We are coming up on the end of the year, and with my schedule being what it is, I kind of doubt I'm going to be able to fit in any more reads this month. So I'm going to go ahead and name my Absolute Favorites of the Year.
TOP TEN OF 2017
#1: Spindle - W.R. Gingell.
This one HAD to be my top pick, because this book reminded me SO MUCH of my all-time favorite book, Howl's Moving Castle. And yet it was nothing like Howl's Moving Castle at the same time, so there were endless delightful surprises! Funny, witty, beautifully written, romantic . . . this book has it all.
#2: Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
This was probably the most beautiful prose I encountered all year. And the most unique story, and the most wonderful hero and . . . and . . . I mean, I just adored this book! The only reason it's not #1 is because I didn't like the cheesy turn the romance took at the end, but other than that? Perfection.
#3: Sunbolt - Intisar Khnani
I read this book early on in the year, but it impressed me so much, I haven't forgotten a word of it since. I found myself recommending this short adventure every chance I got. Loved the action, loved the world created. It's short, but every word is worth it!
#4: One Dark Throne - Kendare Blake
This book is the sequel to Three Dark Crowns, and I found it to be just explosively brilliant! While the first book kind of took its time getting anywhere, this book already had me hooked on the characters, and I was breathless to see where their stories would take them. I can hardly wait for book 3!
#5: Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I thought there was no way this book would be worth the hype. But guess what? It is!!!! Oh my gosh, this was such an incredible read! I've been pestering my husband to pick it up ever since I finished.
#6: Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay
I read this one for my Beauty and the Beast month, but it's not really a Beauty and the Beast story. I mean, it kind of is . . . but it's also it's own, strange, sci-fi, beautiful adventure romance. I've never read anything like it, and I am a huge fan! Looking forward to reading more by this brilliant author.
#7: The Emperor's Edge - Lindsay Buroker
The only steampunk to make it on the list. This book was a late-in-the-year find, but I just loved it! It's fluffy, exciting, compulsively readable fun. As are the followup books in the series! I'm kind of addicted, I won't lie.
#8: Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder
I can't believe that as a YA reader it took me so long to pick up one of Snyder's books! Poison Study was everything I look for in a YA fantasy read. Strong female lead, moody and mysterious enemy/hero, a fascinating world and magic system . . . I mean, it's pretty much tailor-made to suit my reading tastes!
#9: The Midnight Sea - Kat Ross
Another fantastic YA adventure with a strong heroine and unique world. But the main reason this one makes my list of favorites is the incredible plot twists the author pulled off, completely taking me by surprise! Makes for great, page-turning reading.
#10: A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab
I wasn't certain if I would include this one in the list simply because I was so disappointed with book 2, but . . . what the heck. I'm only human, and I LOVED Kell! This was an odd book in many ways, but so unique and so fascinating and . . . well, Kell! He's just too lovable, the dear sweet grump.
There were plenty of other amazing reads this year which didn’t make the top ten list . . . but I’m going to do a few more lists—Favorite Heroine, Favorite 2017 Publication, etc.—so that I can include more of them. Be watching for those!