The Smashing & Dashing 2019 Character Awards

I met some fantastic (and not-so-fantastic) characters in 2019, one of which you’ve heard A LOT about.

This post is intended to honor the characters of last year.

(Read Margaret’s excellent post on the subject. I loved her choices.)



  1. You have to nominate characters to fit the categories
  2. The characters just has to be from books you READ in 2019 (the books don’t have to have been published this year!)
  3. Link back to Cait @ Paperfury
  4. Also if you are reading this and eating a Christmas cookie….share


Most Relatable Character

Haley Hancock from Technically, You Started It


In 2019, I found an anxious, demisexual trivia nut who prefers texting to social interaction and loves trash TV.

This is the character I’ve been looking for all of my life.


Most Pure Animal Companion

Chainsaw from The Raven Cycle

Raven Cycle

I would die for Chainsaw, the only psychopomp worth having.

(Sorry, Opal.)

I love her so much, I asked her to move in with me!

She sometimes writes guest posts AND she eats all my trash!

Best roommate I’ve ever had!


Fiercest Fighter

Three-way tie

I’ve never read any of the following books, but each of the leads gave me intense warrior vibes.

2019 was a wealth of warrior books. Much applause.


Am Surprised That I Loved You??

Declan Lynch from Call Down the Hawk

Call Down the Hawk


YOU DO THINGS (like take a certain character on a nice date) THAT MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO HATE YOU.


Best Sassmaster

Kuwei Yul-Bo from Crooked Kingdom

Crooked Kingdom

This fun boi is a walking spoiler, so I can’t talk about him much.

Unfortunately, he gets very little character development.

However, he has the best deadpan, muttered utterances in the book.

He rivals even my beloved Jesper Fahey!

That’s skill!


Best Antihero

Ivy Gamble from Magic for Liars

Magic for Liars

Ivy Gamble is a mess, but she’s my mess.

This might be the only time I’ve found a fictional liar/grifter/con-artist sympathetic.

The song “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats is a perfect anthem for Ivy.


The Best Friends Of All

Georgina and Vira from Summer of Salt

Summer of Salt

Georgina would destroy the world to help her sister.

Also, if I remember correctly, her best friend Vira the Happy Goth rescues Georgina in a freak rainstorm.

BEST FRIEND TO HAVE in case of emergency!


Best Villain To HATE

Joseph Kavinsky from The Dream Thieves


dream thieves

Lover that I am of villain ships, I have a tendency to root for the villain.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re bad now, but just wait!

I thought Kavinsky was headed for redemption.

I was very, very wrong.

Kavinsky starts bad…and gets worse.

He is the very worst type of Politically-Incorrect Villain.

I am terrified to see him portrayed in the Raven Boys adaptation (whenever that comes out.)


Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

BEST: Colm Fahey from Crooked Kingdom


Crooked Kingdom

Even after Jesper drops out of school and gambles away his father’s farm, Colm still supports him.

Wylan drops this line that makes me misty:

You gave him someone to run to. No matter what he did or what went wrong. I think that’s bigger than the big mistakes.


Honorable mention to another character’s parents in the same book. THAT’S ALL I’M GOING TO SAY ABOUT THAT.


WORST: The Pirate King from Daughter of the Pirate King

(CW: abuse, rape)

Daughter of the Pirate King

Alosa’s dad SUCKS.

He beats, injures, and insults Alosa to make her “stronger.”

Piracy does not excuse this kind of “parenting.”

Honorable mention to Alosa’s mom, the Siren Queen, who is a murderer and a rapist! Get your ACT together, ma’am!


Ship Of All Ships In 2019

Mara and Charlie from Girl Made of Stars


Shoot. There were so many good ships in 2019.

My ultimate favorite was Mara and Charlie’s relationship from one of my Top Ten Books of 2019.

They started as friends, they accept and support one another, and everyone thinks they’re a natural fit.

I want what they have.

Honorable mention goes to the ship of Katniss with herself.

Neither Gale nor Peeta deserve Katniss.

Three cheers for our aro-ine.


Most Precious Must Be Protected

Mateo Torrez from They Both Die at the End


They Both Die at the End


Mateo is a precious, pure baby who deserved EVERYTHING.

E V E R Y T H I N G.


Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

Samantha Madison from All-American Girl

(CW: gun violence)

All American Girl

Teeny-tiny Samantha Madison charged a shooter and walked away with a broken arm?



Award For Making The Worst Decisions

Tierney James from The Grace Year


Grace Year


Somehow Tierney makes the exact WRONG choice EVERY TIME.

Leaving Ryker to return to the Grace Year girls was her DUMBEST CHOICE.

Honorable mention goes to Scarlett Epstein for PUBLISHING FANFICTION USING PEOPLE’S REAL NAMES.



Most In Need Of A Nap

Jordan Hennessy from Call Down the Hawk

Call Down the Hawk

I can’t talk much about Hennessy (because mega spoilers), but girl only sleeps in 20-minute increments.

She needs a NAP.


Want To Read More About You

Alosa and Riden from Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King

I did not get enough Alosa/Riden romance.

More magic! More backstory! More piracy!

Time for the sequel.


Those were the most memorable characters of 2019.

All right, 2020. Do your best.

1 thought on “The Smashing & Dashing 2019 Character Awards”

  1. I’m so happy that you decided to do this tag too! 😀 Lots of the books that you mention are on my TBR, like Technically You Started It and Magic For Liars and Girl Made of Stars. And I definitely agree with so many of these, including all of the TRC ones!! Kuwei truly is the best sassmaster, and I also wish I could protect Mateo 😥


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