Smackdown Books 2018

Wolf Hollow
Salt to the Sea
The Serpent King
Optimists Die First
The Hate U Give
Orphan Island
Dan vs. Nature
The Female of the Species
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere
Paper Girls, Vol. 1
The Passion of Dolssa
The Distance Between Us
When We Collided
Louis parmi les spectres
Girl in the Blue Coat
Defy the Stars

Sunday, January 18, 2015

CSI meets the Incredibles?

The cover implies mystery, intrigue and maybe espionage.  As you begin to read you may think "hey this is a bit like The Incredibles meeting Ocean Eleven".  The book starts a bit slow,  picks up the pace and it ends with a bang. The premise: Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the ability to change her appearance at will. Ciere and her friends (yes they are all criminals) embark on a crazy adventure, with the government on their tail, a mob wanting a large payment of money, a law office to rob, and finding someone they never expected. The ending is the best part of the book but we are not sure that the ending is enough for it to be remembered by its readers.  

Do you like Ouija boards and CSI?  If you do then  Famous Last Words likely "will hit the spot". After moving to Los Angeles with her mother and stepdad, Willa continues to struggle with her own "demons". She thought this would be a fresh start but she keeps seeing things that are not really there, like a dead body in the swimming pool, and she begins to realize her visions could be connected to a serial killer that is stalking young girls in Hollywood. The first third of the book picks up momentum quickly and likely the teen reader will find this "creepy enough that you have to keep reading" (my grade 7 aged daughter did). There is some muddling of the plot with the author's need to add a "teen romance" into the book and the author would be wise to remember that there are times when "less is more". If  more had done with the main story-line the book could have been a real hit.

We struggled to choose a winner because none of us would add either book to our top 20 list. So in the end it was the opinion of a grade 7 student that tipped the scales (and since the books are meant to be read by kids perhaps that is the way it should be). The book moving onto the next round is Famous Last Words. 

Submitted by Maureen on behalf of Donna, Deb and Dianne

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