I must say… Merry Christmas to me, because it’s absolutely my perfect book selection, and ‘I’m thinking Tasha is my other book-twin. No… I haven’t read barely ANY of her best of 2017 picks, but OMG EVERY SINGLE ONE SCREAMS ME!!!!!!
Tasha made us a list and I’m checking it twice. <— Tee hee!!! See what I did there? 😉 P.S. I’ve read a few on her list below and LOVED them like crazy, so I know this is MY dream list!
But first!! Let’s check out some fun 2017 highlights about Tasha!
Tasha is having a baby!!!!
“We saw the baby this morning, all is well as far as she could tell me! So ready for these months to fly by now. Bc, while I love that we’re finally here and I’m so grateful to have him, pregnancy is not for me. Ok, so Jasper vs. Harvey. No one else likes Harvey except for me…typical”
“I announced the name as Jasper so there are no take backs, lol.”
About her favorite Christmas flavors (and GASP!!! NOOOO PEPPERMINT??? I could smell/drink that all day long).
“I myself, loathe peppermint, but I’ve had the ID caramel macchiato and it’s delish. Also, the French vanilla and Irish cream. I haven’t had drip coffee to add creamer to in ages, but last year at this time we got on a kick of skipping creamer and adding egg nog (I previously hated egg nog all my life) and it was awesome!”
About her current Christmas decor 😉
“Confession: My Christmas tree is up with pretty plaid red and green ribbon and 4 whole ornaments. Because I didn’t feel like getting the ornaments out this year. They’re all from hallmark and it’s been tradition every year since I was a kid to get one.
That tradition carried on with my kids so there are gobs. GOBS! And there all in a box with bubble wrap and what not and it’s a pain. Also, our painted Halloween pumpkins sit on my steps in front of my reindeer burlap wreath. AND, I didn’t get the darn elf out this morning. I’m half-assing it on Christmas this year, obviously.”
“I don’t wanna put that much work into a real tree. When I was younger, I always wanted a real tree, but my parents took care of it. There’s the hauling of it, the mess, remembering to water it, probably bugs waiting to come out of hibernation , and ridding of it when it’s over AND stringing lights. With fake (pre-lit), there’s the 1 time haul, in a box, it’s lighter, you snap it together and fluff and ur done.”
Her favorite Christmas movie:
“A Christmas Story! It plays ALL day on Christmas. “You’ll shoot you eye out,” the infamous scene with the leg lamp (frageelay), the scene with the triple dog dare and the tongue to the flagpole, biting the nasty red soap for a bad word, the bully scene where Ralphie kicks some A, the dogs ruining dinner so they have Chinese, the huge coats to keep the little brother warm so he walks like a penguin, the pink bunny pajamas!!”
Best books of 2017 (plus honorable mentions!!)
“Hey Maryse, Merry Christmas!! Here is my best of 2017 list… I really need to start reviewing more of the books that I read. While I loved these and remember them, it makes it harder to put into words how they really affected me. But, I’ll try.”
1. Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate (Goodreads best Historical fiction winner this year! Well deserved!)
“I loved this book so much. It was heartbreaking. I knew nothing of the Tennessee Children’s Home society before this book. It’s absolutely horrific, what happened to the children there. How they got there. This is told from 2 different pov’s, past and present that interweave to figure out the mystery of connection. It’s powerful and so emotional, one of my favorite books, ever.”
“5+++ stars for me. This one’s my favorite for 2017, hands down.
I’ve never read Lisa Wingate before, but I’ll definitely be looking into more of her work. For ME (my opinion) it was as good as The Nightingale. COMPLETELY different stories, but all the feels were there for me.
Historical fiction, though I’d never heard of the Tenn. Children’s Home Society scandal before. And such beautiful writing! Rill and her family will forever be in my heart, *sniff* they really came alive for me. I really loved reading all the past parts, the way they spoke, everything’s descriptions, felt so alive and real.
And then I also enjoyed the present because, man I needed a break from all the rough stuff and the mystery, some part of it probably only for me (drrr) had me puzzled until the near end.
Gosh I feel all full of emotion, it’s so heartbreaking. I even had to stretch this sucker out forever it seemed, though I didnt want to, and it was still fresh and raw every time I jumped back in.
2. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta
“This book is gripping and intense. I love some mystery in my books, add to that a disaster with a bus load of kids, family drama and tragedy, that’s very well written and you’re a winner in my book. This one sucked me in and just got better and better the whole way through.”
“…Really, someone should read Tell the Truth soon. It’s SO good! I just ran across it earlier on my kindle and thought of it again…”
3. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
“Another page turner here. Of course, they all are. That’s what makes them ‘best ofs,’ right?”
4. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
“This one is probably the most different on this list. I mean, it’s set in the old west. Cowboys and such? So not my thing. But, this one was.
Two girls, Andy and Sammy set off on the Oregon trail after they got themselves into some trouble. Posing as men. It’s dangerous, they’re on the run so even more dangerous. They meet some actual boys along the way and they team up, and crush a little bit.
And it’s a little funny and wild and scary. And touching, the relationship they have, like sisters.”
5. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
“This one was crazy. Crazy, crazy. Lol And thrilling and powerful. It put my nerves through the ringer! Mary’s narrative was extremely compelling.
The only thing I could’ve done without, was the twist. I felt it took away from the message.”
“Someone needs to read this book ASAP. (Amy, Maryse a I know you two will love this one!) SO, so good and completely pucked up. The writing was exceptional. The characters voices on point, the story will keep you on the edge of your seat, and your emotions will be put through the ringer. I couldn’t put it down, but I couldn’t handle reading straight through either.
I wanted someone to hold my hand for sure, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way about a book before. It’s why I don’t watch scary movies anymore, it jacks my anxiety through the roof. Don’t read reviews, I did read the blurb and that was just enough, but don’t spoil it for yourself. One part really made me mad, but I don’t want to say which. I’m sure it was added oomph for a lot of people. Still, this one makes my list of best books for 2017!”
6. The Lying Game: A Novelby Ruth Ware
“4 best friends who would drop anything in their lives for 1 in need. They all had a game in the past and covered a huge lie for one friend. 17 years later it rears its ugly head.”
“LOVED it!!! …I couldn’t put it down! I mean, it hooked me right away, but by about 20%, probably, I was getting super invested, and by 40/50% I was totally and completely hooked, and I had to keep reading. Ah, so one of my favorites! I can’t attest to her other books bc this is the only one I’ve read of hers, but I’ll definitely be checking them out. Amy, if you haven’t read this one, I feel like it has your name written all over it!”
7. I Liked My Life: A Novel by Abbi Fabiaschi
“I saved a lot of quotes in this one. Pages of them.
“And the best I can come up with is this: we’re given the gift of life with the consequence of death. I think it’d be a mistake to focus on the consequence instead of the gift.”
Told with Maddy’s pov also, in death’s form, it gives a different perspective. She was a loving devoted mother and wife who committed suicide. And she sees it her mission to make sure her love ones can move on without her. Her husband and daughter’s relationship is very strained and they both want to know why. It’s a very emotional read that sucked me in from the first page to the last.”
“5 star loved it… A lot of good lessons in that one and I really did like how the grief all played out, them moving on with their lives was very realistic. And the mystery of the why, I think, wasn’t too shocking, but worked well.”
8. Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
“I think this is a very important book that every teenager needs to read. It’s so easy to fall into an emotionally/ mentally abusive, controlling relationship. And the way this is written, you’re right there with her, feeling everything she feels. It’s a big emotional roller coaster.
I myself was swooning with her from the get go. I even felt for him, with his loving, supportive parents. I felt as suffocated as she did the more controlling he got. I felt all of it and the writing was exceptional. I also loved the author’s note at the end.”
“I felt the narration was a little similar to You by Caroline Kepnes, which was cool. But, you drama lovers are in for a treat! Beware: you will feel just as suffocated as I did and want your space too, just like I did. I told my Mom it’s just like all my bad relationships and I just wanna break too! Definitely not for readers who like a strong, independent heroine. Which, I totally love too, but I also understand her and knew it would be a “bad romance” going in.”
9. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
“Very funny, and short. Perfect pick me up when I needed it.
His dad is gruff, hilarious, vulgar, yet sweet and loving in his own way. My favorite combo.
I loved all the quotes and the way it was written.”
10. The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles Book 1) by Amy Harmon
“Amy Harmon and her poetic, magical words. Need I say more?”
“I loved it!! Even better though, is there’s more to come! Whoo!”
- A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman <— I thought I read this last year, but GR is telling me this year, but I loved this one! …it is definitely worthy of its spot on the best sellers list …So cool, I’m not much of a quote saver but I saved a bunch of stuff with this one!
- Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella
- The Snow Child: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize in Letters: Fiction Finalists) by Eowyn Ivy <— “Best written: Too hard!! There were so many, but I’ll go with The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy … absorbed in this story, it’s amazing…”
- Emma in the Night: A Novel by Wendy Walker
- Dead Woman Walking: A Novel by Sharon J. Bolton <— holy cow! It starts off with a bang!
- Something Like Happy: A Novel by Eva Woods
- Mystery at Maplemead Castle: A laugh-till-you-cry cozy mystery (The Chapelwick Mysteries Book 2) by Kitty French <— “…loved it, maybe more than the 1st and I absolutely loved that one too. The sexual tension in this one is palpable, and the mystery was fantastic. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in this series!”