My Favourite Books That I Read in 2017

My favourite books that I read in 2017

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Last year I participated in the 2017 Goodreads reading challenge and made a goal of reading 75 books. I love to read, and can read quite quickly, so I managed to complete that goal. Here are my favourites out of those 75.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

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Buy it.

Synopsis: 

Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.

What I Liked:

I loved that this story features an autistic teen as the narrator. The narrative takes the reader into Christopher’s mind, exploring his likes, dislikes, and doesn’t shy away from the more difficult subjects, like overstimulation.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

What I Liked:

I adore the way that Gaiman weaves his stories and how they always seem to have a hint of darkness and macabre to them.

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

What I Liked:

Near the midpoint of the year, I tried to select books that featured characters from different cultures. I enjoyed the vibrant descriptions of pre-Islamic Middle East and found it really interesting that only the antagonist is named.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

What I Liked:

The relationship between the two main characters, Leila and Mariam, spoke to me. I felt deeply for both characters, plus learned a lot about Afghanistan’s recent history.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashums. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

What I Liked:

I can never learn enough, and this book taught me a lot about Afghanistan’s recent history.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

What I Liked:

This take on Peter Pan focuses on Tiger Lily and builds her into an interesting and complex character. It also explores deeper themes of what happens during colonization.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting – he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd – whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself – Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

What I Liked:

I had so many feelings when reading this book. It is an incredibly powerful story.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Buy it.

Synopsis:

Starr Carter spends her time between two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she lives and the fancy prep school in the suburbs that she attends. The balance is shattered when she witnesses the death of a childhood friend by a police officer. After the story becomes a national headline, Starr’s life is thrown into turmoil as her and her family are threatened by both law enforcement and local gangbangers.

What I liked:

This book really gives perspective. It’s heartbreaking and sometimes a difficult read, but I think everybody should read this book.

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