Another Year, another book round up. Last year’s list was pretty much mostly YA novels. Is 2017 going to bring anything different? Nope. I’m afraid not. I’ve decided to accept that fact that I just love a good teen novel. And apparently sarcastic demi-gods by the look of this years list. Nevertheless, here it is. The long awaited 2017 Book Roundup. (I’m joking, no one asked for this, I just like doing it!)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (27/02/17) ★★★★☆
I only read this because I saw the trailer for the film and it looked really cool. And I’m one of those people who like to read the book before I see the film. A Monster Calls is a beautifully sad book. It’s about a young boy, Conor, whose mother is dying. Through his art and imagination (or magic?), he is visited by a monster who guides his through his emotions and his grief.
It’s such a lovely story about family, faith and courage. It’s classed as young adult fiction, but my mum loved it so you should give it a go, even if you don’t think it’ll be your thing.
2. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Karen Millwood (01/03/17) ★★★☆☆
Forbidden to leave her island but longing to see the world, Isabella’s best friend goes missing in the islands Forgotten Territories. She joins the search part and using her knowledge of cartography, she uses her maps of the stars to navigate through the monster filled waste land.
I really quite enjoyed this book. The desire to get out of your home land and explore the world is always a good start to a story. And something I’m sure most can relate to. It was quite sad at times, but ultimately very uplifting and inspiring. Also there is a cool mythology to the island that was really interesting.
3. Bossypants by Tina Fey (07/03/2017) ★★★★☆
Bossypants is the memoir of Tina Fey, the writer/comedian most known for her work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. Her journey from youth theatre in her hometown to Saturday Night Live. One sided romances in college to almost dying on her honeymoon. Motherhood, Feminism , and being a BOSS. She tells all.
I bought this book back when it was released in 2011 and only just got around to reading it this year. It is amazing, relatable and absolutely hilarious. I said last year that I wasn’t so into celebrity memoirs but it seems I make an exception for funny ladies. Such a great book! Everyone should read it!
4. Aleph by Paulo Coelho (30/05/2017)☆☆☆☆☆
Aleph is a biographical book of a time in Paulo Coelho’s life where he lost his way, and through his writing, his readers and his faith, he found his meaning in life again.
Honestly this book is trash. I read The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die when I was about 18 years old and just fell in love with his books. I bought a good few more but never got around to reading them. I think I picked this up in a charity shop and saw it was about travel (he does a book tour of Russia on the Trans Siberian Railway). But the whole book is about how amazing and attractive he is and how young beautiful women flock to him and not much else. Honestly I felt a bit sick reading it.
5. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria (01/06/2017) ★★★☆☆
Told through a series on letters written to dead famous people the likes of Kurt Cobain and Judy Garland, by a girl named Laurel. She is grieveing the death of her older sister though you don’t know how or why her sister passed away. Along with her grief,s he is dealing with starting a new school, making new friends, find coping with a family broken by loss.
An incredibly sad book but I thought it was really interesting how it was told through letters. At first I thought it would be distracting, but I soon didn’t even realise. There seems to be a theme emerging here about people dealing with grief that I have only now just noticed. Maybe my mind was a little dark this year. Following along on Laurel’s and her families grief, and how it effects everyone differently was eye opening. Really reinforces that you can never know what a person is going through in private. A lovely read, despite it’s dark themes.
6. The Circle by Dave Eggers (27/06/2017) ★★★★☆
Picture a time where the likes of Google or Facebook have taken over the world (more so than they already have) They are your social media, control your finances, see everything, hear everything. But that’s not enough. The Circle is a company that want full control over everything. No secrets. No privacy. Now imagine they managed to convice you that this is a good thing? Aptly described as a Dystopian Novel, The Circle shows us what will happen to the world if we keep going the way we are going.
Again, I really only read this because the movie was coming out. But I’m glad I did. What a creepy book. It’s one of the few books that I’ve read where to protagonist doesn’t ‘save the day’ so to speak. Mae is completely hook line and sinker for The Circle. She eventually agrees to have her life live streamed online 24 hours a day. She thinks it’s great and can’t understand why people disagree. Such a frustrating book to read but it has a really strong impact.
7. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief (06/07/2017) ★★☆☆☆
Percy Jackson is a normal kid who seems to always get himself into trouble. Kicked out of every school he’s ever been to, he can’t understand why he’s so unlucky. That is until he finds out his dad is Posiden, God of the Sea, and that he is a demi-god who is destined to be a hero. Quite a lot of an 12 year old to take on board. He is blamed for stealing Zeus’ Lightning Bolt, putting the safety of the Gods at risk. He sets of on a quest to track down the real thief and clear his name.
Okay, so this is the part where I gave up on heavy, depressing books and dove right into present day/greek mythology mash up stories. I would say this was a bit too aimed at young kids and was slightly boring, but I powered through to get to the later books in the series. All in all a nice little book though. I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next one.
8. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters (08/07/2017) ★☆☆☆☆
After a year back at school, Percy is back at Half Blood Camp with another quest. This time, it’s to save the camp from the Titans. He sets off with his friends to look for The Golden Fleece, which will restore the poisoned tree that protects Half Blood Camp.
Again, pretty boring. I had to Google what this one was about because I have no memory of it. I still powered through, but took a cheeky 2 month break as my interest in the series was pretty non existent when I finished Sea of Monsters
9. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse (20/09/2017) ★★☆☆☆
Percy, now 14 years old, and his friends go on a dangerous quest to rescue their friend Annabeth, and the God Artemis, who have both been kidnapped by the Titans.
This was better. Getting darker and scarier. The Titans, being the big bad guys that the Greek Gods imprisoned in Tartarus forever ago, have no escaped and are wreaking havoc on the world. The writing of these books are really good. Rick Riordan is so funny and sarcastic, which is the best kind of humour is you ask me. There is also the introduction to the Hunters in this books, who are a band of strong ladies who swear off men forever and protect the world. They are awesome.
10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth ★★☆☆☆
Another Book, another quest. This time, they need to enter the Labyrinth and find the creator, Daedalus, and convince him to not help their enemies destroy Camp Half Blood.
The Titans are good and free by this point, as are many other monsters who have long been imprisoned. This time round it is Annabeth’s quest. There is an ongoing theme that she is torn between helping her friends at camp, and her old friend Luke, who was working with the Titans and is now possessed by Kronos, the leader of the Titans. In this book, she comes face to face with her dilemma.
11. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian ★★★★☆
Percy, back at it again saving the world. The last stand with the Titans to protect Olympus. Most of the Gods are off fighting back Typhon, who is tearing across America in the form of a massive storm. Destroying everything in his path. If he reaches NYC (where Olympus is, obviously) there is no saving them. The Demi-Gods are on their own.
A great final book to the series. I love when the last book ties up everything perfectly. Some top actions scenes, great WOW moments and a killer twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. If anything, getting through the whole series was worth to get to The Last Olympian.
12. Hot Milk by Deborah Levy ★☆☆☆☆
Hot Milk is a book about a girl who flies to Spain with her sick mother for specialist treatment. After many years and many ailments, they are finally shelling out to get a difinitive diagonsis. 25 year old Sofia has delayed her anthropology thesis to care for her mother and the relationship between them plays a major role in the book. That, along with her trying to restart an independant, adult life, there are some interesting aspects of this book.
This was a strange one. There was a lot of symobolism that I understood and thought was clever – Sofia being a anthropologist gives her a observant voice that is quite interesting – but I think it was either trying to be deeper than it was, or I just didn’t get it. I was happy when it was over. I didn’t really care for any of the charaters in particular andhonestly, struggle to remember what most of the book was about a month after reading it.
Well that’s it for 2017. I am currently reading The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood, and may well finish that by the end of the year, but this is my list as it stands. Lots of Young Adult books, as per, but with some serious novels thrown in for good measure.
What have your favourite books of 2017 been? Do you have any recommendations for my 2018 list?
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