Chantal’s Top Five Favourites of 2017

Hey guys! I know I’m a bit late with this (what else is new) but better late then never! So here are in no particular order my top 5 five favourite books of 2017.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

This is really the book that everyone has been raving about this year and as much as I don’t like to overhype a book, I do believe that The Hate U Give deserves all the praise it gets. It is, quite simply, one of the best debut novels I have ever read. It accomplishes to both be an entertaining YA contemporary read as well as tackling the deeper societal issues of systematic racism, interracial relationships, white privilege and toxic friendships. The characters are complex and well-developed, the relationships excellently fleshed out and diverse in nature. I am so happy that this book exists in the world and is an accessible read for younger readers. Most of all, I loved how this novel portrayed the issues mentioned above without ever falling into trap of being lecturing.

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

“If we could be better people,” she would say, “if we could care about each other as much as we do about ourselves, think about it, Lily! Think what the world would be!”

My love for this series came as a complete surprise. I avoided the first book, The Queen of the Tearling, for YEARS before picking it up because everyone seemed so divided on it and many reviewers I trust hated the book. When I did pick it up at the beginning of 2017 I found myself right in the middle: I did not hate it by any means but neither did I love it with a fiery passion. The second instalment in the series changed this however. The Invasion of the Tearling brought so much more to the story, I adore Kelsea the main character and how different she was to other female fantasy characters. She is cunning and determined yet flawed and the book really dives into the struggle against her inner darkness. I also loved the side characters and their relationships with one another as well as the whole political situation and how that was played out. Overall, this book is long but I could not put it down. It went to completely unexpected places and left me at the edge of my seat.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”

I picked this book up on a whim after one of my most trusted reviewers gave it a glowing recommendation. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is well-written and engaging, dramatic yet with some light-hearted moments. It’s definitely a character-driven book yet never becomes slow or boring and keeps you at the edge of your seat, guessing how Evelyn’s story might end. This story plunges into the psychology of fame and what it does to people, both the ones who have it and the ones who want it. It draws a picture of how people change when they care so deeply about what others think of them and different motivations for going after the same thing. It’s a novel about love and loss and how we deal with both, how we sometimes realise our love for something only when it is gone. The author has created complex, multi-faceted characters and developed relationships between them that are extremely relatable. The book is also wonderfully diverse, both in ethnicity and sexuality and the way Taylor Jenkins Reid interweaves this into the historical setting of old Hollywood is simply exquisite. Definitely one of my favourites of 2017.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”

Oh man. The amount of times I had seen this book mentioned and recommended and yet the premise never intrigued in the slightest and so I never had the intention of picking it up any time soon. But then Nina raved to me about it and I got curious. Thank goodness because I loved this book! This first instalment feels much more like a fantasy novel then a science-fiction and I adored the competition element. Darrow is one of my new favourite fictional characters; incredibly cunning and strategic, good-hearted yet manipulative, extremely flawed but you can’t help but love him anyway. Red Rising is a truly wonderful addition to the sci-fi genre and is great both for adult and YA lovers alike.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

“I mean a fat, ugly man can still be funny and lovable and successful,” continued Jane. “But it’s like it’s the most shameful thing for a woman to be.” “But you weren’t, you’re not—” began Madeline. “Yes, OK, but so what if I was!” interrupted Jane. “What if I was! That’s my point. What if I was a bit overweight and not especially pretty? Why is that so terrible? So disgusting? Why is that the end of the world?”

If I would have to choose an absolute favourite book of 2017 it would be Big Little Lies. There was no way I could not give this book 5 stars, I loved everything about it. It strikes the balance between dark and hilarious and had me engrossed from start to finish. I totally lost myself in the characters’ lives and their complexity. They were vivid and lovable, flawed and honest in a way that only great writers can create them. The plot was suspenseful and engaging; I was never bored and kept wanting to turn the pages. What I loved even more is how on the surface this novel was a mystery ala Desperate Housewives and yet the writing had depth and Liane Moriarity tackled very real topics such as domestic abuse and mental health in a respectful, encompassing way. I can’t imagine someone not liking this book, highly recommend to you all!

What were your favourite books of 2017?

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2 Comments

  1. Darrow is the best! I adore Red Rising saga and believe me, you have a hell of a road ahead of you 😉

    And I am glad to see The Hate You Give on our list. I am starting it today so it gives me hope that I will love it.

    • chantal

      January 28, 2018 at 1:09 PM

      He is!! I love him so much. Nina keeps telling me the series is amazing, I will definitely be picking the next instalment very soon. Can’t wait to fangirl with everyone haha.

      Oooh I hope you enjoy The Hate You Give! I know it seems very overhyped and I hope that doesn’t ruin it for you but I really do think it’s a wonderful book that everyone should pick up. Please let me know how you found it once you finish 🙂

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