Five Muslim Author Finalists in the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards

Whether you vote for these books in the user-curated awards or are looking to add books to your TBR list, you won’t regret checking out these five Muslim-authored books.

Five Muslim Author Finalists in the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards
Readers have voted on these five books as some of the best of the year.

It’s been a great year for Muslim creatives across industries, and publishing has been no exception. The Goodreads Choice Awards are just one of the many year-end awards that celebrate achievements in literature from the past year, but these awards are set apart for being entirely crowd-sourced. Instead of being determined by a select few industry professionals, anyone with a Goodreads account can vote on their favorite books of the year.

There are five books in the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards that Fann has written about previously. Whether you vote for these books in the user-curated awards or are just looking to add books to your TBR list, you won’t regret checking out these five Muslim-authored books.

Best Romantasy, "The Jasad Heir" (2023) by Sara Hashem

A decade ago, the kingdom of Jasad was ravaged, its magic forbidden and its royal lineage annihilated — or so Sylvia wants people to believe. Sylvia, the hidden Heir of Jasad, strives to stay concealed, avoiding thoughts of the Nizahl kingdom's relentless pursuit of the Jasadi people and the devastation of her homeland.

But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, stumbles upon Jasadi rebels in her village, Sylvia's secret magic is accidentally revealed, drawing Arin's attention. To ensure her survival, Sylvia must strike a risky deal with her greatest adversary: assisting him in luring the rebels to evade persecution. This marks the beginning of a perilous game where Sylvia must protect her true identity even as her feelings for Arin grow. Soon, she faces a pivotal choice between her desired life and her duty to the resurging, scorched kingdom. 

Perfect for fans of “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas, this Egyptian-inspired romantic fantasy debut portrays a fugitive queen's pact with her archenemy, thrusting her into a complex game that could either resurrect her torched kingdom or condemn it to eternal ruin.

Best Fantasy, "The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi" by Shannon Chakraborty

Amina al-Sirafi, a retired infamous pirate, should be content with her peaceful life with her family. However, she's offered an irresistible job by a wealthy mother: rescue her comrade's kidnapped daughter for a hefty reward. Amina sees it as a chance for one last adventure with her crew and to secure her family's future.

As she delves deeper into the mission, it becomes clear that there's more to it than she initially thought. The desire for glory and power comes with a significant risk, potentially endangering her very soul.

In her new trilogy, the bestselling author of "The City of Brass" takes readers on a high-seas adventure filled with pirates, sorcery, forbidden artifacts, and ancient mysteries. 

Best Horror, "Rouge" by Mona Awad

This bestselling, darkly funny horror novel follows Belle, who is drawn to a cult-like spa after her mother's mysterious death. Belle's obsession with skincare videos intertwines with her mother's compulsive addiction to beauty and the subsequent immense debt she entered before her untimely demise. A cryptic graveside message and a pair of red shoes lure Belle to the cultish spa to which her mother was devoted.

Combining elements of “Snow White” (1937) and “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999), “Rouge” explores grief, the dark side of the beauty industry, and the complex love between mothers and daughters. The story holds up a warped mirror to societ’s fixation with mortality, delving into profound longings beneath the glossy exterior.

Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, "These Infinite Threads" by Tahereh Mafi

This explosive sequel to "This Woven Kingdom" delivers a tale of magic, romance and betrayal. Alizeh, the Jinn heir, and Kamran, the human crown prince, find their lives intertwined as the walls between their worlds crumble. Love blooms, but political intrigue and a vengeful plot threaten their union.

As Kamran faces betrayal and seeks revenge for his grandfather's death, Alizeh is forced into a marriage plot orchestrated by Cyrus, ruler of Tulan. Alizeh must navigate her destiny as the Jinn queen, torn between emotions and duty. Kamran races to Tulan, hoping to save Alizeh and prevent her from becoming the queen of a kingdom built on a dangerous bargain.

This #1 New York Times bestselling story unfolds with searing romance and high stakes, appealing to fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir and Tomi Adeyemi.

Best Memoir & Autobiography, "Hijab Butch Blues" by Lamya H

In this audacious memoir, a queer hijabi Muslim immigrant known pseudonymously Lamya H navigates her coming-of-age by finding solace and inspiration in Quranic stories. Struggling with her identity and desires, Lamya draws parallels between her experiences and tales from the Quran, seeking understanding and acceptance. From Maryam's unconventional pregnancy to Musa's liberation, Lamya confronts her own journey, questioning gender norms and exploring her faith.

Through intimate essays spanning her childhood in South Asia to adulthood in New York City, Lamya crafts a universal narrative of courage, trust and love — a celebration of self-discovery and the quest for belonging. This masterful contribution to discussions on power, justice, healing and devotion is recommended by Glennon Doyle and recently won the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize.

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