Friday 21 December 2018

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The Smashing & Dashing 2018 Character Awards Book Tag

The Smashing & Dashing 2018 Character Awards Book Tag

The end of the year is drawing ever nearer, and it's time to start talking about our favourite books of the year! While my normal, full length post looking back over 2018 is still to come, it talks about the books themselves, while Cait of Paper Fury's The Smashing & Dashing 2018 Character Awards Book Tag talks about the characters! It looks like fun, so I thought, why not?

I just want to note that I'm talking about books I read this year, not necessarily books that were published this year. I would really struggle, otherwise. Oky doky, onwards!

1. Most Relatable Character

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

My review.

I know White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock is this huge, twisty thriller, and no, my life is nothing like that. But I did relate to Peter and his anxiety. While my anxiety isn't anywhere near as bad as his, I related to his struggles, to his panic attacks, and was inspired by how he continued and carried on, despite his anxiety. He was inspiring as well as relatable, and I absolutely loved him.

2. Most Pure Animal Companion

The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

My review.

Ok, so, I actually didn't enjoy The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge. But I also didn't read many books with animals in them. So this award goes to Gandalf. He's Martha's grandmother's dog, and he is loyal and courageous, and also quite clever, I guess. I hope that's good enough. I really don't care about pets in books. Not much of a pet person, and even less so a dog person (an incident when I was 2 left me scarred for life. Literally).

3. Fiercest Fighter

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

My review.

This is, of course, Nona Grey from Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence. My god, that girl is like death personified, she is so skilled at fighting! She is badass, but also really very human. She's not quite as hard as you would think. I love Nona!

4. Am Surprised That I Loved You??

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

My review.

Ok, so this is a book question rather than a character question, but The Wicker King by K. Ancrum, because it doesn't sound like my thing at all. And it was such a hard read, emotionally. But it was so powerful, a right punch in the gut. And so unexpected. It was just so crazy-hectic and stressful, and that's not usually something I enjoy, but it was the characters, their problems, and their friendship/romance, and how they tried to pull each other through. Their lives are a real mess, but they genuinely care for each other, and the story just blew me away.

5. Best Sassmaster

Shadow of the Fox by Julia Kagawa

My review.

This is most definitely Okame from Shadow of the Fox by Julia Kagawa. It's a long while before we actually meet him (maybe half the book?), but he was absolutely my favourite character in Shadow of the Fox! He has a sarcastic remark for everything, and he brings a lot of the humour to the story, which is really needed, but Tatsumi is just so serious, and Yumeko needs someone like him, when she's so new to everything. For a ronin - a former samurai without honour - he's actually really loyal and quite courageous, even when he talks like he's not - like he can't be bothered, or why are they putting themselves in these situations? But he's just brilliant really. And my god, just so funny!

6. Best Antihero

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

My review.

So Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean is another one I didn't enjoy as much as I would have liked, but it's won because I think it's the only book I read with an antihero? If you can even call Mari an antihero? I mean, she is taking part in the competition to win the prince's hand in marriage so she can then steal his fortune and take it back to her family. Things get complicated, sure, but that is Mari's aim at the beginning. Does it count? I'm saying it counts.

7. The Best Friends Of All

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

My review.

I'm cheating slightly here because the friendship I want to focus on in The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk is that between Shay and her sister Sasha (yes, siblings can be friends) and Autumn and Tavia - and I'm cheating because both Sasha and Tavia are dead when the book starts. But this book focuses so much on the friendship between these characters, that you can feel the love they had for one another, and just how important they were to each other, even though two of them are gone. This book is just so beautiful, and their friendships are beautiful, too.

8. Best Villain To HATE

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

My review.

This is, without a doubt, the Maha from Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. Oh my god, he is just horrific. He is violent, and he is powerful, thinks himself a god, and he can do whatever the hell he wants, and oh my god, he is just terrifying. He is power hungry, and he delights in others' pain, especially women's. He is like something out of a nightmare.

The Demon King from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan comes at a very close second.

9. Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

Challenger Deep by Neil Shusterman Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

My review of Challenger Deep & My review of Strange Grace.

The parents in Challenger Deep by Neil Shusterman are amazing. They're not perfect, and they struggle - and to be honest, we don't see a huge amount of them, really - but they love their son, Caden, and they're trying so hard to understand his mental illness, and do what's best for him. I love them, I really did.

The worst is Mairwen's mother in Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton. And I can't really explain without spoiling the story. But she kept important things from Mairwen, and lied to her. The biggest act of betrayal; I mean, lying is bad, anyway, but this is one hefty lie. And she knew the truth! The whole time, she knew the truth! And she never did anything to try and fix things! And don't get me started on Mairwen's father. Ugh.

10. Ship Of All Ships In 2018

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

My review.

Lei and Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan! Always and always, forever and a day. They are just adorable together! And each others' light when things are so dark. Their strength and their reason to keep going. And oh my god, I just loved them! Their love is so pure, and just so gorgeous!

11. Most Precious, Must Be Protected

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

My review.

I was trying really hard not to double up my answers with this, but I can't pick anyone other than Amun from Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. Amun is just so, so kind. But he is also without hope. The Maha has him under his power; he is bound my magic to commit other magical acts that are just terrible, and there's nothing he can do. Nothing. He thinks so carefully about how he speaks to the Maha, so he will vow to do something, but may not say when, in order to give himself some small measure of control, but he can't not do what he is told. And he doesn't see any other life for him. He can't think about it, he can't hope. And he's like a broken boy. He fights so, so hard in any way he can, but he has no real control or power, and is resigned to a fate of slavery. My god, I just wanted to give him a hug! And through all of this, he is so kind to Mehr, and tries his hardest to protect her from the worst of the Maha, and oh my god, he is just amazing!

12. Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie from Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (my review of which will be coming next year). My god, does she have a time of it! The things she experiences, the things she goes through, the things she's seen! And then that ending! Mate, I do not know how she is still alive. I mean, really, I don't know how she's still alive. But Jesus, she's been through hell and back again, and she's still going.

13. Award For Making The Worst Decisions

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

My review.

Rin from The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang. But the thing is, she isn't stupid. She knows the choices she makes will have terrible consequences, and she goes and does them anyway. I know there wouldn't be much of a story if she didn't make those choices, but I just wanted to shake her and shout, "What they hell is wrong with you?! Look what you're doing!?" Yes, I know her reasons. But I don't understand her. I like her, but I didn't like what she did a lot of the time.

14. Most In Need Of A Nap

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

My review.

Marion, Zoey and Val from Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, but especially Marion. Mate. I do not know how they are hanging on by the end of this book. I don't know how their minds have not just snapped from all they've experienced. Especially Marion - I mean, Jesus, what that girl has to do and what she goes through. She should definitely be allowed a month or so to just sleep and recover.

15. Want To Read More About You

Muse of Nightmares by Laini taylor

My review.

Absolutely everyone from Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. Oh my god, this duology is just pure perfection, but two books just isn't enough! I need more of everyone, please. I need more of this world. I need more of the writing and the emotions and the mind-blowing aspects. All of it. I need more. And I do think, in one way or another, I will get it. So I'm happy. But I'd like more right now, please.

Over to you graphic

What would your answers to be to these questions? Do you agree with me on any of them? Any you whole-heartedly disagree on? Tell me all!

Feel free to do the book tag yourself, just make sure to give credit and link back to the post on Paper Fury - Cait even has a handy list of questions at the end for you to copy!

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  1. AHh I'm so glad you did the tag and I LOVED reading your answers!! So agree about Muse! It was like finished but open for sequels? I'm hanging out for a short story about Ruza and Thyon, and dragons hopefully. *flails* 😂I also completely need to read The Poppy War and Empire of Sand yet. And UGH agreed with how awful the Demon King was, but how perfect and amazing Wren and Lei were. Happy tears omg!! I'm so proud that book hit the bestseller list. :')

    1. Thanks! I would also love a short story about the two same sex realtionships in Muse! I think they would be awesome! Empire of Sand is amazing! The Poppy War wasn't really for me, though, unfortunately. I LOVED Wren and Lei! They were just adorable! And so, so deserving of the bestseller list, yes!