28 December 2016

Written by Kirsty Hanson
for Daily Focal

2016 was such a brilliant year for new book releases.
Some series got their finale (Crooked Kingdom and The Raven King), whereas some series were just beginning (Lady Midnight and Passenger). If your reading year was like mine and full of re-reads and reading for school/college/university, then you may want to take a look at this list: the top 5 books that you just HAVE to read in 2017. I can't really talk about all of the books that are being released in 2017 because I haven't read them all, but I can recommend a few!

Let's get into it!

1. LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare
If you haven't read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare yet, then you have to. This book is also set in the Shadowhunter world (like that of The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices series). By reading Lady Midnight early on in 2017, it means that you're ready for when the second book in the series, The Lord of Shadows on 23rd May.

'In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?' 

(blurb taken from Goodreads)

2. THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Choski
The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Choski is a diverse fantasy that will capture your imagination and your hearts with the beautiful writing and imagery. The second book in the series, A Crown of Wishes is released on 28th March.

'Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.' 

(blurb taken from Goodreads)

3. CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
Caraval is Stephanie Garber's debut novel and it's hard to see because it's so amazing! If you're a fan of The Night Circus, then I can guarantee that you're going to enjoy Caraval, which is released 31st January.

'Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.'

(blurb taken from Goodreads)

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGuinness is such a powerful, moving, important book to read. It is full of moments that will get you right in the feels and it's crammed full of moral questions. This book is unbelievably brilliant.

' Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.'

(blurb taken from Goodreads)

Robin Talley is an author who prides herself in writing books about gay characters and she does it so so well. The top book that I recommend you guys to read in 2017 is Lies We Tell Ourselves. It's a standalone young adult novel that is brilliant. It's set during the Civil Rights movement and like To Kill a Mockingbird, it raises awareness of what racial prejudice was like at the time and it's morals can be taught in today's society.

'It's 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it's Sarah Dunbar's first day of school, as one of the first black students at the previously all-white Jefferson High. 

No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda Hairston, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist. 
Sarah and Linda have every reason to despise each other. But as a school project forces them to spend time together, the less their differences seem to matter. And Sarah and Linda start to feel something they've never felt before. Something they're both determined ignore. 

Because it's one thing to be frightened by the world around you - and another thing altogether when you're terrified of what you feel inside.' 

(blurb taken from Goodreads)

So there we have it guys!
Those are my top 5 books that I think you should read in the new year! Have any books on my list caught your eye? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below!

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