Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Third Annual Book Oscars! 2012 Edition

No year is complete without a best of list.  And what best of list is Glitzier than then the Oscars?  So in my first year of blogging I decided the normal New Years best of list was too pedestrian for me, and I donned my most outrageous ball gown and sat down at the computer to hash out my years big winners in categories paying tribute to the Academies, on it's big day.  It was so much fun it's become an annual tradition of mine. 

So although it's lost on you, I've once again put on my most outrageous evening wear (yes that's me right now, I know it looks like Cher but it's just the feathers throwing you)  and I've got a bottle of morning champagne all ready to pop once this show comes to it's three hour conclusion.  Until then I've hidden snacks in that fantastic, multipurpose feather headdress. 
And you thought I wore it just to cause a scene! Ha!  I'm an old hand at this baby.

So without further ado, that breakfast champagne is looking really good right now, onwards with the awards!

Best Costumes
An often overlooked goody in storytelling, it's no less important then in film.  God knows, if every female lead was a Bella who just constantly throws on any old jeans and ugly sweater from their floor it would get very old, very fast.  This years winner had the most delectable array of costumes across all of her characters.  Stunning concoctions, lovingly detailed, and so many costume changes!  I pity/envy the costume designer set to recreate them for the film.

The winner is!
The Night Circus,  Erin Morgenstern (see my review)

Best Visual Effects
This category is a tie this year due to two astounding contenders.

Blood and Flowers, Penny Blubaugh- written in a strikingly unusual style that I deemed " bordering on Shakespeare quality poetry" in my review, Penny sketches out a fantastic version of Faerie but an even more unusual slant on our side of the world.  The story is filled with fantastic characters, props, costumes and coloured drinks that suggest terrible things.  I was swept away to a breathtaking world equal parts harsh and beautiful. (my review)

Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern-  Everything about this story was lush.  Costumes, sets, food, smells, troops of performing kittens- it had everything.  Reading the Night Circus is otherworldly, and it'll make you long to be a Reveur.  The plain old three ring of your childhood will pale in comparison. (my review)

Best Art Direction
I can't begin to describe how excited I am to see more and more art in books.  Words and art are like coffee and chocolate- made for each other.  And this years winner marries the two in the most heartbreaking way.  I have one word for you, bugs, that's right.  Illustrator Jim Kay used many different mediums, including bugs.

The winner is...
A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness, Illustrated by Jim Kay and inspired by Siobhan Dowd (see my review)

Best Scary Read
Without a doubt,
Bedbugs, Ben H. Winters

It was horrifyingly real, tied into something so completely scary to the city dweller in me, but with an excellent classic horror twist.  I was creeped out for days.  I think Giving me the Creeps October may be the death of me one of these years. (see my review)

Best Funny Read
Another tie.  Two totally different books, but funny in totally different ways.

There is No Dog- Megg Rosoff
Tongue in cheek, witty, and not like anything I've read in quite sometime, There is No Dog was like a breath of fresh air in YA.  I laughed out loud, and was completely amazed by the dry humor. (see my review)

Croak, Gina Damico
I know, I've been talking about this book since October and it doesn't come out until next month!  What can I say, I want it on your TBR list.  Another laugh out loud story, with fun characters and a great possible romance that's so much more pulling each others hair, than sappy.  Thoroughly enjoyable. (see my review)

Best Non-Fiction
Through the Glass- Shannon Moroney
The book I thought I had no interest in reading, but which stayed with me long after I had finished it.  An incredible look at an impossible situation, the Canadian penal system and the short falls when it comes to victims outside our usual idea of the term.
If you read one non-fiction this year, read this book.  It will enlighten you to so many aspects of law and crime and make you want to be a better person. (see my review)

Now, lets get to the biggies!

Best Supporting Actor
Nick Pardee- Blood Magic, Tessa Gratton
A great book, creepy, Poe like, and totally breaking the YA mold, but Nick stole the show for me.  When he shows up at the barn party in the pin striped suit, well, I was sold. (see my review)

Best Supporting Actress
Rasia- Vaclav and Lena, Haley Tanner
An enchanting book, filled with the innocence of youth even though it deals with heavy material.  Rasia was the Russian mother I never realised I needed.  Her broken English and drive for the perfect American life were so heartfelt and beautifully written.  But it's what she's hidden all these years that will break your heart. (my review)

Best Writer
This was an absolute no brainer.
Maggie Steifvater- The Scorpio Races

I started at the end and worked my way back through her books, and my thoughts on the Scorpio Races remain true.  Here is a writer who's found her style. It's haunting, lyrical and it will sweep you away to places so unusual and yet leave you convinced they're real.  Her characters are imperfect and lovable, and her stories are engrossing.  

Once upon a time I foolishly used to watch David Suzuki's nature of things every week.  I would become embroiled in the plight of this weeks animal, coming to hate all it's predators only to be presented with one of the predators the following week.  I couldn't deal with the emotional drama, it was draining.

Maggie plays me the same way.  It's a flesh eating horse, look at all the havoc they've caused to this lovely character filled island.  But here's Corr, isn't he magnificent?  See here? This is why you should love the flesh eating horses the way Thisby does. 
If she had a weekly tv show, I would have a break down. Thank god she's an author and thus can only break my heart once a year at most.
(my review of The Scorpio Races, or you can cheat and see my reviews from this year for Shiver, Linger, and Forever. Lament to come soon!)

Best Actor
Cassel Sharp- Red Glove, Holly Black
It's rare to have a YA protaganist who is a boy, which is a shame, we could all use a little more diversity in our reading.  Especially if all male leads were as complex and intriguing as Cassel.  In Red Glove I continued to be enamoured of him, he's slick and tricky, and you're never sure if he's playing for the good side or the bad. Yet Holly gives him true moment's of redemption, so despite it all you can't help but be rooting for him.  His character nuancing makes this series for me and I can't wait for the final part- Black Heart, coming out in April. (my review)

Best Actress
Kyra- Goth Girl Rising, Barry Lyga
Kyra is a broken hero.  She is all the things a typcal YA protagonist is not. A goth girl, dressing and acting completely against convention, not flirty and focused on the "hot" guy.  Kyra not only tries her damnedest to make you, and everyone around her, hate her but she also shines incredible insight on life as a highschool girl, and all it's hypocrisies. 
She's nothing if she isn't surprising and you'll love her.  Thank god Barry Lyga fell for her too, or we would never have gotten her story (he had no intention of doing a follow up to The Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl). (my review)

Best Book

A tie again! What can I say, it's been an astounding year. Both the winners were the pinacle of the authors career to-date for me. And yet they are very different books.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
An epic start to a trilogy that shows incredible promise, this story was a romp through an amazing world of good and evil. The lines were blurred so often I still wasn't sure where everyone stood by the end. Laini Taylor has proven herself to be a masterfull world builder of fantasy, but how she's layered it into the real world, for The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is where her gift really shines. I felt like my world became more rich, just from dabbling in hers for a few days. I can't wait for her to sweep me away again in book two. (my review)

The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater
On Novemeber 1st of 2011 I sat on my couch, wrapped up in a blanket, with kitties and a cup of tea, and I raced flesh eating horses on a freezing beach. I fell in love with an Island that was so real I'm still not convinced it doesn't lie somwhere off the coast of Ireland and it's just hidden from me until I prove worthy of it. My mouth watered over November cakes (long before I first baked them), and I decided I wanted to grow young to be just like Puck. I was swept away so completely, I was simultaneously thrilled I had 5 more books from this author to read, and dissapointed I hadn't followed her from an earlier point. (my review)

If you haven't read one or more of these books, then I ask you simply- why in gods name not?  Go forth and read them all, you won't be sorry.  That's a Bookworm Promise.


  1. Love your Book Oscars!! :D

    Night Circus would definitely win those categories.. and now that leaves me no excuse to finally get around to reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone!! ;)


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