My Year in Books 2017 + Giveaway!

kayla blogs year in books

I love recapping my year in books because I love looking back at all the great books I read throughout the year. I’ve been doing these posts for two years now (read 2015’s and last year’s post) and this year will be no exception! I wrote a mid-year recap this year so not all of these books will be news to you, but I did read a few great ones to round out the year and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Something else exciting happened this year: I met my reading goal! I set a goal of 25 books for 2016 and came just short of it. This year, I was determined to reach it and stayed on track with my reading through most of the year. I’m keeping my goal in 2018 to 25 books as well just because I know grad school is going to kick into high gear and I want to keep my goals realistic. One day I’d LOVE to read 52 books (one per week for the year) but this year there’s just no way it could happen.

If you want to make a reading goal for yourself and follow along with what I’m reading in real time you can follow me on the website Goodreads! It’s like Facebook but for books and I find it holds me much more accountable and I love updating my status with where I’m at in a book.

Anyway, now let’s talk about the books I read this year…

1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I read this book on the plane to Florida back in January! This one was a super quick read. I love Mindy Kaling from The Office but I don’t know much about her other work. I haven’t seen the Mindy Project and she talked about it a lot in her book. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and you love funny, smart women this book would be a good pick for you! 3.5/5 stars

Buy it now.

2. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

The prequel to HIDDEN BODIES, YOU, is one of my all-time favorite books. So creepy, so amazing. Kepnes has me falling in love with the bad guy and after I finish her books I’m always confused about my own morals lol. I can’t explain it, these books are just SO good and I’d recommend them to anyone. HIDDEN BODIES is the sequel to YOU and I couldn’t read it fast enough. I devoured it over two days at the beach in Fort Myers. If you like thrillers and are okay with some suggestive content and being in the mind of a creepy stalker character, you should definitely read these. 1000% recommend. 5/5 stars.

Buy it now.

hidden bodies


Really liked this one! This is sad but it’s the last book my Nana ever bought me before she passed away this summer. The beginning and middle were very slow for me. There were SO many characters to introduce and I had a hard time keeping them all straight. It took me almost a month to finish it because of this. I was just not in the mood to pick it up. However, the ending of this book was MIND BLOWING and definitely got me back into the book and forced me to give it 4/5 stars.

Buy it now.

the woman in cabin 10


One of the first Audiobooks I ever read! I need to start listening to more books because I feel like I could get through a lot more books since I drive to school every day. Ryan and I listened to this as an audiobook on Audible while we were road tripping along the east coast. Let me start by saying this book was NOTHING like what I thought it was going to be. I was really surprised that it talked a lot about research and actually studying modern relationships and how they have changed over time. I loved listening to this with Ryan because we’re in a relationship and we could definitely connect on some parts of it together. Only downside was that it sometimes got boring. Aziz as a narrator made up for that though. 3.5/5 stars.

Buy it nowTry Audible and get two free audiobooks!


This one was a pretty quick read. I needed to read it for a behavior analysis class but I actually thought it was pretty interesting! Sutherland gives a very beginner perspective on animal training and behavior analysis and how we can apply those principles to our daily lives with our boyfriend/mother/spouse/co-worker. Really interesting and easy to get through. It teaches you something without being too daunting and filled with jargon. 4/5 stars.

Buy it now.


I read this one during a book swap with one of my friends in the spring! This was another book that I couldn’t get into until about halfway through. There was lots of action and a good twist though so I ended up really enjoying it. 4/5 stars.

Buy it now.

husbands secret


I had this e-book for a while but hadn’t cracked into it. I ended up deciding to read it because the movie was coming out. YA used to be the only genre I’d read but now I’d say I’m much more interested in thrillers! This book was cute but I do think the movie trailer spoiled the heck out of this book for me. I pretty much guessed the ending right from the first few chapters. Overall, I liked the characters. I hate when YA authors make high schoolers super whiny and annoying! I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars.

Buy it now.


This book had another slow start! The middle and ending really picked up for me and made this one totally worth reading. The author is from England and this book follows a detective so there’s a lot of police slang that I didn’t understand because 1. I know nothing about law enforcement and 2. I’m not from England. If you can get past the jargon, this book is a great read. The twist absolutely threw me for a loop. 4/5 stars.

Buy it now.

i let you go clare mackintosh


This was the first monthly book I ever received from the Book of the Month club! I liked this one but, again, it had a slow start and lots and lots of background. I don’t know if the ending really packed enough of a punch for me though so I’m going to have to give it 3/5 stars.

Buy it now.


This story was SO cute and I read it in one afternoon! I’m a huge fan of Fixer Upper and I love Chip & Jo. I didn’t think it was possible, but after reading this I’m even bigger fans of them. They are so inspiring and such hard workers. There were so many anecdotes that they shared that made me love them even more. Not only do I admire their work ethic and their gorgeous homes, I admire their friendship and relationship. SUCH a good read and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I’d recommend it to anyone! 5/5 stars.

Buy it now.

the magnolia story


This was another audiobook I finished! I really enjoyed it, maybe because I am a neuroscience nerd. This is a memoir, written by a neurosurgeon who has terminal cancer. The messages he presents are interesting and really got me thinking. However, I was expecting this book to be a bit more poignant. I think it lacked what I was looking for because I was listening to it as an audiobook instead of reading the words for myself. Not sure though! 3/5 stars.

Buy it nowTry Audible and get two free audiobooks!


Had super high hopes for this book! I had it on my TBR list for at least a year and I finally bought it on a whim at Target over the summer because I wanted to read it before the movie premiered in November. I picked up WONDER because I wanted something easy and quick to get through. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but I do think I hyped it up a lot in my head. This book is written for children, which was sort of hard for me to keep in mind at times. I did really enjoy it though and thought the movie stayed true to the book for the most part. 4.5/5 stars.

Buy it now.

wonder rj palacio

13-19. The Harry Potter Series

In 2017, I finally completed my goal of reading all the Harry Potter books! I know, I know, it took me a while but I’m so glad that I can say I’ve read them all and that I really enjoyed it! I cried a lot during the last 2 books and it felt super weird to start reading something that had nothing to do with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Can you think of any other series or “classic” books I should read in 2018? 5/5 stars.

Buy it now.

harry potter book four

20. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I bought MILK AND HONEY and THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS together during the fall because I had never read them and wanted something light to transition out of reading HP. I really liked this, it was a quick read and the poems were both powerful and beautiful. I’m not a super huge fan of poetry, those are the only two books of poetry that I own, but I really enjoyed this and think you will too! 4/5 stars.

Buy it now.

21. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

This was another book I received through Book of the Month. I picked this one because it was short and I read it in like, 2 hours while Ryan was out playing basketball. The book was a little different than I was expecting but I enjoyed it. 3/5 stars.

Buy it now.

goodbye, vitamin

22. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

I was really excited to read another book by one of my favorite authors, Colleen Hoover, but this one sorta missed the mark for me. I enjoyed it but it didn’t pack a punch like her books often do. The main character was in high school and like I said above, I’m sorta outgrowing the whole YA thing and just felt like I couldn’t connect with her as much. I was entertained though but things didn’t start picking up for me until at least halfway through the book. 3/5 stars.

Buy it now.

without merit colleen hoover

23. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I picked up this book because I really want to start watching the TV show that’s on HBO. I really, really liked this book! It was slow to start for me but I loved it and the ending! Definitely recommend. I thought it would be more of a thriller but it’s more of an adult contemporary book. Don’t read if scenes about domestic violence would bother you. 5/5 stars.

Buy it now.

24. Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

Not my favorite by Renee Carlino. I read this one on my Kindle over a few days. It was interesting enough for me to get through but I thought it was a little extra if that makes sense. This is why I stick with Thrillers for the most part… some love stories are just too much for me! 3/5 stars.

Buy it now.

25. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

TJR is probably one of my favorite authors now. Ever since reading ONE TRUE LOVES last year, I’ve been loving her. After reading EVELYN HUGO, I’m even more in love with her. I need to read more of her books! This book covers subject matter that I don’t usually *love* reading about because it feels so unrealistic and stereotypical. However, I think TJR succeeded in writing a book that was both extremely interesting and also heartwarming. Definitely pick this book up in 2018! So glad I was able to close out the year reading this. 5/5 stars.

Buy it now.

And now for the giveaway…

kayla blogs new year new books

Are you still around? Good! It seems like everyone and their mother is doing a book giveaway right now but I mean, who doesn’t love giveaways? I polled you guys on Instagram and Twitter to see how you’d rather enter a giveaway. Most people said Instagram but I also want my faithful blog readers to be rewarded too!

So here’s how this is going to work. You can enter two ways: by commenting here on the blog and/or commenting on my Instagram post. That’s it! I’ll be drawing two winners: one from IG and one from the comments here on the blog and sending you one (or two, haven’t decided) of the books I read this year. BUT, here’s the cool part, you get to pick! Share the two books I’ve listed in this post that sound the most interesting to you and I’ll buy them for ya.

Let’s kick off 2018 by reading some amazing books together!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • A bunch of these are on my to-read list! I really need to up my reading this year. I always try to catch up to my sister but she read 90 books last year (!!) so I don’t really stand a chance haha.

    • 90 books?! That’s amazing. Baby steps for me, my big goal is to read 52 in a year!

  • A bunch of these look really interesting! I’m hoping to reread the Harry Potter series but we’ll see (I have no idea what this year will look like).

    • It took me all summer to read HP but I’m so glad I finally did!

  • I’ve reread the Harry Potter books to oblivion, so if you want another classic, I’d say either the Narnia-series, the Dalemark-series or LOTR, if you’re up for a challenge (I can never finish those 😀 ) I’ve been meaning to read Milk and Honey for ages, and What Shamu Taught Me sounds like such an interesting read as well!

    • LOTR doesn’t really interest me, but I’d love to read The Chronicles of Narnia someday!

  • Kaleigh

    Woman in cabin 10 and Hidden bodies sounds so good and right up my alley!!!

  • Ashley

    I would love to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and I Let You Go! I’ve read a lot of these on the list as well – love Big Little Lies! I’ll also definitely be adding You and Hidden Bodies to my list as well :)

    • Taylor Jenkins Reid was my favorite author find of 2017! She had me hooked to her writing after Seven Husbands.

    • Ahh yes YOU is my favorite! I’m working on watching Big Little Lies now. Have you seen the show?

      • Ashley

        Yes, I absolutely loved the show! Very well done, in my opinion.

  • The Woman in Cabin 10 sounds amazing and like such a great read! And The Magnolia Story sounds amazing as well (I love Fixer Upper!). So excited you loved Harry Potter! I grew up re-reading the series every summer and it’s such a staple of my childhood haha

    • I’m so glad I finally read HP even though it took me all summer!

  • Miss ALK

    I think Why Not Me and Modern Romance sound really interesting! What a fun giveaway Kayla!!!

    xoxo A

  • Ugh I love Chip & Jo (another baby? I’m in love!) so of course I would love to read their book! I also have Milk and Honey on my reading list because I took a poetry class last year and we talked about some of her work. Love the giveaway, Kayla!


    • Poetry class sounds so fun! Milk & Honey was such a good read. I can’t believe Chip & Jo are having another baby, I’m so excited

  • I’m currently reading Milk and Honey and I LOVE it! I’ve also just bought Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (like yesterday, haha) and I’m very excited to read it! Two books I’d LOVE to read are Modern Romance and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!

    (Can we also talk about how happy it makes me that you have finally finished the Harry Potter series? haha)

    • Ahhh Evelyn Hugo was such a good book I think you’d really love it! I feel like I’m in an exclusive club now that I’ve finally read HP haha

  • KariAnne

    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of my favorite reads of 2017 too! I love everything TJR writes.

    • Yes! I need to read more of her books I’ve only read One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and Evelyn Hugo.

  • Jade

    What we are sounds really interesting! I read Everything Everything and t was amazing!

    • Did you see the movie for Everything Everything? I thought it was good!

  • Margot

    It seems like we have a very similar taste in books! I completely understand the feeling you get when reaching your reading goal. I reached mine for the first year and I’m so satisfied. Can’t wait to read more. From your list I would love to read The Woman in Cabin 10 and When Breath Becomes Air. Any books you are looking forward too?

    • I’m definitely looking forward to reading more thrillers this year! I have so many on my shelves that I can’t wait to get to. I want to read some more “classic” books too like The Bell Jar!

  • Natalia

    Milk and honey. Evelyn Hugo. seem really interesting. We have a similar taste–I seem to have read most of the other ones you shared with us. Stoked to see what you’ve got lined up for this year!

    • Thanks Natalia! I hope next years books are even better!

  • Anelle Marie

    I think this is so awesome of you to encourage us to read more! I love it! Plus it’s one of my goals to read more this year. I would love to read Wonder and The Magnolia Story! Thank you, I wish you a happy year! :)

    • Thanks Anelle! I thought this giveaway was a good idea, I love sharing the things I love with y’all and books and reading are such a HUGE part of who I am. Wonder was such a sweet book. Good choice!

  • You read so many books last year, congrats Kayla! I set a goal of 12 books and only read 9, but I’m hoping that this year will be different. I’ve heard you talk about Hidden Bones multiple times on your blog, and I think this is the year that I’m finally going to take the push and read it. YOU was such a great and creepy story for me, so I’m eager to finally dive into the sequel. Did you hear that it is being adapted into a lifetime series!? It’s either a series or a movie (I can’t remember exactly), but it’s coming to life this year I believe, and I couldn’t be more excited to see how it is all going to play out!
    Another book that stands out to me is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I just checked the synopsis on Amazon, and I was like you know what, why not add it to my reading list! 2018 is all about me discovering new books, and stepping out of my very small comfort zone of books that I’m use to. Plus, the cover to this book is beautiful haha.

    Kathlyn | Kathlyn’s Korner

    • I think I remember hearing that YOU was being made into a movie or something, I can’t wait for that! HIDDEN BODIES was such a page turner for me, I finished it so quickly! I hope you love it as much as I did. Evelyn Hugo was awesome too, I think you’ll like it!

  • Graciela Fateche

    Sadly, I haven’t read any of your 2017 books! – except for the Harry Potter series, a while ago :) They all look interesting to me, but the ones that I’d love to read first are “Wonder” and “Milk and honey”. I still haven’t seen the movie of the first one, and I’m not going to do that until I read the book. And I’m not a big fan of poetry, but Rupi Kaur’s books are everywhere now, and I’m really curious! Have a wonderful 2018, Kayla, full of amazing reads!

    • Yes! Read WONDER before seeing the movie, it makes the movie so much more enjoyable :)
      Thanks Graciela!

  • Willow B

    Those books all sound so interesting, you read so many! I’ve had “Everything, Everything” on my TBR list for a while now, and I’m definitely keen to get my hands on a copy of “Why Not Me”.

    A few classics I love (if you haven’t read them and like really old fiction) are “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility”! My parents bought them for me a few years back and though they took me aaaaaages to get through, I quite liked them. Or if you want a good magical series, Skulduggery Pleasant is great! The first few books are somewhat simple, but they get much better as they go on.

    • I have The Bell Jar on my list for this year and I’d love to read some books by Jane Austen! I remember when I first read Little Women, I felt like I was reading it for years haha but I felt so accomplished once I got through it!

  • Ryan

    This is awesome! I love love love blog posts about books. I so wish that I could read 25 books in a year—maybe I’ll try it for 2018! I’ve been wanting to read “Everything, Everything” since I saw it in theatres and “milk and honey” has been on my wishlist for a loooooong time.

    • I loved WONDER! The movie was so good too but I’m glad I read the book first. Girl, you could totally read 25 books, just go for it! Even if you don’t hit 25 books, any books you do read are better than none. :)

  • I was thinking about reading ‘Without Merit’ this year, but I think I’ll go with ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ instead!

    • Without Merit was still a good book, I just felt like I couldn’t connect with the protagonist as much as I wanted to. Colleen Hoover is coming out with a new book again this year, I can’t wait to read it. But Evelyn Hugo was so great, I think you’d like it!

  • Juliette | For the Sake of Goo

    I commented over on Instagram, but I’m so glad I came over to check out your thoughts on the books! I’ve definitely added a few more to my TBR list!

  • I think TJR was my favorite author find of 2017! I had no idea how many amazing books she has written but I was obsessed with the Seven Husbands one, and then immediately read two of her other ones. Loved them all!

    • Which other TJR books did you read? I’ve only read Maybe in Another Life and One True Loves. One True Loves has definitely been my favorite so far!

  • Juliana Grace

    I loved the book Wonder! Book posts are my FAVORITE to read! Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway!

    Juliana Grace |

    • Book posts are my favorite too! Thanks Juliana!

  • I’m hoping to get Wonder read soon because the movie was really good! I also want to read Milk & Honey as I’ve never read poetry before either.

    Renae |

    • Milk and Honey was such a good read. I’d love to read more poetry in 2018. You definitely have to read WONDER, the book had a few differences from the movie but both were equally good!

  • I love all of your book picks especially the ones you ranked five stars!

    • Thanks Grace! Did you add any to your list for this year?

  • I love love loved reading Milk & Honey this year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Sun & Her Flowers. I also have Wonder on my book list for this year! I want to read What Shamu Taught Me now!

    • What Shamu Taught Me was such a weird read for me. Usually I have nothing good to say about books I’m required to read for class but this one was so interesting! I have The Sun and Her Flowers sitting on my bookshelf, I’m definitely going to get to that early in 2018!

  • You’ve read a lot of great books! I think we have similar reading tastes because I read a lot of these in the last two years as well!

    • Oh that’s awesome! I love when I meet my book soulmates :) Which ones have you read already?

  • DJohnson

    I would love to read Hidden Bodies and Goodbye, Vitamin.

    • Great choices! Hidden Bodies was SUCH a good book!

  • I read a few of these in 2017. I think Big Little Lies was my favorite out all of your choices. The show was great too, they did a fantastic job with casting. I added you on Goodreads!

    • Thanks Crystal! I’m working on watching Big Little Lies now!

  • Katherine Trull

    I am a big HP fan as well as Ruth Ware. I have read all of her books and would recommend in a dark dark wood since you enjoyed the woman in cabin 10!

    • I have In A Dark, Dark Wood on my bookshelf actually! Definitely going to try to get to it in 2018!

  • My Sprinkle of Prep

    I have recently just gotten back into reading, and have been obsessed with following all my favorite bloggers and staying updated on GoodReads, so when you posted your favorite books of 2017 I was over the moon excited to see what you read and to see your recommendations. One of my goals for this year is to read 20 books, so I wanted to start off on a good note and find some inspiration and some good reads. I have heard such great things about The Magnolia Story, and Fixer Upper is one of my favorite shows. I would love to read this book and add it to my must-reads list along with Big Little Lies which I think is currently on my list. This has been on my list of books I have wanted to read for a while now and just haven’t found the chance. Thanks so much for sharing, and thanks so much for putting together this giveaway! I love that your promoting reading on your blog and Instagram!
    megan |

    • Aww thanks so much Megan! I love reading and I want to encourage you guys to read more too. It’s such a great feeling when you reach your goal, good luck on reading 20 books I know you can do it!

  • Ooooh! I’m interested in Hidden Bodies (because of your great review!) and the Magnolia story!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    Books and the new year seem to go hand in hand! I hope you enjoy your reading adventure this year!

    • Thank you Kaitlyn! I love starting fresh with a new pile of books!

  • So many of these books look amazing! I’ve always wanted to read Wonder and have never gotten around to it. But Milk and Honey, Big Little Lies, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo all sound amazing. Probably will be adding all of those to a book wishlist :) Thanks for the post, Kayla!

    • Thanks Kaitlin! You chose so many good ones! WONDER was so good, definitely read that and then go see the movie! Both were so spectacular.

  • Lauren

    I love this post – so many amazing books!


    • Thanks Lauren! Any books in particular you want to read?

  • Rebecca

    Looks like a great year in books! I recently added THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO to my TBR, it sounds really good. Milk and Honey has also caught my attention, so I’d love to finally read it. Thanks for the chance! Happy reading :)

    • Evelyn Hugo was such a great book, you’d totally love it!

  • Kelsey Kennedy

    You have so many good choices! Milk and Honey sounds really good. I’d also like to read Big Little Lies since I loved the show so much!

    • Ahh yes! Definitely read Big Little Lies! I’m just starting on the show now but I’ve heard there are some differences between the book and the show.

  • These are such great options. I love Mindy and didn’t know she wrote a book. I really have been wanting to read Big Little Lies. The show was fabulous and I can only imagine that the book is even better.

    • Mindy Kaling has written two actually! This is her second one I’m pretty sure. Big Little Lies was so good! I’ve heard there are some slight differences between the show and the book so I definitely suggest reading it. I’ve just started watching the show now!

  • I really want to read more in 2018, so I’m definitely going to come back to this blog post and purchase some of these within the next couple of weeks. Thanks for your great insights! :)

    • Thank you Coral! Which books caught your eye?

  • OhCorrica

    The magnolia story and wonder are on my to read list.

    I loved Mindy’s book!

    • Mindy Kaling is the best! Her writing is great. The Magnolia Story was such a good read, I flew through it! Chip & Jo are my favs

  • Antonela Ríos

    BIG LITTLE LIES and WONDER! ♥ I want to read both of them! Thanks for the giveaway, lovely, and happy new year! ^^

    • Thank you Antonela! You made two great choices!

  • kaylee

    reading more books was a resolution of mine for the year!! i am actually adding a few of these books to my reading list!

  • i want to read big little lies and wonder. i just started reading more books this year in place of watching tv and movies so always on the hunt for some more reading material

    • Big Little Lies was such a good one and Wonder was incredibly heartwarming. Both great choices Amanda! I love that you’re reading more instead of watching TV, we should all aspire to do that!

  • Marissa Myhill

    So many good books! I just started my 2018 reading list (with a goal of 12 books) and was able to finish one already! Good luck in yours!

    • That’s amazing! You are definitely going to pass your goal if you keep it up! Good luck :)

  • Lauren Ruzinsky

    Hidden Bodies and The Seven Husbands sound the most interesting to me! Would love to win this giveaway!

  • Kayla Klontz

    Big Little Lies and Hidden bodies for me!

  • stacey trim


  • leighnichols

    The Husband’s Secret and The Woman in Cabin Ten

  • Ryan Smith

    id love to read

  • Holly W


  • September Ann Fink

    So many interesting books.

  • Anita

    The Husband secret and hidden bodies

  • Trisha Musgrave

    MODERN ROMANCE BY AZIZ ANSARI sounds like it would be pretty good! I’m intrigued by it!

  • Tiffany Greene

    The Husband’s Secret and The Woman in Cabin Ten caught my eye! Would love to read both of these! Thank you!

  • Hidden bodies

  • trichie

    My picks are Wonder and Without Merit!!!!!

  • S.a. Caldwell

    Wonder and Goodbye Vitamin

  • Amber Bourland

    Hidden Bodies sounds like exactly my sort of book, and The Woman in Cabin 10 sounds good, too. Those are the 2 I would have to choose.

  • kelly woods

    Without Merit, Wonder, thank you :)

  • Hidden Bodies sounds great.. I may have to get the first one you mentioned in order to understand it though.
    I’d probably like Wonder or The Magnolia Story.. equally so I’d be fine with either.

  • Harry Potter books are my everything. Without them I wouldn’t love reding so much. I cried a lot with them from book 5 hahaha

  • I have every intention of reading more this year! Definitely going to check some of these out!

  • So many amazing books! I’m hoping to read more this year!

  • i have to read so many of these this year but i did read Woman In Cabin 10 and loved it, especially the ending!

    Grace |