Saturday 23 December 2017

My Favourite Books I've Read In 2017

My Favourite Books I've Read In 2017

2017, was the year I properly got back into reading and I am so glad I did. It has been a fantastic way of coping with my mental health issues, something at times I have found very hard to do this year. But I won't go into that in this post as I did a whole post on the topic, which you can read HERE.

I didn't read massive amounts this year as I only really got back into reading half way through the year, however, in the second half of the year I read a lot of amazing books as well, of course, some not so amazing ones. Next year, I will be doing a lot more book blog posts including recommendations, reviews, TBRs and what I read. I will be carrying on with mental health and lifestyle posts, but as it is my blog and I want it to be a place where I can write about my passions I want to encompass another one of my new found loves; reading.

Reading is something I recommend to everyone. It has been a game changer for my mental health this year. It has done more for me than any anti-depressant has ever done. I've only included five books on the list as I wanted to tell you a bit about each book and why it is my favourite, if I added anymore, this post would go on forever. I'll stop waffling and let's get cracking...

Washed away from darkness to light- Niki Dubose

My first book on the list is actually the book that got me properly back into reading, this year. I read Niki Dubose's washed away from darkness to light on my summer holiday where I had a complete social media detox. I'm never a massive fan of memoirs but this one stood out to me for being a heartwarming but equally heartbreaking tale of one girl's struggle through child abuse, addiction, a chaotic family life, rape, grief and complex mental health problems.

Why I decided to feature this book in my favourites of the year was simply because of the raw honesty and emotion in her writing. Niki talks about a range of hard going topics from abuse to drug addiction to mental health problems and rape. Obviously, if you will be triggered by any of these topics, I wouldn't recommend this book to you. However, you want to learn more about mental health in particular anorexia and Nikki's experiences of being a model in an industry which craves thigh gaps over good mental health and how Nikki has overcome her struggles to become a successful author, campaigner and PhD student- you really should check out this book.

Read my full review here

Turtles all the way down- John Green

When I heard John Green was bringing out a new book this year, I was very excited but equally apprehensive if it would be able to live up to his notable, best-selling novel The Fault In Our Stars. When I found out the main character, struggled with OCD, I was even more excited (if that was even possible) for the release of Turtles all the way down. OCD is a topic close to my heart and one that needs better representation in the media. With John Green's following, I was banking on him doing a good job.

And I'm very pleased to say, I really think he did. In my opinion, the portrayal of OCD was accurate and non-stereotypical which is all I can ever ask for. The plot follows a young girl called Aza who has OCD and anxiety. Aza and her less anxious in nature friend, Daisy find themselves on the hunt for a million fugitive. In order to find David Pickett, the missing million and come any closer to getting their hands on the thousand dollar reward, they get to know his son, Davis. But after a while, the money soon becomes less of a priority for Aza, as more important things take over. YA mystery novel with a sprinkling of mental health essentially is what we have on our hands here. Although the plot wasn't my favourite the way in which John raised awareness of OCD, in such a clever and accurate way, is why Turtles all the way down makes it on to my favourites list. 

Read my full review here

My Favourite Books I've Read In 2017

The Manifesto on how to be interesting- Holly Bourne  

This is the first of two Holly Bourne books I'm going to mention on this list because, Holly Bourne, has to be my favourite YA author, hands down. Her writing skills, her character development and just her ability to be amazing is why I love everything she writes. I read The Manifesto on how to be interesting in August, and if I'm honest, I already want to go back and reread it. Holly has a knack for writing in a way that is relatable to the day modern life of young people. She is able to include the essential components of any YA fiction without the cheese. 

Bree, our protagonist in this story, has a very similar story to myself. She's an outcast. not very popular and loves to write. Bree is told she needs to stop shutting the world out and start living her life and so the Manifesto on how to be interesting is born. On the surface, this book seems like nothing special, however, don't be mislead. Yes, it contains many of the stereotypical elements of YA fiction; love, boys, friendships etc. BUT the relationships formed are complex and confusing. The plot doesn't end how you think it will and it talks about self-harm and depression which is very important when writing for a young impressionable audience. If you're a student, struggle with your mental health, love YA fiction or maybe all three? I recommend this book to you.

Read my full review here

The Girl on the train- Paula Hawkins 

I'm sure I'm the last person on earth to read this book. When it came out in 2015 there was a massive hype around the book. Everyone was talking about it, even those out of the book community online, were reading this book. Which gave me all the right signs that it must be bloody brilliant. Since then there has also been a film released. Admittedly, I've not watched the movie although it is high on my to be watched list. This book is a psychological thriller about a girl called Rachel, a 32-year-old alcoholic. Rachel's husband Tom left her and moved in with another woman- Anna. Rachel is far from over the breakup of her marriage and resents Anna, perfect Anna with a passion. Rachel's self-destructive tendencies get worse but she still wants to maintain some sense of normality, so continues her daily ride on the train passed her old house, which her ex-husband and family now resign in.

Rachel also watches a young attractive couple, a few doors down, she events stories in her head, so she feels like she knows these people as if she is part of her life. When something shocking happens, Rachel finds herself part of the life she admired from afar. This book had me hooked to the end. I'm not a fan of thrillers where you find out what happens halfway through and they just drag it on. I was very excited that come the last chapter I still wasn't certain on whodunit. The girl on the train lives up to the hype and is a must-read for everyone. I can't recommend it enough.

It only happens in the movies- Holly Bourne 

The last book on this list and also the second Holly Bourne book is an absolute cracker. It only happens in the movies is a seemingly stereotypical YA romance novel, between young Audrey and Harry. Harry is a player, Audrey has been warned. Audrey is balancing the heartbreak of her last relationship failing so dramatically and living with an alcoholic mother, whose father got bored and started again with a much more 'perfect' family. When Audrey and Harry meet working at the local cinema; Flicker, their shared love of movies, brings them closer together.

But this is Holly Bourne we're talking about here. Holly Bourne has a knack for writing realistic and relatable content for modern day society. No relationship is as perfect as it is portrayed in the movies, we all know that. Sometimes, relationships don't end with a happily ever after. We all know that too. If you are sick of typical YA love novels which are so predictable you know the ending without even reading a word, I couldn't recommend this book enough. No cheese, lots of zombies and a fantastic writing is what you can expect in it only happens in the movies, what more can you ask for? Okay, maybe not the zombies, but it works- trust me.

That's it! I really hope you enjoyed my wrap up of my favourite books I have read in 2017. I would love to know if you have read any of these books or your favourite reads from 2017, in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, as always X

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