I am writing this while in the bathroom battling my first UTI in two years, so I want to instead reflect on the good that came from this blog in 2017. It was the year that I found the time to return to blogging regularly and exceeded my reading goals (goal was to read 40 books; I finished 2017 off having read 45). I also explored new genres, found new favourite authors, and went to my first ever book signing with the amazing Maggie Stiefvater for her equally amazing novel All the Crooked Saints. In celebration, I’m sharing with you my top 5 books of 2017, and the books I’m most looking forward to reading in 2018.
As I wrote in my review, I realized while reading this book that I was experiencing something special. It was the same feeling I’d had reading Harry Potter or The Fault in Our Stars. At some point I stopped, took a breath, and realized that no other book would be able to compare, and it was true. For the rest of the year, every book fell short of the joy and enrapture that captivated me during this book. It was poignant and eye-opening in a year where I think everyone needed to focus on self-reflection and self-improvement. I will forever recommend this book one hundred times over and believe me when I say that you are missing out on the experience of a lifetime if you haven’t read this yet.
Before reading this book I had sworn against Jodi Picoult. I found her novels to be too formulaic and repetitive, but something made me take a chance on this one. Perhaps the cover, which I was drawn to instantly. But the description on the back also suggested more than her usual troubled and/or sick child and a court case. I’m so glad I took that chance. I was sucked into this novel in such a way that I lived and breathed it even when my nose wasn’t between the pages. A story of the holocaust that I haven’t seen since Schindler’s List. It is heartbreaking and bloody and messes with your head but it is worth every second of torment, sadness, empathy, understanding, and joy. This novel is a wild ride that I would take again and again.
Not only has this audiobook deepened my love for Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn but it’s given me a better understanding of how amazing audiobooks can be and why people love them so much. Raskin and Dunn’s performance of their novel has definitely set the bar for all future audiobooks that I’ll listen to and it was truly a privilege to experience this one. I would urge anyone interested in this novel to listen to it rather than read it, as I think you get more from the authors’ performances that you might miss reading it and interpreting it on your own. I love, love, love it and plan on listening to it again in 2018.
I believe this novel has introduced a new sub-genre of YA Horror that we haven’t seen before: slasher-horror YA. And as someone who hates horror movies and slasher films because they get too real for me, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It definitely had its faults, as I outlined in my review, but I can’t deny that it kept me hooked right to the very end. It also served the redeem Stephanie Perkins in my eyes after I read (and hated) Lola and the Boy Next Door. The writing of There’s Someone Inside Your House isn’t on par with Anna and the French Kiss or Isla and the Happily Ever After, which I think are her best novels so far, but there is certainly potential for her to develop this slasher voice more and make something truly epic out of it.
Hands-down one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read. I borrowed this from the library as an ebook and can’t wait to own a physical copy in full colour! Ann Shen is an amazing artist and in this book she managed to pare down each woman’s history to what was most important and interesting so that I never felt like anything was lacking or biased. I learned things that I never had the opportunity to during my history major at the University of Toronto (hate that school, don’t go there!) and it reignited my love for feminist history and discourse. I can’t wait to read her next book and see more of what she has to offer.
And in 2018…
Here is a gallery of the books I’m most looking forward to reading in 2018.