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Updated by Jen Blair on Dec 05, 2023
Headline for Holiday 2017 Blair Best Books - Top Ten Reads
Jen Blair Jen Blair
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Holiday 2017 Blair Best Books - Top Ten Reads

Now that it is almost the end of the year, here are my FAVORITE books that I read in the last year. These are the books that I loved the most. As of today. Tomorrow? There could be a new favorite! Check. Them. Out.

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray

Noemi is a soldier tasked with saving her home, the earthy colony Genesis and the only person she can count on to help her is a robot named Abel. I am still thinking about this book, months later. I loved the way it seamlessly tied in all the action of a space adventure, a love story, AND the philosophical question of what it means to be human. Battlestar Galactica meets Cinder meets Eleanor and Park.

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Grace has always known that she was adopted and loved by her family. But after she gives up her own baby to adoption she decides to find her biological siblings and meet them for the first time. All the feels. Literally all of them. I cried so hard reading this book. The emotional truth in the story of these three siblings coming together and finding family is unparalleled.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter has always moved between two very different worlds: her low income neighborhood and her ritzy private school in suburbia. After she is the only witness to a shooting of her childhood friend, she finds that she is no longer able to keep these two worlds separate. This book is perfection. The only book I have ever heard so much buzz about and then was actually BETTER than the buzz. Read it before the movie comes out next September!
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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Alice and her mother are a team. They are constantly on the move, trying to stay ahead of the “bad luck” that plagues them. After the death of Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive writer known for her dark fairy tales, Alice’s mother disappears and even though she was warned to stay away from the Hazel Wood, Alice knows that this is the only way to get her mother back. The writing was so good. I was literally hooked by page 5. I have never read anything like this before. Sorry, it’s not released yet, but it immediately shot to my top 10 as soon as I opened it. Pre-order it now, thank me later.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Julia can never please her immigrant mother. She is too outspoken. She is too ambitious. After the death of her “perfect” older sister, Julia must find a way to grieve for her sister as she tries to keep her family from falling apart. Julia is so strong. She refuses to bow to anyone else’s wishes and yet remains so vulnerable. One of the most compelling characters I have read all year.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

320 pages. 60 seconds of one young man’s life. An elevator ride you will never forget. Will must decide if he will avenge the death of his brother. Or not. A fast read, but one that will stay with you long after you have finished reading this book.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Flora has no short term memory for anything that has happened after a surgery to remove a brain tumor at age 10. But she remembers kissing Drake. A memory so powerful that she is willing to risk everything to find him again. I literally had to put this book down to catch my breath. I was so WORRIED about Flora. Flora is brave. Flora is strong. Flora is unforgettable. She might not have memory, but I will ALWAYS remember Flora.
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Release by Patrick Ness

One day of Adam Thorn’s life where he must confront his religious father, an abusive boss, his ex-boyfriend, and the fact that his best friend is leaving town. The author wanted to pay tribute to Judy Blume and Virginia Woolf and… he succeeded. Unforgettable.
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Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, #2) by Alwyn Hamilton

I fell in love with Amani in Rebel of the Sands. I didn’t think that a sequel could be BETTER than the first in a series. But this book manages to improve on perfection. Palace intrigue, rebellion, adventure, romance, this book has it all. Also? I will read anything Hamilton writes. She is too good for words.
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Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

A combination of Hunger Games and Ready Player One and Wall-E, this is the story of virtual reality prodigy, Emika Chen who breaks into the world championship of Warcross only to become embroiled in a hostile takedown of the game, that has repercussions far beyond the video game. The twists and turns of this story make it impossible to put down.
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