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Best Books Of 2017!

Though this year has been long, I can't quite believe it's already over! Though in some ways this year has been just awful, I have had an amazing reading year! I finished 118 books (maybe more by now), started this blog, and finished my first manuscript. Seeing that I've read so many great books, I want to wrap up all of my favorites and give out some awards of my own! I'm only highlighting the 2017 debuts since even among those there were 38 to chose from. I'll link back to the original articles in case something catches your eye! (Some of these posts include multiple books that are also great reads as an added bonus!) I'm going to start with individual awards, saving the best book of 2017 for last! So without further ado:

Best Cover: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. Though you can't really tell from the picture, the art on the cover and inside flaps is to die for. So is Marin's story! http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/04/weekly-reviews-and-recommenda…

A List Of Cages

I can't believe I'm posting my last review of the year! I most definetly saved an amazing read for last! You might have noticed that for the last two weeks I've posted a ton of 2017 debuts. While I'm still behind on my reading, I've gotten through a lot of my new 2017 books that I've saved, and I wanted to make sure they could all be included on my Best of 2017 list coming out New Years Eve.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe (310 pages)
Overview: Julian has started his freshman year of high school with the same mean kids from kindergarten, the same mean teachers who don't understand his dyslexia and make him feel stupid, and his abusive uncle who beats and belittles him until he feels unworthy of anything good.
Adam has made it to senior year with popularity and a diverse gaggle of friends to spend time with. He has his college acceptance to a nearby university with all of his friends. His life is set on a pretty even course till his aid job with the school counc…

The Truth Right Now

The Truth Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron (279 pages)
Overview: Dari and Lily meet at school one day. Dari's an outcast, and Lily is a pariah after news of her affair with her sophomore English teacher comes out. She's still recovering from the suicide attempt that came after, and Dari is struggling with his father's abusive behavior and his mother's absence. In each other, they find hope. Their relationship morphs and changes as they both try to heal their broken pieces. Overall: 4 

Notes: I became very conflicted when trying to review this book. I found the beginning intriguing, but difficult to really get in to. I'd finished about twenty pages of it earlier in the year before I chose to put it down. When I did read it through, I absolutely fell in love with the story. The middle, which happens to be the vast majority of the story, is wonderful. Unfortunately, I felt betrayed by the ending. While it certainly made a statement, I felt like it wasn't well develope…

Ten Miles One Way

Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes (199 pages)
Overview: Nest and Q set out on a walk as the night turns to morning. They both know it will be long an unusual, possibly painful, but both understand; they're prepared. Q is ready for the chance to be with his best friend, his crush, to understand how her tangled mind works. Nest wants to share things with him for the first time since they met four years ago. This ten mile walk unfolds Nest's story with Q as a silent observer. He uses this morning three years later when he's left alone to grapple with the "why" of tragedy. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Nest and Q are extremely well developed for how short the novel is and for how the story is mainly a monologue by Nest. Q is the narrator and the way he frames Nest's words is more revealing of his character than any part of the dialogue he could have had. Nest, on the other hand, owns all the words, and her fragmented stories shape her personal narrative and struggle w…

I See London, I See France

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
Overview: Sydney is going on the trip of a lifetime with her best friend Leela. They have plans to spend four and a half weeks making their way through Europe from London to Rome, but they get disrupted when Leela's ex-boyfriend and his best friend Jackson appear on their flight. The girls still try to make the best of the trip, and flings with both boys and adventures with people they meet along the way, set their trip on a very different course than either girl predicted. I See London delivers a fun, sexy, and exciting vacation read. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 I enjoyed Mlynowski's cast of characters as a whole. Sydney makes for a great narrator, and her struggles with her mother's agoraphobia and her own anxiety add a compelling note to a book that is often campy and frivolous. I also enjoyed reading about her friend Kat and her fling Jackson.
Unfortunately, Leela grated on my nerves with her jealous, whiny attitude that I felt …

Who's That Girl

Who's That Girl by Blair Thornburgh (392 pages)
Overview: This book tells the story of Natalie, alias Nattie, a junior in Wister, Pennsylvania, with red hair and an under the radar life. That is, til she becomes the muse of the next up and coming indie band's lead singer after only meeting him once. As "Natalie" bursts over the airwaves, rising on Indie charts across the country, Nattie starts to panic over being discovered as the girl that her school's most famous alumni, Sebastian Delacroix's, muse, but she also wonders where she and Sebastian stand after their single encounter at a party that was only almost something. All this is happening as Nattie is trying to navigate her supportive and eccentric family and her membership as the one heterosexual girl in her best friend Tess's quickly sinking OWPALGBTQIA club. It's an intelligent, thoughtful read that will hook you from the start and keep you reading till the end. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Every ch…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Geography of Me and You

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith (337 pages)
Overview: Owen and Lucy meet in the elevator of Lucy's New York City apartment building during a blackout. From the time they spend crammed in the stuck elevator together, they formed a bond that kept them together as they both moved around the country and the world. Through emails and postcards they kept the string connecting them together alive until the few chances they had to meet each other. In the ultimate in both long distance love stories and YA contemporary romances, this is a delicious story about two people willing to keep their relationship together over miles and miles and constant movement with no promise of ever being in the same place at the same time again. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 5 The two main characters this story follows are Lucy and Owen. Owen and his father are short of money and at a loss for a place to be after the sudden accident that killed his mother two months before the start of the book and…

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (444 pages)
Overview: Starr and Khalil are driving home from the spring break party when he gets pulled over by a cop. They both know what can happen at traffic stops like this, so they both are nervous even though they've done nothing wrong. And even though they do everything right through the entire stop, Starr watches her best friend die in a shooting, and that isn't even the first time Starr has had to experience that kind of trauma. Before she can even sort out her grief, she's thrust into a new issue, she is the only witness. As her neighborhood of Garden Heights is thrown into a war zone of protests, riots, and heavy policing, Starr still has to navigate her life forty-five minutes away at her primarily white private high school of Williamsone were she feels like she must be a different version of herself than at home in order to protect her social standing. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Angie establishes a real and phenomenal cast. Starr is…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 36 (Part 1)

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake (344 pages)
Overview: Sam and Hadley should have never met. After Sam's mother and Hadely's father's secret affair is uncovered, their families are torn apart. Bother families move after the divide, and Hadley and Sam only know each other vaguely as the other child from the other family, until they both come back to a suburb outside of Nashville and start high school together. When they're put together on a group Shakespeare project, their friendship, and later romance, starts to develop, though only Sam knows about their connection before he arrived at the school. Will their families pasts be too much to overcome? This Romeo and Juliet inspired romance novel makes for an interesting story about love, loss, and healing. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 I enjoyed all of the main characters, Livey, Sam, and Hadley. They all seemed realistic and fit well with the story. Their development and evolution showed a natural progression that I enjoyed w…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 34 Part 2

Hello, everyone! Today I have a review of one of the classic YA novels, The Perks of Being a Wallflower which I read over the summer. Later, I watched and greatly enjoyed the movie. I'm excited to get back to my favorite library in the world in a week, and I'm hoping that will wake me up from my reading slump!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky (213 pages)
Overview: Charlie is starting high school, and he's scared about going to a school where he has no friends. He's always been a bit of a loner and an outcasting, observing the world instead of participating. When his new English teacher Bill to "participate", Charlie starts working harder to talk to people, which is how he meets senior step siblings Sam and Patrick who bring him into their friend circle. This exposes Charlie to a world that he couldn't even imagine from his sheltered life. Through a series of letters to an unknown an recipient, Charlie details his entire freshman year slo…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 34 Part 1

Hello, everyone! Sorry I'm a day late, but here's Part 1 of the articles this week. The two books I'll be reviewing are Will Greyson, Will Greyson a John Green collab that wasn't my favorite, and The Perks of Being A Wallflower, a quintessential coming of age YA I had never read before. I also watched the movie adaption which I was pleasantly surprised by. Another movie I've loved recently was The Edge of Seventeen. 
Will Greyson, Will Greyson by John Green and David Levinthal (310 pages)
Overview: *Reading the summary before reading the book is imperative to your understanding and enjoyment of this book.* This is the story of Will Greyson and Will Greyson who both live in the Chicago area, though one in Evanston and one in Naperville. Original Will Greyson must deal with a friend group he doesn't always agree with and a crush for a girl, Jane, that he can't ever quite figure out enough to act on. The other Will Greyson must grapple with an online relationsh…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 33 Part 2

Hello, everyone! This week has been another rollercoaster of a week (and one I haven't done any reading in). This seems to be a trend lately. It's been hard to find a book that I've been able to fall into. I did finish another short story, though, and some work on my other projects. Hopefully, I will fall back into reading again, but till then, I have plenty of articles saved to keep our two weekly posts going till I get back in the groove. But I wanted to share this in case any of you are going through a reading or writing slump. Sometimes it just happens, and when you're going through a lot in your personal life, sometimes it's hard to take on others emotions.  In the links of interest, you'll fine my post from earlier this week as well as my thoughts on Nicola Yoon's other book that I loved, The Sun Is Also A Star. 


Overview: Everything, Everything tells the story of Madeline Whitter who has lived her whole life in her vacuum sealed, air filtered home. H…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 33 Part 1

Hello, everyone! Today I have another review for you. I'm going to keep this intro super short because I have a crazy head ache right now, but I'll link last week's articles below if you want more.

Thanks For The Trouble by Tommy Wallach (276 pages)
Overview: Parker Sante no longer sees the point in going to school, going to speech therapy, or doing anything, really. After his Dad died six years ago, Parker stopped talking. Ever since, he's gone through life skipping school and hanging out at different hotels, honing his pick pocket skills. One day, after stealing a giant wad of cash from a strange, silver haired girl, Parker is roped into a whole new adventure. When the girl, Zelda, catches him and, in turn, takes his notebook, the two start to communicate, Zelda talking and Parker writing. Zelda tells Parker that she's going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge when she gets some dreaded phone call, and Parker is determined to stop this by showing Zelda just how gre…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 32 Part 2

Hello, everyone! Halloween is only a few days away, so I wanted to share my review of A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, by far one of the spookiest and most stunning books I've read this year. It definitely had great mood setting vibes for my favorite holiday. Are you dressing up this year? What are you going as?  I'm going to be Wonder Woman. The costume is just as fun as the movie, which I really enjoyed.  Below, I've linked some of my recent articles including Part 1 of this week and last week's reviews, Dazzling Heights and Turtles All The Way Down. Also, if you like Krystal Sutherland or want to hear about her other books, I've linked her other book below, Our Chemical Hearts. It's a great book, though completely different than ASDLOWN. If you're missing John Green type reads after Turtles, it's a good fit. 

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland (349 pages)
Overview: Esther Solar believes her family is cursed to …

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 32 Part 1

Hello, everyone! Sorry this is a day late, but better late than never! Today's book was one that I was super excited to read, and it was super hyped online. I tend to shy away from reading books that everyone has talked about and loved because I'm scared I won't like it as much as everyone else. (This happened with The Hate U Give. I feel like the last person to read it (review coming soon), but it fully lived up to my expectations). This book, on the other hand, did not. While I don't like posting bad reviews, I feel like I can't share exclusively the good ones. Hopefully, you'll see what I liked and what I didn't and use it to make a decision about the book for yourself. You get something out of every book you read.  For Saturday, I'll be posting my review of Krystal Sutherland's haunting new novel A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares in honor of Halloween which is fast approaching! 

Nothing by Annie Barrows (212 pages)
Overview: Nothing is t…

Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 31 Part 2

Hello, everyone! I currently have no internet at my house which is why I did not post my event wrap-up of the John Green event, which was amazing by the way. I will write and post that when I get back to the reliable Wifi at school. Today, I have a review of a book I got at the author event prior to John's, Katharine McGee's! This was a fun, great read as you'll see below.  Linked below are my reviews of Katharine's first book, my story about going to her author event, and my Turtles All The Way Down book review that I posted earlier in the week. 

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee (422 pages)
Overview: This book starts off right where The Thousandth Floor left us, with each of the characters grappling with their involvement in the mysterious death and their own issues they've battled since book one. A new girl comes to town, as well, named Calliope Brown, a mysterious new girl to create more issues for the upper floor girls. That's about all I can say with…