Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ten 2017 Must-Read Books


Top 10 Books I’m excited to see come out in 2017 (with a couple of honorary mentions because there are so many good ones!)

Just as a note, I feel I should mention that not all books I want to read are on this list. There are some books that I have omitted that I probably will read that I left out for various reasons. For example, eventually I will want to read Ships of the Dead (Magnus Chase #3) by Rick Riordan, but I haven't actually read the Hammer of Thor so I decided it probably wasn't proper to include it on this list, even though I am still relatively excited that it's coming out.

2017 To Read List:

1.  Payback (Masterminds #3) by Gordon Korman--March 7, 2017payback

This is easily my most anticipated book of 2017. I LOVED the first and second books and I'm eagerly waiting to read this installment. After nearly a year waiting, I'm ready to read the much anticipated conclusion to this trilogy. The characters and their struggles are so engrossing that I will probably pick this book up the moment it's released in a bookstore.
The thrilling finale to the New York Times-bestselling Masterminds series from middle grade star author Gordon Korman. Perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and James Patterson.

After a serious betrayal from one of their former friends, the clones of Project Osiris are on the run again. Now separated into pairs, Eli and Tori and Amber and Malik are fighting to survive in the real world.

Amber and Malik track down the one person they think can help them prove the existence of Project Osiris, notorious mob boss Gus Alabaster, also known as Malik’s DNA donor. But as Malik gets pulled into the criminal world—tantalized by hints of a real family—his actions put him and Amber into greater danger.

Eli and Tori get sucked into even bigger conspiracies as they hunt down Project Osiris’s most closely guarded secrets—who does Eli’s DNA come from? With a surprising new ally and another cross-country adventure, the four will have to work together to overcome the worst parts of themselves if they are going to end Project Osiris once and for all.

2. First Class Murder (A Wells and Wong Mystery #3) by Robin Stevens--April 4, 2017first-class-murder

When I was drafting the first version to this article I was completely stoked to read this book. For anyone who follows this series, you'd know the books are originally published in the UK and then after a while are published in the US. Well, a few months ago I found this book for a rather reasonable price on Amazon so I gave in and purchased it. I actually bought all three books that have been published in the UK (First Class Murder, Jolly Foul Play, and Mistletoe and Murder). So, technically, I've already read this book, but I decided to leave it on here anyway because it's worth reading. The parallel's to Agatha Christie's Murder on Orient Express and the introduction of the young boy detective are what really makes this book.
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are taking a holiday through Europe on the world-famous Orient Express. From the moment the girls step aboard, it's clear that each of their fellow first-class passengers has something to hide. Even more intriguing: rumour has it that there is a spy in their midst.

Then, during dinner, there is a bloodcurdling scream from inside one of the cabins. When the door is broken down, a passenger is found murdered, her stunning ruby necklace gone. But the killer is nowhere to be seen - almost as if they had vanished into thin air.

Daisy and Hazel are faced with their first ever locked-room mystery - and with competition from several other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case as they are.

3. Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion (#4) by Mike Maihack--June 27, 2017cleopatra-in-space

I love this series! Antony is by far my favorite secondary character. I adore seeing Cleopatra and Antony interact, and I'm looking forward to seeing where their relationship goes. If the story's anything like history, they are going to fall madly in love and get together. Of course, if it follows history, Antony and Cleopatra are going to die a premature death from suicide. Speaking of, I am rather curious to see where this story is going. How closely to the historical Cleopatra is this going to follow? We've been introduced to almost all of the key players: Cleoaptra, Octavian (Caesar), and Antony. Nonetheless, this promises to be an exciting volume!
Cleo is back at Yasiro Academy, recovering from the tragic events that occurred on planet Hykosis. She feels responsible for the death of her friend Zaid, and trains nonstop. And when she learns that the Golden Lion -- a star with immeasurable energy that could destroy them all if weaponized -- has been located, she goes alone to the snowy, icy planet Cada'duun to find it. There, she faces off with a new enemy who has been instructed to destroy the Golden Lion... and her.

4. The World's Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson--May 26, 2017worlds-greatest-detective-hc-c-525x790

The premise of this book reminds me of a bunch of Detective Conan episodes where they bring in a bunch of famous detectives to compete and see who can solve a mystery first (EP 57-58: Holmes Freak Murder Case, EP 479: Three Days with Heiji Hattori, etc.). It's always fun to see some friendly competition with some deadly high stakes. I can see this story having a bunch of uber smart people trying to outsmart one another and I'll bet it'll be a hoot to read. 
By the end of our time together, someone in this house will be rich. Someone will be the World’s Greatest Detective. And someone, well, someone might be dead.

Detectives’ Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn’t one of them. He’s only an assistant at his uncle’s crime-solving business, and he’s not sure he’s even very good at that. But he sees his chance to prove he could be by entering Hugh Abernathy’s crime-solving contest in his uncle’s place.

Toby’s friend Ivy is the best detective around—or at least she thinks so. But she can’t show off her sleuthing skills and take the title because she’s not allowed to join the investigators’ ranks. Even though the competition is being held at her house.

Then a detective is found murdered before the games begin and his death becomes the World’s Greatest Mystery. And Toby and Ivy may be the only two who can crack the case.

In Caroline Carlson’s newest novel, hilarity and hijinks abound as the greatest detectives around try to solve the greatest mystery they’ve ever come across.

5.  The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2) by Brittany Cavallaro--February 14, 2017the-last-of-august

I actually met Brittany Cavallaro in June and it was quite the fun experience. It wasn't a perfect book, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless. I loved all the Sherlock Holmes allusions and the wonderful characters introduced. I can't wait to read this and learn more about August Moriarty and if the title is any indication (also Brittany Cavallaro confirmed this when I asked her) he's going to make quite the appearance.
In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

6.  The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger #2) by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman--April 25, 2017the-unbreakable-code

The first book was quite enjoyable. It's a fun concept, sort of like geocaching except with books. The codes that were included were fun to try to solve. I'm excited to see how some of the characters that were introduced in the first book will play a role in this second one; especially, that code cracking teacher of Emily's. He seemed like quite the mystery and I have a feeling he's going to play quite the role in this book.
Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire.

As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

The clock is ticking as the arson fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime.


7.  The World's Greatest Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops by R.K. Sager--June 20, 2017the-worlds-greatest-chocolate-covered-pork-chops

The book made it on the list purely because the title is an absolute hoot. The premise sounds cute, but the title is just so out-there, how could I not be reeled in.
Twelve-year-old chef Zoey Kate's Fried Banana Fondue is delectable, her Maple Cinnamon Crab Fajitas are divine, and her Chocolate-Covered Pork Chops are to die for. Zoey is the best cook in town and she wants everyone to know it. She's on a mission to start her own restaurant, but quickly learns that the restaurant industry is competitive... and dangerous. There are people who see Zoey as a threat, and they'll use any means necessary to make sure that she fails.
Featuring a precocious, larger-than-life character, lots of humor, fast-paced action and mouth-watering foods, this cooking story is sure to appeal to young foodies and fans of shows like MasterChef Junior and Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off.


8.  Reformed by Justin Weinberger--March 28, 2017reformed

This story sounds like something Gordon Korman would come up with. In fact, it reminds me of Ungifted except the exact opposite. Instead of a juvenile criminal getting into a school of geniuses, it's about a meek kid who gets into a school of bullies. Since I enjoyed Ungifted so much, I bet I'll like this book as well.
What's harder than surviving a school bully? Surviving a school full of bullies.

The word troublemaker has never been used to describe Ian Hart. Nice, nerdy . . . clueless, if you ask the girls in his class. Which is exactly why he gets along with Devon Crawford. Devon's the kind of kid who speaks his mind and stands up for his friends -- even if he sometimes takes it too far.

But after one of Devon's pranks goes terribly awry, Ian finds himself shipped off to the scariest place on earth -- bully reform school -- where the pranks are more twisted, the bullies are more brutal, and good kids like Ian don't stand a chance.

  1. The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan--May 2, 2017the-dark-prophecy-updated-2

As I've stated before, I like all of Rick Riordan series. The Hidden Oracle was a riot. I can't say I was a huge fan of Meg (she was just alright), but Apollo (or as he is now known...Lester Papadopoulos) was an absolute gem. I can't say I'm too enthralled in the story (the world is always ending in this universe), but I love the characters and the delightful sense of humor of Rick Riordan. Plus, it's always fun to revisit the original characters from Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers? After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he's gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .

  1. Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein--October 10, 2017mr-lemoncellos-great-library-race

Again, this was a sequel I didn't see coming, but sometimes the best things come from the most unexpected sources. Chris Grabenstein's first two books have the advantage of having such complete stories that I don't feel they scream for a sequel; nonetheless, so far each book has been a rather fun read. One thing I adore about the series is all the literary references that are included. Every time a sequel to this series is announced I always wonder where the story will go. The capacity of imagination for some human beings is truly endless.

The only summary I could find was the one on, which was quite brief:
Mr. Lemoncello holds a contest for his young friends where they must bring interesting objects back to his library.

Honorary Mentions:

  1. Rules for Thieves by Alexandra Ott--June 6, 2017rules-for-thieves

This seems like a high spirited adventure sort of book. I can't say I'm a big fan of the magic part, but I could see myself really enjoying this book (at least based on the summary).Plus, it kind of reminds me of Fairy Tail.
After twelve-year-old orphan, Alli Rosco, is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut.

Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have proved more troublesome…but now that she’s escaped to try her luck on the streets, she has bigger problems than extra chores to contend with. Surviving would be hard enough, but after a run-in with one of the city’s Protectors, she’s marked by a curse that’s slowly working its way to her heart. There is a cure, but the cost is astronomical—and seems well out of her reach.

Enter Beck, a boy with a gift for theft and a touch of magic, who seems almost too good to be true. He tells Alli that the legendary Thieves Guild, long thought to be a myth, is real. Even better, Beck is a member and thinks she could be, too. All she has to do is pass the trial that the King of Thieves will assign to her. Join the Guild, collect her yearly reward and buy a cure. Plus, Alli hopes the Guild will be the home—the family—that Alli has always wanted. But when their trial goes wrong, innocent lives are put in danger, and Alli has to decide how much she can sacrifice in order to survive.

  1. The Black Hole who Lives in Our House by Michelle Cuevas--Summer 2017the-black-hole-who-lives-in-our-house

The summary if pretty brief and there hasen't even been a proper release date announced (at least none that I could find), but who doesn't like to read about unusual friendships? And you can't get more unusual than a young child with a matter eating black hole.

Short summary from
Dial Books for Young Readers has acquired The Black Hole Who Lives in Our House, a middle-grade novel by Michelle Cuevas about an isolated child who befriends a black hole – one that is unpredictable, capricious, and kind of cute. It's scheduled for summer 2017.

13.  The Princess and the Page by Christina Farley--February 28, 2017the-princess-and-the-page

When I first read the title I thought it was like The Princess and the Frog as in, a princess falls in love with a page. That's what really brought me in, once I read the summary I realized the title wasn't referring to a servant page but a paper page. Nonetheless, even though it wasn't as I expected the premise still sounds interesting enough that I want to keep my eye on it.
A dark secret lurks in Keira's family. She comes from a long line of Word Weavers who bring their stories to life when they use a magical pen. But Keira's mom is unable to face the truth of the family's history because the Word Weavers have been hunted for generations for their power. And so, she forbids Keira to write. Oblivious to the family's secret ability, and angry at her mom's rule of no fictional writing, Keira discovers her grandma's Word Weaver pen and uses it to write a story for the Girls' World fairy tale contest, believing it will bring her good luck. But when Keira decides to have her fairy tale reflect her family's imperfect life, and has the princess in her story vanquished to a dark tower for eternity, she starts to wonder if anyone ever truly lives happily ever after.





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