Hello, and welcome to this prestigious Book Riot awards ceremony where we honour the best of the best 2017 releases. These are like the Oscars, but for books!
The Happiest read of the year
When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
A fun, well-written, one-sitting read that will leave you with a soaring heart and a silly grin on your face. Dimple and Rishi’s romance is honestly something I have held on to during the especially bad days this year gave us.
The Rules of Magic
by Alice Hoffman
“For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.”
This prequel to Practical Magic is arguably even more enchanting, and the Owens family is the witchy coven we all wish we could join.
Hot Mess Detective
Aza Holmes from Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Aza’s trying to solve the mystery of a fugitive billionaire, but her obsessive thought spirals make her unable to focus or pay attention to anything outside of her own brain, which makes her a terrible detective.
Dangerous Ends by Alex Segura
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast: The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk
Best first-timer novel
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
This book, this story, the Carter family: it took my breath away, and I don’t think there’s ever been a faster movie adaptation! Angie Thomas truly deserves all the accolades she has received for a stunning debut.
we want to go to there, aka fictional world to move to
by Mohsin Hamid
When I first read an advance copy of this book in 2016, Nadia and Saeed’s world was not this real to me, and I wouldn’t have wished it on anyone. Given the year that we’ve had, however, we might as well get the magic doors along with all the tragedy.
Mina, from Girls Made of Snow and Glass
by Melissa Bashardoust
In most Snow White retellings, the evil stepmother is clearly evil and unsympathetic. But instead, Bashardoust presents us with a nuanced, brilliant antagonist in Mina, the “evil” stepmother, and by doing so creates a feminist, subversive retelling.
Best Love Story
Mateo and Rufus from They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
These two go from being complete strangers at the beginning of the book, to two people deeply in love by the end. It never feels forced or unrealistic. Just moving and heartbreaking!
Marguerite and Marcel from Now Let’s Dance
by Karine Lambert, translated by Anthea Bell.
A lovely love story about two adults in their later years, both bereaved.
Book Most Worthy of Adaptation
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L Sanchez
There just isn’t anywhere near enough Latina representation and this is a fantastic story, with a great teenage Mexican girl. If this was set around a white family, the movie rights would have been sold before the book was even published.
WHat the f*** just happened
Behind Her Eyes
by Sarah Pinborough
This book twisted in ways that had me thinking “what the f***” multiple times, and I’m still not sure if it was in a good way, or a bad way.
I’ve definitely never read anything else like this, though.
Worst Bookish Hangover
by Roxane Gay
Around the second or third story in this book, I knew this was going to happen. I knew I would have a tough time recovering from this. This book will break your heart and stitch it back up, and leave you sore for days.
Most Satisfactory Ending
by Attica Locke
“A powerful thriller about the explosive intersection of love, race, and justice.”
This is a mystery, so we can’t say nothing about nothing, buuuuut there’s something “extra” that’s really good.
Most Quotable Book
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
by Scaachi Koul
True story: this Rioter sat down to read the book, and without looking up, got up from her bed to grab a pencil for some serious underlining, promptly banging into her bedroom wall.
“I like being present in spaces where I am not welcome because you do not deserve to feel comfortable just because you’re racist or sexist or small-minded.”
Best Opening Line
“This story began, as all writing must, in failure.”
We Were Eight Years in Power
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
“She’d nearly reached him when the brawl started.” from Dark Deeds by Mike Brooks
“I’m on the toilet at the 9:30 Club, and I’m wondering how mermaids pee.” from The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Best Art In a Comic
Ms Marvel Issue 16 by G. Willow Wilson
Black Bolt Vol. 1 by Saladin Ahmad; art by Christian Ward
Winnebago Graveyard #2 by Steve Niles and Alison Sampson
a final note
My fellow contributors and I have put these together after a meticulous nomination and voting process, so these are 100% the real deal; the judges’ verdict is final and no discussion will be entered into regarding their decision. JK, JK, tell us your picks for these categories in the comments.
P.S. Authors, artists, and creators, all acceptance speeches can be emailed or tweeted to us. We promise to not cut you off with music.