Books Read and Recommended in 2017

I don’t typically set reading goals each year, since I have a strange pattern of reading. While writing my own books, I tend to stay in my own worlds. Between books, however, or when I need a break or a push of inspiration/motivation, I’ll end up racing through a dozen or so in a week. But I thought I’d share the books I read in 2017, with a few I highly recommend. Many of them got my brain cranking and in fact, kicked my butt back into gear for The Brighton Duology.

There are a few more on my list that were purchased, but I haven’t read yet. Honestly, I read the majority of these (probably 25) in the last couple of weeks of December. These are in no particular order, and I’ve made notes by a few that I fell head over heels with, particularly the most recent ones read that I can immediately recall the plot and people.

The Naturals Series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:
–I LOVE this series, and it’s possibly one of my top 3 YA series of all time (like YA meets Criminal Minds). I’d previously devoured the first 3, so was thrilled when the final book, Bad Blood, released, followed by a short story spinoff, Twelve.

The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken:
The Darkest Minds
Never Fade
In the Afterlight
–Unbelievably good writing and characters, dark as hell plot (think X-men kids in concentration camps) and overall can’t stop thinking about it. She’s got a forever fan in me.

Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu:
Legend
Prodigy
Champion
–Really enjoyed this trilogy, even if I’m still grappling with the way it ended. Lu is a wonderful writer and I enjoyed learning her style. Dystopia, told from dual POV and really captures a war-torn country dealing with poverty, rebels, and more.

Heist Society Trilogy by Ally Carter:
Heist Society
Uncommon Criminals
Perfect Scoundrels
–I LOVED (all caps) this trilogy. Very YA meets thief/heist, and totally sucked me into the world and characters. I want these books to be made into movies because they’d be so much fun.

Conspiracy of Us Trilogy by Maggie Hall:
The Conspiracy of Us
Map of Fates
The Ends of the World
–Absolutely fantastic series that I highly recommend for adventure readers. Sort of YA meets Dan Brown, with plenty of secret societies, romance, great characters and a bit of treasure hunting.

The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau:
The Testing
Independent Study (just started)

The Royals Trilogy by Erin Watt:
Paper Princess
Broken Prince
Twisted Palace
–This was a quick read, and is heavy romance; I’d argue about it being YA due to mature content; I can see why it’s popular, and it kept me in it enough to keep going, but wouldn’t recommend for younger readers.

Ravenspire by CJ Redwine:
The Shadow Queen
The Wish Granter
–I adore CJ, and her writing style is phenomenal. These books completely sucked me into a new world and I loved the twists on things we wouldn’t normally expect from the usual fairytales.

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass:
The Selection
The Elite
The One
The Heir
The Crown
–I was really surprised by how fast I read through these due to the major focus on romance, but I also enjoyed the world-building and characters. Plus, Cass is almost local for me, so I’m glad to support a successful author practically in my backyard!

Magnolia Steele Mystery Series by Denise Grover Swank:
Center Stage
Act Two
Call Back
Curtain Call
–Cannot recommend enough for murder mystery readers who also like to laugh out loud at quirky characters and witty dialogue. I adore Denise, and her work never disappoints.

Other books that are either standalones or parts of series I have not finished:

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
  • Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown
  • A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
  • Mister Romance (Masters of Love Book 1) by Leisa Rayven
  • Fairy, Texas by Margo Bond Collins
  • The Opposite of Wild (Clover Park, Book 1) by Kylie Gilmore
  • The Substitute: The Wedding Pact #1 by Denise Grover Swank
  • That Thing You Do (Whispering Bay Romance Book 1) by Maria Geraci
  • Moonstone Beach (Main Street Merchants Book 1) by Linda Seed
  • Love So Hot (The Lawson Brothers Book 1) by Marquita Valentine
  • Forever Mine (The Moreno Brothers) by Elizabeth Reyes

Nonfiction, mostly writing craft books:

  • On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King (all writers should read this one)
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson (another good one to set your head straight in getting your ish together for you)
  • The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman (always good to have on hand while writing)
  • The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (see above note)
  • Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins (a very inspiring take on those who’ve walked the road before us and their struggles, which puts our own in perspective)
  • Why Does the Screenwriter Cross the Road?: And other screenwriting secrets by Joe Gilford
  • Write Naked: A Bestseller’s Secrets to Writing Romance & Navigating the Path to Success by Jennifer Probst and Christina Lauren
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books Book 1) by Gwen Hayes

Next on the list:

  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • And plenty more!!

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