Best Books of 2017 so far

UPDATE: We have just published our end of 2017 reading summaries – Top Aussie Reads of 2017 and Top International Reads of 2017.

Best Books of 2017 so far

With half of the reading year already behind us, it is a good time to take a moment to reflect on our

Best Books of 2017 so far

Of the 31 titles already reviewed here at Booklover Book Reviews this year, we awarded six (6) of those a rating of 4.5 Stars or higher.

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5 Star Reads

It takes something truly special for us to bring out the 5 Star rating – the best of the best fiction. We awarded only one last year, for Black Rock White City, which of course went on to win Alec Patric the Miles Franklin Award; and only twice in 2015.

This year we have already read two titles we felt deserving of our highest rating – Karl Geary’s debut novel Montpelier Parade and Jane Rawson’s From the Wreck.

Montpelier Parade - Karl Geary and From the Wreck - Jane Rawson

The prose within Montpelier Parade is itself a thing of beauty – and for that alone I would recommend this novel. But it is Geary’s characters’ capacity to be buoyed by glints in darkness and this story’s moving denouement that elevate it to the truly memorable. Find out more…

From the Wreck‘s synopsis has to rate as one of the most unusual I have come across in the literary genre. But Rawson does more than ‘pull-off’ this lofty creative and artistic challenge — in her deft hands this concept soars. Confronting, haunting and life-affirming. Find out more…

4.5 Star Reads

We have quite diverse reading tastes here at Booklover Book Reviews and the range of titles awarded 4.5 Stars reflects thats – a short story collection, a Scandi-Brit crime thriller, an intelligent rom-com and epic historical fiction.

Arms Race - Nic Low and Fatal Crossing - Lone Theils

Nic Low’s Arms Race, and Other Stories is a diverse and highly thought-provoking short story collection. In addition to cleverly executed ideas and Low’s pitch perfect balance of humour and humanity, core to the appeal and success of these alternate histories/realities are their strong links to the here and now, their plausibility. Find out more…

Fatal Crossing is Lone Theils debut novel and the first in a planned crime thriller series starring journalist Nora Sands. Theils hasn’t just developed characters but credible personalities in her ensemble cast. Her no nonsense narrative and skilful pacing of Nora’s investigative (and emotional) journey had me enthralled. A page-turner with real grit and substance. Find out more…

Our Tiny Useless Hearts - Toni Jordan and Beauty in Thorns - Kate Forsyth

I have long been a fan of Toni Jordan’s brand of humour and original and intelligent take on ‘relationship fiction’ (Addition and Fall Girl), but this is her best novel yet in my opinion. Our Tiny, Useless Hearts lampoons our suburban middle-class preoccupations and doomed-to-fail quest as adults to engineer outcomes. Strip away the cornucopia of neuroses, and the pot in which Jordan has thrown her colourful ensemble cast is brimming over with heart (and romance). Find out more…

Again, a long time fan of international bestselling author Kate Forsyth’s adult fairytale retellings (Bitter Greens, The Wild Girl, The Beast’s Garden) and her brand new novel Beauty in Thorns more than lives up to expectations. Her decision to tell this story of the Pre-Raphaelites (and the influence ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and other fairytales had on their work) in the voices of four true-life women – Lizzie Siddal, Jane Burden, Georgie Burne-Jones and her daughter Margot – is a masterstroke. Find out more…

We cannot stress enough that the ratings we assign here at Booklover Book Reviews are relative indicators only. The twelve titles that received our 4 Star rating are highly recommended reading also — the quality of titles in our reading pile this year has been exceptionally high!

What have been your top books of 2017 so far?

Share your favourite reads in the comments below so we can add them to our reading lists.