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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Every You, Every Me Vs Revolution: the other readers


Westmin ended up agreeing on our choice. Wendy was our fastest reader. She says:

I think I already voted off the island a much better book than either of the two I read this time. This time I read Every You, Every Me-- which was a disappointment because it was a great premise and actually even seemed to use photos in a really unique way. Unfortunately, the protagonist was not someone I cared about saving. The protagonist was obsessed with a character whom he helped commit to a psychiatric hospital and who was not in the book—but that is where the story was! Why didn’t the author just write a book about her? It would have been better. At least something would have happened.

I picked Revolution to continue, though I suspect that it is another case of American cultural appropriation. It starts interestingly enough in posh upper east side New York in the mind of a suicidal child prodigy. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of a turn into a different book altogether, eventually merging into Revolutionary France where our heroine becomes a French maid --the only soul who cares about the torturing of the Marie Antoinette's child locked in the tower. The character lost her desire to die when faced with the real struggles of a culture against brutal forces of oppression. So a lesson learned. The book kept me turning the pages and it involved me more than Every You, Every Me.

At this point, based on the other team’s votes, Renae and I became superfluous votes and Revolution moved on.

For the record, Renae says:

I agree with Wendy that Every You, Every Me was flawed in having the whole book revolve around a girl that wasn’t even technically in the story. The photographer’s identity being revealed in the end seemed rushed and out of nowhere, probably because this was another character that was not in the story at all up until this point. I did like the use of the photographs and the striking out of the font.

Revolution didn’t start out great for me because I really disliked the protagonist. However, I also really love history, so the French Revolution and the music history about the composers appealed to me. I enjoyed how the past and present were intertwined. In terms of how students would like this book—I think many of them would pass it by because of the length of it, and others wouldn’t like it because they don’t appreciate historical fiction. This book may work for grade 9 students or older, or ones who particularly are interested in history or music.

And Laura says:

Every You, Every Me had such an interesting tagline: “A picture is worth a thousand lies”, but it just didn’t live up to the expectations for all the reasons already noted by my colleagues.

I normally don’t like historical fiction, and was dreading reading Revolution, but ended up being engaged by the protagonist and the modern-day portion of the story. I liked it when Andi would read Alex’s diary and I even found myself enjoying the history. It got a bit much when Andi “visited” the past near the end, but I still enjoyed it enough to add my pointless vote to make Revolution a unanimous winner.

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