The 2018 Birdie Book Awards!

Another year has come and gone.  Another year of swimming through the mediocre books to find the hidden gems.  (Or, in my case, jumping right to the authors and series you know are going to be spectacular.  Who doesn’t love a sure thing??!)

Yes, that’s right, it’s time to celebrate each genre and trope by awarding beautiful hand drawn trophies to each author in an array of different categories chosen by me, Birdie Bookworm.

It’s time for the Third Annual Birdie Book Awards!

*book covers take you to my review


Best Urban Fantasy

Magic Triumphs Iron and Magic Ravensong

BestUF19 (3)What surprises me about this category is how Iron and Magic beat Magic Triumphs for me.  To date, Kate Daniels has remained my favorite Urban Fantasy series ever.  Even though Iron and Magic is a spinoff, I never ever expected to love it as much as I did.  I fell hard for Hugh’s redemption story, and for Hugh himself if I’m being honest.  I think, so far, this book may have been my favorite book by Ilona Andrews.

2nd place, Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
3rd place, Ravensong by TJ Klune

Best Epic Fantasy

wish upon a star Legendary Furyborn

“Every good story needs a villain.
But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.”

BestEpFan19Legendary was also a surprise favorite in 2018.  I didn’t really like Tella much in Caraval.  While I was interested in learning more about Legend, I wasn’t pleased with it being from Tella’s perspective.  In the end, Tella’s voice is what made me fall in love with Legendary.  Tella is frustratingly impulsive, but those same actions could also be called courageous.  We also felt how her love for Scarlett was equal to Scarlett’s love for Tella.  It was excellent.

2nd place, Wish Upon the Stars by TJ Klune
3rd place, Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Best Sci-Fi/Dystopia

LifeL1k3 Crisped Sere Iron Gold

BestSciDys19Yeah yeah yeah, I know it’s TJ.  I can already hear your amusement.  TJ Klune is my favorite author for one big reason.  It’s because he is a true storyteller, and Immemorial Year is one of my favorite’s of his ever.  The starkness of the world, the violence in the characters, and the love in their hearts, all came together in a beautiful gut wrenching story that took my breath away.  I’m rarely caught up in both the blot and the romance like I was in Crisped + Sere.

2nd place, LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff
3rd place, Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Best Contemporary

Josh Hazel Point Contact Kiss Quotient

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that grief is a journey, except there’s no point A to point B. It’s a fucking twisty-turny, up-and-down, forward-and-back piece of shit. It’s one good day….hell, maybe it’s only a few good hours… the midst of a shit-ton of bad ones. But you don’t give up, and you keep going.”

BestContemp19 (1)I was really worried about reading Point of Contact.  Every single review talked about how hard they cried.  I don’t do a lot of emotional reads right now, but I am so glad I read this one.  It was sad.  It did make me cry.  But it was still perfect.  Melanie Hansen gave us more than just a romance novel.  She gave us a love story between a father and son too, and that’s why this was my favorite Contemporary.

2nd place, Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
3rd place, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Best Historical

Bones Beneath Skin Next Year Havana Eyes of Silver Gold

BestHist19Next Year in Havana was special to me.  Not only is it a wonderful story spanning two generations, but it gave me so much history about Cuba, those who were exiled, and those who stayed behind.  I’d never read about Cuba before, but Chanel Cleeton flawlessly drew me into the passion of the family, and their love of Havana. She made their passion, my passion, and that’s why this was superb.

2nd place, The Bones Beneath My Skin by TJ Klune
3rd place, Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O’Connell

Best Young Adult

Wavehouse2 LifeL1k3 Keeper Bees

“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.

BestYA19To put it simply, Lifel1k3 shattered my brain.  I read it obsessively when I got my hands on it, and the end left me numb in the very best way.  I can’t remember the last time I was so shocked by a book’s ending.  You can usually guess an ending way ahead of time, especially in YA, because they all follow a similar formula.  Not Lifel1k3.  Jay Kristoff threw out the playbook and made his own rules.  I’m not sure if I love him for it, or if I want to shake him.

2nd place, Wavehouse by Alice Kaltman
3rd place, Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

Best Novella/Short Story

ChallengingChance-f blasphemy Unwrapping Hank

BestNvlla19I just finished Blasphemy today.  It was one of the most original short stories I’ve ever read.  Ever.  TJ just gets absolutely everything right.  The way he wrote Hell, and the tortures that were created for sinners, had me cracking up.  Reading the people who GO to Hell tickled me!  Blasphemy is the perfect title for this one, because TJ broke every single religious rule and I loved every single freaking second of it.  Pure Excellence! (capitalized!)

2nd place, Challenging Chance by Anyta Sunday
3rd place, Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton

Hottest Romantic Tension

Wall Winnipeg Silence Breaking Latakia

“You are worth it! You may be a stubborn, chauvinistic, cold-hearted, ruthless, self-righteous son of a bachelor-”
“Don’t flatter me too much, Miss Linton.”
“-but you’re a good man. Well, to me, anyway. Sometimes. Mostly.”
“Are you quite sure that you are in love with me?”
“Just checking.”

HottestTension19I can’t think of any characters with more Romantic Tension than Lily Linton and Rikkard Ambrose.  Seriously.  They’re always hot, but in Silence Breaking they really scorch!  I love how Lilly gets under Ambrose cold exterior and makes him all hot and bothered.  I love how Rikkard only shows Lilly that heat, which only makes her fall for him harder, despite how much she protests!

2nd place, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
3rd place, Latakia by J.F. Smith

Cutest Couple

Hating Game Leo loves Aries Loving Warrior

CuteCouple19Theo and Jamie!
I love this couple so damn much.  Jamie is a serious, quiet, almost studious character and Theo is so ridiculous.  We as the reader know exactly what’s happening, but reading Theo stumble through it so blindly, completely clueless, makes you fall madly in love with him.  BUT, it also made Jamie fall madly in love with him too.  I never thought I’d be the reader who’s a sucker for the oblivious main character.  I am!

2nd place, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
3rd place, Loving a Warrior by Melanie Hansen

Best Romantic Comedy

Josh Hazel Deal Maker Weight of it All

“I think over his insinuation that doing paperwork might make my pretty little head explode. Then I smile slowly. If he wants a bird-brained model. I’ll give him one.


Deal Maker has every ingredient needed for any Romantic Comedy recipe.  It has a hilariously quirky main character, a seemingly stoic hero, with a dash of adorable little boy to mix them all together.  I loved how Jude interacted with Asa, and I loved how Jude interacted with Asa’s son Billy!  I loved Jude’s interaction with the staff.  I love Jude!  He was the glue, and the reason Deal Maker was a romantic comedy masterpiece!

2nd place, Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
3rd place, The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker

Best Series Finale

wish upon a star Magic Triumphs Heroines Journey


Ilona Andrews did a fantastic job closing Kate’s chapter in this world.  I am happy with where the characters ended up, but I feel even better with what is probably going to happen next.  Or, at least what I’m hoping will happen next.  I’ve always thought the best series endings are the ones that leave us wanting more, and Ilona Andrews did exactly that in Magic Triumphs.  With Iron and Magic already out there, I don’t think we’re going to be disappointed.

2nd place, Wish Upon the Stars by TJ Klune
3rd place, Heroine’s Journey by Sarah Kuhn

Best Character

Deranged EleanorOliphant Josh Hazel

“A philosophical question: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? And if a woman who’s wholly alone occasionally talks to a pot plant, is she certifiable?”

Character19I think the characters I chose for this award are very polarizing characters.  I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there who couldn’t connect with Eleanor.  Se’s definitely not always likable.  For me, I thought that made her even more interesting.  She isn’t your usual fictional heroine.  She’s damaged, but that makes her unique and unapologetic.  If not for Eleanor Oliphant’s unusual personality, this book wouldn’t have been nearly as poignant.  She was perfectly flawed.

2nd place, Deranged by T.R. Ragan
3rd place, Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Book of the Year!


“You’re so organized. No wonder I drove you up the wall.”
A few seconds passed before Jamie responded. “That’s cute.”
“What is?”
“Your use of past tense.”

Leo loves AriesI went around and around, deciding what book I should chose for my 2018 Book of the Year.  It is Birdie Bookworm’s most important award, and thus should take a lot of thought.  I was torn between Leo Loves Aries and Crisped + Sere.  I was seriously blown away by Crisped + Sere.  It’s TJ’s dark horse, and should have received far more accolades.

Though, I knew in my heart Leo Loves Aries was the real winner of 2018.  It was incredibly special to me.

2018 was a really hard year.  Even though I had harder hits in previous years, 2018 takes the top spot for worse year of my life because I took so many hard hits last year.  My husband was in and out of the hospital with diabetic foot problems, resulting in a partial amputation.  With him out of work, we struggled financially, and I also suffered a pregnancy loss.  For me, it was the darkest part of the year.  I didn’t read for a little while.  When I did tentatively start looking for something, I purposely wanted something that would make me feel happy.  I found Leo Loves Aries, and it was perfect.  As sappy as it sounds, it came to me when I needed it, and it was perfect.

I’m not picking Leo Loves Aries only because of my frame of mind when I found it, because that would detract from the story.  It is fantastic.  Anyta Sunday wrote a phenomenal love story, and it brought me joy when I was low.  So, thank you Anyta.  Theo and Jamie are forever in my heart.


Finally, as we close out the year, I hope you all know what this community means to me.  I’m not gonna lie, there have been many nights I’ve wondered if I should stop blogging.  Time has not been on my side lately, but I keep coming back to how much I enjoy talking to all of you.  Thank you for creating such a fantastic blogging world.

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
What’s in store for you in 2019?

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

17 Responses

  1. I absolutely LOVE the way you presented your favorite books of the year and such a cute design for the trophy!!

    I’m also so sorry for the things you went through this year. You’re such an upbeat person and really strong (at least I think so, since we haven’t met 🙂 ) so I believe your resilience will help you through this. Broke my heart to read about the illness from your husband and about the pregnancy. Birdie, I hope 2019 treats you with more kindness and that “sappy” reads will always be there for us. A book that did that for me was The Shack, when I was in a difficult time in my life. Also Furiously Happy, for making me laugh. I wish you and your family the best ❤


      1. It’s not a romance, really, so I’m not sure if you’ll like it! Plus it has lots of religious tones. It’s not a book I love, but it means a lot to me. Anyway, a very sweet read was A Quiet Kind of Thunder! Do you know it? It’s a YA, but it was so lovely it made me smile so much!


  2. Hallo Birdie,

    You’ve given me a good idea – I should separate my own blog’s book awards from my End of the Year Survey so they can shine by themselves!! I’ve been wondering if I should do that or if I should keep it all inclusive… now I have two exciting posts to write! I love how you organised this as it similar to what I’m doing myself — did you tag all the authors on social? I bet they were thrilled!! I love that moment myself – will be returning to share the link to the post I’ll be composing this month! #JustWow


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