Best Fiction 2017 Edition

(Note from Ernie: Just like some of the other pages that you may have seen around the site, I’ve given a reader friend the opportunity to step in here and offer some of her picks for the best fiction 2017 has to offer. These are timeless novels that can be read no matter what year it is. Enjoy!)

In this list, we’re going to explore YA, fantasy, literary fiction, and romance to find the best books you may have missed out on in previous years! If “read more” is your New Year’s resolution, you’ve come to the right place to find gripping books that will get you into the habit once and for all.

(Click each cover to title to jump to the Amazon page)

the lightning thiefThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This is the first book in the popular Young Adult series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Twelve year old Percy Jackson, who may quickly become a great hero for fellows with learning disorders and conditions like dyslexia and ADHD, discovers that he is the only living child of the sea god Poseidon.

It turns out that Greek mythology was true and these gods continue to rule over the world. Occasionally, they will bear half-human children with special powers, like Percy. Due to a misunderstanding between Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus, a war is looming closer and closer, which these children are fated to try to prevent by retrieving Zeus’ lightning bolt.

While this book was intended for kids around the age of the hero, it’s great reading for adults as well. The style is simple, but the plot is gripping. You won’t regret that you picked up this one.

 

american godsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman

This fantastical book has almost the same premise as The Lightning Thief, yet is much more adult. In Neil Gaiman’s pantheistic contemporary classic, Shadow is quietly serving out his jail sentence for armed robbery when he’s let out early.

His wife Laura has died in a car accident. Shadow is then offered a job as a bodyguard by the one-eyed Mr. Wednesday, who turns out to be an old god eking out a living. You see, gods lose and gain power depending on who is worshiping them, and the new, technological gods are beating out the more traditional gods. A storm, or a war, is coming.

Maybe it’s a little long, but this road-trip-style narrative will keep your nose in the book from beginning to end.

 

extremely loud incredibly closeExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is the hero of this fable-like magical realism novel. His father died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and his mother neglects him. That leaves him all the time in the world for adventures after he discovers in his father’s closet a key to a safe deposit box in an envelope marked “Black.” He starts visiting all the people named Black that he can find in a quest to learn about the mysterious key. The novel deals not only with the destruction of the Twin Towers but also the firebombing of Dresden.

Many fans believe this novel to be a sympathetic portrayal of a child with autism. He suffers from insomnia, depression (called “heavy boots”), and panic attacks, meaning that neurodivergent folks of many types will have the chance to identify with this clever kid.

 

looking for alaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green

John Green is a busy man. He’s a videoblogger and Twitter user extraordinaire. This was his debut novel, proving that he has many, many talents.

It’s challenging to sum up this book without giving it away, but I can say with certainty that this novel deserves the praise it has received. Miles Halter, or Pudge, moves from Florida to Alabama to attend school. There, he’s introduced by his roommates to Alaska Young, and the story progresses from there. It’s a poignant snapshot of teenage life, leaving any heartbroken or grieving teen feeling like they’re not alone. Together, we join the characters in seeking a Great Perhaps.

 

bel cantoBel Canto by Ann Patchett

Soprano Roxanne Coss has gone to a small Latin American country to sing. While she is in the vice-president’s home, it is taken over by terrorists. However, the president stayed home on the night of the event, and therefore the terrorists are left without a target. While this leads to a calm in the middle of the narrative (but not a boring one!), the ending is one that neither group could have wanted or foreseen.

This book is loosely inspired by a real four-month siege by the Tupac Amaru guerrilla group, occurring in Peru in 1996.

If relationship-focused literary fiction is your thing but you’re looking for a thriller, look no further beyond the list of best fiction 2017 has to offer.

 

the golden compassThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

If you think you’ve seen all that YA fantasy has to offer, you haven’t read the Golden Compass.

In a low-magic steampunky alternate universe, Lyra lives almost ferally in Oxford. The world is controlled by a church, and physics (which features centrally in the story) is called experimental theology. The biggest difference, however, is that people’s souls manifest outside of themselves in animal forms called daemons. Before puberty, these daemons can switch forms but slowly settle on one shape to remain for the rest of their companions’ lives.

Mischievous Lyra overhears her uncle talking about his secret investigation into the nature of something called Dust. Elsewhere, “Gobblers” are kidnapping children. Lyra herself is sent away from Oxford to live with a beautiful woman and is given a mysterious instrument called an alethiometer (the titular Golden Compass). From there, her story snowballs into an epic tale that explores questions of religion, morality, and human nature.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Best Fiction 2017 Edition. Keep in mind that we may update the reading options as we get further into the year. Have you read any of these choices? What fiction would you recommend?¬†Share this with a reading friend!

Or, if you didn’t find what you were looking for, check out¬†The Best Books to Read in 2017.