Top 10 of 2017: Best Surprise Reads of 2017


Welcome to Day Three of the Top 10 of 2017

A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

…AND LOOKING FORWARD

As mentioned previously…

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I began co-hosting the event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books. Over the years the event has changed a bit, as have the hosts, and I’m so thrilled that this year in addition to the incredible Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, Nancy and Christy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader, and Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales, we are joined by Fallon of Seeing Double in Neverland and the lovely ladies at Take Me Away To A Great Read!

And, for the first time ever, we’re stoked to have an Instagram component, headed up by Bridget @DarkFaerieTales_.

I haven’t been blogging very much during the last half of the year, but nearly every book I have read this year has been amazing. So I have a few favorites from the year to share.

If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2017 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on each of the five days of this challenge – Head over to Two Chicks on Books for the Day One giveaway, I hosted yesterday’s Day Two giveaway, Tales of the Ravenous Reader will be hosting today’s Day Three’s giveaway, Day Four’s giveaway will be at Take Me Away to a Great Read, and Day Five’s giveaway will be at Seeing Double in Neverland. So be sure be to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

AND, if you head over to Bridget @ DarkFaerieTales’ Instagram, she’ll be hosting an event-long giveaway,

The Best Surprise Reads of 2017

So it’s not one of the official topics for the challenge, and I would have gone with Contemporaries as I have so many favorites in that particular category, but I chose to pick “surprise reads” as there were so many wonderful and amazing and unexpected books that completely took me by surprise this past year.

#1

I expected this book to be sweet and sad but I never expected it to be as much of an emotional wringer as it was. I could not stop crying. It was written so incredibly well. It made me ache for the characters and their loss and guilt.


THE LAST THING YOU SAID by Sara Biren – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#2

I thought this was going to be a funny and lighthearted read because I was judging it by its cover and its title – which was why I’d added it to the TBR pile. And while I must have skimmed the description, I clearly missed the mention of “horrifying tragedy” which might have made this less of a surprise. But even still, I would have been surprised at just how sad and gorgeous and devastating a read this was.

THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH by Candace Ganger – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS 


#3

I was expecting a story akin to the film 50 First Dates, so this definitely caught me by surprise. And it has stuck with me long after the read. It was sad and hopeful and inspiring. And until I read this story I’d never heard of Svalbard, but ever since, I can’t stop hearing about it. And now I want to borrow some of Flora’s adventurous spirit and visit there myself.

THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS by Emily Barr – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


#4

I’ll admit that I was intrigued by this story with its unassuming cover that actually says quite a bit. But I did not expect it to be as unique, beautifully written, or riveting as it was. It was such a surprise read and a very memorable tale.

THE WOOD by Chelsea Bobulski – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS


#5

I did not expect this book. At all. I made some very wrong assumptions that this would be well-written but unemotional. It would have that voice that makes it an interesting read but not one that I would relate to or connect with. I was so, so wrong. It was brilliantly done. It is memorable and sweet and so very, very sad and beautiful. Such a unexpected surprise.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jared Reck – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


#6

I expected certain things from this book – and those expectations were surpassed. But there were so many surprises that made this book a standout. I never expected it to make me think about the possibility that a windfall may not always be a great thing. I never expected the depth and complexity. It was a wonderful and sad and awesome surprise.

WINDFALL by Jennifer E. Smith – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSEGOODREADS


#7

I expected a road trip story. About a boy who was rethinking his choices in life, just before college. I also assumed it would be a man vs. nature tale. But this was so different and completely unexpected. Thought-provoking, haunting, bittersweet were never terms I would have used to describe this story until I read it. For lack of better words it was unusual and unique in all the best ways.

WILDMAN by J.C. Geiger – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND | DISNEY BOOKS | GOODREADS


#8

I loved the title so had made the assumption that this was going to be a (hopefully) captivating horror story. And that assumption was correct. But I did not expect so much of what happened. I did not expect the myth, the science, the religion. I did not expect the depth. I did not expect the mystery. I did not expect to be so impressed or surprised.

HELLWORLD by Tom Leveen – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


#9

I incorrectly assumed that this was not my type of read but I wanted to try something new – “vibrant, fresh, edgy” books were not usually topping the TBR. But I did love the idea of the female graffiti artist and that this story would include illustrations. And I was totally wowed by it. Instantly caught up in the story. I could not put it down. I adored the main character. I fell madly in love with her story. Which was completely unexpected.


YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE – Whitney Gardner – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


#10

I was very curious about this story, as it seemed to be so different from any book I’ve read format-wise. I’ve never read a graphic memoir, and haven’t read very many (if any) graphic novels that weren’t about super heroes and villains. I was so surprised that a story that was mostly told visually could say so much. I was so surprised at just how much emotion I could feel for the author’s plight as a young figure skater. I was not surprised that I loved the illustrations, but was so surprised at just how expressive they were. It was an emotional and beautiful and humorous and unexpected read.

SPINNING by Tillie Walden – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLANGOODREADS


There were a few other books I’ve read this year that had elements that surprised me, but as I expected to be wowed or amazed or even surprised, I have not included them here. And as I’m more than happy with the ten I chose, I’ve decided not to list any honorable mentions.


Link up

Leave a link to your Best _______ of 2017 posts in the Linky List below…



6 thoughts on “Top 10 of 2017: Best Surprise Reads of 2017

  1. A Short History of the Girl Next Door was one of my top picks for my post today, although my post was my favorite YA Contemporaries. Great list here! You can read my picks in the Linky at Lisa Loves Literature.

  2. This is a great list and I need to check these out. My list was of new to me authors, which I plan to do more of in 2018.

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