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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More than This vs. Bomb

Wait, what!? It's Tuesday? Where has the time gone. Team Spruce Avenue has decided by a 2-1 vote that Bomb will advance to the finals. Ultimately our decision is more about disliking More than This than it was about loving Bomb. 

I thought this decision would easily go to More than This (I also thought this about Leonard Peacock) but Ness' novel failed to live up to the hype. While the novel is very well written, in the end, our group really disliked the ending. It felt a little like Ness couldn't find a way to wrap up the narrative, despite attempting several time in the final one hundred pages to do so, so he tells the reader how to do so. More than This does many things very well: It's suspenseful, dramatic, and creates great visuals for the reader but in the end there are too many elements that are unnecessary or that we did not care for: the sci-fi Matrix angle, the Driver being so ruthless but deciding not to capture all three when given the opportunity, killing and then mysteriously saving Seth, the whole premise that the world Seth lives in may or may not be real. I constantly thought that there was going to be some big plot twist, I actually hoped for aliens at one point, but the novel failed to deliver. In the end, I don't know what I'd do with More than This and I believed it had one too many warts.

We, like many other people, enjoyed Bomb. We liked the non-fiction telling of an event that we knew little about. Having a stronger connection to the social curriculum, we knew we could use the novel as a complimentary text.

Both Bomb and More than This we felt had a limited audience and purpose but in the end we chose Bomb to move forward.

Team Spruce Avenue, having never read Wonder, are nominating The One and Only Ivan as the Zombie pick. I still feel very strongly for the novel and its ability to be taught at many different levels and with varying degrees of difficulty. I think that it could actually still take this thing. 

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