LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!! Welcome to the annual 2013 Book awards ceremony where yours truly, Ronyell, will pick her favorite books of 2013 and give each of her favorite books an award! There are going to be three sections to this awards ceremony which includes an adult and young adult section, a graphic novels section and a picture book section! So just sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
2013 Adult / Young Adult Novels Awards
BEST HISTORICAL ROMANCE:
* The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn: After reading “The Duke and I,” I was actually stuck between either choosing “The Duke and I” and “The Viscount Who Loved Me” for the year’s best “historical romance.” But, I decided on “The Viscount Who Loved Me” because Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sheffield were fantastic characters throughout the whole book and this book basically had both hilarious and tragic moments that made me fall in love with the characters!
BEST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE:
* The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta (Young Adult): Another classic Melina Marchetta book that I just fell in love with and as usual, I loved all of the characters introduced, especially Thomas Finch Mackee and the constant issues he has to face after the death of his uncle Joe.
BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE:
* Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (Young Adult): After reading Cynthia Hand’s hit novel “Unearthly,” I just had to check out the second book in the “Unearthly” series, “Hallowed” and I was seriously loving this paranormal romance novel that probably had the best love triangle story I had ever read in any romance novel (and that’s saying something because I normally don’t like reading about love triangles in any novel).
BEST WESTERN ROMANCE:
* A Texan's Luck by Jodi Thomas: Apart of Jodi Thomas’ legendary “Wife Lottery” series, this is probably one of my favorite books in this series, next to “The Texan’s Wager” and the characters, especially the main characters Captain Walker Larson and Lacy Larson were truly memorable! I also loved the various action sequences when Zeb Whitaker comes and tries to take back the gold he believes is his!
*Daphne Bridgerton from The Duke and I : A heroine who is truly spunky and likes to hang out with the boys, this is honestly one of my most favorite heroines in Julia Quinn’s books so far!
* Lucas Maxfield from Easy : What can I say? Lucas Maxfield is one awesome hero as he protects Jacqueline Wallace from her tragic experience with being raped and is also charming and is one heck of a fighter!
*Neil Gaiman: I have read many books by Neil Gaiman in the past, but his adult books this year were just fantastic to read! “Neverwhere,” “The Graveyard Book” and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” were some of the best books I’ve read this year!
FAVORITE ROMANCE SERIES:
* The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn: Both “The Duke and I” and “The Viscount Who Loved Me” were awesome reads from Julia Quinn’s highly acclaimed “Bridgerton” series and I definitely can’t wait to check out the rest of the books in this series and how the other Bridgerton siblings fare in their love lives!
* Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: After reading Neil Gaiman’s hit novel, “American Gods,” I just had to check out his earlier work on adult books “Neverwhere.” I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how brilliant this novel really was as the alternative universe aspect of this book was both frightening and amazing at the same time!
*Easy by Tammara Webber:
“Love is not the absence of logic
but logic examined and recalculated
heated and curved to fit
inside the contours of the heart” ~ Lucas
Fantastic quote about how true love really works and I think it really spoke volumes about Lucas and Jacqueline’s relationship in “Easy!”
* The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: Come on! A cover with a young boy floating underwater has to be one of the most mesmerizing and haunting images I had ever seen on any book cover!
BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR:
* Easy by Tammara Webber (New Adult): This is possibly the first time I’ve read a novel in the newly created “new adult” category, but Tammara Webber’s hit novel “Easy” was easily one of the best novels I had read this year and I am definitely looking forward to reading this book again!
2013 Graphic Novels AwardsBEST WRITER:
*Brian K. Vaughan on Saga : Brian K. Vaughan’s writing on this new hit series, “Saga” was just brilliant as all the characters were relatable and hilarious and the situations were pretty intense and exciting! I definitely can’t wait to see what other surprises Brian K. Vaughan has in store for the characters in “Saga!”
* Jim Lee on Batman: Hush : Jim Lee’s artwork was truly beautiful in “Batman: Hush” as the characters looked so realistic and I also loved the way that the characters just glow on the pages whenever they were standing in a lighted area.
BEST SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVEL:
* Batman: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder: This was seriously one of the best and most disturbing “Batman” comics I have ever read! The fact that Dick Grayson becomes the next Batman in this story and the fact that his rogue gallery is much more dangerous than anything Bruce Wayne had confronted made this novel one of the best in the “Batman” series!
BEST OLD-SCHOOL GRAPHIC NOVEL:
* X-Men: Proteus by Chris Claremont (1970s): Being introduced to the X-Men through the second generation team, I couldn’t help but feel so giddy when I picked up this graphic novel, due to Proteus being in it! I honestly think that this story line was one of the X-Men’s best fights during the early years before the “Dark Phoenix Saga” and I enjoyed the characters and the fighting so much!
BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL BASED ON A TV SERIES:
* Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise by Gene Luen Yang: So far, I just read parts one and two, but seriously, I think that this new comic book series did the show “Avatar the Last Airbender” justice. The characters’ personalities are straight from the TV series (Aang is still the peaceful yet childlike protagonist of the show, while Sokka is still the comic relief of the show) and it also seems like I’m watching the fourth season of “Avatar the Last Airbender” rather than just reading a graphic novel interpretation of the TV series.
BEST ALTERNATIVE REALITY STORY:
* Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek: This story takes place in Superboy of Earth Prime’s time and it relates the story of young Clark Kent having trouble in school and with his life due to his name being similar to the real Superman. I loved this story line because this is first time I’ve heard of Superboy of Earth Prime and I honestly thought that this was the most well written alternative reality story I’ve ever read from any comic book as it brilliantly details Clark Kent’s life from childhood to adulthood!
BEST MANGA SERIES:
* Kingdom Hearts Final Mix by Shiro Amano: I loved playing the “Kingdom Hearts” games and when I found out that there was a manga series based off of the games, I had to read this series and I was very impressed with the style and the characterizations of the characters, even though this was a more hilarious take on the legendary video games!
*Batman (Dick Grayson) from Batman: The Black Mirror : I am a huge Dick Grayson fan and when I realized that he was the next Batman in “Batman: the Black Mirror,” I have to admit I was really excited about this! Dick Grayson was a fantastic hero in “Black Mirror,” especially with dealing with villains that were way more dangerous than what Bruce Wayne had to deal with and I give Dick Grayson credit for taking down these criminals!
* River Tam from Serenity :I must admit, I’m a huge River Tam and “Firefly” fan and every time I see River appear in “Firefly,” I just go nuts with anticipation because she’s such an unusual yet awesome character who went through so much trauma in her life and yet, is still able to be randomly funny and scary at the same time!
*Saga by Brian K. Vaughan:
“You're the one saying how vital offing these kids and grabbing their brat is to the war effort, right? Well, I'm telling you I need way more cash to do it right, so--
How have you not murdered that creature by now?
Oh, I've tried.” ~ Lying Cat, Gwendolyn and the Will.
Probably one of the best and funniest lines I’ve ever heard in any graphic novel, especially if you consider Lying Cat’s and the Will’s relationship with each other!
BEST NEWCOMING SERIES:
* Saga by Brian K. Vaughan: I know, I know, I already mentioned “Saga” a million times on here! But seriously, this series was fantastic and even though I was going to choose the “Chew” series by John Layman, I think that series came out a little before “Saga” did, so “Saga” fits this category!
BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OF THE YEAR:
* Saga by Brian K. Vaughan: What can I say? This was truly one brilliant series that just kept getting better and better every time I read it! The characters were well written and I loved the fact that there’s always a chance of real danger for these characters if they are not careful of where they’re going. I also loved the fact that this series was driven through a couple’s desperation to get their newborn child to a safer place during a time of war.
2012 Picture Book AwardsFAVORITE WRITER:
*Mo Willems: Mo Willems can seriously write children’s books that are not only funny, but also witty and inventive at the same time! His children’s books continue to put a smile on my face while I’m laughing constantly at the sarcastic humor his characters usually display!
*Patricia Polacco: Patricia Polacco’s illustrations continue to mesmerize me with the realistic expressions her characters have whenever they are upset or happy.
FUNNIEST PICTURE BOOK:
* That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems: A truly hilarious and cautionary tale about a duck meeting up with a shady fox, who wants to turn the duck into his next dinner! Probably the best thing about this book was the unexpected ending and this book once again shows Mo Willems’ talent in writing witty and fun children’s books!
MOST DRAMATIC PICTURE BOOK:
* Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco: A true story about two young boys who befriended each other during the Civil War, despite them being of different races and their lives being in great danger. This is easily one of Patricia Polacco’s most touching and dramatic stories that deal with the ugliness of racism.
* The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel: This Japanese folktale is about a little old woman who happens to laugh at absolutely anything. One day however, she ends up falling into a large crack in the ground and meets up with the dreaded Oni, who want to make her cook for them forever! I absolutely loved this story because I’m always a huge fan of folktales from around the world and this folktale was really unique and interesting at the same time!
BEST HOLIDAY-THEMED BOOK:
* Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans (Christmas): I’m always a huge fan of the “Madeline” books by Ludwig Bemelmans and this story didn’t disappoint me at all as Madeline helps a mysterious rug merchant and is rewarded in the end for her kindness.
BEST FAMILY PICTURE BOOK:
* Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems: Pigeon is not tired (or so he says) and he tries to bribe the readers to let him stay up late! This is definitely a fantastic book that both adults and children will love and Pigeon’s constant bribing towards the readers was just so hilarious for me to see!
* The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein: This book was brilliant in portraying the message about finding your true purpose in life and never giving up on finding that purpose. I think the circle in this story really showed the importance of this message in a very simple yet memorable way!
* Falling Up by Shel Silverstein:
“Tell my I'm clever,
Tell me I'm kind,
Tell me I'm talented,
Tell me I'm cute,
Tell me I'm sensitive,
Graceful and Wise
Tell me I'm perfect--
But tell me the TRUTH.”
One hilarious bit of poetry that I always enjoyed from the creative mind of Shel Silverstein!
BEST PICTURE BOOK FOR ADULTS:
* It's a Book by Lane Smith: This book was amazing as it shows a monkey trying to tell a donkey about the book he was reading and how it was different from the laptop that the donkey had. I think this was definitely a fun book that both kids (who are intrigued with the new technology in our society) and adults (who still read books for a living) will love discussing about for many years!
BEST PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR:
* That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems: Yep! This book won for best picture book of the year for just being so original, suspenseful and hilarious at the same time, while retaining its witty charm for the readers! This is definitely one of the best picture books I’ve read in the past decade!