My 9 Favourite Reads of 2017

2017 was a great year of reading for me.  I gave out several 5 star reviews, added a number of books to my favourites pile, and even gave some 6 stars out. My only worry now is what will I do if I find a book better than the 6 star ones? 7 stars would be ludicrous! *prepares a 7 star image*

I read a few rereads in 2017, mostly of my favourites, but as these were not new reads they won’t be on this list. Only new reads make the cut. These books were not all published in 2017, but they were all new reads for me. So, without further ado, let’s make a list! (Images link to Goodreads page)

9. A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

I read this in January 2017 and became engrossed with the world building. I really liked how magic was used in this, it felt fresh and tangible. Plus, I want a coat like Kell’s. I bought book 2 and 3 in the trilogy after finishing this, but for some reason never got around to reading them. I should correct that.

8. Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara and Lauren O’Hara

I initially got this because I saw it on Netgalley and thought ‘Oh, Maddie (my niece) may like that.’ She loves it when I tell her fairy tales and this promised to be a good fairy tale. I fell in love with it, as did Maddie. The story is wonderful. Lauren’s artwork is stunning. I bought a couple of prints from her and have them displayed in my office at work. A number of colleagues have commented on how much they like them. Maddie regularly rereads this book. I think she pretty much knows it by heart now!

Read my mini review of this here.

7. Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse

I picked this up after reading Liz’s review. I wanted to read a little outside of my fantasy comfort zone and this looked interesting. It turned out to be SO MUCH better than I expected. It’s dark, humorous, witty and clever, if not a little cringe-worthy for all the right reasons in parts. I winced so much at one part, and read it thinking NO! NO! OMG NO! WHAT THE FUCK! NO! JUST… NO!! If you have read it, I’m sure you know what part. I really did not predict the ending and felt a tinge of sadness when I got there. I wanted more of this.

6. Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Miller

After finally getting around to watching Logan (which is the greatest of the superhero movies in my opinion), I decided to read the comic that it is very loosely based on. I read a fair amount of comics, but I’m not a huge fan of superheroes. This was fantastic though. The story is very different to the movie, but it has the same feel to it. Logan travelling across a post apocalyptic US in one ‘last’ revenge mission. It’s so good. The follow up comics by Jeff Lemire are also excellent. Just skip Volume 0: Warzones! It is shit. Luckily Jeff Lemire pretty much resets the timeline for Volume 1.

5. Skin&Earth, Issues 1-6 by Lights

Another comic. I used a Music Monday post to highlight this project by Lights. Not only is it a comic series, there is a pretty good album that goes along with it. The story starts off a little slow but grows to something epic. I won’t say much more as I want to do a review of the series soon. All 6 issues of the comic are now out. I highly recommend picking it up.

4. The Girl from the Other Side, Vol 1 & 2 by Nagabe

Just to shake things up, a manga! Wow, what a deviation you made there Stark. I’m cheating a little here and selecting 2 books for one entry. Get used to that level of rebelliousness – it happens again later on. Deal with it. I randomly picked this up one day when I was in Waterstones. The artwork grabbed my attention and the story sounded intriguing. It is loosely based on an Irish folk tale I do believe. It was another read that I was really surprised by. I love the dark, intimate and melancholic atmosphere in this, but it is also littered with moments of gentle heartwarming actions. The artwork is simple, but very effective. I have read book 1 and 2, and have book 3 on my shelf. I will be reading book 3 this week. I can see this series becoming a regular reread for me.

My review of Vol 1 and my mini review of Vol 2.

3. Every Heart a Doorway & Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Seanan’s writing is enchanting. These are the first 2 books in the Wayward Children trilogy. I enjoyed the characters and world building of book 1, but I enjoyed the plot of book 2 more. These are easy read novellas full of magic, parallel universes and a whole bunch of thought provoking passages. They also contain possibly the best depiction of an asexual character I have ever seen in any book. They are also full of other diverse characters. I really want to read some of Seanan’s adult novels, written under the name Mira Grant. I own a couple so no doubt it won’t be too long before I do. Book 3, Beneath the Sugar Sky, comes out in one week and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be instantly reading it on release day.

2. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

This is one of the greatest horror stories I have read. What a mind fuck it is. It’s a slow burn, modern day psychological horror told in a really clever way. It is one of those that sticks with you, and get’s creepier the more you think about it. The ending is enough to give anyone nightmares. OH, IT IS SO GOOD! The author talks about nipples a lot though…

You can read my review of this here.


And before we go further, an honourable mention for Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren. It is an underrated story that seems to have passed a lot of people by. It’s bizarre, wacky and shit ton of fun! Give it a go.


So on we go. My number 1(s) most favourite read of 2017 is… *drum roll*

1. The Bear and the Nightingale & The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

ARE YOU SHOCKED?! DID I SURPRISE YOU?! I can see in your eyes that you are shocked. Who’da guessed that I would have picked these, right? I’ve hardly mentioned them. They deserve all the top spots on all the ‘greatest of’ lists ever because they are fucking marvellous and they are the greatest stories ever told. These are, probably, my favourite reads of not only 2017, but of all time. I’ve rambled a lot about why I love these so much here in my review of book 1 and here in my review of book 2. I now have to wait impatiently for the final book of the Winternight Trilogy, The Winter of the Witch to be released later this year. I will deffo be rereading these at some point this year. Also, Vasya = bae for life.


And that’s it. Those are my favourite reads of 2017 – all 12 9 of them. Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you know of any similar stories that I should give a go? Have you ever tried avocado? Do you have a favourite sock? Talk to me about books!

Until next time, Peace and Love!


  1. Great list! I’ve had my eye on Hortense and the Shadow for a while now. Loved Old Man Logan and The Bear and the Nightingale too. I wasn’t as pleased with The Girl in the Tower though. ❤

    I need to read the others and do have them all on my TBR. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your choices CJ. Like you I loved The Bear And The Nightingale, it was one of my 5 star predictions from my TBR pile last year (but still haven’t written my review for it yet!). I’m desperate to read A Darker Shade Of Magic this year too, it’s been on my shelves way too long. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking about Sweetpea makes me actually shudder a bit… I think I know what ‘scene’ made you go all sorts of nope because there was 2 of those that made me want to crawl out of my skin and well since you mention the ending, I’m left with one answer… ugh…

    I really-really-really have to read the Hortense and The Girl from the Other Side… I remember your reviews and I dislike myself a wee bit for not having read those yet. I will, though!

    And it’d be really interesting to see how you fare with the rest of Shades of Magic series… but all in good time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The scene in Sweetpea is the one in the first act which takes place along the canal. Ew.

      I think you’d really like The Girl from the Other Side. Unfortunately, it is not on comixology- you have to get the physical book to read it. Worth it though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ew is right… I think I had another ew moment… er, come to think of it, I probably had quite a few… there was one in the forest? with a dead body or something and that gave me the bloody creeps… eh…

        Cool.. I was about to ask if it was on Comixology- but physical copy it is- the illustrations are to die for anyway so probably better to get the physical! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hortense is a children’s picture book. Maybe I should have mentioned that. XD

      I used to have a large collection of fairy tale books when I was a child. So I think there is a huge nostalgia element to reading children’s fairy tales now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome list! Glad you had such a great year in reading.
    I’m soooo excited to read The Girl From the Other Side (SOON!) 😀
    The Bear and the Nightingale was really good. It was one of my faves of the year, too, and I have the second one on my TBR list for this year. 🙂
    All I hear about A Darker Shade of Magic is how amazing it is. I really need to read that one!

    Liked by 1 person

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