Oxford, thinking about the stories even when I wasn’t reading them.

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust) by Philip Pullman
I was super lucky to attend the midnight launch for La Belle Sauvage. At the event, we sat on a boat and ate stew, listened to Gyptian music and partook in a quiz, before heading upstairs at the stroke of midnight to pick up my copy. I finished the story within a few days and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next one, The Secret Commonwealth

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Everything Leads to You is one of the few novels I’ve read that features LGBT+ characters but isn’t about being LGBT+. It’s an important part of the storyline, of course – and there’s a super sweet romance – but it’s not the main part of the story. Beautiful, cinematic and a joy to read.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Very little happens in We Are Okay in contrast to the drama and mystery of Everything Leads to You, but Nina does feelings really well, especially those that are difficult to describe: grief, loneliness, immense sadness. I adored the relationship between Marin and Mabel. I can’t wait to read more from Nina!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Alice gets teenagers. She gets what it’s like to be a teenager (or a millennial, let’s say) on the interwebz. She understands how online communities work and how they can go from making you feel part of something to suffocated. I loved Frances and Aled – they have an incredible friendship and I adored their funny and relatable Facebook messages.

Are any of these in your top ten?

Top Ten / 2017 Books I’m Excited About

Top Ten / 2017 Books I'm Excited About
It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I was writing about the top ten young adult and middle grade novels I was excited about for 2016. Here another ten that I’m looking forward to this year!

All About Mia 
by Lisa Williamson
I adored The Art of Being Normal – about teenagers David Piper and Leo Denton – and All About Mia is one I’ll definitely be picking up very soon! A brilliant look into the mind of a teenager stuck in the middle.

Forever Geek by Holly Smale
It’s almost time for the final book in the Geek Girl series. It’s been four years (I can’t quite believe it) since I picked up the first book. In many ways, my life’s quite different to how it was in early 2013, and this series has been with me the whole way!

Release by Patrick Ness
Of course the new Patrick Ness had to be on my list! Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt
I’m a huge fan of Non Pratt! As well as being a Twitter buddy, I loved her novels Trouble, Remix and Unboxed and so, of course, I’ll be reading Truth or Dare as soon as I can. Told in a dual narrative voice, Truth or Dare is about teenagers Claire and Sef.

The Name They Gave Us by Emery Lord
In 2016 I read When We Collided and it instantly became one of my favourite books of the year. I still haven’t picked up Emery Lord’s previous books (please make me do it this year!), but I’ll definitely be reading The Name They Gave Us. A vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

Freshers by Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen
I cannot wait for yet another amazingly hilariously and realistic contemporary novel from my favourite duo. In the meantime, I’m tempted to re-read Lobsters and Never Evers, but this has the potential to be my favourite yet. Freshers follows two protagonists through that tumultuous first year of university.

Inviticus by Ryan Graudin
Wolf By Wolf
is one of my favourite books – about Yael, who is on a mission to join the famous Axis Tour, a treacherous motorcycle race across the world – and so I’m excited to see what Ryan Graudin does next. Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Solutions and Other Problems
by Allie Brosh
Hyperbole and a Half made me laugh out loud. Although it tackles depression, it’s not depressing. I’m excited to see if Allie can do the same in Solutions and Other Problems.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
After enjoying The Next Together, I’m looking forward to Lauren James’ next novel, set in space. Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise by Jandy Nelson
I thought The Sky is Everywhere was an incredible story (and it’s one of the few books that has made me cry). I also enjoyed I’ll Give You the Sun, so Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise (an intriguing title) was always going to make the list. Nelson follows a trio of siblings—two boys and a girl—whose father disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. 

And lastly, I haven’t included the fantastic YA contemporary novels A Quiet Kind of Thunder or Wing Jones because I’ve read (and loved) them already – definitely put them on your TBR!

Are any of these on your 2017 wishlist?

Top Ten / Books I Read in 2016

Top Ten / Books I Read in 2016
I’ve had quite a disruptive reading year – lots of reading slumps, no motivation to pick up classics and feeling like there’s no time to pick up a book, but I’m pretty happy with my top books of the year!

When We Collided by Emery Lord
A joint-favourite alongside A Quiet Kind of Thunder, I loved everything about When We Collided. I was intrigued by sparkling Vivi, dealing with bipolar depression; adored careful Jonah and his love of food and cooking, and treasured the chaotic Daniels family. In 2017, I need to pick up her other novels.

El Deafo by Cece Bell
El Deafo is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read. Set in the 80s, it’s about Cece Bell, a young girl who develops a severe hearing impairment after becoming ill. From the difficulties of making friends to discovering the amazing Phonic Ear, this is a remarkable story about growing up. 

Head Over Heels by Holly Smale
Every time I pick up a new Geek Girl story, I’m transported to a happy place. Forever Geek will be the last in the series and I know it’s going to be sad to say goodbye to these characters.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Out next month, A Quiet Kind of Thunder is the incredible story of Steffi, a selective mute, and Rhys, who is deaf. You won’t be able to help but love these two teenagers – it’s already my favourite book published in 2017!

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
I love coming-of-age stories and in Roller Girl we get everything from realistic confrontations with parents to what it feels like to be the worst at something you so desperately want to conquer; a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and roller derby over one summer.

Top Ten / Books I Read in 2016
Unboxed by Non Pratt
I was always going to read Non Pratt’s latest as soon as I got my hands on it. Unboxed is a breathtaking novella about four teenagers who come together after a tragedy, about the power of close friendship and about letting go of secrets kept from the people who know you best.

How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne
My favourite in the Spinster Club series, How Hard Can Love Be? follows Amber to sunny California. Adorable feminist American boy? Check. Complicated family relationships? Check. Supportive female friendships? Check. Fulfilling my dream to visit the USA? CHECK.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Grace is not a likeable character – and she’s not meant to be – but to Henry she’s fascinating. Our Chemical Hearts had an unexpected emotional impact on me and I loved spending time with Henry Page and Grace Town.

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Also out next month, Wing Jones is a spirited story about fitting in, running and family. I’ll be reviewing it properly next year, but it’s one you won’t want to miss! Sporty girls ftw!

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine
I loved accompanying Sophie and Lil as they cracked codes, duped debutantes, and solved puzzles. And we meet many more lovable – and even odious – characters along the way. I’ll be picking up the third book next year!

Top Ten / Books I Read in 2016

Are any of these in your top ten?

Top Ten / YA Books I’m Excited About

Top Ten / YA Books I’m Excited About
I thought I’d talk about my top anticipated July-December books today since I first blogged about this topic for Top Ten Tuesday in December.

JULY (even though it’s a bit late!)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
I wasn’t too fussed about the script book until I saw the play and now I’m really looking forward to revisiting the story! I know it’s not a possibility for everyone, but if you can, definitely see it before you read it.

What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne
I adored Holly’s Am I Normal Yet? – a fantastic story of mental health, friendship and feminism – and so I’m delighted there are three more books to go, including the sequels How Hard Can Love Be? and What’s a Girl Gotta Do? Bring on the Spinster Club!

Unboxed by Non Pratt
As Non is one of my favourite authors, I was super excited to hear she was writing a new novella, about four teenagers who reunite after their friend passes away. I’ve heard such amazing things from everyone who’s read it so far, so I’m making it my next book!

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various
As soon as it hits December, I’ll be reading I’ll Be Home for Christmas, a collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. It includes some of my very favourite YA authors, such as Holly Bourne and Lisa Williamson.

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
If I needed an excuse to re-read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares once again, this would be it! Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
This is a dèbut I’ve seen a lot of excitement around – about the unlikely love between Henry and Grace – so I was happy to get my hands on a copy at this year’s YALC. 

Replica by Lauren Oliver
I’ve not read a Lauren Oliver novel in a while (not by choice – my TBR is just towering!), but I really want to make time for Replica. I’m intrigued by how this science fiction story is written; you can read Gemma’s story first, or Lyra’s, or in alternate chapters!

The Last Beginning by Lauren James
I’m looking forward to delving back into the tricksy world of Matthew and Kate, and meeting new characters Clove and Ella!

Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin
As Wolf By Wolf was my favourite book of 2015, Blood For Blood must be my most anticipated book of 2016! I haven’t even looked up what it’s about because I’m going to read it no matter what.

…And a Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne
Aaaand finally, another new story from Holly, this time a novella. I’m delighted that we get not one, but three new festive YA stories this year!

Will you be reading any of these?


Top Ten / Most Recent Five-Star Reads

Top Ten / Most Recent 5* Reads
It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday and this week we’re talking about our most recent five-star books. I rarely give out five-star ratings; a four-star rating from me is great, meaning “I really enjoyed this book. It wouldn’t have had many things, if any, that I didn’t like, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it”. They make up most of the books I read, but some books I just have to give the full rating: “I really loved this book and it’s now one of my favourites. It’s memorable and would have had a strong impact on me”. Here’s my latest ten!

When We Collided by Emery Lord
I finished When We Collided earlier this month and it’s one of my favourite books of the year so far: beautifully written, honest, and incredibly sweet. Plus Jonah isn’t too bad either!

El Deafo by Cece Bell
A stunning graphic novel about a smart little girl struggling to navigate the world of school and friends after an illness makes her lose her hearing. It’s poignant and charming, one of the best graphic novels I’ve read.

One (Audiobook) by Sarah Crossan & narrated by Stephanie Cannon
I thought the audiobook version of One was beautifully done. As the story is written in verse, I wasn’t sure how it would work, but it was just as emotional the second time.

All That Glitters by Holly Smale
I adore the Geek Girl series and All That Glitters didn’t let me down. It’s always great to be back in Harriet’s wacky world. I’ll soon be picking up the next book, Head Over Heels, and I cannot wait!

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell & illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico
The Wolf Wilder is a beautiful story about one girl’s treacherous adventure through dangerous, snowy Russia to save her mother – a stunning book, inside and out.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as part of the 2015 Classics Challenge and it has become a firm favourite. An unforgettable tale of family and growing up.

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell & illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is a lovely children’s story about friendship, cats and celebrating a love of music. It’s beautifully illustrated and a pure delight.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Saint Anything is up there with my favourite young adult contemporary novels; a brilliant story about one girl’s determination to be herself. (Plus pizza).

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I had an excellent run of young adult contemporary in 2015. Since You’ve Been Gone is perfect, especially as it isn’t all about the romance. I have The Unexpected Everything is sitting on my TBR and I’m sure it’ll be another five-star read.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
One of my favourite boys in YA contemporary fiction is Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss and Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door is right up there with him!

Are any of these books five-star reads for you?