I read 95 books in 2017. 95 BOOKS! This was the best reading I’ve ever had. I read diversely—both in authors and subject matter. I branched out of my comfort zone and discovered I kind of like mysteries? Yes, most of the books I read are Young Adult, but the atmosphere there is so inspiring. If I made a list of my favorite books of the year it would probably be over 50 books long. So, I decided to do a list of my favorite authors I read this year instead. The list will be in alphabetical order and some authors are listed with more than one book. Let’s get started!
1. Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda / The Upside to Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Becky Albertalli knows how to take sensitive subjects and bring in the perfect amount of humor to create extremely likable characters. Not only the main characters, but also secondary characters are handled with such attention and care. It’s no wonder there is a spin-off about Leah coming later this year.
2. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway: There’s a reason it’s a National Book Award Winner. Robin Benway expertly intertwined these three different characters in such a caring and loving way. Beautiful!
3. How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake: Absolutely breathtaking.
4. Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert: I love books that take place in my hometown of LA. I like being able to recognize streets and landmarks when reading. Brandy Colbert blew me away with her first book, Pointe, and her follow-up was no different. Her descriptions are so vivid, I felt like I was in the family home and the flower shop.
5. Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley: Who doesn’t love books about bookshops? I feel like this book kind of flew under the radar, but it definitely deserves more recognition.
6. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green: Hooray, more John Green! I really loved getting back into the prose of John Green, His characters have a very distinctive voice; he doesn’t “dumb down” his writing just because its aimed at a young adult audience.. His writing is so gorgeous and magical. I also really loved and related to the representation of anxiety in this book, something I know that Green suffers from himself.
7. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han: A wonderful finale to a beautiful trilogy. I was a little hesitant hearing Jenny Han was going to write a third book, but it was so perfect. Not only is the romance adorable, but she is so good at writing families. I will miss the Song sisters and their dynamic very much.
8. We Are Okay / Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour: Dear Lord. We Are Okay ripped me apart. Talk about some magnificent prose. LaCour puts so much care into the relationships in her books and damn does she know how to make you feel.
9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Not going to lie, besides the tremendous amount of hype that surrounded this book, I mainly read it because the main character shares my last name, Montague. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with this book but it was a ton of fun and had lots of heart.
10. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: All hail Emery Lord. Her words are always so perfect. I’m also a sucker for a good summer camp story, must be from my years of watching Bug Juice…
11. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu: What perfect timing for a book! So much girl power, and not in a pushy way. It was more about learning and exploring what it means to be a feminist when you’re still in high school #MeToo #TimesUp
12. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: Dumplin‘ warmed my heart in 2016 and Ramona Blue was no different. People rarely discuss bisexuality and how confusing and difficult it is for people to understand. You could feel that confusion in Ramona throughout the entire book and it really made you feel for her.
13. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee: As someone you binged The Lizzie Bennett Diaries in 2016, this was so much fun! Also, incredible representation of asexuality, something that seems to be pretty rare.
14. Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin: Another one that flew under the radar but very impactful in my eyes.
15. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe / The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz: When I first got into the YA Booktube/Booklr/Bookstagram community I saw Aristotle and Dante EVERYWHERE! And for damn good reason. Saenz’s writing is mesmorizing, leaves me absolutely speechless.
16. History is All You Left Me / They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: Oh man. Adam Silvera knows how to attack your heart with a sledgehammer. I feel like History is All You Left Me was kind of overshadowed by his second book that came out in 2017. I had never seen my type of OCD on paper before and it made the characters so lifelike.
17. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I mean is this even surprising? This book is SO IMPORTANT. It should be taught in schools. The hype is real and true.
18. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas: My first mystery that made me think I may like mysteries now! This was crazy and I was seriously surprised by the twist ending.
19. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: From the cover, you would think this would be lighthearted, but there were major feels. There is a trend now in YA with exploring fandoms and I thought this was an interesting and thoughtful take on the trope.
20. The Serpent King / Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner: I had no idea how much of a gut punch these books were going to be—especially The Serpent King . Oh man, did I cry. Zentner does amazing work with his male main characters, something you don’t see as often in YA books.