Okay, so my plan was to write a big long hilarious monologue, like they do on popular award shows, except I’m just not that witty. In fact, if I’m going to be honest with myself, I’m actually pretty terrible at intros entirely. In an effort to save us both some grief, let’s jump right into the good stuff, since it’s what we really care about anyway.
Remember, before you go I’d love to hear about the books you read in 2016, and what they might win on your award show. Hearing your opinions is the best part of blogging.
Welcome to the first annual Birdie Book Awards!
*book covers take you to my review
**Thank you to my sister for the amazing artwork!
“Sloane Brodie wasn’t just any guy. He was rolling thunder and a sweet summer breeze. Passionate, complex, and intense. Mysterious and brooding. He made Dex laugh, beg, and want to scream. With one look he could crush Dex’s heart, with one whisper have him on his knees.”
Right off the bat I’ve realized this Award ceremony is going to be a lot harder than I thought. I thought there were very few couples that would beat Kate and Curran, and then 2016 introduced me to Sloane and Dex. I’m not sure if Dex and Sloane will go the long haul in my heart, but I do know right this moment they are my favorite couple. It’s not only the romance, it’s also the affection and humor, and it’s the respect. They are partners in every way possible.
2nd place, Kate and Curran from Magic Binds
3rd place, Jeremey and Emmet from Carry the Ocean
The wait for Troubleshooters was long and painful, so the joy from finally having it in my hands meant everything. As much as I love Derek and Julie, or anything by CS Pacat, going back to those SEALs was amazing. Plus, like I said in my review, it was Izzy. Izzy tops most everything.
2nd place, Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
3rd place, Green but for a Season by CS Pacat
“You have pajamas with a dead Palestinian leader’s face on them.”
“I am aware,” Gus said, trying not to fidget as Casey essentially stared at his crotch. “They’re my Yasser Arapants.”
“Oh my fucking god,” Casey mumbled to himself. “You’re like… just… like, this person.”
Both Tell Me It’s Real and Cream of the Crop were hilarious books, but 2016 didn’t bring anything funnier than How to be a Normal Person. I could completely drown you in hilarious quotes, and the more quotes I read the more I remember how much I adored this book! Gus and Casey are perfection together, chemistry off the charts, and the most entertaining dialogue ever. And all of that without any sex at all! It proves that an amazing romance comes from the emotional connection, not the physical one.
2nd place, Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton
3rd place, Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune
My goal when creating these categories was to try to prevent one book from winning more than one. Most of the books I chose could have fit in multiple categories, but I tried hard to space them out and put them in the best spot. With that said, I stared at Best Series Finale and tried to pick Morning Star because it was incredible, but it would have been a lie. The best finale was Kings Rising. Reading Kings Rising made me feel emotions 99% of other books never come close to. Maybe I gush about Captive Prince too much… except I’d argue that’s impossible. As hard as I try, I can’t praise it enough.
2nd place, Morning Star by Pierce Brown
3rd place, Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
“He grabbed my chin, pulling me towards him. ‘In my dreams,’ he told me, his voice still as hard and cold as an iceberg, ‘more interesting things happen. Things that involve the two of us’.”
I love the tension between Bear and Otter, and between Nastya and Josh. These three books all have the right kind of painful tension, however it was the lighthearted, passionate, comedic tension Ambrose and Lilly bring to the table that gives it the extra push. I love how they both want each other so badly, yet they do not want to want each other at all. It makes all their interactions perfectly delicious.
2nd place, Bear, Otter and The Kid by TJ Klune
3rd place, Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I’m shameless, the only reason I went with Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil over Six of Crows is because I’m a Melina Marchetta fanatic. I love everything she writes, and I love how when you start out you aren’t sure you like the story but halfway through you’re 100% invested and by the end you’re sobbing and clutching the book like you wish you could hold the characters.
2nd place, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
3rd place, Disasterology 101 by Taylor V. Donovan
“I swear the older I get, the more I value bad examples over good ones. It’s a good thing too, because most people are egotistical, neurotic, self-absorbed peons, insistent on wearing near-sighted glasses in a far-sighted world. And it’s this exact sort of myopic ignorance that has led to my groundbreaking new theory. I call it Mim’s Theorem of Monkey See Monkey Don’t, and what it boils down to is this: it is my belief that there are some people whose sole purpose of existence is to show the rest of us how not to act.”
It was hard to find a quote for this book, because I had to pick only one. (I almost chose three and said eff it, but it was killing me to break my pattern.) Mim was such an original character, especially for a teenage girl, that she hasn’t left my head or my heart. She was unabashedly strange and proud of it. She was how I feel in my head but I hide it. I think that’s why, of all the books I read in 2016, she remains so vivid. In a world of books full of characters I liked, but can’t name, I’ll never forget Mim Malone.
2nd place, Ox from Wolfsong by TJ Klune
3rd place, Walter Lucas from Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan
Okay okay, I maybe admit to a little biased here. Gemina was awesome. It was seriously good, it’s just that Him -and this sequel- are my favorite collaborations ever. The magic of Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy brought me Jamie and Wes and I love everything about their friendship and romance. There was no way anything else could have won this award. I can’t wait for Wes & Jamie’s wedding!
2nd place, Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman for Gemina
3rd place, Multiple YA authors for Violent Ends
“I miss you too,’ he said. ‘I’m jealous of Isander.’
‘Isander’s a slave.’
‘I was a slave.’ The moment ached.
Laurent met his gaze, his eyes too clear. ‘You were never a slave, Damianos. You were born to rule, as I was.”
The entire Captive Prince trilogy is so special to me. There has been a lot of books over the years I’ve loved. I’m easy to please. There has only been about 9 books I’ve LOVED. Loved down to the marrow of my bones. Dive into them with gusto like Scrooge McDuck in his money vault. When I naturally stumble on one of these legendary books I consider myself lucky. With Captive Prince, I’d picked up the first book and flipped through it, and dismissed it as erotica. I had to be convinced to try them again, only to realize how wrong I was. The idea that I almost missed this trilogy still troubles me. It’s like finding out you came thisclose to missing out on your soulmate.
My second choice, and I did really sit and debate this, was How to be a Normal Person. I was so impressed by how much I loved Gus and Casey’s connection; They make me believe in them. As amazing as it was, How to be a Normal Person still didn’t beat out the depth of emotion Kings Rising evoked in me.
Kings Rising was the best book I read in 2016. I think its the best book I’ve read in very long time.
2016 was an interesting year. Where my real life may have been full of ups and downs, thankfully 2016 reads were top of the line. I was so lucky to have been introduced to really amazing characters, books, and series over the last year.
Here’s hoping my 2017 brings me just as many winners!