Diverse Books · Fantasy · Historical Fiction · International · Recommendations · World Lit

Diverse & #OwnVoices Book Releases for 2017

Good afternoon my worldly book mates! With the end of December, 2016 will finally come to a close. On one hand, I’m so excited that this dreadfully fuck-shit of a year can be put behind us. Yet, another part of me, a small fuzzy part of me, will miss a tiny corner of 2016. It’s the corner that I stumbled onto one day, a corner so full of colour and vibrancy with diversity. This year of gold ol’ ’16 helped me evolve into a much better reader. It helped shape me into a more open-minded, intelligent person who’s finally found her passion and a means to express said passion. Also, I’ve met so many fantastic and wonderfully different sorts of people. These friends have made my year of crap-o-16 that much more pleasant, fulfilling, and beautiful.

With that mushy introduction out of the way, I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: to honour this wonderful new addition to my life, and my heart, I’ve decided I want to kick off 2017 with plenty of happy, bookish thoughts. Down below is a list of about 20 upcoming releases between January and June that’s full of multicultural characters, LGBT romances, and fantastic ass-kicking ladies. Almost all of these titles are also #OwnVoices and authored by WOC (women of colour). There’s also been a significant amount of un-due hatred going around for our young adult readers, which is appalling and unacceptable on so many levels. Because of this… stupidity and disrespect, I wanted to show the YA readers that there are lots of diverse reading treats out there for them. To openly read and enjoy these books, and feel at home with them. As such, I’ve made it a point to include Young Adult literature in this list as well.

I hope you all find something to look forward to, with this list and with a fresh slate that (hopefully) 2017 will bring.

Love and joyful reading to all! ♥

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**Please note that synopsis blurbs will not be given for sequels in the list to avoid giving spoilers!**

January

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 31-Jan-2017
  • Speculative Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
  • The long-awaited sequel to the Nobel-nominated Binti.
  • WoC (Nigerian) Author, WoC Protagonist, African Literature

The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 31-Jan-2017
  • Fantasy, Middle-Grade
  • In medieval China, a young girl with a similar name to the ruling deity is teased relentlessly. Her life isn’t easy as it is. Being the daughter of a poor tea farmer, her family decides that the best thing for survival is to sacrifice Jing’s happiness. Sold as a bride to the Koh family, Jing becomes a wife and nursemaid to their 3-year-old boy. Feeling despair, she realizes she wants to run away. With the help of a spider who weaves her means of escape, and a nightingale to help her find her way, Jing embarks on the quest of a lifetime.
  • WoC (Chinese) Author, WoC Protagonist, Chinese Literature

February

A Separation: A Novel by Katie Kitamura

  • Release: 07-Feb-2017
  • Adult Fiction
  • A young woman and her husband make the decision to separate. Keeping things private, they both go their separate ways, with the woman settling into a new beginning for herself. As she begins her solo journey, she gets word that her former husband has gone missing in the remote regions of Greece. With great reluctance, she agrees to go and search for him. Conflicted within herself as to her husband’s fate, the young woman begins to learn about the failings of her marriage, as well as the secrets that her husband has kept tightly to himself, tossing everything that she thought she knew into disarray.
  • WoC (Japanese-American) Author, Japanese Literature

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 07-Feb-2017
  • Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction
  • This novel follows a Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja. She’s a prized daughter of a poor family who finds herself pregnant out of wedlock. To save her family from shame, a young minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan. This kicks off a story about a family in exile from their homeland and the struggles, hardships that they face as they’re bound together by faith, family, and identity.
  • WOC (Korean-American) Author, KOREAN LITERATURE

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 14-Feb-2017
  • Contemporary, Young Adult
  • A thought-provoking story about a young girl from a poor neighbourhood striving for success amid mostly-white private school and prejudice for being an “at-risk” girl. A book about friendships, race, privilege, and identity—issues that young women face so forcefully today.
  • WoC (Black-American) Author, WoC Protagonist

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

  • Release: 21-Feb-2017
  • Contemporary, Young Adult
  • Margot Sanchez is a young lady living a comfortable, middle-class life. Even when she gets admitted to a private school, Somerset Prep., she’s able to befriend people with whom connections can be beneficial later in life. But with the higher-class kiddos, comes temptation. Margot “borrows” her dad’s credit card to do some fashionable upgrades to her wardroom. As punishment, she has to spend her summer working at Sanchez & Sons Supermarket, the family business. This is a coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and growing up.
  • WoC (Latina) Author, WoC Protagonist, Latinx Literature

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 28-Feb-2017
  • Contemporary, Young Adult
  • Sixteen-ear-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer.
  • WoC (Black-American) Author, WoC Protagonist

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

  • Release: 28-Feb-2017
  • Science-Fiction, Young Adult
  • The anticipated sequel to The Girl from Everywhere.
  • WoC (Hawaiian) Author, WoC Protagonist, Pacific Islander Literature

March

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

  • Release: 21-Mar-2017
  • Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction
  • This is a book that explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who have been adopted by an American couple. It’s a very powerful story about a family who gets separated due to circumstances, culture, and distance. Like many of Lisa See’s works, the title is a celebration of familial bonds, specifically mothers and daughters.
  • WoC (Chinese-American) Author, WoC Protagonists, Chinese Literature

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 28-Mar-2017
  • Fantasy, Young Adult
  • The long-awaited sequel to The Star-Touched Queen.
  • WoC (South-Asian) Author, WoC Protagonist, Indian Literature

April

What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Ammah

  • Release: 04-Apr-2011
  • Short Stories, Adult Fiction
  • A debut collection of stories that explore the bonds between parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to each other and to the places that they call home.
  • WoC (Nigerian) Author, African Literature

Music of the Ghosts by Vadey Ratner (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 11-Apr-2017
  • Adult Fiction
  • This is a novel about a young woman who returns to her homeland in Cambodia after receiving a letter from a mysterious man who claims to have known her father before he disappeared in the Cambodian holocaust.
  • WoC (Cambodian) Author, WoC Protagonist, Cambodian Literature

The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 18-Apr-2017
  • Adult Fiction
  • A heart-rending story of love, family, friendship, and homecoming told against the backdrop of Iran’s rich, yet tragic, history; at its centre is the neighbourhood café in Tehran.
  • WoC (Iranian) Author, WoC Protagonist, Iranian & Islamic Literatures

The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

  • Release: 18-Apr-2017
  • Science-Fiction, LGBT+, Young Adult
  • The oh-my-god-when-will-this-wondrous-book-release sequel for the fantastically written The Abyss Surrounds Us science-fiction novel.
  • WoC Protagonist, Queer Literature

May

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 02-May-2017
  • Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction
  • A story about a Palestinian family who is uprooted during the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. A heart-breaking tale about losing your home and family, and having to assimilate into foreign cities during a terrible time of war.
  • WoC (Palestinian) Author, WoC Protagonists, Palestinian Literature

Inheritance from Mother by Minae Mizamura (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 02-May-2017
  • Contemporary, Adult Fiction
  • Mitsuki Katsura, a Japanese woman in her mid-fifties, is a French-language instructor at a private university in Tokyo. Her husband, whom she met in Paris, is a professor at another private university. He is having an affair with a much younger woman. In addition to her husband s infidelity, Mitsuki must deal with her ailing eighty-something mother, a demanding, self-absorbed woman who is far from the image of the patient, self-sacrificing Japanese matriarch. The novel offers insight into a complex, paradoxical culture while simultaneously exploring the profound resilience of women via mothers and daughters, marriage, and old age.
  • WoC (Japanese) Author, WoC Protagonists, Japanese Literature

The Leavers: A Novel by Lisa Ko (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 02-May-2017
  • Suspense, Adult Fiction
  • One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, who’s an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, leaves the house to go to work at a local nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her at all. With her gone, 11-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He’s eventually adopted by two white college professors who move from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson and work hard to make him over into an “all-American boy.” Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mom’s disappearance, as well the memories of family and community left behind. This is a debut novel that examines assimilation and loss, immigration and homeland, independence and connection.
  • WoC (Chinese) Author, Chinese Literature

Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami

  • Release: 09-May-2017
  • Short stories, Magical Realism, Adult Fiction
  • In seven tales, Murakami once again uses his brilliant powers of observation to explore the lives of men, who of their own making, find themselves to be alone. With disappearing kitties, smoky bars, lonely hearts, and mysterious women with a dash of baseball and The Beatles (of course, it’s Murakami), we experience stories that will speak to us all.
  • Japanese Literature

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 09-May-2017
  • Contemporary, LGBT+, Young Adult
  • A coming-of-age story about two girls of colour falling in love and the troubles they face after coming out.
  • WoC (Japanese-American) Author, WoC Protagonists, Japanese Literature, Queer Literature

June

Slow Boat: Japanese Novellas by Hideo Furukawa (#OwnVoices)

  • Release: 06-Jun-2017
  • Short Stories, Adult Fiction
  • Boku has an uneasy preoccupation with dreams – and with making and losing lovers. And when he first runs away from Tokyo, his dreams and his reality gradually start to shift and overlap. This is a story of three failed escapes – and the loss of three girlfriends in the process.
  • Japanese Literature

Want by Cindy Pon

  • Release: 13-Jun-2017
  • Science-Fiction, Young Adult
  • Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died because of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
  • WoC (Chinese-American) Author, Chinese Literature

If you’ve made it this far, then I would like to thank you for taking the time to check out this massively insane list of awesome reads! I leave you with a very important question: what are some of your most-anticipated books for 2017?

19 thoughts on “Diverse & #OwnVoices Book Releases for 2017

  1. Unfortunately 2016 wasn’t as good for me in terms of diverse reading, but I’ve decided I’m determined to do better next year! So this list was incredibly helpful, thanks! I added almost all the YA ones, and I’m sure I’ll be back for more once I’m through those 🙂 It’s Not Like It’s A Secret sounds especially amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you found some neat titles. 🙂 Diverse books have turned into an irresistible (non)guilty pleasure for me. It’s Not Like It’s A Secret is actually one of my top 3 most anticipated reads for next year!! So excited for it. I hope you have a lovely holiday season! Thanks for reading this post. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Liam! I’m very excited for these and most of them are actually debut titles! It’s nice to see so many new #ownvoices authors popping out. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic list! I skimmed it but I need to sit down and really look into each other these. Books that stick out to me at first glance: Binti: Home, Men without Women, The Hate U Give

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wooot!! I’m glad it’s useful. 🙂 I’m going to try and keep updating it throughout the year. It only goes up to June right now, but it shall grow with more books for the rest of 2017. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This list was so insanely huge!! Thanks so much for putting it together. I know how much work these kinds of posts are.
    I’m so excited for Binti:Home! I’m getting day 1 haha 😀 Also, WAAAANNNNTTTT. I want it so bad.
    I appreciate you dedicating this post to teen reader in the community. I hope they feel safer and more welcome in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, I’m super excited for Binti: Home as well!! 😀 One more week, lol. Thanks for your kind words. I was working on this list during that whole fiasco about young adult readers and wanted to do something nice. I’ll be updating this list as the year progresses with more upcoming diverse titles. Right now it only goes up to June, but I’ll add more months to it soon! 🙂

      Like

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