Sunday 31 December 2017

2017: A Year in Review


I celebrated my eighth blogoversary in January.

I launched a brand new website, The Copper Boom, with one of my faves. 


I re-read the 'Harry Potter' series for the first time in around 7 years. 

I visited the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Library. 

I read 'War and Peace'!

I went to Andersen's first ever #AndersenYA blogger event

I went to Scholastic's #BloggerBookFeast in January. 

Bookish Stats
(as of 'Call Me By Your Name')

I read 100 books in 2017:

17 contemps, 

27 adult novels,


12 UKYA novels,

short story collection,


LGBT novels,

non-fiction books,

18 series openers, 

26 fantasy novels, 

30 audiobooks, 

poetry collections, 


graphic novels. 


I swapped my job at Maximum Pop! for an office job. 

I visited Berlin, New York City, Malta and Amsterdam

I saw School of Rock, Kinky Boots and The Christmasaurus on stage. 

I saw Don Broco at Alexandra Palace in November.

I went to the launch of Derren Brown's 'Rise of the Demon' ride at Thorpe Park. 

How was your 2017?


Thursday 28 December 2017

2017: The Best Books of the Year

Well, it's been a while hasn't it?

I don't think I've ever left my little corner of the internet for so long before, not since I launched So Many Books, So Little Time in January 2009. 

2017 has been an interesting. Lots of changes, new things, and new priorities. I've decided that I'm not going to completely abandon this little 'ole blog entirely, but I doubt I'll ever come back in the same. I am going to try and aim for a few posts here and there though, starting with my traditional end of year wrap ups. I couldn't not!

So without further a do, my favourite books of 2017.

My reading has really changed this year. I've focused less on volume and review copies and the latest releases, instead I've gone for what I fancy. And I've read some incredible books. 

For the first time in years and years, YA hasn't been my reading focus in 2017. But I've still read some stunners. 

'This Beats Perfect' by Rebecca Denton

One of my first reads of the year and still one of my favourites. Sweet, fun and full of heart, it's the kind of book that you'll be reading long past your bedtime. I've fallen a bit in love with boy band lit this year and Rebecca's debut kicked it all off. I am so ready for book two. 

'A Court of Mist and Fury' by Sarah J Maas (re-read)

I re-read the first two books in the series ready for the final and I loved it even more, but especially 'ACOMAF'. The romance, the sexytimes and the danger are an intoxicating combination. I couldn't get enough of it. 

'Once and For All' by Sarah Dessen

Queen Dessen strikes again. Sarah's books are like coming home and Louna's story is no exception. I loved the back drop of weddings and romance and happy endings, plus the drama and stress of wedding planning. And of course, the insane characterisation and romance to die for. Sarah is my forever fave. 

'The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue' by Mackenzie Lee

Oh, this book. I kept hearing wonderful things about this historical romp and I eventually broke and read it on holiday. How I fell in love. Monty and Percy are adorable and I was championing them from the start. if you want a romance you make you feel a little swoony, look no further. 

'The Cruel Prince' by Holly Black

Holly Black going back to the dark and dangerous world of faery was always going to be a dream. Man, I loved it. Holly makes the deadly appealing, the terrifying intoxicating and the magical real. I'm so looking forward to going back to this world. 

YA took a bit of backseat for me this year and I got to sample some incredible literary and general fiction novels. These were the ones that I was shouting about from the rooftops.

'The One We Fell in Love With' by Paige Toon

A mish-mash of timelines and POVs, 'The One We Fell in Love With' feels a little different for Paige Toon but it had everything I've come to expect from Paige Toon: warmth, emotion, flawed and lovable characters and always, always ready for her next story. 

'The Parasol Protectorate' series by Gail Carriger 

This SERIES. I devoured all five books over the summer in a bit of frenzy. I loved Gail Carriger's YA series, but this topped it. Alexia is total brilliance, Conall is swoony and every character has a little something something that I couldn't resist. Love. 

'All Our Wrong Todays' by Elan Mastai

This epic, romantic, sci-fi novel is my Book of the Year for 2017. I couldn't get enough of it. 'All Our Wrong Todays' is just utter brilliance and I almost don't want to say anything about it because I don't want to spoil it. The opening line hooked me and I hope it does the same for you:

"So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have."

'Sweetpea' by SJ Skuse

I love CJ's YA novels, but I didn't quite know what to expect from her first adult thriller. Violence, sex, language and I loved it. Dark, twisted and generally bloody brilliant. I can't wait for more.

'The Last Piece of My Heart' by Paige Toon

Yep, another Paige Toon book. I love Paige and her novels and this is one of my very favourites of hers to date. Bridget has been a side character in a few of Paige's books and I'm so glad she finally got her own story. This book made my heart smile and ache and cheer. Gorgeous. 

'Exit West' by Mohsin Hamid

I devoured 'Exit West' in a single sitting. It's an important, engaging and gorgeous written book about immigration, love, life and the people that make up your world and I think everyone should read it. The audiobook is completely wonderful too. 

I've done a lot of my 2017 reading via audiobook this year, and these are the best of the best. 

'Harry Potter' series by JK Rowling (re-read, obviously)
Read by: Stephen Fry

This was my first full re-read of this years in about 6 or 7 years and my first audiobook listen of the series. It was a pure delight. What a way to return to a world I know so well and love so very much. I'm already tempted to go back for round two...

'The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue' by Mackenzie Lee
Read by: Christian Coulson

The narration of this sassy, funny, swoony historical romp was pitch perfect. I didn't ever want to stop listening. 

'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Philip Pullman
Read by: full cast recording, narration by Philip Pullman

I know, I know, I'm shamefully late to the party. But I really fell in love with Lyra, Will, Pantalaimon, Iorek and the rest of the characters. Philip Pullman's narration was magical and the rest of the cast were equally as wonderful. 

And the non-fiction and graphic novels. I didn't read many of these in 2017, but what I did read blew me away. 

'Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life' by Samantha Ellis

Oh, Anne. She was my favourite Bronte before I read 'Take Courage', but after? Now she's one of my heroes. If you think there's a reason Anne is the least popular Bronte, read this book. There is a reason but it's definitely not that she's the least talented or the least impactful or the least powerful. It was all Charlotte's doing... Brilliantly warm, clever and impassioned. 

'Shrill' by Lindy West

I actually listened to this on audio read by Lindy and it was brilliant. I'm pretty sure I devoured it in a few days. Lindy is bold, funny and completely unapologetic about it - I totally fell in love with her and her voice. 

'Paper Girls: Volume 1' by Brian K Vaughan

A fierce, fun and nostalgic start to what I'm sure is going to be one of my new favourite comic series'. If you like 'Stranger Things' (and who doesn't) then this is right up your street. This is from the guy who wrote 'Saga'!

What were your favourite reads of 2017?