We wanted to create a way where we could read a few books, learn about many titles and have fun doing it! The tournament style reading of the Mighty Smackdown means that in the first round each participant reads two books, discusses both in a blog post, selecting one book to move on to the next round. Teachers are asked to commit to one round but most, if not all, continue on. We will read to the end when we will have only one book left standing!
The four of us from Westmin were fairly well agreed that
neither of our two books gave great pleasure. Ask the Passengersdoes what it wants to do-- provide us with a novel that deals with budding sexuality. The protagonist attempts to determine her own inclinations but she doesn’t
figure it out for e v e r because she is rethinking and looking for proof when it is obvious to us from page one. Kevin didn’t much like the
book—said that he was tired of teen 'coming out' narratives because they are too
angsty and they don’t seem to have anything else going on in their lives except
fretting about their sexuality. Queer YA
lit needs to give more than just that. We can't really figure out the title. There is some tentative connection
with passing air planes and the passing of quantities of love which doesn't
really work and has very little to do with the book.
I was bored frankly.So were most of us.
The Book of Blood and Shadowsis more of an adventure. It is a bit of a teenagers'De Vinci's Code-- I know, I
know-- said already. The protagonist ends up on the streets of Prague searching
for the Lumen Dei, the alchemists' machine that has the power to allow the user to see
god. She becomes a pawn of a powerful group who try to use the power for
themselves and another who attempts to destroy it forever Nothing is
what it seems. No one is whom they seem. The protagoinist kept falling in love with the wrong men. Many of the wrong men. Just how many wrong men can there be? Maybe it is more realistic than I thought. There are links to the past and
to characters of the 15th century Europe. It is an adventure
and will be fun for most kid readers but though it was interesting right from
the start, it did bog down and drown somewhat in the middle.
So we came down on the side of The Book of Blood and Shadows. It
is good enough to move on.