Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
The Bunker Diary
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
All American Boys

Monday, May 27, 2013

Only a Few Faults in Our Stars

Well, no disagreement here. Although I wish I would have read it earlier in the year, as for me it suffered the curse of too-high expectations, all of us here at TD Baker (Chandra, Shelley, and Brent) think The Fault in Our Stars proved to be the best of the bunch! Raven Boys got good after a plodding and somewhat convoluted start, Rotters started strong and got lost along the way, but The Fault in Our Stars stayed true to course from start to finish. Our students who have read it almost universally love it (which is great, so long as it doesn't "inspire" them to write even more cancer narratives - which, along with stories of orphaned protagonists, are already so often produced from our junior high writers).  Runner-up goes to Raven Boys, even though we voted it out and put Rotters forward in prior rounds, but I guess that's the way it goes with brackets, isn't it?  All part of the fun of Smackdown!

However, while I think The Fault in Our Stars is clearly the "winner," I'm getting a bit tired of the way John Green has become the Aaron Sorkin of YA lit.  Just once I'd like to see him create a teenage character that isn't endearingly precocious and eccentric, wise beyond his or her years, prone to making pity remarks and obscure references around every corner.  I mean, his propensity towards dialogue that is too-clever-by-half can certainly be fun to read, and I appreciated that he talks "up" to his readers rather than down to them, but it would be nice to see him try something new next time around.

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