Smackdown Books 2018

Wolf Hollow
Salt to the Sea
The Serpent King
Optimists Die First
The Hate U Give
Orphan Island
Dan vs. Nature
The Female of the Species
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere
Paper Girls, Vol. 1
The Passion of Dolssa
The Distance Between Us
When We Collided
Louis parmi les spectres
Girl in the Blue Coat
Defy the Stars

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wither VS Out of Shadows

Fantasy vs. Historical fiction = neither I would pick off a shelf to read. Although, I will have to say that in the past year I have found several fantasy books I have actually enjoyed. Not that I have begun to read many but it is a start...

Wither - As with many books, my first impression came from the cover. Young girl, long blonde hair (a bit frizzy in my opinion!), bird cage, fancy dress....I didn't like it already! When I actually started reading the concept was interesting - what if you knew when you would die? - but in the beginning the story line was a bit of Hunger Games contestants meets Cinderella meets Sister Wives! I wasn't sure which way it was going to go....then, I realized it actually was the survival of Cinderella and her sister wives! As the story continued, I fell into the trap of any good book and wanted to know what happened in the end. When I got to the end I was a bit confused. I looked it up only to discover I will only find out what happens if I read the entire trilogy! UGHHH! I didn't love it but didn't hate it either. Teenage girls will be all over it looking for the happy ending with romance and the search for love.

Out of Shadows - After reading Bamboo People last year I had high hopes for my next historical fiction read. I have done some reading and work in my SS 8 classes with regards to Robert Mugabe and his rule in Zimbabwe and was hopeful this YA novel would prove to be another resource representing the Worldview of a teenage boy. It is. However, even though the events are disturbing and true to real life events, the overall writing left something to be desired. In many cases I felt the author was beating me over the head with the repetitive events of bullying and race relations. I am not by any means making light of historical atrocities but I can't imagine a teenage boy or girl wanting to read until the end. Everyone knows how it ends. The other bothersome part of the book was the authors insistence on commenting on the later / adult life of the other characters early on in the story. This was disturbing to me as it took away the suspense of what could be to come. It was not even close to foreshadowing when he states when and how they ended up or what his role was. Teens will get some thought provoking questions from the book but not to the level it has been reviewed by others.

The decision -In the beginning I predicted the historical fiction story would win out, but, both Andrew and I agree that although we wouldn't pick either one as exceptional, in the spirit of competition we will choose Wither to last another round!

Team DA (Donna and Andrew)


  1. I think you've read more fantasy and historical fiction than you would like to admit to, Donna!

  2. I've read Wither and had others passionately recommend it to me. I thought it was good - not the best book ever and maybe a little too Sister Wives for sure but I'm in for the sequel.

  3. I have also read a lot of historical fiction and Out of Shadows is a poor representation of the genre. That being said Wither is not much better as it is very slow and tedious... I think that I counted three different times that the incents are described that burn in the hallway. Would it be too much to ask for an author to write a stand alone novel without trying to stretch it out into a trilogy?

    I agree with Donna... The better of the two books did move forward, but it is a shame that somewhere a great book was dropped along the way. Thank goodness for zombie picks.