Somehow, we are already halfway through 2017 and it’s time to share our favorites thus far. Today, we’re kicking it off with our Book Editor’s top 10 favorite books that have been released in 2017:
1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali
Becky Albertali is best known for her fabulous debut novel – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – so I was excited to pick up her sophomore novel. Imagine my delight when I fell in love with The Upside of Unrequited, perhaps even more than Simon Vs. Albertali portrays the teenage experience in such a real, relatable way and has created characters who are impossible not to fall in love with. Set in a seamlessly diverse contemporary world, The Upside of Unrequited is 100% my favorite book of 2017 so far.
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give is a phenomenal young adult novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement
The Hate U Give is about a girl who witnesses her best friend get shot by the police and her life after the event, but it’s also about so much more. Angie Thomas is so honest about the experience of black teenagers living in rough neighborhoods: the reality of gangs, violence, and drugs. What it’s like to feel like you have to be two different people – one when Starr is home, and a different “non-ghetto” person when she goes to her private school and is with those friends. What it’s like to feel like you can’t expose your friends or boyfriend to your entire life. What it’s like to not be allowed to go to parties for fear of violence. What it’s like to grow up internalizing rules on how to interact with the police – just in case. What it’s like to then have a reason to fear the police, but feel conflicted because your Uncle is a police officer too.
I am white. I am privileged in many ways. I learned so much from Starr’s story, and want to share it with the world.
3. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Hamilton’s sequel to Rebel of the Sands is just as badass, magical, and suspenseful. I love Amani and Jin and the world that Alwyn Hamilton has built. I’m impatiently waiting for the third book in the series.
4. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
This book is magical and all-encompassing. Stephanie Garber has created a rich, unique world and tells a story that allows readers to be fully immersed in that world. Just when you think you’ve got the story figured out, another layer of mystery and magic is revealed. The ending pulled my heart in so many directions, and I absolutely can’t wait for the next book.
5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
A stunningly beautiful fantasy novel that will sweep you off your feet. Lazlo Strange is a junior librarian, just trying to get by and find his place in the world, when he gets an opportunity to visit the mythical city that has captivated him for as long as he can remember. Strange the Dreamer is filled with magic, friendship, romance, betrayal, and so much more.
6. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Renee Ahdieh has once again woven a beautiful story. Set in feudal Japan, Mariko’s convoy is attacked and when she ends up the only survivor, she goes undercover as a boy to infiltrate the group that was hired to kill her – and what she learns changes everything.
7. A List of Cages by Robin Roe
A very emotional, visceral story dealing with mental illness, child abuse, and survival. Julian’s story is utterly heartbreaking and so hard to read about but A List of Cages is very successful at telling the story in a way that doesn’t trivialize the abuses Julian goes through. A List of Cages was difficult to stomach at times, but ultimately discusses very important subjects in a way that is relatable and impactful.
8. Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin
An important addition to the current offerings of YA, Aftercare Instructions tackles first love, mental health, family, and issues surrounding abortion in an approachable manner.
9. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
I loved Royal Bastards from the beginning: a group of societal outcasts have to come together – against their parents! – to save their kingdom. The group dynamic is so much fun and the adventures that they go on are captivating. With magic, betrayal, and a suspenseful ending, I am already looking forward to the next book.
10. Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell
Last but not least, Dear Reader makes my list for its unconventional yet enchanting retelling of Wuthering Heights. When Flannery’s English teacher doesn’t show up to school, Flannery goes on a trip using an old copy of Wuthering Heights, which has somehow become Miss Sweeney’s diary, as her guide. It is charming and unique and absolutely worth a read.
What is the best book you’ve read in 2017? Leave a comment and let us know!