I saw this over at Life as Louise and loved it so much that I am stealing … errr … borrowing it. To be fair, it originated with Perpetual Page Turner, so I’m technically stealing/borrowing from her. And yes, I know we are officially 11 days into 2018 but cut me some slack! Heck, I’m not even sharing my 2018 goals until the end of January. Because, you know, I have to figure out what they are first. Or borrow goals from others. Kidding! Maybe. 😀
Oh Books. How I Love and Adore Thee
And this survey proves it. Also, I played God and chose which questions to answer because I don’t have an OTP (One True Pairing) and now worry that I should. 😉
1. Best Book You Read In 2017?
It’s a tie. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough and The Mothers by Brit Bennett are the two best books I read last year. Stylistically, they are very different from one another but both feature strong, complicated women … hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe. And that’s all I’m saying.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I loved Lunar Chronicles so much but did not enjoy Heartless. I found the characters dull and also do not like Alice in Wonderland, which likely influenced me as well. However, I remain a Meyer fan and am anxious to read her latest book, Renegades.
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica and Breakdown by B.A. Paris also underwhelmed me.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys. It had been highly praised so I expected it to be good, but not this good. I immediately fell in love with the characters even though I tried not to because not everyone survives WW2 stories. This is no exception.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, specifically the TJMaxx scene. I’ve lived that scene multiple times and she rendered it impeccably, which I never expected a white woman, who would have never lived that moment as a person of color, to do so honestly. That is my prejudice and bias and cross to bear. You should read the book to find your prejudice, bias and cross to bear. We all have them. The shame is not in having them but in not doing something about them.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Some loved it while others despised it. And that’s the kind of book it is. One you’ll either love or love to hate.
5. Best series you started in 2017?
The Collector Trilogy by Dot Hutchinson. The Butterfly Garden is utterly messed up but so good. I personally enjoyed Roses of May better, although acknowledge that Garden is the superior story but the fierce women of Roses got me through a lot tough crap (Trump, Charlottesville, Trump, misogyny, Trump, nuclear holocaust, Trump evil, Trump) in 2017.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?
Lordy, this is a tough one. There is no one author but many. I discovered Sarah Pinborough, Brit Bennett, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Ruth Sepetys, Dot Hutchinson, Alex Grecian and Laurie R King. All new-to-me authors I enjoyed and look forward to reading more of their work.
7. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?
Hmmm … another tough one. I admit to choosing books based on covers, especially when searching my NetGalley dashboard. Of course, it’s very hit and miss, but I love a nice cover and this is probably my favorite. I love the ice/snow on her lips, the purple/blueness of her face, the simplicity of the design. It looks like art. FYI—I also enjoyed the book.
8. Most memorable character of 2017?
Evelyn Hugo is simply unforgettable and feels like a real-life Hollywood legend. The Gardener (The Butterfly Garden) is one of the best villains from last year. Despicable and depraved and yet still able to convince himself that he’s good and not evil. Annie/Mille (Good Me, Bad Me) so smart and teetering on the edge. I only wish she had faced a foe worthy of her equal. Last, but certainly not least, I bow down to the queen Adele (Behind Her Eyes).
9. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?
The Mothers by Brit Bennett. This lady can write.
10. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?
Can’t wait is probably a bit extreme because The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison only came out in 2016, so it’s not like I waited decades to read it. 😀 At the same time, it’s absolutely my kind of book so I should have read it immediately. It’s messed up and horrifying and so, so, good.
Honorable mentions go to Alex Grecian who writes the Scotland Yard Murder Squad series. I love murder mysteries; I love London; I love Jack the Ripper — so yeah, my kind of series. Laurie R King is another author I should have started earlier. I mean Sherlock Holmes. Come on! The games been afoot for some time and I’ve just tuned in.
11. Book That Shocked You The Most
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. I read too many mystery/thrillers and often guess the bad guy or twist beforehand (I am not always right but I am not the kind of person who cannot guess either) but this one completely shocked me in the very best way.
12. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I initially struggled with this one but the answer is easy. It’s all the friendships/partnerships in the In Death series by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts). While I generally love most of the cases Lt. Dallas solves, what I truly love are all the secondary characters and their relationship to Dallas and to each other. It’s why I’ve read all 44 books, multiple times. Even though I tell everyone to start at the beginning (and you should), they also get so much better as they progress because more secondary characters develop and inhabit Eve and Roarke’s world.
13. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I’m cheating here because it’s more the author (Taylor Jenkins Reid) versus the book that was so highly recommended to me. TJR is one of the most recommended authors on Show Us Your Books, but my library weirdly has very little of her catalog. The one or two books they do have didn’t really interest me, so when I had to opportunity to get The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo from NetGalley, I grabbed it and am a diehard fan now.
14. Best 2017 debut you read?
I changed my original answer because the debut book actually published in 2016 and I just read it in 2017 (see 10 for the answer). So to answer this question, I picked two.
First up, Next of Kin by James Tucker. This is a brand new series and I love it. It’s full of characters I like and want to succeed, along with plenty of good twists and turns. It’s fast-paced, engrossing and pure entertainment — my favorite kind of mystery series. Because as much as I love a good stand-alone mystery or thriller, what truly makes me break out into a happy dance is finding a series that I can enjoy for (hopefully) years and years to come. This won’t change your life but you’ll enjoy your time while reading it.
Next is The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. This is, perhaps, a slight cheat. It is her debut adult novel as she apparently wrote a YA novel first. I don’t care. It’s a debut book for me! And it’s weird, messed up and sometimes mean while other times redemptive. So in other words, the perfect Tanya book.
15. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. It’s confusing and a bit of a mind f*ck. But it’s a very interesting (and scary) world that Mr. Crouch built. Andrew Weir also did a tremendous job colonizing Mars in Artemis and making it feel real.
16. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?
The Memory Box. Lord did I cry. So many tears. So much snot. Seriously, it was embarrassing.
17. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I am cheating again because this is not a book I read in 2017 but my favorite books from last year aren’t obscure either. If you haven’t read them, they are probably already on your TBR or simply not a genre you read or didn’t appeal to you. Thus, I’m picking What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera from 2016, which I also chose as my favorite book from that year. It’s not an easy read or a pleasant subject matter and I remained deeply stoic throughout because I wanted to hate her (she does not tell you her name until the end if I remember correctly). But when I reread it, the tears flowed because the truth was I liked her quite a bit. It’s been about 18 months since I read the book and it still haunts me.
18. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?
The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. It’s a book within a book. I applaud his creativity. While I liked the book within the book a bit better, I did like the structure and the fact that he annoyed the crap out of me by withholding the ending of the book within the book until the bitter end.
19. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
I See You by Clare Mackintosh. I did not like it at all. In fact, I threw the book when finished and still feel rather cranky about the whole damn book.
I have also concluded that Liana Moriarty and I are not meant to be. What Alice Forgot not only deeply underwhelmed me but left me a bit put out.
20. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?
Oh, there are a ton: Bear Town, The Hate U Give, Dumplin’ (yes, I’m the lone person who hasn’t read it) and Little Fires Everywhere to name a few. But the book that is my top priority is Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo. I love me a good mystery series and this is one that I’ve been meaning to read ever since Steph recommended it. And every time she reviews a new book from the series, I feel bad and tell myself that I will get to it then don’t. No more! I’m reading it this month! And swear on my library card!
#BookNerd for Life!
That I am. And I also have a special ability to provide long, lengthy answers when all that was needed was a title. 😀 Don’t wish you could be as special as me? Don’t you want to do this survey too, even it’s almost mid-January? Just do it. I want to see your favorites and maybe, just maybe, for someone to do this later than me!
Pick a question and let me know your answer!