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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hard Choice

Fractured family
Struggle to SPLIT from abuse
Struggle to forgive

Luminous writing
Slows my reading to savour
The monster lessons

I read Split first and I really liked it. The tension was crazy at the end and I felt myself wanting to shout at the characters to get moving near the end when they go back for Mom. It was sad and mature but a book that could be dived into by many. It was my first pick. Then I read A Monster Calls.....darn that Arlene for picking such a book! It is just ridiculous. I cried at the illustrations and the words. Nothing anyone else hasn't said already. However, I will say I found the Henry character a little forced but still it is so good!  That's the problem. Would a kid say it was that good? Once again I sit on the edge of spectacular book but spectacular kids book?

The easy thing here is my vote isn't going to go against 5 others. In that case just for the above reason - accessibility  I vote SPLIT.


  1. Dia, are you just fulfilling my desire to create Smack in this Smackdown???
    I will go so far as to say you're crazy for your pick!
    Both books would go to mature readers, for sure, but I loved A Monster Calls.
    Yes, I sobbed shamelessly at the end, but I felt better about the world than crying during Split.
    If nothing else, did you notice how the physical weight of Monster matched the weight of the story? No accident in that, I am sure!
    Bring on your Smack! :)

  2. I'm not crazy but I usually end up warring between a book I've enjoyed and wondering if it has the same appeal for a student. I love the part about the weight for sure but what about Henry? That didn't work for me though I see how it moves the plot forward.

  3. I didn't enjoy Split very much, but I can definitely see your point. I would guess that if I gave every kid I know both books and asked them to read the first fifty pages of each and then choose one, more would go with Split. For those who finished both, however, I think A Monster Calls would linger longer in their hearts and minds. Jace left me cold and I think making the father a psychopathic monster (Who also happened to be a judge!?!)was a misstep.

  4. Henry? Or Harry? The bully, right? Perhaps not that believable, but functions in the story to move Conor's tale forward. In the end, who cares? The story as a whole made me sob to near hyperventilation. Cathartic.
    I read another review somewhere in which the writer claimed the story was written as if for them. I could say it was written for me. I suspect anyone who has had to deal with a loss of loved one after a long sickness and, perhaps, make peace with a desire for it to be over, could say the book was written for them.
    The physical weight of the book struck me right away, and I was not disappointed by its metaphorical weight!
    For everyone: possibly not. But please don't tell me Split would be good for all! I just wanted to escape out of that one! Compelling? Yes. Cathartic? No.

  5. For the record, I just read the first chapter to a class and they were begging for more (I had better put copies in our library soon!)