December 26, 2017

Best of 2017

I started pondering this list a couple months ago, but I still had quite a few books to read at the time. As of posting this I've read 141 books in 2017 and I decided that I would challenge myself to keep this list to a top 10. So if you aren't on this list - keep in mind you are probably in the top 20 and please don't hate me!

These are in no certain order. Clicking the title will take you to my original review. Clicking the author's name will take you to their website.

Just Look Up
by Courtney Walsh

I read this book twice in two days!
I loved the reminders in this book that the past shapes the present and the future. That sometimes there are things we shove into the back of our minds and try to forget. But that ultimately those things have made us who we are today. The good and the bad.

Life After
by Katie Ganshert

A story set in Chicago. One of my favorite cities!
Ganshert has an amazing ability to put her characters through incredibly hard lives but to come out in the end so much stronger. Few authors can put their characters through so much, share their journey through life, and still me feeling satisfied at the end of the book.

Someplace Familiar
by Teresa Tysinger

My favorite cover of the year!
This book offers a view of a relationship where the previous relationships have to be overcome in order for the new one to take hold. It was a nice change of pace. I love how the characters grew and how they overcame their pasts.

The House on Foster Hill
by Jaime Jo Wright

What I think I loved most about this book was how it brought to light current day problems that actually started long ago in history but most of us haven't read about. I love how a fiction book can expose terrible atrocities that occurred long ago in the United States that to this day most people don't want to believe ever happened let alone that happen now.

Just the Way You Are
by Pepper Basham

It is great to read a Christian book where the romance is honest enough to admit temptation is there, but to also prove that it is possible to keep a relationship pure. This book probably has the best kissing scenes I have ever read. And I loved how many there were too!

Beyond Justice / Imperfect Justice
by Cara Putman

Beyond Justice: I loved that this book used immigration as the focus of the story. I know it is a hot button issue right now especially but since my day job is working with immigrant children as a bilingual ESL teacher I loved it.

Imperfect Justice:  Another great part about this book was how Putman included two different types of domestic issues and weaved them into one. I also like that both included elements of suspense and surprise as we didn't know exactly who was the culprit of either until the very end.

A New Shade of Summer
by Nicole Deese

I love that Deese places a strong importance on her character's spiritual lives without coming across as preachy at all.

Sweetbriar Cottage
by Denise Hunter

 I love how constantly Noah turned to God. To me that characteristic he had made him all that much more appealing as the hero in the book. 

All This Time
by Melissa Tagg

I really did relate well to Rae. Not for the exact same things but similar. And it was nice to read about a character with problems where it wasn't just smoothed over by a quick prayer or someone patting her shoulder.

Thanks to Christian Fiction Readers Retreat I got to meet Katie Ganshert, Melissa Tagg, Courtney Walsh, and Pepper Basham! And I've met Denise Hunter at a book signing since I don't live far from her!

And now for my most anticipated reads of 2018! One Fiction and One Non-Fiction

I've been anxiously awaiting this book since I first realized some of the topics she would be tackling in it: education and race. Plus I love all of Katie's books so I'm always excited to have a new one!

I don't even remember exactly how I came across Sarah Quezada online. I think it was a Facebook post, but since I discovered her I've been following her on Facebook and Instagram. I lover her story and I also love her heart for immigrants. I cannot wait to read this book. 

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