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 remote controlled flying shark, because that actually exists.
And now on to the awards!
*denotes a fellow Apocalypsie
Most fitting title:
Remarkable, by Lizzie Foley*
I don’t read nearly as much middle grade as I’d like to, but this one made me want to just roll around in that section of the bookstore, if such a thing wouldn’t lead to certain arrest. There’s just so much to love here. Pirates! Fantasy football! Jam! And OH THE WORDPLAY! I could go on and on, but really all I need to do is refer you right back to the title. It is APT.
Most Likely To Have Been Written With The Help Of A Time Machine:
The Wicked and the Just, by J. Anderson Coats*
I’ll be honest – me and history don’t particularly get along. Oh, we nod our heads politely at holidays and inquire about each other’s cats, but overall we stick to our own corners of the punch bowl table. But this one made me want to make out with history right there on the dance floor. I just have no earthly idea how this got written without traveling back in time to witness the whole damn thing and hang out with Cecily and Gwenhwyfar, both of whom manage to be snarky and witty during the friggin’ Crusades. The authenticity, the language, the tiniest little details – all are there, and all are fascinating.
Red Glove, by Holly Black
The idea that curse workers have been a well-known thing for years is so seamlessly integrated into this story, you almost forget that everyone is wearing gloves all the time – since in this world, flashing a bare hand is equivalent to waving a loaded gun around. But then the glove thing is mentioned and you remember just how hot and sweaty and sticky everyone’s hands must be all the time, and everything gets all claustrophobic and nerve-wracking, just like the characters’ lives, and–bam. Symbolism.
Most Accurate Portrayal of Sisterly Warfare
Born Wicked, by Jessica Spotswood*
I have a sister. We’re best friends and we love one another. But that doesn’t mean that every once in a while we aren’t struck by the urge to rip each other’s heads off. That’s what it means to be a sister. I can’t imagine what sort of fights we would have gotten into as teenagers if we had magical powers, but this book helpfully gives me a bit of insight. Though I think the Cahill girls are far kinder than we would have been – I’m almost certain one or both of us would have ended up with the head of a llama.
Concept I Most Wish I Had Thought Of:
Incarnate, by Jodi Meadows*
So, reincarnation. Not exactly a new one. But the idea that everyone else in the world has been reincarnated a billion times, yet you are the only new kid in town – and you don’t know whether you will be reincarnated when you die – and you don’t know why any of this happened – now that stuff practically writes itself! (Not that it did. Writing is hard.)
Best New Use for Jewelry:
Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers
I’m the first to admit I’m not a big jewelry girl. The pierced holes in my ears have gone unfilled since I was about fourteen (though they have not closed, as I found out at my sister’s wedding, much to my shrieking surprise). And my hair is so voluminous that putting pearls in it would just be an exercise in futility–they’d just disappear into its black holeyness, never to be seen again. But I might change my tune on that if said pearls were actually made of POISON. And heck yeah I’d wear a bracelet that secretly contained a garrote wire. If I’m gonna be assassinatin’, I might as well be stylin’.