These are the authors I discovered in 2017 and instantly fell in love with. From YA to feminist manifestos to graphic novels, their books warmed my heart, led me outside of my comfort zone, and changed my perspectives forever. What authors did you discover in 2017? And who did you fall in love with?
I can’t believe it’s been less than a year! Becky Albertalli changed the YA fiction game for me. I only cried reading two books in 2017, and the first was Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda a.k.a. the sweetest contemporary love story ever. She knocked me off my feet with The Upside of Unrequited, capturing the dilemmas of being a teen. I can’t wait for Leah on the Offbeat to be released in a few months!
Tara Moss’s nonfiction was fundamental to my feminist education in 2017. Speaking Out: A 21st-Century Handbook for Women and Girls is a detailed and practical guide to standing up against structural oppression, while The Fictional Woman analyses gender inequality. I have so much admiration for Tara and her insight as a former model, bestselling novelist, human rights activist, retro seamstress, and survivor.
I got to meet Amani at the 2017 Brisbane Writer’s Festival and I cried all over her! Amani is an American-Muslim and feminist activist, speaking out against racial and gender discrimination to provide a safe space for women. I believe Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age is essential reading for all women and girls. I feel like I must’ve recommended this book more than anything ever!
If you haven’t already read The Power, put it at the top of your reading list this year. You don’t have to take my word for it; just ask Barack Obama. The most mind-blowing novel I read in 2017, The Power is a confronting social sci-fi epic that tips the status quo on its head. I’m still reeling.
Bryan Lee O’Malley
The best word to describe Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels is “cool”. I loved Seconds, a standalone Groundhog Day-esque sci-fi, so much that I went on to devour the entire Scott Pilgrim series. Bryan’s books are so fun and transporting. I love hanging out with his characters (who are all way too cool to be my friends) and definitely foresee a re-read in the near future.
Stephen King is my most surprising favourite from 2017. I had preposterously low expectations when I read The Shining at my partner’s recommendation, but discovered the addictive quality of his yarn-spinning. I went on to read IT, which was well worth the time investment because of the fantastic journey it took me on.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue didn’t look like my sort of book, but other bloggers had rated it so highly that I took my chances. I’m so glad I did. I was instantly transported by the voice of the narrator, and loved how Mackenzi used a historical setting to show contemporary issues in a unique, new light. (This is the only book besides Simon vs. that made me cry in 2017.) This Monstrous Thing was another adventure into a genre outside of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to reading The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy the moment it comes out!