At the beginning of the year, I set myself a target of reading 30 books in 2017. I even had a list of which books I was going to read that was divided into three sections: dystopian fiction, ‘other’ fiction and non-fiction.
In total, I’ve ended up reading 40 books this year (including one I haven’t quite finished but will do before the 31st!). These break down as follows:
- Dystopian fiction: 11
- Other fiction: 22
- Non-fiction: 7 (+ 1 re-read)
Of the 40 books, 13 were on my original reading list. This list was only ever intended to be a guide and has evolved more into a (very) long list of books I want to read. I like challenges and lists, so part of me is sad I haven’t read everything on my original list, but my reading priorities changed during the year. For example, I decided that rather than reading classic dystopia, I needed to read current books being published by other authors, both to keep up to date with what’s out there, but also so I can make recommendations to you lovely readers!
In no particular order, here are a few of my favourite books from 2017. As for 2018, I’ll be aiming to read even more. I already have a long list to get me started, but please do email me if you’ve got any books to recommend!
Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
My first foray into the world of LitRPG and I loved it! I think it was a gentle introduction and as a child of the ’80s I enjoyed the various pop culture references. There were a few backstory dumps to interrupt the flow but generally a well-paced, enjoyable read. Read it before the film comes out in March!
The Shattered Crown (Meg Cowley)
This is the third and final book in Meg Cowley’s Caledan series and my favourite of her books. I’d definitely recommend starting at the beginning (with The Tainted Crown) but the first two books build to a great climax in the final volume. The author has a talent for world-building and I love her vivid descriptions of the world of Caledan. Be prepared for battles, dragons and a wee bit of romance …
I interviewed Meg on my blog last month – check it out here!
Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
Prophet of Doom (D.S. Murphy)
When I read it, this book was titled Prescient, but D.S. Murphy has since re-named and re-branded it. It’s a time-travel dystopia with zombies (what more could you want?) and a great, fast-paced read.
The plot was intriguing and engaging and kept pulling you along. I found the main character was intelligent, well-written and not as annoying as teenage girls can sometimes be. 🙂 I also really enjoyed the blending of the two sub-genres of time-travel and dystopia.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)
Absolutely loved the first half of this novel which was a tale of mystery weaved part in this world, part in another. My only disappointment was the fall into the inevitable, all-encompassing love story … and that there were quite a few loose threads hanging at the end of the book. Which is why I have to read the next one in the series!
The Hours of Creeping Night
This is a collection of short stories written by the wonderful Sophie (who incidentally, also edited my book, Expendables).
Although some of the stories in this collection are just a few pages long, with each one the author draws you into a chilling, dark world where the creatures of your nightmares roam freely. The writing is eloquent and lyrical and paints a vivid picture in your mind of the scenes described. Many of the stories do not have a traditional ‘ending’, but this just gives your mind the opportunity to fill in the rest of the story or imagine different, horrific ways in which the story might finish.
Untamed (Madeline Dyer)
This was a really enjoyable read and something a bit different compared to many of the YA dystopian books I’ve read. I got a bit frustrated with the main character at times and it felt as if some of the scenes could perhaps have been cut, but the book tackled different themes and was very well written. Her descriptions were beautiful and the setting really vivid.
Burning Embers (Fiona Jeeves)
I loved this fantasy tale of magic, romance and a girl trying to figure out the truth about her past and herself. The writing is fluid with vivid descriptions that bring the world to life. Feia is a great character, though I got a little frustrated with her toward the end of the book (no spoilers!). Rhyode is excellent as the brooding, mysterious protector and love interest and Vesta was a brilliantly well-rounded character. I’d definitely recommend this book and hope to see a sequel soon …
This Body Won't Break (Lea McKee)
I have to hold my hands up and admit that I haven’t quite finished reading this yet. It’s book #40 on my list and I’m 70% through so should be finished by the end of the month. But so far, it’s shaping up to be a great dystopian YA novel with an action-packed plot and a strong female lead.
Lea McKee originally released this book in parts, but I waited for the full version to come out before reading and I’m glad I did. As you may have gathered, I struggle with cliffhangers at the end of books!