Tell the truth: was everyone dying because it took me a MONTH to get this written and posted? I’m sure. Obviously everyone loves this post. Oh, wait, is that just me? Too bad. My blog, my rules and I love this post. I get geekily excited about it year after year. Also, this is the fifth anniversary of the book blogging recap, so I feel like there shall be some fun ahead.
Alrighty, I could blather here for a while, but what’s the point? We all want the dirty deets, so let’s get right to it.
Total number of books read in 2017: 225(!) (25% increase over 2016)
Average number of books read per month: 18.75
Average number of books read per week: 4.32
Month with the most books read: This goes to September and her 36 books. The most books I’ve ever read in a month is 37 (August of 2016) so this is a perfectly respectable, impressive total.
Month with the least books read: This is a tie between November and December and 3 books each.
Best book I read in 2017:
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. Wow, I really struggled with this. When I read this book and finally put it down, I said out loud “that was the best book of the year” and it held for months, but then, along came Brigid Kemmerer and I was torn. I almost said a tie because they were both so good but I don’t want to start that. So I made the tough choice. And this book is incredible. It is so brilliantly written and incredibly moving and supremely touching. I love everything about it. And the fact that I met the author and he’s an awesome guy and signed my book doesn’t hurt either. He’s now on the must-read/auto-buy list. He’s that good. He is also the very first male to win in this coveted category, so cheers, Jeff Zentner, and thank you for this unbelievably good book.
Runners up for best book in 2017: (in not much order)
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. I seriously love this book so much I am disappointed it did not win, and wanted to create a second place category just for this book. Instead I am listing it first among the runners-up so it doesn’t get lost. This book blew me away. It is equally as good as this year’s champion and I am sad I read them both in the same year. Love this book.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne if you haven’t heard of this book I’d be surprised. It is everywhere and deservedly so. This book is amazing and funny and smart AND it is her first book ever! Imagine how great she’ll be in a few years. I bet she takes this category in a couple of years.
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay is another very strong contender and if not for the three previous books could have won best of the year.
180 Seconds by Jessica Park, I sincerely loved this book. It is so well done and beautiful. Again, in a different year, this could easily have won.
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. This is my dark horse pick. It isn’t romance but a swashbuckling adventure and I loved it. The sequel comes out this year and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Never Sweeter by Charlotte Stein. This story, my first by Charlotte Stein, really stuck with me. It was a dark and sometimes difficult read, but it ended up being a beautiful story.
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. I talk more about this historical romance in the most surprising category, where it did win, but what a great, fantastic book (and I just noticed that the first in this series, Because of Miss Bridgerton, was in this same category last year, I guess if you want historical, you cannot go wrong here.)
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne. This book is an installment in a series, the third and I loved every word. This is not a book I would expect to find on this list but it hung in there and I just couldn’t NOT give it a nod.
Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino. She appears in several categories this year and this is the only one that’s a good one. She also made this category last year with two of her books. And supposedly she has one coming out this year so I wouldn’t be surprised to find her here (or winning) next year.
The Knocked-Up Plan by Lauren Blakely. This is another book I wouldn’t have expected to see on this list. 1. Because the romantic comedy, while fun and easy to read aren’t typically stellar stories and 2. because I don’t like pregnancy storylines but, boy this book was awesome. And beating the stereotypes is reason alone to make the list.
Trust by Kylie Scott. I love Kylie Scott. I loved her rock star series, I love her bartender series and this was her first foray into YA. And you know what? I loved it, too. She’s just awesome. As long as she stays away from zombies (yep, tried those too, not even Kylie Scott could get me on board with zombies) she’s tops in my book.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. Like the pirate king, this is a different sort of book. This one is about time traveling on a ship, through maps. It is an odd premise, but such an engrossing read. I loved it. I also liked its sequel but not quite as much as this one.
Worst book I read in 2017:
Thoughtless by SC Stephens. I have to say that this was on several lists as one of the best YA stories around. And I could not believe it. This is not only the worst book of the year but truly one of the worst books I have ever read. I mean, who did they pay off to get this title on so many lists?
Runners up for worst book in 2017: (in no order)
American Queen – Sierra Simone (This lost the crown by the very slimmest of margins)
The Way We Fall – Cassia Leo
Lucian Divine – Renee Carlino
Retrieval – Aly Martinez
Off-Base – Annabeth Albert
Some Kind of Hero – Suzanne Brockmann
The Story of Us – Tara Sivec
Total number of NEW books read: 219 (97.3% of books read this year, 2.6% increase over 2016)
Total rereads: 6 (2.7% of books read this year, 2.6% decrease from 2016)
Total number of standalone books (do not occur in a series): 74 (32.9% of books read in 2017, 2.2% increase from 2016)
Hellcat Canyon Series by Julie Anne Long. This was a hotly contested category this year and I went back and forth, but ultimately, JAL won out because there is so much to love in the three books in this series but the thing I loved best is that each got better and I liked the third the most, which is rare enough in series writing. Plus, they are super funny, which I adore in a good romance.
Runners up for best series: (in no order)
Openly Series by Bill Konigsberg, I was very tempted to pick this as the winner as male authors don’t win much around here (although, best book of the year, Jeff Zentner!), and there was nothing to dislike in this series. If I had to rank, this would be my second favorite series of the year.
Love Unexpectedly Series by Lauren Layne, this could easily have been a winner as one of its books (Walk of Shame) made the best list this year. The final two books were excellent but the first two were just good, which is why it did not win.
Game On Series by Kristin Callihan, as a whole these are not books that will rock your world, but they are enjoyable books and I liked this series (which is ongoing) very much.
Royally Series by Emma Chase, a few years ago, I read a book by Emma Chase and hated it. Not just disliked, but hated, which crossed her off my read list. Then I kept reading about this series, it just kept dogging me until I finally gave in and tried the first, boy am I glad I gave her another chance! This is a great series, especially if you are (as I really, really, am) a fan of royalty in your books.
Most surprising book:
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. What surprised me about this book is how very much I loved it. I mean, it’s Julia Quinn, and she has long been on my must-read list, as a matter of fact, she is the only historical author I still read religiously, but in general, I’m pretty much over the whole historical romance thing. Yet, this book is one of my favorites of the year. It is on the best list. I’ve gone so far as to recommend this series just to give people a chance to read this book. It is utterly delightful.
Runners up for most surprising book: (in no order)
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, surprising mostly for the fact that I don’t read this sort of book but it crossed my path and caught my attention and I liked it. Enough that I will read the sequel this year. For the curious, it is about assassin nuns. Truth.
The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood, this was a surprise because of how I found it. It was my friends at Amazon who said “based upon your choices, try….” and this was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, I had recently just gotten some really bad books from Amazon and the list was based off that. And I’ve tried Amazon recs before and been disappointed. But in this, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a great read. Kudos Amazon.
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover, oh how I struggled with this. If you follow my reading habits at all, you know Colleen Hoover is at the top of my must read list. In fact, she is an auto-buy for me. That’s rare. I don’t buy that many books. Anyway, this came out and a year with a new Colleen Hoover book is always a good one. Until this one. I just couldn’t connect with this one. It’s not that it’s bad. It isn’t. She couldn’t write a bad book. But I couldn’t connect to the story and it didn’t, in my opinion, deliver the same oomph her other books bring. So while it is weird to list a book that I said was 3/5 stars as my biggest disappointment, every other book of hers has been 5/5 stars, without hesitation, so I guess that’s why. I wanted the oomph and was disappointed I didn’t get it.
Runners up for biggest disappointment: (in no order)
Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren; so one of my favorite things to do is at the end of the year start looking at best of lists and read the best romance books of the year, if I haven’t already. Once those lists came out, they virtually ALL listed this book as the best romance of 2017. I had already read it and was just…meh about it. It’s not bad, but it certainly isn’t great. If you’re going to do office/hate-to-love romance, I feel that everyone will now compare you to The Hating Game (see best list) and this does not come close.
Lucian Divine by Renee Carlino, note this book also appears on the worst of list. It’s that simple, this was not a good book. And Renee Carlino is on my must-read list, she is amazing…this was not.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I loved her Gods and Monsters trilogy and I was so excited for this new series, but I was left feeling a little blah. It’s not bad, there is certainly potential but it fell a little flat for me.
Total number of print books read in 2017: 40* (17.8% of books read this year, 1.2% INCREASE over 2016. *However, with the MN Book awards books, I read what I was given and this accounts for 23 of those print books and two electronic books, so this stat is slightly inflated)
Total number of electronic books read in 2017: 185 (82.2% of books read this year, 1.2% decrease from 2016 see note* above)
Most surprising statistic: I don’t see how I don’t go with “Total number of books read” I mean, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE books. That is so surprising to me.
5th Anniversary Stats:
(in honor of this being the 5th Anniversary of the recap, here’s some fun stats.)
Total number of books read in 5 years: 879 (Wowza! that means for sure by the end of this year I’ll have read more than 1,000 books, in just over six years. That is nuts!)
Average number of books read per month: 14.65
Average number of books read per week: 3.38
Total number of NEW books read: 769 (87.5% of books I read are new books)
Total number of re-reads: 110 (12.5% of books I read I have read previously)
The five worst books I’ve read since 2013:
Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep
The Professional by Kresley Cole
Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas
The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright
Thoughtless by SC Stephens
The five best books I’ve read since 2013: (this is some good company right here!)
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O’Keefe
Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Honorable mentions (five selected books from all the runners-up):
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino
And there you have it. My fifth annual recap of the books I read. Still love everything about it, including how long it takes me to prep and write this post (but I got it in before January ended!). Congratulations to all the winners. If you found yourself in a less than stellar category this year, don’t worry, just ask Kresley Cole who I think has charted in every single category, it’s easy to recover. She’s still aces in my book. For now, my fair readers, go forth and read!