My Favorite YA Books of 2017

23 Dec

I’m judging this based on what I read in 2017, not necessarily books that released in 2017, and I’m only focusing on YA. If you want a complete list of books I read, check out my Goodreads challenge. A lot of these books could fall into more than one category, but I didn’t want repeats, so I tried to stick with a new book each time.

I hope you find some recs you’ll enjoy!

Fantasy

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Labeling fantasy and science fiction can get a little strange, and this novel is a perfect example of that. I honestly can’t say a lot about this book, because, if I did, it would ruin the craziest surprises. Surprises that blew me away. I totally loved how bizarre and brutal and lovely and strange this book is. If you’re okay going in blind into a strange new world with little to no explanation, you will love this novel, because by the time you get answers, it’s a million times worth it.

Sci-Fi

Warcross by Marie Lu

If you’ve ever spoken to me about the types of books I love, then you know I love future tech. (There’s something so much fun about exploring possibilities.) Marie Lu hit the nail on the head with this book that features a futuristic video game and a craze overtaking the world. Her plot twists have me DYING for book 2. (And we need more gamer girls in fiction.)

Historical

My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

Technically a historical fantasy, My Lady Jane is easily the funniest book I read all year. (And I definitely need more laughter in my laugh.) If you’re willing to let your imagination stretch past the point of believability (especially since most of the characters are real historical figures), and you don’t mind the authors breaking the fourth wall, this book is the one you didn’t know you absolutely needed. It’s unique, hilarious, and un-put-downable. Also, My Plain Jane, a sequel following a different time period, releases in 2018. It’s one of my most anticipated reads.

Contemporary

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

At first, I wasn’t sure how this book would play out. I mean, it takes place over one weekend at a convention. What could happen? SO MUCH. If you’re a geek like me, the love for geek culture just seeps out of this quirky story. It really captures how much a fictional character can save a person. The cast is full of diversity, including a female protagonist on the spectrum, and the book features a lot of important discussions more people need to have. A quick, fun, but important read.

Horror

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

So this novel takes place in Nebraska, which automatically gets points from me, because we do not have enough books set in the Midwest. Despite a lot of Midwest clichés, I really enjoyed this story. I read it one setting. I didn’t see the killer coming. It’s super gory in a way a horror book should be. And I couldn’t stop thinking about when all was said and done. Love, love, loved this spine-tingling mystery.

Debut

Body Parts by Jessica Kapp

Yay for more future tech! This book discusses lots of relevant issues about body autonomy and the power of pharmaceutical companies. It has just the right amount of gore (can you tell I enjoy gore?), and the action is both nonstop and believable. Add a dash of romance, and you’re in for a wild ride. Also, I think this is a standalone, so if you need a great standalone (and want to support a debut author), pick this one up.

Sequel

These Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

If you haven’t read The Thousandth Floor (#1), then go get it right now, especially if you’re an old-school Gossip Girl fan. This is another fantastic futuristic novel with believable tech and lots of guilty pleasure drama. The novel does not get enough credit for showing a lot of socio-economic situations that are happening now. I absolutely love this series. It’s uncomfortable and devious in such a flawless way that allows you to enjoy every little moment, even the ones you should feel guilty about enjoying.

 

Series

Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

I can’t believe I didn’t pick up these books sooner. Competitive ballet + real-life issues = I wish there was a book 3. (Why isn’t there a book 3???) I went from loving certain characters in the first book, to hating them in the second, and it was perfection. Also a series for Gossip Girl fans, this duology keeps you on your toes with betrayal in highly competitive ballet. This diverse duology is written by two diverse authors and published by Cake Literary, a diverse company.

Biggest Surprise:

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

I hesitated to include this category, because it makes me sound like I expected a book to be awful, but that’s not what I mean by “Biggest Surprise.” Biggest Surprise, to me, means I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book, and then it blew me away. The Love Interest definitely takes YA tropes and turns them on their head in the most glorious (and often hilarious) ways. I’m also a fan of spies, and there’s more future tech, so…

Manga

Jigoku no Enra

If you took a peek at my Goodreads challenge, you might have noticed that I read A LOT of manga this year. In fact, I normally read a lot of manga, but this was the first year I recorded it. Why? I used to hide how much manga I read, because there’s this weird stigma about it, but when I started sharing it, I began to connect to other readers who loved some of my favorites, so I’m recording it from now on. Anyway. Jigoku no Enra has everything I love in a paranormal shoujo: demons, cursed princes of hell, and one unfortunate girl wrapped up in it all. Definitely recommended.

Top Three Honorable Mentions:

The Speaker, Daughter of the Pirate King, and Our Dark Duet.

The Speaker by Traci Chee is book 2 in a Sea of Ink and Gold series. Her prose drips off the pages. A complex, yet brutally beautiful fantasy.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller has pirates and magic. Need I say more?

Our Dark Duet concludes the Monsters of Verity, and it was a fitting ending for a twisted tale about monsters, music, and mayhem.

But what was my all-time favorite read?

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

It was my first time reading Shusterman, and he blew me away. I LOVED Scythe so much I never put it down. It’s brilliant, morally gray, and gory as hell. Scythe answers the question, What happens when everyone begins to live forever? Well, we hire Scythes, of course. You know, people trained to decide who will die. The book follows two scythe apprentices, and everything they go through—including their first deaths and some pretty horrible plot twists—will keep your head spinning. After every chapter, I kept bothering my roommate because I HAD to talk to someone about each and every scene. This book is also a near-future scenario. Scythe released at the end of 2016, so if you’re talking about 2017 releases only, my favorite book was Warcross by Marie Lu.

What were your favorites?

~SAT

 

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11 Responses to “My Favorite YA Books of 2017”

  1. Elise @ Roaming Reader December 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    Yay that I’ve at least read your favorite book this year (even if I haven’t read much else that you mentioned) (I spent at least 2 months of this year just going through Sarah J Maas books from 3 years ago… I am a failure XD) With that said, Scythe was a GREAT book and I’m so glad I read it!

    • Shannon A Thompson December 24, 2017 at 2:56 am #

      I FINALLY checked out ACoTaR this year, but wasn’t as big as a fan of that as I am of ToG series, but I haven’t got my hands on Tower of Dawn yet. I saw you read it though? I need to catch up on so many books. Lol
      ~SAT

      • Elise @ Roaming Reader December 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

        Honestly, I prefer ACOTAR to ToG. Despite really enjoying parts of both series, I seem to be in the minority that thinks SJM books are just a bit overrated (I’m gonna to keep reading them, but I’m just gonna be getting them from the library instead of buying them). Tower of Dawn is pretty good (think my brain has settled on 3.5/5 stars) But lol I’m always behind on books

      • Shannon A Thompson December 24, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

        I’ve heard the second book in ACoTaR is amazing, so I might still continue reading it. I remember I felt so-so about ToG but love the second book. I did that with City of Bones, too. Those huge series often take off on book 2 for me.
        ~SAT

      • Elise @ Roaming Reader December 25, 2017 at 10:20 am #

        Yes! ACOMAF is easily my favorite Sarah J Maas novel (however I have a friend that isn’t a fan bc she isn’t into character driven stuff so idk I guess it depends on your opinion on that) I liked Crown of Midnight more than Throne of Glass, but it was Heir of Fire that is my favorite of that series, that’s probably the only ToG book where I really like Aelin’s character

      • Shannon A Thompson December 25, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

        Omg, HoF was my favorite too! I love character-driven stories, so I’ll give the sequel a shot. 😊
        ~SAT

      • Elise @ Roaming Reader December 25, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

        Nice, I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Jessica Conoley December 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    My library app just got blown up with new reads. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. daniellethamasa January 3, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    There a lot of wonderful books on this list. And I’m with you on having read quite a bit of manga in 2017. Thankfully I’ve never been the sort to hide what I’m reading, so I’ll gladly talk about the middle grade, manga, etc. that I’ve been reading.

    • Shannon A Thompson January 4, 2018 at 9:01 pm #

      That is awesome! I think I used to hide what I read because I grew up in a household that wasn’t very supportive. (I had a stepfamily at one point that considered paranormal books satanic. It was incredibly uncomfortable. So, I think it is a bad habit I developed that I’m still trying to break to this day, even though I’m no longer in that environment.) It’s really nice to be open about what I read now! 😀
      ~SAT

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