Reader Favorites – bev’s Top 8 Books of 2017

by Maryse on December 30, 2017 · 28 comments

in Book Recommendations

bev’s Best of 2017 list is ready!!! :D !!! Y’all know her as our “quiz-conversation” starter (“whether they be fun book quizzes, or “life” ones), she’s our resident hilarious one. Full on belly-laughs with some of the things that pop out of her head, especially when she posts a “conversation wrap up” of the previous day for those who missed it. She cracks us up each and every time!

In fact, let’s take a walk down memory lane with some of bev’s personal insights into life… ;)

Things she likes:

I love spring. It smells like things growing.

I am completely enjoying my YA reading phase right now.

I loved Aristotle and Dante and re – listened to parts just to smile.

I have a total nerds girl crush on Lin Manuel Miranda. I’m one step away from Robin and Josh territory.

I like the word hedgehog. Say it, hedgehog.

Amy and Maryse seem like they would be the kind of real life friends that would totally fuss over and take care of you when you feel bad.

I like the word totally.

Jean let’s me call her Judy Dench and write office romance stories about her.

MichelleS and Tasha totally (see) get my type of books.

I think Fabi would be the type of real world friend that would let me sit in the corner and read and not find the silence awkward.

Strawberry season!

The hilarious moment bev was shocked an appalled (and became disillusioned) when one of our crew didn’t love one of her favorites ;)

Jan: …it just wasn’t really for me. Well written (in red LOL) but some*things* I didn’t like. Don’t want to give spoilers here.

Jean: Uh oh….Jan you better hide! Lol! I

bev:  I am so disillusioned Jan.

I …I don’t know what to do.

*pushes Jan out*

I just can’t.

Nope.

*locks door*.

Sorry.

Like Elvis, Jan has left the building.

Cheryl: Bev, Bev, Bev!!! I’m sitting here LOUDLY snort-laughing!!! :P

bev: Cheryl, I haven’t forgotten that you haven’t read them.

Nay: Jan… Is Roomies single or dual POV? I think I’m going to start asking that about every book.

Amy: Nay…Jan can’t answer you because bev just kicked her a$$ outta here!! *falls over cackling*

Jan: *shouts from outside* Roomies is single pov (from her pov)… Mommy, can I come back inside now? I’ll be real good.

Nay: *yells to Jan* THANK YOU!

Jan: *knocks loudly on door* MOMMY! LET ME IN!

bev: Maryse, the door. It’s for you.

Amy: *snort*

bev: And Fabi didn’t like Simon. But she’s not here. Let us eat Oreo cookies and talk about her.

Maryse: Hey wait!!!!! I’m not seeing anything from Jan. Is she still locked out? *sideeyes bev* *puts Kooloo’s boots on and goes out into the cold to search for Jan*

Jan: *opens door and wanders back in* Hey. Stacks on the mill! (I’m guessing that’s what you mean by a puppy pile?) Jumps on top of the stack. Aaah! bev is on the bottom. Let the woman breathe! *carefully climbs off stack of people. Wanders around looking for a nice place to sit and read* Ah. This will do. *sits down in pretty window seat and takes out kindle*

OMG that was one of our funny moments of the year!!! Poor Jan. ;) She handled it well (although bev… not so much). :P

Speaking of bev, are y’all ready for her list?

She says:

“I love reading best of list and for the past two years have enjoyed sharing my own. Thank you for that chance Maryse. Yet, this year is the year of my epic slump. The symptoms started in the summer and have just gotten worse. One of the unexpected symptoms is having a hard time wanting to look back on my year of books and make this list. But a couple days ago I opened my books read on GR and I started remembering some of the great stories I was lucky enough to read.

So here is a look back. Be warned it will be rambling as I think as I type and it will include two of my other loves besides books unless Maryse wants to edit this down. (Maryse please feel free to edit anything and save me from my own embarrassment of too long and bad grammar (sorry, Nay).”

Wolfsong (Green Creek Book 1) by T.J. Klune <— My year started with a fabulous rec from Fabi. Fabi we miss you. It was Wolfsong by TJ Klune. To further the rich experience this book is I suggest you read it under the covers at night during a power outage due to snow with a carafe of coffee. Perfect.

“I’m getting so good at hunting. I was all like rawr and grr but then I smelled it again and it was him and it was all kaboom! I don’t even know! I don’t even know! You gotta smell him and then tell me why it’s all candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.”

Bitter Legacy  by Dal Maclean <— Then came Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean. New author and a great find. I periodically check to see if there is news of a new release coming before I start my book buying ban of 2018. This book is a wonderful and pretty balanced mix of romance, procedural, and mystery with a side helping of angst. It is a first person POV and I really enjoyed spending so much time with our MC Jamie.

“Yeah. He’s a mate. I can’t imagine he’d know a barrister, unless he had a lawsuit he didn’t tell me about. He’s…..um…he’s an adult actor. “

James frowned. “As opposed to…a child actor.”

Morgan barked a delighted laugh.

“No! Sargent. Sorry. I meant…in adult films. I was trying to be tasteful.”

“Oh.” James knew his instant, mortified flush must be visible from space, but Morgan just kept wrong-footing him.

Wintersong: A Novel by S. Jae-Jones <— Next came a lyrical fantasy with a strong heroine. Wintersong by S Jae-Jones took me on a visit to the Goblin King.

…it takes place in Russia. …wonderful writing and has that winter, slightly dark fairy tale vibe. …I can’t call this a romance though a sequel is coming……so maybe at some point? But it is a wonderfully written atmospheric and slightly dark fantasy.

“Beware the goblin men.” Constanze said. “And the wares they sell.”

Devil in Spring: The Ravenels, Book 3 by Lisa Kleypas <— Lisa Kleypas historical romances just bring me joy. I read Scandal in Spring with a smile on my face. It stood on its own but what a pleasure to revisit the Wallflowers.

“You do not want to marry me, my lord. I would be the worst wife imaginable. I’m forgetful and stubborn, and I can never sit still for more than five minutes. I’m always doing things I shouldn’t. I eavesdrop on other people, I shout and run in public, and I’m a clumsy dancer. And I’ve lowered my character with a great deal of unwholesome reading material.” Pausing to draw breath, she noticed that Lord St. Vincent didn’t appear properly impressed by her list of faults. “Also, my legs are skinny. Like a stork’s.”

Silence Fallen (A Mercy Thompson Novel) by Patricia Briggs <— Then came a chance to hang with one of my favorite people Mercy in Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs. And Jean is getting to know her as we speak.

bev: Jean! JEAN JEAN JEAN! YES YES YES!

LOVE Mercy. She is one of my favourite heroines. Love her.

And you’ll meet Bran. Bran! Best secondary character.

I read your flt thinking “This sounds familiar…” Then fist pump!

Hee. I am so happy. Like a puppy.

I never get tired of this world or the characters who populate it. I read the last sentence and then had to go back and reread some portions then close the book with a very happy and satisfied smile.

“I died first, so I made cookies.”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz <— Then came a brief foray into audible with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz and narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. <— more on him in a minute.

This is such a beautifully written book. I really want to read it so I can see the words and sentences. Someone please read this book…..R. First person and wonderfully crafted, don’t you use that for inspiration?

For audio lovers Miranda is a treat, you can hear all the emotions in his voice.

“To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.”

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Book 3) by Jenny Han is the last book in a trilogy, though the first could be read as a stand alone if you don’t care to continue. These books are just confections. French macaroons. Sweet, colorful, but with layers and a bit of texture.

“I’ve never once minded having a curfew. Because truly, it’s not like I’m missing out on anything so wonderful— and what’s that old saying say? Nothing good happens after two a.m. Unless you happen to be a fan of watching people play flip cup for hours on end. Not me. No, I’d much prefer to be in my flannel pajamas with a cup of Night-Night tea and a book, thank you very much.”

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater <— And finally in the fall I visited an isolated rugged island populated with magical and dangerous water horses in The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. For fans of strong and acerbic heroines.

“You two are a strange pair. You are a pair, aren’t you?”

“We’re in training.”

And this concludes the book portion of my list. As I mentioned I am in an epic slump that started in the summer. Though I was reading less I did fill the void somewhat with music and Korean dramas.

Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) [Explicit] <— I need to mention the Broadway Cast Album for Hamilton written by Lin Manuel Miranda who I became slightly obsessed with.  I finally listened to it and fell for it hard. Seriously, believe the hype. This was my summer soundtrack and it tells a very compelling story, the whole story. The album is the whole show. At first I listened from the first song to the last, though now I jump around. Need a little pick me up? Cue up My Shot and go with confidence.

Now, Korean Dramas. I am obsessed with them. They are perfect for genre book lovers. The whole story is wrapped up in around 16 to 20 episodes. And they are full of recognizable tropes.

Love a marriage of convience with a quirky hero and adorable heroine and strong friendships?. “Because This is My First Life“ is for you. Only quote I’ll use for this part but it resonated with me.

“That’s why See Hee, you too, shouldn’t worry too much. Just because you have lived yesterday , it doesn’t mean that you know everything about today.”

Want a love triangle between best friends? Jealousy Incarnate has it.

Want a rich a$$hole you shouldn’t like but the chemistry with the heroine is off the charts and maybe some laugh out loud body switching? Secret Garden.

Want that cracky I can’t look away but what the hell is this and why did I give up sleep for it since it is a rambling bit of a mess but I can’t stop feel of those old indies? Why, yes Boys Over Flowers will make you question your choices even as you can’t stop.

Second chance at love with a marriage in trouble? Makes you laugh but crushes your heart as the heroine gets to see her mom again when she goes back to the past? Go Back Spouses is the way to go.

Friends to lovers with a MMA fighting hero who is sweet but a bit dim and his wonderful heroine? Fight My Way may be the one you need.

A Noona romance? Which is older woman/younger man? Not one I usually would try but the praise and love for I Hear Your Voice is well deserved. I loved this drama and it imperfect perfect heroine and her hair flips.

Girl disguised as a boy and the swoony hero who falls for her thinking she’s a he and must question if he can accept that love? Also, want to fall in love with my newest obsession? Then get your next cup at Coffee Prince and meet Gong Yoo.

Then go visit him in the lush and melancholy Goblin. Perfect winter viewing. This one is visually so beautiful with great fated love and world building, plus a beautiful soundtrack. Even though I do not understand Korean some subs do the songs and you can tell the shows use the music purposefully and carefully. Even when not subbed it comes across as with the Goblin ost. Plus, Gong Yoo. He is just pure charisma and will be the reason I try a thriller with Train to Busan.

That is it for my 2017. Thanks for letting me ramble and share.

Wanna know more about bev and her favorites?

        

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Grey December 31, 2017 at 10:53 AM

*tosses glitter* *grabs Bev and hugs her* Seriously, this list is awesome!!! How in the world did I forget about Wolfsong? I was definitely going to read that one last year and somehow forgot… But it is now going on my pick for me list as bev’s choice! And the Mercy book too, you’ve got me to add 2 books to my pile, haha!

Great list, bev! Thank you for the time you put into it…and just for being the loveable you that you are! And thank you to Maryse, as always, for taking us all in like straight puppies. :lol:

Jean December 31, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Love you bev! Great list and so many new to me! The only book I’ve read from your list is Wolfsong which was epic!

I’m intrigued by Bitter Legacy and Wintersong (which I know Tessa loved too). Just downloaded my 1st Lisa Kleypass book this weekend…..Devil in the Spring!
Going to expand with HRs this year! Thank you bev!

Leslie M December 31, 2017 at 11:21 AM

This is great that despite the book slump you still found several gems.

I love some of those covers. Wintersong, A Scandal in Spring, Always & Forever Lara Jean…even though I don’t really read those genres, the covers make me want to! I might try the Lisa Kleypas one and I am def gonna try first book in series by Jenny Han. Already reserved it from library. :)

Aaaaand I am supposed to be doing BR for A Court of Thorns of Roses. Maybe just maybe 2018 will be the year of a new me!!!

R. Renee December 31, 2017 at 11:21 AM

I didn’t even see the original post when you tried to get me to read Aristotle…or I did and can’t remember. That happens a lot these days! It’s first person/present that I need for inspiration! This one’s first/past. I have the beginning of the year booked <– he he, but one of these days I may try it out!

Cheryl December 31, 2017 at 11:25 AM

Great list Bev, and it was not rambling, although I do crave cookies and macaroons now!

Thanks for always putting a smile on my face (even when you pick on me) and the LOL moments. ;)

My daughter and I listened to the Hamilton sound track on the drive from school MANY days; have most of the songs memorized. Love it!!

R. Renee December 31, 2017 at 11:26 AM

You’re doing the BR Leslie? Yay! And anyone else who wants to join, we have a thread on GR. A Court of Thorns and Roses 1/2/18! As far as I know it’s still on sale for 2.99!

Tasha J December 31, 2017 at 11:58 AM

Great list! I want to read Wintersong, I’ve bought Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas (never read her before), and I loved the first Mercy Thompson book, just 1 of the many series I need to catch up on.

MichelleS December 31, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Bev! You managed a list afterall… a bit eclectic, but awesome! You know my love for Wolfsong & Metcy! I may try Aristotle now that I have some Amazon money! Slump or no slump, you always make me laugh & smile… and I adore your wrap ups & quizes!

bev December 31, 2017 at 12:26 PM

Maryse I put the wrong title on the right book, lol. It is Devil in Spring not Scandal…though I liked that book too.

This is why you proof read people. Except, you know, it’s boring.

Thank you Maryse for posting this and making sure author names were spelled right. Lol. And letting others in on the joys of the word hedgehog.

bev December 31, 2017 at 12:36 PM

You all are so kind, seriously.
I have said before but mean it you all make be laugh. Laugh out loud in public. This is a group of very smart and witty women who know how to enjoy the absurd. And bad puns….R. Lol.

Grey, Bitter Legacy was the one that is actually 3rd person limited. I guess because I was so attached to him I kept thinking 1st.

Grey December 31, 2017 at 12:49 PM

oooh, yes! bev, let’s do the book buying restriction again.That was actually a great NY resolution for me last year. And you helped me stick to it!!

bev December 31, 2017 at 12:54 PM

Cheryl that is so cool. You know that’s going in her memory bank of great times with mom.

bev December 31, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Grey, so my book ban. I have been buying a lot leading up to tomorrow when the ban starts, plus a lot of pre orders. Once it is 2018 I am only going to allow myself 3 new books. Now pre orders, bought this year for next, are of course a loop hole, lol. Also I have the library and maybe trade ins of a couple hard backs I have at the local book store.
Oh, and I still have my KU. I think I may keep it for another 6 months and see. If I use it I will keep it if not I will discontinue until my tbr is more manageable and see if that makes a difference, idk.

Grey December 31, 2017 at 1:35 PM

Yes, I have KU too… And I have a 25 dollar Amazon gift card. But other than that..

Tessa December 31, 2017 at 2:16 PM

A pre-order like Shadowsong? :)

I finally listened to some of Hamilton. I really enjoyed it, but then I got to where I needed to go so it stopped. I own it (It was 99 cents!) but I just need to listen to it all the way through. Though, knowing My Shot is one of the main songs will help. That’s how I get into musicals. That ONE song. It might not be my favorite, but it’ll be what hooks me.

Best first line: “I died first, so I made cookies.” lol That was awesome.

I really gotta see Boys over Flowers. The synopsis sounds fun and I was contemplating the manga, but I just have troubles reading any graphic novel. I start and then am done an hour later max. :/ I’m missing too many good stories as a result.

Leslie M December 31, 2017 at 2:31 PM

Oooh, Devil in Spring is better! Even prettier cover AND I can get audio from library. I always ooh & aah over those beautiful historical covers when Jan reads them.

I got my free two months of KU coming to an end soon. :(

bev December 31, 2017 at 2:47 PM

I do not know how I misidentified the book, and I even corrected myself from calling it Devil in Winter…..which is the heroes parents book from years ago.

Yeah, give it a try Leslie. I love the library, such a great way for me to read what I love or outside my box. I used to utilize it all the time. If I did the math on a stack of check outs it could be over 100 dollars I saved. Plus, good way to do re reads of favorites.

bev December 31, 2017 at 2:54 PM

Yes, Tessa for sure it is and the new Bishop.
That’s how it works with me too. I used to buy a CD or tape and listen to the one song 10 or so times then explore the whole album and usually , if a good one, find other favorites. Like come fir Bittersweet Symphony and then find The Drugs Dont Work (his voice on that) and Velvet Morning.

So I use the Drama Fever app or the Viki app. I pay for premium at DF so I can download to my tablet or phone. Or you can watch streaming with ads. However both offer that free trial if you just wanted to try them. I love a free trial when I just want to try one thing, lol. And YouTube of course has some too.

bev December 31, 2017 at 2:56 PM

Oooh, Grey are you going to do a large scale restriction? Definitely need loop holes as it is one of our joys. But my the is giving me anxiety, lol. I know i have gems. And I want to budget more. *shrug*

Tessa December 31, 2017 at 6:07 PM

Wait for it will be the song. I tried One Shot, but it was a staccato version of Do You Hear the People Sing. Good song but doesn’t draw me in. Wait for it drew me in.

bev December 31, 2017 at 8:46 PM

He has got a good voice, smooth delivery. Even if he is Burr. ;)

D.G. December 31, 2017 at 11:40 PM

Yay Bev! Great list! I LOVE the cover of Always and Forever! Definitely would grab my attention!

Jan January 1, 2018 at 12:19 AM

Love your list bev. I loved Wolfsong too, and OMG that quote from my darling Devil In Spring! I’m going to reread it before the new Ravenels book comes out in February. And I definitely have to catch up with Mercy Thompson. Yes, Bran is one of the greatest secondary characters ever, isn’t he?

JulieO January 1, 2018 at 6:33 AM

Where is Fabi?

bev January 1, 2018 at 10:40 AM

On Good Reads. She just doesn’t drop by here as often.

Kashaf January 1, 2018 at 2:36 PM

Great list. Wolfsong was definitely a highlight of this year and getting a new mercy thompson book is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket with a hot cup of coffee. Can’t wait for the next installment. Haven’t read the other books but will check them out. Hopefully one of them will get me out of this book slump -.-
Goblin was such a visual and emotional masterpiece. It’s been months since I last saw it and nothing compares. The soundtrack is amazing too. I need to check out more kdramas, both the classics and the new ones.

bev January 1, 2018 at 4:33 PM

Yay, another Mercy and Goblin fan.
Love your description of the Mercy books. It is also the feeling I had watching Goblin, except with a dose of melancholy.
I have been having such fun with K dramas this year.
Kashaf it seems to be the year of the slump for many, hopefully 2018 turns it around for us.

Amy January 7, 2018 at 12:44 AM

OMG bev is by far one of the most hilarious people I know.

Yes, bev, I am talking about YOU.

So I haven’t read any from your list…who cares. We’ll always have Jellicoe Road.

Love ya bunches. ;) Even though you still won’t let me hug you.

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