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, April 16, 2013

Okay kids, cutting to the proverbial chase: I vote for The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green to move on to the next round the Smackdown. I'm pretty sure Dia is in love with this book, and I can understand that -- its a touching story; not necessarily a weeping-in-my-chair-touching, as suggested, but a sensitively crafted vignette just the same.  But in truth, 'The Fault' could have won by acclamation because I disqualified Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, due to suspicion of literary larceny.

Is it fair to dismiss a perfectly adequate novel simply because it so closely resembles another?  John Fogerty might think otherwise, but I think so.  Take Ru, by Kim Thuy (first published in French in 2009), the story of a Viet family who settles in Canada upon fleeing strife in their homeland.  Written in an unorthodox format, the novel follows their acclimation to North American mores for which it won a Governor Generals award.  Given that 'Inside Out' was published in 2011, and follows much the same course, in much the same way, can we really accept that Ms. Lai was simply ignorant of the existence of another successful work written about a subject in which, ostensibly, she must be vested?  I think not.

I will freely admit that 'The Fault' is not my favourite Smackdown contender (more of which anon), but it it acquits itself admirably in the company of Ms. Lai's knock-off.

As for a zombie pick, notwithstanding the fact that I haven't even finished reading it, I pick The Raven Boys.

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