The Smashing & Dashing 2018 Character Awards #Book Tag

Totally stealing this tag from the excellent Cait @Paper Fury, hoarder of cake and tamer of dragons.  (Because she said we could steal it . . . many thanks, benevolent empress of the Interwebs.)

Basically this tag is conducted thusly:

  1. nominate characters to fill each category from books read in 2018
  2. note:  does not have to be PUBLISHED IN 2018, just READ IN 2018
  3. link back to Cait’s original post

See?  Not hard at all!

Without further ado, here are my nominations for the Smashing & Dashing Character Awards of 2018!

1.  Most Relatable Character

Pffffft, that one’s easy.  Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza, from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.  He is my #smol depressed overprotective Slytherin son, and I just got his inner struggles right away, you know?  Sliding into his story was as easy as sliding into my own skin.  And that’s not often a feeling I have, when I read.


2.  Most Pure Animal Companion


A Certain Individual in Allison Tebo’s A Royal Masquerade.  And no, I shan’t get any more specific than that.  If you’ve read the story, you know exactly whom I mean.  😛


3.  Fiercest Fighter

Aiken, from The Shield Ring by Rosemary Sutcliff.  He is a Genuine Bona Fide Professional Viking by birth, by trade, and by inclination, so yeah . . . he doesn’t have much competition in the “fiercest fighter” category.  But what I love most about Aiken is his reason for fighting:  his determination to protect his beloved home and family, no matter the cost.  ❤

the shield ring

4.  Am Surprised That I Loved You??

Lovelll, from The Usurper’s Throne and The Welsh Gambit by Charity Bishop.  VERY surprised that I loved him . . . ’cause he’s kind of a jerk . . . buuuuuuuuuut, turns out he has a giant heart of gold that he keeps hidden cause he’s Ashamed Of It (#stupid Lovell).  Not to mention he’s massively protective of certain Small and Helpless Individuals in his life, and I have a weakness for such men, I’m afraid.  😛

5.  Best Sassmaster

Cynfael, from Skye Hoffert’s novella Falling Snow, in the Five Poisoned Apples collection.  Indubitably sassy.  Deliciously sassy.  Infuriatingly sassy, at times.  😉


6.  Best Antihero

No contest here.  Bendeguz, from Kate Seredy’s classic The White Stag.

Bendeguz is . . . just . . . *THROWS HANDS IN THE AIR AND WAILS*  You never really know whether to root for him, honestly, and it’s #frustrating.  He’s super violent and bloodthirsty??  but he was raised to believe in this divine quest to conquer a homeland for his people??  but he abuses his son???  but his wife died tragically when the baby was born???  and then he mellows out in his old age and just, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO THINK ANY MORE.

That’s a good anti-hero for you, folks.

Scan 40
can I just say.  best illustrations EVER.

7.  The Best Friends of All

Obviously Marcus and Esca from Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff.  They are Bros™ and it’s perfect.

8.  Best Villain To HATE

Why . . . the Queen from Falling Snow, of course!  She eats people’s hearts!  That’s not cool, mate!

9.  Award for Best vs. Worst YA Parents

Best YA Parent goes to Georgina Fernweh’s mom in Katrina Leno’s Summer of Salt.  Sure, she may be a witch with formidable witch-y powers, but first and foremost, she is her children’s protector, mentor, listening ear, and shoulder to cry on.  She never forces their confidence, but she always makes sure they know they can trust her.  That is the GOOD STUFF.  ❤


Worst YA Parent goes to Yuri Strelnikov’s mom from Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy.  She has a sweet, precious, earnest, insecure bundle of awesomesauce for a son, and she . . . just . . . ignores him??????  Why.

10.  Ship of All Ships in 2018

Who else?  Pete Wyatt and Beatriz Soria, in All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater.  They are my children and they are perfect for each other.  *throws rocks at anyone who says they’re not*

I mean.  Think about it.  He’s gentle and unassuming, way too hard on himself and more than a little bit lost.  She’s quirky and intense, hiding behind a wall of “I-don’t-have-normal-human-emotions-you’re-wasting-your-time.”  How could I HELP shipping them to all eternity?


11.  Most Precious Must Be Protected

HA.  Easy.  Lady Anwen, from The Welsh Gambit.  *mutters darkly about restraining orders and protective bubble wrap*

12.  Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

Jace, from Bitter Winter by Jaye L. Knight.  (In all seriousness . . . how IS this guy still alive?!?!  Does anyone know???  I need answers.  Especially now in Book 5, ’cause he’s being thrown into all these situations that require Cunning and Finesse and he has exactly none of that and I genuinely expect him to croak and die at any moment.)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00028]

13.  Award for Making the Worst Decisions

Clearly, Mr. Algona from Dancing and Doughnuts by Rachel Kovaciny.  He has no conception how to properly manage a family and I bite my thumb at him.  (“Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?”  “I do bite my thumb, sir!”)  😛

14.  Most in Need of a Nap

Charlie Winters from Soldier On by Vanessa Rasanen needs approximately 5 million naps, poor baby.  The war in Afghanistan is no joke.


15.  Want to Read More About You

I would willingly read several more novels about Alexandra Bergson from Willa Cather’s O Pioneers.  She is an uniquely strong female character and she intrigues me greatly.  I really, really wish O Pioneers weren’t so short.


So that’s a wrap on the Smashing and Dashing Character Awards for this year, folks!  If you want to do the tag, go right ahead–just remember to link back to Cait’s post.

Clean list of questions:  

1. Most Relatable Character
2. Most Pure Animal Companion
3. Fiercest Fighter
4. Am Surprised That I Loved You??
5. Best Sassmaster
6. Best Antihero
7. The Best Friends Of All
8. Best Villain To HATE
9. Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents
10. Ship Of All Ships In 2018
11. Most Precious Must Be Protected
12. Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive
13. Award For Making The Worst Decisions
14. Most In Need Of A Nap
15. Want To Read More About You


Let’s chat!

Tell me all about your 2018 reads!

23 thoughts on “The Smashing & Dashing 2018 Character Awards #Book Tag

Add yours

  1. Ahh I’m so glad you did this!! *flails* I loved reading your answers and omgggg I AGREE that Ari is so thoroughly relatable. Ahhh. I also totally think he had depression but didn’t know the word for it? I love him and he makes me cry ajdkslad. Also so glad to see Summer of Salt and All The Crooked Saints mentioned!! 🤗


    1. Thank YOU so much for putting together the tag! I had a blast with it!!!

      All three books–Aristotle and Dante, Summer of Salt, and Crooked Saints–are books I read because of your recommendation ❤ ❤

      And YES. I agree about Ari. It was like, he didn't have the language to say "I have depression," but he totally DID have it and it hurts that the doctors in the story just kind of ignored his problems and didn't try to help :/ He makes me cry tooooooooooooooo.



    MARCUS AND ESCA, YES, YES, YES!!! *arm pump* They are PERFECT.

    Aww, and thank you so much for the shout-out for you-know-who in A Royal Masquerade!! *beams*


    1. YAY!!!!! And yes, aren’t they just too perfect??? Best friends forever, despite all obstacles. *beams proudly at them*

      Lol, I knew you’d appreciate that!!! 😀 I couldn’t spoil the surprise, but at the same time, I just HAD to mention it somehow 😉


  3. Omigoodness!!!! I was not expecting that! Not just one, but two of my characters!
    This is awesome! Cynfael the sass master, he would be so pleased. XD
    Love that the Queen got a mention, I wanted her to be as creepy as possible.
    Thanks so much for this!!! You’re awesome! <333


  4. Ooh, yes, I want to do this!

    HAHA–honestly, your description of Jace: “he’s being thrown into all these situations that require Cunning and Finesse and he has exactly none of that and I genuinely expect him to croak and die at any moment.” xD xD I haven’t even read this series, but boi. ❤ You ARE witty, my dear. 😉

    And All the Crooked Saints!! I started that this year and postponed it, but it was shaping up to be amazing and I do definitely want to finish it at some point. 🙂


    1. I want to see your answers!! Please!! 😀

      Aw, thanks! ❤

      I MEAN I'M SRSLY WORRIED ABOUT HIM b/c he's just not cut out for this deviousness and such. Somebody is going to stab him in the back and he's not ever gonna see it coming. He is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too straightforward for his own good. *hugs him worriedly*

      Oooooooh, I hope you can! I LOVE that book!!!


      1. There’s nothing wrong with his self-esteem, that’s for sure. Just so long as he uses his powers for good and not to, you know, kill people. 😉


  5. Ahhhhhh, what an awesome post this is!! I loved your answers to the tag! And I laughed in delight at your inclusion of several of my favorite characters, and what you so wittily and aptly said about them. <333 Aiken, YASSS. And Marcus and Esca, and A Royal Masquerade. 😀 My precious favorites!!! 😀

    And okay, this is so much fun that I almost can't resist joining in here with my own answers, for lack of a blog! 🙂 I had to write them out for myself, just for the sheer pleasure. 😀


      1. I did! Yes! 😀

        Hahaha, I confess I wanted to share them with you, but I didn’t want to slam you with it without you wanting to see it! 😀 (It’s fun to look back at my shelves and come up with answers just for myself, but more fun to talk about it with a friend.) So here it is:

        1. Most relatable for me in almost every way is definitely Poppy from A Royal Masquerade. 🙂 Most relatable in feelings and life circumstance – though not in any other way – is Marcus from Eagle of the Ninth. ❤
        2. In addition to the one in A Royal Masquerade, Cub from EOTN. (My favorites are bound to recur, here….)
        3. Honestly, I may not be able to top your choice of Aiken. 😉 Though Marcus and the chariot come to mind, and Costis from The King of Attolia.
        5. BURNDEE. A Royal Masquerade, once again. 🙂
        7. MARCUS AND ESCA. <333
        8. There were several this year, but Nahuseresh from The Queen of Attolia beats out the rest by far. 😛
        9. Too many! But possibly the best, and the only one that's mainstream YA, is the parent in The Queen of Attolia. And worst is probably the dad in Icefall.
        10. Too many awesome ships….. I cannot even try to choose.
        11. Poppy again. Or Eugenides, who is extremely precious and desperately needs it.
        12. Marcus or Eugenides. 🙂
        13. Mr. Peacock-Hemlock-Jones in Jingo Django, with one all-important decision. (With the rest, he's very wise.)
        14. Costis in King of Attolia, quite literally. 🙂
        15. A lot of them…


      2. Wonderful answers, Mary!!! ❤

        It makes me happy to know that you relate to Poppy so much! I can definitely see that; she's sweet and gentle and soft-hearted, but also strong and enduring, just like you. *hugs*


  6. OH! Oh my. Oh my goodness. My book is on here.

    ::blinks rapidly::


    Yeah, Mr. Algona kind of just… turns out to be sort of the villain of a villain-less book, in a way, since if he’d just stop being so unreasonable, we could have avoided this whole kerfuffle, eh?

    But I don’t know if I’d go so far as to bite my thumb at him. He does see reason in the end, after all. As far as I know, Alice, Anna, Dora, and Clara for sure all went on to have quite happy marriages. Don’t know one way or the other about the others (yet), though I suspect Felicity and Trouble may eventually too.

    Anyway, please know I am honored and surprised to find my book here 🙂


    1. Your book is on here, yes! I’m so glad you’re pleased!! *grins* 😀 😀

      Haha, yeah, it’s definitely important to the story that he BE that way for a while . . . and I definitely don’t see him as a terrible person . . . I just felt like biting my thumb at him 😛

      That makes me happy! ❤


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