BookCrushin’s Deck the Shelves Giveaway:
Best Reads of 2017
Welcome to our 6th Annual Deck The Shelves Giveaway Best Reads of 2017! At the end of each year we do few year end posts and we combine that with giveaways to our readers to help them Deck the Shelves! This year is no different, but you may have noticed it is mostly just me & Kelli on the blog this year. We have agreed that we needed to separate our lists by two large genre distinctions, Fantasy & Contemporary, because damn there were a lot of great books this year! So today we bring you our Best Reads of 2017!
Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page, the only requirement is leaving a blog post comment, telling us what your favorite read was this year, and or chatting about our picks!
We will also be posting our Most Anticipated Books of 2018, which will be impossible to narrow down, so check back next week for another chance to Deck the Shelves. Be sure to check out our Instagram and Twitter for additional chances to win!
Each year picking my favorite books is probably the hardest thing I have to do for the blog. I love reading, and therefore I love books. I am a really easy-going reader. I am a liberal star/heart giver and I am unapologetic about this. Books are my passion, so I tend to love everything unless it’s problematic or bores me. My lists are not in order, but I did choose my number one favorite book of the year and placed them at the top of each of the lists. After that the rest of the list is on equal footing. There were so many amazing books released this year, and this is a representation of what I read and how the book stayed with me. My Best of 2017 Goodreads shelf actually has 18 books on it…so if you want to see the rest check it out.
Top 5 Fantasy/Sci-fi Books of 2017:
1. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor – Holy shit, this was one of my most anticipated reads of the 2017, and I got nervous with my friends reviews, so I put it off. BIG MISTAKE. Huge. I absolutely loved this book. It was 1000% Laini Taylor. Vivid writing, beautiful words, exciting worlds, and the narrative sneaked its way into my thoughts. Like infiltrated my dreams, which if you read the book, you know this is even more intense. Plus, that ending literally broke me down and I don’t know how I can possibly wait for The Muse of Nightmares without any release date…so it is killing me! Goodreads * Amazon
2. Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff – This book…oh man. My review was one sentence long: That was bloody…brilliant. Also really fucking bloody, literally. So the #stabstabstab lived up to it’s hashtag, and I don’t even know why I love Mia so much, but damn that girl is FIERCE. Soul-crushing & violent…and a lot of ‘what the fuck just happened?’ moments. Also, as much as it pains me to say this, cause Jay is a dude, and I am a queer girl, but there is one of the best, hottest f/f scenes I have ever read. So deliciously hot. Like I never thought a guy could capture something that felt so real and so perfectly on point. Seriously, if you like bad ass assassins, and you aren’t squeamish, then read this series! Goodreads * Amazon
3. Roar (Stormhearts #1) by Cora Carmack – This book had my fanning my face it starts off so hawt! Then we are taken on a journey filled with amazing magic. There is also a sweet, forging relationship, many squad goals, and a serious cliffhanger! Damn these books and the cliffs they leave us on! If you love a well-crafted, creative, romantic fantasy, this book is for you & it’s unputdownable! Goodreads * Amazon
4. A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2) by Roshani Chokshi – This book made me really hungry, as the characters were also hungry for the first half. So much luscious food within these pages! Oh and the journey was so magical and so beautifully written. I could get lost in this world for sure. Goodreads * Amazon
5. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera – This book ripped my heart out! I mean the ending is kind of right there in the title and I was still so struck with a fit of balling my eyes out. Now that is what I call a good book, it prepares you from not only the title, but also the first pages, and I was still overcome with emotions. But there is something else within these pages, there is the amazing bond that was created but also the knowledge that you can and should live your best life. Do as much as you can even if you have anxiety over the fact you may just die tomorrow. After I read this book, I did things I haven’t done in years, like go out alone to a crowded bar and see a band I love and the whole I was thanking Mateo & Rufus for making me step outside my comfort zone. So truly, thank you Adam Silvera. Goodreads * Amazon
6. Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu +1 because I loved it and can’t leave it off the list! This book was unputdownable. I could not stop reading! I was encapsulated with the futuristic feels and the prospect of what just might come of our worlds with the ever increasing technology. This book is just super visual, and as I read it was like a movie was playing in my head. I loved this world and the gaming and the tech. It was a really fun read that I think many readers could connect to! Goodreads * Amazon
Top 5 Contemporary Books of 2017:
1. Geekerella by Ashley Poston – Seriously, this book brought me out of one of the worst book slumps I have ever had. It is also the book I have recommended to the most people. I even walked up to strangers in bookstores who even looked at the book, and said “YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK!” Seriously, I have read it twice already this year, and you know that is a lot when I am trying like the dickens to read all the books. It is just the perfect mix of fandom, fairytale retelling, romance, and FUN! It really just is good adorable fun! I saw so much of my fandom loving self within these pages, and I have become obsessed with Ashley. I even stopped her at BookCon to tell her how much her book meant to me! Goodreads * Amazon
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Now I voted on every list for this to be the best book of the year. It is such an important book, but it also was so well written! I was immediately taken by the Carter family and the portrayal of our society. It is even hard to say anything about this book, except I think everyone, young or old should read it. I think we can all learn something from these pages, no matter your race, age, or class. All of those themes were incorporated into this book and they all hit home. Nothing I can say will do this book justice, everyone just needs to read it! Goodreads * Amazon
3. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland – Another extremely important book! This may be one of the best books I read all year that deals with mental health issues. It is weird, funny, unique, heartbreaking, and really just imperfectly perfect. I really think this book flew under the radar this year, even I just read it this month, and damn it is absolutely AMAZING. There really aren’t words to describe what this book did for me as a reader with her own mental health issues. I really hope more people read this book, like tomorrow, so we can chat about it! Thank goodness for my blogging besties telling me this book is not to be missed, and they were 100% right! It really just rocked my world. Goodreads * Amazon
4. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – This is a cute and beautiful romance that builds on cultural expectations that are sometimes forced upon the children of immigrants. This book is the perfect rom-com blended with humor, kindness, and plain old fun! I always find it hard to say things about the books I love other than I just want you to read it too!! So do yourselves a favor and savor this heart warming, steamy, yet funny romance! Goodreads * Amazon
5. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu – THIS BOOK IS MY LIFE. Seriously, I was a RiotGrrl, and yes I am that old. It did make me feel slightly old at times that Vivi’s mom was the one who had lived that riotgrrl lifestyle, but you know what, those references didn’t date the book, they gave it life. So ultimately this is the modern feminist book for our current times. The word of the year is feminism, and I have never read a more encompassing, positive, and attainable version of how every girl can be a feminist, than what was in the pages of Moxie! Plus, fuck yeah, Bikini Kill! Goodreads * Amazon
Best Non-YA Book I read in 2017:
Mature Content (Cyberlove #4) by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell – Well this whole series has been absolutely amazing…but this book was off the charts in heat & passion. Seriously damn sexy. Funny thing is I am so not even remotely into youtubers, they kind of annoy me to no end, yet…that was one of the best parts of this book. I loved the community aspect of the tubers and there is this scene where they film together *wipes brow* so hot! Goodreads * Amazon
Best Non-2017 Release I Read in 2017:
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – This book was on my 2016-Must Read list, and I never got to it before the year was over, and when I read it this year I was ultimately sad that I couldn’t put it on last years list! This book is magical…literally. But seriously its so beautiful, and queer, and perfect. Ahhhh! Oh and now I am going to surely regret that I haven’t squeezed Anna-Marie’s 2017 release into my reading for this year…yet! Goodreads * Amazon
I swear, every year I get pickier and harsher with my ratings. For 2017, I had so many highly anticipated reads that let me down. I used to give out high ratings if I enjoyed something. Now, it’s something that has to truly stand out and keep my interest throughout. It’s no longer enough to just enjoy. I don’t wish to waste my time with the dull stuff when there are exceptional reads awaiting me!
I don’t have my lists in order of how much I loved them, but the number one spots ARE the best in their categories. Those are the ones that I felt really obliterated the competition. The rest are fairly equal. And, I had a hard time narrowing my contemporary list this year. Usually, it’s the opposite, but for whatever reason, most of the fantasy offerings were dull to me.
If you want to see the rest of my favorites, check out my Goodreads shelf!
Top 5 Fantasy/Sci-fi Books of 2017:
1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – This was a late in the year read for me. I finished it hours before finalizing this list. And I hate myself for listening to all the doubters and naysayers instead of trusting in my own opinion and the genius of Laini. This book is unique and gorgeous in every way. So completely underrated! I will never forget it. Goodreads * Amazon
2. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – This was a surprise to me. I wasn’t as in love with Ahdieh’s other series. I enjoyed it, but overall, the flowery writing took over the actual story. But this…a Mulan retelling, was everything I’d wanted and more. Magic, mystery, secrets, romance. I loved it all! And, I can’t wait for the next book to discover how it all ends. Goodreads * Amazon
3. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi – Again, another I was hesitant about. TSTQ was decent, but the writing style again got in the way of the plot. Chokshi turned that around in her sophomore offering. Gauri and Vikram’s journey was stunningly brilliant. Perfection. Goodreads * Amazon
4. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – This is probably both a surprise and not one. I ADORED this book. Truly. I have always loved Chaol and felt Maas had done him dirty. But yo. She stepped it up and gave him the story he deserved. I was proud to have loved the former Captain of the Guard. And I thought I knew prior to reading how his story would end. I didn’t. And I am thoroughly glad it went the direction it did. Goodreads * Amazon
5. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada – I don’t know if this technically counts since it’s more SciFi/dystopian, but I’m including it anyway. One of the most unique and intriguing ideas of late, I loved the scientific aspect. It was easy to follow, but also genius. With a brilliant climax and high energy throughout, this is one book I feel lost readers are missing out on. Goodreads * Amazon
Top 5 Contemporary Books of 2017:
1. The Color Project by Sierra Abrams – I read this gem back in August, and it hasn’t left my mind since I finished. I never expected to love this book the way I did not as much as I do. It was one of the most real books I’ve read in a long, long time. I usually am able to connect to a character at some level, but I never expected to connect with one on EVERY one. And that’s how it was for me with Bee. This beautiful tale is something everyone needs to experience. But Levi—he’s taken. Goodreads * Amazon
2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia– Another one that hasn’t left my brain since finishing. I don’t struggle with mental illness, but this gave me insight into those who do. The story weaves in online perceptions, too, which is so valid in today’s society. I adored this book, more than I can even say. Goodreads * Amazon
3. Ghosted by JM Darhower – This book came out of nowhere and consumed me. I discovered it through a Facebook ad and lost myself in it for hours. I love second chance romance, especially those that contain secrets from the past. This was that and more. Plus, it added in some geeky con scenes and yeah…SOLD. Goodreads * Amazon
4. Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson – I’m sure this isn’t a real surprise to many. I loved her debut and this was nearly as strong. Featuring cameos from her first book to the geeky references to the romance, I loved it so, so much. Lily is already one of my favorite authors. I look forward to more of her work! Goodreads * Amazon
5. Geekerella by Ashley Poston – Gah! This adorable story completed blindsided me. I feel like my list has a theme, and they all featured geekiness and conventions. But this one was like, the ultimate of all. Basically a fangirl’s dreams come true. It’s filled with romance, nerds, and diverse characters. It’s fun and easy to read. The story moves so fast that it’s over before you’re ready to hit the end. Goodreads * Amazon
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – Absolutely the cutest, most adorable enemies-to-lovers romance EVER. It was one that I picked up and finished within two hours. I couldn’t get enough of Lucy and Josh’s story. I read it early in the year, and honestly, I still think of it from time to time. So many ‘awww’ moments…and a few blushing ones too! I could read this over and over and never tire of it. Goodreads * Amazon
There will be multiple chances to win one of 2 prize bundles! The prizes are all themed to some of our favorite things! There is a Sarah J. Maas bundle including a SIGNED B&N edition of Tower of Dawn, a Society6 tote bag, stickers, and more! The second bundle is a Leigh Bardugo inspired with a copy of The Language of Thorns, the special pre-order enamel pin, quote print, promo buttons, and stickers! Of course there will be another giveaway with our Most Anticipated 2018 Reads post next week!
Enter in the Rafflecopter for multiple chances to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
All contests are open internationally, all entries will be verified, and no giveaway/spam accounts will be chosen. All 3 contests will end on 12/29/17 at Midnight EST, and a winner will be drawn by 1/1/18. There will be 2 winners – 1st place gets pick of which prize they want, 2nd place gets what’s left! <3
*Must be at least 13 years old to enter; I am not liable for lost, stolen, or damaged packages; I will provide shipping tracking if available; All entries will be verified, any cheating or not following through will disqualify all entries; If you are on my giveaway shitlist you will not win (aka follows and then unfollows); I reserve the right to suspend or end the giveaway at any time, for any reason – this is my time and my money being used; No other platform, twitter, instagram, facebook, authors, or publishers, etc are responsible for this giveaway, only me; I am not liable for anything, and in no way is this giveaway for anything other than fun and spreading book cheer; Winner will be contacted by the method given to me by rafflecopter, as well as on social media if necessary, and has 120 hours to get back to me, or I may choose a new winner.