Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Book Review!

Today is a fun day....I have a year of blogging my monthly book reviews under my belt and I am going share my favorites!
I have always enjoyed reading, but with little kids & working full time I got away from it. In January I committed to getting back to reading. I checked back on that post I wrote and my goal was 2 books per month. My favorite time to read is early, early morning before anyone else wakes up. And I just love reading on the patio in the Summer.
Well I was so pumped when I tallied up my books this year and read...36 books! Look at me... totally back on my reading game this year!
I am also lucky to have two kiddos that love to read....anywhere and everywhere!
 Now this was way much harder than I thought it would be, but I narrowed down my top ten books from this year. I have a couple authors I really loved, so there may be a few extra recommendations. I linked the titles and images all back to Amazon.... easy for you to add to your "To Read" list for 2018!
Here we go......
I fell in love with Beatriz Williams this year. I read 4 of her books. 2 of which are in my top ten and a third could easily be here too. I loved the Secret Life of Violet Grant.

Vivian is a journalist and discovers a suitcase belonging to a mysterious aunt, Violet Grant. Violet disappeared and it has always been speculated that she murdered her husband and ran off with her lover. Vivian is on a mission to uncover what really happened..something her family would rather not do. It's a very good read with great characters that have a parallel to them.. grab this one for sure!
Faithful was my first book from Alice Hoffman and it will not be my last!
When I reviewed this book in September this is what I wrote....."This book was so good.....I mean it will probably be in my top 10 of the year good."  And here we are!
It is the story of two high school girls, Helene & Shelby. They are in a terrible car accident and Helene is left comatose. Shelby struggles to accept the guilt of driving that night. As a result she is always seeing bad in the world. However she has a guardian angel looking out for her that sends her postcards to keep her encouraged. She begins to find herself again throughout the book & the ending really surprised me.
The Lucky Few from Heather Avis is one of the sweetest I have ever read.... and I just want to meet Heather, Josh and their three little loves.

This book is a quick read and every page will just melt your heart and give you inspiration and marvel at the goodness of people in the world. Heather & Josh struggled with infertility and God showed them the path to adoption, not once, but three times. And two of their babies have Down Syndrome. My favorite part of the book is where she writes about the connection to other moms & families that are blessed with that extra chromosome. It's like a secret club... the best club... one that changes your life forever. I blogged a bit about that last month... you can read it here if you missed it. This book was just so simply wonderful!
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover was raved about by some blogging friends and it was so darn good I finished it in two days.
This story is about Lily.. a girl with an unfortunate past, but who is determined to turn it around. She meets Ryle... a wealthy neurosurgeon and it appears her dreams of happily ever after may come true. But after seeing her first love, Atlas again.... things may not be as they seem. Quite a few twists and I really liked how it all turned out in the end. A great story that I could not put down!
This book was another one I had heard about and was in my read pile this year, The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth.
 I was excited to read this one. Oh gosh it was so good....but kind of sad at the same time. It's the story of Anna, a 30-something woman who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a disease her mother also suffered from. Her brother places her in an assisted care facility, where she meets a young man, Luke, who also has a form of dementia. They instantly form a connection, but are kept apart until the new staff member comes along and tries to change it. It's a beautiful story about human connection....heartbreaking....and yet gives you hope.
Well I love me some Elin Hilderbrand, and she has yet to let me down. This one is my favorite so far! The Castaways is about a group of 4 couples who are all good friends living in Nantucket, when one of the couples suddenly dies in an accident. The story that unfolds around the history of their friendships and relationships is just so good. As always, she has a way of writing that just makes you fall in love with the characters. One of my favorite things is the characters in this book transcend into lots of her other books!
p.s. I also read The Matchmaker and The Rumor from her this year too and loved both!
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan had been on my list for a while too and it's #4 because it was so much fun to read!
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 The story of Rachel and Nick... a young couple living in NYC....and Rachel's first trip to Singapore with Nick to meet his family. Nick comes from a really, really wealthy family that has some pretty strong feelings on who Nick should be with. I loved the characters and the peek inside of the world of wealthy Asian families.And I hear they are making this into a movie! 
p.s. If you love this one, the sequel is just as good...China Rich Girlfriend
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is third on my list and I finished it in two nights!
Wonder Cover Art.png
1. Why have I waited so long to read this?
2. Every human should read this book.
I connected with so many parts of this book and I think it does an amazing job of telling a story with a simple message.... Be Kind.
Now to schedule our date to see the movie.
Now I told you I really loved Beatriz Williams and Tiny Little Thing was the first book I read from her and it was my favorite. If you want to read something from her, I would start with this one.
 I could not put this one down! It was such an interesting story and a quick read. This book was set in the 1960's and told the story of  Tiny, a girl who did all the right things and married the right man. Her husband, Frank was from a wealthy family with strong political ties who was himself running for office. The story is about Tiny trying to find her voice, while keeping a secret and discovering her husband had a secret of his own. I loved it and like Hilderbrand, some characters cross over into her other books. Am I weird that I love when that happens? It makes me feel like I really know the characters!
 Are you ready??? My favorite book of the year....Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. This was my favorite, because it's a book that has stayed with me long after I have read it.
One of those books that makes you thing as you read it and keep thinking after it's done.It's the story of Ruth, an African American nurse working in Labor & Delivery. There is a white supremacist couple that delivers a baby and refuses to allow Ruth to care for their child. When a tragic accident strikes, blame is placed on Ruth. The story is about how Ruth moves through the trial, but more importantly how race still plays a role in America today. While we have come so far, there is still so much father to go. I highly recommend you read this book, and especially the afterwords from the author. She talks about how she has wanted to write on this topic but was torn on how fans would react. I really connected with the author on her raw emotion of writing this book.
And there you have favorite books of 2017. 
What was your favorite book this year? I need to get a good list for 2018! If you missed any monthly reviews, you can catch up here.
February Book Review
March Book Review
April Book Review
May Book Review
June Book Review
July Book Review
August Book Review
September Book Review
October Book Review
Have the best day! See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites....there's always room for one more at our family table.


  1. All the praise hands for Elin Hilderbrand!! And I named It Ends With Us & The Things We Keep in my top books for 2017 too :) Can't wait to read some of these others, adding them to my 2018 list now!

  2. Sounds like we should be in a virtual book club together! Hopping over to check out you list too!