The Best Books I Read In 2017.

Happy Holidays You Guys!

I can’t believe CHRISTMAS is only a few days away.

I feel like I literally JUST started my “2017 Reading Challenge”, and here we are at the very end already. I lost track with the Challenge, some months ago… but I read more books than I ever thought possible this year.

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I read so many groundbreaking, shocking, and wonderful books this year.. in all genres. I also read some not so great books, and some only “ok” ones. This blog post is all about celebrating the BEST of the best of 2017… and let me tell you it was almost impossible to choose only 10.


I finally settled on 10, in a few different genres. I will be leaving a list of some VERY close to making the “Top 10” honorable mentions as well.

So without further rambling.. off we go…

The Best Books I Read In 2017.

(Most of the books.. actually probably ALL of them, I have already previously reviewed and talked about on my Blog. I won’t bore you with a long review, about all my personal thoughts on each one.. because I’ve already done that for each one.. over the past year. I will write a brief few thoughts, as well as attach the Good-Reads Plot Summary.. in case you guys missed my previous posts, and want to know more about each book, xo.)




1.) “Animal Farm”

By, George Orwell

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”


This was actually the very first book I read in 2017. I can’t believe 2017 was the FIRST time I’d read this one.. given most high-schools seem to study it at some point. I absolutely loved every single word of this book. Such a powerful, haunting and symbolic book. So deep, and so disturbing… some of the parallels this story makes… you will never ever be able to forget. Probably one of my all-time favorite books.. of all time.

“Animal Farm remains our great satire on the darker face of modern history.”—Malcolm Bradbury

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors)

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 2.) “The Time Machine”

By, H.G Wells


“Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.” 

This book blew my fucking MIND. Like “Animal Farm”, this classic is super short.. and I read it within a few mind-blowing hours. This is basically the story of Time Travel… of a man who makes a Time Machine.. travels forwards, backwards.. and ends up somewhere insane. Add in the terror of the dark and the MURLOCKS.. and it’s just fantastic. Such a brilliant story, and it was written in 1895!!!!!!! That is SO crazy to me. It 100% holds up, and is one of the most amazing Time Travel stories I’ve ever read.

Good-Reads Plot Summary 

(“I’ve had a most amazing time….”)
(So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machinewill continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.)


Non-Fiction/Memoir/Self-Help (Sort Of)

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1.) “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside “Room”, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”

By, Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell


“What I was sure of was that Tommy had something I’d never seen in anyone else: a blind and unhinged and totally unfounded ambition. He was so out of touch, so lacking in self-awareness, yet also wildly captivating. That night there was this aura around Tommy- an aura of the possible.” 

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This book has been getting a TON of buzz lately… mainly because the Golden Globe Nominated movie starring James & Dave Franco.. just hit the theaters, to RAVE reviews. James Franco gives a career defining performance as Tommy Wiseau. When this film was screened at the “South by Southwest” Film Festival, it received a standing ovation.

This is the true story, about the man.. and the truth behind one of the “Worst Movies Ever Made.. Turned Legendary Cult Film Favorite.. “The Room”. James Franco plays Tommy and his real-life brother Dave Franco plays Greg Sestero.. Tommy’s Co-Star/Best Friend.. and Author of this book “The Disaster Artist”.

You don’t have to have seen the infamous film “The Room” to appreciate this book. It’s absolutely hilarious, and I can’t wait to see the film. Seth Rogen also stars.. so that should be amazing.

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Good-Reads Plot Summary

(From the actor who lived through the most improbable Hollywood success story, with an award-winning narrative nonfiction writer, comes the inspiring, fascinating and laugh-out-loud story of a mysteriously wealthy outsider who sundered every road block in the Hollywood system to achieve success on his own terms—the making of The Room, “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly).

In 2003, an independent film called The Room—written, produced, directed, and starring a very rich social misfit of indeterminate age and origin named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Now in its tenth anniversary year, The Room is an international phenomenon to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.

Readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love. While it does unravel mysteries for fans, The Disaster Artist is more than just an hilarious story about cinematic hubris: It is ultimately a surprisingly inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of a supremely enigmatic man who will capture your heart.)


2.) “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”

By, Mark Manson


“Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore.” 

This is one of the greatest, funniest books.. I’ve ever read. I don’t normally EVER read Self-Help books.. unless I’m sitting on the floor at Chapters, just having a guilty flip through one. This book.. while “technically” Self-Help.. is really more like a guide on how to stop giving a “Fuck” about what everyone/the Internet/your Facebook friends/ The World.. thinks of you. It’s so liberating and funny, and just such a needed read. I literally bought everyone I know this book for Christmas, because I loved it THAT much. Do yourself a favor and get this one in 2018.

“Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.” 

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Mason doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.)

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3.) “We Are Never Meeting In Real Life”

By, Samantha Irby


“Real love feels less like a throbbing, pulsing animal begging for its freedom and beating against the inside of my chest and more like, ‘Hey, that place you like had fish tacos today and i got you some while i was out’, as it sets a bag spotted with grease on the dining room table. It’s not a game you don’t understand the rules of, or a test you never got the materials to study for. It never leaves you wondering who could possibly be texting at 3 am. Or what you could possibly do to make it come home and stay there. It’s fucking boring, dude. I don’t walk around mired in uneasiness, waiting for the other shoe to drop. No parsing through spun tales about why it took her so long to come back from the store. No checking her emails or calling her job to make sure she’s actually there. No sitting in my car outside her house at dawn, to make sure she’s alone when she leaves. This feels safe, and steadfast, and predictable. And secure. It’s boring as shit. And it’s easily the best thing I’ve ever felt.” 

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This wonderful little collection of Essay’s is the latest from the hilarious Blogger & Comedienne Samantha Irby. Every single story inside is hilarious, and is somewhat reminiscent of Jenny Lawson’s book “Furiously Happy.  Her stories are so relateable, and so deeply clever & funny. Her ability to laugh at herself, is infectious. I highly recommend this one if you need a good laugh.

Good-Reads Plot Summary 

(Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette–she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”–detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms–hang in there for the Costco loot–she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.)


Fiction/Psychological Thrillers/ Mystery

(My FAV Genre.. and also the category that has the MOST of my yearly fav’s.)


1.) “Heather The Totality”

By, Matthew Weiner


“despite all the machinery of civilization devoted to splitting up and moving on, Mark couldn’t imagine the strength needed to actually do such a thing.” 

This is officially the BEST book I’ve read in 2017. This book completely blew me away, and I couldn’t be more impressed and disturbed by it. This book is quite short, and I read it in a few hours. A few stressful and intense hours. The author of this book is the creator of the popular TV show “Mad Men”, and this is his debut novel. What a fucking triumph.. it’s honestly perfection. The dead on insight in this book, and the unflattering reality of our own thoughts, was captured perfectly. Especially when reading from one of the more disturbed characters POV. This book hints at something awful, and then completely takes you there. Would 100% aggressively recommend!!!

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(The Breakstone family arrange themselves around their daughter Heather, and the world seems to follow: beautiful, compassionate, entrancing, she is the greatest blessing in their lives of Manhattan luxury. But as Heather grows-and her empathy sharpens to a point, and her radiance attracts more and more dark interest-their perfect existence starts to fracture. Meanwhile a very different life, one raised in poverty and in violence, is beginning its own malign orbit around Heather.

Matthew Weiner-the creator of Mad Men-has crafted an extraordinary first novel of incredible pull and menace. Heather, The Totality demonstrates perfectly his forensic eye for the human qualities that hold modern society together, and pull it apart.)


2.) “Everything I Never Told You”

By, Celeste Ng


“The things that go unsaid are often the things that eat at you–whether because you didn’t get to have your say, or because the other person never got to hear you and really wanted to.” 

This is an incredibly gripping missing child investigative story….. while also being a very well paced story about family.. and all the dark sides to that. I couldn’t put this one down, it was SO intense. Really loved this.. I can’t wait to read and review her next book “Little Fires Everywhere”.

Good-Reads Plot Summary 

(Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. 

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.)

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3.) “You Will Know Me”

By, Megan Abbott


“…like my own granddad used to say, if you get down to the nub of it, people don’t change.

That’s not true, Katie thought. Not at all. Everyone changed, all the time. That was what was so hard.” 

THIS book was crazy. It was basically a thriller about the two very intense “Stage Parents”… of a very talented (Olympic hopeful) young Gymnast…. It was also about secrets, lies, deception.. and overall a bizarre sort of mix of a “coming of age” story.. and also a murder mystery. I used to do Gymnastics myself as a teenager (I wasn’t very good at all) and it was interesting to kind of read about the darker side of the sport.

“We never know, none of us, what love’ll do to us.” 

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.)

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4.) “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

By, Iain Reid


“Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.”

This is probably a tie for BEST OF 2017, and I can’t even begin to explain how good it is. This was SUCH a mind-fuck!!! THIS book was wild and so tense/terrifying. I can’t stop obsessively thinking about it. I picked this up in Whistler, and read the entire thing in one sitting. This is probably one of most critically acclaimed new books of the last year or so as well. I can’t count the number of friends I’ve had suggest it to me too, so thanks you guys! Loved every page. It’s one of those books, that months later I’m STILL thinking about.. going over and over the twists trying to figure out WHAT happened. It’s like Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” crazy. It was really truly horrifying.. in the best way.

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(You will be scared. But you won’t know why…

(I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It’s always there. Always.

Jake once said, “Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.”

And here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t want to be here.

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned. 

In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller, debut novelist Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude. Reminiscent of Jose Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about KevinI’m Thinking of Ending Things is an edgy, haunting debut. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel pulls you in from the very first page…and never lets you go.)

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And Last But NOT Least…

5.) “Fierce Kingdom”

By, Gin Phillips


“You cannot know a wild thing.” 

This thriller was more than a read.. it was like an experience. The entire thing unfolds within one day, and it’s SO horrifying and tense. It’s a story about a Mother trying to save her Son, during a horrific event at the local Zoo. It’s a story about survival, and about motherhood.. and it unfolds so masterfully. Loved this one so much.

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.

Joan’s intimate knowledge of her son and of the zoo itself—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.

A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?)

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Very Close To Making The Top 10

1.) Behind Her Eyes, By, Sarah Pinbourough 

This book had one of the most INSANE twists I’ve ever read in a book. Blew my mind. Amazing, amazing book. If you read this, don’t you DARE spoil the twist for anyone.. it’s one of those books you need to go into completely blind. Enjoy!

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Good-Reads Plot Summary

(Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?)

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets)

2.) “Fever Dream”

By, Samantha Schweblin


A very dream-like, haunting little short story. One part beautiful magical realism.. other part twisted thriller… Overall just such a mesmerizing weird little story. Loved it so much.

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Good-Reads Plot Summary

(A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.)

3.) Final Girls

By, Riley Sager


Stephen King gave this book an amazing review, and this initally drew me to it. This book was like every amazing 80’s slasher film you have ever seen… focusing on the idea of the “Final Girls”. Meaning how in most Slasher Films, there is always that one “Final Girl” left at the end. This is the story of what life is like for a real life “Final Girl”, and it’s also a twisted thriller about someone hunting down and trying to kill not only her.. but other remaining “Final Girls” from other mass murders. I really enjoyed this fresh take on such an overused film trope.

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(“The Final Girls need you. . . .  The Final Girls are tough, everything survivors should be.  But the new threat is clever, ominous, even closer than you suspect. You are about to gasp. You might drop the book. You may have to look over your shoulder. But you must keep reading.  This is the best book of 2017.”—Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Find Her

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.)

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4.) “The Psychopath Test”

By, Jon Ronson


Amazing Non-Fiction Book. Journalist Jon Ronson goes DEEP into the world of Psychopaths. He interviews Serial Killers, CEO’S, Psychiatric Patients… all of whom are considered to be “Psychopaths”. It also delves into the science, stories, and consequences of such individuals. I can’t even begin to explain how FASCINATING this book was. Very highly recommend.

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed on on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. The Psychopath Test is the New York Times bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry.

When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world’s top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he’s sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath– a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fueled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers.

Along the way, Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness.)

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5.) “Only Ever Yours”

By, Louise O’Neill


I can hardly even put into words, how deeply this book disturbed me. This is a book set in a futuristic society, where women are raised in boarding-school type “institutes”… with the only point of their lives is, to be perfect for men. To be hopefully chosen by the high-society men as their “companions”. The entire story is told from the main character Freya’s perspective.. as she spends her days dieting, and trying to be prettier, thinner.. better, than her other classmates. This book was so upsetting to read.. so dark and disturbing… and I just can’t even say anything else about it. It’s a must read. Very unsettling though.. and not for the faint of heart.

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . . )

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Thank you All So Much For Reading <3

2017 was a great Reading Year.. and I can’t WAIT to start fresh with a brand new stack of books.. in 2018. Only a few sleeps left of the year.

Happy Holidays Everyone,



All Photography @Carly Ingram Photography 2017




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