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The Best Books I Read In 2017

It's officially the first day of 2018 guys, and I'm finally back with a new blog post.

2017 ended extremely rough for my family, as on December 23rd my dad's youngest brother went to be with Jesus.

It was extremely unexpected, and it really stressed what's truly important as we went into the holiday season.

That was a big part of why I decided I needed to take a week away from my blog, I needed to spend the holidays with my family and friends reflecting on the true meaning of the season, as life is short and none of us ever know when it could be someone's last Christmas.

My uncle was a hard working, caring person who loved his family and friends above anything else, and the world definitely lost one of its brightest stars when he passed away. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, and I can only find peace in knowing that he's in a much better place.

2017 was not the easiest year for me period, as I went through a lot of trials that had me pretty down, but they definitely helped to strengthen my faith, and so for my word for 2018 I'm picking STRENGTH. 

Strength is not never feeling broken, or having a hard time continuing, but it's the ability to push through those hard times, and find the light at the end of the tunnel. Strength, for me, comes from my faith, my family, my friends, and often myself, and so I've chosen it as my word for 2018!

And now after catching you guys all up about my absence, I want to jump right into the best books I read in 2017!

For 2017 I set my reading goal at 200 novels, and I actually crushed my goal this year, reading a total of 240 novels!

I read some amazing ones, some good ones, some so so ones, some bad ones, and some pretty horrible ones, but I'm only going to share the best ones I read in 2017 today, and I'll follow in a couple of days with the worst books I read in 2017.

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey:

Cold Shot is the first book in Dani's Chesapeake Valor series, and it was deliciously scary, and sooo good. The mystery kept me guessing right through, and although it was a tad more gruesome than her Alaskan Courage series was, I really enjoyed it, and gave it a five star rating.

The Christmas Town by Donna Vanliere:

Donna Vanliere writes some of my favorite Christmas stories, and her 2016 release was no exception. The Christmas Town was a heartwarming, holiday tale that stressed the importance of faith and family, and it left me as her books always do, with tears streaming down my face and a heart full of love. I gave it four out of five stars.

The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski:

I knew going into this one that it had really mixed reviews, but I ended up really enjoying it. Lucy was a character I found myself really liking, and the way the story revolves around a mainly summer beach town where Lucy is a permanent resident and struggles to keep her feelings in check around her neighbor Connor who's family only comes for the summer. As well, I've always been interested in marine biology, and I loved how the author incorporated so much about the Jersey Shore's marine animal life throughout this beautiful contemporary novel. I gave this one four out of five stars.

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade:

2017 was the year I finally got around to reading one of my favorite author's debut inspirational novel, and I completely loved it. I swooned over the romance developing between both main characters, and the way they come to realize that they need to leave the future in God's hands. I gave this one five out five stars, and I especially loved the way Becky Wade wrote Christian characters that aren't perfect.

Pivot Point by Kasie West:

Pivot Point and it's sequel are Kasie West's only non-contemporary novels, and I loved it. This one follows a girl who has a strange ability, in that she's able to basically live both options of a decision whenever she's faced with one. This was such an amazing story, and I gave it five out of five stars.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover:

My favorite Colleen Hoover book of all time. I gave it five stars, and I can't stress enough how important the message of this book is, especially to young females.

Alex Finch: Monster Hunter by Cate Dean:

I had received some swag from this author at RT Booklovers in 2016, and since the first book in the series was free on Ibooks, I figured why not? However, I was not expecting to love this amazing story as much as I did, and it ended up being a four star read for me. I do hope to continue on with this series sometime in the future.

Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana:

Without a doubt, this time travel novel set in Disney World of yesteryear is one of my favorite books I read in 2017. I gave it five out of five stars, and I can't possible recommend it enough.

Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick:

Heather Vogel Frederick is one of my favorite middle grade authors, and I really enjoyed this cute mystery about someone stealing maple sap from a farm in Pumpkin Falls. I gave it four stars, and I'm looking forward to the next book coming out this year.

By Your Side by Kasie West:

What is not to love about a Kasie West novel that features two teenagers getting locked in the library for the weekend, and also highlights anxiety and panic attacks. I loved this one, and gave it four out of five stars.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro:

I adored this Sherlock Holmes inspired YA novel, and I gave it four out of five stars. I found it really unique from anything I'd really read before, and I'm really looking forward to finding out how everything wraps up in the third book later this year.

The Long Road Home by Kimberley Rae Jordan:

I really adored all of the books in the Home to Collingsworth series, but Cami and Josh's story was definitely my favorite, and I rated it five stars. Once again, I enjoyed how the author wrote a Christian novel with characters that weren't perfect, and I highly recommend this series. 

The Lodge on Holly Road by Sheila Roberts:

I honestly could have included almost any of the Sheila Roberts books I read in 2017 on this list, but this was my favorite, and I rated it five stars. It really gave me all the Christmassy feels, and the Lodge seemed like the ideal Christmas setting. 

Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber:

This was my favorite in The Blossom Street series, and I gave it five stars.

Home of Our Hearts by Robin Jones Gunn:

I waited for a looong time to finally pick this one up, and I was definitely not disappointed. I loved how Christy and Todd come to learn to rely on God despite all the odds stacking up against them, and I rated it five out of five stars.

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck:

This one was my friend and I's book club read back in the fall, and we both ended up loving it. I rated it four out of five stars, and continuing on with this series is definitely something I'm looking forward to doing this year.

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander:

I adored this sweet, historical fiction novel, and the way Tamera Alexander so gracefully blended in real historical figures into her fictional story. I gave it five out of five stars, and I will definitely be continuing on with this series once the others are released.

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh:

This book was unlike anything I'd read before, and was definitely not what I was expecting. I had pieced together a couple of the big plot reveals, but it didn't hinder my overall enjoyment of the story, and I adored Renee Adhieh's writing style. I gave this one four out of five stars.

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren:

Action packed, faith inspired, and a swoon worthy romance, this was definitely my favorite of the first three novels in the Montana Rescue series, and I gave it four out of five stars.

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay:

This one really touched something deep inside me, with the way that Katherine Reay chose to tackle the complex relationship that exists between sisters, and the way she portrayed the devastating effect that cancer has on everyone it comes into contact with. A beautiful story about second chances and redemption, I gave it five stars.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand:

An amazing YA retelling of A Christmas Carol, I honestly loved almost everything about this book, and I gave it five stars.

And lastly,

while the rest of these were in no particular order, I definitely had to save my absolute favorite book of 2017 for last, and that was..........................................................................................................

Life After by Katie Ganshert:

I can't even express how amazing this story is, and how well the author dived into the controversial topic of where is God amidst tragedies. I can't possibly recommend this book enough, and I gave it five out of five stars!

Thanks so much for reading today everyone! Here's hoping 2018 will be filled with many more amazing books for all of us!

This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The photo of Once Upon a Prince was taken by me and belongs to me. All other photos do not belong to me,a and all rights to the respective owners. 


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