Wow, this keepers and stinkers Book list has been going on for a long time! In case this is your first time here, every year I share a list of the best and worst books I read the previous year.
Now, this has to do with what I read personally, so some of these books were just published last year but others are older but I just got around to reading them in 2017. My taste in books tends to run to young adult lit, chick lit, and I’ve added some thrillers recently. These are the books that I’d tell a friend to read- and a few I’d say to stay away from, though I read far more good books than bad. Reading is an escape for me, so I just want to be entertained or feel good or feel something from a book.
You can check out more recommendations by visiting the book section at the bottom of my homepage or by clicking on BOOKS. I also keep track of what I’m reading on Goodreads and if you’re on there, too, be sure to friend me. When I share book recommendations here, I do use affiliate links, so if you buy one, I will make a little bit of money (to further feed my book addiction).
November 9 by Colleen Hoover I’ve been a fan of Colleen Hoover’s books in the past, so this isn’t surprising. Fallon and Ben meet every day on November 9th. At first, this seemed like it would be a cute (and probably forgettable) romance, but keep going. It builds and the last part of the book is what earns this one a spot on keepers list. And her Without Merit was another fantastic read, too.
Final Girls by Riley Sager
There are a few “final girls”- girls who were the only survivors in some horrible mass killing. They are tough, they had to be. But now someone is coming after the Final Girls. I tend to guess endings and know what’s coming. This is one book that surprised me. Just when I’d think that I knew where it was going, it would twist.
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
I really love reality shows, so the Survivor-ish reality show premise hooked me here. Contestants have to compete in teams and navigate their way around the wilderness, then eventually make their way alone. But a sickness hits the country during filming and the contestants are left not knowing what is real and what has been set up for the purposes of the game. This was a great twist for reality tv fans.
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Carver ‘s three best friends are in a fatal car accident… which happened right after he sent them a text. It’s a timely read, dealing with texting and driving but doesn’t get overly preachy. Instead, it’s a beautiful celebration of life featuring some strong male characters(something I don’t often find in YA). And because I loved this one so much, I picked up his first book The Serpent King, which had a little bit of a bizarre premise and had me worried. But at its core, it’s about three friends, all trying to figure out how to get past their very different obstacles and how they help each other through.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
really blew me away. Eliza is awkward and often made fun of in real life. But online, she created one of the most popular fandoms arounds. She lives her life mostly online, creating her webcomic and chatting with friends she met through the related forums. But then she meets someone in person who is a fan of her comic and her worlds start to collide. Another really timely book, since our kids (and okay, some of us adults, too) live so much of life online. Word of caution: I read her Made You Up
and it pretty much goes on my stinkers list. I’m really glad I read Eliza first so I didn’t miss out on this gem, but I do not recommend Made You Up.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
You may have read Everything, Everything or seen the movie when it came out last spring, but I actually like this book by Yoon better(even if Everything, Everything is still a good read). Young Adult, the lives of the two main characters (and a few supporting characters) intertwine on one day, showing how paths cross and affect each other. It’s a sweet story.
, Now, for the stinkers
. There weren’t all that many. For me, these are books I’d give either 1 or 2 stars. 3 meaning that it’s a good read, but maybe nothing spectacular, with 4 and 5 being different degrees of amazing, 2 means I didn’t like it and 1 meaning I’d give it zero stars if Goodreads would let me. Aside from Made You Up that I mentioned above, the other books I gave a 2 star rating to are Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple, Sweethearts by Sara Zarr and Something in the Heir by Jenny Gardiner. I read two 1 star books: Silence by Natasha Preston and The Trouble with Lexie by Jessica Anya Blau. I wrote about why I didn’t like these books over on Goodreads, if you’re curious. (Some of these have a much higher rating by others on Goodreads than what I gave them- books are so subjective).
If you’re looking for more recommendations, check out previous years’ best and worst lists:
- 2016: YA and Chick Lit to Read
- 2015: Books to Read
- 2014: Keepers and Stinkers
- 2013: What to Read and What to Avoid
- 2012: My Reading List
- 2011: Best and Worst Books
- 2010: More Keepers and Stinkers
- 2009: Looking for a Good Read?
I’d love your book recommendations. Tell me what you’ve read that you loved! (Or what to stay away from!)