Bookworm Approved: Best Books of 2017

Looking for a good way to escape the cold this winter? How about cracking open a good book and diving into a world where the cold has vanished?

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

This year many spectacular novels were written. Number one on The New York Times Bestseller List for seven weeks is Turtles All the Way Down By John Green. Green illustrates 16-year-old Aza Holmes’ search for fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett as she struggles with OCD.

This book presents a window into the mind of what a teen struggling with mental illness might have to deal with every day.

I am not your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez also deals with mental illness and is a 2017 National Book Award Finalist. Sánchez tells the story of Julia, who must put her family back together after the death of of her perfect sister, Olga. She does this while being constantly criticized by her mother, ignored by her father and struggling to come to terms her mental illness.

The book features complex characters, love, frustration, Latinx elements and important issues such as mental illness.

I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson narrates the life of two artistic twins, Jude and Noah. This book details a story of first love, betrayal and family told by both the twins but from different points in time.

Chloe Carroll, freshman, loved I’ll Give You the Sun.

“I really liked how Noah thought of art pieces he could make out of each situation… I think it really added to the story,” says Carroll.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, follows Starr as she battles the thick political and emotional waters following the police shooting of unarmed black teen Khalil. The Hate U Give has been on The New York Times Bestseller List for 36 weeks.

Kara Watson, Carrboro’s Librarian, highly recommends the book to everyone.

“I think that [The Hate U Give] sheds light on huge issues — not only police violence but institutionalized racism… I think everyone should read it.” said Watson.

What Girls are Made of by Flana K. Arnold

Similar to I’ll Give You the Sun is What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold. The book is a 2017 National Book Award Finalist, and deals with what love means to main character Nina Faye. Nina learned at a young age that there was no such thing as unconditional love; then, when the boyfriend she would do anything for breaks up with her, she struggles to learn what love means.

The book pushes boundaries and teaches readers about issues that teens need to understand and learn.

It has been a great year for books — especially ones that touch on important issues — and these are only a few of many. No matter what genre or author you chose, any of these books would be a great choice for these winter months.