My Favorite 2017 Releases — So Far

Of the 92 books I’ve read in 2017, these four — all released this year — are my favorites so far. They’re all very different, but have one thing in common: Awesomeness.

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

I loved The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly (2015), so I assumed I’d love this just as much. I was wrong: I loved it more.

I attended several conferences this year. Each time, I hurried to the Penguin booth to see if they had an advance copy. They told me no in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Antonio. Finally, my perseverance paid off.

The Arsonist, scheduled for release in September, has all the ingredients that make my book-heart flutter: well-crafted, alternating POVs; well-crafted, alternating timelines; and distinctive, dimensional, compelling characters.

I was sad when the book ended. I could’ve hung out with Pepper, Molly, and Ava for 300 more pages.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Alex Petroski! Sweet, kind-hearted, 11-year-old Alex Petroski! I wanted to jump in the book and give him a hug. But I can’t. Maybe I’ll hug Jack Cheng next time I see him instead.

Inspired by NASA’s Golden Record, Alex decides to make his own recording, which he plans to shoot into space on his homemade rocket. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth — his earth — is like. Lucky us, we get to join him on the way.

Flight Risk by Jennifer Fenn

Robert Jackson Kelly is one of the most well-written characters I’ve met this year. He practically walks off the page. Or flies off the page, as the case may be.

Fenn was inspired by real-life plane thief Colton Harris-Moore. I’d read about Harris-Moore in the past and seen documentaries about his flighty escapades. But Fenn’s story of Robert Jackson Kelly feels new. It was enough to make me forget about Moore or Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me if You Can. Instead, I escaped into Flight Risk. And I was totally emmersed.

Mental Diplopia by Julianna Baggott

This is a short story from the amazing wizards at Tor, one of my favorite fiction sites.

There seems to be a strange new disease spreading around the world. People are getting stuck in the past in mostly happy memories. They are straddling the line between now and then. Although the disease ends in death, the infected seem to go willingly. The epidemiologist narrator seeks the answers to this viral mystery while she falls in love and tries not to get infected.

What are some of your favorite books this year?

3 Replies to “My Favorite 2017 Releases — So Far”

  1. Loved “See You in the Cosmos” and “The Arsonist.” Definitely two of my favorite releases this year. So hard to pick favorites. Reading “Spoonbenders,” right now. Hopefully it will be a contender. And who can forget “Hello Univere!” :). Great post

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