- These books were not all published in 2017, but I read them in 2017.
- I'm choosing based on personal preference at this moment in time. I try not to factor in public appeal and overall acclaim, but simply go with my gut and choose the books that really spoke to me at the time that I read them. I expect those feelings to change with time and experience, so consider this a snapshot.
I posted my review of this book earlier this fall and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I've been recommending it widely to students and adults alike, and even purchased it as a Christmas gift for someone I know. It follows two very different families living in Shaker Heights, Ohio during the mid-90s as the town experiences a divisive community event that manages to have a tremendously different affect on each member of those two families. I'm still wondering if we'll see this book on the Alex Award list in February, and it was the Goodreads choice winner in the Fiction category for 2017.
This one came out of left field for me. I hadn't heard of it and had no expectations for it when I chose it from last year's Alex Award list. What a great surprise! This is one of the most unique, original books I have read. It's a fantasy tale full of mystery that takes place in a boarding school housing kids who have found doorways into other worlds and then returned to our world. It's a beautifully written tale with a simple message at its heart - everyone just wants to find a place where they feel they belong. If you're new to fantasy, this short novel may be just the title to convert you. If you love fantasy already, you'll devour this book in a sitting.
I had somehow never managed to read Atwood's classic dystopian novel until this past summer. I still can't decide if I'm upset with myself for depriving teenage me from the experience of reading this amazing feminist text, or if I'm thrilled that I got to read it for the first time as an adult. Either way, I'm so pleased that I finally bumped this book to the top of my to-read list. It took my breath away! The story, which focuses on a theocratic version of the future U.S., in which women have lost all power and decision-making capability, poses some fascinating and often disturbing questions about gender roles in society as well as the the role of religion in government. Thanks to the new series on Hulu, it was Amazon's #1 bestseller all over the country in 2017. Join the rest of us and read it in 2018!
I found this book on the Morris Award list early in 2017 and have thought about it repeatedly since reading it. That's a sign of a great book! The story deals with some very complicated issues - personal identity, complicated friendships, new love, family culture, betrayal of trust - but the main character, Pen, has such an authentic, direct voice. She was a character who felt so honest and real, which made me connect with her story even more. A02lmost a year later, there are times that I can hear her voice in my head. It is no wonder that this book was a Morris nominee, and I will gladly and quickly pick up any new novels that Girard writes. You should too!
I was a year or so behind most people in reading Schmidt's most recent novel, but I am such a fan of his writing that I knew I couldn't pass it by completely. All of Schmidt's work (that I've read) has a beautiful bittersweet quality to it, which gets me every time. This story follows Jack and his new foster brother, Joseph, as they navigate through a world that has repeatedly let Joseph down. The relationship between the two boys, particularly how Jack treats and defends Joseph, broke my heart in the best possible way. I was a tiny bit wrecked when I finished this book, but I would go back and read it again in a heartbeat. It's set during a cold Maine winter, but will leave you feeling warm inside. The perfect short, sweet book for a holiday break!