Reader Favorites – Amy’s 11 Best Books of 2017 List

by Maryse on January 6, 2018 · 20 comments

in Book Recommendations

And now… Amy’s list!!!!! Did you guys know we’re book twins? What Amy loves, I LOVE and yes… after browsing this list of awesomeness, it’s obvious I have read a TON of ‘em, but I LOVE that there are some here that I haven’t read.

One even, that she barely even gave 4 stars, and yet it made her best of list. YOU KNOW you wanna know why. Or I do. ;) That kind of tease calls to me SO hard. Because I “get” that feeling. A book you didn’t love, and yet affected you so hard that you will always remember it, talk about it, maybe even tell people to read it… DESPITE your reservations. Because something else made it. And so… it’s on my TBR list and I can’t wait!!!


“So, 2017 wasn’t a year packed full of 5-star reads for me, what with not having as much time to read, finding myself in book slumps more often than I can ever remember, and having way too many DNFs.

BUT! There were several which stayed with me even months later. I’m making my list not based on the star rating I gave each book but rather if it affected me to the point where simply seeing the title or cover or even thinking about it brings back all the feels I felt when I read it.”

In no particular order, here they are:

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis ~ I went into this expecting one thing and finished it feeling something wholly different. How can you possibly feel anything other than macabre fascination for a girl like Alex? Trust me…you can with this one.

Everything You Want Me to Be: A Novel by Mindy Mejia ~ Three POVs, including the dead girl’s, Hattie, and it kept me guessing who killed her until the moment of reveal all while endearing Hattie to me in a way I wasn’t expecting. It was one of those where you know the character is dead from the start, and yet by the end you want to throw a screaming, crying temper tantrum just to make it not so.

You know how certain lines you can remember by heart, no matter how long it has been since you read the book? This is one of those. These lines…THESE LINES will stay with me for a long time to come:

“I leaned into the window, out of his view, and wiped my eyes as the murder scene unfolded in my head. I watched Hattie fall. She fell over and over, never reaching the ground, caught in that last moment for infinity. My mind couldn’t make her live and wouldn’t let her die.”

Oh. My. Heart.

The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles Book 1) by Amy Harmon ~ Why this one? Because it isn’t often anymore that a PNR or UF gives me the feels I felt in the early post-Twilight days. And this one did. I. Loved. It.

Mists of The Serengeti by Leylah Attar ~ If you’ve read it, you get it. If you haven’t, I can’t explain it other than to say it’s beautifully heartbreaking and yet heart healing as well. And, it’s Leylah Attar. Need I say more?

Girls on Fire: A Novel by Robin Wasserman ~ This one was barely 4 stars for me, and yet the end left me with that disturbed feeling I love and totally wasn’t expecting. THAT is why it makes this year’s list.

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray: a romance novel by Tarryn Fisher ~ She took a character who was one way and changed her right before our eyes in a believable and heart-wrenching way. I felt every emotion right along with her, and I was emotionally exhausted and yet emotionally full by the end of it. And this song takes me right back to the heart of the book every time I hear it:

Ghosted by J.M. Darhower ~ Holy moly, BEST SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE I HAVE READ IN SOOOOOOOO LONG!!!!! I get giddy just thinking about how much I loved this one. The perfect balance of medium-grade angst and high-grade butterflies. *swoooooooooony sigh*

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios ~ The random placement of foreboding statements in the midst of her describing how she fell for him was executed perfectly.

“A year from now I’ll be screaming F*ck you, F*CK YOU into a pillow because I won’t have the guts to say the words to your face. But right now, a boy is staring at me from the end of the hall and even though he doesn’t say a word, he’s claimed me. I’m new territory and you’ve planted your flag.”

THIS is such a fitting song for Bad Romance:

The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre ~ Wow…WOW. A gut-wrenching story within a heart-breaking story. And yet it was never depressing. How is that possible?? Duh, it’s Alessandra Torre. ;)

Drive by Kate Stewart ~ Author of my beloved Room 212, she did it again with this one. From the prologue, we knew we were going to be put through the wringer as the h struggled with having her heart pulverized while being in love with two men, and yet her love for one was never diminished by her love for the other. But in the end, we knew our hearts were going to break right along with hers and the one she would not choose. What a nice take on a love triangle!!!

Okay, one more song (it’s not sad, more wistful with a catchy tune and OH, so fitting:

Until It Fades: A Novel by K.A. Tucker ~ Winner this year of the why-didn’t-I-read-it-sooner category for me, I had a sickening, cheek-aching grin on my face for a big portion of this book. Well, aside from the parts where her past mistakes were so cruelly held against her. And because of what she went through, I didn’t want for there to be any real angst or turmoil for her and the H. *GASP!* I know. I KNOW! Imagine me not wanting any angst or drama or emotional turmoil. Inconceivable. But will that happen often?

I think not. ;)

Thanks for another fabulous year on the blog, my friends!

*huge group hug*

Wanna know more of Amy’s favorites?


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie M January 6, 2018 at 7:50 PM

Woot woot for Ghosted and Until it Fades.

I can’t believe I have 2 faves in common with one of the Marmies!!! ;)

Jan January 6, 2018 at 7:58 PM

OMG Amy. I haven’t read any of yours! But there are a few of them on my tbr. Thanks for sharing. I’m lovin’ these lists. So many great books to check out. And thanks for the music links!

bev January 6, 2018 at 8:30 PM

Have I read any of your picks?

I think not.

Though i do have a few in the tbr pile.
Like the interactive list with the music.

Maryse January 6, 2018 at 8:37 PM

I’ve read 9 out of 11 and I agree with her for every single one. LOL!!!!!

Can you BELIEVE IT???!!


Cheryl January 6, 2018 at 8:37 PM

Amy, I have read 5from your list. Have been afraid of Atheists but maybe I’ll finally take the plunge!

Funny, I love Alessandra Torres but I’ve been avoiding Ghostwriter. Not exactly sure why.

Jen C January 6, 2018 at 9:06 PM

This is pretty much my “afraid to read” list of 2017 lol. I’ve bought 5 of them and haven’t been able to start them. Bawk bawk. And 5 of them I’ve been eyeing up to buy all year. Aaand hadn’t heard of Girls on Fire but will have to add that to the list!

2018 needs to be a better reading year for me – going to start it by biting the bullet and reading AWKAP!

Leslie M January 6, 2018 at 9:33 PM

Jen, I am a book wimp and you do not need to be afraid of Drive, Ghosted or Until it Fades.

Maryse January 6, 2018 at 9:36 PM

Agreed with Leslie. Drive is the hardest on the heart (but so exciting!), and still… it’s perfect angsty romance fun!

P.S. Ghosted and Until It Fades are MUST READS!!!

I think the three of these are battling my #1 spot.

Tessa January 6, 2018 at 9:42 PM

I’ve only read three books but loved all three. The song for Drive,gah. That fits.

Jen, if you haven’t read Ghosted or Drive, just do it.They were so good (even if I was rooting for the other guy in Drive).

I bought Atheist Who Prays based on your rec, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m actually behind on books (so OF COURSE, I’m reading a KU book next.*rolls eyes* ) I will though. Until it Fades has me intrigued. Any book that makes you NOT want the character have angst has got to be good.

Robyn January 6, 2018 at 10:03 PM

I’ve read 4 of your books! I could join the marmie club. Let’s see, I’ve read Mists, which I loved, Ghosted which I’m sad to say didn’t do it for me, Bad Romance, which I totally forgot about and it was so well written and so unique. Lastly, I’ve read The Bird and Sword. I love this series and Amy Harmon, come on!

Thanks for your list and I might have to look into the,others I haven’t read.

Nay January 7, 2018 at 9:41 AM

Wonderful list, Amy! I’ve only read a few of these, but I want to read them all because, like you, I LOVE to get my guts pull out, twisted and stomped on.Thanks for giving me a few new ideas for my tbr!

MichelleS January 7, 2018 at 12:47 PM

You are so right about the 3-4 star reads initially that end up sticking with you. Have read only a few of these, because I’m not as angsty as you! Ha!

MichelleS January 7, 2018 at 12:49 PM

If you liked A Bird & a Sword you’re going to love Sarah J Maas’s books!

Grey January 7, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Great list, Amy! I’d read 4 already, but I actually have another that I am reading on my phone, as I didn’t have ACOMAF with me one day last week when I forgot and left my kindle at home. So, then I’ll be up to 5. Do you think I’ll stop there… I think not. ;-)

Thank you, my friend!

marina January 7, 2018 at 4:03 PM

Awesome list Amy! Excited to read some of these. I started but put down Ghostwriter because I don’t want to read anything depressing these days but interesting that you said it’s not. I’ve bumped up Until it Fades and Bad Romance on my list. Thanks so much!!

Jean January 7, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Amy! I’ve read 5 of your 11. Until It Fades is high on my TBR and I just bought Tarryn’s Athiests book on sale the other day!

Amy January 8, 2018 at 12:13 AM

Leslie…you’re stronger than you think you are and can handle a Marmy or two. *giggle*

Jan…I don’t just listen to music, I have to connect with it so I am pretty picky about what I listen to. Even better is when a song reminds me of a book!

bev…not surprising you haven’t read any, but when we do agree on one it’s confetti worthy. ;)

Maryse…will you have a different reaction to the ending of Girls on Fire? I think not. Yep…I’m that sure.

Cheryl…you of all people don’t need to be afraid of Atheists! I KNOW you can handle it. And Ghostwriter…well, it’s not an easy read but Ms. Torre’s books are always worth it, especially when it is different (in a good way, mind you) from what she usually gives us.

Jen…YES! Read Atheists!! I had an idea the other day for a challenge read where anyone who is interested should try this year to read a book that would take them outside of their comfort zone. Now you have several, LOL!

Amy January 8, 2018 at 12:50 AM

Tessa…right? I know you love The Killers as much as I do. And I am SO not kidding about not wanting any angst for the h in Until It Fades. No one could be more shocked than me about that!

Robyn…we’re always looking for inductees for the Marmy club! :P

Nay…you are a woman after my own Marmy heart. I love that you crave having your guts mangled like me!!

MichelleS…I know! I always question my ratings months later with books like that and wonder if I was being too nitpicky or close-minded at the time and maybe they should be 5 stars because they have stuck with me and why didn’t I make better notes on what made it a lower rating and…*deep breath* Yeah. You get it. ;)

Grey…you better not stop with 5. You are a Marmy too, woman!

Marina…even though I didn’t find Ghostwriter depressing, if you’re trying to avoid books like that than Until It Fades is a MUST READ! Heck, it’s a MUST READ in any circumstance!

Jean…my Jeany Bean! Let me know what you think of Atheists. I think you’re gonna love it!

Suzanne January 9, 2018 at 2:51 PM

Great list!
I’ve only read Ghostwriter (and I agree wih your Wow statement) but a lot of the others were on my radar

steph January 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

Great List! Clicky clicky, oh I read that one, click click.

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