In my ever-evolving quest to recognize the books that I read and enjoy (but without writing reviews (because I am terrible at that)), I give out awards that highlight some of my favorite things about the books I’ve read over the past month. And since my bookmark is a shark – a bookshark, if you will – I call them the Sharkys. And here is a picture of a shark getting a nice shoulder massage, because sharks have stressful lives too:
“Oh yeah. That’s the spot.”
And now on to the awards!
* denotes fellow Apocalypsie
Cold Cereal, by Adam Rex
I’m noticing a trend here (a trend other than me wanting to hurl Adam Rex books at strangers and demand that they read them, right then and there, whilst I watch). I always tend to give the Best Line award to the book that made it nearly impossible to pick only one best line out of a book full of milk-snort-worthy lines. You know it’s a good book when, after the tenth time I’ve laughed in thirty seconds, Will looks over at me and goes, “What are you reading?” (Implied: “Knock it off.”) I then shout back “Adam Rex has done it again!” and Will quietly slips out of the room and I get right back to my cackling.
Anyway, hard to choose, but for sheer hilarity mixed with that dash of unexpectedness, we have:
The Goode and Harmliss Toasted Cereal Company was founded in 1858 for the purpose of manufacturing quality breakfast cereals and attaining dominion over all the peoples of the Earth.
And bonus award for the jacket copy, which is done in the style of a nutritional label and promises 35% puzzles! PUZZLES!
Best Written Villains
Gilt, by Katherine Longshore*
Holy buttresses, I have never wanted to reach into the pages of book and strangle a whole bunch of steaming excuses for humanity more than I did with the characters of Gilt. And I mean that in the best possible way. How our girl Kitty can go more than a minute without clocking someone with a candlestick is beyond me. I had no idea the court of Henry VIII would make The Jersey Shore look like a Kumbayah circle. THE DRAMA.
Best On-Location Shooting
The Vicious Deep, by Zoraida Córdova*
I lived in New York City for a little while, and by New York City I mean Astoria, Queens, which may as well be on a separate planet from Brooklyn. True, the N line goes straight from Astoria to Coney Island at a whiplash-inducing hour and a half, but still, I only ever made it out to Coney Island twice in the whole time I lived there. But I go back without even leaving my house, since this one captures the boardwalk’s sights, sounds, and douchebag bros perfectly, and even makes mention of that creepy-ass Parachute Jump spaceship thing that continues to haunt my nightmares.
Cafeteria Dining Hall
Pretty Crooked, by Elisa Ludwig*
Okay, I know that in this story we’re supposed to hate Valley Prep, with all of its evil, stinkin’ rich, rip-your-soul-out-with-one-wicked-smile students, but I might just be able to put up with those asswads if it means I get a crack at their dining hall. Pizza oven? Sushi bar? A rotating selection of freshly squeezed juices? And these kids get to sit in booths. BOOTHS. The closest thing to a booth at my high school was the janitor’s closet, and he wasn’t nearly as accommodating.
Spell Bound, by Rachel Hawkins
The Brannicks are this supercool Irish clan made up completely of hardcore women who spent all of their free time patrolling their house’s perimeter, establishing War Rooms, fighting with pointy things, and making snide comments. AND they’ve got a man from the sixteenth century trapped in their mirror who casually dispenses prophecies, which Bed Bath and Beyond assures me they will start carrying any day now. I’d say I’d like to be invited to their family reunions, but in the presence of these ladies I’d probably be fileted within seconds.
Best Argument for Issuing Parenting Licenses
Cracked, by K.M. Walton*
This book is very cruel, in that it is a piece of fiction and I cannot actually swoop in and adopt either of the two main characters, two abused boys – one bully, one victim – who end up in the same psych ward together. They have blisteringly terrible parents, they’ve both been messed up for so long, and deep down all they want to be is good. They’re just such–their lives are so hard–I can’t even–oh God, Friday Night Lights flashbacks here come the tears ABORT ABORT.
The Matrix Memorial Award for “I Know Kung Fu”
Oldsoul, by Dan Haring*
You know what would be a super handy skill to have when someone is coming at you, hellbent on destroying your pretty face? The sudden ability and lifetime knowledge of a couple of kickass fighters from days past. Oh, and a wartime general. Oh, and a few other dozen influential minds of the past millennia or so, all bouncing around in that head of yours. Being an Oldsoul…it’s just convenient, is what it is.
Most Convenient Interior Decorations
Above, by Leah Bobet*
Look, it’s not easy to adorn your home with the latest festoonery and turn it into a stylin’ den of coolness. Well, it is if you live near an Ikea, but even Ikea does not sell iridescent bee wings that can be hung from the rafters in a lovely patterns that are a delight for the senses. And if said wings grow right out of your back and detach in a most convenient manor, you don’t even need to hop in the car, park on the lawn like a crazed maniac because there are no more parking spaces, and beat other customers with a stick in order to get your furnishings! So simple!