2016 brought us some seriously awesome reads, and if that’s anything to go by, then the forthcoming titles of 2017 are going to be epic.

These are just some of the books we’re excited about.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

If you’re fan of books that feature unreliable narrators and which explore the depraved depths that people would go through in order to get what they want, then you’ll really get a kick out of reading this.

The book basically chronicles the story of what happens when one woman inevitably becomes caught up in a weird triangle. There’s a reason this book spawned the hashtag #WTFthatending.

Publication date:  26th January 2017  (UK Edition)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Loved the beauty and fantastical imagery in The Night Circus? Just wait until you read this book. This lush fantasy novel features Scarlett and Tella, two strong-willed sisters who have both longed to get away from their abusive father and find themselves whisked away to participate in Caraval – a legendary game that lasts 5 days and is as enchanting as it is treacherous.

When Tella is kidnapped before the game even starts, it’s up to Scarlett to use whatever means necessary to get her sister back. But, in a world where what you see is not always what you get, it’s easier said than done.

Publication date: 31st January 2017 (UK)

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Fierce feminist and bestselling author Roxanne Gay is back with another sure-to-be hit on her hands, Difficult Women. This collection of short stories captures the difficulties very different women experience.

Exploring themes of grief, infidelity, identity, love, sex and familial bonds, this book is a story about women we can all relate to on so many different levels.  

This is a collection that features women that are as complex as they are diverse and will have you laughing, weeping and aching with the emotions their stories evoke.

Publication date: 3 January 2017 (UK)

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel

We’re living in a society where transgender people are often the target of vicious bullying, hate and discrimination, which is why it’s so important that books about the transgender community are highlighted.

This book examines how a family’s world changes when the youngest of five boys decides that he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn are a couple that both want the best for their children and want what’s best for Claude, but matters become complicated when issues at school and amongst the community arise.

A book about family and identity, this is one not to be missed.

Publication date: 9 February (UK)

Khwezi: The Story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo by Redi Tlhabi

*No finalised book cover as of yet.

On the South African front, we’ve got a number of phenomenal reads we can look forward to, but the one we really can’t wait to read is Khwezi: The Story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo by Redi Thlabi.

Neither Khwezi or Redi require any introduction and given that Redi has worked closely with Khwezi on this book, we have no doubt that that her story will be told in the way it deserves to be told: with great sensitivity, compassion and with a strong focus on the tremendous journey that this brave woman underwent, even as she was vilified by the very people who had sworn to protect her.

Publication date: Set to be published in May this year (final date not known).

No Longer Whispering To Power: The Tenure of Thuli Madonsela by Thandeka Gqubule

* Official cover not provided at this point

We’ll be fortunate to see two books that focus on former public protector, Thuli Madonsela. Pan Macmillan recently announced that they’ll be publishing Thuli’s memoir – however, we don’t have exact details when it will be published.

What we do know is that we can expect a Thandeka Gqubule’s book in April this year. Focusing on her achievements during her seven year term as public protector, this read delves into her formative years, her life in law and her tremendous efforts in upholding and protecting the public’s interest. It’s sure to be a bestseller.

Publication date: April 2017 (Specific date not yet known)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Talk about this book has been doing rounds since last year. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give is the story about what happens when a young girl ends up being the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend by an officer of the law.

It’s a book about one girl’s quest for justice in spite of the peril it places her in, and it’s one that delves into the deeply rooted issues of racism that is more prevalent than ever. It’s already been optioned for film and Amandla Stenberg is set to play the main character.

Publication date: The UK edition will be published on the 6th April, but if you want to get hold of this book before that, you can buy the US edition from the 28th February.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Author of bestselling psychological thriller, Girl on the Train is back with a new novel that tackles the ripple effect a murder has on a small town.

It explores what happens when a young woman is forced to go back to the place she ran from in order to look after her dead sister’s daughter and has to confront the demons of the past that have forced her to run in the first place.  

If her writing is anything like it was in Girl on the Train, then we can definitely expect another bestseller.

Publication date: 2 May (Worldwide release)

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

We’re excited about this book for so many reasons. For one, the lead is a female serial killer who self-medicates to help her satisfy the urge for killing (I’m sorry but it’s so rare we get to read about female serial killers so I am ALL ABOUT THIS BOOK).

Secondly, the protagonist has encrypted information locked inside of her head and they’re tied to specific images – I love the idea behind this, and I desperately want to know why and how the images are tied to the information hidden and what it means.

And lastly, it features a diverse cast and includes a transgender love interest. We are 100% on board with this. Oh, it’s part of a series, but according to the author, can be read as a standalone.

Publication date: 15 June (UK edition)

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo first started writing when she was seventeen.

She has previously published a novel called The Spider King’s Daughter and is back with Welcome to Lagos, a book that celebrates Lagos through the eyes of an unlikely group of people who all have one thing in common: the desire for freedom.

A book that explores Nigeria in all of its interesting and colourful facets, Welcome to Lagos is a book that we’re sure will feature on many book lovers’ list of must-read books.

Publication date: 7 January (UK edition)