Best Reads of 2017

Hello everyone,

I know this is suppose to be a Top 5 Wednesday, but I realized I can’t fit all of the great books I read this year in just 5 spots.

These are my best reads of 2017, some of the books may have been released in another year so these are the best books I read this year.

The Hate U Give by: Angie Thomas

One of my first 5/5s of the year this is a very important book, but it was also very riveting  from start to finish. I could not put this book down.

Scythe by Neal Shustermann

A world without diseases, and death is controled by Scythes. I really loved this book, which really took advantage of a great premise.

The works of Adam Silvera

I read three books by this author and all three were amazing. Even though well all of his books are sad (I almost had to fight back tears reading TBDATE on the train). Each story is also very unique as well. All dealing with real issues, I don’t usually pick up contempory but Adam Silvera made it worth it.

Truthwitch/Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Had to include both of these books in here. I read both of these this year and loved both of them. Truthwitch was a great first book with excellent world building and characters and Windwitch expanded a lot of world and developed the charcaters. I can’t wait to see how this series goes.

Want by Cindy Pon

Last year I read Serpentine and it was one of my favorite underrated books I read. Want did sometime different from what I previously read from Pon. While Serpentine was based around Chinese mythology, Want had a more Sci Fi vibe and it was amazing. Loved the setting and the two main characters and I can’t wait to see how this series continues.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Such a great and emotional ending to a great duology. This Savage Song was one of my favorites of last year and this year I read the epic conclusion. August and Kate are some of my favorite characters and it was another trying to fight back tears while reading on the train.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

This is the all-female Lord of the Flies, I want to see on the big screen. This was on my TBR for years and I finally got around to reading and loving it. It wasn’t just a stranded on a desert island story, it had a lot of commentaries about feminism and “girly” culture. I also had the pleasure of meeting her at Boston Book Festival and she was amazing in person.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

This was one of my marathon reads that I read in a day, and it was such a page turner. This was a retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White set in Asia. Since it was told from Xifeng’s perspective and it you really saw her dark decent through the pages.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

A nice kick-ass feminist book which is about young girls fighting back against their schools sexist policies. It was inspired by the Riotgirls of the 90s. I also like that it had young girls working together.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Another girls fighting back against their schools and this mainly deals with the rape of another student. While Moxie is told through mostly one POV, this one has multiple POVs, which really gives it a more ensemble feel to it and the Us chapters really makes the book stands out. Also part of me would love to see a crossover with the Moxie girls meeting the The Nowhere Girls and kicking ass.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

The story of Cinderella set in a Sci Fi convention, of course I will read this. This was another nice contemporary read, which is a retelling of Cinderella. While the story of Cinderella has been retold multiple times, this one had a nice spin to it. Complete with a food truck named the Magic Pumpkin. While I don’t read a lot of contemporary this one was a great read.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

This had me at the crew from Firefly in a Tardis, and it didn’t disappoint. I am always a sucker for time travel stories. The characters were fantastic in every way. I really wish this wasn’t a stand alone book and a full fledged series.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Marie Lu is one of my auto buy authors. She wrote two series that I really love; Legend and The Young Elites. She is also not afraid to write different genres. This one is a futuristic Sci Fi, which also incorporates the world of video games. Had so much engaging characters and a great setting.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

This had me at superheroes. I was such a fan of the Lunar Chronicles and Renegades didn’t disappoint. It had such a great character driven story, that included engaging characters, and it has an ending that makes you want to see what happens next.

Those are my favorite reads of 2017. I feel like I may have left some books out but I think it was a good reading year. What are your favorite books you read this year? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Invictus by: Ryan Graudin

Summary:

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

The Review:

This book had me at “the crew of Firfely entering the TARDIS” and it really felt like that throughout the story. Earlier this year I read Ryan Graudin’s Wolf-by-Wolf, which is an alternative take of WWII. This deals with the concept of time-travel, with a lot of wibley-woobly timey wimey stuff.

Farway, or Far, is someone who was born “outside of time”, in which he was born within a time stream and doesn’t have a specific birthday, this was mainly due to his mother having a relationship with a Roman gladiator in 95 AD, she gave birth outside of time and defying the laws of nature. Years later he is pursuing a career in time travel, but during his final exam, it gets hacked and he fails the exam and expelled for the Academy.

Far is a great main character. He sort of had a Malcolm Reynolds vibe to him, throughout the story, and always wanted to get the job done. He also cares a lot about his crew on the Invictus, but he also deals with the fact that his mother disappeared on her own time travel mission on the Ab Aeterno.

The crew of the Invictus all have very distinct personalities which reminded me a lot of Firefly. Priya, who is Far’s girlfriend acts as the ships doctor. The relationship between Priya and Far was extremely well done and you can tell from the text that they actually care about each other. She is also fully fleshed out, and has her character fully realized through a few flashbacks of her time in the Academy.

There is also Imogen, Far’s cousin. She also puts together a lot of the “captains’s log” throughout the story, and a lot of the “captains log” are very humorous. She also has a good relationship with Far and also acts as his confidant.¬† Throughout the story she also has a crush on Gram, the ships pilot, and it always seems funny how she tries not to act of her crush even though people know about it. While I did like the character Gram, I thought he could have been fleshed out a bit more.

The main plot of the story is the crew planning a heist abroad the Titanic right before it sinks, in order to steal an object. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until they come across Eliot, a mysterious time traveler, who steals the item and will trade it in order to have a spot on the crew.

Eliot, basically serves the Sixth ranger role on the team, and throughout the book there is always a sense of mystery surrounding her character, and you always feel that there is some twist that is about the happen. Once you find out Eliot’s main motivation it actually starts to make sense, and adds a lot to the story.

What made the book great was the concept of time travel. Time travel is always a tricky thing to really pull off, because there are times when it could introduce a lot of plot holes, Ryan Graudin actually provided a good use of time travel through multiverses. I will not go much into detail in case of spoilers, but the idea of multiple universes makes a lot of sense in regards to the story, and sets up a lot of stacks for the story.

Also the world building was really well done as well, especially the world of time travelers. One of my favorite aspects is a clothing store that specializes in different period of clothing when one goes time traveling. So they could get jackets from the 1950s, and dresses from the Victorian era. It also set up rules with time travel in order to not disrupt the timeline.

In the end, Invictus was a really great book that deals with the concept of time travel. Mainly as a Whovian, time travel has always captivated me. The characters make the book such a good read, and I am a little disappointed that it is a stand alone novel, because I could read a series about these characters.

Grade: 4/5

October TBR

Hello everyone and a Happy October to you all,

I know I am a little late for this but here is my TBR for the month of October, it may be subject to change depending if I see a new cool book.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

At the Boston Teen Author Festival I met Ashley Poston and from hearing her talk about her book made me want to read it. I know its been out for quite a while. I also am trying to expand my reading habits, and this maybe the book to do it.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

This book had me at “the crew from Firefly with time travel”. I could always use a good time travel story. Earlier this year I read Wolf by Wolf, which I really liked so I am excited to read more of her work.

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

I heard nothing but great things about this book. I also tend to like historical fiction, and just reading the premise alone makes me want to read the book.

All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

This is another premise that grabbed my attention, mainly because of the concept for paying for every word you speak. I meant to get the book at Boston Teen Author Festival but it was sold out. I also liked hearing the author talk extensively about the book and its premise.

 

Those are the books I plan to read for the month of October, I may add a few more if some catch my eye. What books do you plan on reading for the month of October? Let me know in the comments below.