Rummanah Aasi

 As I promised last week, here are my favorite books of 2017. As a quick disclaimer, these books may not all be 2017 releases but I did read them in 2017. Currently, I am wrapping up my 250th book of 2017 by finishing up The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, which is my public library's classic book club pick. I'm glad I joined this club because I don't think I would have lasted this long with Brothers K without any support. It is very dense and difficult book but there are lots of things to discuss. Without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2017 ranked according to the interest level. 

Favorite Adult Book


I read a quite a few adult titles that I enjoyed in 2017, but none of them really made a lasting impression other than Katherine Arden's debut fantasy novel, The Bear and the Nightingale. The writing is exquisite and the characters are definitely memorable especially the main female protagonist, Vasilisa, who is unapologetically herself. I can not wait to continue her adventures in this fabulous series.


Favorite Children/Middle Grade Books


 I always try to fit in some children and middle grade reads into my yearly reading challenge. This year I read quite a few that I loved. 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill was the Newbery Award winner of 2016 and I am so glad I made time to read this book. It is an original fairy tale woven with a story on love, family, and friendship. It was very easy to get lost in this book. 

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is an adorable and humorous picture book featuring a curmudgeon bear who becomes the unlikely parent to a flock of geese. 

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt is a very slim book that caught me by surprise. I was not prepared for the emotional punches this book contained. It is very reserved where the unspoken holds more power than what is written down. It is my favorite book on the Caudill book list of 2017.

Refugee by Alan Gratz is a very timely book that will help young readers understand the various reasons people leave their countries in search of a better life. I will be reviewing this book shortly.

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail is a book that took me by surprise. It is a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac featuring a diverse cast of tween characters. I loved the adaptation and the strong focus on friendship. The cute romance is an additional bonus. 

Favorite YA Books



Young Adult books dominate my reading pile because I work for teens as a high school librarian and I thoroughly enjoy reading and recommending them. This year I seem to have really enjoyed reading realistic/contemporary fiction the most with a smattering of historical fiction and fantasy.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han is the perfect conclusion to one of my favorite contemporary romance series. Lara Jean has grown from an awkward, shy, homebody teen to a girl who confidently makes her own decisions. If you haven't read any of Jenny Han's books and have been meaning to, I highly recommend To All the Boys I Loved Before series. I will be reviewing this one shortly. 

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennet is a wonderful, summer contemporary romance that I could not stop reading. I am a big movie fan so when I heard this book features a cinephile and a You Got Mail romance, I had to read it. It has a fabulous cast of diverse characters and it did not disappoint at all. I will be reviewing this one shortly.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios is a heart wrenching novel about an uhealthy relationship. Written from the point of view of a teen who finally got out of an abusive relationship, this is a raw and candid novel that teens and adults should both read. 

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo finishes an excellent YA fantasy duology that features a diverse cast of misfits who succeed to do the impossible. It has incredible world building, plot twists, and writing that will completely capture your attention. 

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera is a bittersweet tale of love and loss. If you are looking for an emotionally cathartic read, pick this up. It left me with lumps in my throat for much of this book.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer is much more than your typical teen romance with a You Got Mail premise. It is a story of two teens who must forgive others and themselves. Yes, there is angst but there are also wonderful, flawed, three dimensional characters that you want to embrace. I can not wait to read its companion novel, More Than We Can Tell, which releases in March 2018.

Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung is an underrated gem of a book that struck a strong chord within me. It continues to stay with me long after I finished it. I really wish more people would read this book. 

Now I Rise by Kiersten White is the second book in the Conqueror's Saga series that went beyond my expectations. Now I Rise shows the best, worst, and nuanced side of human nature. The complex politics and drive for power allow great and good people to commit terrible acts. The book is bursting with diversity in its multi-ethnic cast, strong LGBTQ representation, and wide range of religious diversity.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is the first book in 2017 that I read in one sitting. It is an incredibly sweet romantic comedy that wonderfully explores the Indian culture. I think it would make an excellent movie and I can wait to read more from this author.

Favorite Graphic Novels/Manga



Orange by Ichigo Takano is a manga that does a terrific job depicting mental illness and the power of great friendships. Though you have to suspend your disbelief a bit on the time traveling aspect which I didn't really quite understand, it is the characters and their interactions that make this manga series shine. 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui is an eye opening graphic novel memoir that explores the immigrant experience as well as one family's ordeal in the Vietnam War.  

Honorable Mentions

The following books are the ones that left a lasting impression on me that I would also highly recommend reading:

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie
4 Responses
  1. Anne Bennett Says:

    Thanks a lot. Now I have a whole bunch more books to add to my TBR pile. Egads! It is getting so long. I definitely want to read the Bear and Nightingale ASAP and When Dimple Met Rishi has been on my list all year. No THE HATE U Give,huh? Have a wonderful New Year.


  2. danya Says:

    I received The Bear & the Nightingale for Christmas, looking forward to seeing what all the buzz is about! Eleanor Oliphant is another one I've seen a lot about this year, will probably check that one out at some point.


  3. Wonderful list! I also loved Orbiting Jupiter, When Dimple Met Rishi, Lucy and Linh, and History is All You Left Me. I want to read Eleanor Oliphant and The Best We Could Do.


  4. @Anne: I haven't read THUG yet. It is the top book on my reading pile for next month.


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