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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gotta Tell the Truth: Code Name Verity vs. Master of Deceit

Both of these books were interesting reads.  This is important to consider, as Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies is indeed, as the title suggests, a non-fiction tome dealing with the CIA and it's ubiquitous leader for almost 50 years.  Seriously.  It feels strange to type it, but Master of Deceit was actually a mostly absorbing read, and the visuals used to support the author's research were evocative.  It would have been great to move something so unconventional, especially within the world of YA, forward to the next round.  However, even the airing of America's dark and dirty secrets was not a match for the powerhouse that is Code Name: Verity.
The back cover of Verity was deliberately vague, but do not be dissuaded by this.  The story focuses on a captured prisoner of war and her account of the events that have led to her imprisonment and subsequent torture by the Gestapo.  Not only does the protagonist calmly describe the torture she had endured (in an almost flippant manner that makes it seem worse) but she is consumed with concern for her best friend, who was also on the failed mission with her.  The lives of these two girls have been interwoven for so long and in such a manner that you are completely drawn into the protagonist's fears for her friend.  While at times events seemed to line up just a little too perfectly in Code Name: Verity, for the most part this was an engrossing and thought-provoking read.  Move forth!

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