The Best of 2017

Here we are, year 2018 is just around the corner and my Goodreads account has been counting my books all year around.

I’ve managed to read just over 80 books this year, most of them absolutely brilliant. I happily stepped out of my comfort zone and reached for genres that wouldn’t be my first choice, most of which were recommended to me by my fellow book obsessed friends in The Fiction cafe Book club on Facebook. Place where all eager readers, not only find hundreds of book recommendations but also a lot of support on their reading or writing journey.

Initially I was gonna make just a simple list of books I’ve enjoyed, something along the lines of top 5 or top 10 but I found it totally impossible. There was just so many books that I loved for so many different reasons and some I just couldn’t compare to others.

I’ve decided to separate my choices into few categories and came up with this:

Non fiction 

33276591

Secret Slave by Anna Ruston

Growing up in a deeply troubled family, 15-year-old Anna felt lost and alone in the world. So when a friendly taxi driver befriended her, Anna welcomed the attention, and agreed to go home with him to meet his family. She wouldn’t escape for over a decade.

Held captive by a sadistic pedophile, Anna was subjected to despicable levels of sexual abuse and torture. The unrelenting violence and degradation resulted in numerous miscarriages, and the birth of four babies… each one stolen away from Anna at birth.

Her salvation arrived thirteen years too late, but despite her shattered mind and body, Anna finally managed to flee. This is her harrowing, yet uplifting, true story of survival.

This book is one of the most powerful and memorable stories I’ve ever read, it was brutal and so honest, very graphic, at times too much to take on but I would still recommend it to anyone who likes to read non fiction books. 


Heartbreaker

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The Turning point by Freya North

Over one short weekend, when Canadian musician Scott Emerson and British children’s author Frankie Shaw meet by chance, a profound connection is made. Their homes are thousands of miles apart: Frankie and her children live by the coast of North Norfolk while Scott’s roots lie deep in the mountains of British Columbia. Against all advice, they decide to see where this might go.

Over oceans and time zones, they make sacrifices and take risks, discovering along the way new truths about love and family. For the first time in a long while, it seems life could be very good. But fate has a tragic twist in store, one that could destroy all that was hoped for.

Poignant, engrossing and moving, The Turning Point is a novel about the importance of seizing happiness and trusting that love will always find a way.

The first story that shattered my heart this year. Without giving out too much information and spoilers, this book left me shocked, sad but also in peace. Gave me such mixed feelings but made me realize why I’ve decided to give more of my time to reading again.

30227983A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realizes that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world. 
 
Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

Story of love, love between two people and love of music. Alice follows her dream against all odds. Such a powerful and heartbreaking story that makes you realize, if you really want something, you go and get it!


Love / lust / feel good romance

34738414Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa. 
Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender-scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach. 
Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence. 
Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.

Taryn’s debut Perfect Imperfections was one of the books I’ve been recommended in the book club and bought it and read it the same day. Story literally grabs you and won’t let you go, throws at you all different emotions but leaves you happy and warm at the end. For me that is the perfect Feel good romance story from beginning to the end. One of the authors to definitely follow in the future.

33571933The Carrero Effect by L. T. Marshall

Emma Anderson has everything in her life worked out. She has her perfect job in a Manhattan empire allowing her to live a quiet and organised safe existence. A necessity to her, after a childhood filled with bad memories, abuse, and a mother who was less than useless. But, with it comes a problem, one that could derail everything she thought she needed in her life. Her promotion sends her straight into the close employment of young, gorgeous, playboy billionaire, Jacob Carrero with his formidable reputation for being a player. Stuck as his right-hand man, every waking moment of every single day, she realises he is exactly the type of person who could drive her crazy, and not in a good way. Like chalk and cheese, he is everything she’s not. Compulsive, confident, laid back, dominant and fun, with a seriously laid back attitude to casual sex and dating. Jake is the only one with an ability to steamroll over her manicured ice maiden exterior, who is not phased by the closed in demeanour and cool manners, but as much as she wants to, letting him in is another thing entirely. The past that made her man wary and no desire to ever let one close enough to hurt her again, Jacob Carrero has his work cut out. He is not someone who takes NO for an answer and will have to learn how to break through if he wants more than the mask she shows the world. Jake needs to show her that even some one like him can change when that one girl who matters breaks through. Love-able sexy characters and deep emotional topics.

More on the side of love and lust, rather than feel good romance but definitely memorable. Part of the Carrero series, this book entangles you in the story so much you won’t have a chance to escape until you read the last book of the series. Very cleverly written, with a great plot and fast pace. 


Thriller

The One by John Marrs31422849

How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

Being John Marrs’ fan, there is no surprise he happens to be included in my favourite reads this year. I’ve read all of his books but this one is The One for me. Unique idea for the plot, short punchy chapters, such fast pace. I’ve read it in about 4 hours without a break and been recommending it to everyone since.

35556803The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily ever after, she realizes that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

The Surrogate was the first novel I’ve read by this author and Louise Jensen became one of my favourite authors since then. The storyline, plot twists and more plot twists, shocking discoveries and basically just every page keeps you interested. I don’t think Louise can even write her books in the speed I want to read them. I became addicted to her writing style and fast pace of her books and will for sure read every book she will ever publish and love it. 


Debutant of 2017

32618126The Path Keeper by N. J. Simmonds 

What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?

Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

The first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series, The Path Keeper is a tale of passion and secrets, of first loves and second chances, and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?

Debut YA novel from N. J. Simmonds is described by many as unusual and not what you expect. And to be fair, it is definitely that and a lot more. Written amazingly, with so many separate stories, all blending into one and big reveal at the end. It’s absolutely one of the must reads.

 

No Ordinary Girl by Cheryl Elaine35263209

What started out as a night of celebration for Aimee soon turned into a nightmare. Snatched by cruel, sadistic monsters – the worst creatures mankind has ever produced – she’s thrown into a metal container, among other victims too frightened to make a single sound. 

The game-keepers force everyone to play. They deliver torment and pain in equal measure. Every hunter has their own agenda and reasons to maim and torture. 

Detective Johnson is one step away from catching the killers. Wrestling with his instincts as a father to serve justice his own way, this is no ordinary case for him. Can he stop the vile sadists before they damage more young girls, as well as his own daughter? 

Aimee’s ordeal within the compound brings her to the conclusion that she’s no ordinary girl. But can she hang onto her sanity long enough to escape? And will she find a different way to play? 

This crime thriller will keep you riveted. It’s no ordinary story. 

So raw, so terrible but so powerful at the same time. This no ordinary story covers experience of no ordinary girl, human trafficking, pain, loss of hope, fight for survivor. This book is definitely one of the best books with forever lasting effect on your mind and you won’t be able to forget it.  


Fantasy fiction

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jeweled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
 

I don’t tend to read series, as they usually take up so much of my time but this was exception, I am very glad I made. Now I know what was all this obsession about and why was everyone mentioning ACOTAR so much. I absolutely adored this series and read all three books within one week and can’t wait for another one to come out in 2018. Go on and read it, I won’t give out any spoilers.

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