Can you believe how quickly 2017 flew by? I was literally just getting used to writing the correct date and now I have to reprogram my mind to write 2018… It’s been an interesting year for me regarding my reading habits and this blog. The blog got a make-over, I introduced some guest bloggers, I’ve written and posted creative writing as well as some personal blogs. Its been a good year filled with lessons. I’ll admit I didn’t read half as many books as I intended to, nonetheless, I read some really phenomenal books this year. These are the book I rated 5 stars this past year, I’m not going to go into a detailed review for each one of them as I’ve reviewed most of them throughout the year and some of them are sequels. In no particular order they are:
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad’s old costume, Elle’s determined to win – unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons – before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.
I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy Geekerella as much as I did. Sure, the premise seemed fun but it was also one that has been done so many times and butchered. I mean come on, we’ve all read our fair share of Cinderella retellings and some of them have been terrible. But Geekerella really nailed the fandom experience, what it is like to be truly invested in a fandom. From the blogging to the cosplay and the ComicCons, Geekerella sang to my fangirl soul and the Cinderella twist added to the charm.
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…
I knew absolutely nothing about this book before Pan Macmillan sent me a copy, and then a week later I received it as a bonus book in The Book Case subscription box. So, with two copies in my ownership I took it as a sign and jumped right into. And OMG! I was expecting an epic romance in space but what I got was a YA thriller that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I only wish that it was longer. I am really hoping that Lauren James will expand this universe in the future. Thanks a million to Pan Macmillan South Africa for sending me a review copy. Go and check out the Pan Macmillan Kids and YA on Instagram.
“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”
A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.
A must read for every woman. Amanda Lovelace’s short poems spoke to my heart and soul and left me in a shit-storm of feels. Personally, I thought that this was at least a 4.5 star read but guest blogger Nawaal thought differently. You can read Nawaal’s review of it here.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
An Ember in the Ashes was seriously everything I could have asked for in a YA fantasy. Everything from the world, characters, magic and mythology to the villain and the trials was perfect. The fact that the world was inspired by both Roman and Middle Eastern mythology cemented this book as one of my favourites reads of 2017. You can find my detailed review here.
Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.
Gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.
When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about Djinn and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.
I was so glad to be back in this world, Amani is honestly one of the most bad-ass heroines ever. This world expanded so much in the sequel and I cannot wait for the next installment. If you have not yet, you should definitely give Rebel of the Sands a read. You can find a detailed review here.
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
I love this trilogy for so many reasons but especially because of Kestrel. She’s a bad-ass but not in the way you expect her to be. Even though she is the general’s daughter is not particularly good at combat, but rather at strategy, which I found really refreshing. It is filled with political intrigue, romance and action. You can read my review here.
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
This universe and magic system is super unique. The characters are so difficult not to fall completely in love with. Lila and Kell’s banter is filled with sarcasm and clever come backs and the ships… Rhys is just gorgeous both inside and out. I could go on and on about why this trilogy is amazing but I’ll stop right here and just say the V.E Schwab is a phenomenal author and has become one of my auto-buy authors for me. And it just gets better with each book. If you’re into fantasy this is a must read!
Let me know what your favourite reads of 2017 are in the comments below.