July TBR

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I can’t believe it’s July and thus even closer to my birthday along with my boyfriend’s visit. Anyways, back to what you came for.

I’m writing my TBR post a little early because I’m really excited. It’s summer and it’s time for contemporaries. It’s always time for contemporaries, but now more than ever. It’s easily my favorite genre so let’s get into my July to be read pile!

 

 

1 and 2: I Believe in A Thing Called Love and The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Last month, I ordered my dad’s father’s day gifts and picked up both of Maurene Goo’s books for me. I haven’t read either of them and I’m so excited to pick them up. I’ve heard such great things so I figured why not take the plunge? Plus the covers are gorgeous so that’s something!

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3. My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies

For the past few months, I’ve been ordering a new release a month. My pick for June was My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book and I can’t wait to finally pick it up. My Lady Jane was one of my favorite books I read this year and I’m sure My Plain Jane will be every bit as delightful.

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4. American Panda by Gloria Chao

If you checked out my summer TBR, I included American Panda on it. I have this one on ebook and I’ve heard pretty good things about it. I’ve read the first few chapters and really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see if it lives up to the hype, too.

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5. I Hate Fairyland Vol 1 by Skottie Young

Pretty sure this is the only non-contemporary book on my list. Either way, this is another summer TBR pick. Ellyn has talked highly about this series and I want to finally give it a try. I don’t know much about it, but I know it’s gruesome but still fun? I’m just happy Hoopla has vol 1 for me to borrow.

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6. Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

The last book on my TBR is Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes. This is a book about a female tennis player who is dealing with PTSD and anxiety (I think?) I’ve been eagerly wanting to read this for months and now seems like the perfect time to.

I’m always on the look-out for books about female athletes and this is on Scribd so it’s a win-win for me.


Those are all the books I plan on reading in July! Just a little side-note: I got a trial for Scribd and I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had?? It has so many good ebooks and audiobooks so I might try it out for longer than my trial.

Does anyone else use Scribd? Is it worth the money for you? Also, what are you reading in July? 

 

May Wrap-Up

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! This month, I’m trying something different with my wrap-ups. Instead of waiting until the end of the month, I’m going to focus on books as I finish them.

For every day I finish a book, I’ll talk about it and share my thoughts. It’s going to be a little bit different than before but hopefully, you enjoy it. Overall, it’s going to be easier for me than trying to remember everything at the end of the month. 🙂

May

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer: Finished May 1st! At first, this book seemed like the journey of a young feminist following her role model. Unfortunately, it was such surface level stuff and full of unlikable characters who didn’t care that what they were doing was bad or just shrugged everything off. 3.5/5 stars

Still (Grip #2) by Kennedy Ryan: Finished May 2nd. This was a follow-up to Grip as we followed the same characters. This book was definitely more mature with a focus on their relationship versus just sexy times. It was sad, sexy and funny all at the same time but it was more of a fluff read than anything. 4/5 stars

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills: Finished May 3rd. I’ve written a review of this one so feel free to refer to that for all my thoughts! 5/5 stars

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Katie Heaney: Finished May 4th. I’m gonna be honest, I wanted to love this book but I just didn’t. I did relate to Heaney in some ways but other, I couldn’t. It was a fun story but felt kind of the same old schtick from other books like this one. 3.5/5 stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang: Finished May 5th. This was an adorable graphic novel with a predictable plot but featured a lovely art style and one of my favorite tropes. Overall, it was just a cute and fun spring read. 4/5 stars. 

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett: Finished May 6th. Where do I even start with this book? I was tempted to make an entire review of this because I loved it that much. This book is wholly original as I’ve never seen someone so eloquently share their thoughts on a topic so close to my heart. For years, I’ve been a broken record about the NFL’s treatment of their players and Bennett put that into words.

The book doesn’t just focus on the NFL as Bennett talks about race, Black Lives Matter, the Vegas incident and everything in his life. His focus on Kaepernick is what blew me away, though as I didn’t even know the two knew each other. His section on feminism was incredibly impressive, too. Ultimately, I loved everything about this book and it’s changed me as weird as it might be to say. Sorry for my long gushing session but this book is E V E R Y T H I N G. 5/5 stars (Uh duh!)

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Kat and Meg Conquer The World by Anna Priemaza: Finished May 8th. Despite its slow start, I enjoyed this book especially all the talk of fandom, friendship, and mental health. What kept me from giving it a higher rating was the petty and annoying high school drama. 4/5 stars

Meet Cute Anthology: Edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Finished May 10th. Instead of writing a normal little blurb, I’m going to discuss my three favorite stories. Click by Katherine McGee was my first 5-star and painted such a vivid picture of the future of dating along with a creative twist at the end.

My other 5-star read was Oomph by Emery Lord. I enjoyed the f/f relationship, the airport setting, and their chemistry. The story seemed incredibly realistic and I want a movie or full-length novel out of this.

My third favorite and a 4.5 read was Something Real by Julie Murphy. Not only did this have awesome fat rep but had a f/f romance, a game-show setting and was hilarious. This reminded me of a weird and strange fanfic I’d love so brownie points to Murphy for that. 3/5 stars

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli: Finished May 11th. I’m #trash for Becky Albertalli and I enjoyed this book. I loved the fat rep, the f/f relationship, the inclusion of the Simon gang and Becky’s writing style. What I didn’t love was how rude Leah was, how Nick was portrayed and how smooth the ending was. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean. 4/5 stars

A Map For Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor: Finished May 11th. I read this book in a matter of hours and it was not for me. The plot followed 2 sisters and a guy stuck on an island along with alternating chapters about “this huge event.” The plot was boring and the mystery was predictable along with featuring unlikable characters. The cover was beautiful, but this book was anything but. 2.5/5 stars

Zodiac Starforce Vol 1 by Kevin Panetta: Finished May 12th. After reading so many novels, I wanted something light I could blow through. Zodiac Starforce was everything I wanted and more but I only wish we had more backstory. 4/5 stars

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin: Finished May 13th. My second graphic novel of the month and I really enjoyed it. This was an adorable f/f romance spanning decades with a cute story, lovely art and overall fluffy. The only I didn’t enjoy was all the homophobia so be warned! 4/5 stars

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone: Finished May 14th. This was featured in one of my Shelf Control posts so I figured why not read it? Focusing on a girl with OCD, this book was heavy yet still hopeful. I enjoyed most of the novel including the MC, the love interest, her love for swimming and the plot twist. What I didn’t love was her friends…if you’ve read the book, you know. 4/5 stars

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Finished May 18th. I mentioned before about my hesitation to try audiobooks, but I listened to this on audio and loved it. I won’t get into the plot as most have read it and I don’t want to spoil anything. All I’ll say is I’m so glad I started this series even though I predicted the “plot twist” at the end and I can’t wait to see what happens in book two! 5/5 stars

Royals by Rachel Hawkins: Finished May 19th. I finished this book only a mere few hours before the Royal Wedding. This book was basically cheesy goodness with a dash of royalty and romance which was fun. Only things I didn’t enjoy were all the unnecessary drama and certain relationships. 3/5 stars

El Deafo by Cece Bell: Finished May 21st. I heard Natasha from myreadingisodd talk about this and I wanted to read it so bad. I’m not deaf or hard of hearing so I can’t speak to the representation. However, I found it to be a charming graphic novel with cute illustrations and valuable lessons for kids. Knocked off a star because some of the characters were annoying. 4/5 stars

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake: Finished May 21st. My first Ashley Herring Blake book and I loved it. This is a middle-grade story about Ivy who is trying to find her place in the world and it’s so lovely. It talks about friendship, sexuality, family, and tragedy. The only issue I had was Ivy’s sister who got on my nerves constantly. 4/5 stars

Bob’s Burgers Vol 1: Medium Rare by various authors: Finished May 21st. This was my last read of the month and so bittersweet. Yesterday, the season 8 finale of the show aired and I’m already in mourning. Either way, this was everything I wanted and I won’t get into much detail but it was wonderful! 5/5 stars


I’m going to try something different with my wrap-ups this month. It probably won’t happen every month but I don’t usually read 18 books. Since I read so many, I’m going to include my top 3 favorites of the month 😀

  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills: The queen does it again and I couldn’t be happier with this book! Easily my current favorite author ❤
  • Bob’s Burgers Vol 1 by various authors: Whoever came up with the idea for a comic book was genius. I can never get enough of Bob’s or the Belchers so this is a must for the hiatus and fellow fans!
  • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett: This was not only a compelling but eye-opening book where Bennett shared thoughts and at times, felt like he was pulling them out of my head. Combined my love of sports and reading perfectly ❤

There you go! Those were the 18 books I read in May 🙂 How many books did you read in May? Did you have a top 3 favorite? Can’t wait to hear! 

Foolish Hearts spoiler-free review & an ode to Emma Mills

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! It’s Friday on bookishlyrebecca and I’m here for my monthly book review. May has been a great reading month for me, but the book I was most looking forward to was Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I love Emma Mills and have enjoyed her previous two novels. Foolish Hearts was no expectation but let’s get into my review of it.

This is a spoiler-free review as I want everyone to love Emma Mills! 

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Goodreads Blurb: A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best-dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.


What I liked about Foolish Hearts

  • The characters. Somehow Emma Mills writes the most realistic high school characters especially our main character, Claudia. Everyone in the novel had their own things going on and no one really overshadowed the other.
  • The relationships. While there is a romance with our main character, she isn’t the only one who gets one. There are obviously multiple f/m romances but also a f/f romance which was refreshing.
  • The fandom. Though it’s not mentioned in the blurb, this book focuses a lot on fandom, fandom culture and introducing your friends to your fandom. It’s clear the author is either part of a fandom or did a lot of research.
  • Friendships galore! Even though the story does have an underlying romance, friendship is the main topic of the novel. There are old friendships, new friendships, and unlikely friendships. Watching the friendships grow and change throughout the story was one of my favorite parts.
  • Good family relationships. While most YA books have absent parents, this one is the exact opposite. The parents aren’t only involved with their kids lives but play a role in the story. It’s incredibly refreshing. Speaking of family, there are some awesome sibling relationships, too.
  • Writing style. This should come as no surprise, but I love Emma Mills’ writing style!

Honestly, I could go on and on but let’s get into the few things I didn’t like.

What I disliked about Foolish Hearts

  • Mean girl tropes. One thing I really didn’t enjoy was the inclusion of the “popular mean girl” trope. I think the story would have been already if that wasn’t included.
  • Lack of communication. Another issue I had was the lack of communication between characters. I know a lot of issues could have been solved if the characters had just talked to each other.

Overall, I don’t have much to complain about as I loved this book. I gave Foolish Hearts 5 out of 5 stars. 


Now onto the second part of my review! For this second part, I’m going to be talking about why I love Emma Mills, her books and what order I think you should read them in.

It’s hard to pinpoint why I love Emma Mills. I first heard about her from Jane of ItsJaneLindsey on Youtube. She raved about her and I went out on a limb, picking up First & Then. The story immediately drew me in and I couldn’t wait to pick up her next novel.

Mills has such an incredible writing style and writes such compelling yet flawed characters. I don’t think I’ve fallen in love with an author like this since I read the BSC series. Something about her writing style, the way she talks about fandom and friendship, it’s so refreshing to me.

I can’t recommend her enough if you love contemporary books or want something that’s a little different from general YA books. I could go on and on about her books, but I’d be here all night because she’s easily my new favorite author.

In terms of reading her books, I’d say go in publication order.

I don’t want to keep rambling, but I love Emma Mills and her books so much. I want all of my friends and followers to love her too. Anyways, hopefully, you enjoyed my Foolish Hearts review and my only slightly creepy love for Emma Mills.

Have you read anything by Emma Mills? If not, did I persuade you to? 😉

 

May TBR

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! I still can’t believe it’s May and summer is finally almost here. I’m not sure about where you live, but it’s been freezing and cold for most of April. It was miserable all except for two days 😛

With spring on the brain, I decided to go with some fun and light reads. Once again, I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself. I want to read for fun and not just to hit a number. The only goal I have for this month is to read 2 non-fiction books.

Let’s get into what I plan on reading this May!

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1. Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

I ordered this book used last month and I’ve been waiting ever since. I’ve read all Emma Mills’ books except for this one. I’m a little anxious to read it, but I’ve loved all her other novels so I have high hopes. I also predicted this would be one of my five-star reads so fingers crossed!

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2. Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

This one is vying for my favorite title….ever? Anyways, I’ve been looking forward to this book for months. For those who don’t know, Michael Bennett is an NFL player who is known for his activism, outspokenness and talent.

After hearing about what happened to Bennett in Las Vegas, I’ve been following him and want to learn more from and about him. This will also count as one of my non-fiction reads. My sports fangirl heart is singing right now! (Get it?)

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3. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Katie Heaney

On a more light-hearted noted, I’m finally picking up Katie Heaney’s memoir. For those who follow itsjanelindsey on Youtube, she recommends this one a lot. Since I trust Jane, I knew I’d have to pick it up and read it, too.

I know a lot of people aren’t into these 20-something feminist memoirs, but I am. I often see myself and this one will be no expectation. For most of my life, I was single and dateless until I met my boyfriend ❤ ❤ Anyways, I’m sure I’ll relate to most of this and I can’t wait to hear what Heaney has to say. This is also my 2nd non-fiction read.

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4. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Keeping with my light and fun reads, I’m planning on reading The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. Not only is this cover gorgeous, but the story sounds like it’s going to be awesome for spring.

The main reason I added it was because LaRonda recommended it. I trust her opinion so I figured why not add it to my TBR?

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5. Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

Going with my light and fun theme, I plan on reading Kat and Meg Conquer the World. I don’t know much about this book beside it has a focus on friendship. I hardly ever find books just solely focused on friendship so I’m excited.

This book has been on my TBR since before it came out, too. Now, I’m finally going to read it and hopefully, love it. I also think the book talks about mental health so maybe it won’t be so light. Either way sounds like a book I’ll enjoy.

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6. Meet Cute Anthology edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’ve heard mixed things about this anthology. Either, people love it or just think it’s okay so I’m hesitant. However, this seems like a perfect spring read and as someone who loves meet-cutes, I’m ready.

There are a few authors I’ve read from and love, others I’m excited to read from and a few I don’t even know or haven’t read. Nonetheless, this seems like a perfect fun and light read this month.


What books are planning on reading this May? Any duplicates or thoughts on my picks?

 

 

Fight Like A YA Girl Book Tag

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! It’s Friday and surprisingly, I’m not posting a review. I’m actually posting a tag this week to mix it up. Who knows, maybe next month I’ll be writing Harry Potter stuff on a Friday?

This is a tag I saw when I first started blogging and didn’t know enough to do it myself or know anyone to tag me. Thankfully, anatomyofabookthief aka the other half of the THUG squad tagged me. She’s just coming back from a bit of a break so go show her some love. ❤

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least on YA girl with each of the themes below
  • Tag as many people as you like

Warrior Girl:

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No way I couldn’t include Diana Prince as my Warrior girl on this list. She was such a complete badass female warrior and didn’t take crap from anyone. She was incredibly kind, sweet and loving too so she’s basically a huge softie, too. By the end of the story, she had become a warrior.

Girls who fight with their mind:

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I know this is a graphic novel, but I’d consider it YA since the main character is still in high school as far as I know. Goldie was such an incredible character who used her mind for a lot of things including solving cases at the hotel, saving people and figuring out the overarching mystery of this comic.

Girls who fight with their heart:

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Love & Gelato was one of my biggest surprises and no one surprised me more than the main character, Lina. Lina was dealing with a lot in her life and she used her heart to help make decisions, deal with some hard truths and fall in love. I couldn’t help but root for her to get a happy ending.

Girls who are trained fighters:

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While Mariko might not have seemed like a trained fighter, she truly became one and she was resourceful when she needed to be. I know not a lot of people enjoyed Flame in the Mist but Mariko was such a tough girl boss I could get behind. If she can go against the Black Clan and make it out alive, then she can do anything.

Strong Girls of Color:

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Nothing needs to be said about Starr Carter. She is a queen.

Girls who fight to survive:

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The THUG squad is going with a similar answer to this question. I picked Vivi from When We Collided. Vivi was struggling to survive with her mental illness and she deals with it a lot because of it. It wasn’t an easy road for Vivi, but she showed promise by the end of the novel.

Girls who are weapons masters:

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Hopefully, I’m not getting the twins mixed up! It might be not a traditional sense, but Jack is a weapons master in a way. Her backstory in Down Among the Sticks and Bones really opened my eyes and made me fall in love with Jack as a character. Hopefully, she’s featured in Beneath the Sugar Sky!

Girls who don’t conform to gender roles:

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Sonia from You Bring the Distant Near most certainly didn’t conform to gender roles especially when she was a teenager. Watching her grow and change throughout the novel and truly become a new person was amazing. I especially loved her relationship and that she didn’t ever truly give up on who she was when she got married.

Girls with Kick Butt Magical Powers:

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I won’t give away any spoilers for this book, but the magical powers the two ladies in this story was awesome. It was interesting how they decided to use them and what they craved to become. This book was another surprise for me in 2017 considering I don’t normally enjoy books with magic.

Strong girls in contemporary novels:

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Almost all of the girls in The Nowhere Girls!

Seriously fierce girls:

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Everyone sleeps on this book and most of all: Jade. Jade is a strong and fierce character who is just trying to make it in the world. She deals with a lot in the novel but learns to persevere and makes the best out of her situation. She’s easily one of my favorite female YA protagonists.

Most anticipated book with a strong leading lady:

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I’m living for all the fat protagonists in some 2018 YA books and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. To Be Honest looks like it’s going to be refreshing and finally show some good fat representation. 🙂

I won’t be tagging anyone as I know this is a somewhat older tag. If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged 🙂

 

 

January TBR

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! It’s hard to believe it’s 2018 now, it feels like 2017 flew by and I can’t believe I’m making a TBR for January. Alas, here I am making a TBR for January and boy, am I excited.

I plan on starting this year off with a bang and including some of my most anticipated releases and books I’m hoping I love. For January, I decided to include 6 books on my TBR and I already have some plans for future posts and ideas.

I actually decided on a theme for this month! I wanted to create a TBR full of badass ladies, feminists and basically real or fiction women I’d like to embody so without further ado, let’s get into it.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer: I am so hyped for this book! It was one of the books I received for Christmas and I’m incredibly excited to finally pick it up. I love Wonder Woman so much including the new movie release so fingers crossed I enjoy this book. It’s my first time reading Leigh Bardugo too so fingers crossed I love her as much as everyone else does.

The Nowhere Girls: Another book I received for Christmas was Nowhere Girls. Once again, I don’t know much about this book beside it’s a gritter/edgier version of Moxie. The cover is just gorgeous too so my expectations are extremely high for this one, too!

Turtles All The Way Down: Originally, I wasn’t planning on reading this. That was until I saw all the hype and praised heaped on it. I’m sort of meh on John Green, but this book features a main character with OCD and hopefully, a feminist! Even if she isn’t, this book speaks for itself so I don’t need to say anything more.

Yes Please: I’ve been wanting to read this book for years. I’m a fan of Amy Poehler especially her time as Leslie Knope. She’s a talented actress and outspoken feminist so reading her book is a perfect addition to this month. I’ve heard really awesome things about it and this includes a non-fiction pick for the year already!

Who Runs the World: This is a book I know literally nothing about. From what I gathered before I downloaded it, it’s about a world where women rule everything. Um, that sounds amazing but regardless, I can’t wait to see how it plays out and if it’s as feminist as I hope!

Beneath the Sugar Sky: Last but not least is Beneath the Sugar Sky. I enjoyed the first two books in the Wayward Children’s series so I am legitimately excited. I can’t wait to see where these characters go next and if it ends up being as magical as the cover depicts it. Either way, I know this book will be a solid 4-star read like the others!

What is on your TBR for January? Do you created themed TBRs or do you read based on your mood? I came up with this idea on a whim so we’ll see if I stick to a similar theme next month!

My Top 5 Books of 2017

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! This is a rather late and rushed post, but better later than never. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a top 5 books I read in 2017 but I know it’s one of the more popular posts. Why not give a try and narrow down my top 5 favorite books of the year?

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5. You Bring the Distant Near

The first book to make my list is You Bring in the Distant Near. Even though I read this book in November, it immediately jumped to the top of my list. Not only is the book incredibly diverse, but features Indian-American main characters and features those who value the old way of life and the new American way.

This book was so much more than that, though. It was a book about family, about falling in love, about being a feminist, about friendship and what makes someone an American. This book floored me and surprised me by sneaking into my top books of the year.

I can’t wait to see what Mitali Perkins does next. This book was such a delight and I couldn’t stop talking about it for days at work.

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4. All-American Boys

How did I not know about this book before? All-American Boys was everything I needed after reading The Hate U Give. I know it was published before, but I read it a little later. Despite that, the dual authorship of Jason Reynolds and Brandon Kiely was brilliant.

The two told a complex and complicated story from two different perspectives who eventually came together. I could go on and on about the writing style, but what I loved most was the character development. Both Rashad and Quinn grew throughout the novel and started to see things from different perspective, but came together at the end.

What made All-American Boys stand out among other was how raw it was. I cried multiple times while reading this novel and I could feel the tension from the pages. It was such a lovely and necessary story. Plus, it started my love affair with Jason Reynolds so there’s that, too.

 

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3. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter 

This was a book I’ve been hearing a little bit of buzz about. When I picked up I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, I truly fell in love with the story. Erika L. Sanchez completely blew me away and I can’t believe this is her first YA novel.

Sanchez somehow managed to include a lot of different genres here. The book was a mystery, a mental health novel, a novel about Mexican culture, a thriller and a contemporary all rolled into one. What I truly fell in love with was the character of Julia. She was not the perfect Mexican daughter, but she learned a lot about herself throughout the novel.

It was heartwarming, watching her mature and change. What took this book over the edge was the family relationships. While the story revolved about Julia, her family played a huge role in it even her sister, Olga. It stressed the importance of family, how not everything has to be perfect and love is all that truly matters.

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2. The Smell of Other People’s Houses

I heard The Smell of Other People’s Houses during a YouTube video and they mentioned it was set in Alaska. I knew I had to get it for my cruise and it was an amazing idea. Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock wrote a beautiful, compelling and amazing story about Alaska and the people who live there or end up there.

This book was so much more than Alaska, though. While the book did talk a lot about Alaska and some of it was set there, the book was all about the characters. Somehow, she was able to weave an intricate web and make each character important. It felt like the story had an endless supply of main characters.

I truly fell in love with all the characters and became invested in what happened to them. In addition, the writing style was gorgeous. She didn’t just talk about characters, though. She spoke about the history of Alaska becoming a state and Alaskan natives. I will sing this book’s praises forever and recommend it to everyone.

If you have the chance to travel to Alaska too, you’ll see how beautiful it is and see why Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock wrote a love letter to it. I’m rambling now, but please do yourself a favor and read this.

1. The Hate U Give and Dear Martin

Some people might consider this cheating but I consider it sharing. There’s no way I could have picked between The Hate U Give and Dear Martin for my favorite book of the year. They shared similar concepts but executed them differently. At the end of each story, the mission of Black Lives Matter was still there and all the work that still has to be done to end police brutality.

Let’s start off with The Hate U Give. This book was what first got me back into reading and I can’t thank Angie Thomas enough. I’m not sure I’d either have this blog if I didn’t read this book. I’ll try not to get too sappy but we’ll see!

There are so many things to love about THUG. From the message, the raw realness and frank honesty Thomas shared, it was everything. In addition, Thomas wrote compelling characters like Starr and Khalil. I especially loved the family dynamic in the Carter family as you could tell they truly loved each other.

I enjoyed the romance in the story, the references and even, the twists had me shocked. I could go on and on about this book and how wonderful it is. Chances are you already know that though so I’ll stop before I get going. If you haven’t read The Hate U Give, you must and if you have, then you must read it again. It’s easily the important YA book published in 2017.

Concluding my list is Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Similar to THUG, the message was clear but here it was told from a male perspective. Seeing Justyce deal with racism and classism in the novel felt incredibly real. Even though I’ve never experienced it, my boyfriend has shared stories in being Jus’s shoes.

Dear Martin also included a callback to the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. It was such an awesome choice and truly set it apart from others. We see Justyce wrestle with a lot of things including racism, police brutality, relationships, and friendships. It was such a realistic read and felt incredibly fresh even though it was a similar concept.

These books both did one thing incredibly well. They both packed such a huge emotional punch and I can remember crying multiple times at both. Both Thomas and Stone know how to make you feel and want to make a change. I can’t say enough about how much I love both these books and both these authors.

There’s no way I could have chosen between them for my favorite books of the year. The Hate U Give and Dear Martin share the top spot as my top read of 2017!

 

Before I go, I’d like to include some honorable mentions: Piecing Me Together, Wing Jones, Monster, The Names They Gave Us, When Dimple Met Rishi and Tiger Lily

What were your top 5 books of 2017? Do we have any in common or any recommendations for 2018 reads? I’d love to discuss in the comments. 😀