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
»

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Fault in our Stars vs. Inside Out and Back Again

Prior to joining the illustrious group that is The Mighty Smackdown, I spent a year reading numerous YA titles (imagine if you like a Rocky-style montage for YA novel reading) and like many Smackdownians before me, I believed that The Fault in our Stars was the novel to beat.

Both novels are excellent reads and I look forward to seeing the advancing novel in the finals; However, I cannot in good faith just let it out which of the two is advancing. Since Dia and Arlene have given me this soapbox to speak from, here are my thoughts:

Inside Out and Back Again

I first read this novel on a whim after it appeared in my recommendations on goodreads.com. I thoroughly enjoyed the text and thought it to be a valuable. I was excited to read it again and this time in comparison to TFioS.

My experience with novels written in verse is rather limited but if they are all this well written, I will be reading a lot more. As a collection of poetry, Ha's story was beautifully told. There were poems in with I felt great emotion and others were I felt as though I was new to America.

The Fault in our Stars

When thinking about how I would present my analysis of this bracket, my idea was to hold out the big reveal as long as possible and try to mislead the audience into thinking that I might chose the underdog. Well as much as I'd like to try and deceive, I cannot. Reading TFioS for a second time only deepened my appreciation of John Green's work. I loved Hazel and Gus. I was surprised to read - for a second time - that Hazel carried around an oxygen tank and that Augustus had only one leg. In remembering the novel and reading it for a second time, the characters were always the focal point and never their ailments, despite the events of the novel. At the end of the day and all else considered, I loved reading about two characters that were absolute nerds. In TFioS John Green writes a great story about two teenagers and their infinity together. It is a great piece of literature and it moves on to the finals for me.

There were moments in Inside Out and Back Again but I still feel as though too often there were moments that Thanhha Lai missed a great opportunity to extend the audience's experience. Verse writing, in my opinion, lacks strong character development that I found myself to be constantly wishing for. The Fault in our Stars is the text moving on to the finals

BRAINS........

It would appear as though the Zombie Pick is all over the place. I thought after eliminating Between Shades of Grey that The Year of Beasts might become a dark horse and take a run at this thing but that died pretty quickly. My Zombie Pick of this year is Raven Boys. It seemed pretty shocking when it was eliminated and despite really liking The Year of Beasts, I'd like to read Raven Boys. 

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