Best of 2017: A Year in Reading and Reviewing

Globally speaking, 2017 was pretty shit. It wasn’t a great year for me personally, either. But thankfully when the going gets tough, the tough can dive into a pile of great books to transport them away for awhile. Or something along those lines.

Without further ado, here are my favourite reads of 2017! Strap in y’all, it’s recommendation time.

Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Renting souls is a dirty business, but Callie’s in it whether she wants to be or not. To save her brother’s soul, she has to team up with Derek, the handsome enforcer working for the shadiest soul collector in town. I need more of y’all to read BORROWED SOULS so we can gush about how smoothly written and cool it is!

Borderline by Mishell Baker

This twisted tale is full of action, but it’s really a character study of Millie Roper, a promising young director whose borderline personality disorder has thrown her life off course. When Millie discovers that Fae are real and that they control Hollywood, she’ll stop at nothing to get on their good side.

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Talk about ending the year with a bang! This debut novel is a historical fantasy inspired by medieval Islamic history, and I think readers who’re tired of the typical European fantasy set-up will fall in love with what Chakraborty has created. I’m a devoted fan already!

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock

Do you like stories with winning main characters, political and personal intrigue, magic, and a vibe that’s  decidedly reminiscent of  The Three Musketeers? Then pick this up and uncover the story of how a shy mathematician named Isabelle and her faithful musketeer Jean-Claude took over a country with their magic, wits, and audacity.

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

The Others series has consistently been among my favourites the last few years, so I’m happy to report that this is a strong ending for a deftly crafted story following a lovable ensemble cast, and while I’m still sad about saying goodbye to Meg, Simon, and the gang, I’m psyched that there’s a spin-off coming in 2018!

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

A tough Canadian detective winds up living in a remote, off-the-grid town trying to keep the peace in this mystery/thriller offering. The second book wasn’t quite as strong as the first but I’m still loving Casey, her fellow officers, and the rest of Rockton’s shady inhabitants.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Follow Monty, his best friend (maybe more?) Percy, and his little sister Felicity as they travel across Europe evading evil fathers, crazed monarchs, and shadowy alchemical societies. This historical romp is chock-full of wit, heart, and verve…not to mention a pinch of magic. Absolutely delightful!

Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron

This book came out of nowhere and knocked me off my feet, y’all. Incredible world building, complex characterization, and effortless diversity are all on offer in this truly unique YA fantasy. How often can you say that?

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee

In this Chinese-American version of Buffy, Genie Lo is just trying to get into an Ivy League school when a mysterious — and possibly deranged — guy crashes into her life. With some truly weird things happening to her, Genie can’t help but wonder if Quentin’s crazy claims about reincarnation, superpowers, and the forces of evil are actually true…

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

Cassandra Harwood was once the most respected woman magician in the country…and she was once engaged to the love of her life. Can one wintery garden party truly restore everything she’s lost? Burgis dazzled me with her Regency-inspired novella, especially with its delightful reversal of gender roles.

White Hot and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Nevada Baylor and Connor Rogan, talk about a power couple! The second and third instalments in this trilogy were just as strong as the first, and all urban fantasy fans who don’t mind a healthy heaping of romance should get on this series posthaste!

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler were once as close as two people can be, but a family tragedy tore them apart. Every year, they meet up for a steamy assignation but don’t discuss the past…until the day Livvy returns to their home town. Alisha Rai will make your heart hurt, and she’ll make you like it!

Act Like It by Lucy Parker

When up-and-coming theatre actress Elaine Graham meets Richard Troy, it’s hate at first sight. She wants nothing to do with the stuffy old(er) man, and vice versa. So, of course, fake relationship shenanigans ensue… Absolutely hilarious, well-written, and swoon-worthy. PRETTY FACE is equally excellent.

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

If it feels like I’ve been shouting about this series for the better part of 2017, that’s because I have been. This American Civil War romance follows Elle Burns, a Black woman and spy for the Loyalist League, and Malcom McCall, a White man posing as a Rebel soldier. Intense, sexy, and thought-provoking.

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

When the Duke of Ashbury imperiously announces to Miss Emma Gladstone that she will be his Duchess, there isn’t much to do but accept. Despite her newfound status, Emma craves love…and Ash’s heart. This is a significant departure for Dare, but she pulls off the increased angst (and sexiness) beautifully.

What were your favourite reads of 2017? Have you read any of the books on my list? Which 2017 book do you wish more people knew about? Let me know in the comments!

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  • I remember your reviews for some of these, and some of them are on my TBR because of you! So many books and so little time! But you make all these sound good, and I’m glad you found so many great books this year 🙂

  • Greg Hill

    Yes thank goodness for books right? lol how else would we get through 2017?? Borrowed Souls sounds awesome, I think I remember you reviewing that one. And I totally love the Rockton books, can’t WAIT for book three. 🙂

  • I loved Genie Lo so much! Cannot wait for the sequel.

  • The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was sooooooo good. Super relatable portrayal of Asian/American families, plus a good mix of classic mythology with modern storytelling. Great list overall!

  • I posted about my favorites of 2017 and City of Brass was on my list. Unfortunately that is the only one on your list I have read. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Great list! I’m determined to read City of Brass and The Gentleman’s Guide at some point. Really happy to see An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors, which was one of my faves too. Happy New Year, Danya!

  • Happy New Year!

    musr read some of those

  • I never did get around to Borrowed Souls, dang! Well, that’s on my catch up list for 2018, along with the Stephanie Burgis novella. Happy new year!

  • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

    Books are often the best “escape plan” for the times when things don’t work out as good as we would like, and for that we can be extremely grateful for their existence.
    Here’s to a far better year than the previous one was, and to another string of great reads! 🙂

  • Lynn Williams

    I’ve read a few of these and whilst Borrowed Souls didn’t really work for me we still share a lot of the same book love. City of Brass was great, I loved the attention to detail and I also loved the Burgis novella.
    Happy New Year to you – I hope 2018 is a kind year for all of us.
    Lynn 😀

  • Karen

    I loved Gentleman’s guide to Vice and Virtue and Epic Crush, Wildfire and a few others are on my TBR list.

    For What It’s Worth

  • Hate To want You was so good. Sorry your year was so bad. I hope this year is much better for you and the rest of the world. Happy 2018!

  • I haven’t read any of these books?! ALTHOUGH, I have heard so many amazing things about The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue that it will definitely be one of my first reads of 2018!! Awesome list

  • So many good books! And some I really need to get to reading. Tessa Dare isn’t out here yet so her book will be bought this year and I will love it. I still need to read Hate to Want You and Gentlemen’s Guide as well.

    I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get Borrowed Souls when it was on offer for £1.99 but it’s one which is on my TBR for you and I’ve not bought Genie Lo yet either. Your list half has me nodding agreement and the rest has me questioning why I haven’t bought them yet. Why do you do this to me?

  • I know you’ve had a really tough year, and I have all my fingers crossed that 2018 will be the year for you. Sending you all the positive vibes, friend!
    I adored so many books on your list: Act Like It, The Duchess Deal, Hate to Want You, Wildfire, Epic Crush, Gentlemen’s Guide! SO GOOD!
    The rest I have on my TBR. I’m especially looking forward to reading Snowspelled, Borrowed Souls, A Darkness Absolute. I will get to them this year!!

  • 2017 definitely was a year that made me shake my head so often, it proved that as a whole humanity is not learning from the past. Let’s hope that 2018 will bring some positive changes to the world.

    I haven’t read “The City of Brass” however I plan to read a sample of it soon, because the book sounds pretty special.

    Hope that 2018 will bring you joy.

  • I desperately need to read some of Alisha Rai’s work!

  • I didn’t post about my favorites for 2017, because I was so inconsistent with my reading. But The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was one of them. There will be a sequel, which I’m looking forward to. Awesome Recommendations!!