The Stealthy Book Nerd Review: 2017 FAVORITES!

One of the best things about being cancer-free this year? I finally have my voracious reading appetite back! It’s such a lovely thing having stacks (and stacks) of new books to read, perched cheerfully upon one’s nightstand every night. Besides baking, and being with my nearly 5 year old daughter, there’s no other feeling of contentment quite like it. And since I think that I’ve whipped through around 40+ titles this year, I wanted to gush about a couple of my favorites!


Firstly, can we please talk about Katherine Applegate’s newest middle reader, WISHTREE? Because THIS gem of a story is simply BRILLIANT! With all of the feels! Don’t let this little book of only 210 pages fool you. It’s astounding how easily this short little book throws so much wonder, and emotion, and truth your way.

Red, WISHTREE’s neighborhood oak tree, and a canny crow named Bongo, pull you right into their lives, with an ease that’s truly delightful. Red and Bongo are fast friends, and see everything there is to know about the neighborhood in which they reside. Couples meeting, and falling in love, families bringing home new babies, children playing hide & go seek together, families (eventually) packing up & moving away. Everything there is to know about the humans within their neighborhood, they know. Especially when it comes to their dreams, and longings, and desires. Their wishes. Because Red is the neighborhood’s Wishtree. Where once a year, most if not all of the neighborhood’s human families, adorn Red’s branches with ribbons, and hand written notes expressing their most fervent wishes. Some which come true, some which don’t. All of which Red proudly watches over, year upon year, as the neighborhood’s oldest tree.

A duty which, unexpectedly, compels her to break her oldest, unbroken rule. Because of a new family who recently moves into her neighborhood, who’s appearance stirs up something never seen before within Red’s human community. A family, who’s wish, needs a little help.

Cue the mischief. All wrapped up in this truly remarkable tale of humor, love, and a little bit of tangible magic.

WISHTREE is one of those books that, I believe, could change the world, one neighborhood at a time. One which I hope that every child who loves literature, and perhaps every adult, too, should read.


Sharon Cameron’s, THE FORGETTING, has been one of those series that I couldn’t put down, until the last page was read, from start to finish. I’ve always been a fan of Sharon Cameron’s middle readers, but this one has, by far, become my favorite of hers. Considering the political climate this year, since the election of our current US president, this science fictional tale struck a cord within me, in a deeply alarming way.

It’s two main characters, Nadia, and Gray, have lived there entire lives by a small book that hangs from each of their wrists. A handwritten book that contains the very essence of who they are. For written within these books are the names, ages, and details of everyone who has been, and still is, within their lives, as family, and friends.

But why are these books so important, so crucial, to the lives of both Nadia and Gray, as well as every inhabitant within the city of Canaan? Because every 12 years, something terrifying occurs upon the planet. Something that causes everyone within Canaan to forget everything about themselves, and everyone else. The Forgetting. Which, for centuries, was combated by the citizens of Canaan, by their iron clad belief in the stories, and the memories, within these small books.

Until Nadia realizes that something is different, that something is wrong within herself, and her Forgetting. Something that connects her to Gray, the son of the city’s blacksmith, in a way that throws them headfirst within a dangerous web of secrets, treachery, and lies. In a wholly unexpected, truly shocking way.

What would you do if you found out that your entire life was a lie?


Strangely enough, even though I usually love stories of time travel, and magic, I almost passed up reading, THE LAST MAGICIAN, by Lisa Maxwell. This was not a new YA that was on my TBR list. But due to being on a reading freeze, while waiting for the publication of 3 upcoming TRB titles on my list, I happened upon this book while perusing a local bookstore’s YA section. And WOW, am I TRULY glad that I did!

I love how gritty, yet utterly realistic that this story, and it’s characters are. How it’s heroine thief, Esta, feels like a living, breathing entity, one who could easily leap straight out from the page. Her journey through time, from modern day New York, to the crumbling dangers of Old New York, bring her to an existence where magic goes hand in hand within the daily framework of 1902. Esta’s mission? To steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order, a brutal group of sorcerers vying for absolute control over the city’s dwindling population of Mageus. But in order to steal the Book, and save modern day New York for a hopeless future, she must team up with the one person who could destroy her only hope of returning back to her own time: the Magician.

A MUST READ for any, and all fans of time travel, and history. With enough twists and turns saturated within each page, this is a book that you’ll be reading long into the night. And morning. Trust me.

So tell me, what was your favorite book, be it children’s or adult, of 2017? I’d love to know!

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