2017 is nearly over (thankfully) and I read 63 books this year! That’s a new record for me and I’m so happy! I read so many amazing books this year, I gave half of the books five stars, and just like last year, I want to share some of my absolute favourites.
It really wasn’t easy to narrow down to 10 because I loved a lot of books quite equally but whatever, here we go:
(by the way, the only reason John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down isn’t in this list is because I still haven’t written the review for that book oops but it’s also one of my favourites of this year)
(also, one of my favourite books this year is an actual German book, can you believe? I barely read anything in German which sucks a bit but this one was just brilliant)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For some reason, I just can’t get around to write a proper review for this. But it’s so good. Probably in my top 10 best books I’ve read this year.
The Hate U Give was apparently highly anticipated and hyped (and as always I didn’t notice a lot of that) and every hype around this is certainly worth it! It’s such an amazing book in every way you can think of and I love it.
This book is about teenagers, about racism, about different neighbourhoods, about black lives matter and injustice.
It has the most amazing characters. Everyone – not just the main people but literally everyone – has a story and characteristics and a goal or something they are going through. Everyone is well written and super interesting and everyone brings something to the story.
The Hate U Give is a sad book – and it gets sad way quicker than I expected – but there’s also humour and fun moments and family life and, ugh, everything is just so complex and well-done, I love it.
The thing I like least is probably the romance but on the other hand, I really like how it’s not a big deal and just one of the many topics in this story.
Everything about the movement and the racism Starr and her people face is SO GOOD and so interesting and it made me so damn emotional. I wanted to get through this book quickly because it’s so captivating but I regretted reading almost all of it on public transport because I couldn’t cry. And I definitely wanted to.
Such a great book, so well-written, I recommend it to everyone, for sure.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book! Why have so few people read this, it’s incredible!!!
I was looking for a birthday present for a friend, I knew it should be a book, something YA or contemporary with diversity, and found this somehow, read the reviews, bought it, read it and !!!!!
First of all, diversity!!! There are characters from all sorts of ways of lives, there are racially diverse people, single mums (they really don’t appear that often tbh), different sexualities, mentions of an agender character, someone on the ace-spectrum (!!!) and more. It’s just great. I love it so much that someone writes more about characters like that and I really wish more books were like this one.
The characters are great, honestly. So real and honest and well-written and fun and complicated and RELATABLE! And not just relatable to a single group of people but various ones because PEOPLE ARE COMPLEX! Ahhh, I really felt like I could relate to all of the main characters in one way or another.
I love the writing as well! It’s good and sometimes just so fun to read and sometimes heart-wrenching and sad but still, it’s relatable and the comments and puns and jokes are perfect.
The plot is amazing and such an original idea and I totally got sucked into it all and had all the feelings about all the characters. I want everyone to be happy, please. PLEASE.
Universe City is the most interesting idea for a podcast ever and I would like to listen to it, please. It
The friendship between Aled and Frances is so pure and beautiful and I’m so happy, this is such a great portrayal of a platonic relationship!!!
At some point the whole thing with the podcast gets big and there is hatemail and stuff like that and this also felt SO REAL. I mean, THIS is how tumblr and twitter and sites like that are, THIS is when fandoms turn ugly! And it’s certainly important to talk about that!
Okay, let’s stop with the gushing but just let me say one last time how relatable and real this book is???!!! Okay, bye now.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Were do I start? I don’t read Fiction often because it either doesn’t interest me or it looks very pretentious to me but I watched Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s amazing TedTalk on why we all should be feminists. Check it out! And then I googled her and found this book and now I’ve read it and ohhhh, I have learned so much!
Even though the writing wasn’t my cup of tea 100% of the time and some paragraphs were just so weird, I really enjoyed reading Americanah. I was hooked from the beginning and didn’t really want to put it down for long.
It also really wasn’t what I expected it to be. I thought the focus would be much more on Ifem and Obinze’s love story and that it all would take place only over a couple of years but in fact we learn a lot about both of their lives over many, many years. Both people move abroad and back, both have several partners, both have to face a lot of shit and a lot of good things and it takes a long time until we see them together again.
The chapters jump a bit back and forth between “now” and the years before and that’s sometimes a bit confusing but also very interesting because you can really see how both Ifem and Obinze have developed and changed and what they still think about many years after it has happened.
Also, Ifem is a blogger! And many of her blog posts or parts of them appear in the book! I really like that, her blog posts are great and in my opinion almost the best parts of the book.
I think I learned a lot about race, racism, Nigeria, immigration and all of those things in the US and Britain. Honestly, this really is a book about so many things I’ve never read about before or at least not in so much detail. Just because of that I want to give it 5 stars. I was often in shock about how racist people actually are and how different some countries in certain things are.
I really loved learning so much and I enjoyed the characters too! Both Ifem and Obinze are definitely flawed and they say and do things I don’t like but it really just makes them more believable.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was so enjoyable to read!!! I still can’t believe how much I loved it!
I love space and cultures and friendships and space and lesbians and aliens and SPACE! I don’t even know where to start!
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a book about a small spaceship with a small crew of like eight people who go on a long journey for work. One of them is new and has a secret, one of them is an asshole, one of them is very in love, all of them are amazing. They encounter a bunch of bad things and have to solve a lot of problems and they have to get along with each other.
Right from the beginning, I realised how brilliant the world building of this book is. I absolutely adore it when authors put a lot of thoughts in different cultures and how they interact and Becky Chambers is a champion at it.
Humans and many sapient alien species live together in (mostly) peace in the GC which is kind of like the EU but way bigger. They have to get along but it’s not always easy because people can be racist and people need to learn to accept new and different ways of life. (Many species are described and all of them are super interesting, I love it!)
The way these conflicts and differences are portrayed seem so REAL to me, I can’t even describe how good that was. There are a lot of things that Becky Chambers considered when it comes to the accommodation or communication of different species and it felt like an actual plausible thing, not just very romantic space stuff.
And the same goes for all the technical bits, like how they travel or how long it actually takes to get to places. It’s not a “press a button and you’re at the other end of the galaxy” story, no, it’s complex and difficult and it took people a long time to get to where they are right now.
The characters of The Long Way are diverse and interesting and all super lovable. It might take a while to get used to some of them but in the end, I so felt for every single one. Sissix is the cutest little alien I’ve ever heard of and Ashby is the sweetest captain ever. Rosemary is kind of more boring than expected at first but people like her EXIST and it’s fine, I still liked her a lot. Jenks and Kizzy are weird and nerdy and I want happiness for all of them.
I really want Dr Chef to cook an extraordinary meal for me. All the food that was described sounded weird and cool and I love it when people talk about food so I’m all here for this.
Some people might say the plot is a bit slow or that not a lot happens but to be honest, for me this made the whole thing even more real and differentiated it from other stories. It’s not a super fast paced “we have to save the whole world” plot, it’s quieter and on a smaller scale than that. But not every sci-fi story IS about huge wars or something like that.
Great fun to read, I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
WHAT EVEN! I don’t know what to say! Do you know how much I loved Six of Crows last year? Do you know how badly I wanted to read Crooked Kingdom the second I finished the other book? SO MUCH. But I didn’t cause I hoped I would get the book for Christmas (which I didn’t, aka I’m disappointed in everyone) but now I bought it and read it immediately and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the feels.
Ahem, anyway, where do I begin?
One of the things I’ve loved most about Six of Crows are the different cultures and how everyone has these different backgrounds and stories and you have different languages and beliefs and all that and in this book it all is woven together and it’s perfect. In Crooked Kingdom this happened again and I think we got to know so much more about Ketterdam itself (I mean, most of Six of Crows wasn’t in Ketterdam but basically all of Crooked Kingdom is there) and about the people living there.
Even though all of the main characters were introduced in Six of Crows we got a lot of flashbacks to scenes that made them who they are now and that’s really cool. I always want to know more about the characters, especially if you can sense some amazing character developement and BOY WE HAD A LOT OF THAT!
Mostly for Wylan and Jesper I think which is BEAUTIFUL and I’m so glad all the things that happened to them happened (no spoilers here) but Matthias too continued to fight with what he learned so many years and what he then witnessed with his friends and ahhhh it warmed my heart, honestly. It’s not his fault how he has been trained and he’s fighting so hard to figure out what’s right and awww. Kaz is obviously always fighting with his dark dark past and we learned some more about the bad stuff he did and also OHHH the bad things he did in this book, wow, he got even darker! (not complaining). Inej also has some fights with her past which is totally understandable and I really loved how she and Kaz talked or not talked but at least understood these things about each other. I wish we could have gotten a bit more than that tbh.
And Nina, oh I love this girl! Her love for waffles and everything sweet gives me life and I think we could talk a lot about food together! She had to deal with the consequenzes of parem and I was very worried for her and she is now a tiny bit creepier than before but still DAMN BADASS!
Speaking of characters and their relationships… there still is a lot of shipping and heartwarming stuff and innoendos or bad jokes and FLIRTING and oh dear…
Matthias + Nina = my heart + stab me
Wylan + Jesper = my heart + stab me again
Inej + Kaz = stab me some more
THE PLOT! Man, this book was gripping af. I love schemes and plotting and backup plans and things falling into place perfectly and ahhh we got so much of Kaz’s amazing schemes and no matter what happened he found another plan and another and IT WAS SO GOOD!
Honestly, I’d love to read just three more books of all the heists and plans Kaz made in his past. I live for this stuff. I also loved that even though we still had this plotting stuff and all that it was a very different plot from Six of Crows. In this one we had ONE main plot that took up most of the book and here we had so many and halfway into the book I was still wondering “with what will it end? where exactly is this going?” and I loved that so much!
I think Crooked Kingdom is a lot darker than Six of Crows and I don’t mind that at all! Honestly, I love this book with all my heart and I think the characters are going to wander around in my mind for ages.
Currently my mind is empty and full of pain (not gonna say why, spoilers), I need to take a break, bye.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
TELL ME HOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK WITHOUT STARTING TO CRY AGAIN?!
Honestly. Wow. I knew I loved Patrick Ness a while ago, I read More Than This and The Rest of Us Just Live Here and adored them, I follow him on Twitter and love his tweets and I watched BBC’s Class. I really like this guy. And now I love and hate him even more.
Really, this book is heartbreaking. If you don’t like books that tear your heart out, stab it and throw it in your face, don’t read it. (Or do, cause honestly, you have no idea what you’re missing out on.)
Conor is a thirteen year old boy who gets a weird visitor at night, a monster. But Conor is not a hero, the monster is not there to be slayn and the stories the monster tells are far from fairytales. And Conor’s life is quite fucked up too and both things have more to do with each other than you would think.
It is a short book. You could probably read it in a day but because of work I couldn’t do that. And I’m quite glad, actually, because it is a very sad book and I felt a bit more prepared like this.
There are some incredible quotes and scenes and metaphors in A Monster Calls and even though everything is written very shortly and without huge descriptions it comes across with so much meaning. I don’t know, I just really love it.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book! I wanted to read Bad Feminist for a long time but I never got around to buying it but now I finally did and I am SO GLAD! Honestly, this book thought me a lot and made me think about many things. Oh, and it made me very sad too because in what kind of fucked up world do we actually live??
Bad Feminist is a book on feminism, race, America, Roxane Gay’s life and how all of those things have to do with each other. It is written in the form of essays, some shorter, some long, and in those Roxane Gay often takes books and films and quotes people (often politicians and celebrities) have said apart to show how shit / problematic / racist / sexist / etc. those actually are.
I definitely read a lot of things in this book I never thought about, especially about certain books and films that I know about or watched and enjoyed. I am so glad that Roxane spends so much time talking about race and how white and not intersectional feminism often is!
I now really wonder what Roxane would think about all the horrible events that happened in the last two years or so (since the book was published) but then again it would probably make me even sader.
Not everything about the book was sad and hard to read though, Roxane’s writing is just great and she is funny and honest and interesting! And also quite relatable with everything she says about being a “bad feminist”.
I really want to recommend this book to everyone, especially those who want to know more about feminism or who should know more about it.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is incredible. I got it like three hours ago and read it immediately in one go. The more poetry I read the more I come to love and appreciate it!
Rupi Kaur’s poems are so personal and honest and I felt like each word flew directly into my heart and stabbed it with tiny daggers. The first part of Milk and Honey – the hurting – is really hard to read as it deals with sexual abuse but it’s so well written and such an important topic. The other three chapters – the loving, the breaking, the healing – are easier but also so extremely personal and close and beautiful.
I really love her writing and I’m so in love with these poems!
QualityLand by Marc-Uwe Kling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Uhm, wie schreibt man Reviews auf Deutsch? Das ist das erste Deutsche Buch, das auch noch von einem Deutschen Autor ist, das ich in einer ganzen Weile lese. Und ich merke ich kann keine Deutschen Sätze mehr formulieren. Cool.
In meinem Freundeskreis sind die Känguru Chroniken mehr als nur bekannt. Sie sind eher eine Bibel. Jeder kennt und zitiert sie und da liegt es nahe, dass ich mich wirklich sehr auf etwas Neues von Marc-Uwe Kling gefreut habe. Die Idee klang interessant und ich wusste, dass es witzig werden würde.
Erstmal möchte ich anmerken wie schön dieses Buch aussieht! Ich liebe Buchcover und schwarz + gold und dann auch noch innen abwechselnd schwarze Seiten – ich bin begeistert. Allein dafür würde das Buch schon fünf Sterne bekommen.
Aber ehrlich, QualityLand ist so gut und so böse! Es ist so anders als die Känguru Bücher und das ist natürlich verständlich und auch etwas, das ich erwartet habe. Es ist weniger witzig, was wohl auch stark am Thema liegt und da wir schließlich kein kommunistisches Känguru mehr haben, aber dennoch unglaublich erheiternd.
Und so kritisch gegenüber der Digitalisierung (das ist das Offensichtlichste), aber auch gegenüber der Politik, dem Kapitalismus, der Gesellschaft, Ausländerfeindlichkeiten und Rassismus, Politiker, mit den wir in letzter Zeit leider handeln müssen, und so viel mehr! Und dabei lernt man sogar noch wirklich was (besonders, wenn der Alte etwas erzählt!).
Wirklich, manche Dialoge oder Erklärungen waren so genial, ich wollte gleich jedem davon erzählen. Es bringt mich zum Nachdenken und zum Lachen. Das ist für mich die beste Kombination.
Für mich schafft es dieses Buch, so viele Dinge zu vereinen, die mir wichtig sind oder die ich super finde: Humor, Anspielungen auf das Känguru, Politik und Kritik an der Menschheit, interessante Wege ein Buch aufzubauen (da es “Werbeunterbrechnungen” zwischen den Kapiteln gibt, was so unglaublich gut zum Thema passt) und mehr.
In anderen Worten: Viel schönes dabei.
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Honestly, wow. I was so, so excited for this book and I was so, so scared while reading and now I’m hurt and damaged but also happy and satisfied and ahh, why do you do this to us, Ms Schwab? This book was so good.
I’m still in that blank “I just finished a book series and what do I do with my life now?” state because I fell in love with this trilogy so quickly and deeply and in a way, I wish it would never end. But I’m also happy my darling characters don’t have to suffer even more. I’m trying to avoid all the spoilers not just because it’s the nice thing to do but also because I really enjoyed not knowing what’s going to happen and having my own ideas and all that.
I was super stressed out but whatever, it was worth it.
– Kell, my love, still deserves more happiness but he was so great in this book and tried so hard and suffered so much and his bickering with everyone and his love for Rhy (and Lila) honestly give me life. He still needs to be wrapped in a blanket, please.
– Shoutout to Kell’s coat which deserves to be even more present. I want it. So badly.
– Lila might not be my favourite character but I definitely love her and she’s growing so much and is finally kind of dealing with her past and every scene with her and Kell killed me (on the boat…)
– Rhy is a precious darling and he has to go through so much and he’s also growing a lot because he has to and I just want him happy. His relationship with Alucard is so great and I wish we had gotten even more about them.
– I love Alucard and his banter with Kell. Scenes with those two and maybe Lila or Holland as well were just hilarious. I live for scenes like that. I liked Alucard since the beginning but in this book, my love just grew more and more.
– I know a lot of people love Holland and I never used to belong to them. I love the flawed characters who are dark and do some bad stuff, like Alucard or Lila, but I don’t tend to love the proper antiheroes. Holland grew so much on me during this book and I’m glad we learned a lot more about him. He is a great character and I feel so sorry for him.
– So good. Gripping, captivating, interesting.
– There are twists and turns and so many flashbacks which give the characters more background.
– I still marvel at the world building. It’s just so good and detailed and I wish every author could do it as well as V. E. Schwab.
– A lot about magic and magical devices and that’s definitely something I’m here for!
– My worst fears weren’t made reality and you can’t guess how relieved I am about that.
About the ending:
In short, I absolutely loved this book, I think it was so well written and I got a lot of things I wanted and more that I didn’t want but that was so well done and so beautiful and honestly, this trilogy is special and I adore it.
View all my reviews
I hope you’ve had a great year and if not I hope at least the books you read were amazing!
See you soon ❤