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

Friday, December 7, 2012

Everyday VS Blood Red Road

Okay, so I've enlisted a student helper this year. She's an AVID reader and will give  feedback/comment on each of the choices...hope that's okay! 

Teacher thoughts on Everyday: This is a way cool book. At first I was just totally confused and thought, Okay, just suspend your disbelief and go with it. And then I thought, This is just going to evolve into some weird ultra weird Harlequin romance. And then I finished, and I thought, Wow. Too cool.  

The basic premise of the book is that this kid wakes up every morning in a different body...s/he has no control over how this happens and it has been happening ever since birth (which did leave me wondering how s/he would be able to form viable attachments or relationships in young adulthood), but remember the suspension of disbelief note above...I think the one thing that I was disappointed in was that there was such tremendous potential within the book to develop empathy by understanding how the world looks through others' eyes - and this did happen to some degree, but I think it could have been more pronounced. The protagonist, "A," is so into himself and his girlfriend that we don't hear as much about the kids whose bodies he inhabits. However, overall, I enjoyed it for its uniqueness.

As for Blood Red Road - don't think it's much of a contest. Although it was rather a page turner, I found too many distasteful aspects for me although lovers of The Hunger Games might enjoy it. It's your standard dystopian fantasy with a dash of romance. Basically it would appear as if the world has declined to a state of decay (both environmentally - a drought - and morally - the majority of the population is hooked on some addictive plant and they get their kicks from watching people kill each other in a Christian-in-a-lion-pit sort of way, only human teen v.s. human teen. I was willing to suspend my disbelief while reading Everyday on the basis that it was an original premise, but in Blood Red Road, I wasn't able to believe that a nasty (as in really, really, really nasty) bad guy wouldn't pull the trigger on the gun he has held to a child's head when he sees that the "gig's up" or that one wouldn't check to make sure aforementioned nasty was dead after he'd been hit so that he wouldn't keep popping up and offing others in your party. Plus, as an English teacher, I can handle dialect when it's done well, but I found the feigned dumbed-down dialect in Blood Red Road just plain annoyin' so's I cain't recommen' this here un to go on no how.


  1. This was a hard bracket for me as I chose one - Every Day and loved the other one. I read Blood Red Road with my mother daughter bookclub and I have to say, for us, it was a huge hit! We loved the heroine of the story and her Buffy the Vampire Slayer-like kick ass personality. I love a very strong female role model. It does have a Mad Max element (clearly things aren't going well post apocalypticaly) that didn't seem forced beyond any other in this genre. Two thumbs way up....and I hope Every Day turns out worthy!

  2. I haven't read "Blood Red Road" or it's sequel "Dust Lands" but I have read "Every Day". I loved it even though the premise of landing in a different body seems stolen from "Mercy" by Rebecca Lim (published 2010). I'm ok with "Every Day" moving on.