Bookish Ramblings presents: My Top 5 reads of the year

2017 has been an interesting year for me in terms of reading, for about 2 years my reading was all done via kindle and was exclusively indie.  That all changed in May of this year when I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses and realised that there was a whole wealth of traditionally published books that had passed me by and I have spent half the year falling back in love with print books and discovering a number of awesome new authors.  Below is therefore is a selection of my favourite books/book series that I have read in 2017 (not all are 2017 releases) which brings together my discovery of new traditionally published authors and my love of Indie publishing.

Where better to start than in January where I read the conclusion of the Treemakers Trilogy by Christina L Rozelle, The Seekers Keys. This was a standout series for me, it really triggered back my love for YA fantasy/dystopia and whilst this series contained a lot of mature themes it was very much true to its roots.  I do credit it as a series which really pushed me forward with this blog and fully engrossing me back into these types of books.  I loved the way that it inspired utter terror in it’s pages at what the characters had to go through, wanting to turn the page again but not wanting to at the same time.  Truly uniquely terrifying characters and also stepping up the expectation for all female protagonists to come, it’s a series that had me hanging on every page.  Because it would be unfair to give you a review for book three, i’ll start you off here with book 1.

After having it on my kindle since release in 2016 I finally got round to reading 7 by the Federation of the Ferocious Five, which is comprised of Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Nichole Green, Kelly Risser and Casey L Bond.  It was a completely new take on the 7 deadly sins, through the reincarnation of the same man, Thomas, throughout history and being faced with choices which strike a familiarity with the sins.  This was a book which had me thinking long after I had finished and challenged me as a reviewer to really put into words the emotions it left me with.  You can check out my eventual review here

Then in May I ventured out of my indie zone and into the world of ACOTAR, at this point I have to give massive thanks to Rebecca Gibson for tuning me into this series.  I wanted a paperback to take with me camping as I would have little resource to charge my kindle and despite the camping being not so fun I was utterly captivated by Feyre and her unlikely induction to the realm of the Fae.  I read all 3 of the books currently out this year, book 2 “A Court of Mist and Fury” being my favourite.  To say the series left me an emotional wreck is an understatement.  It is a series that transcended simple fantasy and dealt with so many issues that are usually either brushed under the carpet or even romanticised when the reality is far from it.  Whilst I didn’t review the books individually I did post about the series as a whole, summing up what made it great for me and you can see it here if you haven’t already.

One of my biggest surprises of the year from my Indie catalogue was Love Lies and Hocus Pocus: The Lily Singer Adventures by Lydia Sherrer.  I had read her short story “Hope” much earlier and loved it’s unique take on the apocalypse seen from the side of immortals.  The original covers for this series however were lovely illustrations but a little cartoonish which made me think they were for a younger YA audience.  I was so wrong!  Everything about these stories was just fabulous, the layout of the books with unique and darker interlude sections really stood out.  Lily herself becoming a deeply complex character facing many challengers and tests of loyalty set to a background of discovery.   There is a great twist on the traditional witch/wizard viewpoint, which like everything in this series, is explained beautifully and without condescension.  It’s a fabulously built world and one that I can’t wait to return to!  My reviews for all 4 books and the novella are all available on this blog.

The final book that blew me away this year returns me to the traditionally published world with Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  I got off to a shaky start with this author as I started off reading her DC Icons take on Wonderwoman which wasn’t my cup of tea but thanks again to the lovely Rebecca Gibson I picked up Six of Crows and honestly could not put it down! I was reading snatches here and there wherever I could.  Imagine Oceans Eleven in a fantasy world but then times it by 10, it was THAT GOOD, you can read my ridiculously gushy review of it here

So there you go!  I’m hoping that whether you are a fan of either Indie or Trad published there will be something here for you or I have inspired you to try something new.  I have loved so many books this year but I wanted to condense it down to just 5 otherwise you would be here all week!  Check back soon as I will be talking about my most anticipated reads for 2018 and I would love to know if any of them are on your lists!

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