Favorite Standalones of 2017
1. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
I loved this book so much that I read twice this year. We follow Vanessa, an assistant (and many other things) to the top defensive football player called Aiden Graves. She has been working for him for 2 years without any recognition. He is very closed off and drives her crazy. She has bigger dreams and decides to quit her job and starts her dream job. One day Aiden shows up at her door asking a huge favor that could also help her if she accepts.
I fell in love with these 2 characters. In the beginning, Vanessa doesn’t take any BS from her former boss. She wants him to treat her as a human being. Aiden slowly starts to get attached to Vanessa and their chemistry was off the charts! Mariana Zapata’s slow burn romance was done perfectly. The audiobook is also amazing!
2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.
France,1939, Vianne Mauric says goodbye to her husband who leaves for the front and she stays in her village with their daughter. Vianne is forced to take in a Nazi soldier and suddenly her every move is under scrutiny. We also follow Vianne’s sister who is much younger and how she deals with WW II. These sister are very different from each other. Vianne tries to keep a low profile because she doesn’t want to endanger her daughter on the other hand Isabelle is ready to fight back. Isabelle joins the Resistance. The story is very complex because it combines 2 strong but very different characters who have the survive under different circumstances. We get first love, friendship and sisterhood in its most raw and emotional times. This book will not leave you the same way when you started. You feel like even women where fighters through WW II and I felt very empowered.
3. A l’ombre de nos secrets by Lily Haime
How can I do this book justice? It’s impossible. One of my favorite French authors combined 2 of my favorite things. A forbidden M/M romance and WW II. I am a sucker for anything WW II related. We follow Julien, a 19-year-old boy who lives on a big farm, he inherited from his parents. We follow a close-knit group of friends/family. Their farm is invaded by the Germans and they are forced to live together. Engel, a soldier from the Wehrmacht, grows close to Julien but their relationship is so forbidden. I can’t describe to you how strong my feelings were when I read this book. You’ll feel so conflicted and it will tear you apart. This story is so complex and beautiful for different reasons that I don’t want to spoil. This book is sadly enough not translated yet but I really it will be in the future.
4. How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
We follow Grace who moves a lot around with her unstable mother. Grace and her mother move in with her mother’s new boyfriend. She is emotionally trapped because she can’t leave her mother but her mother isn’t responsible at all. I almost screamed multiple times with frustration throughout this book. I couldn’t believe that Grace’s mother was so blind. Grace meets a girl called Eva, who pulls her into her adventures. Their friendship slowly blossoms into something beautiful and so raw. I felt like I was Grace and my world opened up with her. This F/F romance was beautiful and so strong. I can’t wait to read an other book by her. This book made me cry buckets.
5. Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Mariana Zapata obviously became one of my favorite authors of this year. After reading Wait For It and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, I tackled Kulti which came close to being my favorite book by her. When Sal ,female football player, discovers her new coach is the man she worshipped when she was younger. He is older than her and got married so she had “break-up” with him but after a week of him being her coach she doesn’t understand want she saw in him. Reiner Kulti is a quiet asshole who she hates. Their hate-to-love relationship was slow but so gooooodddd. Their banter really made this book for me. There is also a strong family bond which I immensely appreciated. Mariana Zapata’s female characters are so refreshing because I often dislike female protagonists in NA but her protagonists are strong and hilarious in all of her novels.
6. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I decided to read the Host this year because I used to be a HUGE fan of Twilight. I didn’t have high expectations but I re-discovered things I love from Stephenie Meyer. She created an interesting where aliens aren’t really bad. She creates very endearing characters and close-knit communities that you can’t help to grow attached to. Her writing is easy and her story is cheesy but I loved it! Melanie’s body has been taken over by a host called Wanda but Melanie refuses to fade away. Melanie fills Wanda’s mind with images of her community so Wanda is “forced” to find out where they are situated. Wanda isn’t welcomed into the community because these humans are scared she’ll give their location away. Jared (Melanie’s boyfriend) treats her horribly. She is accepted by Jeb and Jamie (Melanie’s brother). Wanda helps the humans to raid supermarkets and grows close to Ian. There is this strange “love triangle” but not really. The different dynamics and bonds really made me feel close to everyone. Not a book for everyone but I really loved it!
Honorable Mentions (standalones)
Favorite Series of 2017
1. Addicted to You/Calloway Sisters series by Becca & Kristie Ritchie
I read mostly this series in 2017 but I finished it in 2018. I had to put this series in my list because it finally made me read again in the second-half of this year. There is a clear pattern in my favorites, I love close-knit friend groups and this series contains a very close friend group. These series are intertwined with each other and can’t be read separately. It’s my favorite series of all time. It combines a lot of different characters and their struggles. I really recommend just reading this series without knowing too much. This series gets better with every book.
2. Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare
OMG, Lord of Shadows was such a perfect sequel with a horrible cliffhanger. Everything I say about this sequel is a spoiler so I’ll be brief. I can’t get over this beautiful family/friend group. We finally get everyone’s POV, so we get a lot character development. Relationships are tested and unlikely friendship blossoms. This was explosive and it will be a torture to wait for the next installment.
3. Galilée & Archimède (L’effet Papillon) by Lily Haime
This duology follows Alexandre, a teenager, who lives with a homophobic father and a mother who doesn’t stand up to him. His father is verbally and physically abusive and so when Alex meets Jamie this becomes a problem. Their passionate and forbidden relationship is so heartbreaking and beautiful. Lily Haime’s writing style is poetic but not pretentious. I fell in love with this duology but this hasn’t been translated, sadly enough.
4. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
This was such a great discovery for me! I discovered the Shadowhunter world this year and it was an amazing experience. I read last year TID and TMI beautifully compliments each other and I love how Cassandra Clare intertwines her series.