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
»

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Round 1 Will & Whit OR Sister Mine

While we wouldn't recommend either novel to a young reader, Sister Mine is the one we have chosen to move forward.  It is the better written novel and could have an appeal to a mature reader.  

Sister Mine
A fantastic journey through an imaginative world created by Hopkinson in this strange and cautionary novel.
Have you ever woken up from a dream and thought that it would make a great book if only you'd written everything down the minute you awoke? The plot emerges in twists and turns with no limitations and crosses boundaries that at times made me want to stop reading but remains absolutely mystifying in the realm at which Hopkinson develops Makeda and Abby's story. An interesting read but if you're looking for a story with a tidy ending that answers all of your questions, you'll be sadly disappointed.
About half way through the novel, I desperately wanted to stop reading as the novel describes an incestuous relationship between the sisters themselves and an ongoing booty call with their uncles. This immediately made me want to put the book down as it was more descriptive than required and dealt with the taboo subject much too non-nonchalantly. Upon reading other reviews of the book, I really must quote Ginny from the following review

...a number of folks seem weirded out by the casual treatment of incest in the story, but for my money it makes perfect sense in a story about gods. In many many mythological traditions, gods don't have any taboo agaisnt incest at all and have rather libertine attitudes toward sex generally, which is accurately depicted here. And if you think this feature is particular to African mythological traditions, take a look at the Greeks some time.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15790940-sister-mine

Overall, it's a quick and easy read. The main characters are likable but simple and perhaps a tad immature for their age; perhaps without a motherly figure to guide them and a demigod for a father, whose 'mojo' is lost, their behaviors are better understood. They have a lovable and familiar sibling rivalry going on throughout the novel that brings their struggles to life in dealing with not only a sibling but one you were attached to at birth.
Their relationships with other characters are puzzling but again likable and it is neat to learn about the characterizations of the demigods referenced in the plot.
Although a somewhat slow read to begin with, the novel was exciting with a few twists but somewhat predictable.
Not one I'd recommend to students but worth the read!

Will & Whit
I often find graphic novels hard to read as I am a big fan of creating my own movie and not relying on the authors rendition of characters and setting. The protagonist is likable but underdeveloped. her struggles are understandable but not fully developed. Overall there seemed to be too much going on within the plot and subplot but very little room for development.
The author is an artist first and the graphics are lovely, especially the use of shadow to illustrated the protagonists fears. Yet with a focus on illustrations, the plot suffers.
Not a novel I will refer to students or anyone else for that matter!

Krystal & Shelley

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