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, February 22, 2015

Glory vs. Famous Last Words

I mentioned to my sister who teaches grade 7 in Calgary that I was reading Famous Last Words and she said that a number of her students had been reading and (mostly) enjoying the book. It's interesting enough, if not somewhat formulaic. Even jr. High girls know that when there are two potential love interests, one slightly older with a chiseled jaw and one a mysterious loner with black framed hipster glasses, one of them must actually be evil! This is one of those books that reminded me of Lois Duncan- some murder, some supernatural, nothing too-adult, nothing too literary. An easy read but nothing special.

Glory was better, although I wouldn't go so far as to say I loved it. I thought that unlike last year's Ask the Passengers, also by King, Glory made a bit better use of the magical gimmick of seeing into people's past and future. The future was maybe a bit over-the-top, even by crazy dystopian world standards, but it would make for an easy understanding on the part of students of the ways in which rights are slowly-and then quickly- eroded. Something which seems highly relevant today. It seemed to me that Glory still fell victim to some of those YA tropes (Glory even acknowledges the trope of the dead mother, only to enact the same situation herself) that I find to be a little annoying after a while. Honestly- what is with these YA girls who always meet guys that are 3-5 years older than them and already in college?! Nevertheless, the relationships at least possessed a sense of complexity and the story never promised any easy answers. This is definitely my pick to move forward (although I am still rooting for Ill Give You the Sun as the overall winner!)

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