My Fave Reads of 2017: Amish, Speculative, YA, Timeslip, Nonfiction, and the Kitchen Sink

January 6, 2018 Amish, Best Books 2017, Christian, nonfiction, YA 21

As we wrap up the week’s series of ‘best of 2017’ posts, I am left with a hodgepodge – a potpourri, if you will – of categories that I couldn’t quite get up to 10. Mostly because I just didn’t read that many in these categories this past year. 2017 was very contemporary and historical heavy when it came to books I was able to read. But there were still some real standouts in other categories that deserve some time in the spotlight too!


The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
RELEASE DATE: May 9, 2017


My Review

The Beloved Hope Chest is heartwrenching in its grief and heartwarming in its love. For fans of the series, everything from previous books will fall into place so beautifully. For those meeting the Fisher family for the first time, you will fall in love – and immediately want to catch up on the books you missed after you’ve finished this one. It’s a testament to patient love as well as the importance of prayer and perseverance. Most of all, it is a story of hope where none seems to exist, a story that entertains while touching the deepest places of a reader’s heart, and the perfect ending to a beloved series!

Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport
PUBLISHER: Shiloh Run Press
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2017


My Review

Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport is intriguing in its history and may cause some modern day soul-searching, too. What a thought-provoking book. Immediately after finishing Gladden the Heart, I wanted to go back and read certain sections again because they gave me much to mull over in my own heart. In the Amish Turns of Time series, I have been most intrigued by the Amish and English interactions, especially as one causes the other to adjust their firmly-held ideals. Gladden the Heart is no exception, and I know I will be thinking about it for a long while.

Naomi’s Hope by Jan Drexler
RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2017


My Review

An adventurous little boy. A grieving widower wrestling with his faith. A single mom struggling with trust. A nasty man with selfish motives. And a settlement of people who have left home and the comfort of the familiar to establish a new community with a whole different set of challenges. The honest questions, struggles, and emotions of life will resonate with a wide variety of readers, and the plot keeps you turning the pages to see how it all plays out.

His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray
PUBLISHER: Avon Inspire
RELEASE DATE: July 4, 2017


My Review

Might not want to read this one at night!! But do make sure you read it! Between the gossip flying left and right, the multiple suspects, the intriguing subplots, and the sweet message of faith I couldn’t put it down. Shelley Shepard Gray writes with warmth and grace, even when the story turns dark, reiterating the message that hope and healing are always within reach. The suspense angle in His Guilt is both chilling and heartwrenching. When I thought I had it figured out, Gray would write a scene with just the right amount of vagueness to make me question my astute sleuthing skills. The truly warped villain and a community on edge will keep YOU on edge, and heaven forbid anyone try to talk to you during one especially riveting scene.


Unraveling by Sara Ella
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: July 11, 2017


My Review

Unraveling is brilliantly crafted and charmingly written. With nods to pop culture and classic literature, there is something here for every reader. Humor shows up at just the right moments, and Eliyana makes a completely delightful heroine. The love triangle that I agonized over in Unblemished is, in some ways, more clear cut in Unraveling and more complex in others. AND I LOVE IT!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaa!!! I’m still flailing. And grinning. And crying a little inside. (And this from a person who as a rule hates love triangles.)

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2017


My Review

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow may have taken me a few chapters to fully embrace, but once it hooked me I couldn’t put it down. The characters are unique and layered, the plot full of surprises, and the worldbuilding is dimensional and creative. Keep in mind as you’re reading that there’s another book to come, so not everything will be explained or tied up by the end of this one. And given the riveting twists and turns in this installment, I don’t think it’s safe to assume anything about book #2!

Also check out these two awesome YA reads that I reviewed for RT Book Reviews:


Timeslip novels are stories with a dual timeline, a present day thread and a historical thread usually tied together by an object or a journal, etc. This particular genre is quickly become my favorite go-to for a compelling read!

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2017


My Review

Two stories. Two women. Connected by time and separated by it, all at once. Tenley’s wit and adorableness (in spite of her searching heart) endears readers immediately, and Jonas’ ability to ‘wit’ right back seals the deal. Her growth through the story is skillfully and gently penned, the simplicity of grace vibrant against the backdrop of faith. The Writing Desk is fun, tender, heartwarming, and inspiring. All wrapped up in a captivating story that you’ll want to hug when finished reading. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) One of Hauck’s best, and that’s a high standard to meet since everything she writes is exquisite. This one will be on my favorites list for years to come!

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017


My Review

Since I reviewed this book for RT Book Reviews, I am not allowed to reproduce a snippet here on my blog. But click on the ‘my review’ link to read it in its entirety.

Also check out reviews from Britt Reads Fiction, A Baker’s Perspective, and The Engrafted Word.

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Paperbacks
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017


My Review

The Cottingley Secret is beautifully written, with history and magical realism weaving a captivating spell between the pages. A hint of sweet romance, and a tender message of legacy and family makes the story all the more compelling. Olivia is an engaging heroine, and the cast of supporting characters (both past and present) will settle in your heart and linger for a while. If you like Sarah Addison Allen, Kate Morton, Kristy Cambron, and/or Melanie Dobson, this needs to be high on your TBR list!

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2017


My Review

Since I reviewed this book for RT Book Reviews, I am not allowed to reproduce a snippet here on my blog. But click on the ‘my review’ link to read it in its entirety.

Also check out reviews from Melony Teague, Iola Goulton, and Best Reads.

All of You by Sarah Monzon
PUBLISHER: Radiant Publications
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2017


My Review

Sarah Monzon’s novels just keep getting better! Her research and attention to detail is clear, giving life to her characters and to their stories. The message of trusting God with the life you’ve been given, with the bumps in the road and the redirections, is naturally incorporated and authentic. And the romance – tender and fan-inducing all at once – is not to be missed.

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: May 9, 2017


My Review

Since I reviewed this book for RT Book Reviews, I am not allowed to reproduce a snippet here on my blog. But click on the ‘my review’ link to read it in its entirety.

Also check out reviews from Blooming With Books, Faithfully Bookish, and Remembrancy.

Check out my reviews of these nonfiction reads by clicking the covers!



Oh… and I did promise you the kitchen sink too, so here ya go:

You’re welcome 🙂

Tune in to my Goodreads Giveaways and Weekly Update post (around 1pm Eastern) for MY FAVE BOOK OF THE WHOLE YEAR!! 🙂

What about you? What were some of your fave reads in these categories from 2017?



21 Responses to “My Fave Reads of 2017: Amish, Speculative, YA, Timeslip, Nonfiction, and the Kitchen Sink”

  1. Heidi

    So honored that you included “Freedom’s Ring” in this, Carrie! Thank you! And look at all these beautiful books…my to-read list is growing. Happy New Year!

  2. Sarah

    Some good ones here! I’d add The Uncloaked trilogy to the speculative list (and more but those were pinned in 2017 but the others weren’t….I’m playing make up in that genre)

  3. Karen Sargent

    Definitely some titles for the TBR. Love seeing Heidi Chiavaroli’s Freedom Ring here. I met Heidi at my first ACFW conference. How exciting to follow her journey to her debut!

  4. Savanna Kaiser

    Another great list, Carrie! Some of my favorites are here too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing a link to my review of “Freedom’s Ring”. I’m off now to add the other new-to-me books to my TBR list. 🙂

  5. Melissa

    In 27 Days sounds interesting sounds like it is in the vain of Quantum Leap, but I wonder why Death would help her.

  6. Cafinated Reads (Molly)

    Fantastic post! I am definitely adding a few of these to my ever growing TBR list. I love Amy and Shelley’s books that you had listed here. They are among my favorite Amish authors. Can’t wait to see what you list as your favorite books for this 2018 year!

    • Carrie

      Oh goodness…. don’t send me whimpering back to my corner, Molly! I’m pretending I don’t have to come up with a faves list for next year LOL

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