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 because it’s February, here is a terrible pun:
Uh, let’s just move on to the awards. (Click on the book cover to go to the author’s website)
Best Pet (animal)
The Last Dragonslayer, by Jasper Fforde
The Quarkbeast is a…thing. A thing that’s sort of like a dog. A dog that enjoys crunching up corrugated iron before breakfast (galvanized corrugated iron only, of course, because the zinc keeps his scales shiny). And the only thing he says is “Quark!” And he has knifelike fangs and is literally made of magic. And he’s loyal to the very end and might just save your life, so I’ll take five, please.
Best Pet (human)
My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Okay, George isn’t a pet. He’s a four-year-old human boy, one of the billions of children in the Garrett brood next door. He worries about things like black holes and endangered seals being made into ice cream, because those are clearly both valid concerns. But he’s just so amusing and adorable I’d like to sweep him up like my cat and just hug him until everything is okay again. (And if he’s anything like his older brother Jase, he will grow up to be hot and swoonworthy. Yes, I swooned. No, that doesn’t happen often. Thus is the power of the Garretts.)
Velveteen, by Daniel Marks
It’s a bummer that you’ve been sentenced to purgatory instead of heaven–if it exists–but hey, at least you’ve got all your memories inside of you. Only one problem–they make your skin glow. So what’s a dead girl to do? Rub ash all over your face to hide the glare, of course. So what if it consists of the remains of all your friends who have passed on before you? It’s exfoliating!
Best Transportation System
Crewel, by Gennifer Albin
I’ve done my fair share of bitching about the subway, I admit. And up until now it’s just sounded whiny, but in comparison to the rebound system in Arras, my complaints are totally justified. In Arras, all you have to do is sit in a chair while the Spinsters (women who have the power to weave reality, like I sometimes do when I will stoplights to change) simply warp time and space until you are in your desired destination. There’s a little bit of nausea involved, sure, but who hasn’t puked on a 4am trip home, am I right?
What Came From The Stars, by Gary D. Schmidt
“It was getting colder and darker, and already the first star was showing over the water–but Tommy didn’t care. It was his twelfth birthday. He had been alive for four thousand three hundred and eighty-three days. He had been alive with his mother for four thousand one hundred and twenty-six of them. He had been alive without his mother for two hundred and fifty-seven of them.”