Thus far this year I have read 101 books. I haven’t reached my goal of 111, and I probably won’t if we’re being honest, but I have read some really great books.
Good glory, this book is so good. Gritty, beautifully and fully imagined, I have absolutely no complaints about this book. And Erin Bow is a delight of a human, which is also wonderful.
Here’s the set up: Greta is a duchess and crown princess—and a hostage to peace. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Go to war and your hostage dies.
Bow’s characters are fully realized, intensely flawed, and fascinating. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Best Hopeful Future:
It will come as no surprise that I am a giant fan of everything E. K. Johnston does. She’s not only a wonderful storyteller and a great person, she makes the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet. In That Inevitable Victorian Thing, she creates a diverse and hopeful future in which the British Empire never saw its downfall and instead has adapted and changed to become the best version of itself.
A delightful romp and the most Canadian book I’ve ever read, pick this up if you’re having trouble finding hope in our current grimdark reality.
No best of list of mine would be complete without a shoutout to my girl, Whitney Gardner and her wonderful debut protagonist, Julia. Fiercely loyal, deaf, graffiti artist Julia is prickly and charming in equal measure. She flew off the page and into my heart. I love this book so much. Gardner has a way of latching onto my heart and not giving up until I’m laughing and crying in the same breath.
Watch out for Gardner’s sophomore effort, Chaotic Good, next year. It’s INCREDIBLE. Like, made me cry in an airport incredible.
I picked this up expecting Noah’s biting wit and fabulous storytelling. What I didn’t expect was such an eye-opening and fascinating look at South African culture and apartheid. I was captivated from the first moment to the last, and I know that this is one I will revisit. I very much hope Noah writes more books. He’s extremely talented.
(And, if he narrates the audiobook and is PHENOMENAL.)
My dear friend and book blogger Ashley essentially shoved Geekerella into my hands and watched me until I finished reading, and boy oh boy am I glad she did. Everything about this book is a delight. It’s quick, it’s funny, it’s poignant, and it’s a fantastic look at fans, fandoms, and family. I cannot recommend this heartily enough.
ALSO. Poston, whom I adore, has another book coming next year called Heart of Iron and IT IS SO FREAKING GOOD I JUST CAN’T EVEN. It’s tonally really different, but just as fabulous. She’s one to watch, y’all.
Best Girlfriends/Best Book That Took Me Home:
Sarah Nicole Lemon is a national treasure and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. From the first page to the last, Done Dirt Cheap transported me to the place where I grew up, Appalachia. She so thoroughly captured the essence of its culture and VIBE; I’m just in awe of her talent. Not only that, but Lemon’s debut is a story of friendship, family, and fighting for what you hold in your heart.
I ADORED her characters, and let me just tell you, Lemon can write the hell out of a kiss. Whew. Look out for her sophomore effort, Valley Girls, next year.
Best Book That’s Not Out Yet:
I read Inkmistress on a weekend getaway with some of our friends, and I was physically unable to tear myself away from this book. It was EXTRAORDINARY. Fabulous, original world building; deeply fascinating characters; surprising twists; and one of the most interesting magic systems I’ve read in a very long time.
Coulthurst is an incredible storyteller. Believe me when I say that you should stop what you’re doing immediately and go get yourself a copy of this marvelous novel.
That’s just a peek at what I’ve read and loved this year. What are you most looking forward to reading in 2018?