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Bolu Babalola’s “Honey & Spice” Wins TikTok Book of the Year Award

Bolu Babalola’s “Honey & Spice” Wins TikTok Book of the Year Award

Honey & Spice wins TikTok Book of the Year 2023

Bolu Babalola is set to release a sequel to  Honey & Spice in 2024 with the title, Sun Under Skin.

By Helena Olori

Nigerian-born British author, Bolu Babalola‘s debut novel, Honey & Spice, has won the Book of the Year prize, as Tiktok announces the winners for its inaugural BookTok Awards.

The winners, decided by thousands of voters, were unveiled at the awards ceremony organised by the video-hosting service in London on Thursday, August 17, 2023.

Honey & Spice, described by Entertainment Weekly as “a vibrant debut novel,” is a romantic comedy centred on Kiki Banjo, a sharp-tongued Black British woman “who unexpectedly finds herself caught up in a fake relationship with the man she warned her girls about.”

Nigerian-born British author, Bolu Babalola, wins TikTok's inaugural Book of the Year Award
Nigerian-born British author, Bolu Babalola, wins TikTok’s inaugural Book of the Year Award for her book, Honey & Spice

(Read also: James Currey Prize for African Literature Unveils 2023 Longlist Featuring 11 Authors)

Babalola was also shortlisted for the Author of the Year category but was bested by British author,  Holly Jackson, who clinched the award.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, James Stafford, who is the General Manager, Operations & Marketing at TikTok UK & Nordics said, “… from Jane Austen to Bolu Babalola, the winners truly reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the #BookTok community. We have been truly blown away by the response and excitement from everyone who has been involved in this process.”

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Other winners announced include Eden Victoria, taking home the award for BookTok Creator of the Year; Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh, as Indie Bookshop of the Year; Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen as Best BookTok Revival, Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton as the Best Book to End a Reading Slump; and Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman as the Best Book I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time.

Bola Babalola, Holly Jackson, and Eden Victoria at the Inaugural TikTok BookTok Awards in London
Bolu Babalola, Holly Jackson, and Eden Victoria at the Inaugural TikTok BookTok Awards in London

(Read also: Nigerian Novelist, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize)

The TikTok Book Awards is about celebrating books, independent book shops, authors, and creators that are loved by the #BookTok community, which has over  167 billion views and counting. To celebrate the inaugural awards, TikTok plans to add a 20% customer discount to all the shortlisted titles for a limited time.

In the meantime, Bolu Babalola revealed that a sequel to the award-winning novel, Honey & Spice will be published in 2024 with the title, Sun Under Skin.

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