5 Star Reads of 2017

This year, I was blown away by the second and third books in multiple trilogies. In the past, it had felt like no other book in a series could top the first book – and the third book? Might as well just pretend it never existed (I’m looking at you, Allegiant). But authors Sarah J. Maas, Victoria Aveyard, and Leigh Bardugo have made me hopeful that trilogies and series are alive and well. Sarah J. Maas tops my list as the author of five of my most favorite books of the year. Stand alone books didn’t disappoint either. Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a must-read for anyone looking for a politically and emotionally savvy #metoo read. I’ve been anxiously awaiting for another book from my Graceling-universe-author Kristin Cashore, and while Jane, Unlimited was worlds away from Graceling, I was still hooked on every page. I’m looking forward to whatever else she decides to write. Another interesting thing about this list? Women authors dominate, with the only male writer being Scott Westerfeld for Afterworlds. Way to go, ladies!

Without further ado, here are my five star reads of 2017, in no particular order:   

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  3. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
  4. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  5. King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard
  6. Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
  7. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
  8. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

But I read so many GREAT books this year, and eight books just doesn’t do my reading list justice. So here are a few four star books that were an absolute pleasure to read.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
  • Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  • Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh
  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  • A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis
  • Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

What were your favorite reads of the year?

Find my top books of 2016 here and 2015 here.

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Goodbye November, Hello Hanson and More Books than I can Handle

Goodbye November

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog this month. I’m pretty awful at blogging throughout the rest of the year, but I thoroughly enjoy creating pieces for NaBloPoMo and reading other people’s blogs during the month, too. I hope you found a post or two that you connected with.

Hello Hanson

Now that NaBloPoMo is coming to a close, I’m thinking about preparing for Christmas, my sister’s baby shower, and taking a much-needed weekend getaway. A friend and I will be seeing Hanson’s “Finally It’s Christmas” show, and I can’t wait! Yes, I’m talking about those guys who sang “MmmBop” twenty years ago. Hanson’s “Snowed In” album is my favorite Christmas CD, and I was thrilled that they were releasing new Christmas music. I couldn’t believe my luck when it worked out that a friend and I could plan a trip to see Hanson perform live this month. We’ve already been to three (or four?) of their concerts since college, and each time we leave, we say we’d go see them again!

More Books than I can Handle

Whoa, I am drowning in books over here! I read approximately 98% of my books on my Kindle and 99.5% of those books are from my library, via the OverDrive app. Seriously, it’s the best. I always have ten books on hold on the app, as you can’t get all of the books right away, just like a library. Anyway, I’ve had the same books on hold for months, and then of course, while in the middle of reading one book, four more books came in at once. That means I’ve got 14 days to read 4.5 books! Wish me luck.

Enjoy the holiday season everyone!

Here Come the Posts!

Know why I’m excited for NaBloPoMo? Because I get to post more times in one month than I do all year! I posted a pitiful 11 times since NaBloPoMo 2016 wrapped up.

Here’s some of what I’ve been up to:

  • Family trip to Puerto Vallarta and Merida, Mexico, in March
  • Grown-up trip to Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend to see J.Lo in concert
  • Spending time with family in Minnesota in July
  • Family trip to Los Angeles at the end of July to attend a quinceanera and Disneyland
  • Smaller trips to visit my parents, who live 2 ½ hours away
  • Working once or twice a week at my tutoring center, plus doing some editing work from home
  • Attending a mommy and me dance class on Wednesday nights
  • Recuperating from back-to-school colds and post-vacation colds!
  • Visiting the library every two weeks or so
  • Throwing a Shimmer and Shine birthday party for my three year old
  • Keeping a toddler who doesn’t nap occupied for 14 hours a day!

This November, I hope to fill my blog with bookish posts – everything from reviews, to quotes, to dream casts, and maybe even some toddler book recommendations. I look forward to reading other bloggers’ posts, too. Stick around and let’s share some book love!  

Goodreads Book Tag

Thanks Rose Read for posting this book tag – I needed an easy blog post, too, after almost a week and a half vacation in Mexico (and two months since my last post…oops).

What was the last book you marked as read?

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

What are you currently reading?

  • A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell – a chick lit book for fun, as Brave New World was a bit heavy.
  • Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens – this month’s read for a social justice book club at a nearby church. This will be my first experience with a book club, despite being an English major and English teacher!  

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

Loathe Thy Neighbor by James O’Brien – Immigration is a hot topic now, and this book discusses how “ugly prejudices are being fed by professionals grown fat on the fear and fury of their consumers” and how “it is time to stop and ask whether the faceless group of immigrants really exists – or whether it just appeals to our basest fears.” I saw O’Brien speaking in a video that was floating around Facebook and found him very intelligent and interesting.

Do you use the star rating system?

On Goodreads? Yes. I like being able to look back and see which books I truly loved. I also get a kick out of marking my rating and then seeing that a majority of people on Goodreads rated it the complete opposite!

Are you doing the 2017 reading challenge?

You bet. I set my goal at 50 books even though I read over 60 last year, but I feel like my two year old is going to keep me from getting there this year. Right now, I’ve read 11 books and am on track to complete the challenge.

Do you have a wishlist?

I have 56 books in my To Read list, but I’m not very good at using it when I’m in a library or bookstore.

Who are your favorite authors?

Caroline B. Cooney, Katherine Neville, Steve Berry, Paullina Simons, J.K. Rowling, Kristin Cashore, Rainbow Rowell, and many more.

How many Goodreads shelves do you have?

Besides the shelves Goodreads sets you up with (Read, Currently Reading, To Read), I also have Did Not Finish, Favorites, and Re-reads.

I tag:

My fellow Goodreads users!