2017 Book Wrap-Up [September - December]


This is it, the very last installment of my 2017 reading wrap-up. If you haven't already, be sure to check out [January - June] and [June-September] after you have had a little nosy through this post. I read a total of 72 books last year, so here's hoping for 100 in 2018. Oy vey, wish me luck!

(Photo Credit HERE)

Dear Nobody: The True Diary Of Mary Rose
edited by Gilliam McCain and Legs McNeil
In the same style as "Go Ask Alice" this is a story that allows you a glimpse into the mind of a teenage girl as she struggles with mental health issues, heartbreak, cystic fibrosis, and tells her tale of a downhill spiral that leads her to drugs and alcohol. Unlike "Go Ask Alice", this is non-fiction. This style of book always gets to me, and I can't not pick one up. I think it's the mixture of mental health and the lack of glamorising around it, unlike so many mainstream YA books on such topics. It's gritty, but realistic. And I'd take that any day. Alas, you're likely to only pick this up if this is your niche of genre.

Autobiography of a Face 
by Lucy Grealy 
This nonfiction book is a raw, sometimes comical, beautiful telling of an amazing woman's story as a cancer survivor who, at nine years old, had part of her jaw removed. From reading about her story as a child, to going on the journey with her through multiple agonising surgeries, painful recoveries, and taunts from both children and adults, you can't help but read this and wish you could be there to give the woman a hug. Whether you have a way of relating or you just want to read about an incredibly strong woman, pick this one up.

In Search Of Mockingbird 
by Loretta Ellsworth 
The day before Erin's 16th birthday, her dad gives her the diary that her deceased mother once kept as a teenager. Upon reading her mother's entries, Erin learns that she and her mother shared many similarities, most importantly, their mutual dream of becoming writers. Upon discovering that her mother once wrote to Harper Lee asking, “How do you know if you have what it takes to be a writer?” Erin decides she has to meet Harper Lee in person, and there starts her journey of self discovery. I liked this book, and it was a really quick read. Though it sounds and reads cheesy, at heart this is a story of a daughter yearning for the mum she lost and I think Loretta Ellsworth did that aspect justice. Plus it really made me want to pick up To Kill A Mockingbird.

Tuck Everlasting 
by Natalie Babbitt
A young girl finds herself in the midst of a family who are unable to age. This is the classic children's tale that you have likely read or watched a movie adaption of. I had actually done neither prior to picking this book up, and actually, I'm glad. I really enjoyed going into it with an adults mind frame and still finding magic in the story.

Veronika Decides To Die
by Paulo Coelho
You may be familiar with the movie they made based off this book starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. When Veronika wakes up in a psych ward after trying to commit suicide, you'd think she'd be happy to hear that she was going to die due to the strain it had caused on her heart. But as she spends what could be her final days surrounded by the other patients, she starts to find light in the darkness. This is a dark book but I really liked it.

Others Of My Kind 
by James Sallis
At age eight, Jenny Rowan was abducted and kept for two years in a box beneath her captor's bed. Years later, she comes home to a detective wanting her help with a newly found girl who went through similar events as Jenny. I strongly disliked this which is saying something as I tend to be the kind of person who is open-minded with books. But it was a little too odd, even for me.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green and David Levithan
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is literally about two people named... yeah, you guessed it.. Will Grayson. I'll admit to not being a huge John Green book lover - though I have a huge soft spot for the man himself. I find his stories often cliche and what you might find captioned under a '#deep #meaningful' Tumblr post. Saying that, though this wasn't my favourite YA novel, I did find it oddly amusing and the charm of the characters most certainly persuaded me into giving John's book another go. This story is one surrounding two young men, one gay and struggling to open himself up to his best friend, and the other a man going through self issues and falling in love for the first time. It's quite a mix but the stories blend well.

The Winter Of Our Disconnect
 by Susan Maushart
A nonfiction book written by a mother who disconnected herself and her children from their beloved electronics. Read my full review HERE.

The Lady In The Van
by Alan Bennett
When a grouchy old woman takes up residency in  Alan's front yard, he is furious. But over the course of their "friendship", he becomes accustomed to the crazy that comes alongside her. This is based on true events and inspired the movie adaption that starred the lovely Maggie Smith. Alas, I didn't wholeheartedly love this short story as much as I hoped I would. I found it somewhat slow and though the last few pages brought a lump to my throat, it didn't make up for the slow pace and all too short story.

by Cherie Priest
When I read "steampunk" on the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, my faith in finishing the challenge wavered. I enjoy the odd fantasy novel every now and then, but it isn't my niche. And the only thoughts that came to mind were "so, like H.G.Wells's costume in Warehouse 13? Or Becky Lynch?" True story. Alas, my worrying was for nought and I found myself devouring Boneshaker with much more excitement than I ever predicated. The story follows a mother as she embarks on a what many would call a "suicide mission" to get her son home, which I found ever so refreshing. For whatever reason, I picked this up expecting a love story and instead got a book revolved around family and the odd spaceship. Oh, and killer gas.

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker
by Anthony Horowitz
Prior to looking this one up for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, I hadn't heard of this series that is apparently quite popular. Alex is your average young boy until he is thrown into the world of spy's and government threats. This wasn't a favourite of mine, but I knew it wouldn't be going in. I'm not the right audience. But undoubtedly, if you're young and love a good tale of hidden worlds and action movies, this will be your jam.

by Robert Bloch
You and ready know of this story. When her sister goes missing, a woman finds herself on a trail that leads her to the Bates motel. I was never overly fond of the movies, but absolutely loved the book. I found it incredibly interesting to get a look into the mind of Norman.

The Killer Inside Of Me
by Jim Thompson
Adapted into the movie that became somewhat blacklisted due to the constant brutality toward women, this Jim Thompson novel isn't much better. Deputy sheriff Lou Ford is your average small town chap, but inside of him is a man with such brutality that it could frighten even the Michael Myres among us. I have a small fascination with reading books that put you inside the mind of a killer (see "psycho" above), but it did leave a sort of sickening lining in my stomach which I still can't decide is a pro or con of the book.

Before I Go To Sleep
by S.J. Watson
Imagine waking up every day of your life forgetting the entirety of your being. That is the life of Christine. But slowly, with the guidance of a professor and her beloved journal, she begins to put together the fragments of her life. The only problem is, everything is not as it seems. I really enjoyed this thriller and if you even remotely liked The Girl On The Train or Gone Girl, you ought to pick this up as it's far better.

by R.J. Palacio
August or "Auggie" Pullman is a ten-year-old boy living in New York City, who was born with a facial deformity that has made it difficult for him to make friends. I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would. Going in, I expected a somewhat cliché (but honest) telling of bulling. I've read so many books covering such topics, so I guess you could say that I dismissed it. Silly me. Instead this is a beautiful story of how friendship and family can outweigh any negativity. That sometimes it only takes one voice to speak for the many. My favourite part was how you got to read POV's from the "side characters", and view August through their eyes. Which I think is important in books like these as it can be difficult to get a clear vision when you're reading everything from a child's mind. It's an overall beautiful book.

by Octavia E. Butler
This book is so lovely that I can't find the accurate words to describe it, so I'll steal the Goodread's description: "The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother." I loved this book, so much. It was everything and I took so much from it. Would 100% recommend.

Turtles All The Way Down
by John Green
As mentioned above, John Green isn't always my favourite author. And I'll admit to only picking up Turtles All The Way Down after reading so many positive reviews over his accurate representation of someone who suffers from OCD - if you don't know, Green has OCD himself and I can only imagine how difficult it was to write out the inner working of his mind. Nevertheless, I half expected it to be solely hype, but after reading this in one sitting, I realise what people were referring to. This is a beautifully heartbreaking book and though the overall story is your average YA story of first loves and friendship, I can't help but only remember this book for it's way of describing OCD. I felt my own heart tighten when the main characters did, and you could feel her confusion during panic. It read as panic. In some weird way, it was beautiful to be able to read something that gives your own mind peace over the fact that it isn't so abnormal.

The Girl You Left Behind
by Jojo Moyes
This is book split between two time periods that are tied together by a painting. France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front, leaving her behind the portrait he pointed of her. In modern day, that painting hangs on widowed Liv's wall. This was a beautiful novel that gripped me front he first few chapters. My heart has a great fondness for the way Jojo Moyes writes female characters, I will never not close one of her books with a feeling of female empowerment.

Love Letters To The Dead
by Ava Dellaira
What starts out as an assignment - writing a letter to a dead person - quickly turns into 15-year-old Laurel's escape route from life. Writing to people such as Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart and Heath Ledger, Laurel tells them of her first love, the loss of her sister, her shattered family, and her journey to womanhood. This is a beautiful novel and a greatly unappreciated YA book. I loved it.

So there we have it, my year in books. I ended on an incredible high with 5 books that I loved. Here's to 2018's reading list. Be sure to check out my completed list of the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2017 to see which category all of this books landed in.

Again, be sure to check out [January - June] and [June-September] to see the entirety of what I read this year.

What is currently on your TBR list?


  1. I've been looking for books to read and I've picked up so many ideas from this post so thank you!

    Sian xo

    1. Oh, yay! You're most welcome. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post. Happy reading! Hope you find something you love.

  2. Autobiography of a Face sounds like a great book, there are a few on here that I'll definitely be adding to my reading list for this year! x

    Han | lifewithhan.blog


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