Each year, I set a goal to read fifty books. That's about a book a week, nothing crazy, but this year I've really struggled. Between my elbow surgery and writing two books, I just haven't been as committed to my reading schedule as usual.
However, now that things have calmed down a bit, I can finally sit back and take stalk of those books that I have read so far in 2017:
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiegvater
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
So yeah, it's only seven, rather than fifteen or twenty, but hey that's something! And here, in no particular order, are my thoughts:
1. Best overall read: The Scorpio Races
So I loved The Raven Cycle and was fully prepared to love this book. But it started slow and it's super literary and I just wasn't sure about it. And then, somehow, it got good. Like, REALLY good. And now I want to erase my memories and go back to reread this one for the first time. It's such a subtle, delicious fantasy with stellar characters and unbelievably amazing writing. It makes me a believer in literary fiction.
2. Almost-best overall read: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
It's easy to see why this book became an instant classic among YA and fantasy romance readers. It has super mind-blowing world building with resurrections and races and wars. There's super fantastic end-all-be-all romance and the author's writing is on point. I really loved this one.
3. Best fantasy: The Star-Touched Queen
While I really wanted to like this book 100%, I ended up only at 85% or so. It was the little cousin of ACOTAR, with so many similarities, it was almost a little strange. But, what saved this book was the amazing setting and world-building. The Indian infusion into a somewhat tired romance trope was really refreshing and I loved getting to dip into Maya's world.
4. Best plot: This Savage Song
So there's a city with three kinds of monsters and they don't get along and each one feeds/attacks in a different way and for different reasons. Are you kidding me? It was so delicious to dive into the amazing, twisty plot. So much fun and just all around badassery.
5. Best action: The Monstrumologist
This book was not at all what I thought it would be, but it was still crazy good. The anthropophagi were sufficiently creepy and scary and awesome, and Will Henry makes a great narrator for their attempts to neutralize the population. With grenades and dynamite and old rifles, it was definitely a refreshing change over swords and arrows.
6. Best characters: The Scorpio Races
Hello, Puck and Sean are life. All of it. I can't even with these two. I'm still swooning about it weeks later. I suggested this one to book club and they're reading it for the May meeting. It's THAT good!
7. Best setting: This Savage Song
This was a tough one, but I have to go with V City and the badass monsters that live there. Just super cool with their crazy eyes and eating sinners and a big wall between the two halves. Just wow. Super wow.
8. Best nonfiction: The River of Doubt
So, it's no secret I'm not much of a nonfiction reader. At least, not at book length. I rarely find a single topic that can hold my interest for that long. While this was not a normal read for me, nor one I would have continued if not bound by book club, I did find it rather unputdownable toward the end.
9. Best writing: The Scorpio Races
Every word, every sentence, was perfection. No lie. Just stunning that someone can keep up that level of literary mastery for an entire book. I bow to you, Ms. Maggie. Simply breathtaking.
10. Best cover: This Savage Song
I mean, hellllloooo. It's the violin. That swoon-worthy violin. Is there a sequel to this book? Because I need more of this violin and this whole book.
What books have you read lately that were the clear winners on your reading list?