Thursday, 11 January 2018

2017 Favourites // Books

Hello guys! This time last year I started a new job and as a result, I suddenly found that that I had lot more spare time so I finally rediscovered my childhood love of reading. I didn’t quite meet my Goodreads challenge of 40 books, I only managed to hit 37 but overall I’m actually really proud of that as I read some really amazing novels and started a new hobby, which was something that I really wanted to achieve in 2017. In this post I’m going to talk about my favourite books of 2017 (which was very hard to narrow down). Throughout my childhood and now my adulthood, no books ever manage to compare to my ultimate favourite series, Harry Potter as I have so many amazing memories of reading the books and watching the films over the years. Overall, 2017 was a good year for me; I read so many incredible books and some of them I doubt I’ll ever forget. It was difficult to choose the best of a good bunch, but I think (hope) that I’ve managed it.

The Keeper of Lost Things

One of my favourite books of last year, Sunshine was a character who completely stole my heart. She’s definitely one that I doubt that I’ll ever be able to forget, she made the entire novel so memorable with her chatty ways and love of a simple cup of tea. Actually, the majority of the characters were lovely, often supporting each other through some hard times. The concept of looking after lost items and returning them to their owners was so lovely too; it was an unusual book and full of pleasant surprises.

Tin Man

A modern take on love and loss, there were elements of a love story for it to be untangled at the last minute. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I starting reading this novel, but Sarah Winman always writes in such a beautiful way that it doesn’t matter; the content is always amazing. I loved how it started with a husband and wife and then the reader got to know their child and his wife and best friend too; everyone had their own story, everything was explained and developed.

This Is Now

This was a novel full of characters and surprises; Ciara Geraghty isn’t an author who I was familiar with, but having read this book I’m sure I’ll read more of her works. Her writing style is lovely; I liked that this book began with an event which was then broken down, showing the reader individual stories of those who were involved with the major incident. It has a bit of social commentary too, as many of the characters are immigrants from Ireland or Poland which was delicately handled.

The Couple Next Door

Over the past year I started reading more and more thrillers; this one was an incredible read. It all started with a double dinner date, then ended up with a missing child, such is the case for those who often seem to have it all. In an evening, the perfect relationship, the perfect life is slowly unravelled. It was such a gripping read; the plot never failing to be an absolute shocker.

After You

I loved this because it went against the grain of the average sequel; filled with grief and mixed in with endless love, an ordinary girl attempting to live an ordinary life after experiencing the worst kind of detachment from her best friend. Her life is a bit of a mess, which only seems to increase over the year after his death. The story wasn't similar to the prequel and that was a good thing; it was a continuation through new life.

The Muse

This book is arguably the best of them all; so unique and so beautifully written.I loved the concept that art, and an art gallery in two different countries and two different timelines can correspond through a painting. The elements of racism and war foreshadowed by the artworks are described so perfectly it was easy to let the imagination run wild.

I See You

An incredible thriller, made all the more terrifying by its twenty first century setting; using social media, the internet and commuter newspapers, there's someone watching your every move, documenting your way to work every single day. This book contains one of the best twists I think I've ever read in a thriller, it is completely addictive. You have to read until you know whodunnit.

The Shock of The Fall

This is likely to be the most realistic novel that I've ever read regarding mental health. A boy whose life is deeply affected by loss and survivor's guilt; a boy who finds comfort in his best friend, his only friend.This is a novel that makes you laugh, scream and cry because throughout the novel we see a boy turn into a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. It is told sensitively and honestly, the ugly side of life is visible throughout.

A Year of Marvellous Ways

One of my favourite authors, her novels never fail to amaze me. The story of a woman in the later stages of life sounds boring on the outset, but through the pages she seems to grow and grow, finding people to help along her journey to the end. I love the way that all of the main characters explored the idea that being human is a complex thing. It begins slowly but the beautifully written prose draws you in.

The Little Pieces of You and Me

A story of two friends, who have managed to keep their friendship as close as it was back in their university days, despite one living the dream working and residing in another country and the other married and settled beyond her years. Until a diagnosis changes the course of their lives forever; this is a well written novel that is an enjoyable read. The idea of a perfect life is unravelled as the book goes on, it’s a realistic view of the world.

Baby Doll

This book starts where others end; all about escape. Escape from captivity, escape from the mind; finally being free, except that freedom also comes at a price. I loved how this book explored so many taboo subjects and the main character was so strong throughout that it was an incredible read. Usually a kidnapping is how a book ends, so this one immediately stood out as it was focused instead on recovering from capture and moving on.

The Miniaturist 

This was a recommended read for me and I instantly fell in love. Based on a dolls house on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, it tells the story of Petronella Oortman. As I studied art, I love Jessie Burton’s novels as they always describe various pieces of art whilst adding her interpretation of the world within an artwork. This book explored 17th century life for women in what was a man’s world as well as commenting on the place of merchant families within society. This was an incredible read, I can’t fault it.

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