November Sharky Awards

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. (A few days late this time due to the YA Scavenger Hunt. Sorry.) And since my bookmark is a shark – a bookshark, if you will – I call them the Sharkys. And since this month happens to be an all-star, all-Apocalypsies edition (that is, other YA/MG debut authors of 2012), here is a picture from a show on the Discovery Channel titled “Air Jaws Apocalypse”, which just sounds awesome.

“Excuse me, I’m trying to enjoy my meal in peace.”

On to the awards!

Best Vacation:
Meant To Be, by Lauren Morrill
Have you ever wanted to visit London without leaving the comfort of your bean bag chair? Then pick up this charming little love story, because it’ll transport you there so fast and so immersively that I daresay you won’t even need a map. Big Ben? There. Piccadilly Circus? On it. Plus pubs, museums, and Queen Elizabeth riding across the sky on a flying scone, which I may or may not have imagined.

Best Spare Organ
Black City, by Elizabeth Richards
I’m not saying it wouldn’t be super convenient to have two of every organ in your body, but when it comes right down to it, I’d probably pick the heart over everything else. The downside is that you have to be a vampirish Darkling to be born with one, but hey – squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into that blood and you’ve got a refreshing summer drink.

Worst Mother
Renegade, by J.A. Souders
I’ll admit, my mom got on my nerves a bit when I was a teenager. That’s kind of what moms do. But admittedly, mine never brainwashed me, or programmed me to kill the boy I happened to awkwardly sit on the couch and watch TV with. That never happened. As far as I know.

…Wait. What year is this? Who is this corpse on my couch? Why am I wearing earmuffs?

Best Walking Stick
The Rock of Ivanore, by Laurisa White Reyes
There was a ton of competition this year in the Best Walking Stick category, but Xerxes, a slender length of wood with the head of a bald eagle, just managed to edge out dozens of fierce competitors. Because who doesn’t want a magical squawking bird that only you can hear, dispensing advice in a most snarky manner? I will take five of those right now, please.

The Battlestar Galactica Award for Are-They-Or-Aren’t-They-Secretly-Cylons-Werewolves?
Hemlock, by Kathleen Peacock
Here’s a whole pile of characters, and none of them are werewolves. Oh, except for that one. And maybe that one. Or is it that other one? Okay, my money’s on this one, the one that no one suspects. Wrong? Okay, this guy here, he’s definitely got some of that wet dog smell. No? DAMMIT.

Best Reason For Me To Go To Japan
Tokyo Heist, by Diana Renn
Violet, our plucky sleuth hero, is tall. This means that when she arrives in Japan, she’s completely out of place. She can’t even find any shoes for her size-nine feet, since everything is made for very tiny people. To which I say: FINALLY. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me, as a hobbit, to find jeans that fit? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s impossible. I have NEVER found a pair of pants that I haven’t had to either roll up or get tailored, and I REFUSE to shop at Gap Kids (anymore). That’s it, I’m going to Japan. For pants. Book To Read When Cold
Lies Beneath, by Anne Greenwood Brown
I live in a 100-year old house. It is extremely drafty and freezing, pretty much all the time. I could easily use my uninsulated office closet as a meat locker (and I do). So when these killer mermaids in Lake Superior come along and start talking all about how they’re going to drag people down to the dark, freezing, icy waters of the deep, I have to go put on another sweater. And mittens. Maybe a wet suit. Slang
Innocent Darkness, by Suzanne Lazear
Oh, steampunk. Look at you with your hoverboards and your flying cars and your many items made of brass. If only you had a fun, whimsical term for “slut”–oh, you do? And it’s “dollymop”? Well shit, maybe it’s worth becoming a woman of loose morals just for the awesome label. It certainly makes cleaning the house sound a lot more entertaining. “What are you doing, dear?” “Oh, just dollymopping around the kitchen!  Just buffed the floor with my ass! Looks fabulous!”


  1. Gina,
    Thank you – once again – for giving use your quirky Shark reviews.
    And may I say: I want to eat Meant to Be’s cover. Because IT LOOKS LIKE CANDY-FLOSS.

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