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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We Were Liars takes the prize - I guess.

Frankly, nothing too noteworthy in this round's books, so our nomination is born as much of apathy as anything else; though were Barb writing this, I think you could expect powerful aspersions for This One Summer.

Not being a connoisseur, or even an appreciative audience of graphic novels, the Tamaki's offering was at a disadvantage from the first page.  Which is not to say that I cannot find redeeming value in the artwork, or even the onomatopoeic passages that are interspersed throughout.  Nonetheless, I put the book down feeling distinctly like something was missing... like a plot.  I'm all for any genre of literature that entices teens to read, and if a visual-laden text is what it takes, then so be it, but I can't help but feel that too often substance is overlooked in pursuit of an appealing appearance.

In the end, We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart, succeeds by virtue of mere mediocrity, shameless Sixth Sense poaching notwithstanding.

Looking forward to a more strenuous read,



  1. I have often felt what you say about graphic novels but they are loved and there are times when it all collide to provide the best of all literary experiences - last year, for me, it was Jane, the fox & me by Fanny Britt illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

    1. I read, and loved, Jane, the Fox & Me -- touche.