Best of 2017

Somehow I managed to read well beyond my goal of 75 books last year. I did read a lot of manga and more novellas than I had before, but it still surprised me!

Here are 15 of my favorites...

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2) by Anne Leckie
Continuing the Imperial Radch trilogy with a lot of political machinations, lies and intrigue. This series isn’t for everyone, but I love it. The world building is one of my favorite parts, where gender is singular and everyone uses the same pronouns she/her. Different sexes exist, but they aren’t used for identifying, and the narrator struggles with other languages and cultures where emphasis is placed on reading social cues, dress and behavior to implicitly know someone’s gender. Basically, she struggles to assign gender to other cultures of people because she grew up without assuming gender.

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
If you haven’t heard of this young-adult series yet, I’m not sure how best to convince you. It’s a heist set in a fictional city that reminds you of Amsterdam and London. A cultural melting pot where learning and enterprise are held in high regard, and magic is available to the highest bidder. These teens are street-smart and out for blood, and they can also barely trust one another to pull off the most unthinkable heist ever: break a political prisoner out of the capital fortress in a land that puts magic-users to death… for a price.

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
This slice-of-life manga looks into a single father mourning the brother he never knew when his brother’s husband comes to stay and learn about the family his brother left behind.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant
An own voice retelling of Peter Pan, with the main conceit that Peter Pan was the alter-ego Wendy Darling created to escape in dreams to the life he really wanted— as a boy. Also Hook is a sexy pirate in this one. It’s heartfelt, dark and gut-wrenchingly good.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
A fine start into Discworld following a young witch who mistakenly danced with the Wintersmith, intriguing him so much that he’ll stop at nothing to court her. If she doesn’t stop him, Spring might not come for anyone. Featuring: some parody of heroes and of fantasy books, as well as a vicious clan of tiny blue men who will do anything for Tiffany, the young witch.

Nichijou by Keiichi Arawi
Not for everyone, this bizarre take on the foibles and epic disasters of high school is one of the funniest manga I’ve ever read.

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik
A complete surprise. A swashbuckling adventure set during the Napoleonic War, but if England and France also had Aerial Corps featuring crews on the backs of dragons! I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
A silly fun book with loving parody of book lovers, librarians and wanting to play inside the covers of our favorite stories. Featuring a well-read librarian who is headed for a chaotic world of fae, vampires and steampunk, just to save a book for the catalogue. Also, so much more.

George by Alex Gino
A great book for young chapter-book readers about identity and being true to yourself, and overcoming your fears in the face of being yourself.

Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
A heart-stopping foray into the world of same-sex crushes in middle school, with the terrifying addition of having to kiss your crush in the school play of Romeo and Juliet!

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
I finally began reading this series! And it was so funny, as well as being a treat for fans of myths— specifically greek myths in this series. While not without blips and some flaws, Riordan’s voice and style is one of the best out there.

Kase-San by Hiromi Takashima
Possibly my favorite yuri/queer girl manga this year, a very sweet and real-feeling story about two very different girls in high school.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Another very recent read that I want to make everyone read, even though I feel like there’s something major lacking with or between the main characters, it was refreshing and funny. It read a little like a fairy tale at times, which is of course the point. It’s a beauty and beast retelling, but with so much changed I didn’t even recognize it.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
A very cute comic about retired adventurers and the remnants of little magic to be found in friendship and caring for one another. Aimed at younger readers, but all will enjoy this queer and diverse story.

WANT by Cindy Pon
The young-adult eco-thriller that I never knew I wanted, set in a near-future Taiwan.

There were so many good books in 2017, probably by virtue of me paying closer attention to what I’m reading so I picked up less books that wouldn’t interest me, and sure, also because I read more in general.

Thanks for reading my reviews and I hope you found some new books to enjoy. ♥ Happy New Year!