Hope you`ve all had a great weekend.
Today I`m taking part in the Top Ten Tuesday meme which is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish .Today`s prompt is to write about your favourite books of 2017 so far.
Disclaimers: Even though I`ve absolutely loved some of the books I`ve read this month, I haven`t got around to writing reviews for them yet, so these books will be from January- May. Also, since I gave quite a few books 5 stars last month, I`ll only be choosing my very favourites as I don’t want to simply republish all of those reviews (which, if you`re interested you can read here)
Let`s get started!
Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
In her extraordinary debut, Katherine Webber tells the story of a girl called Wing finding herself through a talent of running after a horrific accident takes place and her world is changed forever.
The descriptive language made me feel like I was with Wing in her Atlanta home town, and at many points I just wanted to climb in and give Wing a hug.
The other characters in the novel are also fantastic, such as Wing`s warring grandmothers (Lao Lao from China and Granny Dee from Ghana) adding subtle humour with their little fights, and the exploration of grief through characters such as Monica. Wing`s romance with Aaron was gorgeous, although I would possibly have liked it to start slightly earlier in the novel as it took quite a long time for it to begin. That the characters were all so diverse, both in terms of race and sexuality was an added bonus.
Another part of the book I really enjoyed was Wing discovering her extraordinary talent for running and using it to try and save her family from all their problems.
In conclusion, I thought this was a beautiful YA novel, and it`s almost certainly going to be one of my favourite books of 2017. 5/5
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
In her debut novel, Stephanie Perkins tells the story of an American girl called Anna going to a boarding school in Paris and slowly falling in love over the course of senior year.
I absolutely adored the relationship between Anna and Etienne (the latter of which I will admit I was a little bit in love with by the end of the book, although I do wish we had got to see more of them as an actual couple when they got together. I also really liked Anna`s narrative and I warmed to her character very quickly. The use of the Paris was fantastic and it really enhanced the book in my opinion.
The only part of the novel I didn’t like was the subplot with the antagonist Amanda as I found it unnecessary to the plot and found myself skipping over some of those sections. Overall though, this was a fantastic YA romance and I definitely want to pick up the other novels in this series. 4.5/5
Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans
In her debut novel (Waterstones` Children`s Book of the Month), Maz Evans tells the story of young carer Elliot as the young constellation Virgo crashes into his life and involves him in the chaos of releasing Thanatos, daemon of death, and having to engage the retired Olympians to recapture him.
The book`s plot is interesting, and as the idea of modern mythology has been done before I was nervous about it being original enough, but it featured new characters and ideas that I’d never seen. The dialogue in the novel was excellent and the characters were vibrant and the absolute strength of the novel; there was a protagonist to root for in Elliot, villains we love to hate both in the fantasy side of the novel and in the real world and the colourful, crazy Olympians as the supporting cast.
Simultaneously hilarious and heart-breaking; this book is one of the best middle grade novels I`ll read this year. Can`t wait to read the sequel in August, especially after the cliff-hanger at the end. 5/5
The Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine
In the third of the Sinclair`s Mysteries series, Katherine Woodfine continues the story of shop girls Sophie and Lil and their friends as a priceless painting disappears from a new exhibition at Sinclair`s Department Store and they attempt to solve the mystery.
While the book was slow to start, it was a real page turner when the main plot began. I really loved the setting of Sinclair`s, which is so evocative, and the blend of old characters we already know and love such as Sophie, Lil, Billy and Joe, as well as new characters like Leo and Lil`s brother Jack, who attend art school together and become involved in the case. While I did like what happened at the end of the book, I found the execution of it a little bit rushed.
In conclusion, this was a fun mystery read with intriguing hints of what may come in future books. Speaking of future books, I`m really excited about reading the fourth in the series, The Midnight Peacock when it comes out in October and am glad it`s not going to be as long a wait as this one. 4.5/5
Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtesma
In her debut novel, Nat Luurtesma tells the story of Lou Brown, a teenage girl who at the beginning of the novel faces the humiliation of coming last at an Olympic swimming trial and over the course of the novel has to find a new `thing`. After she decides to help a group of boys at her school form a synchronised swimming team to enter a TV talent show, her life goes mad and the results were often laugh out loud hilarious. Lou herself was incredibly endearing, and the rest of the characters were crazy, cleverly written and jumped off the page. This is by far the best YA comedy debut I`ve read since Geek Girl, and I would absolutely love a series following Lou to fill the gap left behind after the Geek Girl books` conclusion this year. 5/5
Forever Geek by Holly Smale
In the conclusion to the Geek Girl series, which for years has been and always will be among my favourite book series, Holly Smale sent narrator Harriet to Australia (which just so happens to be the native land of Harriet`s ex-boyfriend Nick). While I don`t want to spoil the ending of the series for anyone who hasn`t read it, I loved Harriet and Nick`s scenes together when they inevitably meet up, and this book holds up the high standard of humour present in the previous books. It was a perfect ending for the characters ( and I unashamedly admit that I shed tears about having to say goodbye to them) and I`m really excited to see what Holly Smale writes next. 5/5
Beetle Queen by M.G Leonard
In the second book of her trilogy, M.G Leonard continues the story of Darkus Cuttle, a boy who has a very special pet; a beetle called Baxter with special abilities, who an evil villain called Lucretia Cutter wants to capture, along with the other beetles with this special DNA. I absolutely loved Beetle Boy when it came out, and if anything I enjoyed this one even more. I really like the characters, especially Darkus and his friends Bertolt and Virginia, and the plot was so exciting and suspenseful. Also, the cover design by Helen Crawford White and illustration by Elisabet Portabella are absolutely beautiful and would look amazing on any bookshelf. I`d never have imagined liking this series before I read them, but the Battle of the Beetles, which will conclude the trilogy, is definitely one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2018. 5/5
Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll
In her 5th novel, Emma Carroll explores the era of World War Two, specifically the area of child evacuees to the countryside and the treatment of the Jews at this time. I really liked the main characters Olive, Cliff and of course Pixie the dog (I continue to find that Emma Carroll writes some of the best dogs ever, as I love the dogs in all her other books too), as well as secondary characters who felt rounded and developed too, such as Esther and Ephraim. Emma Carroll`s writing itself is also excellent; it really draws you into her world and doesn`t let you go until the final page. 5/5
The Graces by Laure Eve
In what is without doubt one of my favourite novels of 2017 so far, Laure Eve tells the story of enigmatic narrator `River` (whose real name is never revealed) as she becomes entangled with the Grace family, a mysterious, slightly magical family who everyone in town are obsessed with. I found the characters really interesting as they were all so well-drawn and rounded and felt like real, flawed people and I also enjoyed River`s narration. I read this in a matter of hours as it was so addictive and made me desperate to unfold the rest of the story as it was so tense and thrilling and I`ve never read anything quite like it before. The jaw-dropping twist at the end involving River made me absolutely breathless, and I can`t wait to get my hands on the sequel The Curses come September. 5/5
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
After having this on my radar for months, I was so pleased when I picked up a copy and it was even better than I had ever imagined it would be.
The two main characters Frances and Aled were so relatable and lovable in their own ways; I thought Frances` witty narration was amazing and Aled was beyond sweet and felt like an incredibly distinctive character. I don`t want to spoil any of the plot as a lot of it felt very unexpected and original, but it essentially focuses on Frances and Aled as they meet through their favourite podcast Radio City and become friends. I loved how the book began as light-hearted and grew more intense as it went on as it really hooked me and made me keep reading.
Another part of the book which I liked was that it was very diverse in terms of race and sexuality and it also successfully tackled important topics such as the pressures on teenagers because of exams and abusive homes. Finally, I loved the way the book ends, which again I don’t want to spoil, as I was expecting it go differently to the way I wanted and then I finished the book and it was just perfect. I can`t wait to read whatever the author releases next, and also seek out a copy of her debut Solitaire. 5/5
So those have been my favourites of the year so far, but what are yours? I`d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl about them, or to let me know what you think of mine.
See you soon with a new post!