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
»

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silence of Murder vs. Everybody Sees the Ants




The moment I saw the sticky note on “Silence of Murder” saying that it was the winner of the 2012 Edgar Award, I was sold.  I’ll admit I was biased towards this book considering I’d be Edgar Allan’s groupie if he were alive today.  Donna didn’t put up much of a fight for “Everybody Sees the Ants” due to the fact that ant dreams are too weird, so I guess it was fate that I was paired with her.  The book is about a sixteen year old Hope, who is desperately trying to help her eighteen year old brother Jeremy who is accused of murdering his baseball coach.   When we learn that Jeremy has spoken a word since he was eight, we realize this book has a different twist on a classic storyline.   Hope takes it upon herself to find out what really happened that morning and in the process she questions her brother’s sanity, the relationships in her life and the possible motives of everybody in the town.  As she gets closer to the truth she finds that there are people who are willing to do anything to stop her from finding out what really happened.  The story flips back and forth in time, to allow us to witness the tender relationship between Jeremy and his sister.  They depend on each other, because the only parent in their life is their abusive, alcoholic mother.  The part that won me over was that “Silence of Murder” had me thinking about it all day.  There aren’t many books that can make you lie awake at night wondering if someone is watching you or make you lock your bedroom door.  Then again, maybe I’m just a sissy.  I live off of books that you have to read closely to catch the author’s hints about the story’s outcome.  Overall, “Silence of Murder”, had more of what I like in a book than “Everybody Sees the Ants”.  Would I say it’ll be the last book standing?  Not if Donna has anything to say about it…


Tristin


Ants? Really? Everybody Sees the Ants? I don’t! Tristin doesn’t either! Maybe we are both “insectophobes”, ok the real term is entomophobia but I like the first one better.
The Good: I did enjoy the main character and his believability as a teen male being bullied. Does it happen the way it was described? You bet!... In the hallways of all of our schools even though we work sooo hard to prevent it. The bullying story itself would be beneficial to all teens who read it as is the storyline of Lucky Linderman having an absent father and dysfunctional family (even though they live together). Lucky’s father  hides at work to not have to deal with the loss of his own father as a POW to the Vietnam War and the recent loss of his mother. Both of these storylines are real and believable and the messages of torture, bullying and emotional imprisonment are common themes associated with teens worldwide and important messages to spread….BUT….
The Bad: Part of the storyline takes place in Vietnam with Lucky speaking to his lost Grandfather. He becomes part of the action and is his escape from the day to day reality of his brutal life. Although I get the necessary escape and the need to be free and strong, with the characters being so real and the storylines being so plausible I didn’t enjoy this part of the story at all! He talks to his POW Grandfather and has ants on his shoulder telling him what to do? Nope doesn’t do it for me. I would have preferred an alternate escape so as not to mix the magical deportation to the jungles of Vietnam with the reality of teen bullying and a young boys search to find himself and the strength to continue in the world.
The Ugly (or itchy if bitten by the ants):  The ANTS! Maybe I’m old school and prefer the angel and devil on my shoulders!
The Result:  Fry the ants! Use that jumbo magnifying glass and keep searching for a better read.

Donna

1 comment:

  1. Just finished The Silence of Murder. Like Tristin, I found myself waking up in the night to read just one more chapter to find out how Hope was going to spring her brother Jeremy from jail. I was surprised by the ending...I didn't see it coming and because of that found it satisfying. Maybe I didn't see it coming because I don't read a lot of mysteries. The only thing I questioned were the convenient migraine headaches that Hope had. I didn't find those to be very realistic. Overall, a thumbs up. Now to read Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.

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