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5 Movies & 5 Books We Loved in 2017

by Beth Cranford

Hello, and welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I live in the past, because sometimes that’s easier than living in the present.

I kid. Mostly. But only about the living in the past thing — it really is Throwback Thursday, and I really am going to take you through five books and five movies that were released in 2017 that I loved.

Why? It’s good to revisit the things we love. Call it a form of self-care, a book-hangover cure, or something else entirely, taking a step back and saying, “Yes, I loved this and here’s why,” surely can’t be a bad thing. So, let’s talk 2017. It was the year of the Women’s March (those hats!), Fyre Festival (yikes), fidget spinners (I love them still, IDC if I’m four years too late on this trend), and the Royal Wedding (still loving keyword #Royalty, BTW). It was also the year I fell in love with these books and movies…

BOOK: Eight by E.S. Carter

Release Date: June 13, 2017

“I’m not the Josh from before, and I won’t ever be him again because I was one-half of a whole. Now I’m one-half of nothing.”

Oh, you didn’t hear me sobbing my way through this book? Lucky you. It only broke my heart into pieces. You know, shattered me as I watched a new-and-newly-single father battle with facing the future without the love of his life by his side. It’s gorgeously written and it hurts, but thankfully, E.S. Carter managed to repair my heart in time for Josh to find love again. Still, make sure you read this one with tissues. You will need them, and I will say I told you so.

Release Date: June 2, 2017

I saw this one in the theatre with my husband — remember when going to the cinema was a thing we did all the time without restrictions and whatnot to worry about?! We got the last two seats in the place and I spilled Coke down my front about five minutes in. Didn’t stop me from loving to see a badass heroine on the Big Screen. And the equal second best Chris, too. So much fun to watch, and definitely one worth rewatching for the excitement and the escape. (And the Chris, I mentioned that, right?)

BOOK: Rebel by Rebecca Yarros

Release Date: August 28, 2017

“He kissed me a step past breathless, a moment longer than forever, until he had me arching in to him, everything forgotten but the slide of his tongue and the subtle caress of his hands.”

This was the final installment in Rebecca Yarros’ Renegades series, and if it’s one you haven’t read yet, you need to stop what you’re doing and start reading. I loved the whole series, but this was the perfect ending — a strong heroine hiding her pain, a so, so swoony hero who’s forbidden but a fool for love, and an edge-of-your-seat story that’ll kept you breathless until the last page.

Release Date: January 6, 2017*

Technically, this one came out in 2016 (Christmas Day, in fact), but the wide release was early January and what a way to start the year. The cast alone made this one worth watching, but when you then take in the premise, it becomes a must-watch. Based on the book of the same name, it follows the Black female mathematicians who faced discrimination, broke barriers, and helped America win the space race. Watch the movie. Buy the book. Marvel at these incredible women.

BOOK: Drumline by Stacy Kestwick

Release Date: September 3, 2017

“I wasn’t lost.”

“But I was, Reese.” I opened my eyes and searched her face. “I didn’t know where you were, so I was.”

I read a lot of books, and therefore, by extension, I forget a lot of books. I have seriously read all the way through a book knowing I’ve read and enjoyed it before without recognizing any of the details. THIS IS NOT THAT BOOK. I remember all the things about Laird and Reese. Their steamy, sexy connection. Their back-and-forth flirty banter. Their relatability and vulnerability. I most especially remember feeling happy and in love when I closed this one, and if that’s not a feeling worth revisiting, I don’t know what is.

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Release Date: November 3, 2017

I am an absolute sucker for Marvel movies. And this one is one of my favorites. From that opening scene, to the cameos of Matt Damon and Luke Hemsworth, to the appearance of Cate Blanchett looking GLORIOUS at Hela, there is just so much to *ahem* marvel at. I’ve watched this one at least six times now, possibly more. I will watch it six more times, at least. It’s good for a laugh, for some color, for some action, and for any scene that has Loki and Thor together, because that’s my fantasy.

BOOK: Crave Me by Cecy Robson

Release Date: February 28, 2017

“She wants me to miss her, to crave her touch and her smile. She didn’t have to write it. It’s something I do every time she leaves me.”

The O’Brien siblings are absolutely hilarious when they are all together, and incredibly heartfelt and swoony when they’re falling in love. Wren is the only sister, and she’s strong, sassy, and not afraid to speak her mind or stand up for herself. Her meet-cute with Evan is simple but effective in creating their chemistry and giving them a reason to meet again, and as the story takes shape, it’s just so . . . *sighs happily* It also has a unique, interesting, and action-packed ending, and will make you crave more of this series. Don’t hesitate. They’re all great! (Hey, I rhymed!)

MOVIE: Coco

Release Date: November 22, 2017

I try to take my kids to all of the new Pixar and Disney movies when they come out, and this one was no exception. Except in that I might’ve been even more excited than they were. (I think my then 4-year-old was a little freaked out my all the skeletons, TBH.) And boy, I had good reason to be excited, because it was fantastic. Creative and clever, with a twist I didn’t see coming, and great music. It was a joy to watch even when it made me cry — and yes, I cried — and I have watched it since sans kids just to experience that joy once again.

BOOK: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Release Date: February 28, 2017

“It was wild and ugly and beautiful and exactly what I needed.

We consumed each other, and I forgot to be afraid.”

You’ll find this book at the intersection of Sarina Bowen’s True North and Brooklyn Bruisers series, and it’s a fabulous crossover. While I have a complicated (but loving) relationship with secret baby books, this one is done right — and it was a unpredictable as it was relatable and interesting. Seeing Dave and Zara interact with one another was captivating, revisiting characters from the two above series was rewarding, and all in all, it was one of those books that you close wishing there was more, even while knowing it was perfect exactly as it was.

Release Date: June 23, 2017

Good romcoms (movie ones, not book ones) have been thin on the ground for a long time now, but this was a notable exception. I had no idea going into it what it was about, nor that it was based on Kumail Nanjiani’s real life love story. Which, PS, just made me love it all the more because REAL LIFE LOVE is wonderful. It’s quirky and funny, but it also packs a punch, and whoa, I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally invested I let myself become in Kumail and Emily’s story. I saw it with a girlfriend, but convinced my husband to watch it with me. He’ll probably deny it, but he enjoyed it, too, so feel free to compel your significant other to watch it with you. It’s one for everyone.

About Beth

Beth Cranford was born and raised in Australia, but followed her heart (and her husband) to the United States in her late 20s. As the mother of two kids, she’s learned that you can turn anything into a song and that slime does not belong in carpeted areas (or polite society). You can most often find her with her Kindle in hand, listening to Taylor Swift on repeat, or spending way too many hours playing Animal Crossing.

Follow her @BethCranford on B+M Bites.

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