I read A LOT of books in 2018, over 140, but I definitely had some that I enjoyed more than others. To recap for you all and make some great recommendations for the other, here are the top five books I read in 2017. Four out of five of them were published in 2017, and the other one I actually had to read for class, but you can pick them up wherever books are sold. Click on the hyperlinked subheadings to read my full reviews of them.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A #1 New York Times best seller for MONTHS, The Hate U Give is a YA novel that follows a young black girl, Star, torn between two worlds who is thrust into the spotlight and into a crisis when she is the only witness to the police shooting of her unarmed black best friend. Yes, the topic of this book is SUPER HEAVY, but it also has a lot of humorous moments worked into it, it is super culturally relevant, and I really enjoyed it. It is even being made into a movie that will probably come out in late 2018 or 2019.
American Fire by Monica Hesse
I love good narrative nonfiction, but it can be hard to find. American Fire is an amazingly well-written and fascinating count of a string of arsons that set a small town on fire, pun intended, and how it rested on one couple and the failing of the American dream. American Fire is a great read, a fascinating look at small town America, and the kind of nonfiction everyone should be writing. I would not be mad AT ALL if this was made into a movie.
In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
This book was assigned reading for my class “Vietnam War in American Culture” and I’m so glad I didn’t skip my homework that week. Tim O’Brien is known for his war stories and his stories that play with reality, and this is no different. This is a book about a failed senate candidate whose wife disappears from their lake house. In the process of investigating her disappearance, we learn more about his time in the war, more about his relationship with his wife, and we begin to understand the layers of deceit that exist within the narrative. It’s a great, thrilling read!
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Fierce Kingdom was one of my Book of the Month choices this year and by far my favorite of them all! It’s a fast-paced thriller that you HAVE to read in one sitting because you won’t want to get up. It follows a single afternoon in the life of a mother and her young son who must take shelter in their local zoo when shooters move into the area and shots ring out. Where will they hide? How will they escape? This book will have you on the edge of your seat.
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
I can’t remember who recommended this book to me, but I’m so glad they did! Young Jane Young is an extremely well-written story about a young woman’ whose life is ruined by an affair with her congressmen boss who has to reinvent herself. I really enjoyed how this book was told not in chronological order, though you know what happened all along, and the way Zevin used four different narrators: Jane, her mother, her daughter, and the wife of the Congressman. It’s a great read about female empowerment and escaping your past.
Runners Up for the List Include the Following:
Wooly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Mezrich
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee and it’s sequel The Dazzling Heights
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
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