Saturday 30 December 2017

2017 Top Reads and all 5 star reads

So another book year has come to a close. Every year I am blown away by some amazing reads from some amazingly talented authors and 2017 was no different. I read 381 books by  210 different authors in 2017 of which 33 were five star reads (8.6%). 33 books that made my ever stingy fingers click on that 5 star rating. 33 books that are totally different in their own way but share one thing in common, for me they were exceptional. Whether it be emotional, suspenseful, hilarious or thrilling, each of these books, for me, were perfect and touched me in some form or another.  

I don't hand 5 stars out willy nilly, the more I read, the more I review, the more I blog my 5 stars get fewer and fewer. I do find I am more picky and choosy but this is because my ratings are defined by some outstanding books. The authors are delivering and are pushing our expectations and laying new benchmarks to rate other books. This is a good thing though, authors are honing their craft and making their books stand out. A win win for us readers.

And for that "author" my list includes both published and indie and if it wasn't for those indie reads, my year wouldn't have been half as fulfilling or entertaining.

So in close I would like to thank all those authors that have contributed to another fantastic reading year, thank you for your blood, sweat and tears that have been poured into every book, every page and every word. This reader appreciates it.

Some fun facts:-

1) According to Goodreads I have read 87,403 pages (I question it's accuracy though)

2) According to Goodreads my average rating is 3.8

3) I made a vow last year to read more new/new to me authors. This year I read 77 (20%). Of those 77, I actually went back and read some of their back catalogue once I found a gem. In fact, for a few of them I have now read all their books!

4) In my top 10 reads of 2017 there are 3 new to me authors and two of them were debut books!!

1) My TOP read of 2017 goes to Drive by Kate Stewart

There are not enough superlatives to describe how much I loved this book. This is by far my top Rock Star book EVER!! As I have said in the past, this author NAILS emotion, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Her words have the power to decimate me and then carefully put me back together.  Kate Stewart is one author who I have championed for a LONG time and yet, to me, she still hasn't got the recognition she deserves. This year, Drive did amazingly well, in fact you are probably sick of seeing me post about it. But, here I go again lol. If you have not read this book, seriously, PICK IT UP!! It is amazing. It is a book not to be missed.

Paperback UK:
Paperback US:

2) The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Robinne Lee is a DEBUT author and delivered the best older woman/younger man book I have ever read. This is a trope that is not written enough and one that I always crave. This was a huge age gap and yet, not once was I creeped out. Young rock star and divorced single mom who meet backstage at a concert. This book is TO DIE FOR. It spanked every single one of my emotions, it was real and did not follow a formula, it truly is one of a kind. 

3) The Fourth Monkey (A 4MK Thriller) by JD Barker

I have really been into my crime thrillers this year and have read quite a lot of them. This is another DEBUT book and I was blown away. Usually with a crime thriller you can see it coming, or at least the general gist of what is going to happen. This book had me ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT the whole time of reading and I cannot wait for more from this author. 

4) 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

Ever since Flat Out Love I have been a huge fan of Jessica Park. Jessica Park has her own unique brand of wit that is smattered throughout her books all the while interspersed with some extremely intelligent writing that has this reader hooked from first to last word. Her character connection is always on point and her stories are never cookie cutter, nor do they follow current tropes and over done cliches. You always know you are going to get a unique story and this one was one of my faves from this author.

5) The Queen and the Cure (Bird & Sword Chronicles #2) by Amy Harmon

I am not really a fantasy reader but I am a huge fan of Amy Harmon. Amy Harmon is one of those authors whose writing I have just clicked with. Once again, Amy Harmon is one of those authors that always goes against the grain with her unique stories. No cliches, no cookie cutter, just an honest read from the heart, one that will have you glued to every page from start to finish.

6) Mists of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar

This book is SIMPLY STUNNING. Leylah Attar has mastered the art of visceral scene setting as she transports you to the Serengeti with one of the most heart felt romances I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This book plays out like a film as you can feel the sand at your feet, the animals surrounding you and sense the smells surrounding you. Immersion reading from this literary masterpiece.

Amazon UK:

7) Dear Life by Meghan Quinn

8) Tate & True (Temptation Series 5 & 6) by Ella Frank

Slightly cheating here, but both these books were released in the year and both were easy 5 star reads. I adore my M/M books and I love everything about Ella Franks writing, no matter the genre she finds herself writing in. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of M/M books that I have read, these two characters and the ones that I measure all M/M's by. The intense connection that these two have radiates off every page and I have been consumed by their love story for years. When Ella Frank decided to resurrect these two by writing an extra three books about them, I was nervous. However, the last three books in this series are like the hugest extended epilogue in the history of epilogues and I am so glad that she decided to revisit my favourite gay couple.

My reviews:

9) Confessions of a Carpool Captive by Dawn L Chiletz

This is one of the funniest books I have read this year. Dawn L Chiletz was a new to me author and I have now read her whole back catalogue. I adore this authors writing style and the fact that she does not follow the usual tropes and her stories are always unique and inherently captivating. 

10) The Cycle (A Violence Begets Novel) by PT Denys

A friend recommended to me the first book in this duology, Violence Begets. She was not from the book world, but a mum in the playground who shares the same passion as me and we compare notes most mornings on books we have read. When I read Violence Begets I was in awe. PT Denys nails emotion, she nails character connection and she ripped my heart out with this M/M. This series is more than a M/M though, this is how young kids discover their own sexuality and the repercussions of such. I was worried about a second book, but I needn't have. These characters made their mark in the first book but were truly indelible by the end of this one.


To Have It All by BN Toler

The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

Amazon UK:

The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott

Animal (A Prisoned Spin Off) by Marni Mann

A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

Amazon UK:

The Gravity of Us (Elements #4) by Brittainy C Cherry

Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

My Best Friends Ex by Meghan Quinn

The Hard Truth About Sunshine by Sawyer Bennett

Captain by Lauren Rowe

Dane by Leddy Harper

Found Underneath (Finding Me #2) by KL Kreig

Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid

Wrecked by Jeannine Colette

Redemption by Stephie Walls

The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely

Amazon UK:

Forgetting You, Forgetting Me (Memories from Yesterday #1) by Monica James

Ripple Effect (Complete Series) by Keri Lake

Amazon UK:

I Do(n't) by Leddy Harper

Trading Yesterday by Kahlen Aymes

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