Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
Ghost
The Bunker Diary
Echo
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy
The Hired Girl
An Ember in the Ashes
The Porcupine of Truth
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Goodbye Stranger
Beautiful Blue World
The Blackthorn Key
One
Updraft
All American Boys
»

Monday, February 28, 2011

Where to start? I had an obvious choice after reading these two books, and then I checked in with my two partner readers on this book. After reading their two blogs, I had to think a little further about my choice, but alas, I can not change my mind!

Flash Burnout was a tougher read for me mostly because I found myself not really liking Blake, the narrator of the book. The book is well-written, which is always a bonus, and the characters are well-developed, but I found myself rolling my eyes at the amount of teenage angst that was often displayed in the book. I also found myself cringing at certain points as to how Blake viewed his girlfriend. I sensed that Blake was going to end up cheating on his girlfriend, and I wasn't too fond of the "I just couldn't stop myself in the heat of the moment" line. I did like the fact that Blake suffered the consequences of his actions, and that the author didn't wrap it all up neatly by having his girlfriend forgive him at the end of the book. I also enjoyed the relationships Blake had with his family; they obviously cared for each other and he appreciated the wisdom they had to offer. I am going to keep my copy of this book (have I spent my $100 yet?!) as I teach high school, and I think many boys could relate to Blake and the feelings he had throughout the book. I think really, though, that the reason I can't pick this book is because I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour .

I do agree with my fellow readers that at times, this book was prediticable, but I found Amy to be such an authentic character that I could over-look the predictablity of some of the outcomes. Amy is struggling in life, and she is all alone - feelings that so many teens experience. She needs to sort her life out on her own, and she does so by breaking free of her mother's rules and regulations and rebelling in her own quiet way. She has always been the perfect daughter (a stong contrast to her drug addicted brother), but she is terribly isolated in dealing with her grief over the loss of her father. Her family has fallen apart, and she is left to try and pick up the pieces on a drive across the country with a perfect stranger. With this stranger (a thoughtful, young man a few years older than her), she takes a detour from her mother's chosen route across the country... she also takes a detour from her bottled up feelings. She comes to understand herself, and her family, through her journey.

My choice, as I am sure you have all guessed, is Roger and Amy's Epic Detour. I have already passed the book off to a student who I know would love it. I am in a bit of an unusual spot as I teach both high school and junior high. I know I may be a bit too cautious as to which books I recommend to my junior high students, but I'm not sure I could recommend Flash Burnout to my younger students. As a mom, I don't think I would want my own 12 year old son coming home with a book that has the protagonist sleeping with a girl and taking pictures, even "tasteful" ones, of her in his bed afterwards. I guess ultimately, that is why my pick is Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour. All of this being said, the vote is two to one!! Rats.

1 comment:

  1. Choosing between "Flash Burnout" and "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" was difficult. I enjoyed them both. I'd be happy to see Amy and Roger become a Zombie book.

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